Creating a string arrangement is the most powerful way to make a piece of music soar. Whether adding an epic string part to your latest pop song or composing for a classical quartet, there’s so much you can do with these dynamic instruments.

Jeremy is a Montreal-based musician, sound artist and improviser who loves giving advice to emerging artists on how to make their tours more effective. He writes, records and performs electroacoustic “concrète” music for tape, oscillators and amplified objects and surfaces, as well as solo guitar. He has performed and released material throughout Europe and the UK, Asia, the US and Canada, mostly with his trio Sontag Shogun.

Some musicians don’t take their work seriously while others get themselves into big trouble by working too hard and taking on too much. Believing in your music and working hard is essential, but going into major debt over your music or spending month after month on the road away from home leaves you at risk of burning out, which can be hard to recover from.

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You may already be familiar with the process of mixing. If you’re reading this article, then it’s likely you are at least aware that live performances use sound mixing boards to balance out the volume levels, panning, and EQ of each instrument and microphone line to ensure the performance sounds properly balanced. You may also be familiar with studio-based mixing practices, which incorporates what I just mentioned, but also includes effects processing like reverb, chorus, delay, saturation, and auto-tune, which can be applied to individual tracks or the mix at large.

Does it give you a spark of creativity when you fire it up? Your gear should make you feel good when you plug into it. It’s possibly the most important factor when it comes to your equipment. If it doesn’t contribute positively — or worse, makes you uninspired — you don’t have to let it weigh you down.

If you’re a jazz musician you’re also probably transporting your equipment to a ton of gigs, so getting something portable is a good idea. Here are some of my favorite choices for playing jazz:

Logic Pro offers some of the best-sounding and most customizable synths right out of the box, here’s how to adjust their default settings to your liking!

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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! Dive deep into production-related topics like Modern and Advanced Mix Techniques, Songwriting for Producers, or Making Music in Logic Pro X, or work with a Soundfly Mentor directly to achieve a musical goal specific to you!

“Drip Too Hard”: They double the choruses and end the second verse with some title/refrain stuff. Hey, you know, one trend that I’d like to call cemented this year is that song form is becoming more and more lyric based. As songs are increasingly built around one single loop phrase, you have to base their form off of something, so it might as well be words. Because it used to be that the chorus, verse, and bridge would all have different chord changes, which would help determine the form. That’s just no longer so.

By developing consistent workflows, streamlining one’s process (like for example using shortcut commands), setting limitations as well as reasonable yet strict deadlines, you will begin to see tasks getting completed faster and projects sounding better. In addition, focusing on optimizing your time management will naturally leave you with good habits and higher levels of confidence.

And yes, it’s a masterwork. This isn’t just Japanese new-age hindsight fetishism at play here. Takada’s brilliant suite for marimbas and synthesizer brings Asian timbres and African polyrhythms in perfect contact with the minimalist language of composers like Steve Reich, Terry Riley, and Brian Eno. The fact that this record never made it out of Japan was a cultural crime that needed to be rectified.

To learn a bit more about how to write bass grooves that lock together with the rest of the rhythm section, check out Soundfly’s free short course, Writing Funk Grooves for Drums and Bass. Enjoy!