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Initially, musicians used 808s on their own as the kick. While you can definitely still do that, things have progressed. Nowadays, the subby 808s are most commonly found as a bass tone that’s been layered with a punchy kick sound. This punchier kick layer typically has less bass content and is there to help create a crisper attack. At its most basic, the kick and 808 play essentially the same pattern, but the 808 bass provides the sub and tonal content.

Although most of these modes have been used quite sparsely in Western popular music (and mostly in jazz-fusion), some of them have been used more. The mode built on the fifth degree of a Harmonic minor scale, Phrygian (Major third), for example, has been used in heavy metal by guitarists such as Yngwie Malmsteen or Ritchie Blackmore, while the mode built on the seventh degree of the Melodic Minor scale is commonly used in jazz over altered dominant chords (for example, try to use G# Superlocrian on a G#7(♭13) and unleash its altered, dissonant character).

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And once the mix starts to come together, make sure to play your track back on as many different speakers and listening devices as possible (the car, your laptop, your phone’s ear buds, etc.) and take notes. Listen, and trust your own ears.

Tom Hamilton’s signature riff may be “Sweet Emotion,” but there are so many other songs where his sheer bass heroics are overshadowed by Joe Perry’s monster riffs. If you listen closely to one of the mid-song guitar solos in “Walk This Way,” counting off six beats after the line, “Just give me a kiss,” you’ll hear Hamilton’s gorgeous slide up the neck up to a trill-like sequence at the octave, ending with a three-note chromatic run to the major third above it.

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This is actually a really common method for tons of artists and topliners. There’s a great “making of” video on YouTube of Jon Bellion and how he developed the songs and lyrics for some of his songs on his record, The Human Condition.

+ Learn the ins and outs of pro songwriting with Soundfly’s variety of mentored online courses, such as The New Songwriter’s Workshop, Songwriting for Producers, and Unlocking the Emotional Power of Chords. 

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Before you start layering effects on your percussion parts, it’s crucial that you set yourself up to be able to mix each instrument in your kit individually. Sure, Logic offers loads of percussion-based EQ settings designed for whole drum kits, but this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t write your parts in a way that will allow you to isolate them in mixing later.

As the company’s beautifully shot and edited video details, vinyl’s dramatic growth over the past 10 years is gravely hindered by a lack of pressing plants with the ability to fulfill the demand. Vinyl production today is expensive and time-consuming, slowing release times and often leaving artists with their backs against a wall.

Since house concerts are, well, in houses, the expectations set at these events are inherently quite different from those at traditional venues. While the practice of audience members getting shmammered at venue shows has become accepted and even expected, the rules are different at house concerts. These concerts are more intimate, more focused on the music — they’re likely to be quieter and the connections between the artist and audience are therefore stronger. House concerts typically won’t feature a loud, drunk, and rowdy crowd, and you won’t need to unstick your shoes from any PBR-soaked floors, either.

Speaking of doubling, here’s a great example of bass and vocals finding unison. Carol Kaye was a member of “the Wrecking Crew,” the famous group of LA-based studio musicians who played on numerous hit recordings throughout the ’60s and ’70s. Their cumulative work on several Beach Boys hits, including the legendary Pet Sounds album, is an important chapter in rock history.

Maybe you had a stressful day at work. Maybe you just got the kids to bed and you’re exhausted. Or maybe you’ve got school work that’s due tomorrow. In each of these scenarios, you’re not left with very much time to do music. And getting stuff done in the little time you have is so difficult, so here are some tips for staying efficient despite the lack of time.