One thing a day for my songwriting journey

Your music career goals If I told you to do 350 things for your music career this year, you’d say I was crazy. It’s not, if you do one thing a day to reach your music career goals. Breaking your goals into smaller tasks will make the impossible seem easy. Do one thing a day to promote your music career and you’ll be on the right path. Read more.

10 Questions to Ask a Potential Band Member

It’s like a job interview, but so much more. A band member isn’t just doing a job – they are joining your creative family. You want to be sure of their technical ability, and you also want to be sure they will blend with the rest of the band. Success for your group depends on a synergistic blend of personalities. Here are ten questions you can ask a potential band member to ensure they will be exactly what you need to take your band to the next level. Read more…

Prince before the Revolution: Prince Rogers Nelson passed away on April 21, 2016, at his home in Chanhassen, MN.

Prince before the Revolution

Sitting here listening to the notorious Black Album, in shock and in mourning at the passing of one of my all-time favorite musical artists. It’s been a tough year already, but Prince’s death is a hard one to deal with. From playing his songs in my high school band to marveling at his live acumen and unbelievable recorded output, he was an artist who defied classification. I thought this excerpt from 2011 would be a worthy feature to post in the days after his passing. Read more.

Exclusive Steve Vai Interview – Vai talks technical chops, emotional investment, and naked tracks

The definition of virtuoso on electric guitar, Steve Vai has earned the respect of critics, audiences, and fellow musicians worldwide. With a string of Grammy Award nominations and wins tucked under his guitar strap and a knack for assembling top-notch musicians and driving them to exceptional performances, Steve hasn’t rested on his laurels. He continues to explore new musical avenues – including orchestral compositions ("Oil of Smoke" and others), music training (an upcoming course through Berklee music), and the honoring the legacy of landmark artists (Vai is performing in this year’s Jimi Hendrix Tribute Tour). Read more…

Copyright basics

Copyright basics: exclusive rights, licensing lingo, and more

So you’ve written a new song. It may have the potential to be a hit, but one thing is certain: it makes sense to properly protect your song if you hope to profit from its recording and public performance. How do music copyrights work? What is required to have ownership of your song’s copyright? Why should you register it with the Library of Congress? What are some of the common music licenses that generate income for songwriters? Read more

Recording acoustic guitar

When recording acoustic guitar, you can obtain great results with either dynamic or condenser mics, used singly, in a blend, or in stereo. For acoustic guitars, generally what you hear is what you get. If you use a better mic, you’ll get a better sound simply because the mic is providing a more accurate picture of what’s there. And while it’s true that some mic characteristics are preferable to others for capturing acoustic guitar… Read more…

Recording Electric Guitar

Electric guitars are far and away the most popular kind of guitar that gets recorded, and the principles you learn here will apply to other electronic instruments and sources that you may record, including keyboards, sound modules, virtual instruments from your hard disk, and even external devices such as an MP3 player. Learning to treat the guitar as a signal source, rather than a performing instrument, is the first step in making the transition from player to recordist. But the objective is always the same: to produce the best sound possible for the listener. Read more…

Are You Too Old to Make It?

Most musicians I know hold a dream to someday ‘make it’ in the music business. To play in front of huge crowds and live a lifestyle that they can only imagine. Many of us believe that we’ll someday get there. Unfortunately most of us find ourselves growing older with an ever increasing fear that we’re missing the boat.

We’re conditioned to believe that if we’re going to make it then we have to do it at a young age. I had already started to have this feeling when I was in my early 20’s. I felt like I was slacking because I hadn’t ‘made it’ yet. Read more…

In the studio with Michael Jackson

In The Studio with Michael JacksonNo one was closer to Michael Jackson at the height of his creative powers than Bruce Swedien, the five-time Grammy winner who, with Jackson and producer Quincy Jones, formed the trio responsible for the sound of Jackson’s records. Excerpted from Swedien’s book, In The Studio With Michael Jackson, published by Hal Leonard. Read more.

In the studio with Trevor Horn

Trevor HornTrevor Horn is rather unique among his peers in that he enjoyed a highly successful career as a musician before moving to the other side of the glass. As half of the eighties pop duo the Buggles (he was the one with the nerdy glasses), he co-wrote, co-produced, and sang lead on their smash hit “Video Killed the Radio Star,” perhaps best known today as the first video ever played on MTV. He and co-Buggle Geoff Downes were then briefly integrated into prog-rock kings Yes (an experience he later described as “awful”) before he made the decision to end his touring days and focus full-time on record production. Read more…