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While many artists we’ve come to know and love first broke out through the channel in the ’80s and ’90s, I attribute parts of my own musical discovery to MTV. If it weren’t for Total Request Live taking an interest in independent (and alternative) music, I never would have heard a band like My Chemical Romance before they were huge or their predecessors, like Blink-182 and New Found Glory.

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I often use the live remote broadcasting server ipDTL. This service costs as little as $160 a year and allows me to record on their server, giving me the option to record someone wherever they are. I strongly recommend, however, you take the audio output of your computer (your remote guest’s audio feed) and record it into the software you use, protecting you from any potential data loss if the internet goes down.

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A simple tip for making more engaging tracks is to add or subtract an element every four to eight bars or so. Here are a few variation approaches to try:

When a room is perfectly soundproofed, outside noises such as footsteps, highway traffic, and air conditioners stay outside of the soundproofed area, and inside noises, like those coming from your instrument or voice, remain inside.

When saving your projects, make sure that you label them clearly so you can recall their specificities. You can also use folders to organize different projects and versions of songs. Here’s an example of how I often label my tracking projects:

Most likely, you’ll do what everyone else does, which is live with everything being a little out of tune. And if you’re a guitarist, you know that no matter how you tune your guitar, it won’t stay in tune for long anyway, so how much does any of this even matter?

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Everyone has their own quintessential summer event. It might be watching the fireworks with friends on the 4th of July, or jumping into the sweet relief of a pool on that absurdly hot day. Maybe you’re still a kid at heart and it’s not really summer until you hear the ice cream truck for the first time. For me, summer was and still is all about road trips: new adventures with old friends and seeing the country from behind a windshield. I may have traded in my Firebird for a Corolla and my high school buddies for a wife and a sheltie, but as long as I have a new playlist ready, the summer road trip remains the same.

Kenneth Estrada y Santiago is a producing songwriter, musician, and YouTuber, based in Berlin, Germany. In his YouTube channel, SHOEGAZER he reviews effect pedals, teaches guitar chords and interviews weller known bands of the shoegaze scene. He was the frontman of the band Downhill Willows and releases his own albums on Bandcamp.

“I Wanna Dance With Somebody” uses the first, third, and fifth notes on that scale more often in the chorus than in the verses and pre-choruses. Since Cui and Dr. Hughes have each worked on different versions of an experiment about how notes 1, 3, and 5 on a scale affect us psychologically, they can tell us a lot about why that difference matters through the lenses of music theory, music psychology, and cognitive psychology alike.

When Houston’s song focuses on notes 1, 3, and 5, it’s focusing on the notes that rank highest in what music theorists call the “tonal hierarchy.” Hughes describes it as such: “The tonal hierarchy is this idea that certain notes are sort of more important than others.” In the major key, we generally talk about four levels of note importance.

Student-Artist: Alicia Borromeo