Love him or hate him, there’s a lot about Dylan’s career arc that is important and inspirational for songwriters, from his transforming song form to the fact that he’s kept writing almost non-stop for six decades. Read More.
When you encounter difficult people – in the music business and elsewhere – it usually has everything to do with THEM and nothing to do with YOU. But sometimes, you still need to deal with the situation. Read More.
We highlight Bruce Springsteen, Tom Waits, and Robyn Hitchcock, three artists who created their own song worlds in the framework of their music over the course of multiple albums and years. Read More.
Playing cover songs can boost your visibility, warm up a crowd, or be a way to earn a living. Whatever the end goal, there is more than one way to approach playing someone else’s well-known – or little known – song. Read More.
Successful risk-taking always involves rethinking the possible. The four-minute mile was impossible until Roger Bannister broke it; now it’s commonplace. Take risks, learn from your mistakes, and you’ll have a much higher chance of succeeding. Read More.
Sometimes you may need a prompt or a process to keep the creative juices flowing and get your critical mind out of the way. Here are three strategies to get your songwriting on track. Read More.
David Bowie had a genius that set him apart, but his musical and artistic career provides a bounty of lessons we can all learn from and apply to our creation of art and music – and to our everyday lives. Read More.
Active listening will serve you well in live situations, recording sessions, and even in your interpersonal relationships. Active listening is specifically making listening the primary activity and doing nothing else. Don’t clean, don’t drive, don’t carry on a conversation. Just listen. Read More.
Think about the first instrument you owned or played. How excited were you just holding it? Think about the excitement you feel when you buy a new pedal or piece of studio gear before you’ve learned to use it. This is beginner’s mind. Read More.
Musical gifts are not meant to be kept to ourselves, which means at some point you’re going to have to deal with connecting with your audience: AKA the consumers of your musical product. Read more.
Not everybody wants to pursue the path of marathon gigging, but for those with a deep love of music and a desire to share it, it can be a great way to get paid for doing what you love. Read more.
In life, and when making an album, things happen. The more you understand about the process and the more detail-focused you are, the better your chances for success. So here are some things I wish I had been told before I started putting together an album’s worth of material to be pressed and distributed. Read more.
Whatever the circumstances, we all get burned out. In that fatigued state, it’s easy to think that this is the end. We might as well apply for that job at the shoe store now and sell the guitars on Craigslist. Our minds will give us 1,001 reasons not to do something, and especially will attempt to kick us when we are down. Read more.
It’s a cliché to say that show business is tough, but the reality is that it’s worse than that. It eats good people alive. Here are three survival skills I’d like to pass along that have helped me get through 15 years playing solo acoustic cover songs in bars, restaurants, private parties, corporate events, and pig roasts in cemeteries. Read more.