Wait, let me back up. Actually, I did know they existed because we put one in our 2018 Holiday Gift Guide for musicians recently. But, seriously, who knew that this was actually “a thing,” and that there are literally hundreds of different coloring books out there for almost every cultural fan community? It seems today’s biggest pop stars are out there eagerly awaiting to be colored in.

If you follow your own ear instead of the attempting to mimic the sound of your favorite guitarists, you’ll be on your way to creating a tone that’s unique to you that others are going to want to copy.

There was one channel I quite liked that would be great to leave on for my dog indefinitely. That was the live dog video channel on YouTube. If your dog is like mine and loves to bark at animals on TV, this channel is perfect because it’s just tons of doggies living their best lives running around on the beach.

Namm foundation instrument tags

Setting time limits for tasks is very important in order to finish everything that you set out to do in a given day. Whether you’re working for a client or on your own music, it’s good to be aware of how much time you spend completing tasks, and to hold yourself accountable to do them in a timely fashion.

How does this work? Well, no, we don’t hire an army of magical musical nerds to jump in and create 75 lessons specifically on the topic of your choice. Instead, we pair you up with one of our trained, expert mentors for four weeks of focused coaching around the subject or project you want to conquer. Here’s what that coaching involves, specifically:

Here’s a spring chicken by comparison, but with a maturity to her practice that’s mind-blowing and brilliant. Born in 1982, Caroline Shaw is an American Pulitzer Prize winning composer, singer, and violinist. Etching her name into the annals of history forever in 2013 with her work Partita for 8 Voices, this ground-breaking piece explores some incredible vocal techniques including Inuit-inspired throat singing, or “hocketing,” and the American folk hymn “Shining Shore.” Composed and performed by Roomful of Teeth, this incredible group including Shaw is described by NPR as “gleefully dismantling the traditional definition of ensemble singing right before our ears!”

Learn more on Soundfly: Our new mentored online course Songwriting for Producers will help you push your songwriting skills closer to your production skills, and give you the ability to visualize commercial-market-ready versions of your tracks. Attack your production dreams today! 

Some of the stuff we’re working on these days (that I can speak of publicly!) is: a massive hip-hop compilation collected by the French producer Kyo Itachi; the first vinyl release of trance producers Hilight Tribe; a new release by the Berlin techno label Get Physical Music; two re-pressings with Rhythm Bomb; and many more.

Rappers who are about that life

You can also vary the motif by lengthening or shortening the notes within it, and make it change direction by inverting it, creating its mirror image. You can add notes to extend it. And later in the song, you can even create a new motif, usually for the chorus. Contrast is the songwriter’s friend.

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.

Most of the time, they shook their heads sadly and said they couldn’t help. One actually suggested to my wife and I that we get jobs at Walmart (“just short term”), to prove we were “employable” and had “job security.” When I pointed out that you could get fired from Walmart much easier than you could “lose your job” working for yourself, he didn’t have any reply.

This song is a great example of how music theory and psychology can help the songwriting process. In essence, you want to try to structure how listeners bring their sense of joy through the song, with the ultimate high point being in the chorus where lyrics and melodies are all repeated for better recall. Now you’ve got a tonal hierarchy to work with to make that section, and the others leading up to it, even stronger.

Every week, you’ll also hop on the phone or on Skype with your mentor to talk through questions you have, get feedback on your activities, or discuss your musical goals in general. These can be scheduled around whatever time works for you and your mentor.