The TuneLings Blog

Make TuneLings – Grow Up Big And Strong!

CATEGORIES: Authoring TuneLings, General, Music Theory

The TuneLings platform was invented to enable skilled musicians to earn income, by teaching what they know to others.

But it turns out, an income stream isn’t the only benefit for authors. Making TuneLings will absolutely make you a better musician.

Making TuneLings is to musicianship, as spinach is to Popeye.

Obviously, if a TuneLing is made for a song by its own composer, the author doesn’t need to figure it out in order to describe it in terms of rhythm, chords, and so forth.

But more often, and for lots of reasons, TuneLings are made by someone else, and that author needs to transcribe the rhythm, harmony, melody, and lyrics, as precisely as possible. The requirement that songs for TuneLings get “figured out” by people with skill and knowledge – instead of software and machines – is why TuneLings don’t suck.

You don’t need a complete chart and analysis of a song before you make its TuneLing! That’s a nice luxury to have, but it’s more common that you’ll “figure it out as you go”, and the authoring tools facilitate that.

So what disciplines are in play when you make a TuneLing?

  • Rhythm: you need to know where beats are, and what time signatures are used. You need to physically tap out rhythm as the song plays, with reasonable precision. You don’t tap each beat, but rather just the first beat (the “1”) of each bar. Mixed meter is easily accommodated, so you need to recognize when it’s used.
  • Harmony: you need to know, or determine, which chords are played. This can be easy or challenging, but it’s the challenging songs that are the most fun, and the most satisfying. This alone is one reason you may quickly develop HUGE EARS when making TuneLings. Your ear-training skills will take off like a rocket!
  • Melody: you need to decide how to best represent melody, as finger placement on the neck of an instrument. And you can always represent it more than one way, if you choose to. Many TuneLings do not need to represent instrumental melody at all, as correct chords are almost always the most sought-after information. But when you do, you need to show people where to put their fingers in a playable way – something that standard musical notation can’t do!
  • Lyrics: Most of the lyrics you find on almost all of the world’s lyrics websites are often of depressingly poor quality – sloppy, inaccurate to the point of incoherence, and often wth incorrect credits. TuneLings give the author the tools to get it right, so with a little experience, you’ll find your ability to decode what a singer is doing actually gets better over time. And when we’re working directly with the artist (as we often are), we honor their work by giving them editorial control over the TuneLing’s content.
  • Multiple instruments: It’s easy for a guitar player to make a TuneLing, then add equivalent parts for other instruments like, for example, ukulele or mandolin. You might find yourself picking up chops on a new instrument – or at least a little bit of basic skill.
  • Judgement calls: A guiding principle is that because they’re based on specifc recordings, TuneLings should reflect the content of those recordings as accurately as possible. But there are times when your judgement might be required to represent something difficult, so that a less-skilled player can still play a song, even if it’s not exactly the same way as the artist who recorded it. This makes you think about what’s necessary, and what’s not. But since a TuneLing can literally show any number of ways to play a song, it can include not just the most accurate representation, but simplified ones as well, so everyone gets to play.
  • Songwriting: Making TuneLings brings you inside the head of the songwriter – which is often surprising. Listening to a song for pleasure – even with a well-trained ear – is not nearly the same as transcribing it as accurately as possible. Transcribing forces you to notice details, patterns, habits, clever tricks and more, that songwriters employ. Creating annotations to describe song structure just naturally falls out of the process, and is a unique value that TuneLings add for learners. And if you write yourself – you might find that your own musical “vocabulary” has expanded, after knocking out a few TuneLings for someone else’s music.

Finally, while our Prime Directive is to create new ways for hard-working musicians to get paid, it’s important to know that it’s fun and satisfying to make a great TuneLing, and it’ll also make you a better musician.

So players, if you’re so inclined, please visit this page, and if you want to give it a try, please contact us! We’ll give you as much direct, fast and free  support as we possibly can!

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