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songwriting

Getting Out of Your Songwriting Comfort Zone

One of the many challenges we songwriters face is that we’re tasked not only with creating something from nothing but also our “somethings” need to be unique not only compared to what others have written but also compared to what we’ve written before. This is no small thing and the moment you think you’ve "figured it out" as a songwriter is exactly when you need to leave...
 
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Essential Tips for Mixing Your Songwriter Demos

Once you’ve decided to up the ante and put your songwriter demos out there for the world to hear, it’s in your best interest to pay close attention to every step in the recording process. One of the most vital of these steps is the mix of your song. It’s not enough to have a great song. You need a great recording and a strong mix is an essential part of any great recording. The art...
 
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Four Useful Ways To Make Your Original Songs Original

A career in songwriting is a long road where the actual big payoff moments - if you’re fortunate enough to have some - are few and far between for even the most successful writers. This is all the more reason to take the time and challenge yourself to find what’s unique about your own songwriting. The more original your songs are the greater the likelihood that you'll get...
 
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Six Tips for Improving Songwriting Motivation

As passionate as we are about our songwriting, the reality is that sometimes it’s difficult to motivate ourselves to write. Whether it’s the fear of plumbing our emotional depths or just good old fatigue after a long day, there are often obstacles to overcome when it’s time to write. While flashes of inspiration are great, we can’t always count on the muse showing up on our schedule. Instead, we’ve...
 
Mangelwurzel

Mangelwurzel Exploded Over a Frenzied Crowd at Newtown Social Club

It was quiet for a Saturday night in Newtown, aside from the occasional inebriated Kings Cross dropout, bringing his lifeless irritation elsewhere due to recent legislative force. Upon entering Newtown Social Club, the scene was similar but with an air of possibility and anticipation for the events to take place. The fabled, self-confessed weirdos Mangelwurzel were to ply lucky attendees with...
 
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Negotiating the Delicate Art of Drum Miking

Among sound engineers, musicians and almost everyone involved in the music production business, the quest for the right drum sound has taken on mythic status. Why? Well, many factors are at play. Firstly, in the canon of major rock recording throughout history, truly magical drum sounds have indeed been reproduced on tape. Then there is the multitude of methods for tracking...
 
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Beck Impresses Mightily in Las Vegas

When I had last caught Beck at Coachella in April 2014, the ageless singer-songwriter-guitarist was performing on the main stage in front of 100,000 music fans in Indio, California, fresh on the heels of the recent release of his stunning disc "Morning Phase" (released in February 2014, the disc would go on to win Album of the Year and Best Rock ...
 
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Fender Deluxe Reverb - The Most Played, Recorded & Sought After Amp in Music History

Fender have spawned countless classic pieces of musical equipment since the company’s inception in 1946. Many have been innovative, some genre-defining while other have been flops (wrong for their time or just plain weird). Then there’s another category, one that sits above the others on a plane of untouchability. Few pieces of musical equipment can boast such ...
 
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The Dos and Don’ts of Co-Writing

Looking back over twenty-plus years to my first songwriting efforts, I remember my creative process as so personal and fragile that I was dead certain I would never open it up to another person. This would have seemed like co-painting or more like co-dating...just not going to happen. However, two things DID happen. One, I moved to Nashville, Tennessee, the co-writing capital of the...
 
mysongdemo

Five Pre-Songwriting Demo Mistakes (And How to Avoid Them)

The professional songwriting demo process is a necessary part of the equation for songwriters aspiring to get their material heard by music industry decision-makers and, hopefully, cut by successful recording artists. Despite the fact that hundreds of demos are recorded every week in places like Nashville, New York and Los Angeles, new songwriters often find themselves overwhelmed and...
 
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Business Etiquette Hits the Circular File

Over the last several years, I’ve noticed companies and individuals in the business world adopting an old saying as their business practice: Ignorance is bliss. If we pretend you didn’t call or email us, then we don’t have to respond. But, what does that say about your business acumen? A friend of mine, who is a tour manager with a major recording...
 
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The Benefits of Stripping Down Your Song Demos

Let’s begin at the beginning. You’ve written a song and, hopefully, you’re thrilled with it. So thrilled, in fact, that you want to record it right away and use every instrument in both the Western and Eastern musical traditions on the song demo. I don’t blame you one bit. There’s nothing more fun than dressing up your songs to go to town. But it might make sense to stop and...
 
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Four Practical Dos and Don'ts for Different Songwriting Methods

“Which do you write first, the music or the words?” This is the classic question that all songwriters get asked. In my experience, there’s no easy - or correct - answer to this one. Sometimes it’s the music, sometimes it’s the lyrics and, often, it’s some mystical, organic combination of the two. More importantly, there is no one way to write a song. Some of the best and...
 
vip-recording-studio

What Do Music Producers Do?

Working as a producer for the last twenty years, I’ve recorded all kinds of artists from “fresh off the boat” newbies to artists whose experience in the world of music doubles my own. In every case, my role as a producer stays essentially the same. It’s that role that I’m going to describe in this article. What Is A Music Producer & What Do Music Producers Do? The best way I know to...
 
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URGENT WARNING: Beware of NBC/Universal's "Songland" Submission Form

Several clients of mine have brought this to my attention, so I thought I would address it here. The NBC/Universal submission agreement for the "Songland" TV show states that NBC will own all rights to use and exploit all of your songs involved in the show including the songs you submit in the initial application. You would also purportedly be giving up your song even if you do not get...
 
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