Tuesday, December 30, 2008

How To Develop Your Songwriting Creativity

Are all songwriters naturally creative? Can creativity be learned?

Anyone can learn how to rap. Some people learn by taking classes. Others like myself learned by trial and error in the school of hard knocks. The quickest way to learn is to take a classes. The best way to learn is through trial and error. It's good to have a bit of both.

How do you spark your creativity so that you can write a hit song?

You can use different methods. The best way to access your creativity is to draw on inspiration. Sometimes inspiration will hit you like a flash. You'll have ideas pouring out of your mind and you won't be able to keep up with your brain's output. Take advantage of moments like these.

Most of the time you won't get a complete song out of these flashes but you will get the foundation for a great song.

There are other times when you may not have a flash of inspiration but you know you need to create. What works for me most of times is when I keep listening to the music over and over until I get something I can write down on paper. Once I have one line written, the next one is easier to write because I have a set the foundation. The song almost writes itself from this point.

I am now what I like to call in the "flow" or "groove".

It's at this point where I usually don't want to be disturbed and I want to finish what I've started. Sometimes this isn't always the case. There are plenty of songs that I have to comeback to finish. As long as the foundation is there I am usually able to reconnect to the energy and feeling (the inspiration ) that I had originally.

We are all different but we all have access to creativity. To be creative means "to create" which is a gift all of us have. Some of us are better as creating in certain ways than others.

All songwriting coaches advise to always keep a pen and paper or voice recorder handy just in case you get one of these flashes of inspiration.

How do you know what will work for you?

Some ways you can stimulate creativity include:
  • listening to other genres of music like jazz or classical music
  • keeping a pen and paper or voice recorder as suggested previously
  • taking a walk in the park or going to the mall
  • reading a book
  • brainstorm - just start writing whatever comes to mind
  • start a random conversation with someone else creative
  • collaborate with another writer
These tips should get your creative juices flowing. You'll never know which idea will be your million dollar baby.

Let's Make It Happen!!!

Mello Melanin, The Hot Instrumentalist


Friday, December 19, 2008

New Year's Resolutions...Make Better Beats That Pay More Money!!!


This year's almost over. Have you been thinking about how you want to spend 2009?

I know I have!

I would like to encourage you to spend some time reflecting on 2008. Was it everything you expected? Did you want to get more things done? Do less of something else?

Why not make 2009 your best year yet? Let's make it a year where we don't make any excuses. We take responsibility for our actions. We can even take more responsibility and control of our lives by planning our actions.

We might not get everything done that's on our list of plans BUT at least we know we're headed in the right direction.

So take some time out before the end of the year is out and just reflect on 2008. Then look ahead to 2009 with high expectations.

Remember, you don't get what you want. You get what you expect.

Let's Make It Happen!!!

Mello Melanin, The Hot Instrumentalist


Saturday, December 13, 2008

Be On The Lookout For The Rap Beat Creator Podcast

Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls,

The Rap Beat Creator Podcast is coming soon. It'll have mostly current events in music and some music business tips but it will be entertaining!

I'll send out the first podcast by the end of this week.

Also, coming early 2009, I'll be revamping my best selling audiobook "How To Get Thousands of Dollars Worth of Free Hiphop Advertising" as well as releasing my new book, "Teach Me How To Rap."

You'll be the first to know...

Let's Make It Happen!!!

Mello Melanin, The Hot Instrumentalist


Sunday, December 7, 2008

The Importance Of Having A Winning Team

Have you ever played any organized team sports like football or basketball? I played both in school and what you learn in practice is way more valuable that just how to play a sport.

You learn things like "there's no "I" in Team", "together we stand, divided we fall" and all sorts of lessons to help you build a "team spirit".

How does this relate to the music business?

Well for starters, if you look at the music industry and the biggest power players, you'll notice there are teams. Even a solo artist like Jay-Z has a team. The Wu Tang Clan is a team that can be a football team all by itself! More currently you have crews like The Diplomats, T.I.'s Pimp Squad Clique, and Ludacris' Disturbing Tha Peace.

When I was touring with KRS-ONE in California, he had a team. There was his personal manager, Simone, his road manager, and several other people who were there to make sure everything went on schedule as much as possible. Everybody knew what they had to do and sometimes they even did another persons job if it was necessary.

A good book to read about building your music business team is Donald Passman's 'All You Need To Know About The Music Business.' In it, he outlines the basic team members for people wanting to be in the music industry.

Here's a loose sketch of your team members:

  1. You (The Artist/Producer)
  2. Personal Manager
  3. Entertainment Lawyer
  4. Booking Agent
  5. Business Manager

Let's look at each of these in more detail:

You is self explanatory. Without You, none of this is possible and there is no need for the rest of the team. You are the center of the team.

Your Personal Manager is what Passman calls the CEO/General Manager of your team. This person is responsible for helping you direct your career and basically going to bat for you in whatever way to boost your career. They can also be responsible for helping you pick your other team members.

The Entertainment Attorney is, according to Passman, the most important member of the team. They take care of the legal details for the artist, help negotiate contracts and make sure the artist can get what they want with the least amount of legal hassle. They also help shop your music to get a record deal. Their job is generally to protect the artist.

The Booking Agent is the person who is responsible for getting you gigs. They help you get concert dates and public appearances.

Last but not least is the Business Manager. This person handles all of your finances and they are responsible for making sure all of your money dealings are in order. They help you budget, pay bills, make investments, check your royalty statements, etc. In a nutshell they are the ones responsible for helping you make your net worth grow.

Do you now understand the importance of having a team? You can try to do it all alone but you'll make much more money if you have a team of players to help you succeed.

One more thing on the quality of the members of your team. This has more to do with your team members' mindset. Make sure your Personal Manager, who is the CEO/General Manager of your team, is a go-getter. That is worth repeating.

Make sure your Personal Manager is a go-getter.

Your Personal Manager can make or break your career so choose wisely. And don't be afraid to replace your team members if you need to. If you have a weak link, then you need to get rid of the dead weight. In the end, it will be a blessing to your career especially if you plan to be in the music business on a long term basis.

Let's Make It Happen!!!

Mello Melanin, The Hot Instrumentalist


Thursday, December 4, 2008

Working On A New Beat

I'm staying persistent with making beats. I started on one a couple of days ago and worked on it yesterday.

I plan on mixing it later today and then putting it up for sale.

You'll be the first to know...

Let's make it happen!!!

Mello Melanin, The Hot Instrumentalist

P.S. If you would like to know more about how you can make beats online and make your own beats check out my beat review site at www.RapBeatCreator.com.