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The first chord is a D major chord (D, F♯, and A), which makes the I (tonic) chord. The second chord consists of the notes C♯, E, and A, which make up an A major chord — also known as the V chord in this context because it starts on the fifth note of the D major scale. The third chord is a G major chord (D, B, and G), which is the IV chord because it starts on the fouth note of the D major scale.

Write down exactly what you hope to accomplish during a session and include all the relevant steps or sub-goals. For example, if your main goal is to record “Song A,” get specific about what you need to do in order to get it all done in the most manageable way. From laying down a scratch track in the demo phase to knowing when in the production process to add ornamental sound design elements, chart out the steps so you don’t end up wasting valuable time. This saves you time because it forces you to plan and act before recording, not reactively and inefficiently throughout the process.

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Masaka Kids Africana is a community hub providing wrap-around services to children in need throughout Nyendo, in the Masaka region of Uganda. The children’s performances of traditional music and dance capture the hearts of audiences worldwide, and the organization is currently building its capacity, expanding their facilities to house and feed even more young people around the region.

One of my projects for this summer is to realize my decades-old ambition to learn how to scratch. I borrowed a Korg Kaoss DJ controller from a friend, downloaded Serato, and have been fumbling with it for a week now. The Kaoss DJ leaves much to be desired. The built-in Kaoss Pad is cool, but otherwise it’s too small and finicky. I will definitely want to upgrade to something with big, chunky buttons and more haptic feedback in general. Still, the Kaoss DJ is enough to get started with.