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Once you start regularly checking in on your streaming data, you’ll be able to make more informed decisions about different aspects of your music career, such as:

Like everything in the guitar world, there’s a lot of debate about the differences between active and passive pickups and which are better. And like everything, it’s absolutely subjective. In my experience, passive pickups pick up more of the unique resonances and vibrations from the guitar, but active pickups tend to benefit the subtleties of the player’s actions on the string.

Evan Zwisler is a NYC-based musician who is most notably known for his work with The Values as a songwriter and guitarist. He is an active member of the Brooklyn music scene, throwing fundraisers and organizing compilations for Planned Parenthood and the Anti-Violence Project. He started playing music in the underground punk scene of Shanghai with various local bands when he was in high school before going to California for college and finally moving to New York in 2012.

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The Audio-Technica AT2020 is a condenser microphone with studio-quality sound and an affordable price tag. Specifically designed for recording vocals, the AT2020 features an extended frequency response designed to emphasize clarity and detail. The fixed cardioid pickup pattern offers improved isolation for recording in noisy environments.

To my memory, the first seed was planted in high school, when I climbed into my friend’s car (he was 18 and down to buy me smokes) and was immediately transported to a distant, unfamiliar desert landscape which I found surreal and intoxicating. Turns out he was listening to the soundtrack of The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly. Probably the next day I went to Amoeba Records and bought the CD and listened to it every day for months.

From her 1997 live album, right before she launches into “Tyrone”, Erykah speaks to my artistic heart. It took me a long time to admit that I am an artist. The word has a bit of stigma attached to it, usually that artists are needy, too sensitive, too fragile. But I believe we’re all artists in some capacity, and it’s important to embrace it. As Julia Cameron (The Artist’s Way) teaches, your artist is similar to your inner child — creative, unafraid, free, and incredibly passionate. It’s so important to nurture that part of you and be honest about your humanity. No one is made of steel.

Logic Pro offers some of the best-sounding and most customizable synths right out of the box, here’s how to adjust their default settings to your liking!

Some guitarists want to hear minimal pick attack in their recordings, while others (myself included) want a lot — especially on guitar solos. Pick attack presence is a combination of pickup selection, pick type, picking location, the angle of the pick, and your amp settings.

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I get that — creating something new is scary. You aren’t sure what people will think of it, and you’re worried it will be received negatively. There’s value in taking influence from your favorite musicians, but by copying them, you’re putting yourself in a position where if your music were to suddenly disappear, nobody would miss you as a guitarist because they can easily find your sound somewhere else.

For many of us in the English-speaking world, the Middle East remains a mysterious and misunderstood place. For those of us who love music, exploring artists from a different region can be a way to deepen our understanding and make the world seem a bit bigger and more expansive when it starts to feel small and repetitive.

So, now that you’re equipped with some of the tools and knowledge of the most common forms of song structure, keep in mind yet again that there are no rules to songwriting! There are only basic ideas and pieces of advice that you can borrow from as you sit down and create something that’s meaningful to you! It’s helpful to have these weapons in your arsenal. When it comes down to it, the best thing you can do as a new songwriter experimenting with song structure is to try and write with all kinds of structures and figure out what works best for you.

Let’s get a little more serious now. Finnish composer Kaveli Aho’s concerto for solo theremin and chamber orchestra (recording released in 2014, piece written a few years earlier), performed here by theremin all-star Carolina Eyck is an eight-part homage to Lapland, the most northerly region of Finland. Based on the eight-season division of the year, which is traditional for Lapland’s native Sami people, this work is dense with expressionistic harmony and icy, shimmering textures. It’s great, too, to hear the theremin being explored in all its range — often we only hear the middle and higher registers. In this piece, there are moments when the theremin takes on the sounds of other instruments, like the Chinese erhu or the viola, but also moments when it flutters like a bird. This piece is a real treat and a welcome introduction to the expansive oeuvre of Kaveli Aho.

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