When the studio asked for a song that sounds like The Beatles, Schlesinger decided to use similar instruments, style, and production techniques from the time period. If anyone in their 40s or 50s walked into the theater to watch the film, they were immediately transported back to their youth. For those of us too young to have lived through the early 1960s, it’s likely that our parents introduced us to the music of The Beatles at some point so that we’d have our own developmental reference point as well.
A good vocal coach will instruct you on diaphragmatic breathing, and on becoming aware of your body as you sing; keeping good posture; releasing tension etc. He or she will help you to identify your range, give you exercises to improve your technique, and guide you through the material you wish to sing. Finally, he or she will tell you to practice every single day!
A great example of this technique comes from P!nk. At 2:03 in “Walk Me Home,” she sings the chorus an octave below, accompanied by nothing but an acoustic guitar, which makes the final chorus that returns later all the more impressive and memorable.
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Freewriting is the act of nonstop writing for a predetermined amount of time without concern for grammar, quality, or any other regulations. Initially, this can look like some serious word-vomit, but if you keep going, you’ll often find yourself coming up with interesting ideas, or finding momentum on specific topics. Much like stretching before exercising, this process can kick-start your creativity and help you overcome any feelings of self-criticism.
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Following some standard doubling of the main guitar riff during the song’s introductory chorus, Jameson erupts with some root-octave slapping in the verse. He follows this with a couple high pops up on the neck and a slide down to the relative minor. The pulsation of F# with the fifth below it and alternating with the A just above it generates a funkier feel than you’d ever expect from a hard rock song with a simple three-note guitar hook. The sequence is repeated several times in the verse and, in spite of all the other cool riffs in this song, leaves you wanting to hear more.
But such a dismissal would be disrespectful to the medium, and there are plenty of legit reasons to pay tribute to a beloved song by producing a chiptune cover.
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Here are a few tips for upping your practicing game every day. But getting ready for a recording session requires doing things a little differently, so here are a few quick tips for how to make the most of your time in the studio:
“The Luv Pack, Vol. 1,” is comprised of samples created by producer, drummer, bandleader, and author of Soundfly’s The Art of Hip-Hop Production course, Charles Burchell. As a bass player, I have been lucky enough to play a little with Charles over the years, and it has always been an instant hook up for me. His pocket is on another level and given that his raw playing features heavily in the source material for these samples, I knew I could get inspired by digging into the drum loops first.
Not all of us have access to the kind of gear that the Boards are rocking. As usual though, we can find some good digital approximations on the internet. One of my absolute favourites is James Peck’s VHS Audio Degradation Suite. It provides emulations (with optional speaker simulation) of old video tape audio playback, based on machines in various states of disrepair. If anything digital is going to get you even close to Boards of Canada’s bevy of broken-down gear, this is it. While it’s free, it only works through Native Instruments’ paid Reaktor 6 soft synth platform. If you don’t already have that, you can try it out for 30 days.
You’re also going to need a delay, one way or the other. When it comes to delay pedals, there is analog modulation and digital modulation. Many people automatically point to analog delays to say they are better than digital, but it’s always a question of taste, and most guitarists out there exploring expansive sound palettes will have both on their board. Analog delays sound more like a tape machine; their echoing tone changes the pitch a bit up or down and it’s darker fading out then a digital delay. The latter sounds more like an exact copy of the inserted signal that fades away. If you are a guitarist who likes to tap the delay time with your feet, this will affect your pedal choice as well.
“Sicko Mode”: Wow! So this song is basically three songs in one. Part one is Drake singing in B♭ major pentatonic over a digi-cricket-wahwah-fog of harmonies that broke my brain so hard I had to use a lifeline. Thankfully, Martin Fowler on the Soundfly staff pegged it for me as Cm9 to B♭Maj7, which then switched the voicing just barely to E♭Maj7 and a D7♭13 without the C. What a thick mess!