Tip #225 – To Resolve In or Out

Say your song is based off of a group chords on repeat.  Do you have you progression resolve within the loop…

…or outside the loop…

…or does it really matter?  Do the two options really make a difference?

While one can argue that they don’t, there is a difference in motion between the two.  When you resolve within the loop, you have a return to “home” and completion.  Think of this like picking up a book, coming to an ending, and then picking up a new story.

As for when you resolve outside the loop, your momentum is continuous because the resolution takes place on the start of a new loop.  This is like reading a book then ends off with a “To Be Continued” cliff-hanger to lead into the next book.

Experiment with the two and see which feels right for your piece.

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Improve Your Lyrics – Tip #46

What is a bridge?  If you were thinking in music terms or in anything else, it is something that connects two areas together.

In addition, from a music standpoint, the bridge offers something different (both musically and lyrically) to catapult with motion from one section to another.

Musically, bridges offer harmonic variation, rhythmic contrast, new melodic movement, modulation, etc.  Lyrically, bridges might contain a change in character focus, a change in timeline, or inclusion of in-depth detail on the subject/story.

Basically, offer something new when you want to include a bridge into the song.

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Mix and Master Yourself – Quick Mix Guide (Part 8)

Have you every been in a situation where you want an effect to happen in one section of your musical piece, but not in another? Or maybe you want to control the parameter? Maybe you want the dry (unaffected) signal to occur in the first half of the chorus and then to gradually become wetter (processed, effected) towards the end.

The simple solution, and end to the quick mix guide, is to add automation.

Simply, automation is having the DAW change a parameter without you having to physically do it as the piece is being played back through the speakers.

If you are unfamiliar with where in your DAW you can access automation, I advise that you do so. Once you are able to, play around and see what cool things you can come up with!

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Tip #224 – Using sus2 and sus4 Chords for Surprises

This is going to be a quick little informative tip:

In the past, we have talked about how the use of power chords can create ambiguity between the key possibilities because there is no third voiced to tell if it is major or minor.

In a similar fashion, using your tonic (or at least opening chord) as a sus4 or sus2 chord that gives you a “triadic” harmony without the third present can also aid in creating that key signature ambiguity while giving the harmony some color with the suspended notes.

Try using it as a tonic chord and experiment as to how you can resolve it in surprising ways.

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Tip #223 – Understanding the Gangeyabhushani Scale

The Carnatic music of South India has 72 scales (melakartas) comprised of seven different notes in either an ascending (arohana) or descending (avarohana) fashion. These scales are used in a kind of India music called rāga and are extremely beautiful. In addition these scales are grouped into different chakras, based on certain similarities.

Today’s melakarta is the Gangeyabhushani scale, the third scale from the sixth chakra.

Below is a representation of the scale as if it was put into Western notation:

Both the first (SA) and fifth (PA) scale degrees are in a placement normal to most scales found in Western music, but now you have a raised second degree (RI) acting as an augmented second from the root.  In addition, you have the leading tone back to the root.

Try playing around with the scale, possible harmonies, and progressions!

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Tip #222 – Sound Effects in Songs

This is going to be a quick tip.

Besides thinking that your music should be constrained to just instruments, why not incorpoarate sounds that would be typically used for sound effects?

This can help give your song more of a “story-like” or epic quality.

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Mix and Master Yourself – Quick Mix Guide (Part 7)

Gearing towards the end of your mixing process, you’ll want to start adding your own unique touches – if you haven’t started already.

While mixing involves cleaning-up the sound, balancing, and placing instruments within the sonic environment, it also involves playing with effects loops.

Previously, we have talked about compressors, EQs, reverbs, and delays. However, there are so much more. From chorus, to flanger, phaser, distortion, etc., there is a multitude of ways on adding a person flavor to it.

Get familiar with the sounds of the effects and see which compliments the artistic vision of the piece. It may be one, none, or all! Also, be sure to get acquainted with the effect’s parameters to know the different knob controls. Above all else, experiment and gave fun!

Thank you so much for taking the time to read! Feel free to comment, share, and subscribe for more daily tips below! Till next time.