Repetitive dance forms went out of style in the Romantic era, and while they made a comeback in the 20th century, it wasn’t exactly in a predictable, listener-friendly context. Ross says, “But it’s really in jazz, blues, and rock ‘n’ roll where the lamento bass has a surprising revival.”
These bass lines are often much simpler, yet follow the same basic rules as electric bass lines. You have a couple options for how to go about programming these, but let’s start with the sound.
While this technique may not work well for subtle genres like folk or jazz, excessive compression is commonly used in Top 40 genres such as pop, rock, and hip-hop productions to create powerful vocals that cut through busy arrangements.
Vocal music scholarships
Instructed by composer and producer Martin D. Fowler (This American Life, Limetown, etc.), this course is an all-encompassing boot camp in one of the most widely used and most multi-functional DAWs out there: Logic Pro X. It’s used by pro-level producers, songwriters, engineers, and composers of all types to achieve the sound they’re searching for. Logic is also extremely affordable as far as DAWs go, making it perfect for the home-recording musician.
Mickey’s got a serious talent for writing relatable, bittersweet lyrics. You can rock out to his growing pain, while his bright guitar soothes. His live shows are pretty rare these days, so make an effort to catch him!
I probably cheated by throwing a festival in the mix, but there are a lot of great songwriters playing Gigawatts Festival, a 3-day romp in East Williamsburg featuring 80+ bands spread out at The Wick, The Well, and Our Wicked Lady. My favorites are tight dream-pop weavers Celestial Shore and art-soul-freaks Ava Luna. These guys exemplify songwriting as a true team effort, allowing for lots of colors and variations from each player. My band is playing as well (Saturday at 2:30pm); but it’s hardly worth mentioning, as I assume you’ll all still be in bed recovering after a week of taking in all of the excellent music this town has to offer!
The complicated squiggles you see in real-world string vibrations are the mathematical sum of all these different harmonics. Each harmonic produces a different pitch, so when you play a note, you’re actually hearing many different pitches at once. It’s possible to isolate the different harmonics of a string and hear their individual pitches. Harmonics are very useful for tuning your guitar. They are also the basis of the whole Western tuning system generally.
I’m happy you think it sounds varied! Of course, I’ve been freaking out for awhile about the exact opposite; when I listen I of course hear a lot of similar patterns, progressions and melodies, which worries me a bit. Ultimately, I try to maintain a sort of “been there, done that” mentality to writing new music, meaning that if I find myself venturing into too-familiar territory I look for ways to steer myself towards a new direction.
American chamber music society
All of our mentored online courses come with six weeks of one-on-one professional coaching and feedback on your work. It’s like having a personal trainer, but for music! Whether you’re interested in dive deep into a topic covered by one of our courses, like Songwriting for Producers, The Art of Hip-Hop Production, or The Creative Power of Advanced Harmony, or just in working with a Mentor directly to achieve a specific goal, we can help you get started!
One of the best things you can do as a working producer is to analyze music by the artists who inspire you. This will help you understand how they build their tracks, and develop their ideas for when you start working on how things are arranged and orchestrated.
It seems we can always turn to a popular old melody for some familiar sing-along action. The lyrics of this tune have a bit of an icky past, harking back to the American Civil War, but like most public domain songs to stand the test of time, the simplistic melody often reminds us of childhood. In “Shoo Fly, Don’t Bother Me” you’ll find the major third at 0:04, on the lyrics “Shoo” and “fly.”
Some bands (like Avenged Sevenfold, for example) use isolation boxes containing their guitar cabinet during their live performances to maintain consistency in their tone across every show on their tour, no matter the room — since the acoustics of each venue are always going to be different. Using isolation boxes live also allows guitar players to block out any venue noise that could be captured through the mic.
Soundfly course producer John Hull walks us through how he creates a Slice to MIDI preset in Ableton Live so you can build your own customized version.