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  • Yona Marie Music is a helpful resource for musicians, singers, rappers, and people in the music industry. Here, you'll be able to find music news, tips on song creating, marketing, tools needed for your music career, and much more! 

    Yona Marie (A.K.A Rachel Marie) is a music artist from the Washington, DC area. She currently works as a studio singer, producer, and songwriter for many musicians, artists, and businesses in need of her musical expertise.

  • What Is A Bridge In A Song?


    By admin, 2021-04-20
    What Is A Bridge In A Song?

    What A Bridge Is To Me


    A song bridge is a very complicated and beautiful thing. The bridge is actually my second favorite part of the song besides the hook. I typically do a very standard placement of the bridge, between the second to last chorus and the last chorus, as an alternative to a verse 3.

    For most of my songs that actually include a bridge, along with my following chorus, this section provides the climactic point for the song. I usually put a lot of variation into the bridge in comparison to my verses, so it excites me and pushes me to be as creative as possible in this little masterpiece section. 

    What Is A Bridge Really?


    A song bridge is technically just a section that bridges two sections together. A bridge can be a lot like a pre-chorus, which bridges the verse and the chorus together in a song. But whether you're using it between verses or between a hook and a verse, it adds flavor and change to your song to keep it from being too dull and repetitive. 

    A Bridge In A World Of Short Songs


    Back in my day, a bridge was a must. Songs were always over 4 minutes long, hooks/choruses repeated at the end way more times than you would think, and the vocalist (if we're talking sung songs and not rap or instrumental) put them all into this part of the song. Harmonies, belting, passionate delivery; it had everything you wanted from a song. 

    Now, everyone's attention span is dangerously short. I recently put out a pretty cool soulful track by the name of "My Soulful Baby" that included a bridge that could also be described as a breakdown. Toward the end of this bridge/breakdown section, I have a very climactic point that leads to the chorus, where I add some pretty powerful adlibs in the background to really give the end of the song some energy. 

    I contemplated not including this part at all, or just having a bridge that actually is the last part of the song without a chorus to follow. I didn't want the song to be too long, but the tempo of the track was slow compared to my other mid-tempo and upbeat tracks, so I figured it's only right that the song still gets the same amount of song structure sections. 

    Once I finished it, released it, and promoted it, I was anxiously awaiting responses from a handful of community and college radio stations that had previously accepted some of my other tracks. I just KNEW this one would have even more success and radio airplay, and that I could possibly get my highest amount of radio spins ever. 

    Turns out, it got next to NO radio spins, thanks to a fact I overlooked: radio stations don't want songs over 4 minutes long. 

    Back in the day, you could get away with a song on the radio that lasted 4 or 5 minutes, but these days, the rules have slowly shifted. Radio stations want songs that are closer to 3 minutes. 

    I started to wonder, is this something that radio stations are doing only, or is everyone really tired of long songs?

    I decided to check out some statistics on my streaming sites like Bandcamp and Youtube, which can show the average length/duration of a full song or video that people are actually watching. As it turns out, less than half of all my songs are getting played on average. 

    I then decided to do some market research on other people's songs and videos to make sure that this wasn't just because my work is garbage or anything. Turns out, especially if you aren't a superstar, most people aren't playing your full song, even if they kind of like it. 

    What A Bridge Can Do For You


    Now that you know that bridges are beautiful, under-appreciated gems, it's up to you to decide how you want to use this song section to the best of your advantage.

    Are you looking to increase your listen/watch time for your upcoming releases? Try skipping the bridge.

    Looking to get radio play? Skip the bridge or create a radio edit version that keeps your song under 4 minutes.

    Looking to create a beautiful song for your album that isn't one of your singles? Put your whole foot into an amazing, climactic bridge that will hit someone with crazy amounts of passion and variety. 

    Posted in: Tips

    The Magic of the Alto Vocal Range


    By admin, 2021-04-15
    The Magic of the Alto Vocal Range

    Alto Singing


    Even though and alto is a woman with a relatively low singing voice, the word 'Alto'. actually came to be as a way to describe a man's voice who sings high. You know, back in the day, they were weird about having women sing sometimes, so you would often have boy choirs or all-men choirs where guys took the higher parts. So 'alto', originally describing a man's high voice, is from the Latin root, altus, or 'high'.

    Who Says Only Sopranos Can Be Powerhouses?


    As an alto singer, I pride myself on having the best of two worlds when it comes to vocal range. On one hand, I can sing some sweet angelic high notes in my head voice. and on the other, I can give you some strong, thick, powerful belts in my lower range. Think of singers like Ella Fitzgerald and Adele who are simply unmatched when it comes to emotional inflection and rich tone. The alto range is where it's at! 

    The Typical Note Range for Altos


    Many will say that the range of an alto is usually from F3 to F5, but I like to think of it closer to F3 to D5, especially when we're talking about belting range in pop or musical theatre styles. If your range is slightly lower, you may want to label yourself as a contralto, which is sometimes even cooler! I'm always jealous of women who can hit low notes around the C3 range in a tone that really resonates (mine is thin). If your range is a bit higher, consider yourself something called a mezzo-soprano.

    Keep in mind that all of these terms stem from more classical styles of singing, so there's no need to get too hung up on it if you're not a classical singer. 

    Screen Shot 20210414 at 11.00.27 PM.png


    Popular Alto Singers (Who's Songs You'll Sound Great On As An Alto)


    Tracy Chapman

    Adele

    Lorde

    Sade

    Katy Perry

    Brandy

    Miley Cyrus

    Lady GaGa

    India.Arie

    Amy Winehouse

    Toni Braxton

    Posted in: Rants
    Vocal Warm-Up Exercises That I Love

    Every Day Is a New Day To Sing


    I'm still getting used to calling myself a 'session vocalist'. I feel like that phrase is just something I saw on google a few times but never knew anyone actually doing. I saw people posting ads looking for 'studio vocalists' or something similar, and I always thought "Hey, that would be a cool job if it were realistic". Turns out it really is, and after years of trial and error, I finally found the right way to break into the field. 

    It's a great field to be in! I literally wake up almost every day with a morning gig to prep my voice for. And here's the thing, I absolutely need to prep my voice for this line of work, or else I will fail. I know it sounds dramatic but I would really be damaging my main instrument if I decided to do my daily work without first starting off with some vocal warm-up exercises. 

    My Personal Setback


    Each morning when I wake up, there's a chance I will have a phlegmy throat. I suffer from some serious allergies that cake up on me while I sleep at night. That might be too much info to share, but hey, we all know how it goes. My allergies often give me at the very least, post-nasal drip that really ticks me off, to be honest. I ask myself, why can't I wake up with clear passages one day! 

    The one thing I'm always tempted to do that I should definitely NOT do is clear my throat. I want everyone to know, clearing your throat is very harsh on the vocal cords! Try to avoid this at all costs!

    My 3 Go-To Vocal Warm-Up Exercises


    I start with these two methods to get that stuff out of my body as effectively as possible. First, I drink some good ole throat coat tea to make sure I have some healthy lubrication in there. After, this is the video I use to natural remedy the bad stuff out. You can use this if you have the same problem as I do, if not, you can skip to the next video. 

    After I clear my vocals, I like to increase the flow of my tone with exercises similar to this one. The basic concept is to yawn a lot, and surprisingly enough, the placement you put yourself in for these magnificent yawns helps free your voice to allow great airflow and space for you to sign dynamically. Even if it's 8 in the morning!

    My third and final warm-up phase each morning involves a lot of melodic scales to wake my range up, with some vocal trills to rev up a good amount of breathing consistency for the songs I'm about to perform. 

    You may be thinking, "Yona, this warm-up seems to be a little too far on the classical choir side of things, what about warming up my belt for this pop song?" 

    Whether you're in a choir or singing solo, singing opera, or singing R&B, this warm-up is the perfect way to ease yourself into whatever dynamic you're about to be singing at for the day. You don't want to dive your voice right into some crazy power singing that will be harsh on your vocal cords. Take your time to treat your instrument with care and love!

    Posted in: Tips
    Music NFTs - A New Way To Make Money With Your Songs

    My Cryptocurrency Journey


    So you may or may not know this, but I'm a crypto nerd. I've been following the news on bitcoin since 2015, always researching, always peeking over and wondering if I should take a risk and get me a wallet, always checking the charts to see who's spiking. I got really deep into the research around 2018, right before the second big cryptocurrency crash, but I didn't take any action (like a big dummy).

    At the start of this year, I finally decided it's now or never, and with the help of Youtube, or Youtube university as I like to call it, I'm all in mentally and financially. Okay, maybe not ALL in, but I've put a nice amount of my savings into the crypto space and I'm seeing some great results so far.

    You may say, "But Yona, that crypto stuff is complicated and not FDIC insured, I don't want to play around with that until it's more widely adopted", but that's where you're missing out. That's like people in the 90s who were saying "But that internet and dot com stuff is complicated, I'll wait before I invest." Or me saying "But that bitcoin stuff is way too ahead of its time, I'm not trying to buy a whole bitcoin for $200 bucks" like a BIG DUMMY I tell ya! 

    Long story short, I recommend anyone reading this to invest in cryptocurrency. I know, it's a lot to learn, but if you're low on time and excited for this amazing new space that is making billionaires and millionaires every day, just throw some money in bitcoin and let it sit for a few years. You'll thank me later. If you want some details, I'm invested in BTC, BNB, ADA, XRP, ETH, and some other smaller altcoins that are soon to make me a gazillion bucks. Be jealous. (Or just join me!)

    What Is an NFT


    So to make a very long and complicated explanation short and easy to digest, cryptocurrencies are coins that are traded on something called a blockchain. A blockchain is a public ledger, a long list of documentation of sorts, that shows every single crypto transaction. 

    While most crypto gets value from the money worth, there is a new type of coin or 'token' called "non-fungible tokens". These tokens can include a digital copy of anything - artwork, music, a game, a blog, a video - anything really. 

    Here's the cool part: If an artist or musician wants to give away a few, exclusive amount of copies of something, sometimes even just one copy, they can now do so with non-fungible tokens. 

    What makes this different from getting a digital copy of anything another way?

    The blockchain has all the proof. 

    The blockchain call tells you what buyer(s) have the official copies of something, in a place where everyone can see and nothing can be edited or changed. If you have the real copy of a piece of art, while others just have some poor bootleg copied version, it's obvious. 

    And exclusivity is the key to a lot of success in the creative world! 

    Make NFTs work for Your Music Career


    When the concept of NFTs first dropped a few months back, popular and non-popular musicians alike deciding to capitalize on the opportunity to make great exclusive products for their fans while getting an actually decent amount of revenue back from it. Remember, getting money from streaming sucks hard these days, and the pandemic made it pretty much impossible to tour, so it's been pretty hard to make a living for the last year or so if you solely rely on music. 

    Now for the honest truth here: It's very possible to make great money from NFTs when you have an established fan base. It's not so easy if you're looking to get discovered in this space. A few newcomers took advantage of the timing and were able to create NFTs that got visibility, but it was only because of the fact that they were all racing to create one of the first few hundred NFTs to ever exist. 

    Since this is still a new space ripe with new opportunities, it'll be wise to keep your eye out for innovative opportunities in the very near future. Celebrities in all fields are having a great and profitable time with this, including Snoop Dogg, Kings of Leon, and R&B singer Shontelle. 

    Regardless of whether the NFT space can profit you now or later, it is a great way for all musicians and artists to be paid for the magic they will be making in the future. 

    Posted in: Tips
    Portable Vocal Studio Booths For Home Recordings

    Portable Vocal Studio Booths 


    Many successful indie artists and bands have high-quality studio setups right in the comfort of their own homes. It may seem like an unreasonably priced goal to set up a great home studio, but it isn't! One element that music makers feel like they won't be able to set up properly is the recording booth. I'm here to tell you that you have a few options, many of which are less than $100 bucks if you know where to look. 

    Checklist Before You Consider Which Booth


    Your recording booth will make a huge impact on the quality of the recordings in your home studio. But before we get to the different types of booths you can get for your studio, let's make sure you have the other crucial elements that are listed below. 

    • Computer: A lot of people already have this handy, but you’ll need a desktop or laptop with good speed and disc space left for your home studio. 

    • Microphone: You will need a good quality microphone to record your vocal magic for your songs. Luckily enough, you don’t need to spend a grand or more on it. Good quality recording microphones from brands like Audio Technica and Rode will only run you around $100-$200 bucks. 

    • Music Software and Interface: Music software is used to record and edit your songs online, while the interface is used to hook up your gear to the music software. A common combo that Indie musicians use is Avid Pro Tools software with the Mbox audio interface.

    • Headphones and Speakers: Headphones are a necessity when it comes to recording and mixing your music. As a beginner, you can stick to one pair of quality headphones (also around $100) or do it like a like a pro and get the two different types: closed-headphones for recording and isolation, and open back headphones for mixing and better sound quality.

    Studio Booth Options 


    After you've got the basic necessities down, there is one vital studio tool that you should consider if you want your sound to mimic the sounds of the professional, million-dollar studio setups. You need a portable studio booth! Loads of independent artists, bands, and musicians record in the comfort of their home these days thanks to technology, but a large amount is forgetting about the miscellaneous sounds that can affect their recording session. Home studio booths come in a variety of options depending on your budget. 

    If you're going for cheap yet effective, you may want something similar to this studio booth that's available on SweetWater for around $99:

    small and affordable studio booth

    These small but effective types of booths are great for beginners and musicians looking to record pretty good quality audio for a pretty great price. You can also find many similar options that are around $100 or less on Amazon.

    If you want to go to the next level in quality, you should consider vocal booths that you can physically walk into in order to isolate the sound better. Here's something to consider if you're looking for something a bit more but don't want to pay over $500.

    mid-grade studio booth

    While this type of booth won't rival those at premier studios, you will be doing a much better job of keeping out house elements including fans, window noise, and people noise. 

    If you're a professional with a big budget already, you can go ahead and get one for thousands of dollars on the level of a Whisper Room studio booth:

    premium, industry standard studio booth

    Why so pricey, you may ask? Because sound quality matters! Far too often, DIY artists and musicians are hurting their audio quality by recording in spaces with audible air conditioning, footsteps, voices in the other rooms, and even loud weather in the background! This hurts the mixing and mastering process and may cause you to lose out on being able to consider your track "radio quality". The popular phrase, "When in Rome, do as the Romans do" holds true in this regard. If you're making music, it should mimic the sound of a song you hear on the radio! 

    Posted in: Tips
  • "Yona Marie has such a smooth lustrous voice that flows like a waterfall. Unff. She could sing the alphabet song and make it golden..."

    Josephine L, Critic

    "Wow. Through every single song, Yona Marie just oozes soul and passion. I love her soft, almost whispery, crooning style that she exhibits in each and every track...."

    Banger Of The Day

    "...She has great RnB songs that tell a story and connect with listeners who share similar experiences in their life's journey. It's not hard to feel like a song off of her album is speaking to you directly."

    56 Trackstarters

    "RnB music has been making a comeback lately; Rachel is one of the ones innovating under the radar! And that's exactly what the music industry is needing right now: good ole' innovation."

    Remix Kings of the South

    "It's hard to find quality Rnb music these days since everybody is on this lit but lazy sing-rap wave (lol), but some people are still making good Rnb songs on places like SoundCloud and Reverbnation. I came across Rachel Marie and discovered a whole bunch of gems."

    DJ RandO BandO