There is no single method or secret ingredient in the process for making good music. Things like years of experience and lots of familiarity with any given songwriting process can be just as beneficial—or detrimental—as sitting down with an instrument without much musical training. Because every songwriter’s process is a complex mosaic of things like natural musical intuition, experience, and musical philosophy, pinpointing and imitating what songwriting approaches prop up great music isn’t always helpful or even possible to do.
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There’s no right or wrong way to approach mixing, but there are some workflow basics that can help you be more productive at the process.
This guide to mixing is for the producer who struggles with what to do when tasked with a mix, or for anyone who wants to be a professional mixer one day.
In this first post of the series, we take a look at four steps you can take to prepare for a mix.
Asking what makes a song valuable in 2018 seems sort of silly. With music streaming and video platforms displaying listener stats in real time, one doesn’t have to look much further than that to see whether a piece of music is valuable or not, right? If your metric for a song’s success is purely based off of how many times it’s bought, listened to, or downloaded, then no. But what makes a song valuable, in my opinion, is much deeper and more complex than what can be quantified with numbers. To figure out what makes music valuable, listeners and musicians alike need to look past the numbers.
Writing good lyrics is a difficult craft to master, and with every generation of brilliant lyricists, it seems to become harder to follow in the footsteps of the greats. But every great lyricist started somewhere – and becoming a good lyricist, like any other craft, is the result of study and lots of practice. Here are five of the best practices to get you writing better lyrics today.
When you first learned how to play an instrument, curiosity was unavoidable. Since you didn’t know what you were doing, you had questions that could only be answered with experimentation, trial and error, and failure. You set out to answer those questions one-by-one, and eventually you did. Most musicians don’t often think back to the early days of their training, but the curious energy that was so easy to access during that time is something that can benefit you no matter what you’re doing with your career in music. Here’s why curiosity is a vital trait in your songwriting process.
Faking it is something we’re sometimes told to do that will help us be successful in music, and there’s definitely some truth there. Getting up on stage and performing takes a lot of bravery for some musicians, and when they don’t feel brave, acting like they do is the next best thing. But when it comes to writing music that actually means something, honesty has to be at the core of your process. No, this doesn’t mean you need to sit through an hour of therapy before you write music, but it does entail coming to terms with who you are and how you really feel about the world around you in order to write engaging music.
Songwriting can be frustratingly unpredictable. You might write for six hours and come up with nothing memorable one day and come up with something incredible the minute you sit down the next. But believe it or not, songwriters are best off pursuing all their ideas, even the ones they think won’t go anywhere. Musicians risk cutting themselves off from opportunities to develop good ideas when they’re too rigid about their own creative processes, and one of the best ways to combat this is by following through on finishing all of your songs.
The idea of someone with tear-soaked eyes listening to sad songs in attempt to cope with a breakup seems like a tired cliche, but there’s definitely something universally relatable to it. The act of listening to music is often intensely personal and emotional, which makes it one of life’s best ways to understand and cope with being human. Because music reflects life, it benefits us in many different ways. Here’s just a few of them: