In an excellent think piece, Pitchfork’s Adam Ward waxes nostalgia for the low-bitrate file and its ability to transmit an artistic feeling unique to the medium:
Program fees: Housing is included, usually located just outside the parks for easy access, and most will come with a $2,000 stipend. Artists are responsible for their own travel, supplies, and food. The cost to apply is between $55 and $150.
To help you navigate the vast world of music-related website resources out there, we picked out eight of our favorite web tools that are made specifically for musicians, so you know you’re in good hands with each of them.
Emerging curator grants
I probably cheated by throwing a festival in the mix, but there are a lot of great songwriters playing Gigawatts Festival, a 3-day romp in East Williamsburg featuring 80+ bands spread out at The Wick, The Well, and Our Wicked Lady. My favorites are tight dream-pop weavers Celestial Shore and art-soul-freaks Ava Luna. These guys exemplify songwriting as a true team effort, allowing for lots of colors and variations from each player. My band is playing as well (Saturday at 2:30pm); but it’s hardly worth mentioning, as I assume you’ll all still be in bed recovering after a week of taking in all of the excellent music this town has to offer!
All of our mentored online courses come with six weeks of 1-on-1 professional coaching and feedback on your work. It’s like having a personal trainer, but for music! Share your goals with us and we’ll find a course for you, or create a custom mentorship session with a pro musician, engineer, educator, or music industry veteran, to help you achieve them.
“Perfect”: The pre-chorus section here does something fun, changing up about half the lyrics to make it kind of like a pre-chorus/verse hybrid type thing. I can’t remember when I’ve seen that before, at least not to this degree of lyrical tinkering.
That’s right — we sent an even Better Now, out-of-this-WRLD probe past all the FEFE’s and ZEZE’s that were Meant to Be in the Top 5 of 2018’s Billboard Hot 100 charts, and what we got back was a tally of data and stats Grande enough to satiate all you Nonstop audiophiles’ consonance curiosity. Nice for What? Nice for showing any Childish Young Bunny how to craft a song XXXTensive enough to bang its way into a Top 40 slot, next year and beyond.
Our friends over at Bandzoogle had similar fears and a wholly constructive epiphany as to how they could use their platform to both fill the crowdfunding void that PledgeMusic left behind and learn from their tragic mistakes in the process. Bandzoogle has created a new preset page template that automatically populates websites with specific tools for musicians to run a crowdfunding campaign without taking any commissions on sales, or even inserting themselves into the payment transaction chain at all.
Grants for music venues
There’s no need to buy hundreds of robot followers with this list of tried-and-true tips on growing your community organically via Instagram. Take a look!
Crowdfunding’s magic lies in the fact that it takes both artists and fans to make a project happen. It’s not the typical, one-sided creative conversation that the music industry has been having for nearly 100 years. And although skimming through live campaigns on a regular basis is difficult if you’re looking after the health of your wallet, there’s really no better way to get a glimpse of the myriad ways music can connect people.
Songwriters like me often draw from personal life and experience, or from the experiences of those around us; which is probably true of almost any writer in any literary format. But we may also get inspired by and invested in the characters in TV shows, films, and books as well. In fact, it is completely possible to get inspired by anything and everything in the world around you as a creative person. As long as you’re looking for it…
If you sit down with pen and paper in hand and find that no new ideas are coming your way, consider a fresh perspective in your writing process. If you are used to writing your songs by starting with just an acoustic guitar and vocals, try opening your mind by starting on the piano instead. If you usually start with a melody in mind but just can’t seem to find the right tune today, start by looping a beat or groove instead. With the great variety of affordable recording and composing software on the market today, you can have a wide palette of sounds at your fingertips and no longer be limited to just the instruments that you own or have the ability to record at one time. If the idea of recording software makes you anxious, you can get started with something as simple as Apple’s Garageband if you are a Mac user or FL Studio on PC.
Perhaps the most popular song form in modern music, the Verse-Prechorus-Chorus is also very versatile and strong. It features the inclusion of a prechorus, a bridge between your verse and your chorus that ties the two sections together with a central idea or melody, or a way to flip your chord progression around so the chorus makes sense starting on a new chord.