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Hi! I’ve thought about what the most useful teachable skills are as a creative music-maker, and it goes something like this, roughly from hardest to easiest:

  1. hearing music and imitating it
  2. chords
  3. scales

There’s a lot that’s not on here. I didn’t put “melody”, “harmony”, or “rhythm,” for instance. Those are all lifelong adventures, but they largely happen through #1, and through talking to other people who love music and finding out how they hear it.

There are definitely styles of music in the world where this is not the most logical path, but here are some genres that this makes a lot of sense for:

pop, rock, reggae, EDM, jazz, blues, funk, hip-hop, soul, r&b, gospel, oldtime, bluegrass, classical, new age, metal, alternative, country, musical theater, film and TV

Hip hop is a little different, but if you’re producing you’ll still want these skills. Basically everything there’s a Grammy for except Global Music because I can’t pretend to speak on behalf of all 100 billion people who have ever lived on Earth.

I’ve spent the last 15 years teaching music theory and music-making (as well as making music myself). I’ve taught at fancy conservatories and I’ve taught 5-year-olds. I’ve often been asked to teach things that aren’t important in music, or things that can be explained but not taught.

I would like to take a break from that and teach you things that will directly make you a better musician.

I’m giving live workshops over Zoom with small groups of people. I’ve been obsessively plotting out the steps it takes to learn these things, and I want to walk you through them and give you lots of individual feedback. In the span of one workshop, I can give you the right techniques and resources to really knock these things out.

In the course of preparing these things, I’ve discovered that technology can be very very helpful, if it’s done right, so I’ve built an entire platform from scratch for this purpose.

If you’d like to join me, check out the workshops that I’m offering, and see if there’s a time that works for you.

Looking forward to it!

Nate (signature)

Nate May