Latest Articles

Back To Basics 4: Those Pesky Bar Chords

Even after months or even a year or more playing guitar, some students still struggle with playing bar chords. Using a capo can help give you access to some of these chords, but it's still a compromise at best. Some ultimately just give up trying and settle for workarounds and close-enough substitutes. But if you really want to maximize your chord vocabulary, there's no substitute for getting over this hurdle. The first thing to consider is whether your instrument is making you work too hard. The action, or height of the strings, is a matter of preference ...
 

Street Teams Level the Playing Field

Last week, we published an article focused on how Public Relations can help generate buzz for your band. This is the other side of the coin; using your fans to help get people interested in talking up your band’s activity. One of the largest promotional teams any band has access to is their fan base. When trying to reach a large group of people, a great way to do so is using “street team marketing.” Street teams provide a great way to strengthen your relationship with your fans while building momentum for ...
 

SEO Tips For Musicians

Becoming obsessed with search engine optimization (SEO) can lead you down a rabbit hole if you're not careful. However ignoring basic SEO concepts can undermine your music marketing and overall presence on the web. To help you get started or take things further, I've gathered top tips from a series of posts on SEO for musicians that should also lead you to additional resources. I was inspired to do this by music industry and social media linkmaster Adrian Fusiarski who recently shared a number of links to music SEO articles. I've added a few of ...
 

Top 10 iPhone Apps for Musicians

It is increasingly rare to find someone who isn’t attached to a smartphone at the hip. Especially musicians. We love our gadgets! Aside from the addictive ability to check your email any time, browse the web, and play Angry Birds and Plants vs. Zombies, your smartphone also has a plethora of music making apps available. My addiction of choice is the iPhone, so I’m going to be covering the top 10 iPhone apps for musicians (sorry, Android users - feel free to chime in below with your picks). So, without further ado, here we go...
 

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 ...
 

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 ...
 

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 ...
 

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...
 

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 ...