Beginning songwriters should be aware that the advances they receive are an advance against future royalties. The publisher won’t pay any additional royalties from your songs until the advance has been recouped. Songwriters who have or who are considering a music publishing deal should know that not all advance arrangements are created equal. Consult with an attorney or a qualified professional you trust to help you negotiate the best possible advance.
Take a look back at television shows that were geared towards young children throughout the decades and listen to their themes. I’m a ’90s kid myself, so I watched a lot of shows on PBS Kids, especially Arthur, and I watched a lot of Disney movies like The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, and Hercules. When songs and musical pieces mimic scale degrees from these shows and movies and focus on notes 1, 2, 3, and 5 in a scale, they bring me back to my childhood just a bit.
Freewriting is the act of nonstop writing for a predetermined amount of time without concern for grammar, quality, or any other regulations. Initially, this can look like some serious word-vomit, but if you keep going, you’ll often find yourself coming up with interesting ideas, or finding momentum on specific topics. Much like stretching before exercising, this process can kick-start your creativity and help you overcome any feelings of self-criticism.
Call for curators
Though this case ruled in Porter’s favor and spies were found to not, in fact, be in the equation, the decision set a major precedent for music copyright cases. First of all, this was the first of Arnstein’s several legal battles that had been taken seriously. He was somewhat of a “full-time plaintiff,” and by 1946 had already unsuccessfully attempted to sue ASCAP, BMI, and Twentieth Century Fox Film. Although he did ultimately lose his case against Porter, this case helped establish the two-pronged test to determine copyright infringement that is still used today: Courts must determine if the defendant copied the plaintiff’s work, and whether this copying constitutes substantial similarity between the two works.
“The Luv Pack, Vol. 1,” is comprised of samples created by producer, drummer, bandleader, and author of Soundfly’s The Art of Hip-Hop Production course, Charles Burchell. As a bass player, I have been lucky enough to play a little with Charles over the years, and it has always been an instant hook up for me. His pocket is on another level and given that his raw playing features heavily in the source material for these samples, I knew I could get inspired by digging into the drum loops first.
Located an hour and a half north of San Francisco, on a ranch in Sonoma County wine country, artists of all media are provided with 2-10 weeks of accommodation and work space on the Warnecke Ranch and Vineyard. Resident artists stay in a three-bedroom, 1920s farm house, with studio spaces provided in repurposed barns. It’s perfectly peaceful while offering plenty of opportunities to attend open houses, workshops, lectures, and of course, the chance to mingle with the other artists.
Over the past few hundred years, Western Europeans gradually figured out an alternative system to harmonics-based tuning, called 12-tone equal temperament (12-TET for short). It’s the system that the entire Western world uses today. The idea behind 12-TET is to have everything be pretty much in tune, which you accomplish by having everything be a little bit out of tune. Is this a worthwhile compromise? Let’s do the math and find out.
Rather than starting by writing lyrics, try exploring different themes and topics through reading, writing, visual art, or anything else that inspires you. Keep a notebook with you at all times. The more you explore art, the more frequently ideas will come to you, and if you don’t write them down, you’ll likely forget. That way, when you start writing lyrics, you can first look at your list of ideas to see if there’s something interesting to start with.
Apply for music scholarships
If all this talk on tensions is a little overwhelming, relax. I’ll dig deeper into them in the next article and show how they can be used to create some beautiful melodic content. For now, perhaps the most important lesson is that there is something to be learned musically from every artist, even perpetually teenaged Canadians.
“The introduction of the first dissonant tone (the seventh partial), signifies that in this life some ‘dissonance’ must be mixed in; the number seven represents the totality of heaven and earth together” (Chafe, Allegorical Music).
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?
Lauren Hill’s “Ex-Factor” is a timeless song that will always give me goosebumps. I danced around my living room to this song — lip syncing and wishing I was in a music video, wishing I could sing like her. Today there exists another artist, and another song, that encapsulates Lauryn Hill’s soul, but more contemporary, and that’s Lianna La Havas’ song “Green & Gold.”
Show promoters and talent buyers don’t work on a volunteer basis. Sure, they probably got their jobs because they have an interest in music, but do you know what they love more than music? Being able to pay for health insurance, eating out every now and then, and having a roof to sleep under every night. If you don’t bring people to your shows, the venue won’t make any money, and there’s only so many favors you can expect them to do for you.