Brain stamp music


The Coda: A Breakdown of a (Sometimes Tricky) Musical Symbol

What is a coda in sheet music?

The coda is another sheet music term, which again you don’t need to know if you’re a writer or musician who doesn’t read/write sheet music. If you do want to know though, the coda is an important part of letting the performer know where the song is going. When do I need to know about the coda? Sheet music is confusing enough, but then you add a bunch of weird symbols at the top of it and it's a nightmare. I get it! I've been reading sheet music since 5th grade so it was a while ago, but I remember being frustrated and confused. Here's a picture of the[...]


Chorus Confusion: Taking the Guesswork Out of Songwriting

The chorus, also called "hook" or "refrain," is, in my opinion, the easiest part of the song to write. I know you're thinking "what, why?? You're crazy!" and you're correct, but hear me out: You only have to write it once, and then a third of the song is done. The verses are where you tell the story and explain yourself. The chorus is where you hammer the main point home. Choruses can still be confusing, so let's talk about them a little more: First, what is a chorus? In my book, I talk about how the Chorus is the part of the song that has the same words a[...]


Chord Progressions: A Simple Explanation for Lyricists

A simple explanation of chord progressions

  I included the term "chord progressions" in my book because we often work with lyricists only, so we are creating the music as well as the melody. We will ask if they have a chord progression in mind, mostly to help us determine the melody. Sometimes people need us to define chord progression, so I decided to define it to make it easier! What are chord progressions? Chord Progressions are basically the order that your chords go. If your song is in C major, your chords are going to be C, F, and G primarily, with whatever else fits your particular so[...]


Bitrate – A Simple Explanation for Musicians

A simple guide to bitrate for non-techie musicians

  Raise your hand if you're a musician who isn't a big tech person! My hand just shot up along with hundreds of other people, I'm sure. Today I'm going to break down a complicated, techie term that goes over a lot of musicians heads: Bitrate. What is Bitrate? Bitrate (or bit rate) is the term for the number of kilobits per second of the song. Boring stuff if you’re just a musician and don’t care about the tech side, but it can definitely impact your final product so it’s worth noting! When you work with a studio or session musician, they[...]


The Beat – A Simple Guide for Beginning Songwriters

An easy explanation of a song's beat for new songwriters

Songs talk about The Beat all the time. There are so many references that I couldn't fit them all here, but I'm sure you've heard a band or artist mention a beat at some point. This is occasionally a point of confusion for some writers or clients who aren't terribly familiar with a song's beat, so let's talk about it a little bit. The beat is also known as the pulse or rhythm of the song. You might think, “why is this something people get confused about?” but consider the many types of beat terms: Upbeat, Downbeat, Backbeat, Hyperbeat, and you find s[...]


Alto Session Singers: Where to Find Them and How to Become One

How to find or become an Alto session singer!

  Today’s topic is the all-important Alto. Instruments can be Altos as well (such as a saxophone), but in my book, I referenced Toni Braxton. I've loved her since I was a kid and if you don't know her work, please check her out if you love amazing R&B! Toni Braxton actually has an incredible range (I know because I own all of her albums) but I used her as an Alto example because I think most people know her by her lower range. I included this in the book because I’ve been contacted by clients asking me to sing an “alto” song, but it was actua[...]


My New Music Video for My Song Find Me

  This is a video about my fosters and pets! I had so much fun making this video and remembering each of them. I can’t wait to get back into fostering once I have my studio established. Find Me is a song from my album Zebra Stone. I wrote it from the perspective of my own dogs. Here are the lyrics: Find Me I don't know how long you've been gone now and I don't know when you came back All I know is that I'm so glad you're home now My whole world is back on track When I forget how much I need you you remind me and when I lose my way you're[...]


My Critter Catcher – How I Got Every Insect Out of My Studio

Critter Catcher Review

Before I start this, I need to say I am not being paid by this company to endorse this (although I should, because I’m all about this thing). I got a Critter Catcher and am so excited about it! Bugs in a studio are a big problem for me, for several reasons. One, they can be super loud and if I’m using a sensitive mic you can totally hear buzzing or wings flapping in the background. Two, I’m terrified of most bugs. Fireflies and butterflies are okay, but I still don’t want them in my studio or in my life. I’ve been in Nashville for almost three we[...]


Searching for a Home for Our Studio

We’ve been in Nashville for a couple of weeks now and the search for the perfect spot continues. We've been searching for home for quite some time now and it's becoming frustrating. There are so many factors to consider. On one hand, we need a space that is far away from neighbors (at least enough distance that recording sessions won’t bother them). I need space for my dogs and any fosters I bring in. Honestly, the home in the photo would be perfect for me. I love the idea of living out in the middle of nowhere and having my own little spot in the world. Ho[...]


Switching Genres: Tips for Singers on How to Jump From Song to Song

How to switch genres when singing (and sound believable)

In any given day, I work on several songs by different artists. Yesterday I had a child nursery song, a Broadway-style show tune, and a piano ballad. Tonight I have a country ballad and an EDM dance track. It can be difficult to switch mentally from singing one style to another, so here are a few tips I’ve learned! Do You Need to Switch Genres Quickly? If so, I'm guessing you're either a session singer or a live cover band performer (or both). In both of these roles, it's important that each performance sounds authentic. Here are four simple steps to help![...]