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How to write a happy song

I just got an email from someone the other day, and he asked me “how do I write a happy song?”. I would like to answer this question here so everyone can learn from it.

I was looking for “happy” songs in order to find the answer to this question. Obviously, there are many songs that have a positive message, but I wanted to find the answer to the question “what makes a happy song happy?”. So I tried to choose songs that are mostly “happy” all the way.

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How to identify chords by ear

The absolutely best way to learn songwriting is by writing down songs for the purpose of analyzing them. In order to be able to do that, we need to recognize the chords just by listening to the music.

This could look very hard if you have never transcribed music before, but since I’m transcribing music for more than 20 years now, I can tell you exactly how you can learn to do it very fast.

There are millions of sheet music, chords, and guitar tabs out there, but unfortunately 80% of those are totally inaccurate, so we can’t rely on them. If you find the lyrics of a song with only chord symbols, you can be 99% sure that the chords are wrong.

So here is how you can identify the chords of a song by ear, either because you want to write it down, or maybe because you want to play the song.

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How much does a home recording studio cost

Building a recording studio at home can be a really useful thing for a songwriter (or any musician in fact), especially in this pandemic, since we want to minimize personal contacts. But how much does it cost to set up a home recording studio?

There are different kinds of setups for a home studio, and different price levels, so let’s start with the most essentials, and then I will continue with the higher budget setups.

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How to write a melody

Melody is one of the most important aspects of any music, regardless of the style or the genre. It is what makes a song memorable. Chord progression and rhythm is extremely important, but people usually recognize a song by its melody. Melody is what the average listener will sing along – if the melody is well crafted.

But how do songwriters come up with melodies? I will start with the very basics but don’t worry if you already know the basics, because we will get to more advanced stuff after that.

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Mastering Songwriting: A Comprehensive Guide to Elevating Your Skills

Are you itching to learn the secrets of making killer songs that people can’t stop humming? Whether you’re a complete newbie or a music maestro, we’ve got the lowdown on making your songwriting skills seriously rock.

Songwriting is like the superpower of the music world. A well-crafted song has the magic to touch hearts, inspire folks, and create connections that cross borders and generations. It’s the language that everybody speaks.

In this post, we’re arming you with the essential tricks and tips you need to take your songwriting game to the next level. We’ll explore the basics of music theory, how to turn up your creativity by transcribing songs, why writing a song every day is like a musical gym workout, the art of listening to music with a keen ear, and how to create visual roadmaps for your compositions.

Whether you’re just picking up a pen or you’re a songwriting ninja looking to sharpen your skills, we’ve got you covered. Songwriting is for everyone, and this guide is your GPS to music greatness.

So, are you ready to embark on this awesome songwriting adventure? Let’s roll and uncover the keys to unleash your musical genius! Let’s dive in!

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Unlocking the Power of Song Bridges: Creation, Purpose, and Alternatives

The Essence of Song Structure

In the realm of music, structure is the invisible force that guides the listener on a transformative journey. It’s the roadmap, the compass, and the architect of musical narratives. Songwriters wield this power to lead their audiences, evoke emotions, and maintain unwavering interest. At the heart of this intricate web of structure lies the bridge, an often-underestimated but essential component of songwriting.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll embark on a voyage to unravel the mysteries of song structure, with a keen focus on the bridge—a versatile section that plays a pivotal role in crafting musical tales. The bridge is not merely a deviation from the norm; it’s a gateway to a new dimension in a song, offering a fresh perspective, a change in emotion, and a break from the monotonous repetition that can plague a musical piece.

Understanding the Bridge

A. Definition and Placement

Let’s begin our exploration by defining the bridge and its strategic placement within a song’s architecture. The bridge is a distinct section that typically graces us after the second chorus. It stands as a bridge between familiar territory and uncharted waters, introducing a new musical idea, a different perspective, or a change in tone. It’s the twist in the plot, the unexpected turn, and the catalyst for heightened emotional engagement.

B. Breaking the Monotony

In a world where predictability can diminish the magic of music, the bridge shines as a beacon of change. It’s a tool that helps songwriters combat the monotony that often creeps in with the repetitive structure of verse-chorus-verse-chorus. The bridge’s arrival breathes life into the composition, offering a sense of renewal and excitement that can reignite the listener’s enthusiasm.

C. The Evolution of Songwriting

The landscape of songwriting has evolved over time, influenced by ever-changing musical trends. The rise of genres like EDM and shifts in popular music have influenced the inclusion (or exclusion) of bridges in songs. We’ll delve into how songwriters adapt to these changes and why the bridge remains a fundamental element for those who appreciate traditional song forms.

In the forthcoming sections, we’ll journey deeper into the creation of the perfect bridge, exploring the techniques and tools that songwriters employ to craft this section. We’ll also address the significance of contrast, chord progressions, melody, and the specific timing of the bridge. As you progress, remember that the bridge is not just a musical interlude but a gateway to a new dimension within your song.

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Mastering Rhythmic Accuracy in Music: A Comprehensive Practice Guide

The Power of Rhythmic Accuracy

When you watch a live music performance, what do you notice first? For most of us, it’s the sweet sound of a melody or a soaring vocal line that captivates our senses. But, beyond the melodies and harmonies, there’s another crucial aspect of musical performance that often goes unnoticed but can make or break a live show: rhythmic accuracy.

Rhythmic accuracy is the unsung hero of any musical performance, standing shoulder to shoulder with pitch in importance. It’s what separates the professionals from the amateurs, the extraordinary from the ordinary. Just a few beats played out of rhythm can be jarring to the ear, revealing a lack of professionalism in the music. But fear not, because in this comprehensive guide, we’re about to unveil a powerful practicing method that can transform your rhythmic accuracy.

Allow me to share a bit of personal history. About two decades ago, I had the privilege of studying music under the mentorship of one of Hungary’s finest jazz musicians. During my time with him, he revealed a practicing method that was so potent, it can be applied to master virtually anything on any instrument. What’s truly baffling is that, despite its incredible effectiveness, this method remains hidden in plain sight. In all my years in the music world, I’ve yet to meet another musician who knew about this technique.

I was so intrigued by this method’s uniqueness that I scoured the internet, searching for any mention of it in blogs or videos. To my surprise, the results were absolutely clear: I found NOTHING. This method is a hidden gem in the world of music practice.

But before we dive into the technique, there are two vital things you need to keep in mind:

1. The Deceptive Simplicity: At first glance, this method may appear remarkably simple, which is perhaps why it remains overlooked. I’ve shared this method with many musician friends, and, initially, none of them thought it was a game-changer. That is until they put it to the test. Only those who’ve tried it truly understand its transformative power.

2. The Art of Patience: You must approach this method with patience and a commitment to follow each step as I explain it. The magic lies in the method’s progression.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through this method step by step, revealing its true potential. We’ll also explore other strategies to develop your accuracy, such as training your ear for pitch and rhythm. So, if you’re ready to take your rhythmic accuracy to the next level, let’s dive in!

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The Rhythm Code™

What’s the Rhythm Code™?

The Rhythm Code is a hidden system behind many successful songs. It is used by all successful songwriters, even though they are probably not aware of it. The Rhythm Code is used in ALL genres: pop, rock, jazz, EDM, country, funk, R&B.

What do you mean by “hidden”?

The Rhythm Code is a hidden system the same way a musical key is a hidden system. For example, in a song, there are melodies, chords, intervals, and they all give us CLUES that they are in a common system: we call this “a key”. For example “the key of C major”.

A typical song doesn’t necessarily contain all the notes of the C major key, yet we know that it’s in the key of C major. Because we know the theory of the hidden system behind it. The same applies to the rhythm. There is a hidden system for rhythm, which I’ve discovered in 2012 and named it the Rhythm Code. We have had a theory for tonality for a very long time now, but this is the first time we have a similar theory for rhythm.

Why is it important?

The Rhythm Code is the most popular rhythmic system on the planet. It is used by ALL top producers and songwriters (people like Max Martin, Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran, Adele, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, and so on…), even though they are probably not aware of it.

It’s extremely useful for songwriters and producers because, with the help of the Rhythm Code, we can create better songs, better grooves, better rhythms, better melodies, better drumbeats, better bass lines. It is everywhere in the song arrangements in highly successful songs.

Rhythm is the most overlooked topic in songwriting, yet it’s one of the most essential parts of good music.

The Rhythm Code is the first chapter of the Songwriting Essentials online course.

This is how I found a hack for musical rhythm

In 2010, I got the idea of writing my own songs in the style of Cuban Salsa. (Which is kind of weird, since I’m not Cuban.) The problem was, even though I played many Salsa songs before, I didn’t know anything about how to create those complex rhythms to arrange my own songs.

So I started to transcribe many salsa songs and analyze their rhythm. What the horn section is playing, what the piano, the bass, the drums are playing. Unconsciously, I came up with the idea of creating a visual “map”, kind of like a guide that helped me create salsa arrangements. And it worked!

My first Salsa song became relatively famous amongst salsa dancers around the world. They sent me many videos from 50 countries where they dance to my song. (Take a look at this video with the song.) On top of that, a hotel in Havanna, Cuba used this song in their promotional video. (This was kind of a big deal for me, a Cuban hotel promoting Cuba with my song.) And many people are still surprised when they found out that this song is not from a Cuban band, but from a songwriter from Europe.

It was only later that I realized that this “map” of rhythm is not only in Cuban music. It’s literally everywhere. One of my biggest surprises was when I realized that the song “Happy” by Pharrell Williams is using the Rhythm Code. Since then, I analyzed more than 2000 songs in popular genres. It turns out, the Rhythm Code is everywhere. Do you want to know the biggest secret of Max Martin? It’s not melodic math. It’s the Rhythm Code.

It was an even bigger realization that I’m the first person on the planet who discovered this hidden system in rhythm. I have searched Google for articles, publications, videos, books, courses about songwriting, composing, musical rhythm, but NOBODY talks about this.


The secret pattern behind successful songs

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