Music Theory You Need, Especially if You Don't Read - Counting Time

Music Theory You Need, Especially if You Don't Read: Counting Time

August 17, 2018

Learning to read music isn't especially difficult when compared with the skill, knowledge, and nuances required to play a musical instrument. Primarily it is a skill developed by practice and repetition, accompanied by a knowledge of the necessary music theory to understand it. Nevertheless, there are vast cohorts of musicians that eschew reading, preferring to play by ear. Depending on your style and background, you may be one of the many great musicians who have learned to play entirely by ear or who use written music as a transcription and study tool, but not during live performance. But having an understanding of the underlying theory is essential to communicating with other musicians in all styles. This series will cover the basic essential music theory you will need to function with competence even if you never learn to read music.

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Five Simple Studio Tips

Five Simple Studio Tips

August 02, 2018 5 Comments

The recording studio is a different beast than the stage in many ways. You are often paying for your time there, and as such, and are expected to come prepared and work efficiently (unless, of course, you have a home studio or your label is paying for your album to be made).  But whether you are a studio veteran or a new musician, there are certain things to keep in mind to help your studio experience go as smoothly as possible.

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How to Keep Your Gig: Eleven Secrets

Eleven Secrets to Keeping Your Gig

July 18, 2018 1 Comment

In our recently concluded series, "How to Get a Gig," we learned a systematic approach to building and marketing a band. We saw how to win gigs by relationship building even if you aren't a born salesman. But what happens when you get the gig? We have all heard how competitive the music business is, but what can we do to stay on the winning side of that competition? What are the secrets that the longest-lived working bands know about staying relevant? This week, we will look at Eleven Secrets to Keeping Your Gig.

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How to Get a Gig: Getting Started, Part 6

How to Get a Gig: Getting Started, Part 6

July 09, 2018

A lot of preparation has led up to this moment. Now you are going to ask for the gig. You know the band is tight. You have the right songs and format. You've been hanging out at the other bands' shows and you know the regulars (and how busy the bar gets). And not only have you established personal relationships with the management and employees, you have also asked the manager how they run their business, what they expect from their entertainment, what they've been doing, and how well it's working. You have the right product to fulfill their needs. But the fact is, now it is time to sell or they will never know that.

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How to Get a Gig: Getting Started, Part 5

How to Get a Gig: Getting Started, Part 5

July 03, 2018 1 Comment

You've done your research, identified your targets, created a professional-quality product tailored to their needs, established a marketing plan and online presence, and assembled first-rate promo with which to sell your band. You know your product and your market inside and out. Now it is time to learn about your customer's product and your customer's market. You can tell the booking agent how great your band is all day long, but the whole time he is thinking, "What does all this have to do with me?"

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How to Get a More Consistent Live Sound

How to Get a More Consistent Live Sound

June 30, 2018 4 Comments

Many tone-minded musicians spend a significant amount of time in the rehearsal studio turning knobs on their amps and pedals, figuring out how to get a better sound for the next gig. However, what often happens is that a rig that is perfectly dialed in in the studio sounds completely different at a show. This can be frustrating, especially if you don’t have a soundcheck or have limited time to set up your sound. Each gig is a different beast with its own set of variables.

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How to Get a Gig: Getting Started, Part 4

How to Get a Gig: Getting Started, Part 4

June 13, 2018

In our last article, we discussed how to prepare for your video shoot and assemble some of your crucial marketing tools. Next, you need to produce your EPK and supplemental marketing materials so that your band comes across like experienced professionals.

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How to Get a Gig: Getting Started

How to Get a Gig: Getting Started, Part 3

June 07, 2018

Now that you've put together your master song list and set lists, and rehearsed them to perfection with the band, you may be tempted to hit the streets and hit up all your 'A-venues' for gigs. Don't do it! You may have the best product in town, but if you don't take an incremental approach to sales, you might blow your best opportunities. In order to build a successful enterprise, you will need to make the right moves in the right order to get those most coveted venues to open the door to your band. In this article, we will look at some ways to package your product to convey just how incredible your band really is. In order to accomplish this, you will need to put those finishing touches on your marketing and stage production that convey the quality of your music. 

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How to Get a Gig: Getting Started, Part 2

How to Get a Gig: Getting Started, Part 2

May 14, 2018 5 Comments

Landing a gig for your band isn't quite as easy as just showing up at a random club like The Blues Brothers did, and talking your way in. In Part 1 of How to Get a Gig, we learned that knowledge of your market is the first priority, and we learned the somewhat less than glamorous process of gathering the information you need. Being an entrepreneur at heart, you have invested your time into creating a tactical 'map' of your market. In this article, you will see how you can use the intelligence you've gathered to build a product (band) that will sell in your market.

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Using a Booster to Get More Out of Your Favorite Guitar Pedal

Using a Booster to Get More Out of Your Favorite Guitar Pedal

May 14, 2018 7 Comments

A popular option for finding the ideal guitar tone is using an always-on guitar pedal. This can be a foundational overdrive pedal, a dedicated preamp box with a DI, or practically any effect that helps you achieve the sound in your head. While nothing beats a great amplifier, musicians who want to travel light, use different backlines frequently, or want to get great tone without having to crank their amp or deal with the acoustic variables at each venue may find a particular pedal or pedals to be a superior option.

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How to Get a Gig: Getting Started (Part 1)

How to Get a Gig: Getting Started, Part 1

May 07, 2018 2 Comments

In our Getting Started series, we have talked about how to prepare yourself for a job as a working musician, as well as highlighting what you must know to succeed as a musician when you get there. However, at some point you may have to be the one to go out and get bookings. Perhaps your band will decide to venture into a new market, or maybe you will decide to start a group of your own. I must warn you to be patient, because even when you have done your homework, getting a gig is a challenge for the most seasoned agents and bandleaders. The task requires a lot of research, making phone calls, and visiting establishments in your market. And no small amount of negotiating skill! The good news is this isn't rocket science once you know what you're doing.  Let's look at a common-sense method that guarantees you the best possible odds of beating the competition and getting work for your band.

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Showtime: Getting Started, Part 2

Showtime: Getting Started, Part 2

April 24, 2018 1 Comment

In this segment we'll continue from Part 1 with five more Rules of the Road which you will need to know in order to be your best on stage. Let's take a look at some more pro tips:

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