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Learn to improve your songwriting with these tips, stories, and resources to help you break out of a creative rut and start writing better music. For more help, check out Soundfly’s course, The New Songwriter’s Workshop.

Further, consider the saturated market of cheap digital music distribution companies and the recent news about Spotify accepting direct artist uploads. What does all of this mean for the music industry, and how will it determine your strategy as a creator? One paradigm shift is clear and necessary: Producers are also songwriters. Therefore, securing music publishing rights as a producer can drive your business.

Most commonly seen in classical music, the “Verse-Refrain” is one of the simplest song structures. It consists of verses followed by a short refrain that sums the song’s message up quickly and easily (functioning somewhat like a chorus). The Beatles wrote many successful verse refrain songs throughout their career. Though the verse-refrain has almost completely disappeared from modern music, it is still an effective tool for certain songs. And as it is important to always keep in mind, history has a tendency to repeat itself!

National endowment for the arts

In this climate of increasing lawsuits, protecting your intellectual musical property is becoming an essential tool in the songwriter’s toolkit. Learn more.

Let’s take it back a notch. You don’t have to memorize every single note on every string in every fret; that’s because of how the guitar is tuned and organized. We know that if we play open strings on the guitar, we will get the following notes:

Will Kuhn suggests that the rhythms of “Clair de Lune” are so weird because Debussy was trying to notate rubato. That sounds plausible to me. It turns out that when you quantize the piece over beats, it sounds very syncopated and hip. Live and learn.

Hein almost mentions this in passing, but it’s an interesting concept to keep in mind these days. Our new “teachers” may in fact be the unnamed, unseen, un-interacted-with software engineers and designers who created the DAWs (as well as the plugins inside them) that we use for almost all things musical in the 21st century. Those folks shaped how we learn about engineering and production, recording, and even composition, and learning to use their software inevitably means learning about those concepts from the lens of the software’s interface and application.

Filter sweeps are most commonly used in electronic music because it’s a popular effect that DJs rely on to impose a sense of ebb and flow on the crowd. It’s that underwater effect of gradually surfacing, or opening up, until the chorus finally hits. It can also be the exact opposite, where a producer will gradually close off a ton of the frequency content so it sounds like it’s getting smaller and smaller, before letting it all back in at the perfect moment to slam the chorus back in even harder. This is especially useful if you’re working on a beat-heavy dance remix and you want the bass to be intensely at front and center when it drops.

Ford foundation grants

“Practice makes perfect” is a classic cliché — it contains elements of the truth but misses the whole story by a long shot. As musicians, we’ve all experienced times when we master a new concept in seconds, and other times when we’ve been working on the same song for years with seemingly no progress. What accounts for the difference?

Based on a narrative from the avant-garde writer Frank Wedekind, Lulu details the rise, fall, and violent death of a sexually adventurous dancer (murdered by Jack the Ripper, no less). It shocked readers by showing true love and romantic opportunism side by side, criticizing what Wedekind saw as the hypocritical bourgeois attitude towards sexuality at the time. The story has continued to resonate throughout the years, and the story’s place at the center of Metallica and Lou Reed’s controversial collaboration only speaks to its ability to both entice and polarize audiences.

Join the Headliners Club and take a giant musical leap forward in one month with a Soundfly Mentor. It’s like having a personal trainer for your music, with a series of musical workouts, a whole lot of feedback and support, and the chance to accomplish something you’ll be proud of. Click here to tell us more about your musical goals. We’d love to help you reach them! 

All pay their members on a regular basis, either quarterly or monthly. The dates these distributions will occur are listed in advance. In fact, it’s so dependable there’s even a term for it — “mailbox money.”

Favorite lyric: “And I’d tell you I love you but I wouldn’t let you know it / cause that’s when it gets too hard not to blow it” —“Not That Kind of a Poet”