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The great thing about studying pop tunes is that they very rarely stray from a given key. They like to keep things rather diatonic. This means that with just a small bit of practice, you can start to recognize these chord progressions for yourself, even without your instrument in hand. We will go much deeper into our understanding of how these chords function in later articles, but for now let’s just get comfortable with what we get from “Sorry.”

Well, here’s what I discovered: Basically, holiday albums have been somewhat merrily immune to the decline in album sales that’s plagued the music industry since iTunes took over. Quite probably, a lot of people purchase holiday albums as low-cost gifts for people they don’t know what to get. Or because sales are driven by the nostalgia and communal values of Christmas: A house without a Christmas album is not a house that comes together for the holidays.

One of Sırma’s early musical experiences involved placing 3rd at a professional jazz singing contest at 18, after which she was invited to represent Turkey in the World Choir for the 2010 World Cup song “Oh Africa.” For the recording session and the music video shoot, Sırma had to interrupt her first semester at Berklee for a week and fly to LA to work with Akon and Keri Hilson. Fresh out of high school and immediately faced with a packed schedule, she then understood the true meaning of being a professional musician today: always being prepared to seize any and every opportunity.

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If random people give you their two cents, remember that you don’t have to take their word at face value. Do a bit of a background check before taking them too seriously. A swift Facebook stalking session will do.

Our mentors can give you feedback in all three areas on a weekly basis during the program. They might offer a new perspective on your song based on your intentions, or give you honest feedback about where a piece falls short based on the expectations of the field, if that’s part of your goal. This can help you hone in on where to focus your efforts to make the most progress.

Natural overdrive can sound amazing in a punk song, so if you’re getting a tube amp don’t forget to crank the drive to see how you like the sound it produces. Otherwise, stick to pedals, and look for something big and tough enough to handle your tone (and the mosh pits). Here are some of my favorite choices for punk musicians:

Looking to enhance your knowledge and mixing skills, practice your chops, and build your portfolio of work? We definitely have an online course for you.

Amy is a New York-based actor, singer, and vocal coach who’s worked in a variety of genres, from opera to rock musicals. She is the founder of TheoryWorks and the instructor for both Music Theory for Broadway Actors courses on Soundfly. She’s also a published expert whose articles on music theory for actors have been featured on Backstage (here and here), and an accomplished educator and coach whose students have appeared on Broadway, on national tours, on cruise lines, and in regional theater performances across the country.

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Additionally, we know that each fret will raise the intonation by a half-step. So for example, if we play just the 6th string and move up one fret at a time, progressively we’ll get the following notes:

The aim of this structure is to provide flexibility and depth to help you make big leaps forward in your music or career. Because there’s no pre-established content like there is in our courses, we’ve found this program works best for musicians who fall a bit outside the lines. If you’ve got a specific musical project or goal in mind, if you don’t really want a bunch of tutorials, and especially if you’re in need of a sounding board for professional feedback, this program is definitely for you. 

In case you haven’t seen this, or tried it yet, Classic FM (the website version) has created one of the most entertaining and informative tiny “time-waster” games on the internet that we’ve found so far. It’s called “Are These Words Composers or Types of Pasta” and it’s 15 questions of mouth-watering musical joy where you have to try to guess which is which. I’ve played this game thrice and somehow never gotten a perfect score.

“The Montreal-based nonprofit Yellow Bird Project has worked with an amazing range of indie rock musicians over the years to create unique T-shirt designs that benefit an array of charities. This first ever indie rock coloring book is a fitting tribute to the DIY spirit of the bands, featuring witty, hand-illustrated activity pages from artist Andy J. Miller. Music fans can keep themselves out of trouble for hours with mazes, connect-the-dot games, and coloring pages for the Shins, Devendra Banhart, Rilo Kiley, the National, and more than 20 artists. With all royalties going to charity, The Indie Rock Coloring Book is sure to warm even the coolest of hipster hearts.”

I have been improvising with instruments for 25 years now, in many different idioms: blues, rock, jazz, country, and various kinds of electronic music. Scratching is very different from playing an instrument. Intellectually scratching is something like playing loops in Ableton Live’s Session View, but it’s more like playing an instrument, while triggering loops is more like composing.