Why You Should Study Your Favorite Musicians

Thursday, May 18, 2017 by Jake Hahn | music writing

Learning and studying your favorite songs has such positives affects on your overall musicianship. Writing songs and studying song craft is only a part of the growing process as a musician. 


Really digging into how your favorite artists write, play, create, record, and perform their music can have an amazing impact on how you end up doing those same things with your music. It's also a nice and enjoyable shortcut to writing better songs.


Here's how I typically break down the process:


Step 1: choose an artist

Step 2: choose a song

Step 3: choose an element of that song (lyrics, vocal melody, rhythmic aspects, chords, drum patterns, etc)

Step 4: learn the chosen element for the entire song

Step 5: practice it until it becomes "easy" for you

Step 6: reflect on how it was created

Step 7: figure out how to implement those characteristics into your songwriting


I did this exact thing with a song that I love called Dark Horse by CONVERGE. Learning how their guitarist (Kurt Ballou) thinks about riffs, rhythms, licks, and song structure was very insightful to me. From doing this one thing alone, I was able to translate some of his genius into how I approach my personal writing, and it has been priceless. 


Here's a video I made of myself after learning the song.


Learning to extract qualities from some of your favorite songs, making them your own, then using them in your writing...is a powerful tool. Use it!

- Jake

3 Steps To: Becoming A Better Musician MUCH FASTER

Sunday, March 8, 2015 by Jake Hahn | music writing

This is gonna be short, sweet, and to-the-point!

Stop wasting your valuable time!

When what you really want is to "get better" at your:

• guitar playing

• singing

• piano technique

• songwriting craft

• lyric writing skills etc....

Whatever it is for YOU! I repeat. You must - STOP WASTING YOUR VALUABLE TIME!

YES! YOUR time is THE MOST valuable thing you have!

I see it happen all too often!

Let me give you a typical scenario: (while coaching a client)

Me: "What would YOU like to approach today? What do you feel you need to work on in order to truly progress right now?"

Client: "uuuhh....?"

Me: "Okay, well let's think about it together."

Client: "okay."

Now - If I were to let this client go on their own here...they would inevitably walk themselves in circles. They would most likely follow whatever random whim came to them. I'VE SEEN IT SO MANY TIMES! This basically means they are not in the drivers seat of their very own journey.

That's sort of a scary thought ?

So...we go ahead and chat-it-out. My goal here is to NARROW IT DOWN!

Based on that snippet of our conversation, you can plainly see that the client has NO CLUE where to place their - all important FOCUS!

SO...this is where WE start. (we're in this together, ya know?)

This is what YOU have to do.

The 3 Steps

 

1. Choose ONE thing

Be EXTREMELY specific here! For example: if you're a guitarist - don't just say "I'm gonna practice chords". DELIBERATELY CHOOSE to narrow it down even further! Maybe something like this. "I'm going to practice experiencing what my fretting hand fingers FEEL like, and what they need to be able to do in order to switch between the G C D & Em chords; and I'm gonna set a timer and do this for exactly 10 minutes."

2. DESIGN your session

Designing your session means to:

• choose the time of day

• choose the duration

• decide on your purpose

• choose the material

Make your choices. Prepare yourself. Get to it.

3. Say NO to distractions

You have a passion. You have a goal. You have something that you REALLY desire to have in your life!! • turn the TV off • drop the gaming controller • stop browsing random web sites These things - while they CAN be enjoyable - (I know I personally enjoy them at times) can absolutely distract you from what you REALLY WANT! So take notice. Take the time. Take action.

 

I use these steps almost every-single-day with my clients, AND for myself.

THEY WORK like a charm every time 

Give 'em a shot!

See for YOURSELF!

As always. I'd LOVE the chance to help YOU along YOUR path!

-OR-

If you'd like to take the next step and work with me personally - click HERE

I sincerely hope that this information is practical, helpful, and useful to YOU!

All the best!