Drum dancing… Got to love it!

It’s Okay to Sellout…

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had the conversation with musicians about "selling out" many of my music friends are worried about compromising their “art” by creating things that the mass public would be drawn to.  I’m not sure I understand this idea?  To me the only musicians that shouldn’t be “selling out” are those who don’t want to make money with their music.

Now if the goal is to MAKE money creating music then in my mind you should be “selling out” as much as possible!  Successful businesses in the real world constantly scan their industry and markets to find what works, what doesn’t, and most importantly what’s missing, they “sell out” to what their customers want.

The music business is just that—a business.  A smart musician knows that it’s okay and important to create music that’s useful.

Here’s a guy who knows how to manufacture music… Dr. Luke, as he’s known.

Songwriting with a vocoder…

Today I stumbled upon a cool new way of revising a melody.  Every songwriter knows the frustration of getting stuck on a melody that just isn’t working.  Usually I get a melody so ingrained in my head that it’s nearly impossible to get it out and replace it with something much better.

I’ve never used a vocoder before but today I bought one as a part of a collection of great synth sounds from Native Insturments called Razor.

I used the vocoder to take a my demo vocal and try different melodies using my keyboard as control.  I couldn’t believe how simple it was to come up with a bunch of great options.

Why didn’t I think of this?

Goodbye Expensive Stock Music…

I do a lot of video work where selecting the right cut of music makes a big difference.  Generally we pay out a lot money for blanket licenses from big professional stock music companies.  I am becoming impressed more everyday with independent stock music providers who bring together great music from all kinds of non-professional sources.

Recently I stumbled upon a website called, I amazed to say the least at the overall music selection, quality and PRICING (most tunes cost only $14)!  All the music on audiojungle seems to be very current which is definitely not the cast with most stock music today.  It’s not uncommon for me to spend hours wading through tons of old cuts in order to find the occasional gem.  The only downfall I see in audiojungle is it’s organization, it’s fairly unclear to navigate.

I think it’s safe to say that websites like this will shake up the stock music industry!  I couldn’t be happier!

Take a Survey if You Dare…

Drop the Beat…

Pop music today is all about the dance feel.  Turn on the radio and you’ll rarely find a song that doesn’t follow a “four on the floor” kick pattern.  But lately I’ve noticed a cool trend.

I’ve always thought a song’s energy should start small on the first verse, get bigger on the chorus, mellow out slightly on the second verse, get a lot bigger on the second chorus, do something cool on the bridge and explode on the final double chorus.  But what I’ve observed lately has made me think differently.

This first time I really sat back and thought about it was when I heard Rihanna’s “Only Girl in the World”.  The song starts out with a nice mellow dance beat during the first verse but on the chorus the beat disappears and all that’s left is Rihanna and a synth.  There’s some serious energy there but only from awesome vocals and a well timed synth.  Check it out.

Obviously it takes skill to know when to drop the beat without killing the energy especially on a chorus.  This song wouldn’t be nearly as interesting without these well placed drop outs.  There are a bunch of other examples out there.

I’m sure this isn’t a new idea but it’s something that’s new to me and something I’ll definitely be trying.

Mar 4

Songwriting Workshop (Part 1) with Larry Dvoskin


Well here goes nothing…

I’ve loved music my whole life (a lot of people say that) but I don’t love it the way most people do.  When I listen to a song I can’t help but hear every instrument separately from the others, I listen for the harmony or melody it creates and how it adds to the other instruments.

In my mind the song follows a road, sometimes I know right where it’s going and other times I think I know what’s up ahead but all of the sudden it takes a surprising twist or turn.  I love songs I can’t fully predict but I also respect songs that can follow an appropriate path, not every song should have twists and turns.

Sometimes I can imagine the song written in a different genre, from country to pop or jazz transformed to rock.  Rarely is music best in the genre it’s created in.

My wife laughs at me because I can never remember lyrics to anything (especially to the songs I write), but I do love well written lyrics.  ”Well written lyrics” what’s that mean anyway?

All this being said, there’s a lot I don’t know about music.  I don’t know the least about music history, I don’t read music or understand music theory, and I’m sure there’s a lot of other stuff that I don’t even know that I don’t know.

I’ve never blogged in my life but here goes nothing…