Latest Articles


5 Handy Alternate Tunings For Guitar

If you’d like to expand the perimeters of your songwriting and playing, think about moving beyond standard tuning to some of the more common alternate tunings that you’re already familiar with from listening to the radio and recordings. The G FORCE™ system found on the majority of Gibson USA 2015 models lets you quickly switch between different tunings...

The Brilliance Brother Bring Basic Christian Truths to Their Audience

Art—in any form—is meant to be savored, experienced and relished. David Gungor and John Arndt, known as liturgical band The Brilliance, craft music with this belief in mind, giving listeners time and space to fully soak in the beauty that lies in every lyric and sonic nuance. This is true for their independent projects, including four albums and two EPs, as well...

Song Virgins

Several years ago, two middle-aged ladies came to my studio to record a simple song demo. The woman who initially called me had seen my number in the yellow pages (this was in the pre-internet days!), and called to inquire if we were really a recording studio. After receiving assurance that we really did record...

Concert Review - Pentatonix in Anaheim, CA

The meteoric rise of Pentatonix as a commercial juggernaut over the past three years was clearly illustrated long before the a cappella group took the stage at the City National Grove of Anaheim on Sunday night, March 1. Thirty minutes before the doors opened a long line of fans – mostly teens and twentysomethings but with...

Four Ways to Tackle the 'Lack of Content' Problem

Back in the day, ‘content’ wasn't a problem for your average rockstar, or wannabe rockstar. Producing the stuff generally boiled down to doing what most bands are meant to do: releasing an album and playing some shows. Things got worse in the 80s with the invention of the pop video, but even at that, this sort of content creation was just a case of accompanying ...

10 Classic Albums Made Outside the Recording Studio

More than ever before, albums are written, recorded, and even mixed at home. But it wasn’t always that way. Just a few decades ago, almost all bands booked time in a recording studio to capture the sounds they wanted. Artists would commonly need to travel—sometimes across stateliness or outside the country—because there wasn’t a suitable...

Rehearsing With A Purpose

Echoes’ Andre Calilhanna speaks with live music producer Tom Jackson to discuss how a great live show starts with focused band rehearsal and having a goal for your live performances. I know this part of what you preach, but I wonder how many bands really think through what it is they’re trying to accomplish with their live show...

Three Ways It Pays For Songwriters To Follow Through

Songwriting is art. Like all art, songs require a healthy dose of inspiration which is nearly impossible to predict or control. In that way, the spark that results in the creation of a song is a gift but the rest of the process is nothing more (or less) than good, old-fashioned work. By following through in a variety of different ways, you stand a much better chance...

Three Situations When Songwriters Should Consult An Attorney

I seem to spend an inordinate amount of time trying to gently convince songwriters and artists that it is a good idea to have contracts reviewed by an attorney. The reason is that even the simplest agreement can have long range implications. 1. Single Song Agreements. Most songwriters are familiar with single song agreements and most understand...

Five Not-So-Obvious Ways For You To Make Money From Your Music

There’s an article in the most recent issue of Performer Magazine called “5 Not-So-Obvious Revenue Tips For Musicians,” written by Michael St. James. I thought it was informative and gives some good tips, such as making sure you get vocal-only mixes of your songs (which can be used in remixes).

Build Your Brand Identity With The Right Band Name

Your band name has a lot to say about your act and your brand, so getting it right from the start is one key to success. In marketing, branding refers to presenting clear, unique, relevant, believable, and consistent messages about who you are while leaving a lasting positive image in their minds. Everything you do affects the way fans...

Writing DOA Songs

What the heck are “DOA songs?” Note: this article is not about writing songs for D.O.A., the hardcore punk band from Vancouver, British Columbia, nor is it about D.O.A. Fishing lures, a Stuart, Florida based manufacturer of soft plastic lures flavored with farm-raised bait fish. This post is about writing a “DOA” (dead on arrival) song.

Six Things Songwriters Can Do When Their Songs Are Finished

Knowing when a song is finished is an entire article in and of itself so I’m going to predicate these comments on the understanding that your song is, indeed, done. While having a finished song is its own victory, there’s more work to do if you’re hoping to keep your records straight, stay organized and possibly generate income with your song. By treating your songwriting...

Five Ways To Actively Grow Your Fanbase

Today, there are countless ways to get your music out there. Simply putting your music up on YouTube, Facebook, or an internet radio will help fuel organic discovery. However, as you probably already know, this process can be slow and tedious. You may only reach a few new people and these impressions are often one-off with no opportunity to reconnect. For the...

What You Need To Know About Protecting Your Hearing

The most valuable tool a DJ has at their disposal is their ears. Unfortunately it’s also the tool that gets abused the most. This is no surprise given the environments DJ’s frequently find themselves in: nightclubs, music festivals, and DJ booths with loud monitors. Prolonged exposure in these loud settings is very hard on the ears and if a DJ isn’t careful, they risk...
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