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Make Better Music 64: “What Comes Next?”

Make Better Music 64: “What Comes Next?”The big question that always demands an answer, when you are writing music, is what happens next?

It seems straightforward until you try it. Then suddenly you get confronted with either too many possibilities, or your mind seizes up and you can’t think of how to continue at all. Either way there are doubts, uncertainties and all the options can seem meaningless or overwhelming. (read more)

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Make Better Music 63: Simplicity vs Complexity

Sometimes I like to overload a song with overdubs and production tricks – if that is what suits it. More can be more in this case. Of course the opposite is also true, less intensely produced music can seem more natural (more direct) to the listener…but I think there are many reasons why using “less is more” as a general rule is bonkers. (read more)

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Make Better Music 61: The Music Diet

Every few months I feel like I need this kind of diet for my ears – I’ve either been over-indulging in one particular artist or genre, or I’ve been gluttonous and chowing down way too much of everything. My main listening time these days is when I’m out walking – I like to try to get about an hour a day in, if I can. Good for the body and mind, and I just feel better in general while I keep this up. (read more)

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Make Better Music 60: Automation and the Human Form

On the plus side, a new generation (one that has grown up with remarkably powerful music tech tools) will do things with music software that are incredible, ground breaking, ear-catching and mind blowing. The downside may be a lot of people who mistake combining childlike stumbling in software that can automate everything, with actually doing something…and perhaps more importantly it may lead to a slight decline in people actually playing things. (read more)

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Make Better Music 58: Go Where the Barriers Are

The idea is simple – things that are easy to do can be done by more people than things that are hard. You want to make your music available as a “self release” via a service like bandcamp? Go for it, it’s easy! The downside is, anyone can do it. In fact I could do a quick tune right now and have it on bandcamp in an hour. (read more)

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Make Better Music 57: Counterpoint

I regard writing fine counterpoint as a bit of a lost art. In some ways it’s largely redundant in todays music, where single ideas right up front are generally king. This is not any kind of rant about the “decline of music” or anything, simply that I really enjoy this kind of style, it’s intricate and fascinating – and with infinite possibilities to play with, it’s a lifetimes work of investigation. (read more)

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Make Better Music 55: Back to Basics

Imbue your music with your passion. If you don’t have a passion for making music, then leave it to those who do. Fill your music to the brim with all the emotion, drive, energy, love, enthusiasm you’ve got, and add in any other feelings you want in there. Just make sure to pack every moment of your music with something – or else what is it? Even if you love cold, emotionless music, and want to make your own, you can still pour in your passions and make those feeling jump out at the listener. (read more)

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Make Better Music 52: Practice vs. The Software Trap

It occurred to me the other day, after I’d picked up my guitar for the first time in a while, and for the first time in my life my skills had noticeably diminished. I’ve not played much for a while, and all I can do is assume that I’m at an age now (the grand old age of 35 and three quarters, if you must know) where things that are not exercised regularly will start to wither away. Anyway, this brought to my mind a word that I hadn’t uttered for many years: PRACTICE. (read more)

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Make Better Music 50: What Would Jesus Do?

Make Better Music 50: What Would Jesus Do?. One of the beautiful things about music is that sounds don’t lie – they are what they are. This means that when you hear a piece of music that you adore, but you don’t feel you could ever have written – the simple truth is that every note of it is right under your nose. Lessons in music composition, song writing, artistic motivation and making better music from David Graham. (read more)