How to improve your sound!
As your soundcoach, I want to start with getting one thing clear in your head.
To learn how to improve your sound, you first need to start listening to your music in a completely different way than you are now. Now I know this is going to sound insane, but I want you to clear your mind and, just for a moment, to stop focusing on a number of things:
- You need to stop trying to write the coolest lyrics ever known to man
- Never mind with a melody that just won’t leave anyone’s head
- The catchy rhythm you think will make everyone move their butts? Don’t worry about it!
- Your sweet harmony? Whatever!
By now you must be thinking: “Sure. This guy’s an idiot”. So allow me to explain myself.
Of course all these things are important in creating a kick ass song. That’s obvious – you’d be a fool not to try to do these things well. They are a necessary component.
But that is not enough to improve your sound!
Think about it. There are hundreds of thousands of people out there that are making music right now. There are more now than ever. The digital revolution that we’ve all been a part of has made this possible and to a large extent, it’s been glorious!
But the problem is that this has created a surplus. There are now literally too many people in the world, making music.
And it gets even worse: most of them actually have cool lyrics, nice melodies, catchy rhythms and sweet, sweet harmony. You are one of those people and the undeniable result is that you are now effectively and completely drowning in the masses.
So you need to stand out, right? And I’ll tell you how you’re going to do that.
What is happening with 95% of everyone starting out making music, is that they never stop focusing only on playing or composing. They are trying to stand out of the crowd by making their music “good” by the books. Ironing out all the technical aspects. Getting the right melody or trying to write the best lyrics man kind has ever heard.
I know I was a couple of years back.
What happens when we’re learning how to make music is we want to create something that’s personally ours, that no one else has ever thought of making and that sounds unique. And we think that once we’ve made a song that fits those criteria, we’ll be succesful.
Because people like great things, right?
So we’ve got our amazing composition and we go ahead and record the song. And we get excited. We upload it to soundcloud and share it on facebook and twitter. Our hearts full of expectation and it’s all going to be amazing. We made a great song!
The first couple of days pass. Maybe a couple of listens, perhaps even the odd comment. But nothing more. That’s it. Dead-end.
That’s a big blow. And it’s not something I wish upon anyone. I’ve experienced it myself when I was starting out. That huge anticipation only to be completely disappointed when there’s no result. It’s horrible.
How did this happen? I mean, you’ve created a great melody, the chords were unheard of, you played like a veritable guitar-god… What in the world went wrong?!
You focused too much on the technical and structural aspects of music.
The truth is, with regards to some exceptions, not a single soul on our planet will ever care about how amazing your music is from a technical and structural standpoint.
That’s why I need you to switch up your frame of mind. You need to change how you think about your music. You need to stop focusing on the technical and structural aspects and you need to start to think about your music as sound.
Sure, the melody, vocal, rhythms, chords… all that needs to be good. I’m not contesting that. But I want you to think beyond that. You need to move further. You need to start learning about how sound works.
You need to learn how to make music sound good!
If you don’t, here’s what will happen. People are being fed so much music and free downloads and samples from everyone. We’re all consuming more music than ever.
That’s why we’ve all developed a filter, right? We had to. It’s now our only way to make sense of all the information and music we find.
It’s only after your music passes this first test – only if it sounds good – that people will even care to listen to your music.
That’s why I want you to stop thinking about your composition and technical abilities right now.
You’re probably good enough already.
What you need to do right now, is to start working with sound. You need to start learning how to improve your sound, at every step of the way.
I need you to get this clear in your head before moving on!
At thesoundcoach.com, we’re going to look at producing and mixing your compositions with this idea in mind. We are now all working with sound. We’re going to manipulate, bend, mend and weave sound together. Not tracks. Not instruments — but sounds.
Why don’t you let that frame of mind sink in a bit. When you’re ready, move along.
Let’s start making your music sound great – Hope to see you around!
Kevin – Soundcoach