Singing, song writing and synthesis: important topics for musicians today! But how can you start writing songs when you lack a creative spark of inspiration? It turns out games may be the answer. If you’re just a beginner singer, how do you know which songs are a good choice for you? We’ve got tips to help you choose the perfect songs.
… and how do modern song writers create such strange and memorable soundscapes? Synthesisers are the tools they use and we’ve got a tutorial for you introducing the three types you need to know.
Before we get started, I would like to take a moment to congratulate the longest running mobile music making blog – Palm Sounds – on their 10th Birthday! Find out what they have learnt in the past 10 years and what comes next…
Musicality means… Writing Music
Writing music seems like something only talented musicians can do. However in the past (like in Mozart’s time) all musicians learned how to write music – it was part of general musicianship. That means that anyone who plays music today can learn how to write music too! This week on the Musical U blog they discuss how writing music develops your musicality and how you can learn to write music – starting today!
If you are new to songwriting and want to get started, have a look at this songwriting guide for beginners from Ultimate Songwriting. The Art of Composing site discusses why it is important to have a basis of music theory to help your creative juices flow when writing melodies.
A Songwriting Game
Whether you are looking for a song writing activity for children or are in need of some inspiration yourself we have a simple and fun song-writing game for you! All you need is a pack of playing cards and a sense of fun to play this great game inspired by Mozart himself!
Also inspired by the fact that Mozart played games to write music, Composer Phillip Sheppard developed a composition game for children. Called “Compose Yourself” it uses transparent cards with music notes to inspire youngsters to start composing.
Speaking of Mozart games, how about trying this game based on his opera The Magic Flute? See how many musical instruments you recognize. It’s not as easy as it looks!
Finding the Tonic
Being able to find the tonic in a piece of music you are listening to can open many musical doors including enabling you to improvise and play by ear. Learn how to find the tonic of any piece of music and practice with these well-known popular songs and classical pieces in part two of this tonic-finding tutorial.
Being able to tune your ear to the tonic of the piece will really help with your sight singing too. My Music Theory offers this great quiz (with answers!) to help you find tonic notes.
The Perfect Song for Your Voice
Singing in different genres can help you develop your vocal skills giving you more opportunities to perform with different musicians. The choice however can be overwhelming and how do you know which styles suit your voice? Here we have 5 tips for finding the perfect songs to suit your voice.
With so many styles of music to choose from there are endless possibilities of vocal expression. Vocal Tips takes you through some popular music genres and helps you determine which style of music suits your voice and personality best and How to Improve Singing with Karina has a helpful infographic on how to find a near-perfect match:
Still not sure what you should be singing? Take advice from a singing pro! New York-based singer Anya Singleton offers this video tutorial to guide you through the sometimes tricky process of finding the right songs for your voice.
The Importance of Sight Reading
Sight reading music can seem like a challenging skill to learn, but it is definitely worth the time and effort. Find out the many ways that sight reading music can be your all-access pass to the diverse world of music in The Importance of Sight Reading.
What are the most fruitful ways of practising sight-reading? Melanie Spanswick offers a few ideas which may prove useful for instrumentalists and singers alike.
Pressed for time but still want to improve your sight-reading abilities? The Revelle Music Blog has these tips for learning to sight-read in just ten minutes a day.
Different Types of Synthesis
Sound synthesis is an integral part of contemporary music-making, but recognising all the different types of synthesis can be tricky. We look at three of the most popular syntheses – subtractive, FM and wavetable in How to Recognize Different Types of Synthesis. These demo samples and real track examples will allow you recognise and then use these techniques to develop your own unique sound.
Are you completely new to the world of sound synthesis? Have a look at Berklee Online’s video, “Sound and Synthesis: 1 Basics” for an introduction to the general principles of sound.
If you would like to learn more about sound synthesis, check out Skifonix Sounds tutorial “5 Essential Synthesis Tips” for more information about its different forms and how to apply them.
Singing, song writing and synthesis don’t need to be intimidating or overwhelming. Start with a game, or sight-read some new music to find your inspiration. Craft a unique sound for your track using modern synthesisers… And who knows – maybe one day your own creation will be a hit singer’s “perfect song”!
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