“Killshot”: Dang, so this song broke YouTube’s record for most plays in its first 24 hours with 38.1 million views. Do not mess with Slim Shady. Or, I mean, do. Because “we need a little controversy, and it feels so emp-ty without.” Hey, speaking of controversy, I’m making the call for a rare 2/4 meter here — reason being that if you think of it in 4/4 (at 53 BPM) and cut the measure in half, the measures are the same (at least to start, although there are places where this isn’t true). The loop motifs all sound to me like they’re only two beats, phrase-wise. Form-wise, it’s just one rimfire cartridge, one gunpowder-filled 120-ish-bar capital V Verse. Pow.

What’s this have to do with song lengths? Mainly, this unheard-of achievement outlines, among other things, that song lengths, album lengths, and music video lengths just don’t matter as much anymore. Why?

Mahea Lee is a classically trained pianist and composer who has a degree from a jazz school and leads an electro-pop band. Her greatest musical passion is lyrical songwriting, but she’s been known to write the occasional fugue. She graduated from Berklee College of Music, where she majored in Contemporary Writing and Production and minored in Music Theory. For more Mahea, check out Soundlfly’s course, The Improviser’s Toolkit.

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No matter what kind of music you listen to, there’s almost no way that you haven’t come across one of these impact accentuators in today’s electronic-heavy music landscape. Whether it’s a bunch of pitch-altered 808 snares in a trap song or some tuned toms in an ’80s inspired synth-pop track, drum fills are a great way to let the listener know that the chorus is about to hit.

For one, the wonderful basslines of Motown make it easy. And standout players in genres like funk, soul and neo-soul, R&B, and prog rock also make it fun to examine that low-end magic happening just beneath the surface. But throughout the 1960s and ’70s, where the songwriter reigned as king — seconded (if even) only by that of the heaven-descended lead guitarist — bassists were mostly criminally ignored.

With all of Logic’s inredible instruments, producers often rely on the sound of the samples right out of the box, here’s how to make them more interesting.

All of our mentored online courses come with six weeks of 1-on-1 professional coaching and feedback on your work. It’s like having a personal trainer, but for music! Share your goals with us and we’ll find a course for you, or create a custom mentorship session with a pro musician, engineer, educator, or music industry veteran, to help you achieve them. 

You can see why turntablists like scratching “ahhhh” and “fressssshhhh” so much — they’re structureless slabs of tuned white noise, so they’re more forgiving. Scratching a rap a cappella is another story. The words have meanings, and the pitches have a musical context. When a word falls in the wrong spot or with the wrong emphasis, it sounds much worse than a wrong note in a jazz solo, and an untrained listener is more likely to notice it.

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Finally, don’t be afraid to offer free tickets and put media contacts on the guest list. Even if they don’t cover this specific show, they might write a review about the show and you could end up on their radar for future events. And speaking of ticket giveaways.

My final point is to think about your instrument or gear setup, and anything else you’d want to dress the stage with. This one may take some years to fully conceptualize and realize, and it may be something that changes constantly. That’s all okay, but just know that it too matters.

“Bach, in his Ciaccona for solo violin, transforms the dance into an extended soliloquy of tragic character. It sounds entirely unsuitable for a wild wedding, yet the triple rhythm of the original dance is implicit throughout, as is the pattern of a repeating chord progression.”

You know that we humans rely on each other. And I think this is especially true of the music community. DIY musicians, whether part-time or full-time, are generally a welcoming and helpful bunch of people. In my experience, they’re encouraging, motivating, and want to see you succeed. That’s why it’s a great idea to connect with them in Facebook groups or subReddits.

The following post comes directly from Soundfly’s mentored online course, The Art of Hip-Hop Production. Learn the nuances of producing beats, arranging tracks, and creative sampling, drawing on the rich history and influence of hip-hop. Free preview here.