Let’s pretend that we have a guitar string tuned to play a note called middle C, which has a frequency of 1 Hz. (In real life, middle C has a frequency of 261.626 Hz, so if you want to think in terms of actual frequencies, just multiply all the numbers in the following paragraphs by 261.626.)

In my video example above, my variations were as follows: First, I removed the hi-hat entirely (variation 1), then I added a kick and snare hit (variation 2), and finally I added kick and snare hits while removing snippets of the hi-hat pattern (variation 3). All of which is in addition to an already interesting yet repetitive beat sequence.

If we want to take this a step further and become experimenting with even more unusual sounds, we can build modes on the two other Minor scales: The Harmonic and Melodic Minor scales. The resulting modes would be the following:

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From a musical standpoint, these kinds of bass lines can be a bit busier and more melodic since they exist in a range that’s “singable” (at least by the baritone section of the choir). We can learn a lot about what makes a great line by dissecting classic bass performances from blues, rock, funk, and disco. A classic example of bass guitar in early hip-hop is The Sugarhill Gang’s “Rapper’s Delight,” which samples the bass line and beat from Chic’s “Good Times.”

Creating musical nostalgia isn’t just about thinking tonally — timbre and instrument choice can be just as useful! Ask yourself, “What instruments would my audience have heard in music, TV shows, and movies when they were kids?”

When Houston’s song focuses on notes 1, 3, and 5, it’s focusing on the notes that rank highest in what music theorists call the “tonal hierarchy.” Hughes describes it as such: “The tonal hierarchy is this idea that certain notes are sort of more important than others.” In the major key, we generally talk about four levels of note importance.

In this climate of increasing lawsuits, protecting your intellectual musical property is becoming an essential tool in the songwriter’s toolkit. Learn more.

Eventually we would like the aQWERTYon to show other real-time information as well: notes on the staff, chord symbols, and the like. We want to do for the web browser what Samuel Halligan’s pop-up piano does for Ableton Live Suite: Turn it into a visual and aural Rosetta stone that translates in real time between different visual and aural representations of music.

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The group was formed in 1966 by Mingiedi Mawangu, a member of the Zombo tribe. He began his musical career transcribing traditional Zombo music that was originally played by an ensemble of horns made from elephant tusks to be played on likembé. While he played with many different ensembles, it was his album, Congotronics (named after the way he’d jerry-rig different electronics together to make working parts) that eventually afforded him his international acclaim. In 2010, the band collaborated with Herbie Hancock on The Imagine Project and earned their first Grammy.

I’m not so interested in figuring out whether the track is “good” or “bad.” Instead, I want to find out, given the student’s goal, how they could move closer to it.

This is one I’m sure you’re familiar with, even if you might not have known its fancy name. It’s also sometimes called Verse-Repeating or Chorus form, because it essentially repeats the same section, but with new lyrics each time. If we’re thinking of things in terms of “A” sections and “B” sections and so forth, this would just be multiple As, one after the other.

As you may already know, the use of music and lyrics in karaoke is another mechanical use that can be another source of songwriter royalties. Aside from the kick you’ll get out of hearing your friends and total strangers belting out your songs at the local bar, you’ll also earn royalties every time someone sings your song. Licensing your music for use with karaoke could also potentially generate royalty income in a number of different ways including publishing, mechanical, and synchronization rights.

Logic Pro X has a number of built-in templates based on genre which can be a helpful starting point but always feel free to customize to your own needs. As you continue working on different projects, you’ll naturally start making personalized templates to prep for sessions. And although each of which may require different demands in terms of instruments, effects, or amounts of inputs, you’ll be starting from a higher place than the ground.