Perhaps the most popular song form in modern music, the Verse-Prechorus-Chorus is also very versatile and strong. It features the inclusion of a prechorus, a bridge between your verse and your chorus that ties the two sections together with a central idea or melody, or a way to flip your chord progression around so the chorus makes sense starting on a new chord.
Sure, it may not be a fully produced radio-ready single, but you will end up with a great-sounding demo that could save you a lot of time and money if or when you eventually bring your tracks to a professional studio. And the best part is, you don’t even really need a keyboard. Of course, it helps to have one, but a MIDI controller or even your laptop keyboard can work just fine.
You already know that Austin is a mecca of musical talent and endless opportunities during SXSW but it’s also a pretty incredible year-round music scene, and partly because of the large student presence. If you’re familiar with SXSW, you’re likely aware of the rows of live music venues on Sixth Street, with shows running throughout the week. In addition, it has the Pecan Street Festival, which features five stages for live music, as well as performances by the Austin Symphony Orchestra. With several college campuses throughout the city, you shouldn’t have any trouble finding a venue and an audience if you play your marketing cards right!
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If you look next to your volume bar, you’ll notice a picture of a metronome next to a “1,2,3,4.” Those numbers indicate a four-beat (one measure) count in before you’re meant to start playing, and the metronome is how you’ll control whether you hear the click or not.
Speaking of research, since artists love to talk about themselves, it’s often quite easy to find out who influenced your favorite singers! A quick search will often turn up a comprehensive list. For example: if you’re particularly into Bob Dylan, you might benefit from reading Ginsberg, Rimbaud, and Kerouac, or listening to Woody Guthrie.
Here at Soundfly we talk a lot about setting and achieving one’s goals. So it makes a lot of sense that this would be the first and probably most important tip for streamlining your workflow. When you have a clear goal in mind, every decision and every distraction should be questioned. Time simply can’t be managed professionally in recording spaces without a detailed list of goals and priorities.
“I’ve been holding on here for so long, and it’s such a struggle. Like, normal life is a struggle,” she says. “I was barely making the money I needed to get by, and all of a sudden, that’s gone, and now it’s like, well, I guess this is what I’m supposed to do right now. It hurts me because I know there’s a lot of work to be done here, and the artists community has lost so many funds already this year, and it’s just been going downhill and downhill and downhill, and I’m sorry. I can’t do this anymore.”
Take your time. Pick out the sound you think will create the best base layer for your music. But keep in mind that you can always go back and track other instruments and sounds once everything is laid down. Now you’re ready to record your keyboard to the click.
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Motivation is something that can be difficult to hold onto when music is your side gig. We get overwhelmed with all of the things we could or should be doing to move our music careers forward. Hustling day after day with little progress can suck the go-getter-ness right out of you. So here are some tips to combat that temptation to lose motivation.
“Better Now”: So, how the heck does Post Malone do his vibrato thing, anyway? Another thing he does that’s uniquely him is that he really likes to sing different melodies in all the verse areas. It’s just not standard practice how often he does it. You’re making my form labels fall apart, Post, knock it off! Wait, your name is a form label… ouch, my brain!
Nerves affect your body, which in turn affect your ability. Adrenaline pumping through your blood might cause you to sweat excessively, your spine might contact, your legs might start to feel like jelly, dilated pupils, dry mouth… You need to identify which symptoms you experience. Study them when you’re removed from the nervy situation. Gain clarity on them. The goal is to become familiar with how your body reacts, so that you can know what to expect, and prepare for it as best you can.
“Psycho”: After 15 weeks in the Top 5, this song finally made it to #1 for a week. Good going, everyone. The form here is pretty clear-cut; it’s almost a palindrome. It’s just that the two verses have our singers doing their own thing. Like, Post Malone does this isolated line for the second half of his verse, just his own thing not to be repeated. This song, combined with others in this study, like “Look Alive,” also illustrates how important the beat is in determining the subdivision of the tempo.
If you’re considering taking an online course to become a better composer, arranger, orchestrator, and all-around songwriter, head over to Orchestration for Strings to preview Soundfly’s mentored online course for free, and read on below to see what recent students have said about the experience!