Just how serious a risk are extreme climate conditions to your instrument’s well being? Bob Taylor, co-founder and president of Taylor Guitars, stated that, “At one time, probably 70% of the repairs performed in our service center could have been avoided if the guitar had not been exposed to humidity extremes.” Read more.
Dreams are not goals. A goal must be written down and have a date by which you intend to complete it. For example, pitching your original songs to four music supervisors within the next 30 days is an attainable goal, since you have complete control over whether or not you can achieve this goal. Read more.
Based on these facts, it would seem unwise for most artists – independent or otherwise – to follow Swift’s lead and dismiss offering some or all of their music in an intelligent and well-thought out way through select streaming services. Studies show worldwide paid subscribers on the leading streaming services and the growth in streaming earnings are up. Clearly, streaming has become a substantial part of the revenue pie and appears poised to continue steady growth. Read more.
Vinyl record sales are 26% from last year, and this vinyl record revival can be a sales driver for independent artists. According to Dan Faughnder of Sledding With Tigers, “Once we announced that our first vinyl record was in the pipeline, we received enough pre-orders to break even on the pressing cost before we got them from the plant.” Read more.
Have you ever been a starving musician? It’s no fun. Wondering where this month’s rent money is going to come from, scrounging up change in the sofa to put gas in your car, hoping that a string doesn’t break during the gig. No one goes from a little known performer to self-sufficient artist overnight. Here are seven rules to help you transition from someone with talent and a dream to someone with talent and a career in music. Read more.
In Part 2 of our interview, songwriter Ben Camp shares his perspectives on the art and craft of songwriting, including methods he uses to develop compelling song ideas. He expands on his thoughts about the importance of co-writing and why he believes it’s essential to build a network of talented collaborators while pointing out some of the common mistakes aspiring songwriters often make. Read more.
Ben Camp interview, Part 1. “Doubt is part of the creative process. Even people who are at the top of the songwriting game today struggle with the process. [One hit songwriter I know] has said that he’ll come up with 100 different melodies to find the one that sticks. So it’s essential to not be afraid to throw out those hundred until you hit on one that lights you up on the inside and you know, ‘Wow, that’s it!’” Read more.
Guitars use what is known as an equally tempered scale, which is a compromise and doesn’t result in 100% precise tuning or intervals between notes. Since guitars have this inherent weakness when it comes to being in tune, it helps to have a basic understanding of guitar intonation and adjustments to get the best performance. Read more.
I have sort of an irreverent attitude, so I’ve been inclined to do things that were supposed to be wrong. I always like using cheap or ancient, wheezing gear along with the usual pro gear, because I really think the “action” sound comes from musically effective distortion. Sometimes this oddball gear makes a bold sonic statement you just can’t get any other way. I like tape delays, for instance a [Roland] Space Echo, especially if the tape has a little crease in it. Read More.
Benito Cortez maintains a four-pointed portfolio music career. His first call is as the violinist and mandolin player for Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks, an internationally acclaimed acoustic acoustic jazz and swing ensemble. “While the work I do with Dan is the biggest part of my income, it actually amounts to a really good part-time job in terms of my overall earnings.” Read More.
Whatever the genre or instrument, few musicians make it to the level where they can pursue their music passion 24/7. Indeed, in nearly every professional industry, portfolio careers are becoming commonplace, and a portfolio music career is a great way to diversify income via music, or to add music to other career exploits. Read More.
Daniel Ebbers, voice instructor at the Conservatory of Music at University of the Pacific, shares insights and vocal exercises in our video series for vocalists. In these videos, he explores the upper register of a student’s vocal range and summarizes our four-part series. Read more.
You wouldn’t see a top athlete compete without going through a set of warm up activities, and if you are a vocalist, you need to do the same kind of preparation every time you sing. Professor Daniel Ebbers has been training singers for more than twenty years, and in the following videos he explains the benefits of warming up and takes us through a series of vocal exercises. Read more.
The Nadas have built a 20-year career in music. Through playing hundreds of shows and releasing 11 records, they’ve learned what works when building a sustained career in music and an audience that spans one-third of the country. We spoke with Nadas co-founder Mike Butterworth (guitar/vocals) and dug up nine nuggets of wisdom that have helped the band survive for so long. Read more.
This post was revised March 2017. Got questions about what to deduct, 1099s, and audits? We’ve got tax tips for musicians from a CPA who specializes in the music industry. Read more.