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Modes and Key Signatures have a variety of different characteristics and are great for outside-the-box songwriting. Here’s a cheat sheet to remember them!
Nick Jameson’s story is almost as interesting as this song’s bass part itself. After having previously worked as a producer for the band, Jameson was invited to become their new bass player. Mainly a guitarist up to that point, he had to learn quickly. But thanks in part to some of his influences, like jazz-fusion guru Stanley Clarke, he pulled off learning the material. Not long after, “Slow Ride” was born out of a jam session. Jameson’s chops on the song are pretty remarkable, considering he was still a bit of a novice on the instrument at the time.
Maybe you’re living with an illness but you still want to get out and tour so you can meet your fans. Maybe you gave up music for years and are now finally following your passion instead of working a dead-end 9-to-5. Or perhaps you came to music late and want to prove that you can still create just as well as people who have been playing for years. Whatever your struggle is, make it a part of your story and draw your fans into your world.
How to get funding for an album
Funnily, his music also set off debates across Europe about the new “trend” towards effeminate, sentimental, and “cowardly” music! Despite its popularity, people were worried composers were taking the modern opera in feminine directions. And perhaps to make matters worse, Queen Marie Antoinette rather loved his work and invited him to Paris to compose for the Academie Royale de Musique. We won’t go into the competitive “compose off” between he and Christof Gluck, but it is rather humorous that he had half of Paris up in arms about whether they’d support his music or his rival’s and declare themselves as either a Piccinnist or a Gluckist.
Soundfly welcomes new voices each month to offer unique perspectives, shine a light on unexpected musical worlds, and help our readers find their sound.
Ethan Hein is a Doctoral Fellow in Music Education at New York University. He teaches music technology, production and education at NYU and Montclair State University. With the NYU Music Experience Design Lab, Ethan has taken a leadership role in the creation of new technologies for learning and expression, most notably the Groove Pizza. He is the instructor of the free Soundfly course series called Theory for Producers. He maintains a widely-followed and influential blog, and has written for various publications, including Slate, Quartz, and NewMusicBox.
This piece also makes use of other “unusual” concert instruments, such as the waterphone, the daxaphone, the log drum, Hapi drum, Ufo drum, and more to convey a sense of music as an alien and unearthly being in and of itself.
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Electronic music grant
In a song known for its supremely catchy guitar riff (what else is new?), this is Hamilton’s moment of rising up to say, “Hey, don’t forget about the bass… it’s flashy, too!” The high run works particularly well juxtaposed against the lower notes he’s played up to that point in that section (which is basically the same riff as in the verses). Specifically, the vamping on C, then dropping down to the open E and walking up chromatically to the fifth below it (G), makes the shooting up to the next octave C and climbing up to the E above it sound really great together.
Bob Dylan is particularly famous for doing this. It’s not uncommon to adapt everything from nursery rhymes to full-blown songs. Here’s where Dylan got the inspiration for “Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright”:
“ZEZE”: Since there’s no F or F♭ anywhere, we could analyze this in E♭ minor or A♭ minor. Sticking an F in there sounds better to me, but we don’t know for sure which mode it’s in. And wait, this electro-pan-pipe, sweepy vox effect everyone’s been using on the hype-shouts this year — has this been around a while, or is it new? Asking for a friend.
The following post comes directly from Soundfly’s mentored online course, Songwriting for Producers. If you’re making music at home, you need to check out this course to learn the techniques and strategies of pro songwriters, master an efficient and productive workflow, and bone up on how simple music theory can improve your storytelling. Free preview here.
Well, you can kiss that source of tour stress goodbye! House shows are more favorable to touring musicians because the hours end up being a lot more friendly and respectful. Since most concert venues and clubs make money serving alcohol, it’s in their best interest to keep the crowds inside their doors for as long as possible. But since most houses have people living in them, shows tend to start around sundown and wrap up just a couple hours later.