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Student-Artist: Emily McCullough

There are two main ways to compose a bass line in today’s hip-hop climate. You can choose a more traditional route by writing and recording a bass guitar or synth bass part, or you can go for a super-low, super-sub bass by using trap-style 808-kick bass lines or other sine wave sounds.

Got 10 minutes to learn about the history of the drum kit as we know it today? We talk about how individual drums, players, and genres helped the kit evolve.

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It is real easy to mess up an entire mix with too much processing — in particular, mix buss compression. Over the years of searching the internet creeping on my favorite mixers’ (Jacquire King, Dave Pensado, Chris Lord-Alge, and many more) mix buss compression settings, I’ve found that a little goes a long way.

Note how Ligeti starts from a very low register, at a very quiet dynamic (pianissimo) and with staccato articulation (0:24). The pedal in the left hand forms gradually from a fragmented rhythm until it unfolds in a continuous stream of staccato eighth notes (0:42). Superimposed on this low A pedal is a rhythmic motif in the right hand (0:46). Ligeti shows here great mastery in rhythmic variation. This rhythmic fragment is created by accumulation and extension of a first cell which is elongated and then further fragmented in this fashion.

This is one I’m sure you’re familiar with, even if you might not have known its fancy name. It’s also sometimes called Verse-Repeating or Chorus form, because it essentially repeats the same section, but with new lyrics each time. If we’re thinking of things in terms of “A” sections and “B” sections and so forth, this would just be multiple As, one after the other.

Going on tour soon but don’t know how to get the word out? Here’s a list of amazing strategies to put your band on the map and make your travels count!

Due to the way that YouTube’s algorithms have recently started moving users around based on several years worth of tracking their preferences, recommending content that is not always the obvious next step (because if you simply want the next track on an artist’s album, you’re probably already on Spotify), and then leveraging “discovery results” that are considered successful, thousands upon thousands of listeners streaming long-playing ambient music and sounds have been led directly to user Jackamo Brown‘s upload of Through the Looking Glass. The record had found its audience.

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+ Learn more on Soundfly: Expand your low-end sonic palette by learning the ropes of synth bass setup and performance in our new free course Synth Bass for Bass Players!

One such example is here in “Let’s Go,” where bassist Benjamin Orr does a double chromatic run in the interlude at the end of the chorus and leading into the “She’s laughing inside” verse. It’s a simple, basic riff, starting at the major third, walking up three notes to the fifth, and continuing with another four-note chromatic run up to the octave. It comes at an opportune moment, building up the suspense leading into the last set of verses, in an already high-tempo, high-energy song.

If you’re a part-time musician, you know the struggle. You want to make music, but you run out of time in a day. Or you lose heart. Or your music time is not as efficient as you want it to be. Every day, it’s an uphill battle of sticking with it, being productive, and not losing your mind.

+ Learn more on Soundfly: Learn to find and engage your superfans and build your band’s community in our month-long course, Crowdfunding for Musicians.

Soundfly welcomes new voices each month to offer unique perspectives, shine a light on unexpected musical worlds, and help our readers find their sound.