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Songstuff

dave-bradley-150x150.jpgDave Bradley is a science journalist by day, but by night he's Cambridge's most wannabe singer-songwriter rockstar. Dave has played guitar for four decades or thereabouts and writes and performs acoustic and electric in a range of styles and has been likened to a range of artists, including Glenn Tilbrook, David Bowie and James Taylor, which is very flattering to him, of course, but he really is just a Geordie chancer with a loud shirt and six string...

 

Click through and support!

 

Dave Bradley on Bandcamp

Dave Bradley on Songstuff

Mahesh

Learning scales on your guitar fretboard is very essential though some may argue that it is not absolutely necessary. Legends such as Eric Clapton and BB King never learnt scales but the importance of it cannot be denied.

 

Scales are like the grammar of the language called music. One of the most important scales in music theory is the Major Scale. Most other scales in music is built upon the major scale. The following article teaches you how to learn the Major Scale with a guitar and 30 minutes of your time. 

 

http://www.songstuff.com/guitar/article/guitar_tutorial_scales/


Be sure to share and like the article if you find it useful. If you have any questions, feel free to discuss it on the Songstuff Community Forums.

Mahesh

Practicing your instrument is an art in itself. For guitarists, some find it a very fun routine while others look at practicing their finger exercises and scales regularly as a discipline and may see it as a boring chore. There is no reason why it can be both: a disciplined process and a fun activity. Finding the right balance between the two is very essential.

 

The following article gives you insight on what it means to practice with discipline and to practice with fun. It also gives you tips on how to balance both of these aspects and make the most of your daily routines.

http://www.songstuff.com/guitar/article/practicing_guitar_self_discipline/


Be sure to share and like the article if you find it useful. If you have any questions, feel free to discuss it on the Songstuff Community Forums. 

Mahesh

Knowing how to restring your guitar is a very very important skill to learn when starting out as a guitarist. Budding musicians sometimes neglect the maintenance part of the learning and head straight to the playing. A sign of a true guitarist maybe seen in the way he handles and takes care of his/her instrument. 

 

Guitar strings need to be replaced periodically especially if you perform regularly on stage. Though some may find that statement debatable,one needs to know how to restring the instrument nonetheless.

 

The following article will take you through the process and the tools needed with lots of images for better learning.

 

http://www.songstuff.com/guitar/article/how_to_restring_a_guitar/

 

Be sure to share and like the article if you find it useful. If you have any questions, feel free to discuss it on the Songstuff Community Forums.

Songstuff

If you are a song writer, interested in studying and developing your craft, take some time to browse around our ever growing collection of song writing and lyrics writing articles.

 

http://www.songstuff.com/song-writing/article/

 

If you find this page useful, please like and share the page, comment, tweet or re-tweet your support.

 

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Our articles cover a broad range of topics related to writing songs, from title selection, through song hooks and song structure, to the process used to write songs. When it comes to Songstuff helping songwriters, these articles are just the tip of the iceberg. A large range of tools, help and other benefits are available through our community. Don't wait, drop by, sign up, sign in and take part.

 

Mahesh

Expression is considered to be at the pinnacle of qualities for any artist let alone a musician. Regardless of the genre, instrument or language, every musician tries to express a certain story, concept or thought process in the music he/she creates. For a guitarist, to be able to carve the right chord backing or improvise a solo befitting a song is very very important. Regardless of how many scales you know or how advanced of a guitar player you are, to be expressive is its own cup of tea. 

 

This article gives you insight as to how you can become a more expressive guitar player, though the idea applies to any instrument.

 

http://www.songstuff.com/guitar/article/express_yourself/

 

Be sure to share and like the article if you find it useful. If you have any questions, feel free to discuss it on the Songstuff Community Forums.

Mahesh

Having reasonable knowledge on Noise Gates and Expanders goes a long way in making your recordings sound cleaner and more professional, especially when you are recording out of your home studio. 

While recording, noise may arise due to a various number of factors such as the surrounding environment, electronic equipment used etc. Noise can become very problematic if it is cumalated from a number of tracks in your project.  

Noise gates and expanders are tools using which the noise can be isolated and removed to a significant extent if used correctly. Though it may vary, some of the basic controls/knobs you would find within noise gates are Release, Attack, Hold and Ratio. The following article takes you through a basic understanding of these various controls to help you on your way in making your recordings sound the way they should sound - awesome.

http://www.songstuff.com/recording/article/noise_gates_and_expanders/


Be sure to share and like the article if you find it useful. If you have any questions, feel free to discuss it on the Songstuff Community Forums.

Mahesh

Following up on our series of blog posts addressing song forms, in this article, we go deeper into one of the most important traditional forms - AAB

AAB is also called the 12-Bar Blues and it is widely used in popular rock and blues songs. The AAB usually refers to Verse, Verse, Refrain. Each of these sections would span 4 bars of length summing upto a total of 12 bars, hence the name - 12 Bar Blues. 

This article describes the fundamentals of the form further explaining its structure and usage by giving appropriate examples.

http://www.songstuff.com/song-writing/article/aab-song-form/

Be sure to share and like the article if you find it useful. If you have any questions, feel free to discuss it on the Songstuff Community Forums.
 

Mahesh

Home Recording

With the advancement of technology, making music has changed from a studio only process to a home affair. Anyone with a computer can now install the necessary software , connect their equipment and start making music at the convenience of their own house. As easy as it may sound, it still takes a significant amount of research and learning about all the different things that go into home recording. This may come off as a struggle at the beginning for a budding a musician or even a long-time musician venturing into computer based home recording.

The following article will help you get on your feet and take those first few steps into the journey of home recording. 

http://www.songstuff.com/recording/article/home_recording/

Be sure to share and like the article if you find it useful. If you have any questions, feel free to discuss it on the Songstuff Community Forums.

Mahesh

Making a music video can be a challenging process especially when you are working on a budget. But they prove to be a very important part in presenting and ultimately selling your music to the fans, new and old. 

Fortunately, the advancement in computer technology has made it easy and affordable to produce decent to great music videos. Making a music video involves a creative process which arguably matches that of making the song itself. The video needs to take the viewer on a journey that aligs with the song itself. 

The following article gives you an educated insight about the core aspects that go into making a good music video. It also gives you tips that you can use to make most of the resources available and produce a video that you can be happy with.

http://www.songstuff.com/recording/article/tips-for-making-a-music-video/

Be sure to share and like the article if you find it useful. If you have any questions, feel free to discuss it on the Songstuff Community Forums.

Mahesh

Breathing is one of the most neglected aspects of vocal training. That's pretty ironic since breathing is the most fundamental process when it comes to speech and singing.

Some would like to assume that there is not much to breathing and that it is pretty straight forward since we breathe all the time. But, proper breathing and support plays an extremely vital role in allowing you to sing powerfully and with ease. Practicing diaphragmatic breathing and including it in your everyday vocal routine will significantly improve your singing by creating a steady and consistent flow of air.

The following article deals with a few tips and exercises to help you on your way to better singing. 

http://www.songstuff.com/vocals/article/breathing_exercises/

Be sure to share and like the article if you find it useful. If you have any questions, feel free to discuss it on the Songstuff Community Forums.

Mahesh

Writer's Block, one of the worst enemies for a songwriter. The writer's block is something that restricts a songwriter or lyricist from being able to be at his or her creative best. You might have an idea in mind which you'd want to make a song out of but you're not able to find the right words or what you come up with sounds too cliche or that you can't come up with anything at all.

Being stuck in a rut can really bum you out and make things further difficult to resolve. The following article deals with some insight and a few tips to overcome a writer's block and bring about a fresh approach to songwriting. 

Every songwriter is different in his approach but these tips may help you get more out of your musings nonetheless. 

http://www.songstuff.com/song-writing/article/writers_block/

Do you have any tips to overcome a writer's block? Let us know in the comments below or on the forums!

Be sure to share and like the article if you find it useful. If you have any questions, feel free to discuss it on the Songstuff Community Forums.

Mahesh

It is not enough for a singer to be able to stay in pitch and remember the lyrics to give an impressive performance to the audience. A true performer is the one who can deliver a song confidently and expressively, whether it be inside a studio or in front of an audience within a live stage set-up.

There is very strong proof that the confidence of a singer on stage directly affects the quality of the vocal performance in terms of pitch, expression and power. Building confidence takes time and experience of being on stage. But there maybe a few things that you could try or keep in mind to accelarate that process. 

The following article deals with those tips and tricks that you could use to build confidence for the stage. 

http://www.songstuff.com/vocals/article/5_tips_to_improve_confidence_on_stage/

Be sure to share and like the article if you find it useful. If you have any questions, feel free to discuss it on the Songstuff Community Forums.

 

Mahesh

Though it might not be an absolute necessity for a singer to have a wide vocal range, it does prove to be a huge asset when it comes to giving a powerful and emotional performance. 

Singers such as Freddie Mercury (Queen), Steven Tyler (Aerosmith) and Myles Kennedy (Alter Bridge) are great examples of singers who've shown vocal power and range being used to its maximum potential. Even for an experienced singer, the vocal range cannot be expanded in a day or two. It needs consistent and dedicated vocal routines and the right technique used in combination.

The following article presents you with a few exercises and tips to help you expand your range without pushing and straining your voice but through the application of correct and proven techniques.

http://www.songstuff.com/vocals/article/3_ways_improve_your_singing_range/

Be sure to share and like the article if you find it useful. If you have any questions, feel free to discuss it on the Songstuff Community Forums.
 

Mahesh

Vocal warm-ups are an invaluable practice and some would even say, an absolute necessity when it comes down to being a professional or semi-professional singer. I'm sure there is no one here who would want to settle for a mediocre performance or for something that could easily be made better with proper vocal practice.  One of the most important realizations I've had as a singer-songwriter and a performing musician is that I'm able to express better and to move the audience better when I'm at ease with the songs I'm singing.

While singing a song, if the singer is too worried (and distracted) about whether he or she will hit that high note or whether that vibrato can be easily sustained, then the emotional quality of the performance maybe compromised. 

The following article deals with a few tips and exercises that maybe used in your warm-up routine to help you deliver a powerful performance!

 

http://www.songstuff.com/vocals/article/vocal_warm_ups/

 

Be sure to share and like the article if you find it useful. If you have any questions, feel free to discuss it on the Songstuff Community Forums.
 

Mahesh

An equalizer is an invaluable tool in the process of music production. It can be used to remove or boost certain frequencies in the mix to improve the sonic quality of the track. It can also be used creatively to introduce new sounds that provide a desired character to the track. 

Like all tools available during music production, an equalizer needs to be used only where needed.

The following article provides you with a very informative list of frequency ranges that can be referred to during the process of mixing in order to enhance your track.

The frequencies mentioned only provide you with a direction in which you need to look. Use your ears and tweak as needed to get the desired results . Good luck and happy mixing!

http://www.songstuff.com/recording/article/eq_frequencies/

Be sure to share and like the article if you find it useful. If you have any questions, feel free to discuss it on the Songstuff Community Forums.

Mahesh

One of the most important tools available to a music producer while working on a song inside a studio is compression. Compression is used to control the level of dynamics within a song. 

A compressor engages itself and brings down the volume/level of the audio signal when it exceeds a set threshold value.  There are various controls to a compressor such as threshold, ratio, attack, hold, release, gain and bypass using which one can control how the compressor behaves.

In many cases, dynamics within the song is generally considered to be a good thing but taming and controlling the difference between the loudest and the quietest parts in a song may lead to increased presence and more clarity.

This article gives you an introduction to compression and its various controls. 

 

http://www.songstuff.com/recording/article/compression/

 

Be sure to share and like the article if you find it useful. If you have any questions, feel free to discuss it on the Songstuff Community Forums.

Mahesh

Following up on the previous blog post about song form overview, let us dive deeper into one of the most basic songforms used in popular music - strophic songform.

 

The strophic song form may also be referred to as the "AAA" songform or the One-Part songform. This means to say that the various sections of the song would follow a common theme or structure throughout. Many classical songs from the 17th century follow this structure though the strophic form has been dated back to much earlier when poems were set to music. 

The following article gives insight to this song form, its structure and examples to go with it. It also includes a few tips to keep the songs written in this manner a little more interesting. 


 http://www.songstuff.com/song-writing/article/song-form-guide-aaa/


Be sure to share and like the article if you find it useful. If you have any questions, feel free to discuss it on the Songstuff Community Forums.

Mahesh

Most songs written in popular music follow song forms. Song forms are structures containing various sections that may or may not be repeated within the song. Though there are a number of traditional song forms that are used commony, a song form may also be derived from existing ones to suit the need. 

Some of the most common song forms may include the strophic form (AAA), the 12-bar blues form (AAB), the 32-bar form (AABA) and so on. It is very important for any songwriter to have knowledge of the various song forms and its application in order to write more sensibly and to express themselves better.

Pat Pattinson, a professor at Berklee College of Music once said "There are no rules to songwriting, only tools". Aptly, the following article gives you an overview to be able to use its knowledge where needed.

 

http://www.songstuff.com/song-writing/article/song-form-overview/

 

Be sure to share and like the article if you find it useful. If you have any questions, feel free to discuss it on the Songstuff Community Forums.

 

john

Last year PRS decided to begin legal proceedings against Soundcloud, after 5 years of negotiations failed to produce an agreement regarding licensing.

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The agreement covers the use of repertoire controlled by PRS for Music since the service launched. It is an important step to towards a level playing field for the licensing of online services in a way that songwriters, composers and their music publishers can be paid properly for the use of their music online. Soundcloud will start reporting the usage of copyright controlled materials, although initiailly accuracy will be an issue, until thre reporting tools and process evolve.

This could be an important step towards a fully functioning online marketplace for songwriters.

Songstuff

For songwriters, it is an ongoing discussion, what exactly makes a song great? If you could understand exactly what it is that makes a song great, then perhaps you could use that knowledge to your advantage when writing new songs, and avoid common mistakes.

Unfortunately it isn't as cut and dried as that. There is no right answer. That is why there are no song writing rules, only guidelines.

So we started a topic to encourage our members to explore the topic. Not to find a right answer, but in the hope that by exploring what it meant, by exchanging ideas, that it would help them arrive at a better understanding.

You can find the topic here

What Makes A Song Great?

It's free to join our community and you are welcome to take a part in the discussion.

Songstuff

Independent Music - The Importance Of Building A Team

All too often, bands overlook one of their biggest assets: each other. As individuals it is far harder to stand out. The amount of tasks they can complete effectively limits just what they can achieve. By electing to work alone they greatly reduce their ability to work, and therefore their chance of success.

This article goes through the pros and cons of teamwork for songwriters, musicians and bands, discussing what they stand to gain by working together, and provides a number of ways that teamwork can can be used within the music industry.

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Read "Independent Music - The Importance Of Building A Team"

Comments

Please leave any comments,suggestions or other feedback below...

Songstuff

Collaborate on Songstuff, bringing lyricists, songwriters, musicians, recording engineers, and producers covering many styles of music.

Come along and take part!

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Join our general Collaboration Group and keep up to date with collaboration projects, create your own collaboration group.

Each group provides you:

  • your own forum
  • your own web pages
  • your own communication tools to allow you to easily communicate with your chosen collaborators!

john

YouTube have confirmed that the launch of their new subscription service is very close, but at the same time they are in the process of removing some of the biggest indie label acts.

YouTube and several indie labels have failed to agree on the royalty terms covering the new YouTube subscription service. These terms are in addition to the terms already covering its free service.

Here we go. Again.

The payment dispute between YouTube and indie labels is threatening acts like Adele and Arctic Monkeys, who may now find their music pulled from the service. Such indie label acts account for approximately 10% of all the music that YouTube has permissions to feature. However, their music is now likely to be withdrawn by YouTube from the world’s largest video service, as YouTube has been unable to reach an agreement with Beggars Banquet and several other leading independent labels. Details of the proposed license are at this time not known. Perhaps the indie labels are being unreasonable, however, we have been here before with YouTube.

YouTube executives claim that they cannot continue to offer music as a part of their free service without it also being made available on their new paid service as this would "disappoint" its subscribers. Hmmmm, really?

Arguably, users will be more disappointed that the music of these indie artists will not be available on the service at all and if they suspect that YouTube has unnecessarily withdrawn music from many indie artists, denying their fans the opportunity of enjoying their music on the YouTube platform, believing that they are showing contempt for both music fans and for artists, in a highly cynical, self-serving, negotiating tactic.

Such a bullish approach by YouTube is hardly a new negotiating tactic. This isn't the first time that YouTube has removed acts due to a payment dispute. UK YouTube users may well remember the last large scale dispute where a large amount of YouTube content was withdrawn from broadcast within the UK. At the time Google had recently acquired YouTube. Accusations of manipulating public opinion abounded as search results appeared to be dominated by content condemning the position taken by PRS, the UK based PRO, in a dispute over license payments.

Some privately say that YouTube (Google) are using their size and domination of the online video and internet search markets to unfair advantage, yet again, by bullying the music business and intimidating artists, labels, publishers and writers into accepting exceptionally low levels of payment, by YouTube(Google), for permission being granted to YouTube(Google) to use their content within their products and services.

YouTube will not yet give a date for the subscription service launch, and they are currently testing the service internally. No doubt such testing is carried out within the terms of usage allowed by their current license.

“We’re adding subscription-based features for music on YouTube to bring our music partners new revenue streams in addition to the hundreds of millions of dollars YouTube already generates for them each year,” stated a YouTube spokesperson. Of course, they neglected to mention how much streaming such content had made for YouTube and Google over the same time period. They also left us to wonder at the levels of earnings that might have been enjoyed by writers and artists had their service not existed and listeners had had to find their music elsewhere.

While, on one level, the music industry is looking forward to there being more platforms in the streaming market place, the industry remains nervous about ceding even more control to the already highly dominant Google. Google’s track record, regarding respecting the rights of content owners, isn't exactly fantastic. In fact it is pretty poor. Terrible even. YouTube claims that it has paid more than $1 billion out to rights-holders in the "last several years.", however many in indie music have long complained of unfair treatment at the hands of YouTube. This is especially true when compared with other digital services.

In an interview with Billboard, Rich Bengloff, president of the independent label trade association A2IM, said that "We are treated equitably and fairly by Rdio, Spotify and Rhapsody, and about 20 services, but obviously not YouTube,". He also stated "I filed a complaint with the FTC last week.”

Going by past actions, YouTube and Google are highly unlikely to change their approach. From a music business perspective, there is little incentive to do so as long as PROs, labels, publishers, artists and writers continue to lie down and let themselves be walked all over.

A new, competing service is due to be launched by Amazon. Amazon's Prime Music service launches yet another major new player into the music streaming service business. While competition might improve the market overall, YouTube (Google) are bound to feel secure in their position, feeling that they can do whatever they want, for as long as their service dominates the marketplace to the extent it does, which of course it is highly likely it will, just as long as Google dominates search engine wars to the extent it does, leaving Google in complete control of their search results.