3 Crazy Sources Of Inspiration For Songwriters
I’m a huge advocate of music theory and song analysis when it comes to songwriting. But many times our best and most creative ideas come from silly “mistakes” or unexpected places.
We have probably all heard about the story of Tom Waits, who plays five radios at once to come up with new ideas in his songwriting process. But there are many more sources you can get inspiration from and boost your creativity. They might sound silly at first, but keep in mind that in order to create something new, we have to do something that we have never done before.
So here are three crazy ideas of how you can find some inspiration for your songs.
I had a friend who went to the forest to record birds singing. Then he slowed down the recordings and composed music based on those noises. (He swore he was hearing pentatonic scales on those slowed-down recordings.)
We can get inspiration from the noises around us. Noises from animals, from traffic jams, from people shouting on the street. (Listen to the “singing” of this shoe shiner on the street.)
Once you have recorded those noises, write down each of these “melodies” on sheet music, or you can put the notes into your DAW. Choose a key for your song, and transpose all the motifs to this key.
Ask a layman
One of the best books I have ever read about the music industry is The Song Machine by John Seabrook. In his book, he mentions that many top producers use a top-liner in their songwriting process. A top-liner is a person who comes up with melody ideas on a piece of music. Many times these top-liners are non-musicians—regular people who happen to have a good ear for music.
Here is an idea: ask your non-musician friends to send you a voice message and sing something silly. It doesn’t have to be a complete song, only a short motif.
Collect all those short motifs, and again, transpose all of them into the same key. You don’t have to use all the melodies, but you can get pretty good ideas from them. Choose the best motifs and try to come up with a song by combining them. Maybe you will find a hidden talent amongst your non-musician friends!
If you want to learn more about writing a melody, you can read my detailed article on how to write a melody.
Listen to other genres
Some people only listen to music inside their own genre. But songs from completely different genres have much more in common than most people think. You can create really unique music if you listen to songs from other genres and get inspiration from them.
Do you write heavy metal songs? Listen to some songs from boybands from the ’90s. Do you write salsa songs? Listen to some heavy metal songs.
It’s not like you need to completely copy those songs. Did you find an interesting bassline? Write down the rhythm of that bass and make a bass groove with the same rhythm, but with a different chord progression.
Do you have a crazy method for getting inspiration for your songs? Let us know in the comments!
Minor Chord Progressions: The Ultimate Guide
Minor chord progressions are a staple of music and can be found in a wide range of styles, from classical to Jazz, Pop, and Rock. Understanding how to use minor chord progressions is crucial for anyone looking to write, play, or appreciate music.
This guide will help you explore the basics of minor chord progressions, advanced concepts, and chord substitutions to help you create more interesting and dynamic compositions.
Understanding minor chord progressions
Musicians create minor chords by lowering the third note of a major chord by one half-step. For example, the A major chord is made up of the notes A, C#, and E, while the A minor chord is made up of the notes A, C, and E.
In a minor key, the chords are built on the scale degrees of the natural minor scale. One of the most common progressions in a minor key is the I–IV–V–I progression, which is the minor one chord, the minor four chord, the minor five chord, and the minor one chord again. Musicians use this chord progression very commonly in pop songs with minor keys.
Basic minor chord progressions
Musicians often use minor chord progressions to create a sad or melancholic feeling in the music. The most common basic minor chord progressions include:
I-IV-V (one, four, five)
I-VI-III-VII (one, six, three, seven)
I-VI-IV-V (one, six, four, five)
While basic minor chord progressions are relatively straightforward, you can still use them creatively to add interest and depth to your music. There are a couple of ways that you can do this. For instance, you could try passing chords, changing chord voicings, or using alternate scales or modes. These techniques can help you create new and unexpected harmonies and can be especially effective in Jazz and fusion music.
Overview of advanced minor chord progressions
To create more interesting and complex compositions, musicians use advanced minor chord progressions. Furthermore, these progressions use more chords, and you can often find them in Jazz, Classical, and Progressive Rock music. Some examples of advanced minor chord progressions include:
To improve your understanding and ability to recognize and play minor chord progressions, it is recommended to practice ear training. Several websites and tools are available for ear training, such as https://www.useyourear.com/, which can help you develop your ability to recognize and play different chords, progressions, and melodies by ear.
Minor chord progressions in different styles of music
Musicians use minor chord progressions in a variety of styles of music, from classical to pop and rock. For example, in classical music, musicians use minor chord progressions to create a melancholic or mournful feeling.
In pop and rock music, musicians often use minor chord progressions to create a sad or introspective feeling. Furthermore, musicians also use them in more complex and harmonically adventurous compositions in jazz music.
Musicians use minor chord progressions in all styles of music to convey a range of emotions, including sadness and melancholy.
How to use chord substitutions and modifications to create interest in minor chord progressions?
While basic minor chord progressions can create a sense of melancholy or tension, they may become repetitive or predictable over time. One way to add interest and complexity to your music is by using chord substitutions or modifications.
A chord substitution is a process of replacing one or more chords in a progression with a different chord that has a similar function or sound. For example, in the I-IV-V progression, you could substitute the minor four chord with a major four chord (IV), which creates a brighter and more uplifting sound. This can be a great way to bring in a sense of resolution and surprise.
A chord modification is very similar and involves altering one or more notes in a chord to create a different sound or color. When modifying chords, you can add extensions, such as ninths, elevenths, or thirteenths, to create more complex and colorful chords. In jazz music, musicians commonly use chord modifications to create complex and harmonically rich progressions.
Minor chord progressions are a fundamental aspect of music and musicians use them in a wide variety of styles. Understanding the basics of minor chord progressions is important for any musician or songwriter. Furthermore, exploring more advanced concepts and techniques like how to use chord substitutions and modifications can help take your compositions to the next level.
Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced musician, mastering minor chord progressions is a key step in unlocking your creative potential. So, grab your instrument, play some chords, and let your creativity flow!
What’s your favourite minor chord progression, and what emotions or feelings does it evoke for you?
Top 4 Online Courses To Learn Music Production
Tutor John W of DoMyEssay lists the best music production online courses for students.
Music production is a fast-growing and promising field. Careers in this industry aren’t only high-paying but also incredibly interesting. Thus, if you have always been a fan of music and wanted to create your own legacy, this kind of job is for you.
But how do you begin a career in this field? Of course, you could go to college and get an actual degree in music production. However, this path takes many years and still doesn’t guarantee success. Moreover, if you are already enrolled in a different major, making this switch can be a real challenge. But there is a simpler way to accomplish your dream!
Today, anyone can learn music production using only the internet. There are lots of great courses that will provide you with the needed skills and knowledge, and they can be easily combined with your current studies. If that sounds like a good opportunity, hire yourself an essay or persuasive speech writer to have your current assignments handled by pros, and read on to learn about the best music production courses that you can take right now!
1. Masterclass: Producing and Beatmaking
An undoubted #1 online course for electronic music production is the one available at Masterclass. Why? Because it’s taught by Timbaland—a famous Grammy-winning music producer who works with top-class stars like Justin Timberlake, Jay-Z, Beyonce, and many others.
Timbaland’s legacy in the music world is huge. Thus, there is definitely a lot you can learn from him. In this course, you will find 15 complete lessons that will teach you how to layer new tracks, create killer hooks, collaborate with artists, and much more. In total, all lessons will take only 3 hours and 2 minutes of your time. But the gained knowledge and experience will stay with you forever.
2. Coursera: Music Production Specialization
The following top course is available on Coursera. This course offers you a complete specialization in music production, through which you will gain such skills as audio recording, sound design, music production, songwriting, music mixing, and many others.
The course is offered by the well-known school—Berklee. The approximate time to complete it is 5 months. In total, this specialization consists of 4 full courses. After completing the courses, you will have to get through a culminating 4-week Capstone, during which you will create your own project from scratch.
Quick note: Compared to other courses on our list, this one is the most thorough and lengthy one. Completing it will require more commitment. Thus, if you don’t want it to interfere with your college studies, check out an objective DoMyEssay review now to find reliable helpers for yourself.
3. Skillshare: Blueprint to Beatmaking
The next course can be found at Skillshare. The Blueprint to Beatmaking is an incredibly user-friendly course that will take you from zero to hero in beat-making in only 3 hours and 5 minutes. The course is ideally suited for beginners as it doesn’t require any prior knowledge, skills, or special equipment. The lessons are short and engaging. And at the end of the course, there is an engaging hands-on project.
The best thing about this course is that Skillshare offers all new users a 7-day free access period. Since the lessons take approximately 3 hours to complete, there is a good chance that you will be able to complete them without paying any fees. Even if you don’t finish it in 7 days, the price is fairly low—$8 per month.
4. Masterclass: Electronic Music Production
Another course available at Masterclass is offered by one of the leading electronic music artists—deadmau5. This famous Canadian DJ and music maker is now known all across the globe for his killer sounds. Now, you have a chance to learn from him without leaving the comfort of your home.
In this course, you will get 9 blocks with 23 thorough video lessons. The lessons will teach you everything from the theory of music production to hands-on tips for mixing and mastering sounds. All in all, the lessons take 6 hours to watch. You also get a downloadable course workbook as a bonus. And the best part of it is that in his lessons, deadmau5 will teach you how to create awesome music without spending millions of dollars on professional gear. So there is a lot you can learn from this course.
The Bottom Line
Although creating music seems like a pretty complex art that requires advanced skills, the truth is that anyone can master it! Thanks to the Internet, you have access to a wide range of excellent online courses that will help you get started. All you need is a bit of free time and dedication. So if you are still in college, enlist the help of the top paper writing services to have your studies covered by pros and use the saved time to follow your dream. Good luck!
Advice For Students: 9 Music Genres To Help Your Mental Health
For most people, studentship is a challenging and stressful period. That’s why some students find peace of mind and comfort in music. Music has always been an integral part of our lives. In fact, it has the power to affect our emotions and mood in profound ways. It can uplift our spirits, calm our nerves, and help us cope with stress.
However, it can’t assist you with everything. For instance, if you are overloaded with college assignments the best way out is to ask a professional to write essays for money instead of racking your brain. Different genres have their own effects on our mental health. Now, let’s dive into the world of music to explore the genres that help to improve your mental health.
The first genre on our bucket list is Indie for good reason. Indie often addresses themes of mental health and emotional wellness in a thoughtful and nuanced way. This can provide a sense of connection and understanding, which can be particularly helpful for individuals who are struggling with mental health issues and feeling isolated or misunderstood.
Moreover, indie songs can provide a sense of hope and positivity during difficult times due to their upbeat and optimistic nature. They also help to process and cope with difficult emotions and experiences.
Instrumental music is known for its positive effect on the mind and body. It helps us to develop a sense of calmness and peace, reduce stress levels, and improve focus and concentration.
In addition, this genre can be used for mindfulness and meditation practices. Its repetitive and soothing nature can help individuals stay present at the moment and cultivate a sense of mindfulness and awareness.
One of the primary goals of meditation music is to promote relaxation and reduce stress. Slow, calming sounds can help slow down the mind and give us a sense of inner peace and tranquility. Also, listening to such a genre helps to have better sleep and get rid of insomnia.
In addition, this genre helps people to look at their life from a different perspective, similar to how essay service review analyzes college assignments. This helps to determine which areas of your life need improvement.
Classical music can help with mental health in several ways:
● Cognitive Enhancement. This genre has been shown to enhance cognitive function, including memory, attention, and problem-solving skills. Listening to classical songs while studying or working can improve focus and productivity.
● Pain Management. Classical music is believed to reduce pain perception.
● Sleep Aid. This genre also helps to improve sleep quality. Its calming melodies can promote restful sleep and reduce the incidence of sleep disturbances.
If you want to boost your mood and be more productive you should listen to Jazz. This genre often features upbeat and lively melodies that help your body stimulate the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure and happiness.
In addition, jazz songs can convey a wide range of emotions, including joy, excitement, and enthusiasm. Listening to jazz can help individuals connect with these positive emotions and promote a sense of happiness and contentment.
Many folk songs tell stories of everyday life, such as love, work, and family, as well as stories of historical events and cultural traditions. The storytelling aspect of this genre can help individuals connect with their cultural heritage and promote a sense of community and belonging. This is especially useful for those students who are longing for a home.
Folk music can be a valuable tool for promoting emotional expression and connection. The simple melodies and lyrics of folk songs can help individuals express their emotions and connect with others who may be going through similar difficulties.
Lo-fi music often features a combination of samples, field recordings, and electronic instrumentation, and is known for its warm and nostalgic sound. Its slow, repetitive melodies and gentle rhythms help to relax and reduce stress and anxiety. Moreover, the nostalgic and introspective nature of lo-fi can provide a source of comfort and emotional support.
In addition, many individuals use lo-fi songs as a tool for studying or working. While most students turn to the best dissertation writing services for help, others turn on lo-fi and get down to business. Its repetitive and soothing sound can help improve focus and concentration.
Pop is a genre that is characterized by its catchy melodies and upbeat tempo. While it may not seem like an obvious choice for promoting mental health, this genre can be an effective tool for boosting mood and motivation.
The upbeat nature of pop can help increase energy levels and improve overall mood. Additionally, pop music is often associated with positive memories and experiences, which can provide a sense of comfort and nostalgia for listeners.
Heavy metal is a genre that is characterized by its intense, heavy sound and dark themes. While it may not be for everyone, studies have shown that listening to heavy metal can have a positive impact on mental health.
Listening to heavy metal can provide a sense of catharsis for individuals who are experiencing intense emotions such as anger or frustration. The loud, aggressive sound of the music can also help individuals release tension and energy in a healthy way.
To Sum It Up
Ultimately, the key is to find music that resonates with you personally and use it as a tool for self-care and emotional regulation.