With around 2000 different musical instruments in the world, it can be easy to get caught up just focusing on drums, bass guitar and vocals in a song. Yes, weird.
Whether you’re a musician or audio engineer producing music, you want your music to stand out, and have a great feel and rhythm
This is where the importance using instruments as flavour comes in! Sneaking in different tones and timbres to your layering can add a whole new level of depth and richness to your mixes. Plus, if you’ve ever felt your mixes don’t have that real feel, the extra performance will provide that much needed groove.
Here's our top 3 instruments that if you've not considered incorporating into your music, you probably should!
The tambourine can be heard in music ranging from pop, rock, and R&B to jazz, Latin, and world music. It brings a one of a kind sound, texture and power to your music that can often be forgotten. It will amaze you how much ‘lift’ you can get out of a chorus just by incorporating an 8th-note or 16th-note tambourine layer. This technique can add energy, emphasis and brightens to your mixes instantly. Give it a try and incorporate it in your next song.
The cowbell is an idiophone hand percussion instrument with a distinctive timbre used in various styles of music. Named after the similar bell historically used by herdsmen to keep track of cows, the cowbell delivers a precise, upper-midrange "pung" which will cut through clearly, but not obnoxiously, if mixed right. When played on the beat it creates a strong sense of rhythm and a powerful groove, and as famously quoted, you should consider adding ‘MORE COWBELL’.
The shaker, named for the obvious reason of shaking it back and forth, is a great instrument to add another layer to your music. They come in various sizes and are made of different materials, which are then filled with a variety of things, from rice to plastic beads. These elements mean that each shaker is unique and can add a different quality depending on which you choose. They are used to accent the beat, but are constantly shaken in between each accent to provide a strong backbeat feel.
So ‘Shake’ it up! Add some other instruments into your work to give a more dynamic sound with extra depth.
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