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Setting Your Guitar Up For Slide

Slide guitar has a kind of magic about it. There's a harmonic richness inherent in that interaction between the string and the slide - be it made of glass or metal — that speaks to the soul. The plaintive wail of Duane Allman, the wild screaming blues of Dave Hole, the sweet melodies of George Harrison, the virtuosity of Derek Trucks — they all took this one playing style and used it to emphasise their personal uniqueness while also adding to the vocabulary of slide guitar that we all borrow from...

Top 10 Greatest Rocking Bass Riffs

Bass riffs might not be the first thing that comes to mind when listening to rock music, since so much of a rock song is centered around the guitar. But if you stop and think about it for a while, you’ll discover that there are quite a few bass riffs that also serve as the driving force behind a song, and surely some that you didn’t even realize were bass riffs to begin with. We’ve previously done Top 10 lists of the best rock bassists, but now it’s time to take a look at the best bass riffs. Some of the entries...

How To Build A Great Online Store For Your Band

First came the cheap recording equipment, which turned everybody into a bedroom recording artist. Then the web arrived, turning all these bedroom recording artists into bedroom recording labels, able to flog records (in theory at least) to a massive global audience. Now, many artists are great at making music in their bedrooms, but not so savvy when it comes to selling it from them, so in this post I’m going to outline how you can build a really good online store that makes it easy for ...

6 Ways to Motivate Yourself to Write

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 got to make our own inspiration. I’ve put together a list of a few things that should help you keep your...

3 Tips on Crowdfunding Your Music from The Kickback

The Kickback is a group from Chicago, IL, with some South Dakota roots.This may not be a combo you hear of often (South Dakotans rarely move to Chicago, I’ve heard) but The Kickback is absolutely crushing it as they raise money to fund their debut album! Here are a few tips and tricks that their project highlights. Beyond a shadow of a doubt, when nobody knows about your crowdfunding project then you will receive zip/zero/zilch/nada through pledges...

Country Artists Take a New Spin on Vinyl

Not since the early 1990s has the acronym “LP” had currency in the recording world. Yet it’s creeping back into the nomenclature among some Millennials and members of Generation Y as they discover the wonders of vinyl albums. This trend isn’t just about nostalgia or even the music itself. It’s about the market. “There are several potential consumer demographics that we are targeting with the vinyl release of the Pistol Annies album Annie Up,” said Gary Overton, Chairman / CEO, Sony Music Nashville...

6 Things You Need To Develop The Talent In You

Being talented is a great thing, but gaining success through your talent will require you to work hard towards it. Below are few important guidelines to follow. 1. You need to have a plan. Everything you do in life needs a plan, especially when it is something you really want to achieve. Without a plan you don’t really know what you got to do or how much you need to spend for what you want to accomplish, but having a plan gives you a way more clear vision of what you need to do.

The Mechanics of Making Music

One of the first things I look at when a new student comes to me is the way they physically approach the instrument. Playing the guitar has built-in mechanical challenges beyond working the fingers on the fretboard, which is where most players – and many teachers – put most of their attention. As a result, many people develop habits that interfere with their ability to play without even being aware that it's happening. Unconsciously, they create their own obstacles. But the good news is that these...

Heat Wave: 10 Songs That Celebrate Summer

There’s something about summer that often brings out the best in songwriters. Perhaps it’s time spent outdoors, memories of childhood summer vacations, or just plain old sunshine that does the trick. Below are 10 songs inspired by the year’s hottest season. Be sure to chime in with your own summer favorites in the comments section. “Sunny Afternoon” – The Kinks (1966). This perennial summer classic reminds us that even if we’re broke, we can still enjoy a sunny day sipping an ice cold...

New Artist Spotlight - The Henningsens

These are halcyon times for Country vocal groups. So how does a new group stand out? The Henningsens have at least two ways of making an impression in this crowded field. One involves songwriting: On American Beautiful, their Arista Nashville debut, Brian Henningsen, son Aaron and daughter Clara, as a trio or in various combinations, join with various co-writers on all 10 tracks, with consistently pleasing results. Match that with singing that exceeds today’s standards for technique...

Let’s Get This Straight – DIY Means Decide It Yourself Not Do It Yourself

Across the Internet and in the zines of yesterdecade, there have constantly been cries of “sellout.” According to a recent study, the kids of today don’t care who sold out, who’s punk or what’s the score any longer. But what every music fan does care about are the artists they love being tainted by the influences of A&R douches looking to shape our favorite acts and turn them into something they are not...

Leverage What You Know About Music Creation to Create Content and Build Audience Online

As a singer, songwriter, or music artist, you have a distinct advantage when it comes to creating content for the web. After all your music is a piece of content so you're familiar with the creative process of creating tangible content. Often times when I talk to people in the industry there is this idea that creating content for the web is somehow a different process from creating your music. In this post, I want to encourage...

1991: Nirvana and Metallica Change Rock Forever

It's generally held that 1967 was a landmark year for rock music. Jimi Hendrix's Are You Experienced, Cream's Disraeli Gears, The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band – all of those albums were released that year and they all had an instant and jarring effect on music history, with particular impact on guitarists. A similar impact was felt around the world in 1991 with the release of several extremely influential albums – U2’s Achtung Baby, Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Blood Sugar Sex Magik, Pearl Jam’s Ten, My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless, Primal Scream’s Screamadelica). Among this elite crop were a pair of very different but equally epoch-changing records: Nirvana's Nevermind and Metallica's self-titled album (often referred to...
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Capturing the Spirit of Spirit Animal

Originating from the east coast, Spirit Animal can definitely make an impact by unleashing their animal within. The up and coming band, formed in 2010, can now say that they have captured the spirit of their band. “That’s the real Spirit Animal line-up,” said front man Steve Cooper about their latest EP album, This Is A Test. Their earlier album, Cost of Living, Steve commented, “that was more of a one man driven and house production, now, that’s why you hear (This is a Test) with more momentum...

Little Amps, Big Sounds: Recording with Low-Watt Amps

Jimmy Page, Steve Cropper, Jeff Beck, Joe Walsh, Neil Young and a horde of other guitarists with monster tone understand that it’s not always amp size that counts. And the proof is in an array of classic recordings that include Beck’s “’Cause We Ended As Lovers,” Walsh’s “Rocky Mountain Way,” Neil Young’s “Over and Over” and Led Zeppelin’s epic “Heartbreaker.” Recording with small, low-wattage amps is an art form that requires a little knowledge and imagination, and of course, some good sounding...
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