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What We Can Learn From ‘80s Guitar Tone

A few days ago I was watching ‘80s videos on cable - something I tend to do a lot lately - and something kinda interesting struck me. But before I get to it, let me flash forward a little bit to the ‘90s. I was a teenager in the ‘90s, which was of course the era of grunge. Mostly I hated grunge, apart from Alice In Chains of course. And maybe Soundgarden. And Pearl Jam. And …okay, I guess I liked more grunge than I let on at the time. But publicly, I hated grunge because it had made it uncool to like the kind ...

4 Dos and Don’ts When Writing Songs

“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 worst - songs ever written were created using the same techniques. To that end, I’m going to cover four different ways to approach...

Fishfest Brings The Faithful Back To Irvine

Soaring temperatures didn't keep a capacity crowd away from Irvine's Verizon Wireless Amphitheater on Saturday (June 29, 2013), where people started pouring in by early afternoon to take in a top-tier lineup of Christian music artists performing at Fishfest 2013. Since proceeds from The Fish/95.9 FM's festival benefit Compassion International, a global sponsorship program aimed at helping children escape poverty, there were plenty of moving firsthand testimonials...

How the Allman Brothers Band Launched Southern Rock

Gregg Allman once famously pointed out that the phrase “southern rock” contained a redundancy – after all, rock and roll was born in the American South. “You may as well say ‘rock rock’,” Allman noted. True, perhaps, but there’s no denying that at the turn of the ‘70s a new type of rock and roll emerged – one rooted in a smoldering blend of blues, jazz, country and R&B, and often served up by way of extended improvisations. Indisputably, the first group to bring all those elements together, and infuse ...

10 Absolute Essentials For Your Band’s Website

While sites like Facebook, SonicBids and Reverb Nation allow you to have a web presence with easy-to-use plug-ins, they do not have the flexibility a stand-alone website provides, and they are not owned by you, which is important. These days having a web site with a user friendly platform like WordPress is as simple as paying for hosting and following the instructions. And yet, many bands and artists do not present themselves well on their websites. A site doesn’t need to be fancy, with animation ...

3 Successful Kickstarter Music Campaigns You Can Learn From

Since launching in early 2009, over 12,000 music projects have been successfully funded through Kickstarter. One of the largest and most popular crowdfunding sites, Kickstarter is a powerful platform designed to assist artists to raise funds for the creation of independently-curated and owned projects. Kickstarter is rapidly becoming a hub for upcoming and established musicians looking to shape the way people think about and interact with creative projects as well as the...

20 Ways To Play Guitar Better

Getting better on guitar is all about learning. You may think you’re doing fine, but all players can improve with some thought about what they’re doing. Here are 20 practical and conceptual tips to help you play better. Of course, “better” is subjective. Is Yngwie Malmsteen a “better” player than Neil Young? It depends on your taste. But rest assured that both Malmsteen and Young themselves have followed some of these tips. 1. Play With Other People. It’s obvious. No two people play...

14 Apps For Live Producing and Performing on iOS

We’ve all heard the declarations that the age of physical hardware or controllers is at an end in the production world, and that mobile devices and tablets like the iPad will become the primary way that musicians make music and perform it live. But how realistic is this claim? Today, we’ve asked an expert in the iOS live production and performance world – Rheyne – to share some of the apps that make jamming on an iPad more fun and significantly cheaper than buying a ton of analog hardware...

The 7 Attributes of Younger Music Fans

They may never buy your album, yet they'll live-stream you eating breakfast. It's the ever-changing, younger music fan of 2013, and the focus of a just-released report from MTV Research. Here are 7 attributes of this young, still-emerging, and radically different audience group often dubbed Millennials. Depending on who you are, this may be just a part — or 100% — of your fanbase. (1) They Crave Mundane Intimacy. "Millennials crave intimate glimpses into the mundane daily activities of their...

Are Indies Getting Shafted by iTunes Radio?

You know the drill right when it comes to indie label licensing, right? Well, it goes something like this: a major music service does a bunch of major label deals leading up to launch, and saves the independent labels for last (who often get an inferior deal). An indie label consortium named Merlin then conjures up some outrage, clamors for parity, and everyone works something out. But is that about to happen with iTunes Radio? So far, the sealed deals we know of only include the major ...

101 Ways to Make Money as a Musician

There are a ton of different ways to make money as a musician. I’m not suggesting that everyone can make money with each of these ways. But I can promise that you can make money using at least one of these ways. I present to you 101 ways to make money as a musician. Help add to the list by leaving a comment below. 1. Teach Live In-Person Lessons for a Record/Music Store – The Bounty Music store in Maui, Hawaii employs music teachers who teach lessons in-store. Have you inquired ...

Slam The Door On Your Fear Of Asking For Money: A Music Crowdfunding Tip

One HUGE hurdle that you must overcome before attempting a music crowdfunding project lies in convincing yourself that it’s okay to ask other people for their money. Somewhere along the line, you’ve likely had thoughts similar to these - “As an artist, it is hard to ask for money. Especially when you’re playing a show and the people who are there have already paid to get in, maybe bought a t-shirt, and are ...

Psychedelic Guitar in the Modern Age

Psychedelic rock had a huge impact on its immediate surroundings in the ‘60s, and the shockwaves continue to resonate today. When we think of psychedelic music I guess we most readily jump straight to Jimi Hendrix — for good reason — but there was so much more happening in ‘60s psychedelia. Some of it was overt and some of it was tangential. For instance, Frank Zappa touched on psychedelic rock often in his early career, even if he was at odds with the psychedelic mindset. Carlos Santana...

Lady Antebellum’s Strategy for Song Selection

It’s been only five years since Lady Antebellum released its self-titled debut album, which propelled the group toward millions-upon-millions of album and single sales, seven Grammy Awards and six CMA Awards. In 2009, Dave Haywood, Charles Kelley and Hillary Scott solidified their superstar status with the crossover appeal of the power ballad “Need You Now,” which they’d written with Josh Kear. And their newest album, Golden, debuted at No.1 on Billboard’s Top 200 chart.

How to Get Free or Affordable Legal Help for Your Music Project

So you've created your own opportunity by starting a business yourself and things are going great. So great that it's getting serious and you've decided you need a little legal help. Whether you need an independent contractor agreement, want to know what type of business entity is right for you, or you just have some legal questions, obtaining the help of an attorney can be pretty expensive. What's an aspiring music industry professional to do? Luckily, there are some great organizations out there...
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