Musical U
Relaxed And Happy...
... That She Can Now Focus On Helping Her Band To Hit That "Next Level".

Case Study: Aliki K.

   Hi! I'm Aliki. I teach metalheads how to scream and growl and make all the weird monster noises. And I have my own metal band that I sing in.

I gave up on formal training in music years ago, and whenever I try to get back into that, I'm like, this is terrible. This does not work for me. I don't like it. 

So the biggest problem I tend to have with formal music training is it's very much focused on technique, quality of articulation, quality of your playing, with absolutely no interest in taste or what you might enjoy and like. 

I also found myself being particularly frustrated because I'm from Greece, and Greek music is mostly rooted in Byzantium music. and a lot of 12 tone half step stuff and our pop music is founded on that. So even when people are like, this is going to be relatable, look at the pentatonic scale, you're like, "Yep, can't relate. Nope." So there was also a cultural gap, which is then really frustrating. And sad!

When I came across the Next Level program, I was pretty ready to jump in. This was mostly because of the situation I was in. Because my band were in the process of writing our second album, and I was finding myself unable to contribute as much as I wanted to, musically and in terms of composition. Because I really also wanted to contribute some ideas and thoughts to the bass and the guitar. And I was finding that the knowledge that I had of piano playing and more classical-oriented stuff was just not applicable at all in any shape or form.

And I also realized that, as weird as it may sound, composition shouldn't be the problem at this point with my band. We, theoretically, at that moment, should have been composing really quickly very easily and just be more concerned about. Where we're playing, when we're playing, how we're playing. More strategic thinking of the band and more financial thinking.

And I was so preoccupied by the composition that I just wasn't able to think of the other stuff. So I was like, okay, there's a really basic skill missing. Let's fill that in and then let's move on with life. 

So I think one of the biggest changes for me and my composition abilities was when we spent a bunch of weeks and I had to compose different phrases and sections of songs, whether it was verses, choruses, anything. And the phrases could only be ascending, which in and of itself is quite interesting because it's very difficult to write anything that feels remotely resolved or completed, if you're only ascending. 

And also, because of my preferences I like descending phrases. Massively, in every single style, which was something that I realized as I was writing the ascending stuff. Because I was like what is ascending? And it's "oh, nothing that I like." Great! But that had a really big impact. On how varied and wide the phrases could become within compositions and also how different they could become because again, I always do descending. So there's a pattern there. And breaking patterns is always fantastic. 

It just completly changed both the way that I wrote and the way that I composed things and the way that I thought about music and it also changed the way that I was listening to music.

And we spent... because my major concern overall was choruses. And writing choruses, because I like verses, and if I'm lucky, I like bridges. I also like intros and outros. And I can't think of a single chorus that I really like. In music, in its entirety. 

So it was How can I write a chorus? How can I get the chorus to be just on the edge of catchy but not catchy because it's metal. So it can't be catchy. Or at least it can't be catchy in specific ways. So it has to check certain boxes. And how can I figure out or write choruses that I might like? 

So trying to figure out all the choruses and I spent so much time, I would say I spent the majority on and off of the Next Level listening to choruses, actively breaking them down, analyzing everything, borrowing like one trait that I liked over months and months.

And I'm very pleased to say that we have good choruses on this album. That I am satisfied with. But that was pretty massive. 

And every time that I hear the recordings, it's like a wave of relaxation and it's like Oh, that sounds good. Oh, thank goodness. 

For me, the thing that sets Next Level apart is, it's a number of things. First of all, it's the fact that it's completely tailored. I didn't have to spend any time listening to any pop music, any classical music, any remotely well-known types of music which was great because suddenly everything became relevant to what I do, which is always nice.

I like the degree to which I was able to direct and shift and change the, where we were going in any given moment. I like, simultaneously, I love the consistency of it, and I like the deadline of it. How finite it is, and it's there's this much time, and it's okay, make it count. 

I do feel like I reached my next level. My brain is very hyperactive. So the whole thing, "how does it feel to be there?" It's like "Who cares? Let's write the next album!" 

I guess it feels very usable, very proactive. And it feels very tangible and it just, I can do something with it. Let's do it. Which is really the answer. It feels usable. 

But really, I'm just excited to write the third album and to start composing stuff. Says the human who just finished the previous album, "Okay! Let's go! We're ready! More writing!" But yee! I love writing. 

So yeah, I'm excited, and I'm excited to finally be able to step back and monitor the band and monitor the trajectory and get all the social media strategies and plans and everything in place and not need to worry too much about "Oh, I need to be working on these skills." So these, they're fine. Just use them, just practice and continue developing them, but they're there.

So I'm kind of relaxed. Relaxed and happy!
The team here are so proud of Aliki for all her accomplishments and excited for how her musical journey will continue from here!

Interested to experience Next Level coaching for yourself?

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