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How to Read Music, Sheet Music and Music Notes

Learn how to read music, sheet music and music notes so you can instantly sing or play a tune. It’ll put you ahead at auditions and make rehearsals smooth. It’ll enable you to compose your own unique melodies, follow harmonies and understand song structure.

Read Music

Don’t get left behind in this competitive industry. Read our guide on becoming proficient with the basic technicalities of music.

How to read music, sheet music and music notes 

It’s never been easier to learn skills at home by yourself, and DIY on coaching. YouTube, PDF guides, apps and podcasts have made self-development a cinch in all areas of life. And this includes music. Musicians have always been good at learning by themselves though. So many renowned artists are self-taught on the guitar, piano, drums and for singing. Without lessons, they learned to play ‘by ear’, picking up the notes, chords and harmonies required by listening to others and experimenting.

Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters only ever took one drum lesson. He taught himself percussion by playing punk rock and then picked up the guitar using his basic drum knowledge. This unusual approach created some equally unusual riffs that became a signature for his world-famous band.

Is it hard to learn to read music?

So is it hard to learn music and should you even try? Is it better to learn by ear? Well, the answer to this depends on how you’re wired as an individual. For some learning by ear is actually much harder than learning the music formation and notation. And this is down to your brain. You may have heard people speak of ‘left brain’ and ‘right-brain’ people. You’ll fall into one category or another, based on which side you predominantly use (a bit like being left or right-handed). Those with a stronger left brain tend toward being good at reading and learning music. Whereas right-brained people will usually find it easier to pick up songs by ear.

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How to read music notes for beginners

The manuscript is the sheet on which the music is printed. It will contain the symbols described in this section.

The Staff is a set of five lines and four spaces on which the notes are written.

The Treble Clef is the top staff in a piece of sheet music.

The Bass Clef is the bottom staff.

The Bar line indicates measures of time. Music is broken down into bars.  A double line shows a change of time signature or the end of a section. A bold double bar line shows the end of the piece.

The Time Signature is shown as two numbers on the staff, one above the other. This may be something like three/four time or four/four time.

There are also some Italian words you may find on the page. Adagio means slowly, Andante means at ‘walking’ pace, Allegro means fast, Pianissimo means softly, Fortissimo means loudly and Crescendo means building in volume. More words are used in general music theory, but these are the most common ones to be found on sheet music.

Sheet music symbols

There are symbols that appear on the staff. How high or low they appear indicates the pitch. Even if you can’t read music, you can get a rough idea of where a song is going, by looking at the way they go up and down on the staff. The symbols themselves represent the timings of the note (how long or short they might be) and have their own names. The most common of these are:

Breve – a double whole note

Semibreve – a whole note

Minim – a half note

Music notes names

As well as having a name to refer to the length of the note, each note will also be named by its pitch. The musical alphabet is made up of seven notes: A, B, C, D, E, F, and G, and any of these can be made sharp or flat, to add more variation and depth to the sound.

There’s a commonly used and easy way to remember the note names on the staff using one word and a simple sentence. Running from the bottom line to the top line, the bulbous part (or head) of the notes that sit on the line itself are E, G, B, D, and F.  This is remembered with the phrase: Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge. Meanwhile, the notes that sit on the spaces between the lines spell out the word FACE – F, A, C, and E.

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How to read music notes for singing

Perhaps the most famous example of learning the notes for singing comes from the legendary film The Sound of Music. Maria, the lead character in the movie, teaches the children to sing, by using – a song. While it’s an oldie and somewhat of a cliche now, it’s still a useful way to begin as a singer. In the video, the alphabetical note names C, D, E, F, G, A and B, are substituted for Do-Re-Mi-Fa-So-La-Ti.

How to read sheet music for guitar

Guitar music is a little different in that it’s notated in its own way, contrary to standard sheet music. You’ll hear people refer to the tabs. A guitar tab – or tablature – is a way of writing music specific to this instrument. It shows the chord progressions on a kind of chart. This provides more of the information you need without anything that would be surplus for a stringed instrument.

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Aminé Drops One With Young Thug, Announces Album


Again with the Youthful Thug-that includes solitary “Compensating,” genre condition-shifter Aminé is wanting to give us the summer months we so desperately should have and has some significant plans in brain. 

The observe, which launched Monday morning, finds Portland’s hip-hop hero admitting his wrongs and throwing them around a poppy instrumental developed by Canada’s T-Minus. 

And when Thug will make two individual Daffy Duck references in a song, it is only crystal clear that summer season has really started. 

With the new one dropping, Aminé also introduced his most up-to-date studio album Limbo, as his first comprehensive-duration project given that 2018’s ONEPOINTFIVEThe record will feature the rapper’s the latest track “Shimmy” and his most current Bad Gal anthem “Riri.” The album is established to drop on Aug. 7 with a presave readily available here. 

Pay attention to “Compensating” down below:

 



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What Is a Hook in a Song? Hook Songs Examples

What is a hook in a song? If you write or sing songs, this is something you need to know. A hook is the catchiest part of a track that engages the listener – and we have some superb song hook examples to demonstrate the difference a hook makes to a tune.

Hook

Read on to develop knowledge of this magic song ingredient and recognise where and how it fits into the world of modern music.

What is a hook in a song? 

Hooks are found in almost every genre of music that’s played on mainstream radio. It may be a phrase, a lyric, a motif, lick or a riff. It could be melodic or it could be lyrical. But the key is, it’ll be catchy. The hook is the standout moment in the song and because it’s so good, you’ll hear it several times in the song. There may also be several hooks in one piece. So where might you find the hook – or hooks – in the song? Here are some of the places to look for them.

  • Chorus
  • Intro
  • Rhythm pattern
  • The beat (this may be linked to the rhythm, but not all rhythm hooks will have a beat as such)
  • Background instrumental
  • Lyrics (often the case with rap)

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What is the meaning of hook in a song?

A hook is so named because it ‘hooks’ the listener. It’s sometimes described as an earworm. Streaming and instant online content have meant that listeners have less patience than they used to. Nowadays, songwriters need to grab the attention of the listener – and fast. How do they do this? With a killer hook.

What is the difference between a hook and a chorus?

This is often an area of confusion. Is the hook the chorus? The answer is, it can be, but isn’t always – hence the reason they’re often mixed up. Both are often catchy, but some hooks don’t fit the format of a chorus and work well in other sections of the song, or overlaid on top of the chorus or melody. A song may have a chorus but not a hook. And it may have a hook but not a chorus. Although most songs will have both.

Song hook examples

Attempting to explain a hook can be tricky. It may be that you just need to hear a selection, to understand how they work and where they fit. Once you listen to a few, you’ll probably realise you were already familiar with the concept. Almost every charting song will have at least one hook these days.

#1 I Will Always Love You covered by Whitney Houston

The simplest example of a hook is where it correlates with the chorus. In Whitney Houston’s version of I Will Always Love You (originally written by country legend Dolly Parton), the hook is right there in the chorus and in the lyric. So it is both a lyrical and melodic hook.

#2 Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepsen

Sometimes the hook is almost hidden. Here’s an example of an instrumental hook in Carly Rae Jepsen’s Call Me Maybe. Do you find you can’t help but sing along? Chances are it’s not just the easy tune that reels you in. It’s that backing repeat of the chorus motif.

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#3 Bad Romance by Lady Gaga

Next up we have an intro hook from an iconic singer. Lady Gaga’s quirky style includes her eclectic hooks. Can you spot it here? It’s the ‘Oh, oh oh oh’ at the beginning, which makes a later return.

#4 Superstition by Stevie Wonder

Often found in soul and funk music, Stevie Wonder is an expert at the lyrical hook. Here it is kicking in on the electric guitar after the beat. It’s a challenge to listen without wanting to move your feet. That’s the power of a hook. A rhythm hook will always have everyone up on the dance floor.

#5 Started at the Bottom by Drake

Lyrical hooks are often found in rap, but not exclusively. Even in rap and hip-hop they can be sung or rapped – or in the case of Started at the Bottom by Drake, both. This hook communicates what the song is all about. So you remember the theme and intention. When this happens, it’s likely the writer began with the hook and added the verses afterwards. The song hangs on the hook in this case.

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How to Find Your Unique Sound as a Singer

As an artist looking to make a career out of music Sound , it is very tempting to fall into the trap of copying your idols. After all, why wouldn’t you want to emulate a musical style and sound that is proven to sell millions of records? However, finding your signature sound is a much better longterm strategy.

Sound

The world already has a Billie Eilish, a Shawn Mendes and a Drake – and their fans are unlikely to be interested in their lesser-known clone.  So, how do you discover your unique voice to set you apart from the competition? 

How to find your singing style 

Music fans don’t want to keep hearing the same old style of singer or artist time after time, they want something that is going to make them sit up and go ‘wow! This is really different’. This is why so many record labels are scouting through Spotify looking for unique sounding artists to sign.

Although labels will be looking at streaming numbers and follower counts, one of the things they look for the most is an artist who offers something a little bit different. Someone who sounds like they would fit in with the modern charts, but who is also instantly recognisable and who sounds like no other. This is no mean feat, but if you want success in the music industry, you must identify what your USP is. 

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How important is authenticity in music?

I’d probably be right in guessing that your musical idols are also likely to be authentic – you probably sense that they are creating music which they love and you can personally identify with that artist. It is this connection with artists that draws us into their music. If you can fuse uniqueness and authenticity as an artist, then you are already halfway there.  

Fans are more likely to be drawn to you if you are authentically you. If you are a copy of another artist, that doesn’t tell the fans who you really are and then you lose that connection from the outset. You need to be yourself. If you are yourself then people will be able to identify with you more and will want to learn more about YOU, the artist.  

How to find your sound as an artist

So what is ‘being unique’ all about? Well, it usually involves having an instantly recognisable singing voice, a unique musical style that pushes the boundaries or which combines one or more genres, and/or a unique image. The challenge is being unique whilst also being marketable at the same time. 

If you want to be as big as Ariana Grande, then you’ll need to strike that fine balance between developing your unique sound, but also offering something that is universally familiar and marketable.  

Let’s take a look at some of the steps you can take to find your own sound as an artist: 

#1 Create a signature sound by working with a producer 

Music Producers are often known for their signature sounds as much as the artists they produce, but they are also brilliant at taking your raw musical ideas and turning them into a polished record. Good, skilled producers are often well versed on chart trends and musical styles and will be able to help you create your own sound based on your influences and ideas.

#2 What makes a musician unique? 

As musicians, we are all influenced by the artists we love. They are probably the reason why we wanted to become artists in the first place. And being influenced by your favourite artists is totally fine….it’s healthy and it helps you work out what kind of music you want to create.

Being influenced by other artists without imitating 

Be inspired and influenced but don’t imitate those artists. Success as an unknown clone will be unlikely! You can strike this balance by creating music in a similar genre, but don’t try to imitate the vocal phrasing or styling of the singer and don’t write songs with the same chords, similar melodies, lyrical themes, and definitely don’t try and imitate their voice!  

#3 Don’t be afraid to experiment and do something different 

It can be daunting doing something different, but if you manage to pull it off, it can really help you develop your unique sound and bring in those fans. Doing something different in music could mean a whole range of things, but the most effective approaches could be using really unique effects on your vocals, or writing a song that has an unconventional structure, or doing what Billie Eilish did on ‘Bury a Friend’ and sample a Dentist’s drill to be used in place of a lead synth.

Think outside of the box. What would sound interesting and unique that hasn’t been heard before? There are endless possibilities.  

#4 Make the music YOU want to make, not what you think will sell 

This is incredibly important. Mainstream success in the music industry is ridiculously hard to achieve, and you won’t get there if you are not authentic. Plus, this could be your full-time job, your career – do you really want to be creating music that you don’t love? But, more importantly, fans can see right through fakeness.

#5 Listen to all types of music 

If you’re struggling a bit with ideas for creating a unique sound, try listening to other genres of music that you wouldn’t usually listen to. This can be really inspiring and can give you an insight into how different genres are produced. In fact, the most successful artists of today tend to fuse multiple genres together to create that ‘unique’ sound I’ve been talking about.

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#6 Write about personal experiences 

How to write a song from the heart

What you ultimately want to achieve as an artist is creating an emotional connection in the songs you write and in the way you perform them. Emotional performances are powerful and it is what your listeners will connect to the most as they can apply their own personal experiences to the lyrics in your songs. So rather than sitting down and writing a song about going to the club and putting your body on another body, try writing about a key moment in your life, or about a strong emotion you have felt.

#7 Work with a vocal coach 

Think of your voice like a fingerprint; you have a vocal tone that is uniquely yours. But it’s easy to fall into bad habits and sing like the artists we hear in the charts. An effective way of bringing out your own unique singing style is to work with a qualified vocal coach.

Finally…. do it for the love of music 

It’s worth mentioning that you should be in music for the love of it. Not only will it help you connect more with fans, but it will make it a much more enjoyable experience for you. It’s a fiercely competitive industry with so many talented musicians who are desperate to do this as a career. In the early days of an artist’s career it can be a challenge to earn any decent money from your music, but see it as an investment in you and your music ‘business’.

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How to Sing Beautifully, Fast – 8 Simple Tips

It’s easy to lose sight of your technique, especially if you need to prepare a song in a hurry. Learn how to sing beautifully – and fast – by developing a sweet sound, great tone, along with rock-solid control of your vocals. All in a short space of time.

Sing

 

 

 

In the modern world, we want everything quickly. This article provides 8 simple pointers and achievable exercises to effectively transform your voice in a minimal period of time.

How to sing beautifully fast 

When learning anything, we tend to do it slowly, before being able to do it at speed. This is why the saying ‘don’t run before you can walk’ came about. And in general, it’s better to build up technique gradually, with an ongoing commitment to personal development. But what if you’re on a clock? Perhaps you have a festival slot coming up. Or there’s a recording deadline. Or you’re been offered a fantastic last-minute gig. You’ll need a quick fix, whether it’s your first time, or you need to up your game. Learn how to sing beautifully fast with a few simple tips, and you might just your vocals from average – to amazing.

Even if you’re not in a hurry to get a beautiful voice, much of the advice we’ll be sharing can be continually practised and so help you improve over a longer period of time too. Plus we’ll be guiding you on what – and how – to sing at an audition or show.

How to sing perfectly

Perhaps you want to learn how to sing perfectly. This is likely to take more time and effort. But a positive first step you can take toward singing a song perfectly is to select one that’ll give you a great head start.

Tip 1: Make a smart song choice. Make it easy on yourself, choose a song that suits you. Here are some of the factors to consider.

  • Your song should be in your range, that is not too high or too low for you to comfortably reach all the notes. Reaching and straining is a quick way to ruin beautiful singing, so remove any chance of that happening. A good pianist can transpose a song into a key that works for you. And for tracks, there are apps and software to do it.
  • Some people suit upbeat songs more than slow ones and vice versa. Identify which works better for your vocals and base your choice on that, rather than the kinds of songs you like listening to.

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Sing better instantly

You won’t become a great singer in just a few minutes if you’re not a decent one to start with. But you can see a level of instant improvement with a few quick tricks. Be sure to maintain these too. They may achieve quick results, but long term they’ll help you become even better.

Tip 2:  Stand straight. This is an instant win. All you need to do is elongate your spine, put your shoulders back and keep your knees ever so slightly bent so they don’t tense. Zip up your core (the area around your middle – front, sides and back). This strong yet relaxed stance not only helps improve the flow of your vocal tone, but it also helps you ooze confidence (even if you’re feeling nervous).

How can I improve my singing voice in a week?

If you have slightly more time to make improvements there are some more tips that will have you sounding great in less time than the average package holiday.

Tip 3: Eat and drink well. Think about what you’re putting into your body, as well as what you’re doing with it. Some products can have a detrimental effect on your singing voice. Cutting these out even for a few hours before singing will make a big difference. But give it a week of good nutrition and plenty of hydration and you’ll sound – and feel super. Taking care of your overall health will improve your voice too, so throw in some workouts if you can. This is particularly true if you catch a cold. Dairy, in particular, will increase the mucus production and give you a nasal or dull vocal quality. Whereas certain teas and herbal infusions can help clear the airways.

How can I improve the quality of my singing voice?

Let’s take a look at the next steps in achieving a high-quality sound.

Tip 4: Control your breath. 

This is the most energetic one of our tips. Practising breath control exercises, even just for a week, will boost your tone no end. Try these two quick and easy exercises each day for a week, and see how your tune improves.

  1. Take a big breath, deep into the pit of your stomach. Feel your lungs and stomach expand up, out and down. Hold the breath for a count of five. Then release it very gradually for a count of 10 on a ‘shhh’. Your stomach should gradually flatten in as you do this and it should be a sustained, even release. If 10 is easy for you, try taking it up to 20. Be sure not to go too far as to feel lightheaded or gasping for breath.
  2. Repeat the first part of the exercise as above, but on the out-breath, instead of one long sustained exhale, you’re going to say ‘ha’ loudly 10 times. On each ‘ha’ your diaphragm should pulse in and out with energy.

Tip 5: Focus on your pitch. 

Nothing ruins a beautiful voice like out of tune singing. Your tone can be divine, but if your tuneless you’re going to bomb. If you struggle with trickier keys, avoid songs in major and minor keys. If you’re going to be recording, autotune will be your friend. Otherwise (and even if you’re preparing to record), try an app like SingTrue. This will check out your personal pitching exercises and present you with some exercises to overcome any issues.

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How to sing – beautiful voice tips

So far we’ve looked at song choice, posture, diet, breath control and pitch. But how else can you prepare to wow an audience in s short space of time?

Tip 6: Play to your strengths. This has links to tip 1, except tip 6 refers to the style of singing rather than the song itself. The same number can be performed in any number of ways that differ from the original (check out Radio 1’s Live Lounge for endless examples of quirky covers). Take the song and make it your own. Do you sound pretty and ethereal when singing softly and gently? Play on that natural strength. Do you struggle to sustain long notes or lack vocal power? Don’t try to hang on to them. Does your song have a note that’s too high? Drop that note an octave.

How can I sing more beautifully?

You’ll already have noticed major improvements, but there are a couple more tips to go, that’ll polish up your act.

Tip 7: Prepare. Just like a scout, you need to be ready vocally and practically. Warm-up before you sing. Make sure you know your words and notes. If your focus is on what comes next or staying on the note, your tone will likely suffer. If necessary, pick something very lyrically and melodically simple, or a song you know really well. That way you’re free to concentrate on your tone, rather than worrying about forgetting your words. This preparation doesn’t need to take ages. A five-minute warm-up is enough and will help your voice sound much nicer than if you’d sung ‘cold’. And you can memorise song lyrics in a couple of days, even if you’re not accustomed to doing it.

How can I make my voice pretty?

Not everyone will want to make their voice ‘pretty’, but for many, it’s a desirable quality. Artists such as Ellie Goulding and Birdy know how to use a pretty and beautiful tone to maximum effect. The next tip we’ll give you will help make your voice pretty, but it will also brighten your tone, which is useful for every style of singing.

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Performance Tips for Music Duos and Groups

A vocal coach can give performance tips for music duos and groups. But it also helps to work together to build your act into something cohesive and exciting, following industry advice that’s proven to improve performance with two or more people on stage. 

Performance

The most successful groups play on the strengths of each individual and try to highlight those whilst performing. To learn how to be successful as a singing duo or a group and make the most of your individual talents in the process, read on.

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Performance tips for singing duos and groups

Being a part of music duos and groups is a balancing act. The issue many duos and groups face is that they all have something individually, but often struggle to make it work together playing and singing in a group. On the plus side, combine your strengths will another person, or several other people who ideally have different talents, and you could find the kind of success and performance opportunities that may not have been open to you as a solo or vocal-only act.  

How you perform will depend on your make up. Are you both instrumentalists, both singers, or a mix of the two. When forming a duo or group, it’s important to consider how you complement one another. It may not be enough to just be mates. Do you add something to the other musicians’ performance when you’re together? Does it add electricity, or is it chaotic? 

Record your performances 

Before you start a show, set a camera up to record. It might be cringe-making to have to watch yourself back, but the reality is, you can’t possibly see and evaluate everything that’s happening on stage. Videoing it will enable you to debrief afterwards and make changes as needed. This is even more important when part of a duo or group.  

Tips for singing duos and groups 

It’s important to remember that a duo or a group is only as good as their worst performer. It might seem an easier way of performing as there are more people in the group to share the roles, but it doesn’t always work out that way.

In relation to a current pop act, Little Mix are a fine example of this, individually they may not have made it, but combining their strengths in a group has allowed them to be a hugely successful act both in the UK and USA.

Once there are two or more people on stage, you’ll also need to consider your levels. When you sound test, be sure to check these are well balanced. Then when on stage, always be listening, so that you’re not overpowering anyone else. Drummers, keyboard players and those singing back up or harmony need to be especially careful. Equally, don’t be so quiet that you’re not heard. You’ll also need to be more mindful of the space – watch you don’t bump into each other or trip on their wires and cables.  

You don’t all have to sound the same

Many duos and groups struggle because they fail to layer up their parts and harmonies and instead make it it all sound the same. Without layering the sound, you risk sounding like a solo act. This is where an arrangement comes in, especially for groups. This dictates who does what and when in a song. 

When performing it’s important that the vocals layer up well within a duo and group to show off how diverse the act can be and what they’re capable of.  

If you have more than one of the same instrument, think about how you can vary the sound. For example, guitars can be played as acoustic, electric or bass – all three together sound great with the right musical arrangement.  

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Dynamics – how to get a crowd pumped up 

The benefit of having more than one voice or instrument, is that you don’t have to do everything yourself. Here are some tips for accentuating your different dynamics. 

1. Incorporate a breakdown

A section in which just one person plays or sings. This helps build a sense of momentum toward a crescendo section. A solo also allows an individual’s talent to shine (think of how Queen used Brian May’s guitar prowess in many solos on their tracks). 

2. Use counterpoint

Powerful harmonies work a treat, as well as layering one tune over another or making up a mix – something The Pano Guys have perfected. Counterpoint (voices that sing together but make sounds independent in rhythm and contour). 

3. Have backing performers

It’s ok to add some backing. You are defined by your constant members, so as a duo, for example, you’re still a duo if you sometimes add in a drummer, a pianist or backup singers. If you have a bigger venue than normal, it might be necessary. But if they then become a permanent fixture, you become a group.  

4. Use volume

Raise it up. With more than one voice or instrument, you can make more noise. Take advantage of this by contrasting soft (piano) and loud (forte).  

5. Consider a lead performer

Get someone to lead (if more than two people are on stage). Avoid a chaotic performance by ensuring someone is letting everyone know what’s going on. This can be achieved by developing a series of hand signals for the rest of the group to follow.  

6. Improvise and repeat

When you all/both work together regularly, you can learn to communicate live changes (using the hand signal system is great). This means you can improvise, choose to repeat a chorus or go a cappella for a section. This impresses an audience and creates a unique dynamic.  

How do you get a good stage presence as a duo or group? 

A genuine rapport will shine through on stage. How do you achieve this? By spending time together doing fun things, as well as practising. Build social bonds with activities and nights out and keep a sense of humour with one another.  

There will be times, however when you’re just not on form. This can happen as a solo artist as well as in a duo or music group. So how do you overcome this on stage?  

You fake it. Interact with one another, smile at each other (of appropriate fr the song) and even always, always have your partner or group’s back. If you notice they miss a bit, or forget some words, help them out wherever possible. It’ll make you look better as an act.  

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How to Build Your Own DIY Vocal Booth at Home

Recording in the studio can be an expensive process. Learn how to build your own DIY vocal booth at home that’ll fit your budget. Not only will it save you money, but you’ll have access to record your singing in an environment conducive to creating quality. DIY vocal

In this article we’ll let you know the tool and tricks you’ll need, to create your very own recording setup.

How to build your own DIY vocal booth at home

If you want to record your own music at a low cost, find out how to build your own DIY vocal booth at home. This is a much more affordable option than buying a professional vocal booth. And you’ll even be able to make use of things you have lying around the house.

Your vocals are arguably the most important part of your song. So you need them to sound mint. If you record in an open space your voice will reverberate around the room, and that’s not a good thing. The larger space you’re in, the worse it will be. If you’ve heard of podcasters and voice-over artists recording from their coat closet, this is why. Reduce the room and you reduce the reverb. This helps you sound up close, rather than far and distant.

How do you make a homemade vocal booth?

With a full size professional vocal booth costing anywhere from £600 to £4000, you’ll make a whopping saving by creating your own. Some of the options we’ll suggest involving buying some kit. Others utilise everyday items, making your own vocal booth a very real possibility. Even with no budget at all.

Here are some things to think about before you begin building.

  1. You’ll be spending a lot of time in your booth. It can feel claustrophobic and get hot quickly. Try to use low energy lighting options to reduce any extra heat build-up.
  2. If you’re building a 4 x 4 booth (we’ll go into more detail on what that is later), you’ll still need access to power for a mic, playback and possibly keys. Remember to run a power pack, or leave gaps to access power points on the wall.
  3. Get some fans, ideally silent ones. A few small ones at a low level work better than one big one. You can switch these off during takes if they’re noisy. But it helps ventilate the room in between.

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How do you make a homemade recording studio?

Of course, vocals may only be part of your recording. If you play an instrument or several instruments, you’ll need to record these also.  If you want the full recording experience, not just a facility for vocals, you’ll need (at the very least) a laptop with recording software and a decent mic. But you can add in all sorts of extras. If you have a garage or a solid shed, these may be places you can create a studio environment. Brick or stone-built constructions are excellent starting points, as they’re more solid than wood. Although a timber-clad interior is helpful. You have to work with what’s available to you.

Building a cheap vocal booth

A booth also keeps out exterior noises. This is important when recording, especially at home, where you’ll have a lot of extraneous sounds like traffic if you live on a busy road or other household members. It won’t be a soundproofed space if you’re doing it yourself, but it will absorb a great deal and this applies to both incoming noise and your own sound. While you may have a beautiful voice, your neighbours might not want to hear 200 takes of the same song. Your vocal booth provides a little more protection for the music escaping.

It’s not just about finding a confined, quiet space to record in. Not every small room will enhance your sound. You’ll need to add some material and features to make it work for you. A wardrobe or cupboard may be ok for the spoken word, but sung vocals need a different kind of environment to sound their best.

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How can I make a cheap vocal booth?

You can build your own reflection filter using foam. This works really well on higher frequencies, but less so on lower ones. The thicker the foam the better. Buy big panels very cheaply. If you already have a room that works well, has little reverb or sound leakage, then you have the option to use panels in places on the wall. This is opposed to fully lining the space. You can see this technique used in this video, where only some space on the wall is lined with acoustic and foam panels. Foam is the best option for your ceiling if covering the area above your head.

DIY vocal booth plans

It may seem odd, but the most crucial areas to cover are behind and above the singer. This means, if you have very limited resources, you should ensure that you have some coverage at least in these areas. If you have a room with an echo, you can also use egg boxes, or something similar to absorb the sound. Controversy to popular belief, egg boxes won’t work as soundproofing. But bumpy materials help to deaden down the sound a little. Additionally, you should avoid using dimmer lighting in your booth space. This creates electromagnetic fields that can create a subtle buzz on your recording.

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Who Is Affected by Electronic Theft of a Song?

The advent of the digital age has provided unprecedented opportunities for singers and songwriters. But with it has come the problem of illegal music downloads and all too frequent plagiarism. So who is affected by electronic theft of a song? Everyone is.

Song

In this article, we’ll explore the impact of unlawful song stealing and explain the effects it has on everyone, from top producers and artists right down to consumers.

Who is affected by electronic theft of a song?

We’ve established that everyone is affected by electronic theft of a song. But who is everyone exactly and how does that work? Here are the categories of people on whom this practice has a significant impact.

  • Artists (including musicians, singers and songwriters)
  • Lyricists
  • Producers
  • Backup singers and instrumentalists
  • Record Labels
  • Record Studios
  • Governments
  • Consumers

Of course, the category under which most people will fall is the last one. If you’ve ever made a song or listen to music, you’re affected. But you may be surprised that even governments and global economies see an impact. So just because you’re stealing a song from a big name with plenty of money in the bank, it doesn’t just mean you’re hurting them. It’s a much bigger picture. We’ll go into more detail on how each category is affected shortly.

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Is downloading music illegal?

No, not necessarily, because it depends on how you access the content. Even free downloads are not necessarily illegal. Many artists choose to make some tracks available to download for free. Offering songs for nothing can be a good marketing technique and attract more fans to your music. Here are some of the sites you can use for legitimate music downloads:

  • Bandcamp
  • Spotify
  • iTunes
  • Soundcloud
  • YouTube
  • Google Play
  • Soundclick
  • Free Music Archive
  • AudioMack
  • NoiseTrade
  • Amazon
  • Last FM
  • Jamendo
  • Pure Volume

Many of these sites will even enable you to download songs for free. But it is with the artist’s full permission. And unlike illegal download sites, the artists often get some kind of benefit or reward for getting huge amounts of downloads.

What is an illegal download?

This is where you access files without the owner’s permission or knowledge, via the internet. Downloading unlicensed content without the owner’s knowledge is always illegal. Some people who are known as ‘pirates’ will obtain large amounts of songs and make them freely accessible on their sites. This is where the term ‘music piracy’ comes from. And it doesn’t just happen with tracks, illegal downloading is rife for TV shows, films and even software

Why illegally downloading music is bad 

Some people argue that all content should be sharable without permission being granted. But there’s a major problem with this. Music is an industry and in order for the people in it to keep making songs, they need to get paid. They do this via the royalties from song and merch sales, download fees and streaming revenue. If no one ever paid for their music, the recording industry would grind to a halt. And if that happened there would be a huge economic impact.

The music industry is one of the most important and lucrative in our country. Not only does that provide an enormous amount of employment, but it also helps boost the national economy. That includes the tax paid to the government, and that tax is then invested back into society.

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Why is it wrong to download music illegally?

If you download music illegally, you’re effectively stealing from artists and labels. Not only is this unethical and immoral, it badly affects the industry. If everyone was to do it on an ongoing basis, these people and organisations would fold. That would result in chaos and disorganisation. Streaming sites that pay artists from their revenue (made via advertising and subscriptions) would also collapse. Not only that, but the same would be true of actors, directors, movie makers and TV channels.

The negative effects of illegal music downloading

MUSO, a company that helps sites protect themselves from online theft, asked over 1000 UK based research participants: ‘Is it illegal to download music from YouTube?’ More than 50% of the participants admitted they had illegally downloaded music in their lives. And yet, more than 83% of them claimed they’d tried to find the songs by legal methods first.

Music piracy statistics

70,000 jobs a year are lost in the United States alone because of music piracy. Illegal downloading of copyrighted music takes up 24% of the global bandwidth. So not only does this hurt people directly, it also slows up our internet.

And if you do download pirate content, your device is 28 times more likely to get infected by malware or a virus, which can be costly and time consuming to fix. So is it worth it to save a few quid? No.

So which artists have the highest level of theft of their songs? In order, it’s Ed Sheeran, Rizzle Kicks, Rihanna, Jessie J and Olly Murs.

Music piracy laws

Digital piracy copyright is the term used to describe the legal protection given to producers of creative works. In the UK if you illegally steal or share files you haven’t paid for, you could be punished with up to five years in prison and a £5000 fine. Penalties are issued on a case by case basis and more severe punishment would be issued to an individual who was unremorseful, operating on a large scale (such a pirate) and a repeat offender.

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The Benefits & Value of Music Education

Education If your talented child has dreams of musical stardom, learning about their craft is no doubt top of mind. Parents can take extra pride in the fact that children aren’t just honing their talent when they study and perform music.

Education

Music education has non-musical benefits to their schoolwork, personal life, and mental health that shouldn’t be overlooked.

The Mozart Effect

The ‘Mozart effect’ was first discovered by scientists at the University of California, in a small study that asked college-aged individuals to listen to Mozart for 10 minutes, while other subjects listened to repetitive relaxation audio or nothing at all.

They found that those who listened to Mozart showed significantly increased spatial reasoning skills, but the effect was temporary and wore off after 10-15 minutes.

Music education: playing an instrument

There are very few things that stimulate the brain the way music does, and research has shown that playing an instrument can change the shape and structure of the brain and improve cognitive skills.

Speaking with the Guardian newspaper, Neuropsychologist Catherine Loveday of the University of Westminster said: “Music probably does something unique. It stimulates the brain in a very powerful way, because of our emotional connection with it.”

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Benefits of music education

Though music plays a pivotal role in young lives every day, the 21 June marks the 38th annual celebration ofWorld Music Day, a festival designed to elevate the importance of music as an art form and to invite all musicians from around the world to join in on a metaphorical international stage.

As we do, let’s also turn our attention to some of the all-important — and often surprising — roles which music education can play, some of which can go far in an aspiring music career.

#1 Better vocabulary and articulation

Being able to speak eloquently and articulate ideas prepares children to do effective work and be taken seriously. Music education is linked to an improvement in both verbal sequencing and the ability to use articulate speech.

#2 Higher self-esteem

Auditions, recitals, performances, and especially solos require self-confidence, an area where some kids struggle. Musical training has been shown to improve self-esteem, which can make children feel more comfortable and natural when they’re performing. It is also correlated with improved mental health.

#3 Makes better planners

Managing a schedule and to-do list is an important part of becoming a successful performer. Music education sets children up for success in this area, as studying music has been correlated with an improvement in planning ability.

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Learning an instrument

Did you know that Einstein played the violin? He said, “Life without playing music is inconceivable to me. I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music… I get most joy in life out of music.”

No matter your age, it’s never too late to learn something new.

According to a Cambridge University study, musicians also continue being creative even when they’re not playing their instruments. Researchers found that performers picture music in terms of its shape, and using brain-imaging equipment shows that music activates diverse parts of the brain which, in turn, activates innovative thinking.

#4 Boosts IQ

Lutz Jäncke, a psychologist at the University of Zurich, told the Telegraph, “Learning to play a musical instrument has definite benefits and can increase IQ by seven points, in both children and adults. We found that even in people over the age of 65 after four or five months of playing an instrument for an hour a week there were strong changes in the brain.”

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Video Audition Tips for Singers & Musicians

After you submit your application, your video audition will be watched by our music industry judges, who’ll be looking for talent, originality and a polished overall performance.

 video audition

Here are our suggestions for everything you need for the perfect audition video, from lighting and backdrops, to the importance of eye contact and body language, plus how to make sure you stand out from the crown with an original song or creative cover.

What do I need to record an audition video?

To record your audition, you’ll just need a mobile phone or video camera and an internet connection. We also suggest you use a tripod or stand so the camera is steady and filming is consistent.

Be careful to angle your camera so that those watching can see your face.

Should I film in portrait or landscape?

We recommend to film in Landscape. This allows for a wider frame which looks better when playing back on a laptop or tablet.

Video audition tips: recording

#1 Think about your lighting

A good place to start when filming is to think about your lighting. You’ll want the judges and the audience to be able to see you clearly. You can choose to take advantage of any natural light or make use of an LED ring light for a more polished look.

These are inexpensive to purchase and, if you’re going to be regularly recording your performances and uploading them online, this will add a professional quality to your videos.

#2 Make sure your camera frames you well

Make sure the camera is not too close and also not too far away, thus making the performance feel cramped or distant. Angle your camera so that those watching can see your face and if you are playing an instrument try to also include this in the shot.

#3 Use a good backdrop

Your choice of backdrop is completely up to you, but it’s a good idea to think of this as another way to market yourself as a performer and express your personality; you may want to have some music-related objects behind you or a string of fairy lights on the wall to make it seem like more of an event.

#4 Dress to impress

First impressions matter, so wear something that’s smart, comfortable and that shows you’ve put thought into your image as an artist.

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#5 Make eye contact

Eye contact is so important, remember to reach out with your eyes to the audience.. This is essential when you are performing to an audience, even when you’re not on stage. Not only does eye contact help you convey the emotion of the song, but it also helps the audience connect to you as a performer.

Practice so you don’t have to look at any lyrics during your performance. otherwise you will lose the opportunity to engage and connect the message to the audience.

Singers sometimes close their eyes during a performance as well, to create a sense of emotion and drama. This can be very effective when contrasted with regular eye contact, but it shouldn’t be a way to avoid your audience if you’re feeling nervous.

#6 Move around

Moving around your space is another great way to engage you audience and your energy will be contagious. Singers can also pick up some amazing tips from watching famous singers, as well as dancers. perform.

Get the balance right. Make sure every movement is conveying a message to back up the performance, but don’t be overly dramatic or overdo the performance. Again, this comes with practice and filming yourself until you are completely happy with your performance.

Should I sit or stand?

This depends on your performance. If you’re playing the keyboard or guitar, you may want to be seated however standing has two distinct advantages:

  1. Standing doesn’t restrict your lungs and breathing.
  2. It gives you the opportunity for more movement in the performance.

Always remember that your instrument should not come between you and the viewer. Angle your camera so that they can see your face clearly.

#7 Don’t forget body language

Body language is just as important as your ability to sing. Imagine watching a singer perform while they stare at their feet without moving once. Body language is a tool which you can use to convey the song to the audience.

It can be as small as tilting your head or moving your hands expressively as you perform. If you have a microphone, try swapping it between hands or if you have a mic stand, try moving it.

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#8 Learn your lyrics

The best way to deal with nerves and appear confident is to be as prepared as possible. Learn your lyrics so well that you can’t forget them. Nothing looks more unprofessional than a singer with a lyric sheet or can’t remember their own song.

Learning song lyrics might sound like a challenge, but songs lyrics are actually one of the easiest things for our brains to recall. Some people are born with naturally great memories, it’s true, but it’s also possible to train yourself to have a more effective memory. The following collection of tips will make learning song… Read more »

#9 Practice

Practising your songs is essential, get them drilled in again and again so that performing becomes second nature. Have a goal for every practice session and record yourself every time so you can watch the performance back and note any improvements you can make.

#10 Enjoy yourself

Remember to have fun! The best part about recording your performance is that you’re in your own home and you can take your time and make sure you’re ready. So relax, take your time and enjoy your performance.