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There are lots of reasons why tuning is hard. You might be hampered by a poorly made guitar, or by a guitar that’s not set up correctly, or by old, worn-out strings, or by changes in temperature or humidity, or just by a lack of patience or time. At least you can be secure in the knowledge that some of your tuning struggles are due to the basic unfairness of the universe, and not just the limitations of your ears or your equipment.

If you already have some lyrics written, really think about how a motif would work with your most important words or phrase. Start by saying them out loud in a few different ways. This will give you a really basic idea of the rhythm you might use and an inclination of where the pitch naturally rises and falls. Use your phone to record yourself.

Kenneth Estrada y Santiago is a producing songwriter, musician, and YouTuber, based in Berlin, Germany. In his YouTube channel, SHOEGAZER he reviews effect pedals, teaches guitar chords and interviews weller known bands of the shoegaze scene. He was the frontman of the band Downhill Willows and releases his own albums on Bandcamp.

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“Finesse” (Remix): Cardi B drops herself into this remix in a relatively extended intro. There’s also a pre-chorus, as well as a fake-out bridge which I’m going to call a “pre-bridge” (P2). My favorite part of this section, this song, and maybe this entire study in general, is that just when you think the whole thing is going to be done over the three-chord loop of♭VI  V  i, they throw in a ♭vii to ♭III turnaround, or, for the functionally minded, a “ii  V  I” that resolves back to D♭. This tonal trick, as well as the extensions and voicings, are really typical of the era they’re harkening back to in the video. Super clever.

Efa Etoroma, Jr. is a Los Angeles-based professional drummer, composer, and educator who is known for his stylistic versatility, expressive creativity, and his deep musical instincts. He performs and/or records with a variety artists including Moonchild, Sneakout, Ellen Doty, Bennie Maupin, A La Mer, BRNSTRM, The Writers’ Guild, and Sensae. In addition, Efa Jr. serves on the drum set faculty at the Musician’s Institute in Hollywood, California and teaches songwriting and music production at Citystage LA. Efa Jr. uses Yamaha Drums, Paiste Cymbals, Promark Sticks, Humes and Berg Cases, and Remo Drumheads, exclusively.

Paul Weinstein, aka Chipocrite, is a chiptune musician who uses original Nintendo Game Boys, often accompanied by guitar, bass, drums, and other instruments, to create complex audio masterpieces. He has performed at numerous festivals and conventions, including the Vans Warped Tour, Blip Festival, MAGFest, and AnimeNEXT; provided soundtracks for commercials as well as video games and online videos; and released three EPs in addition to his full-length album, Wordplay, in December 2014. He is currently working on the soundtrack for “EarthNight,” a rogue-like runner game coming soon to several devices. Paul is the instructor for Soundfly’s free Chiptune Crash Course series.

Interested in learning about pro-audio mixing techniques? Faders Up: Modern Mix Techniques combines tips and perspectives from nine of today’s top sound engineers, plus 1-on-1 pro mentorship on your work for six weeks from a Mainstage Mentor. Preview the course for free today. 

It’s impossible to understate the musicianship, the magnetism, the raw power hedged within Brown’s tender affection. Even though Brown financed the production of this record himself, was it ever really a risk? How could it be? From start to finish this album is perfect, and Brown knew it would be. His unbridled confidence (which in his later years calcified into what some may describe as arrogance) was completely warranted and I think he would have done whatever it took to share his genius with the world.

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Amy is also a Soundfly Mentor. Learn more about our acclaimed mentorship programs in the video below, and click here to tell us what you’re working on if you’re interested in improving on something specific to your goals and needs.  

And so, with our eleventh edition of the Student Spotlight series, highlighting the brilliant work of Soundfly alumni created in our courses and Headliners Club mentorship sessions, we humbly offer up some new music for your favorite summer playlist.

Open mics make lofty promises about what they’re able to offer songwriters of all levels. I’m here to tell you that they’re still a waste of your time.

Far too many first-rate bands can’t seem to make the leap from playing great shows in smaller clubs to playing big rooms on bills that people are actually excited about. A few years of playing smaller rooms and your band should be ready to start making a name for itself. But toiling away in obscurity, waiting for someone to discover you isn’t a viable way to make it as a musician. And if you live in a hyper-competitive music market such as New York City (like I do), you really can’t just wait around.

The front panel allowed for more customization than any other tape echo on the market. You could control the repeat rate, intensity, and it had separate levels for echo and reverb so users could make their own unique combinations to suit their sound.