Composing Career Bootcamp

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๐ŸŽต How to De-Clutter Your Musical Scores ๐ŸŽฌ scoring Jan 09, 2024

One of my Composing Career Bootcamp students recently mentioned that they struggle with adding too much to their music.

This is one of the most common traps for media composers, and I’m guilty of it, too.

I find that OVER-scoring tends to be caused by one of two culprits (and sometimes both):

  •  Ego (trying to make something cool, smart, or ground-breaking at the potential expense of...
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๐Ÿ‘‚ How Brian Eno โ€œTestsโ€ His Loops ๐Ÿ‘‚ listening Jan 02, 2024

When we listen to our own music intently and consciously, we often lose our objective ear.

Its becomes increasingly difficult to relate to the ear of our audience—a group of listeners who may have NEVER heard our piece before.

So how can you regain your objective ear and hear your music like they would?

I discovered this trick from ambient/electronic composer Brian Eno a while back, and...

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๐Ÿค” Are Loops in Game Music a BAD Thing? ๐ŸŽน composition Jan 02, 2024

A few weeks back, I discussed my work on Dragonheir: Silent Gods, and the risk of game music falling into modular, loop-heavy music.

A composer and reader reached out to ask me to clarify if modular music is ALWAYS a bad thing, noting that loops are pretty much unavoidable in the implementation of most games.

Here’s what I think.

Loops aren’t bad in themselves…

… but...

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๐ŸŒ Creating a Website as a Composer โญ๏ธ highlights ๐Ÿค networking Dec 26, 2023

I recently had a student from the Composing Career Bootcamp ask me for tips on creating a website.

Here’s my opinion:

Social media profiles can pretty near serve as websites these days.

(Especially if it's an account you're active on and have your work on)

About 50% of clients interested in working with me reach out on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook.

But if you opt to go for a website as...

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๐ŸŽ… A Holiday Piano Duet from My Secret Life ๐Ÿ–๏ธ lifestyle Dec 26, 2023

Some old-school viewers of mine might know that I had a double life once.

On one hand, I was teaching composing on YouTube, working towards my goals of going full-time.

On the other hand…

… I ran a goofy piano duet channel with my longtime collaborator and best friend, Frank Tedesco.

To celebrate the holidays, here’s a deep cut from our playlist. Enjoy

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๐Ÿง ย The Hidden Cost of โ€œSuccessโ€ ๐Ÿง  mindset Dec 19, 2023

This is a subject I’ve thought about for years.

Throughout history, we’ve idolized the tortured artist.

When we hear stories of music born out of sleepless nights, tortuous revisions, or personal tragedy, we’re primed to appreciate their work all the more.

We celebrate success born of blood, sweat, and tears.

But what we don’t consider is the effect of these sacrifices...

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๐Ÿ–•ย F*ck This, F*ck Me, F*ck You ๐Ÿง  mindset Dec 19, 2023

Venus Theory released a video I think every artist should watch.

So many of us hold ourselves back from our artistic potential simply because we don’t think we’re “allowed” to make certain kinds of art.

We think our work is “too derivative”, “too simple”, “too generic”…

… but what you’re REALLY afraid of is that...

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๐Ÿชตย Go Back to Your Roots ๐Ÿง  mindset Dec 12, 2023

When I started my media composing journey, I was 14 years old.

I’m 30 now.

But recently I’ve found myself listening to the music I grew up with.

Some of the scores that made me want to compose for a living were John Williams’ Star Wars (specifically Episode VI), Hans Zimmer’s Gladiator, James Newton Howard’s Unbreakable, and John Powell’s The Bourne...

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๐Ÿ’กย My 4-Step Process to Composing Full-Time ๐Ÿ’ผ finding work Dec 12, 2023

In case you missed it, a few weeks back I released a YouTube video in preparation for my Composing Career Bootcamp.

In it, you’ll get a feel for the four key aspects I focused on in the 16 years it took me to go full-time.

(Spoiler alert: Only one of them was my music )

I’ll tag on one more point to this:

These things always seem obvious in hindsight, but rarely are in the present....

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๐Ÿคฏ John Powell Doesnโ€™t Hear Notes ๐ŸŽน composition Dec 05, 2023

When I was in college, I was taught that the best composers hear their music BEFORE they write it.

The formal term for this skill is audiation—the ability to hear or comprehend music when sound isn’t—or never was—present.

(If you’ve never tried this before, give it a shot. Sit in front of your DAW or instrument, and don’t play a note until you hear it in your...

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