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Michael Gallant

Your elevator pitch should start a conversation

by Michael Gallant April 16, 2014

Artist branding and your elevator pitch While there’s no universal formula for creating an ideal musical elevator pitch, there are ways to help yourself communicate effectively in situations when you’re interacting with a potential new fan or industry contact. We’ve assembled tips from a trio of music industry professionals to help you spark productive conversations about your music — and avoid walking away with your foot in your mouth. Read more.


Elevate your vocal performance: focus on rhythm and intention

by Michael Gallant April 9, 2014

singing tips to improve your vocal performance In a standout vocal performance, how and when you release a note is just as important as the way you attack it. On the keyboard, whether I’m playing jazz, rock, or anything else, I try to keep this idea in mind. Time after time, I’ve found that one of the best things I can to do to help a song lock in is to be mindful of both ends of every note I play. This is also true for a vocal performance. Read more.


Help the soundman get you a great live music mix

by Michael Gallant March 20, 2014

Help the soundman An organized soundcheck can give band members and sound engineers the tools they need to craft an excellent live music mix, while a chaotic one can suck up valuable minutes – and good will. Some bands do sound checks like complete pros, others are just a mess with everybody onstage playing at the same time, nobody listening, and lots of noise and yelling. Read more.


Writing, recording, and performing children’s music

by Michael Gallant February 18, 2014

Gasoi on writing children's musicWhen you’re set to start writing children’s music of your own, Gasoi recommends a little introspection. “Find that place within yourself that reminds you of your own childhood, that place of innocence, fun, and abandonment. Tap into happy memories from your own childhood, things that bring out that fun and exuberance. Regardless of the style of song, bring a joyful spirit to what you do.” Read more.


Producing great hip hop vocals

by Michael Gallant January 22, 2014

Ken Lewis talks hip hop vocalsOne of the biggest mistakes I see in the studio is checking the mic with the artist behind it. It takes them out of the zone. I’ve seen engineers do it dozens of times and I see the look on the artist’s face when it’s happening. When the artist sets up behind the mic, he or she either has the mindset of being ready to give a great performance – or is scared to death and doesn’t need anything else throwing him or her off. Read more.


How to write a killer artist bio

by Michael Gallant January 17, 2014

Samson MicAs creative musical artists, we’d like to believe our music speaks for itself, but a well-crafted artist bio is still a necessary part of your press kit and promotional efforts. In addition to giving the reader a glimpse into your musical career/journey/accomplishments to date, an engagingly written band bio can increase the chances of your music getting heard, whether you’re approaching music journalists for press coverage, creating an electronic press kit, or just trying to draw in new fans. Read more.


Choosing the right recording software

by Michael Gallant December 17, 2013

Recording MicrophoneOf the many recording software options available, which is the right one to help you get the job done in your home studio? While there are many options that can move you from first riff to final track, it can be confusing choosing the right digital audio workstation (DAW) for your creative process and musical output. Here are some tips from seasoned music producers and recording musicians to help you along the way. Read more


Gigging, touring, and performance contract tips

by Michael Gallant November 27, 2013

Performance contract adviceThe great drummer Art Blakey once said, “If you’re not appearing, you’re disappearing.” That’s the bottom line. The way the music business is structured, the live end is all-important to most artists. The talent buyers at venues are in the business of booking talent. Ideally, artists go through dedicated booking agents. That is the goal then, to ultimately attract a booking agent to represent you. Read more.


Making magic when things go wrong on stage

by Michael Gallant November 14, 2013

Don't panic when things go wrong on stageRegardless of how many times you’ve rehearsed, unexpected events can strike and go wrong on stage. Whether it’s equipment blowing up, power going out, your drummer suddenly having an incapacitating allergy attack, or some overly drunk fan trying to “help” you sing that final chorus at the mic, snafus happen to even the biggest artists at the classiest venues. So what can be done to deal? Read more.


This is the Remix – Eight Tips on Reinventing Your Music

by Michael Gallant October 24, 2013

Justin Lassen“It’s a mistake to remix from a stereo master,” says expert remixer Justin Lassen. “If the track is already mastered and has its dynamics already defined, there’s only so much a remixer can do. If you are going to remix, import the stems from the original session, mute everything, bring in elements one at a time, and figure out a game plan as to how you’re going to tell the story of the remix. Read more.


Hearing Protection and Your Music Career

by Michael Gallant September 17, 2013

Hearing protection for musicians As a musician, when it comes to hearing protection, your ears don’t care how good the music is, how hot the jam, or how much you let the sound “wash over you.” Noise is noise, and too many decibels for too long will permanently damage your hearing. Your ears are a precious asset, and anything that can be done to maintain hearing acuity is energy well spent. Read more.


SNL Drummer Shawn Pelton Shares Recording Session Performance Tips

by Michael Gallant August 29, 2013

Pelton SNL When it comes to a great performance in your next recording session, how do you summon your musical mojo and nail that transcendent take? Known as the house drummer for Saturday Night Live and recordings with Ray Charles, Sheryl Crow, Pink, Rod Stewart, Shakira, and Elton John, Shawn Pelton has built a tremendous career by capturing such in-studio magic. The top-call New York studio drummer offers performance tips on how to bring your own best playing to every take you track. Read more.


International Music Gigs, Pt. 2 – Managing Your Gear

by Michael Gallant June 25, 2013

International ukuleleWhen playing international music gigs, singers and flutists have it easy. Drummers, guitarists, bassists, and keyboard players, on the other hand, have to figure out more creative solutions to manage their gear. If your music-making equipment is larger and more cumbersome than a standard airplane carry-on, how do you ensure that, when you take the stage miles away from home, you have the gear you need to a give a performance that you can be proud of? Read more.


Boost Music Sales, Accept Credit Cards

by Michael Gallant June 4, 2013

Credit Card Music SalesWhile technologies like Square are becoming more and more popular, there’s still a coolness factor – they’re new enough to elicit wide-eyed looks of wonder from grown adults (jaded New Yorkers included). For now, at least, paying for an independent album via credit card on someone’s smart phone, and signing with a swipe of your finger, is fun. Read more.


Managing your online videos

by Michael Gallant May 21, 2013

Slankard's online videos The prevalence of online videos brings up new questions when it comes to engaging with band mates and fellow artists. What’s appropriate to post and when? Plus, you never know what clips will show up where – say, an unflattering, low-res, audience-shot video of that embarrassing moment when you had a coughing fit and fell off the stage. Here are some tips from seasoned independent musicians to help you figure out how best to manage your own online video presence. Read more.