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daveisaacs2

The Band In A Box: How To Be (Or Hire) A Great Accompanist

The ability to accompany yourself is a great skill for a singer to have. It allows you to be self-sufficient and perform alone, without the need for another player or a backing track. It makes you a stronger and more expressive artist by becoming a better musician, even when you're not playing. It provides a fantastic tool for songwriting. And it's also just plain fun...playing and singing FEELS good, once you've learned to make friends with that box hanging around your neck. If you don't play or are just learning ...
 
chet-atkins

10 All-Time Great Finger-Pickers

Especially for acoustic players, few things inspire greater awe than watching and hearing a great finger-stylist at work. Oftentimes the best finger-pickers seem to incorporate music from a multitude of genres--country, jazz, blues … you name it. Below we’ve profiled ten of the very best. Please let us know, in the comments section, which great finger stylists we missed. Merle Travis. The man for whom “Travis picking” was named inspired legions of players, most notably Chet Atkins, but also ...
 
albertking

Left-Handed Guitarists: the Famous and the Facts

Around 10-15% of the world’s people are left-handed. Why so few? No-one knows. Yet studies show that mathematicians, musicians, architects, and artists are more commonly left-handers than would be expected. When it comes to guitarists, that certainly seems to be true. Let’s look at guitar’s left-handers… some obvious, but others you’d never even know. The obvious biggies first – Jimi Hendrix, Tony Iommi, Kurt Cobain, Paul McCartney and many more play left-handed. But it wasn’t always...
 
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How To Beatbox To Start A New Track

If you’re at all musically inclined, odds are you’ve had a great song idea stuck in your head that never made it out of your brain and into your DAW. Next time you get hit by the fever, record yourself beatboxing the track, and follow this Mad Zach tutorial on moving from an off-the-cuff recording to a first draft of a track. You don’t have to be an expert beatboxer either – click through to watch today’s tutorial! We know that barely anyone has their beatboxing skill at the level of Dub FX or Beardyman, so we...
 
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10 Tips for Performing on Stage with a Gibson Les Paul

The Gibson Company’s flagship guitar is the Les Paul. In all of its variations — Standard, Studio, Custom, etc. — the model is a venerable and versatile classic that evokes the past with its elegant lines and recording pedigree, while also packing the goods to lead the cutting edge of modern music. All guitar models have particular qualities that should be factored intro performing with them, especially for hard-core, road dog three-, four- or five-sets-a-night touring...
 
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Concert Review: The History of The Eagles Tour

The “History of the Eagles” tour is aptly named. Theirs has been a notoriously turbulent. Despite all the ballyhooing about breakups and acrimony, they never really went away. Thanks to radio formatting, their songs have been mainstays on everything from classic rock to easy listening. With its recent stop in Pittsburgh, they again proved why some consider them one ofthe best American bands e. Henley and Frey led off with an acoustic “Saturday Night” Ex member Bernie Leadon was then...
 
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Jesus Culture's Kim Walker-Smith and Skyler Smith Are Home

It happens all the time. A young woman and a young man meet, fall in love, get married and settle into a brand new life only to discover that ‘home,’ like love itself, is more than can be measured by a feeling. It’s not something you can build with four hands. It’s not four walls with a roof and a door with a key. It’s not a floor plan or a mortgage or a comfy, cozy chair by the fireplace. It’s not even always a physical place. For Kim Walker-Smith and Skyler Smith, best known for their ministry with Sacramento...
 
stage-setup

Bands, Practice Your Setup (and Breakdown) Routine

I’ve been playing a bunch of solo shows lately. It’s great; I show up with an acoustic guitar, some harmonicas, a DI, maybe my own microphone — and if I’m feeling really adventurous, some pedals and an amp. Lookout! The ease of this kind of setup and breakdown always makes me think about the years where I was primarily playing in bands with LOTS of gear. For some shows, I used to have to bring two electric guitars w/ pedals and amp, an acoustic guitar w/ DI, a Fender Rhodes, a Korg ...
 
pandora-logo

Pandora Royalties - The Real Answer

Pandora royalties came under fire once again last week, with a firestorm of blog posts pointing a ton of virtual fingers. Facts become “facts” as each side is skewing the story to their benefit. All sides should take equal blame for misrepresentation. The truth is that online plays equal audience impressions, and this disparity causes confusion on both sides. When you do the actual math, Pandora is likely paying songwriters less than other broadcasters, but also has a royalty at an enormously higher ...
 
broken-guitar

Busted! — What To Do When Your Guitar Breaks

A few years ago I was playing a small festival in St. Louis and had just gotten off stage. I’d placed my guitars on a couple racks behind me and was autographing CDs and talking to fans when I heard a sickening “thunk” follow by a “crack.” I turned to see that the breeze — slight as it was — had blown my 1967 ES-345 off its stand, face forward. The beautiful cherry red guitar had smacked to the asphalt and the top half of the headstock had snapped clean through. I was not happy, but I continued...
 
rachele-lynae_july2013

New Artist Spotlight - Rachele Lynae

The daughter of a fisherman, Rachele Lynae was raised on Alaska’s Kodiak Island. From the start, she set her eyes far beyond the snow-capped mountains that towered on the horizon, toward the Lower 48 and a career in Country Music. She began singing in church at age 5, did her first show at 11 in the Kodiak Lions Club, started writing songs at 12 and embarked on her first tour at 17. Enrolled after that in Belmont University, she polished her chops at Tootsies Orchid Lounge and other...
 
the-fixx_july2013

The Fixx Soars In Return To The Coach House

Although it has been 30 years since the release of their trailblazing Reach the Beach disc, the Fixx is one of the few groups to emerge in the 1980s whose artistry remains fully intact. The evidence played itself out in brilliant fashion when the British rock quintet performed a flawless 18-song set before a capacity crowd at the legendary Coach House in San Juan Capistrano on Friday night, July 19. Featuring songs from 1983's Reach the Beach and 2012's sterling Beautiful Friction (and a few choice...
 
handwriting

10 Foolproof Ways to Critique Your Own Songs

Early on in my songwriting career, I considered it a minor miracle that I could create a song in the first place. However, once I got a little more used to performing that particular magic trick, it became necessary to start to refine my process a bit further. In other words, it was no longer enough just to have created a song. Now I had to go back and tweak, edit, fix, and otherwise polish my songs until I was confident I’d exhausted every option to improve them. Here, I’ve put together a list of 10 things...
 
kimcopeland3

The Silent Poet

As I have said before, my favorite part of my job is the people I meet and the creative energy we share. I grow from each and every interaction with you and I never take our meetings lightly. You enrich my life and I try my best to return the favor. This past week, I was blessed to spend time with a prolific songwriter whom I only discovered recently. (I suppose he actually discovered me, or our paths crossed when they were meant to, as I do believe that people and ideas come to you when you are...
 
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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...
 
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