Cutting Music 101

Hello there, everyone and welcome to part two of our “Back 2 Dance” Blog Post! This installment is for all the dance teachers that are entering into another dance season. Today, we’re talking all about the basics of cutting music. As a dance teacher, one of the skill sets that you eventually have to learn is how to cut music for your upcoming dance classes, competitions and of course, dance recitals. Trust me when I say that I have cut, and still am cutting my fair share of songs. I have, however, also learned my fair share of hacks to make this process much easier, much quicker and today I will be sharing these same tips with all of you! So, grab your laptops and your mouse pads, THIS is “Cutting Music 101”!

Tip #1
“Download A Good, Dependable Music Cutting Software”
Cutting music all begins with this first tip, which is finding a good music cutting software. Having a good, dependable music cutting software is what is going to make this entire process much smoother.When looking for a software that is right for you, make sure you choose one that is easy to download, easy to navigate, quick and to the point to use, and finding one that’s free isn’t a bad idea either.The software that I have used for years now is Oceneaudio. This software is dependable and extremely professional. Whether you’re a music cutting pro or you’re just getting started, this software is perfect for everyone and I highly recommend it. (Hashtag not sponsored!)

Tip #2
“Cut First, Choreograph Later”
Okay, this is a tip that ranks high on the list because this is something that I had to learn the hard way. Please, for the love of everything, cut your music before y ou choreograph. Especially if you are cutting a long or intricate song. One time I had to cut a song that had a very unique drum pattern and I was completely sold on the idea that the way I had planned to cut this song was going to be a success, no doubt about it. So I commence to choreograph the entire dance and even began teaching it. As soon as the time had come to add the finishing touches to the choreography and time was nearing to put it out to the public, I then began to cut the music and when I did, my plan FLOPPED! Since the drum pattern of the song was strange to say the least, what I had originally heard in my head did not come out of my speakers. “Oh no, what am I going to do? I don’t have any time to make changes and it’s almost time for me to put it on stage.” After literally hours of cutting, pasting and fading, I eventually found a way to make it work, but that taught me a very valuable lesson. “From now on Lexi, cut your music first .”
By cutting your music first, you’ll be able to hear what will work and what downright won’t, which in return will guarantee that you won’t have any unknown hiccups down the road. You’ll also prevent a massive headache. Trust me on this one.

Tip #3
“Smooth Transitions And Solid Endings”
The one music cutting technique that will make you sound like a music cutting wiz is mastering the art of smooth transitions. Creating smooth transitions start by listening to the song that you’re using and seeing what will flow well. Every song has a “pocket”. The pocket can be that pause in the music or that area in the song where the melody loops. Once you listen intently and find that pocket, use it to your advantage. That’s your ticket for a smooth and seamless transition. It’ll almost sound like it was never cut in the first place.
The next thing is creating a solid ending. If you’re cutting a song short , cutting out the original ending abruptly could be a rude experience your for your audience, to say the least. This is where the magic of the fade button comes into play. By fading out the song’s ending, it takes care of two issues: 1) It eliminates the problem of the song being too long, all while (2) not ending the song bluntly and leaving the audience staring at each other like “Wow, what just happened?”. However, if your intent is to create a nice, somewhat abrupt yet strong ending, make sure you find the perfect place in the song (i.e. “the pocket”) to trim the music that will give your dance that positive, cool impact that you’re going for!

Tip #4
“Take Your Time”
Our fourth and final tip is to always take your time. No matter if you’re new to cutting music or if you’ve been cutting music for quite some time, taking your time always ensures that you will do everything correctly and smoothly. Cutting music can be a process but after awhile it actually becomes, dare I say it, fun! Learning skill sets such as this one, are all apart of what it means to be a dance teacher and choreographer. Music is one of the main tools used to bring our dance visions to life, so making the necessary changes to your chosen music to fit that vision, is a unique piece to the puzzle that is your masterpiece!

I hope you all enjoyed this second installment of our “Back 2 Dance” Series! Stick around because we have so much more to share with you all to help make this dance season the best one yet! See you all next week and remember…

Keep Dancing!

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