Some songwriters say they have received amounts equal to a ten-year advance on royalties. The money has been used to take their career in a new direction, buy new equipment or fund a tour or music video. However, not everyone may have a roster of songs that will sell for enough money to pay the electric bill. Keep in mind that once you sell your rights to your intellectual property, you waive your right to collect any future royalties it may generate.

When you compose, do you gravitate toward certain instruments? And how much of the composition is being orchestrated in your inner ear and how much of it are you playing while you write?

Every time the cycle repeats, that low E root is right there to support that downbeat. Notice that it doesn’t have to hit every downbeat of the pattern, but it must hit on that repeated downbeat at the start of the cycle. Funky bass lines emphasize beat one and lay a solid rhythmic foundation.

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Content alone in a lyric may not be enough to sustain a listener’s attention throughout an entire song without a strong enough melody for the words to ride on — no matter how important the topic.

During the soundcheck process, place your mic in a stand and adjust the height and placement that works for you. You want it to feel comfortable so you don’t move around too much (or your voice track will sound like it’s fading in and out). You should also be mindful of your input levels. Check to make sure you’re not clipping when you’re singing at your loudest.

Alternatively if you’re an act like LCD Soundsystem or Emerson, Lake, and Palmer and you’ve brought giant synths and racks on stage that are exploding with wires and patch cables, you’re telling your audience that these instruments are so important to your sound that you’re willing to lug hundreds of pounds of equipment around with you wherever you go. Think about how your instruments, electronics, and gear is organized on stage and make sure you don’t take that aspect of your performance for granted, it helps in the very least to contextualize your stage presence.

NSYNC’s “Bye Bye Bye” is pure pop in all its youthful glory — this song brings me right back to my first celebrity crush, Lance Bass (yes, the gay one, just my luck). As soon as I hear this song, I laugh to myself and immediately do the dance from their music video.

La Fine Del Futuro is diverse harmonically. How actively do you need to steer yourself away from familiar progressions and melodic lines? Or I guess, how do you keep your approach to harmony varied?

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If you’re a Splice user, you can choose an 808 sample from their library, or just generate your own and drag it into a sampler (not a drum rack!) of your choosing. Most samplers will automatically start resampling the sound so that its pitch is adjusted as you play it in.

Gorgeous though the chaconne is, my enjoyment has been hampered by my inability to figure out the rhythm. All classical performers insist on doing extremely expressive (read: loose) timekeeping. I don’t have the sarabande rhythm internalized well enough to be able to track it through everybody’s gooey rubato. Bach’s rhythms are complicated enough to begin with. He loves to start and end phrases in weird spots in the bar (the very first note of the piece is on beat two) — so, I needed some help finding the beat.

And while I’m on a food/beverage aside, La Cumbre Brewing Co. is a great local brewery that serves my favorite beer (Slice of Hefen; which actually is a slice of heaven) and just has a nice vibe about it. You’re guaranteed to make a friend here. It’s not too loud or stand-offish and they play excellent music.

Unfortunately, this means they’ve swung to the other extreme: They’ve become very reluctant and skeptical about lending to anyone that falls outside “the norm.” Working with a team that knows the ins and outs of the music industry can change that.

Here is the standard fingering for the D Dorian mode in the guitar’s 10th position (remember, all shapes on the guitar are moveable). You can follow along from here on in audio, standard notation, and tablature.