Latest Articles


Live-Streaming's Long Tail

For the past ten years, I’ve heard some variation on the following statement almost every day: “artists need to focus on touring and monetizing their live shows.” Yet beyond actually playing live, and occasionally selling some merch, no one has come up with any great ideas for how artists can make extra money playing live. Even the good old, DIY by the seat of your pants Econoline van tour can get expensive, and geographical constraints remain — mounting a world tour is not for the faint of heart or wallet.

10 Albums That Changed Rock Guitar

Sometimes, just when it seems all styles and techniques for guitar-playing have been exhausted, an album comes along that changes perceptions about what a player can achieve with the instrument. Below are 10 albums that broke new ground for rock guitar and spawned legions of disciples. Please chime in with your own choices in the comments section. Blow By Blow (Jeff Beck, 1975). Probably no one was more surprised than Jeff Beck when Blow By Blow struck gold with the record-buying public in 1975...

Essential Mobile Apps for Songwriters

The explosion of smartphones, tablets, and the apps that make them do all that cool stuff is making a whole new toolkit available to the songwriter. Some of these apps are essentially toys – fun to play with, but no more productive than playing Angry Birds. However, there are many tools you can use to help not only archive your ideas but also to develop them. This article is an introduction to the type of apps I think you'll find useful, not a comparative review of a particular set....there's just too many and new ones arrive quickly. But with the average app going...

New Baseball Children's Book To Unite Music and Literacy

Baseball is regarded as America’s Pastime, and of course, who hasn’t dreamed of stepping up to the plate and hitting the grand slam at the end of the game – or catching the winning out? If that describes you, there’s a new book on the market that you need to add to your collection – Mom’s Big Catch, written by Marla McKenna. The author was recently in Nashville to promote the book, and shared with MNN the story of how the project came about. “The book...
Joe Bonamassa

Start Me Up: Legends Talk About Beginning Guitar

For beginners, learning to play guitar is an adventure, a journey filled with discovery, excitement and experimentation. The ways in which a new player sets out on that path are infinite, but it’s always instructive to heed the experiences of those who’ve gone before. Below, five legendary players talk about how they first went about learning to play. Vivian Campbell (Def Leppard) The first song I learned was The Beatles’ “She Loves You.” That was a challenge for me, working out those chords. I didn’t know many people...

How to Play Like Les Paul

Les Paul wasn't just a pioneer of guitar design. Although he was that too. He pioneered the design or at least the use of the solidbody electric guitar, the magnetic pickup (in the late 1920s he jammed a photograph needle in the top of his Sears-Roebuck guitar to amplify it), multitrack recording technology - he even invented his own harmonica rack when he was still a kid! With all this inventiveness and inquisitiveness it's sometimes easy to forget that everything Les created was in the service of creating music. So let's look at some of the guitar ...

The Name Game: The Top 10 Guitarist Stage Names

No axeman ever got famous being called John Doe (well, apart from “John Doe” of L.A. punk legends X, but he was really called John Nommensen Duchac). The point is, a memorable nickname has helped the careers of many guitar rockers. But do you know how guitarmen Chester Burnett, Saul Hudson or Riley King got the names by which you know them? Or why The Edge came about? Allow us to educate you, with the Top 10 Guitarist Stage Names...

Get in Tune with Min-ETune™

For decades, guitarists have dreamed of a guitar that never goes out of tune, of spending less time tweaking, checking, wondering and adjusting. In short, a system that lets them spend less time tuning, and more time rocking. Now Gibson’s new Min-ETune™ system provides the closest thing to making that impossible dream a reality. Min-ETune™ is an affordable, compact, modification-free automatic tuning system for everyone. Previously available only on Gibson’s full-scale “Robot” guitars, as a system wired in between the guitar’s...

10 Tips For Creating Better Mixes

You’ve been cutting album tracks in the studio and the band members have played like gods. Finally the last overdubs have been put down for the lead guitar and vocals and everybody’s feeling great about the project. It’s time to kick back and… Hold it! No it’s not! It’s time to really focus on the mix, a process that you hopefully began even before the first note was played in the studio. Great sessions can live or die by their mixes. Mixing is a true art form that can help define the vision of a band or...

Between The Liner Notes: George Gilbert - From Record Store Clerk to Regional Radio Promoter

Syracuse University’s WAER-FM, with a history of on-air personalities including the young Lou Reed and sportscaster Bob Costas, was one of the few college radio stations in the country reporting their playlists to Billboard Magazine in the early seventies. As such, music director George Gilbert became a key target of promotions departments at every record label, big and small. After graduation, George used his network of industry contacts to procure the newly-created position of Radio Promoter of Southern New England at Elektra/Asylum Records.

School Shootings, Gun Violence And The Need For Change

Murder is a tragedy. When murder is committed on a mass scale, as in the Newtown, CT, school shooting, the tragedy is elevated to being horrifyingly unimaginable. The loss of twenty-six innocent souls, twenty of whom were barely starting off in what may have been long, productive lives, is a catastrophe our society needs to address through self-examination on what could lead someone to commit such atrocities. Almost immediately following the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School, the politicians, political pundits...
Swami gazing into a crystal ball

16 Tech Predictions to Benefit the Music Biz

I am 100% convinced That Google will acquire Rdio. Just because they can. And because the licenses & audience that Rdio has will help solidify Google’s entertainment strategy. Well, that is, unless Microsoft buys Rdio first.; That YouTube’s billion dollar spend on channels / curators / production facilities will pay off in spades as users glom towards ad-supported original content, all produced at a fraction of what the movie studios & TV networks pay to make & promote shows; That Facebook’s ad revenue will be massive...

“CMA Country Christmas” Celebrates the Holiday Season on ABC-TV

For Robert Deaton, Executive Producer of “The CMA Awards” and “CMA Country Christmas,” there’s a world of difference between the two ABC-TV specials. It ultimately comes down to one word. “Tension,” he specified. “There’s a lot of tension in the room for the Awards show because there’s so much riding on who’s going to win and it’s a live broadcast. The Christmas show is very different. It’s warm and open. People are there to have a good time. “ So they were on Saturday, Nov. 3, when Nashville’s Bridgestone...

Playing Profitable Shows as a Band: The 25% Rule

A recent article by Last Stop Booking highlighted the fact that touring is now more important than ever. If you have the time, I highly suggest reading through the article to get a basic feeling for how you should be planning your tours as a band. I’d like to add some tips/ideas to that post by going farther than just giving ballpark numbers and touring radiuses to go off of and instead dive into a profitable tour itinerary that just about any new indie band can use as a template. Before you begin planning where you can go on tour...

An Editorial About The Newtown School Shootings

In light of the shooting in Connecticut, I wanted to take a stand on the Constitutional Rights we enjoy and share an opinion. And, please realize this IS just that – an opinion, an editorial that does not necessarily reflect the position of the magazine or others who work for it. We are a music magazine. We exist because of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. We report on all genres of music, including rap and hip hop which, at times, talks about killing the po-po, raping big-booty b***ches, etc. Do I support ...
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