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How To Sell Your Music On iTunes - The Important Facts Some Leave Out

Hey guys, this is a follow up to my guide on how to sell your music on iTunes and Amazon MP3. In that guide I looked firstly at the process of digitally distributing your music online, and secondly at what you need to do once your music is on there. This second point I don’t think I looked at in enough detail however, so want to talk more about it today. While getting your songs and albums on to these big online stores is a good feeling in itself, if you want to actually makes sales of your music, getting your music on iTunes is only a small part of what you need to...

Nashville Pros Rate the Top Country Guitarists of All Time

Back in 1966, John Sebastian noted in his song “Nashville Cats,” that “there’s thirteen hundred and fifty-two guitar pickers in Nashville,” each of whom “played clean as country water.” Years later, he recalled, with a laugh, someone “with too much time on their hands” went through the local AFM book from 1966 and found out “I was only 30 off.” In the 46 years since The Lovin’ Spoonful made history for themselves and for Music City with that song, that number has obviously grown. Many guitarists have come and gone, dreamed and died...

Back To Basics 3: Rhythm and The Musical Heartbeat

We are rhythmic creatures. We walk, talk, and breathe in rhythm, and we use the word “pulse” to mean both the movement of blood through our bodies and movement in music. So if you believe you have no sense of rhythm, you're just not feeling it....but your body does, innately. In learning an instrument, the mechanics can get in the way of developing good time in your playing. So when you practice mechanics (and of course you do, right?), go slowly enough that you can keep a beat, even a really slow one if necessary. There's no such...

A New Breed of Artists

The digital revolution came seemingly overnight. It crept into our living rooms, bedrooms, and court rooms. The moment that Metallica sued Napster, the point-of-no-return hit. We’re on a crash course with a digital destiny, and there are many artists who are adapting beautifully. Take Louis C.K. for example. He revolutionized the standup comedy business with his tech savvy tour. He still made millions, and he got lower ticket prices for his fans. All he had to do was a little bit of extra work by calling each of the venues and setting up contracts ...
Jim Lauderdale hosts the Americana Music Association Honors and Awards show, photo: Erika Goldring

The Americana Honors & Awards Also Known as "The Good Stuff"

The Americana Music Festival and Conference wrapped up over the weekend, with the spotlight of the week being The 11th Annual Americana Honors & Awards at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium the night of September 12. Hosted by Jim Lauderdale, he gladly gave his take on the famous question that many Americana artists have heard ever so often: what is Americana music? Jim joked with the crowd, "We are often asked to define Americana. Usually, we just say it's the good stuff, and walk on." The show, honoring some of the finest in...

How To Make Your Music Career Highly Profitable And Sustainable

If you hold the belief that it is ‘wrong’ to try to make money with your musical talents, do not read any further…simply close this page now. For those of you who have decided to continue reading….welcome. Fact is, the majority of musicians want to have a career in music. However, these musicians also doubt their abilities to make good money in music, and fear that they will not be able to support themselves. Unfortunately, these people end up pursuing non-music jobs where they work full time and despise every time they go to clock in. This is all done out...

Fan-Funding: Smart or 'Shameful'?

Record labels have been a necessary evil in the world of music for nearly 100 years. Artists feel like they put their hearts and soul into a project and the label rips them off for their art. They aren’t wrong in that, the labels do keep a lot of the money from albums and from touring, especially in the early stages of a musician’s career. That really isn’t disputable, it’s factual. Labels aren’t all evil, they’re trying to build a musician up so that they can go out and make millions for themselves and the label. However, in the internet age it has become possible...

Why You Don’t Need a Press Kit: How to Book Your Band in the Age of Email

What is a press kit—and why don’t I need one? A press kit is a collection of materials that you used to have to send to journalists, bookers, and other industry professionals when you wanted to get a gig, press coverage, management deal, etc. Once upon a time, bands would spend hundreds to thousands of dollars putting together their press kits. To do it right, there’d be expensive photo shoots, printing ...
Photo by Michael Rampa

Concert Review: Steve Vai In Greensburg, PA

Steve Vai helped Ibanez design a seven string guitar. As if the wizardry he performs with only six isn’t mind blowing enough! The consummate shredder rolled into Greensburg, PA’s historic Palace Theater last Thursday and put on a 2 ½ hour pyrotechnic clinic showcasing his blazing speed, delicate textures and ear splitting decibel levels. Vai’s shows are unburdened by traditional elements such as vocals and lyrics. Like his albums, they are almost completely instrumental in scope. There are few demarcation lines between songs, just an ...
Philip Sweet, Kimberly Schlapman, Karen Fairchild and Jimi Westbrook at the “Pontoon” video shoot.
Photo credit: Becky Fluke.

Little Big Town Explores New Horizons in Harmony and Production

One great singer is a producer’s delight. When George Jones, Tony Bennett or Andrea Bocelli is behind the microphone, the possibilities for one-of-a-kind bursts of inspiration are what spark the studio maven’s imagination. Does this mean that when you gather four terrific singers, the opportunities for such moments quadruple? Not exactly, but it does tweak the dynamic in an intriguing way. Group vocals reach out differently, in blends made smoother by toning down individual idiosyncrasies. Even where one member takes the...
Click above to view Gene Simmons photos

VIDEO: Gene Simmons and Doc McGhee Session at the SOLID Breakfast in Nashville

Kiss frontman Gene Simmons, along with legendary manager Doc McGhee, spent a morning in Nashville at an invite-only breakfast sponsored by SOLID (Society of Leaders in Development), a group of music industry professionals dedicated to making the music industry better through networking and program development. Simmons and McGhee talked about the background of KISS, along with many ...

How To Win A Vocal Contest

Watching the “Hunger Games” movie recently, my mind drifted to today’s culture of vocal gladiator-like contests. The losers, especially in the major TV contests, are made to feel that they should at least figuratively die. I really have a problem with the talent contest mentality because in my opinion, there’s no competition with originality anyway. Talent contests are usually at best artificial constructs of talent assessment and at worst, fixed. I find it hard to picture Bob Dylan, Joe Cocker, Carly Simon, Taylor Swift or even BB King winning the “Music Games” crown...
Dave Matthews roars into the night air at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater at the start of DMB’s three-hour set. Photo: Kevin Sullivan

Live review: Dave Matthews Band Is Potent In Irvine

With Dave Matthews Band set to release its eighth studio album (the dazzling Away from the World) on Sept. 11, the group appeared more than pumped throughout its three-hour concert Saturday night at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater. Joined by several guests (notably guitar great Stanley Jordan) and reportedly offering up the live debut of not one but two songs off that soon-to-drop disc, Matthews and his terrific players would have blown the roof off the place if there was one. When I last caught DMB here in Irvine, September ...

Pinterest: Newest and Hottest Social Network and Why it Matters to You

You’ve probably already heard that Pinterest is the latest and hottest social network. Pinterest is like an online scrapboard but you aren’t restricted to posting just pictures. You can share your videos, your music, and your blogs on Pinterest. Any kind of digital content that you can connect to a visual, can be shared on Pinterest. Now I can see you rolling your eyes especially if you haven't already started using Pinterest and saying to yourself, …”great yet another social network that I am supposed to sign up for and use…when does it stop?”
Click above to view photos from the concert

Craig Morgan Sings for Survivors

For all the ongoing efforts to care for troops coming home from abroad, the families of those who survived — and those who didn’t — are somewhat overlooked. That’s why Major Dan Rooney founded Folds of Honor, a charity dedicated to assisting these families by providing educational scholarships to dependents of troops who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Bushnell Outdoor Products has partnered with Folds of Honor for several years. The company is also a sponsor of the Outdoor Channel’s “Craig Morgan All Access...
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