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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.

Ravi Nair

Diy Demo Cd's

blog-0117073001401918612.jpgA month ago my band mate and I decided to give away CD's with our material to those who seemed to like our music. Since we are students and mostly live with a limited amount of money, getting a professional/industry type CD done would've costed a lot of money off our wallets. We tried to find a way around this situation. At first it was all about Saving Money but we soon realized it was about Authenticity, Looks, the LOVE and Saving Money.

Google was my best friend throughout. All the stuff was made and tested on a computer running Windows 8 OS. Click on the images below for a better view. If you are planning to give away or sell CD's with your content, then i hope this post helps you. We made around 30 discs for under $17 in the first run.

1: Decide what you want to put in the Disc!

All we had was our debut Single and a live audio set. It seemed like less stuff for a CD, so we added the artwork and testimonies too. Since an audio disc can't have anything apart from audio, we had to create data discs. Our disc was optimized for computer viewing. There was an autorun feature which included the links to our FB, Youtube, Soundcloud, Myspace, Bandcamp & Reverbnation links apart from all the other data. So the discs we made weren't recognized by a few audio CD players.

This is what i used to create the autorun program. If you know FLASH or other similar software you can create your own interactive program. If you have a lot of songs then you can create a good old Audio CD. If you don't know how to create audio or data discs, do a quick search, its not too hard.

We made two different discs, one was for music enthusiasts and one was for Venues/Organizers, you'd ask how it matters; I'll tell you how, Venues/Organizers need much more than songs, they need the Band's/Musician's profile and the Tech Rider with other things, and yeah it makes quite a difference. Everything a venue or an organizer needs to know about the band is there in a disc. Starting from a demo to the requirements of the Band if its plays somewhere.

This is the Autorun menu for Giveaway

This is the Autorun menu for Organisers/Venues

Make sure that you create content that applies to the audience/venue/organizer that you generally cater to, it'll be very useful.

2: CD Case & Sticker for CD!

The case for the CD was an issue, i did a few searches and found out this website. Filled out the details and took a print out on an A4 sheet that can be folded to accommodate a CD.The printout had numbers that tell how to fold, but I

instead. To be frank the case looked too simple and non-attractive which is not a bad thing, but we wanted something else. Since I had the paper case in my hand, i calculated the size and used that to create a design on photoshop, optimizing front and back of the cover. These looked much better, folding was not that hard a task after a few trials.
is pretty simple to follow.

Its a good idea to print two copies on a high GSM (thicker) A3 sheet and then later cutting them into two individual sheets. You get a full size print and it costs lesser.

If you don't like the paper cover, you can get a traditional cover. Don't forget that there are many other options you can find online.

I designed a sticker to stick on top of the CD. Its a good idea to keep the centre empty, i didnt though. You can also use the same stickers as giveaways. We asked the Printers to make high quality prints. Your printer guy can also put holes in the centre so you don't have to do it yourself. We later used these leftover centre stickers to seal the disc and distinguish the venue/Organizer CD's from Giveaway CD's.

3: Giving it Shape!

Alrightey then, now its time to do the physical part. First off, you need to buy enough number of CD's you so don't run out too soon. Buying a larger quantity generally costs less. We also got enough re-sealable plastic covers for the final product.

Stuff Required

I recommend that you first burn the disc to an iso image so you can identify any errors in the autorun or anything else in specific. Saves CD's for sure. You can mount these images using softwares like Daemon Tools or Power ISO. If you're running Windows 8, then you can directly mount the image.

After you do a good check, burn the CD's, put the stickers on top, fold cases, put CD's in the sleeve. And put the unit in a re-sealable plastic cover. Trust me they look pretty cool, once you've put in some work.

After our next gig, we gave these CD's and people had good things to say. Afterall it's the LOVE that matters more than anything else!!

You can directly download everything i used and made :

This is what we did, you can be as creative as you like. Let me know if you try this. How was the experience and what was the reaction from people on the other end.

Now just one more thing, I made a group for Bass Guitar enthusiasts, go

join.

Songstuff

Bands, Give Your Fans Real News, Not Spam

Bands face an ongoing challenge when it comes to spreading the word about their music, including both the task of getting their music in front of completely new listeners and the task of keeping in contact with their existing fans. This article explores the key issues involved in communicating with fans and provides some recommendations to make and keep it a positive experience.

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Read "Bands, Give Your Fans Real News, Not Spam"

Comments

Please leave some comments and feedback on this article, and / or suggestions for new articles by leaving a reply below.

Mahesh

Music has it's countless sources. It comes in the most unexpected ways and sizes. A cat is surely one of the surprising ones out of the lot. The Internet seems to love cats. And of all the thousands of cat videos that roam the internet, this is the one I want to share with you.

Nora the Cat is a gray tabby cat that was rescued by their owners from a shelter in New Jersey. Nora developed a curiosity towards her owner's piano when she was a year old and has played ( well, more like tapped ) it ever since. Youtube videos uploaded by Nora's owners became viral because of her musical paws.

When Lithuanian conductor and composer Mindaugas Piečaitis found one of Nora's videos, he became very interested in the idea of writing a concerto for one of her "pieces". The consequent result of the idea came to be called CATcerto, the first concerto ever composed for a cat. On 5th June, 2009, CATcerto was performed for the very first time by Klaipėda Chamber Orchestra at the Klaipėda Concert Hall, Klaipėda, Lithuania, lead by Piečaitis. It has been performed by many other orchestras all over the world since.

Nora the Cat and the KlaipÄ—da Chamber Orchestra were further included in the Guinness World Records for the first ever concerto for a cat in 2012.

Personally, I find the piece very beautiful and intricate. Goes to show how we can derive what we love from almost all the things around us if we put our mind to it. Here is the video. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Mahesh

Stop And Listen!

The world has become such a busy place. Deadlines, schedules, priorities, it's never ending. In such a time, we tend to overlook things that would have made the biggest difference in our lives.

Washington Post conducted an experiment that went on to prove this very point.

It was in January 2007 when Joshua Bell , a violinist, performed a few classical pieces on the Washington D.C Subway as he stood there, incognito. Most of the passersby hurried on without noticing the rare event that was unfolding itself.

Joshua Bell, one of the greatest classical musicians of modern times, was "playing some of the most elegant music ever written on one of the most valuable violins ever made" valued at $3.5 Million. The fact that the people passed by without a reaction brings us to an important question.

How good is the music really, if people never stop and listen to it?

More thoughts that comes to mind are, if the passersby knew who the man at the side of the subway really was, would the reaction to the music being performed be any different?

Does the social status of the artist matter for the music to be good, or to even be noticed ?

We can only speculate on the answers to these questions but one thing is for sure, if we do not stop, look and listen every once in a while in our daily busy lives, we might miss out on the best life has to offer, or more. Here is a clip of Joshua Bell on the Washington D.C Subway playing along.