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Posts Tagged ‘melody’

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Music production by Studio Pros: The Sketch

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

The first step of Studio Pros’ full music production package is laying down a guitar/keyboard track with a melody line synced to a click. We call it: A Sketch.

The sketch will help the rhythm section (the drummer and bass player) to understand the structure, the chord progression and the melody of the song.   This is the foundation of the production and will later be replaced by the final guitars/keys. The sketch will NOT serve as part of the production’s final tracks.

How Can You Tell If The Sketch is Good To Go?

Sing your song along with the sketch and make sure that the structure, tempo and chords are right.

What’s Studio Pros Chords Progression/Composition Service?

If you only have lyrics, a vocal recording or a very rough demo of your song  you can hire Studio Pros’ composer to write a unique chord progression for your song. This service is an additional $170 to the initial production cost. At the end, you’ll be the sole owner of the composition and will have the right to use it as you’d like.

If you have further question about our recording service, contact us.

Songwriting Tip: Intros

Wednesday, September 1st, 2010

Did you ever wonder about what the most important part of a song is? Your initial thought might be that it’s the chorus or the hook… I’m not here to say that the chorus is not important…  It certainly is. But it’s worth noting that a chorus won’t mean much if the listener never hears it. People have short attention spans when they’re listening to music, so you’ve got to catch their attention as soon as possible with your song. That means the introduction had better be memorable, or at least quick enough to let the song get to something memorable as soon as possible.

So because it’s a first impression, and first impressions are crucial, the intro just might be the most important part of your song. That’s why it’s imperative that you don’t write it off–spend as much time crafting a great introduction as you do crafting the rest of the song.

Did you know that when music industry people–like A&R and radio DJs–listen to a demo, they usually only give it about 30 seconds before they skip to the next track? That means a song had better really get going well before the 30 second mark to make them want to listen more. It also means that your demo should probably include songs that get right into the good stuff and have great intros.

Use a hook in the introduction

If you hope your introduction will make people want to keep listening, put something memorable in it–an instrumental hook, a really cool guitar part, a catchy melody, etc. There are no rules to what you can and can’t include, so do whatever makes it stand out!

Studio Pros artist Rich Marcello does this in his song “Mary.”  The introduction includes a catchy little acoustic guitar lead that quotes the main hook of the chorus.  It’s just long enough to give us a taste of the melody, then leads right into the song’s first verse.  Listen to it here:

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Hit Songs Need Clean Music Production to Be Heard

Saturday, August 14th, 2010

So many talented songwriters and composers love melodies and harmonies so much that they layer as many into their song as they possibly can. They want the best music productions for their songs, but think that adding more and more instruments and parts will make their production sound great.

Unfortunately, it won’t!

Less is more

Have you ever noticed that some of the biggest hits of all time only have three or four instruments on them? Lots of classic Beatles songs just have a couple simple guitar parts, bass, drums and vocals. Nirvana and Green Day have had monumental hit songs, and neither group is more than a power trio. Even “Billie Jean,” one of Michael Jackson’s biggest hits, is a simple production with few instruments.

If you have too many parts, melodies and counter-melodies, it can prevent your song from being catchy and memorable. If you try singing two melodies that are played together in a song, it’s pretty much impossible… And if you can’t do it, neither can your potential fans.

Don’t let too many parts get in the way of your song’s catchy melody

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Songwriting Contest: What You Need to Know

Thursday, August 5th, 2010

Did you ever wonder if your song has what it takes to win a songwriting competition?

There are many contests out there to choose from, including the International Songwriting Competition and the John Lennon Songwriting Contest. Boasting celebrity judges and thousands of dollars worth in prizes, winning one of these competitions could not only help you financially, but it could potentially bring great exposure to your music.

I used to think I should just send my songs to every competition possible, cross my fingers and hope you win one. But with typical entry fees around $30 per song and hundreds, maybe even thousands of other songs competing for the same prize, I realized that any songwriter would want to do everything they can to make sure their song is the best it can be–and that it can hold up to the stiff competition!

So the first question is this: what do the judges look for when deciding which songs are the best? The good news is, most good contests will publicly list the criteria they judge your song’s merit on. The bad news is, these categories can be vague and don’t give too many hints as to what makes one song better than another. I decided to come up with a few pointers to get you started in the right direction.

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Writing a Great Chorus

Thursday, July 22nd, 2010

It’s happened to all of us: you go an entire day with the chorus of a song in your head, unable to make it go away. You listen to the song over and over again, you listen to other songs to get it out of your head, but try as you might that tune is stubbornly stuck in your brain for good.

Infectious catchiness is the hallmark of many a great song. Usually, the catchiest part of the song is referred to as a “hook.” Not unlike the hook of a fishing pole, a song’s hook catches your ear and reels you in, making you remember the tune forever. Most of the time, a song’s hook is featured in the chorus. The chorus is the section of music that repeats itself several times and usually contains the theme of the song. A catchy chorus is essential in songwriting, but what exactly makes for a great chorus?

As with anything creative, there are no hard and fast rules for how to compose an optimal chorus for your song. And while there are great tips and guidelines to follow, there isn’t any one way to guarantee that your chorus is a good one. But while there are no rules in music, there are certainly a few things you might consider as you’re writing a song and hoping to have a global hit on your hands.

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Pre-production: the core of a professional production

Monday, June 21st, 2010
Most of Studio Pros’ full music production projects start with the rhythm section tracks–first the drums, then the bass immediately after. Later on, we continue to the guitars, keyboards and any other instruments. The vocals are usually last to be recorded, right before the mixing and mastering stages.
In order to get the best results from the rhythm section, we create a guitar or a keyboard “sketch” for the song before bringing the session players into the studio.

What is a song “sketch?”

The sketch is a simple guide made by one of Studio Pros’ arrangers  played on guitar and/or keyboards. It includes a chord progression and a melody line that mimics the vocal. It’s extremly important that the sketch is 100% synced to a click track, as the drums and the bass will be recorded to it.  In most cases, the sketch tracks won’t be used in the final mix. It will probably sound way too simple and sometimes even awkward. This is because the melody lines need to be straightened out and quantized, and the chord progression should be as simple as possible so it won’t distract the session players.
Remember: the only purpose of the sketch is to serve as a guide for the rhythm section, and its tracks won’t be used in your song. (more…)

Featured Artist: Barb Bechler

Friday, June 19th, 2009

20 years ago she thought making music might be fun. Now with the help of Studio Pros, Barb Bechler has accomplished what she never thought possible.

UPDATE: Barb has created dance/hip hop tracks from a capella demo versions to professional final products with the help of Studio Pros.  Three of these tracks have been added below.  She has also won two more songwriting awards in the Song of the Year competition for her tracks “Come on Out and Dance” and “Wishers” since this feature was written.

Barb Bechler’s path to becoming a musician is not your typical story. In fact, her creative use of Studio Pros’ services makes for one of the most unique musical journeys you’re bound to hear. While she’s been a fan and admirer of music for most of her life, Bechler never was a musician herself–until she began learning, experimenting, and expanding her musical boundaries with the help of the world-class studio musicians that Studio Pros provided. Utilizing Studio Pros’ services, Bechler found herself going from complete novice to award-winning songwriter in an astoundingly short period of time.

Not too long ago, Bechler was retired from real estate sales and writing children’s stories. Now, she is submitting her music to TAXI for publishing in film and television. “I’m probably coming from a different direction from a lot of people,” she says. “I’ve always admired musicians and listened to a great variety of music. The big thing for me was that I always wanted to be able to write songs.” Wondering how she could translate her story writing abilities to songwriting, Bechler had a breakthrough when her niece, Deanna, showed her how to use GarageBand music software.

Before:

After:

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