JSJII's Behind The Song - Stronger by Jeffrey Scott Joslin II

I was initially commissioned by Songfinch to write a song for their partership with the Susan G. Komen foundation. They were planning on releasing a limited edition vinyl record for the More Than Pink campaign. The campaign would benefit women who were struggling with breast cancer and help inspire them with hope at this challenging time in their lives. Naturally I was excited to contribute to this cause, but this particular issue also hit home in a timely fashion. 

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JSJII's Must Have On Vinyl - Lukas Nelson & The Promise of The Real

I recently stumbled upon the Americana Music festival while in Nashville, TN and let me tell you I was in music heaven. The best way I know how to describe it is I felt like I was in the epicenter of a 60's revival, a fresh wind of tried and true musicians who are fully dedicated to their craft and to being the voice of the people. Americana as a genre can get a bit convoluted as far as sound is concerned, but all in all, to me, it's music for the people by the people...

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JSJII - How to Become Successful In The Music Business (Part Three) – Don't Quit

Let’s be honest. This business is tough. In fact, it may be the most brutal of them all. But there’s one thing that remains true: the last man (or woman) standing wins the prize.

Not everyone is cut out for a career in music. You must face constant rejection, play to empty rooms, learn to navigate the evolving business climate (moving from physical sales to digital to streaming, etc.) There is a whole lot of supply and not a ton of demand. Lots of people want to play, but most of them aren’t willing to put in the time and effort it takes to thrive in the music world.

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JSJII - How to Write Song Lyrics (Part Three) - Metaphor and Simile

Aristotle said, “the ability to see one thing as another is the only truly creative human act.”

As a songwriter or any form of writer for that matter, you have the power to invent an entire world for your listener or reader. With a stroke of your pen you can scheme up wild images to give life to your story. One of your most powerful tools when writing song lyrics is the usage of metaphor and simile to create stories or experiences that the listener can taste, touch, feel, smell, and of course hear. Let’s take a closer look at what these are and how you can use them in writing song lyrics.

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JSJII - How to Write Song Lyrics (Part Two) - The Melody

The melody is the guiding force of the song. It is the main, lead part of the song that is sung and the part of the song that you remember.

I bet you can still remember the melody to songs you only heard once or twice. The melodies of songs you heard as a child are easily brought to mind and hummed whether or not you know the song lyrics. When you can’t get a song out of your head, more than likely its the melody that is haunting you.

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JSJII - How to Write Song Lyrics (Part One) - Choose a Concept

Before setting out on the endeavor of writing song lyrics, its important to identify your destination. Choosing a concept or a “hook” can help you know where the story of your song reaches its peak or climax. This concept will probably also be the main lyric of your “hook” or “chorus.”

A hook or chorus is the main part of the song that you remember and sing along to. This can be a lyric, a whole section of lyrics, or even a section of la-la-la’s or na-na-na’s, but ultimately it is the overarching theme, concept, and memorable part of the song. 

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JSJII's Recording Studio Tips - 3 Ways to Mix Big Fat Snare Drums

Like many of my producer peers, I am constantly on the hunt for MASSIVE sounding drums. Nothing makes your track hit harder and sound more mega than some big ole fat drums, especially the snare drum. I think this is a sure fire way of getting your track to sound more commercially viable. Here are 3 ways to mix big fatty-fat snare drums (or as my friend and former drummer Michael McGee used to say, a snare that “sounds like you’re hitting a 24oz steak!”). Note: these techniques also apply to kick, toms, etc.

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