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Craig Campbell

Live Review: Craig Campbell in Pittsburgh

Craig Campbell is at the forefront of a refreshing trend in country music. His showcase of songwriting skill and traditional instrumentation represents a much needed return to the genre’s roots. There was plenty of pedal steel and fiddle filling the 90 minute show. The songs were about drinking, solid core values and, of course, “Fishing.” He came out to a thunderous bass drum with “Keep Them Kisses Coming.” Somewhat surprisingly, he played only four songs from his self-titled debut in the 16 song set, equaling the...
 
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Inside The John Lennon Educational Tour Bus

The John Lennon Educational Tour Bus is a non-profit 501(c)(3) state-of-the-art mobile audio and HD video recording and production facility. In its sixteenth year, with the very newest technology and gear, the Bus continues to be dedicated to providing young people with tours of the studios and participation in free songwriting and multimedia production workshops. With the assistance of three on-board engineers, students learn how to write, perform, record, and produce original songs, produce and shoot music videos and ...
 
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Hear Me Now: 10 of Rock’s Greatest Guitar Intros

Whether it’s an amazing solo, an unforgettable riff or simply a power chord that hangs suspended in the air, a great guitar intro can set the tone for an entire song. Rock history is loaded with great examples – the ten below rank among the very best. Alice Cooper“School’s Out” – Alice Cooper. Founding guitarist Glen Buxton came up with the ferocious opening riff for this classic long before the complete song was actually ...
 
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Daniel Bashta Records The Invisible for a Generation Sick of Singing Songs

Perhaps best known for penning the modern worship anthem “God’s Not Dead (Like A Lion),” recorded by David Crowder Band, newsboys and others, Daniel Bashta, a missionary kid who grew up immersed in ministry all around the globe, speaking life and hope into a dark world has been his life-long passion. Educated at the Worship Institute of London and heavily influenced by the ministry of Soul Survivor...
 
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5 iPad Apps For Producing Quality Music

Back in the day, producing quality music requires a lot of work to do. You have to go to a music studio to record your songs and mix them altogether. You even have to spend hundreds of dollars just to get things right. Nowadays, we now have the iPad that just does the task, and little to no costs. All it takes is one simple download from the iTunes store and you’ll get useful apps that will help you produce your music with the same quality as the ones those popular music idols produce. Here are those apps...
 
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Three Must-Know Music Licensing Contract Points

Many musicians find the legalities of the music industry scary or, according to some research from my blog and newsletter, haven’t even looked at a contract. In fact, the music industry itself has made a point to tout it’s legal strength anytime someone tries to do something inventive and effective in the music space, rather than trying to learn from or emulate the result (zing!). The fact of the matter is that yes, you do need a lawyer to review your contracts and licenses. However, you don’t need one in order to understand the...
 
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Collaborating With Other Songwriters (But Not Co-Writing!)

I'm not talking about co-writing songs. I'm referring here to getting other songwriters to help you evaluate your work. I am a big advocate of songwriting groups such as NSAI. Here you can meet with other writers, learn something valuable about writing from an industry pro, and take some time to listen to each others songs and offer constructive criticism. If you've never done anything like this, it can be a bit nerve-wracking. It's one thing to play your songs for an audience of mostly non-musicians, with the only feedback being the ...
 
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How To Make A Living In The Modern Music Business

According to a recent report by Berklee College of Music, the average musician earns $55,561 per year. More than half of all respondents reported generating income from three or more different jobs. For a lucky few, though, a full-time gig can translate into a six-figure salary. Buoyed by selling a chunk of his eponymous headphone line, Dr. Dre pulled in $110 million last year. His earnings were easily the most of any rapper, rocker or pop star in the world—and, according to a recent report released by Berklee College of Music...
 
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How Many G Chords Do You Know?

I sat down the other day to make a short, simple video about two different ways to finger a G chord. I find that many people tend to use one or the other consistently, whichever one they learned first. Once I started getting into the topic, though, I found more and more to say about it. Next thing I knew, I had a fifteen-minute video on different ways to play a simple G chord. You might ask how it's possible to have that much of value...
 
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Live Review: Trampled By Turtles and Honeyhoney Impress In Santa Ana, CA

Americana music has had such a huge impact in recent years that it has given rise to international stars, from England’s Mumford & Sons to Sweden’s First Aid Kit. But Friday night a capacity crowd filled the Observatory in Santa Ana to celebrate two homegrown champions of the sound, Trampled by Turtles and honeyhoney. The mighty headliners from Duluth, Minn., brought major-league game to ...
 
Josh Graham and Rick Russell of Lucky Ned Pepper.

New Artist Spotlight: Lucky Ned Pepper

If Westerns are your type of film, then the name Lucky Ned Pepper might ring a bell: It’s the bad guy in True Grit, a nasty, cantankerous character typical of those that prowled the plains and prairies. It’s also the name Josh Graham and Rick Russell chose for their new duo. While there’s nothing particularly villainous about these two Bakersfield-based singers, they do infuse their music with some wide-open, big-sky...
 
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The Unmitigated Weirdness Of The Whole Tone Scale

When I think back on my favorite scales to play in, they tend to have a certain elegance in common. The simplicity and intuitiveness of the Major Scale, the floaty dreaminess of the Lydian Mode, the exotic Jason Becker-like vibe of the Hirajoshi Scale - they're all beautifully melodic, and they all have a built-in ability to resolve nicely, providing a satisfying emotional and musical conclusion to a musical phrase. Then there's the Whole Tone Scale. What is it? It's simply a scale built out of a whole bunch of whole tones. Every note of the scale has a two-fret leap either way to find the next note of the scale. And whatever...
 
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How To Build Your Own Basic Pedal Board

Let’s examine what it takes to build a pedal board. Things to consider are the foundation, or the “board” part of the pedal board, fasteners, power, cables, the effects themselves and how they’ll be chained. And finally the transportation and protection of the board. The latter affects your decisions about the first. Several manufacturers make prefabricated open-and-play pedal board boxes. These tend to cost between $60 and $300 and...
 
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10 Greats Say Practice Makes Perfect

There’s no getting around it: for any beginning guitarist who aspires toward excellence, practice is the essential component in achieving that goal. But what about players who’ve already reached the pinnacle of their craft? Do they continue to practice, and what exactly does “practice” mean to them? Below, ten six-stringers who’ve climbed the ladder to greatness share their thoughts on the topic.
 
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Slide Guitar Basics: To Mute Or Not To Mute?

Conventional wisdom when playing slide dictates that guitarists mute with the palms of their picking hands in order to keep extraneous sonic activity to a minimum. That’s part of how Duane Allman, Joe Walsh, Ry Cooder, Derek Trucks and scores of others have achieved warm, buttery well-defined tones over the decades. This is especially true when playing electric guitar, where strings can rattle, buzz and sustain wildly given a little...