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Friday, November 25, 2011

Bass Solo!!!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Chatting With Smashing Pumpkins Bass Player Nicole Fiorentino

Meet Nicole Fiorentino, who is the latest addition to the Grammy award winning band Smashing Pumpkins. Nicole is the fourth female bassist that joins this legendary band. D’Arcy, who was a member of the band since they formed in 1988, spent just over a decade with the band before departing in 1999. Auf der Maur joined the Pumpkins for the tour in support of Machina/the Machines of God, up until Billy Corgan broke up the band in 2000. When Corgan and former drummer Jimmy Chamberlin resurrected the Pumpkins in 2005, Billy was handling the bass duties for Zeitgeist, however later he recruited Pooley.
I had the privilege of interviewing Nicole.  At the beginning I was fooled by the soft as well as very polite character of bassist Nicole Fiorentino. I expected someone to be equally subtle on the bass guitar. However, Ms Fiorentino can really play the bass and shreds like a true “Smashing Pumpkin”!
Nicole gives some great insights on how she evolved as an artist, her influences, advice, as well as how she developed and found her voice on the bass!
Andreas: As with all good stories, its best to start from the beginning. When and what first drew you to music as well as the bass guitar?
Nicole:  Growing up, my Dad was a drummer in a variety of bands, mostly rock, but some country too. They would rehearse in our basement and I would always sneak down and hang out with the guys. I was really comfortable in the rock-n-roll atmosphere from a very young age! I would mess around with the instruments, but I wouldn’t say that I started taking music seriously until I was about 14. At that point I was really into grunge, punk, and riot girl, so I started a band with my best friend called Sweet 16. Between the two of us, she had more of the “front person” personality, so it was decided she would sing/play guitar. My parents bought me a bass for my birthday and I instantly connected with it in a way that I hadn’t with any other instrument. We found a drummer shortly after and formed our little band. We recorded a session on tape called “School Boy Glamour” and played locally around the Western, MA area. That was my first taste of what turned out to be many many more years of touring and being in bands!
A: New England has a very reputable live scene. How did the MA music scene in general, usually known for its unique musical culture, influence your music and your career?
N: It was interesting because my band was one of the only riot girl bands in the area at the time so we would get booked constantly. It was great because in a way helped me to figure out that this was exactly what I wanted to do with my life. I loved playing out, I loved the atmosphere of the clubs, and I loved meeting other musicians. My friends and I went out to shows or played shows. That’s what you did in New England. And, it was great because so many cool bands hailed from MA.—The Pixies, Belly, and Dinosaur Jr. to name a few. So there was a real sense of pride when it came to the local music scene. For my friends and me it was all we had. So yes, the fact that music became my livelihood had a great deal to do with where I grew up.
A: Let’s talk about more recent stuff – hence Smashing Pumpkins. How does Smashing Pumpkins usually work with the songwriting process?
N: Well, I can really only speak for the way that we worked on this record, Oceania, as this is the first album I’ve worked on with them. Generally, Billy will come in with either a song idea or a well-constructed skeleton of a song and we will all jam on it for a while. Once we have all established basic parts we will record what we had and Billy will tinker with that for a while. Usually he will re-work it and we sort of keep tweaking the arrangement and the parts until it is where it’s supposed to be. It’s really great to have those moments where you’ve been working on a song for awhile and it finally just all comes together. There’s nothing more rewarding than those moments to me, except of course playing those songs live for fans!
A: Do you and Mike (Byrne-drums) ever jam out and write as a rhythm section by yourselves? How do you view your relationship as part of the rhythm section?
N: As far as writing parts as the rhythm section, Mike and I are a powerhouse! Usually, we will write our own parts separately and then work through them together to find accent points. So I will re-work my part according to where his accent points are and vice versa. We work really well together on that level. I think we’ve gotten to the point in our relationship where we understand each other’s psychology of how we play. I think that’s super important for live purposes because as a rhythm section, you really have to memorize the other person’s pocket so that you can be totally locked in.
A: Can you describe the relationship between you and the other band members?
N: We all get along really well, and I think there is a mutual respect between the four of us. We are all here for the same reason and we have the same goal in mind. We work really well as a team, which I think can be a very difficult thing to find when it comes to musicians!
A: I totally agree with that! Do you have any advice to give to our readers as well as other musicians/bass players?
N: Practice a lot, stay focused, play music that you are emotionally invested in.
A: Do you have any advice to give to other girls/women that look up to you and want to learn music?
N: It can definitely be more difficult at times for girls/women to be taken seriously in the music industry. Be confident, know your instrument, know your gear and always remember the women before us who paved the path and let that inspire you!
A: Can you tell me more information about the upcoming album? When will it be released?
N: The new album Oceania will be released in Nov. There will be a physical release, that is the plan, but I’m not sure how that will manifest. Either way you will be able to listen to the new songs before the year’s end. Have no fear!
A: Apart from the new album, what will the near future hold for you and the smashing pumpkins? Any tours?
N: Yes, we are actually in rehearsals right now for the fall tour that will include 12 U.S. dates and European shows to follow. This tour is basically going to be the lead up for a long year of touring next year.
A: 1979 & Tonight Tonight were both a critical and commercial success. These tracks were the biggest Smashing Pumpkins hits so far. In addition they define the Smashing Pumpkins style and sound. Do you see the band delving into new territories creatively with the new album currently being written? Do you feel that the new album has something new to offer? Why?
N: I think because we are all working together on this record it is naturally going to have a different vibe than any of the other records on which Billy played most of the instruments himself. I think we delved into new territory for sure, but what I love about this record is that it has that familiar old-school Pumpkins feel to it, with a modern twist. The cool thing is he was able to capture the energy of the old material without ripping it off.  Billy’s definitely found his way back to whatever he was tapping into when writing Gish and SD. You can’t explain it, but as a listener, you just know that you connect with it when you hear it. That’s how I felt when I first heard those records and that’s how I feel about this one, albeit it’s a slightly different experience because I actually played on this record!
A; How did you approach learning to sing and play bass at the same time? I know many bass players have trouble dealing with this subject.
N: Honestly, I didn’t really start singing on stage until I played with Veruca Salt. I would sing the occasional background vocals in my other bands, but it was Louise Post who told me I was a singer trapped in a bass player’s body! She really challenged me and brought out my confidence in regards to singing and playing bass simultaneously. It can be difficult because in general, vocals and melodies are not written according to a bass melody. Playing and singing conflicting melodies can be a bit like patting your head and rubbing your belly at the same time! It takes a lot of practice and can be very frustrating, but I think once you get used to it, it’s just like any other challenge you can overcome as a musician.
A: Are you involved in any other “side” projects?
N: Yes I actually have a band called The Cold and Lovely with the super talented Meghan Toohey. We have a record coming out in the fall as well. We actually had Patty Schemel from Hole drum on most of the record, I played bass and sang background vocals, and Meg did everything else. It’s got this really cool dark, sexy PJ Harvey/Arcade Fire vibe to it. We are really excited about its release. You can check it out on the single on
A: How do you achieve your heavy Fat tone?
N:  Well, on stage I use a Mesa Boogie Big Block Titan head and an 8×10 Mesa cab. My primary bass is a 78 Fender Precision. For pedals, I mainly use my Line 6 M13 Stomp-box, which I love. It’s super user friendly and has really great effect options.
A: Do you feel that women are treated differently in the music industry?
N: I think women are treated different in every industry, so, yes, I do think we are treated differently in the music industry. It’s totally a boy’s world and I think it’s really easy to not be taken seriously as a woman. I get comments to this day, even as a professional musician, to the effect of “you are a really great female bass player”. I know people mean well, so I try not to take offense to it, but it’s kind of a backwards compliment and proves that we are still viewed as a separate entity. Moreover, I think the only thing we can do when we are put in that position is to force people to take us seriously by really knowing our craft. The majority of my experiences with my old band Radio Vago (all women), involved sounds guys or techs or engineers blowing us off, or treating as if we had no idea what we were talking about, until they heard us play. Suddenly the energy would shift because we demanded respect through our capabilities and our music. I can only speak from my experience, but when it comes to equality within the music industry it’s still an uphill battle. That’s why I love programs like Rock Camp for Girls/Ladies. It’s all about women inspiring other women/girls to be self-confident and trusting and supporting one another. Lastly, I will say that it gives me great pride to know that because of my hard work and conviction I am being taken seriously in this male-oriented industry. I encourage other women to just keep working hard and remaining true to their passion.
A: How does it feel to be touring with one of the most famous rock bands? Any interesting/funny tour stories?
N: It was strange at first, being that I grew up on the Pumpkins, but honestly, everything came together so quickly and felt so natural right through the gate that it doesn’t really occur to me anymore that it’s strange! What’s amazing to me is how the fans have embraced me as the new bass player. I mean, some are more opinionated than others as to who should/shouldn’t be in the band, but for the most part I have received positive feedback and an over all sense of being welcomed with open arms from the fans. What’s really fun for me about playing the old songs is not only that I get to play the songs that I grew up listening to, but that I get to give them my own twist.  Billy is very open to adaptation when it comes to the catalogue of old material. We have a lot of fun with it!
A: What are your favorite songs to perform, and why?
N: My Favorite songs to perform are Eye, Hummer, Geek U.S.A. (which we will play on the next tour), Stand inside your Love, Tristessa, Ava Adore, Astral Planes, and That’s the Way. I’m extremely excited to start playing songs from the new record on this tour because I will be playing my own parts! I feel really good about the work we’ve been doing these past 6 months—I’m like a proud mama.
A: Last question. I, as well as many fans are wondering if it is true that you are one of the girls on the cover of the Pumpkins’ 1993 album Siamese Dream? Or is it a twitter joke?
N: I will leave that for you to decide.
For more information, please check:

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


IRONCLAD is an epic action flick set in the time of the Knights Templars starring Paul Giamatti as the tempestuous King John, who reneges on his signing of the Magna Carta promising freedom to all men. The movie is already out on Video on Demand VOD 
(June 8th) and was released in theaters on July 8th. 

The trailer music was arranged and produced by award-winning producer Nicolas Farmakalidis of Neila Productions. The main riffs as well as many musical elements of the trailer music were derived from a song called "Dancing Arrows" by Aika, which was co-written 
by Aika Hirahara and Nicolas Farmakalidis. 

Featured on both tracks is Greg Pajer 
(Miley Cyrus, Jonas Brothers), who is a first call recording guitar player in Los Angeles.
Thanasi Moustogiannis (aika, Groovy Pastes) performed all the percussions and drums, andAndreas Farmakalidis (Marty Friedman, aika, RENT the musical) recorded electric bass lines. Both the trailer, as well as the theme song were mixed at Archon Studios in California, by award-winning producer Aris Archontis, who has collaborated with 
the likes of Miley Cyrus, Jonas Brothers, Demi Lovato among many others. Lastly, the band “aika” will be releasing a full-length album end of 2011.

Thursday, July 7, 2011


This is another bass line from the musical RENT. A “minimalistic” bass line supports this song “Without you”, however it fits the vibe of the song perfectly. It is performed with a Fretless bass. It starts with a vamp on D. If I am not mistaken it is the 7th song of the second act.
In this point of the story, Roger and Mimi’s relationship becomes strained. Roger keeps talking about moving out of town. Mimi comes home late again, causing Roger to accept as true that she is cheating on him with Benny. Roger jealously storms out, Mimi stops him and tries to tell him the truth, that she is not cheating and that she is still using drugs, but can’t get the words out, and Roger leaves her… Collins continues nursing Angel who is very sick as AIDS begins to overtake him.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Phenomenon of Music: What is Music? Part I

As far as I know, every society has some form of music. Music is universal, however its meaning is not. Music, through a Universal phenomenon, gets its meaning from culture. Different cultures interpret it differently. With the term culture, I connote the whole way of life of that specific group of people, learned and transmitted from one generation to the next. We call ‘music’ music, however not all cultures have a word for it.

My interest in this article is not directed towards the distinctions that people make between – lets say – a major and minor chords, but rather towards what the Nature of music is, how it fits into societies worldwide, and how it is arranged conceptually by the people who use and organize it – music as a form of organized sound.
Noise or non-music
One of the most important concepts is the distinction between music on one hand and noise, or non-music on the other hand. This is fundamental to the understanding of music in any society.
Furthermore, what is considered to be music or non-music, determined the nature of music in any given society. If one group considers the sound of the wind in the trees as music and another does not, it is evident that the concepts of what music is or is not must differ widely. If we observe the Basonge people of the Congo for instance, they have this saying that ” When you are happy you sing. When you are angry you make noise”. Should we associate this saying with an angry heavy metal singer? For the Basonge music always involved human beings. The sounds that emanate or originate from non-human sources are not considered music. A good example is the above-mentioned singing of the birds, or the wind singing in the trees.
Language and Music
A special problem presents itself in the relationship between language and music. In language sounds are arranged too. For the western ear a distinction is often difficult or even impossible to make, especially with sounds produced by people that have tonal languages, spoken by a great number of people around the world.
Is the boundary between language and music blurred? Rap the heart of hip-hop culture is widely used in classical music under a different name. Sprechgesang is an expressionist vocal technique between singing and speaking. Though sometimes used interchangeably, sprechgesang is a term directly related to the operatic recitative manner of singing (in which pitches are sung, but the articulation is rapid and loose like speech), whereas sprechstimme is closer to speech itself (because it does not emphasize any particular pitches). Both of these different styles of music provide examples that show that the precincts between language and music are unclear as well as imprecise.
Is this Music?
Not many people will deny the fact that the Kunst der Fuge by JS Bach is music. Nonetheless, there is something very out of the ordinary about this piece of music. Firstly, we cannot find one single clue from Bach, indicating that he wrote this in order to be performed. If you observe the original score, there are not tempo markings, instrumentation instructions etc. Should we assume that Bach, just for his own amusement tried out various possibilities of one single theme as a kind of musical challenge? Should we assume that it is just “paper music” that was never intended to be performed or sound at all? Is it really music then? Is it only music in the head of the composer, the person who reads it, who “thinks” this as music?
What is Music?
It is very difficult to define music. Should we say that music is a form of organized sound and is everything that is perceived as music by a person in a given culture? Always keep in mind that Jaco heard music as the train passed through.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

DAMIAN ERSKINE : The musician & groove Transcriptions

This month I chose to write about a phenomenal bass player, who is one of my major influences. He does not need any introduction, but I will post some biographical information in case you never heard of him.
Damian Erskine, a Berklee College of music graduate, is probably on of the most versatile as well as sought out bass players and musicians. He is very well known for his ability to fit into any musical style and situation.
Damian has performed in the studio or on the stage with the likes of:Peter Erskine • Teri-Lynn Carrington • Gino Vannelli • John Ellis • Shawn Pelton • Sveti w/ Marko Djordjevic • Luis Conte • Brandon Ross • Les McCann • Jeff Lorber • Vardan Ovsepian • Charmaine Neville • Jessy J • Luis Perdomo • Tony Furtado • Kate Schutt • Bobby Torres • Alan Jones • Patrick Lamb • Dan Balmer • Klezmocracy. Whether playing as a sideman or with his own group, he is known for his rock solid bass work, virtuosic solos and thoughtful chordal abilities.
This spring, Damian recorded a trio album with Peter Erskine and Vardan Ovespian (piano) at Big City Studios in California.  This album is a personal milestone for him as he mentioned during our conversation. Recorded and immediately after the recording he went on a brief South American tour. I highly suggest this album because is very musical, it is beautifully recorded and as Damian said:  ”This is the album I’ve always wanted to be a part of”
The recording of this superb trio is to be released on Peter’s “Fuzzy Music” label in 2011 with dates in Europe soon to follow.
If you observe Damians playing you will notice how comfortable he is on the bass as well as how strong and rock solid technique he has. Damian already has a couple of instructional books available online. His latest book, “right hand drive” is a great instructional aid. It helps take the reader at step closer to beginning to grasp an understanding of “how it all works”. Add to that his discussion of chord connections and their applications, and chord shapes to enhance a visual perspective.Damians transcriptions are also included to examine and dissect, which is a well founded tactic recommended by almost every schooled player, and helps complete this books authenticity as far as being a trustworthy option to check out. I personally own Right hand drive as well as “Erskine perspective” and I highly suggest them to bass players of every level.
Damian’s unique tone is achieved by using Skjold basses. As Damian brought up, he was working with Pete Skojld for about a year in order to create the Damian Erskine signature bass – a bass that would fir Damians excessive needs. It features an extremely deep cutaway for 100% un-hindered access to the upper register_- over-wound pickups for a deep and rich tone_- brand new pickup mold design to incorporate the finger ramp into the pickup design (2 pickups in one pickup mold so ramp players will have a completely unified and comfortable setup)_- East pre-amps for complete tonal flexibility, very stable design and neck for action as low as you want it. _-Those features, coupled with some stunning good looks lead to a win/win situation.
In addition, Damian pointed out that he is also in works with GruvGear developing a double bass strap that actually works well and helps redistribute the weight of your bass on long gigs while also allowing you to keep the bass where you want it when playing. I am really looking forward to that one!
Lastly, I am posting three Damian Erskine groove transcriptions. Enjoy!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Bass Transcription: Santa Fe from the Musical Rent

Rent is a musical with music and lyrics by Jonathan Larson based on Puccini’s opera La boheme. It tells the story of a group of impoverished young artists and musicians struggling to survive and create in New York’s Lower East side.
It is one of my favourite musicals. It has a couple of very interesting bass lines. I am posting a transcriptions of the basic groove of the tune called Santa Fe.
For more information you can check

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Observations in Ornette Colemans' music during the period of 1957-1963 : Analyses of "Invisible", "Lonely woman" and "Ramblin'"

I am just informing you that my book is finally published! I am so excited.In this book I examine the music of a pioneer of free improvisation in jazz: Ornette Coleman. Besides emphasizing the melodic language of this musician, this study presents analyses and transcriptions of his compositions and improvisations, focusing on the period from 1957 to 1963. In addition, Coleman is a rather controversial figure in jazz history, therefore, this study addresses to most commonly asked questions: Does Coleman's music have inner logic and structure in spite of the fact that its ostensibly naive and chaotic surface? Was Coleman a genuine modernist and innovator who was ahead his time? This study hopes to benefit students, professional musicians, theorists, musicologists and jazz aficionados because it will help them study, observe as well as deepen their understanding of the music of Ornette Coleman during that specific period.

It is available in selected bookstores as well as online in websites such as amazon, booksonemand, or bod etc. you can check it out at

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Tom & Jerry

This is one of my favourite T&J episodes since i was a kid. I guess i was always attracted to the bass - before i even knew what a bass is.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Bass Transcription by Andreas Farmakalidis: Motown Bass Lines in Today’s Music – Love by Joss Stone

Joss Stone and Raphael Saadig, gave a new, more pop, sound to this classic tune. Saadigs bass line acts as the centerpiece of the song. This strong, “Motown like” bass line drives the tune and support Joss Stones vocals perfectly.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Transcriptions of Jeff Berlin’s Forever Until Sunday and One of a Kind

Jeff Berlin is the living proof that the electric bass can be a viable jazz instrument. His melodic phrasing and soloing is hornlike and his walking bass is as propulsive as any upright bassist’s. Many bassists think like bassists when they solo; Berlin thinks music and plays flowing legato lines and builds solos that excite and build through their own musical logic. He is able to speak the language of his influences: Sonny Rollins, Keith Jarrett as well as John Coltrane.
Jeff Berlin’s bass playing is somewhat similar to that of Jaco Pastorious though Berlin usually plays a fretted bass. Jeff is also well known as a particularly outspoken supporter of music education. He was a founding member of the Bass Institute of Technology in Los Angeles and later founded the Players School of Music in Clearwater, Florida.
Jeff Berlin is still one of my major influences therefore this month I am transcribing “Forever until Sunday” as well as “One of a kind” which are two tracks that can be found one the album titled “one of a kind” by Bruford. Bruford were a band that former “Yes” and “King Crimson” drummer Bill Bruford formed and led in the late 1970s.

The transcriptions are my favorite excerpts of the bass groove.
For more information you can check

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

aika : CD review

“Aika… The purpose of Music is to give us a completely different idea of the things we know best.”
A single piano with the backing of strings gives way to one of the most electrifying voices of the current Californian as well as Japanese music scene, singing words of pain, self-knowledge as well as strength. The words work their way to a climax accented by thriving harmonic progressions as well as strong rhythm section, which gently fades away again, leaving the listener in stunned silence from the beauty of the moment, as well as the memories that will be awaken. This is “You told me you loved me”, the first track of aika’s (Aika Hirahara) self titled limited edition single.
“You told me you loved me” originated out of aika’s desire to record a song about relationships. She asked collaborator Nicolas Farmakalidis (NeilaProductions) to help out and the outcome is a tribute to the pair’s symbiotic teamwork. The final touch, was made by Grammy award winning mix engineer Dave Reitzas who gave the song depth that shares similar distinctiveness as the famous “I will always love you” by Whitney Houston, which is also mixed by him.
“You told me you loved me” is the type of big production that does not always fit easily into the typical pop radio play list, however the song is already taking off some airplay in most of the local radio stations and college radios around the country as well as various public and commercial Japanese radio stations. It is a song that is very likely to generate significant listener requests. Don’t be surprised if “You told me you loved me” is near the type of the pop singles chart by the early spring of 2011!
Aika is telling us a story about personal struggles in the second track of the single titled “Sinking – Caress Me”. Here, producer Nicolas Farmakalidis created an admirable stab of a unique retro 40′s circus atmosphere. Despite the fun and engaging feeling that this exceptional track creates, the background vocals and the brilliant use of strings produce certain unhappiness and a feeling of desolation. The producers explained that this song is trying to describe social isolation in the modern society. Nicolas specifically said that “Every true artist- whether it be Mozart, Bob Dylan or El Greco- it doesn’t matter what they do or how they do it. Important is that they understand the human condition better than anyone else. ”
Aika described this work with an Oscar Wilde quote “Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Some stay for a while and leave footprints on our hearts – and we are never, ever the same.”
For more information about aika and her upcoming tour dates, as well as the album release be sure to check them at:

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Importance of Details

I always find myself engaging in conversations about the importance of “details” in music as a whole. If you check the dictionary, details are particulars considered individually and in relation to a whole. In other words, without the details, it is difficult to understand and see the big picture. These small, elaborated elements make the difference.
The last few years I have been trying to get deeper and deeper in the session scene. I had the privilege of working with many amazing music producers. The more I converse and discuss with music producers, the more I admire their skills, perhaps the same way we admire the skills of top bass players. Bassists like Jaco Pastorius, Marcus Miller, Ray Brown or even some more contemporary bass players like Damian Erskine or Hadrien Feraud are simply remarkable. Their time, feel, sound and most important their “voice” are second to none.
The “best” music producers – or should I say the music producers who pay attention and know how to treat the subtle “details” of a musical composition – are extraordinary individuals as well as musicians. In addition to their amazing musical abilities, they can understand, oversee and know how to use small subtle elements, in order to make their music unique and exceptional.
Top music producers got their skills from working on details. They practiced small things again and again, repeating their lesson with – as well as within- every music principle. By using the information they learned in a normal study room, their skills became second nature. These producers make it look so easy, to compose, re-harm, arrange, program, record etc, when in fact they stumbled through their process for a long time until they became comfortable with all these information they mastered.
If you check top-notch producers such as Rick Rubin, Nicolas Farmakalidis, Peter Gabriel, you will understand what I mean.
A few days ago, I had a great as well as very educational recording at Neilaproductions, for an up and coming singer – songwriter style album. It was probably the most instructive experience of my life. Before the recording, the producer explained the particulars of the recording. The clearer the facts of the recording, the better the result will be and the sooner we will finish.
The producer creatively guided and directed the process of making the record, like a director would a movie. The music producer’s job is to create, shape, and mold a piece of music. What I really found amazing was that during the recording, the producer changed my bass line as well as the strings voicings, doing re-harmonization and arranging on the spot. I did study the “science” of re-harmonization as well, however to be able to do it during a recording session and be absolutely correct without having an instrument next to you, is simply astounding.
If music is played as an art, I personally believe that it is best to be learned as a science though. It can be as specific as chemistry. For instance, if you take a minor third and add a perfect fifth from the root, the result will be a minor triad. Consequently, in chemistry, if you take two atoms of hydrogen and add one atom of oxygen you form one water molecule. The important is to understand the difference. Music is an art that has always offered the best results to students who learn it as a science. However, after you gain knowledge of these certain methodologies, you perform those with passion and a desire to create and touch people’s hearts. My point is that, my friends in Neilaproductions must have been studying arranging and re-harmonization as a science and now they are skillful and knowledgeable enough to be able to use that knowledge in order to create and enhance the beauty of a piece of music.
My last point, which I understand the more I study and record, is the concept of “time”. The performed rhythm – for instance a bass line – can sound very straight, exactly on the beat, swinging laid back or rushed. Important is how a listener perceives the timing of these rhythms and recognizes it as being ‘rushed’ or ‘swinging’, as well as why a rhythm with a slightly shorter note not is simply a different rhythm. These are matters that we do not typically address in music theory. However, they are essential aspects during a recording session as well as they are fundamental in the development of a cognitive theory of music as performed and listened to. Research in the perception of music as well structuring of events in music, is quite different from the concept of time in physics. “Listeners to music do not perceive rhythm on a continuous scale. Instead, rhythmic categories are recognized which function as a reference relative to which the deviations in timing can be appreciated”. (Nicolas Farmakalidis)
In fact, temporal patterns in music combine two time scales that are essentially different: the discrete rhythmic durations as symbolized by, for example, the half and quarter notes in a musical score, and the continuous timing variations that characterize an expressive musical performance – what musicians referred to as “feel”. By being in the studio with talented musicians and producers you understand how important time is and how it varies from every style of music to another.

To sum up, pay attention to details. This is what makes the difference. Every major artist and every truly dedicated student in every art form knows this.