Guest post by Dave Kusek.
With the DIY revolution and the rise of the music middle class in today’s music industry, it’s really easy to get caught up in all the business and music promotion stuff.
But despite all the tools and resources and services at your fingertips online that can potentially get your music in front of a huge audience… The MUSIC still comes first. Quality music trumps all!
So we’re going to get back to our roots and share some confidence-boosting skills that could help you take your music to the next level so you can really stand out and get people excited at gigs and online.
One approach is to use cover songs. If you take the time to really bend the song and put your own flair on cover tunes, they’ll serve as a transition that will introduce your original music to new listeners. Think of it like a relatable point of reference that new fans can come through to become acquainted to you and your music.
So, to help you make the most of cover songs and turn them into tools that help you grow your audience and raise awareness for your originals - instead of being a big roadblock, Dave Kusek and Daniel Roberts from Hit Music Theory will be presenting a free webinar to explore how you can use music theory to create some killer cover songs on Wednesday June 21st at 12PM EST.
Come join us! During the webinar we will be covering:
1. How to manipulate rhythm and subdivision to keep your performances fresh and interesting and keep fans on their feet.
No matter how good a musician you are, your understanding and manipulation of subdivision, time and groove is always a rich creative well to draw from. This is especially important for live performances - simple shifts in the rhythm or subdivision can add that extra flair of interest to keep fans dancing and rocking through the whole song.
We’ll take a look at the Red Hot Chilli Pepper’s version of Higher Ground and explore the many ways these concepts are used in the tune and how you can manipulate the rhythm to adapt the song to your style.
2. How to use your understanding of scales and tonality to create tension, anticipation, and release in your covers, and how to use these techniques to support the mood and lyrics of your songs.
Whether you know it or not, every piece of music draws heavily from at least one scale which is centered around a particular note. Knowing this scale and how you can manipulate it can open up enormous possibilities for how you approach playing and arranging a song.
But beyond just basic tonality, the notes and scales you draw from can very much influence and comment on the mood of a song. The scales you choose can create tension, anticipation, or release to illustrate musically what’s going on in the lyrics.
We’ll explore this using Get Lucky by Daft Punk and Nile Rodgers.
3. How to use harmonic function to create endless compelling hooks and riffs.
Many of the greatest hooks and riffs we love seem to have been created as if divined by some spirit or given by magic to a special artist…
But, if we break it down, a lot of the most iconic hooks and melodies are taken directly from a very limited set of notes that the artist knows work well. Johnny Cash’s Folsom Prison Blues is a timeless classic that illustrates this extremely well.
Once you see what’s going on, you’ll be able to use the same techniques to create your own hooks and melodies or even adapt the greats to create your own unique cover version.
4. How to use modes to add variety to hooks to keep fans listening and excited even in repetitive songs.
“Modes” can sometimes be a scary word, but an understanding of this concept can open up endless musical possibilities for you.
We’ll check out what’s going on in Message in a Bottle by the Police to show you how you can use them simply and effectively to keep a song interesting and new no matter how many times you or the listener has heard it.
5. How to use voice leading techniques create space in your arrangements so you can improve the sound of your live set and get that huge sound we all look for.
Your live show is where you’ll make the biggest impression on new and potential fans, so getting that perfect sound is really important. Unfortunately, if you’re playing in smaller venues and clubs, the sound system may not be ideal.
So we’re going to go through an easy voice leading technique that will allow you to create space in your arrangement - sonically separating your instrument parts so they don’t muddy each other down. (Hint: THIS is how those 2 or 3 man bands manage to get that HUGE sound.)
Plus, if you can master this, I guarantee every sound guy is going to love you!
We’ll be covering this and a whole lot more during the webinar on Wednesday, June 21st at 12PM EST. Click here to sign up for free.
If you can’t make it live, you can sign up here to get the recorded replay.
Oh! And during the webinar we will be giving away a free online course called Hit Music Theory to some lucky person!
Dave Kusek is the founder of the New Artist Model, an online music business school for independent musicians, performers, recording artists, producers, managers, and songwriters. He is also the founder of Berklee Online, co-author of The Future of Music, and a member of the team who brought MIDI to the market.
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