You isolate the harmonics on a guitar string by lightly touching it in certain places to deaden some of the vibrations. If you touch the vibrating string at its halfway point, you can hear it vibrating in halves. (On the guitar, the halfway point is right at the twelfth fret.) If you touch the string a third of the way along its length, you can hear it vibrating in thirds. (On the guitar, this point is right at the seventh fret.) Each whole-numbered fraction of the string produces a different harmonic. The shorter string sections produce higher and quieter harmonics.
+ This article comes directly from Soundfly’s brand new mentored online course, Songwriting for Producers. If you’re producing 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 arc. Free preview here.
Lisa Occhino is the founder of SongwriterLink and the Director of Marketing & Communications at Soundfly. She’s also a pianist, award-winning songwriter, and graduate of Berklee College of Music.
Grants for teachers
+ Learn the nuances of producing beats, arranging tracks, and creative sampling, drawing on the rich history and influence of hip-hop in Soundfly’s popular mentored online course, The Art of Hip-Hop Production.
Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake played the halftime show of Super Bowl XXXVIII. Jackson came out with a politically charged, very serious song, and everything was going as expected. Then Timberlake came out and brought sexy back, as he does. At the very end of their set, Timberlake reached over to grab at Jackson’s clothes in the choreography, and then it happened. The infamous “wardrobe malfunction” — a.k.a., “the nip slip” — a dancing artist’s worst onstage nightmare. This video is NSFW, though I’m sure your boss has seen it already. What is so impressive is how quickly the whole thing got covered up as they finished their performance in perfectly timed darkness.
Fundamentally, the more you study other artists, the more you’ll develop your own taste and palette. No one can explain how good lyrics work, but over time you’ll develop a deep, intuitive sense to guide your writing.
Perfection is objective, and the process of growing and learning is what makes life so beautiful. The world would be so boring if we didn’t need to grow, learn, or change. Don’t be afraid to make some mistakes sometimes.
“Thank you for what has been one of the best musical learning experiences I’ve ever had. With Ian as a mentor, I’ve grown beyond anything I thought possible in six weeks.
Best hip hop albums of all time the source
+ Learn more on Soundfly: Interested in building on your knowledge of music theory? Try our free course “Theory for Producers,” made in partnership with NYU’s Music Experience Design Lab!
My writing method isn’t so much about technology as it is about coming up with a process that works for me. We’re living in a climate of immediacy, which can often yield great results, but it isn’t particularly conducive to a rigorous vetting of concepts or ideas. That being said, I have absolutely zero attention span. Writing on manuscript paper with a pen is all about slowing the process down, focusing in, and running through the same ideas over, over and over — essentially beating my head against the wall to get the ideas out.
Major platforms like Spotify, Pandora, and Apple Music have begun rolling out robust dashboards for artists to not only track and analyze how your songs are performing, but also to provide you with invaluable streaming data that can help you understand who your audience is, where to tour, how to most effectively spend your marketing dollars, and much more.
The highly influential course instructors are: Kenta Yonesaka (Unlocking the Truth, Kendrick Lamar, Chance the Rapper), Tim Leitner (Carly Simon, Adam Ezra, Billy Joel), Brian Losch (Maria Schnieder, Yo-Yo Ma, Chris Thile), and Leon Kelly (Run the Jewels, Kaytranada, Action Bronson).
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