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The Advantages of Using Session Musicians on Your Song Demos (Pt. 1)

Why do professional recordings sound, well…professional? There are a number of reasons including high quality microphones, pre-amps, an experienced engineer and a well-designed studio space. But one of the single most important elements in a great-sounding, professional recording is the performance of the session musicians. There is a reason that the job of the session musician exists. It’s these musicians whose talent and studio experience...
 
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How to Create a Compelling Facebook Ad

Even though many indie artists are satisfied staying independent, many musicians I meet would like to get noticed by a label. Here’s how to reach every label in the world in UNDER 10 MINUTES. Personally I don’t focus too much on “label obsessed” marketing, so you can use this same trick to reach journalists, radio stations, bloggers, and all manner of influential people who can help push your music forward. Step 1: Create a Facebook ad with the best...
 
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Navigating The Business End of the Music Business

It’s called the music business for a reason — yet for many indie artists, organizing and maintaining the business end of a music career can rank just above dental surgery when it comes to activities of choice. It doesn’t have to be that way, says Errol Wander, a veteran CPA, business manager, and partner at Citrin Cooperman who works with artists like Gavin DeGraw and Dirty Projectors (and who also plays a mean guitar in his spare time). Following just a...
 
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Vid O’ the Week – Liam Finn

I don’t know what is in the water in New Zealand. I’ve never been there and to be honest, it never really appealed to me as a travel destination. I always used to associate it with Lord of the Rings, cold weather and those tweed jumpers that make you feel itchy. That was six months ago. But ever since I was handed the key to whatever the Tasman’s equivalent of Pandora’s Box is, I’ve been mesmerized by the place. The music that pours outta this country...
 
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Ringo Starr and His All Starr Band Rock Santa Barbara Bowl

Singer / songwriter / actor / artist / peacemaker / rock 'n' roll ringmaster Ringo Starr (who also happens to be the world's most famous drummer) continues to spread magic everywhere he goes. On Saturday, July 12, on a beautiful night at the Santa Barbara Bowl lit by a bright full white moon,Ringo Starr and His All Starr Band entertained a capacity crowd of more than 4,500 fans of all ages who came to see the former Beatle and his illustrious six-man troupe...
 
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5 Tips to Survive Summer Music Festivals – Avoid Wackos and More!

Whether you’re sweating through the boiling temps at Lollapalooza, fist-pumping at Mayhem Festival or rocking out at any of a bazillion festivals around the world this summer, festival preparation is crucial to having a good time. Here are 5 Tips for Summer Music Festival Survival that are appropriate for festival newbies and vets alike. The basics: Sunblock, portable cell-phone charger, earplugs. These are the bare essentials for surviving...
 
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Behind the Slayer “Reign In Blood” Banjo YouTube Hit

Recently, social media lit up with a blazing cover of a thrash metal classic — the vicious “Raining Blood” from the mighty Slayer, performed on that most demonic of instruments, the …banjo? Yes! Rob Scallon had previously gifted the world with his ukulele cover of Slayer’s “War Ensemble,” but when it came time to tackle “Raining Blood” he turned to the expanded range and more vibrant midrange of the banjo. And Ryan “Fluff” Bruce - who you...
 
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Five Great Chicken Pickers

When it comes to the six-string art of chicken pickin’, the “buk-buk-buk” stops here, with five of the hottest chicken pickers alive. Although the technique is seemingly simple — a matter of plucking a note downward and outward while muted, the hitting it again with an upstroke — it is difficult to master. But these guys are today’s undisputed masters of the most fowl playing style ever. Brad Paisley: In the early days of chicken pickin’, it was often a static affair...
 
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Dismemberment Plan? 5 Ridiculous Band Names and the Stories Behind Them

Can a band name make or break a group? Probably not, judging by the number of groups who’ve achieved spectacular success despite horrific monikers. Oftentimes the logic behind a band name is clear--The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and Black Sabbath are all based in logic we understand--but some names leave us scratching our heads. Below ...
 
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Ready To Rock But Not Ready To Crowdfund

As an independent artist in the online community, it’s hard not to notice all the active and successful crowdfunding campaigns happening all over the social networks. In fact, I was quite taken with a podcast interview with Benji Rogers, the founder of PledgeMusic. I felt that he was personally imploring me to indulge my fans who wanted desperately to have a hand in furthering my music career and be appreciated for it. I was so jazzed that I overlooked...
 
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What’s More Important: Product or Publicity?

In response to a post Grassrootsy put up a few weeks ago, How Do I Get My Stuff Featured on Music Blogs?, one of their readers asked for advice on how to get blog writers to review his music. The post got plenty of hits and even a number comments and helpful suggestions from music reviewers (check the comments section). After a lengthy response, Grassrootsy received a pretty angry letter from the artist who submitted the original question. With...
 
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The Resonant Human: The Science of How Tempo Affects Us

You’re walking along, enjoying some of your favorite music on a pair of headphones, when all of a sudden you realize you’re re-enacting Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger” video, stepping in time to the music like someone on a mission: Left foot in sync with a bass drum, right foot with the snare, or vice versa. Depending on your disposition, you might feel emboldened or embarrassed. If it’s the latter, take heart. There may be biological reasons why your steps fit ...
 
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Vid O’ the Week – Chloe Kat

Chloe Kat: this girl knows what she’s doing. Mixing Californian rhythm with Tennessee swagger, listen to her perform on top a hill for Song Guerrillas. I first stumbled upon the vocal wonders of Chloe Katerndahl a couple of years ago through a video her and her friends made entitled YOUTH. It comes across like such a perfect, homemade snapshot of what we’d all like YOUTH to be, that I was a little dubious at first as to whether it was some secret ...
 
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Bruno Mars In Concert in Cleveland

Although he is technically a pop star, Bruno Mars is a throwback artist in every way. He starts on time, he plays like Chuck Berry, moves like MJ and is rooted in doo wop. The Filipino / Puerto Rican heart-throb stopped into Cleveland on a near 90 degree day and made it even hotter. When the palm tree curtain dropped on the “Moonshine Jungle,” Mars got the crowd instantly on their feet and singing along to an assault of the power packed trio, “Moonshine,” “Natalie...
 
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10 Great Session Guitarists

You may think playing in a band is sometimes tough, but it’s nothing compared with being a session guitarist. You’ll be playing other artists’ songs. You’ll be required to work very quickly. You often need to be able to interpret others’ ideas without your own ego coming into play. And you need to be super-versatile enough to change playing style and tone for whatever your paymasters demand. But also to have your own ideas to flesh-out the bones of...
 
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