Latest Articles

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How To Help Protect Your Health as a Musician

Hard working musicians subject themselves to irregluar working hours, late working hours and often find themselves in areas of slightly different risk compared with many other professions. This article is definitely not meant to replace seeking medical and postural advice if you have a problem that needs addressing. However it does offer some basic and sensible advice which is easy to neglect during periods of heavy work load and stress, whether you are writing an album or on tour as a musician.

Inbound Marketing And What It Means For Musicians

Have you heard of ‘inbound marketing?’ A lot of my non-music clients are getting quite obsessed with it. And rightly so, as when employed correctly it is a powerful way of attracting and retaining new customers. ‘What the feck is inbound marketing then, and can it make me a pop star?’ I hear you mutter. All right then, I shall elaborate. Inbound marketing typically revolves around the internet, and involves three key steps: Getting found (i.e., driving traffic to your site); Converting (capturing data and generating sales)...

Context Culture: The Next Music Revolution

Smartphones have changed nearly every aspect of our lives. They have become the personal assistant and digital companion that keeps us punctual, social, and sane. Still, these devices don't quite shine until we push them - manually launching apps and inputting information. Pandora demands an artist, Urbanspoon requires a cuisine, and Maps wants a destination. These minor, but collectively time-consuming requirements signal that our devices have yet to integrate our physical settings with our personal interests.

Band Blogging Worthy of Your Fans’ Attention

Blogging 101 for musicians—because the basics are all you need. Chris Rockett of Music Marketing Classroom recently asked me to contribute some advice for his upcoming blogging masterclass for musicians on how to create entertaining blog posts worth sharing. The advice I offered is basic, but it bears repeating: there’s no secret to successful blogging—just keep it short, keep it simple, and keep it visual. Want to create entertaining content that is worth a minute of your fans’ time? As with most pursuits, it’s really all about the rudiments.

What Bands are Missing by Staying Inside Their Comfort Zones

If you’re not getting out of your comfort zone, you’re effectively turning down all of the amazing opportunities that exist outside of your comfort zone. This is as true for musicians as it is for anybody else. A few months ago I had the honor of talking about comfort zones at TEDxMelbourne. After speaking to one musician at the event, I was inspired to share what I’d learnt about comfort zones with other musicians, in the hope that it might motivate some artists to get out of their comfort zone. Why do we need to get out of our comfort zones?

5 Ways to Activate and Engage Your Fan Base for the Holiday Season

Ah, the holiday spirit. This time of year, people of all ages and religions come together to bask in a feeling of unity and… well, presents. For you, this means two things: 1. There is no better time to work on building engagement within your fan base 2. There is no better time to sell (what you sell will be up to you, more on that later) Unfortunately, this also means one last thing; you have exactly one week to create a strategy for the holiday season if you hope to take full advantage of this opportunity. But not to worry, the following...

Buffets Restaurants Cook with Country

Charlie Daniels is among many who are already nostalgic for the days when you could explore new releases in a CD store. “Of course, I hated to see vinyl go away first,” he noted, smiling. Plenty of fans feel the same, which is one reason why Daniels’ partnership with Buffets Inc. feels right. With more than 350 restaurants operating in 35 states under a variety of names (HomeTown Buffet, Old Country Buffet, Ryan’s and others), Buffets serves around 100 million customers each year, many of whom are already fans of Country Music.

How Country Stars Build Their Road Crews

Country Music wouldn’t be where it is today without great artists. But those stars couldn’t grow their audiences without virtuoso road crews. In many ways, the road crew is just as important a part of the tour as the performer. As Chris Cagle put it, “Everyone is pretty much part of the band. We’re all in it together. If the front-house guy has a bad day, no matter how well the band plays, we suck. If the monitor engineer is off, we can’t hear ourselves play and we’re off. Everybody is vital. We’re all part of the team.
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Concert Review: Martina McBride's Christmas Tour in Atlanta, GA

If you have never heard what angels sound like when they sing, then simply attend a Martina McBride concert to find out. For the past two decades, the Country Music superstar has topped the charts with her incomparable voice and regaled fans with her phenomenal stage presence in live performances. McBride opened her "The Joy of Christmas" tour at the historic Fox Theater in downtown Atlanta, GA., Friday night, performing two hours of her holiday favorites along with a couple of her mega-hits for the sold-out...

Vocal Production 101 - For Artists and Songwriters

I just returned from Los Angeles. Part of my time there was spent teaching classes and mentoring artists and songwriters at the 2012 Taxi Road Rally. I always love this event, but this time seemed exceptional. I reconnected with some production clients that have begun to feel like family and met some new very talented friends that I hope to work with in the near future. It was good to get out of Nashville for a little while and to reconnect with the global music community. I shared creative ideas with people from Portugal, Ireland, UK, Denmark, and Canada and...
Geddy Lee lets out a big note at Honda Center. Photo: Rod Veal

Concert Review: Rush At Its Grandest In Anaheim

Every legendary band has its hardcore followers, but the faithful who are drawn to Rush deserve credit on a number of fronts. Unlike many classic rock shows where audiences seem more interested in talking on their cell phones, posing for pictures with pals or going on an endless number of beer runs, the majority of fans seated around me were fully tuned into Saturday night’s three-hour show (plus brief intermission) at Honda Center. I can’t remember another Southern California arena audience over the past few years quite as riveted as this one.

You Too Can Play Like The Edge

So you wanna play guitar like Mr. Dave Evans, aka The Edge of U2? With each U2 release the guitarist's setup has become increasingly more complex. Nowadays The Edge tours with two racks full of effect processors as well as a myriad of vintage pedals. In this feature we'll take a look at how The Edge play the songs “Elevation” and “Until The End of The World” in a live setting, and see how you can recreate that sound in a home environment. When time came for U2 to record what would become Achtung Baby, one of the main focuses of the band ...

Play Slide Guitar in Standard Tuning — NOW!

Many players who use standard tuning exclusively are interested in learning how to use a slide, but are discouraged by the prospect of absorbing the multiple new maps of the fretboard that employing open tunings requires. The good news is that standard tuning is also a very effective platform for slide. Sure, it’s impossible to sound like most of the wide range of the guitarists who have helped define the slide sound — from Son House to Elmore James to Derek Trucks — if one is playing in standard, but the trade-off is the ability to have the entire...

One Man’s Quest to Get Tips from His Guitar Heroes

Like many devoted rock fans, Thomas Scott McKenzie papered the walls of his bedroom with posters of his guitar heroes when he was a child. Unlike most fans, McKenzie decided as an adult to seek out and make personal connections with some of those very same musicians. His new book, Power Chord: One Man’s Ear-Splitting Quest to Find His Guitar Heroes, tells the story of those efforts. Having come of age in the ‘80s, McKenzie criss-crossed the country pursuing sit-down sessions with six-string greats who had risen to prominence during that era. Among his...

New Artist Spotlight: Kelleigh Bannen

Kelleigh Bannen never made the trek to Nashville — she was already there. Born and raised in Music City, she was singing and writing songs when she was 2 years old. Well, actually, as she notes in her self-written bio, “it was a little song with two lines that I would sing to myself inspired by the ‘word of the day’ from ‘Sesame Street.’” Safe to say, at least, that her ears were wide open at an early age, taking in music beyond the Country playlist and kiddie show themes to include Frank Sinatra, Patty Griffin and other eclectic performers. However, Country...
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