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When you compose, do you gravitate toward certain instruments? And how much of the composition is being orchestrated in your inner ear and how much of it are you playing while you write?

Get into the writing room with confidence and excitement next time you’re working with a total stranger on a co-writing song project with these 7 tips.

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Similarly, if you tour or play live a lot, you can consider investing in a nice amp head, so you don’t have to lug a giant amp with you everywhere. If you want to buy a great amp to play classic rock, look for something lightly used and durable. Here are some of my favorite choices for making classic rock music:

“This Is America”: We’ve found the first of this year’s modulating pop tunes: changing from a gospelly F major to what I hear as E♭ Phrygian, which happens whenever Gambino shoots someone (in the video). I hear it as Phrygian because of the shark-in-the-water E♭ and E (or “F♭” if you’re being kosher theory-wise), and then the high-pitched whistle being a solid B♭, so there you go: E♭ Phrygian. Elements from the two tonalities fuse in places, like at 1:35 where there’s what sounds like a sample of previous F major vocals that drone on the very-not-Phrygian notes A and C, creating a heavy tension. This fusion is also present in the outro. Rhythmically, watch out after the second chorus, where it sounds like they added or skipped a beat, but they didn’t. It all flattens out after a few thumps.