Due to maintenance (we need to fix some shit) you can expect some weirdness on site today. Be cool.

Articles

1. Winging it is mistaken for spontaneityI constantly run across the attitude of Dude, I've got to be spontaneous – I can't rehearse my show! Sometimes my reply is Awesome – but if you really want to be spontaneous, make up the song right in front of the audience… that'd be real awesome!They look at me like I'm crazy or have 2 heads. Because of course they practice the music, dynamics, tempo, tone...
Read More

Forget musical tastes. Ignore critical accolades. Set aside arguments about the merits of the music they created.These seven bands, and one individual, sparked major changes not just in music but in the business of music.Use their examples as inspiration to spark major changes in your market or industry. Someone has to be first, why not you?Led ZeppelinPrior to Zeppelin, concert promoters typicall...
Read More

So you've set up your SoundCloud or ReverbNation page, put out an EP or album, and announced to all your social media that you've released the greatest track on earth.But, no one wants any part to do with your music! This is largely because of the saturation of just about everyone claiming they're a 'dedicated' musician nowadays.Anybody with a microphone can just hop on the music train and put out...
Read More

Every couple of months, I see another post in my Facebook feed about a band that was cut off by an 18-wheeler or skidded on a patch of black ice and rolled their van into a ditch. Some members are injured, and they're launching a Kickstarter campaign to pay for medical bills and to get back on their feet.My heart (and often, money) goes out to them. But if you need to crowdfund your hospital costs...
Read More

A band is a unique and complex relationship, and with so many different personalities and goals among band members, things can sometimes get tricky. Some people are direct, some are passive, some are more organized than others. Musicians are sensitive and odd creatures, says songwriter/guitarist Paul Hansen of indie folk band The Grownup Noise. So inevitably, it will be a dysfunctional, but hopefu...
Read More

We all know those bands that completely transform when they step on a stage. True performers make use of every second of their set and push themselves to their very limits. These types of shows are truly memorable and leave fans wanting to sing their praises to everyone they meet!There are a lot of subtleties that go into creating a truly mindblowing experience for your fans. It's a given that you...
Read More

Getting feedback on your music from a representative sample of your target audience or a seasoned music professional is a great way to measure the progress you're making. Everyone loves that extra boost of confidence, especially when it applies to something you created yourself. But what happens when you get feedback that's the opposite of what you want to hear? Here are five tips that will help m...
Read More

These days it seems like everyone has an opinion on how to make it in the music biz. With all the nonsense that's floating around, rich with all the latest buzz phrases and old-school ideologies, it's tough to weed out the good stuff from all of the outdated and futile information lurking in the depths of the internet and spewing from the mouths of washed-up professors and industry ancients. Here ...
Read More

There is a concept called the aggregation of marginal gains, which is based on the principle that vast improvement can be achieved through continuous small improvements. When thinking of this concept in terms of guitar, we realize that there are nearly limitless opportunities to improve guitar playing, skills, tone…any aspect of guitar. Here’s 101 ways that you can improve as a guitarist over time...
Read More

The skills of a guitar player will only evolve through consistent practice. This we know. The difficulty lies in actually practicing when we practice. Most of you know what I’m talking about, but for those who might not understand, let me set the scene.It’s morning. You've just had a second cup of coffee. You’re feeling energized and motivated to become the best guitar player you can be. You strut...
Read More

Sometimes you need a little inspiration to kick start the process. Here are 75 light-bulb inducing ideas. 1. Ignore every obstacle anyone has ever put in front of you. 2. Make music everyday – no matter how much time you have. 3. Set a deadline — and stick to it. 4. Learn to record yourself, and do it whenever and wherever's possible.5. Use LANDR to master :)6. Do as much as yo...
Read More

For the most part, the music business skills guitarists need to build aren't that different from skills other musicians should be equipping themselves with. Communication and networking skills. Marketing, image and branding. Punctuality and professionalism. Money and time management.However, there are also some obscure or counter intuitive skills that guitarists should take the time to develop, li...
Read More

Do you sometimes feel that your band's draw is languishing? Are you tired of seeing the same people at your shows and want to play to a new crowd, even in your hometown?If you're like most musicians, you know that you absolutely can do better, that you have more fans out there than who actually show up at at the venue, and despite always receiving positive feedback, you don't know why more people ...
Read More

In case you haven't heard, you can earn money when your sound recordings are used anywhere on YouTube. You can earn money when other people use your sound recordings in their videos and on your own YouTube videos. TuneCore can collect all this revenue for you. By signing up for TuneCore's YouTube Sound Recording collection service, YouTube's Content ID system will identify your sound recordings an...
Read More

Invest in a decent micEach voice has its own tonality and texture and no one microphone is a perfect solution for all voices. Big studios will often line up a bunch of pricey mics at the start of a vocal session to see which one works best for that particular vocalist.  That being said, the mic on your mobile phone is not likely to give you that spark you are looking for in making your record...
Read More

21st century musicians typically combine multiple jobs with multiple income streams to support themselves and their families, and to experience fulfilling careers. Performance and non-performance work do not have to be mutually exclusive; many of the fields below allow musicians to do both. Note that some of these careers require graduate education (such as college-level teaching and conducting...
Read More

Hi team. Sorry it's been a while, but in between promoting the new Ivy Blue album 19, university, and dealing with some health-related things I haven't had heaps of time to get onto the NZ Bands site. But now that I am back from all of that, let's have a bit of fun shall we? Right, so the people I want to talk to today are guitarists and the subject I want to discuss is Effects Pedals. Why e...
Read More

A sound guy can make or break your show. It doesn’t matter how good you play, you are going to sound like shit to the crowd if you aren’t mixed properly. If you piss them off, then they may not take the extra care needed to make sure your band is sounding great for the audience. It is recommended to get a sound guy of your own once you start to get serious about your gigs. Until then just don’t pi...
Read More

The most successful bands and artists practice certain fundamentals that have been proven effective time and time again. In order to get better paying gigs and more of them, you'll want to follow in the footsteps of those before you that have made a good living playing live music.Below are some essential guidelines to make a priority whenever you're playing a show. These are all things that you sh...
Read More

Before we talk about the specifics of acoustic guitar EQ I want to make sure you're approaching equalization with the right frame of mind. Picture the scene - your living room has become a home studio for the day. The drum kit is out in full (and the drummer seems to have gained five more cymbals). The bassist finished setting up hours ago and has been waiting patiently. The singer is late (n...
Read More

Ever wondered why your band struggles to even get pub gigs, yet a fresh new band is packing out venues from day one? Fed up of having to resort to Pay2Play gigs because no decent promoter is willing to take a chance with you? The secret to success is in plain sight, it's just only a few have the vision to see it. This guide covers the importance of planning ahead, how to gain attention for your ba...
Read More

So lets take it your in a band and you’ve spent endless days , nights and weekends locked away in your practise room, basement or home studio and the days arrived your about to play your first “serious gig “ . By serious I mean not a party you have arranged or a jam at someones birthday . But a proper gig in front of people at a professional venue with other bands  where you may or may not be...
Read More

So you're auditioning for a band and don't want to mess it up. Here are a few tips:Learn the songsIf you can't learn them all in time, then let the band know this and ask which songs they'd like you to prioritise.If they can't send you recordings, get as much information as you can and practise whatever you can (i.e. If they can tell you it's a blues riff in B, then practise playing blues in B).Be...
Read More

So you've seen a listing that catches your eye but you're not sure what to say or maybe you've never answered a listing before.  Here's a list of tips to get you on the right track and avoid making the most common mistakes.  This list can apply to anyone answering a 'Musician Wanted' listing.Buy all the equipment before you answer the listingBuy and be familiar with all of the essential items to m...
Read More

Background music does not improve your ability to concentrate but will help you when youre at the gym.A little background noise makes you more creative, a lot hurts creativity.One of the most interesting music facts in that your favorite song is probably your favorite because you associate it with an emotional event in your life. Both social influences and quality affect which songs you like....
Read More

For a musician or band that is just getting started, building a local fanbase is the place to begin. Ari Herstand began his music career at the University of Minnesota where he went from being totally unknown to filling a local 700 seat venue in his first year to selling it out his second. He recently shared his tips on how to become a local star with examples from how he accomplished that goal.Ar...
Read More

Hi all.Here I am once again writing for NZ Bands.co.nz. First of all, thank you for the 1000 views of the blog collectively. This is really cool and it's amazing to see that people are reading the blog and taking it into account by everyone on the website :)Right, into this month's subject- finding a musician.There are many different types of musicians out there, and hence many different adva...
Read More

Hi all. Here is my blog for the month. Happy belated new year's (I know, late again). So here goes.This month I decided to do something a bit different and touch base on  the theme of bands. Obviously they can be a lot of fun, but also a lot of work adn things can fall apart at the end of the beginning which turns out to be the beginning of the end. So, this month in order to help you try to ...
Read More

If there were a Pocket Field Guide to Dating Musicians, it would read like this:This species can best be viewed in its natural habitat, under the colored lights of nightclub stages — and in the drier months, anywhere there’s free beer.At the front stands the lead singer, scientific name Egos maximus, a close relative of the peacock. Don’t look him directly in the eye; he views this as a mating cal...
Read More

Hi guys,My name is James Brodie (A.K.A. The Urge from Ivy Blue), and I write the monthly Lip From Urge blog over on NZ Bands.Com, and I thought I would stop by for a little Christmas treat and give you guys an online demonstration of something really cool.In my 2nd most recent blog/lesson thingee, I talked about how I get a good quality delay sound that I use for songs like Forever December or Bal...
Read More

Hi all. I promise to get much better at this NZ Bands blog in terms of timing of the blogs, but considering I've just moved house this isn't too bad for getting something in this month. This month, I want to discuss something that's pretty important to all bands wanting to get 'out there'- hearing.Yes, I may sound like your mum but it is true point that as musicians, we need to look afte...
Read More

Now before I get started, don’t go getting all emotional if you feel that your songs may “suck” after reading this post. I’ve wrote and recorded many horrible songs in my day, and I wouldn’t be the musician I am today had I not persevered through those early days of not really knowing what I was doing. If any of these points hit home, take it as a learning experience rather than a put down. We all...
Read More

How much lower can we possibly tune an electric guitar?The first mass-produced seven-string guitar was the Ibanez UV7, which was played by none other than Steve Vai, and later made even more popular by artists such as Korn, Dream Theater, Fear Factory and Meshuggah.The idea initially was to provide an extended high range for the player.Today, especially in the newer wave of heavy metal, it seems t...
Read More

It always starts with something small, a seemingly insignificant act that can have a huge effect on the rest of your life.Horror stories usually begin like this.Guitar tuners. We all use them. Clip-on. Stomp box. Software. Part of your modeler. Built in to your guitar.I use them every day in the studio. But have you ever had to get in tune without one? No problem, right? Just do all the little tri...
Read More

Hi all.Sorry for my absence. Have been so busy with ivy Blue that I haven't had a chance to get a blog done.Right, today I am going to show (tell) you how to get my 3 way delay type sound that I use on songs like FOREVER DECEMBER (For those that need specifics, this song is from the Ivy Blue album ILLUSIONS and is the fourth track).I have been known to use a nux MG-100 Multi Effects Processor (see...
Read More

Listen up, bands: Twitter is more than just a place to wax poetic from the tour bus and gripe about broken guitar strings (and/or dreams) — it can also help you promote your music and connect with your fans.While you don't have to go all Kanye with your Twitter stream, hooking up to the micro-blogging site can add a whole new dimension to your act.We talked to a ton of bands — from up-and-comers l...
Read More

1. You are always late to band practiceNow I’m not talking about being a few minutes late all the time. I am talking about always showing up an hour or two late (if you show up at all). Remember every time you are late for practice it gives the other members a perfect time to talk about you and your tardiness… Any maybe even some other things listed below!2. You bring your girlfriend or boyfriend ...
Read More

Have you ever finished a practice session and left the room wondering if you just wasted hours of your life? Feeling that you put in the time, but are not sure what (if anything) you have to show for it?One of the primary factors that can dictate how efficient and effective our practice sessions are is concentration (or the lack thereof).The key ingredient in deliberate practice is one’s ability t...
Read More

Are you one of the many guitarists who struggle with coordinating their hands and vocals? You know, you can play the song. You can sing the song. But it all goes to pot when you try to do both simultaneously.Singing while playing guitar can be a daunting challenge for a beginner. A good sense of timing and rhythm and the ability to synthesize two different actions is necessary to pull it off. But ...
Read More

It’s not often that you can confidently say a band upholds the standards of the scene it belongs to. It’s even less often that you get to meet a member of one of those bands, and talk to them about their life both inside and outside music. It’s easy to get jaded about success and skill in the internet age, now that we can find a video of an incredible musical performance faster than we can boil a ...
Read More

Effects loops: What are they and why would I want one? Back in the day, I went down to the local music store and bought an Echoplex tape delay, plugged it into my amp, and had a lot of fun. (Ironically, I also dreamed of the day when technology would bring us the “perfect delay”—one without warble and with perfect copies of the input signal. Live and learn.) After a while, I noticed that someth...
Read More

Have you had that experience when you are in the middle of a recording or mixing session and you suddenly realize that you aren’t having any fun? I sure have. You think it’s just a minor funk that you’re in, but a few sessions later you still feel the same. You start to wonder: “Has music making lost its fun factor?” To be honest, I’ve had this experience multiple times in my life. When I...
Read More

Captain Beefheart hired Moris Tepper to be his full-time guitarist in 1976, a position he held until the Captain’s retirement in 1982. Along the way he imparted these handy guitar tips: 1. Listen to the birds. That’s where all the music comes from. Birds know everything about how it should sound and where that sound should come from. And watch hummingbirds. They fly really fast, but a lot of...
Read More

Greetings fellow pedal lovers of the world, welcome back to “Stomp School.” This month we’re going back to basics with some simple troubleshooting and maintenance tips that will keep your pedals healthy and keep you sounding your best. Most guitarists spend the majority of their time learning, practicing and performing with their instrument. This is as it should be. But if you play an electric, th...
Read More

Save your hands

Category: Tips

I’d like to explore an approach to picking and fretting the guitar that I’ve been working on for a while. It all began about three years ago, when I started to notice that I was picking a lot harder than I needed, especially when playing single lines. The result I was hearing was kind of a snappy sound, and the more I tried to control it by resisting the tendency to play with a lot of force, the m...
Read More

Every band knows having a Facebook page is essential to reach new fans and have a healthy online social presence. For many, their Facebook page even replaces an official website. Beyond the lure of accumulating likes, the platform can be a powerful tool if you make it work for you. Here are seven oft-ignored features that bands need to use, now. 1. Ads that creatively target audiences The most...
Read More

For over 40 years people across the world have explored Metal and it’s many subgenres. So many misjudgements popped up over time that I believe it is important to let people know how misunderstood the music really is. Here are my top ten myths about Metal, and the truth that comes with them. Please note that these are not my personal opinions. Heavy Metal The music is called “Heavy Metal” So...
Read More

Ever since there has been music, people have been inventing new musical genres by combining two or more different styles in exciting and unusual ways. Fusion genres are the basis of nearly all popular music today – rock came from a combination of blues, country, gospel and some jazz, and hip-hop took influence from dub, funk, and disco, coupled with the invention of the sampler. This list explores...
Read More

Last week, news broke that electronic artist Deadmau5 was being sued by Disney over claims that his signature mouse helmet and logo are too similar to the Mickey Mouse silhouette logo. Deadmau5 is far from the only musician to have faced such legal trouble, however. Here are six more artists who have threatened with copyright infringement lawsuits (or lawsuits of a similar nature). 1. Paul Simo...
Read More

1. Following the deadly 1977 crash of the plane carrying the band Lynyrd Skynyrd into a Mississippi swamp, the survivors sought help at a nearby farmhouse, only to have the farmer who lived there shoot the band’s drummer in the shoulder. 2. “Stayin’ Alive” by Bee Gees was used in a study to train medical staff to perform CPR. The song has close to 104 beats per minute, and 100-120 chest compre...
Read More

1. In 2007 listeners of BBC Radio 2 ranked Queen as the ‘top British band’ of all time, better than The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, and The Rolling Stones. 2. On his last day as a welder, Tony Iommi, guitarist of Black Sabbath, lost the tips of his two fretting fingers. While he was recovering he found it easier to play the guitar by dropping the tuning and using lighter gauge strings, which helped...
Read More

1. George Lucas allowed the band members of ‘N Sync to make a cameo appearance in Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones in order to appease his daughters. The footage was then cut out of the final version of the film. 2. The band D12 planned to find the 12 best rappers of Detroit, but found only 6, so they created alter-egos in order to have 12. That was when Eminem came up with Slim Shady...
Read More

It's pretty common for a band's lead vocalist to be its most famous member, whether or not they actually deserve it (Ozzy Osbourne...), but there are some cases where the lead vocalist is actually outshone by the guitarist. Here are eight guitarists who are more famous than their lead singers. 1. Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin) Robert Plant may have been integral to the development of the God-like...
Read More

Coming up with a band name is one of the most important and difficult steps of forming a band. While some artists like to take their names from a song by another artist, such as Radiohead (A Talking Heads song) or Pretty Girls Make Graves (a Smiths song), other artists have found inspiration in the actual names of other artists. Here are eight band names that were inspired by the names of other ar...
Read More

Whether writing an email to promoters, venues or radio stations, there are a few things you can do to increase the chances of getting your message read. 1. Be prepared – do research, compile a list of possible venues and be ready to work through them with a friendly and well thought out email. If someone is interested, be prepared to discuss matters of budget, genre, performance and schedule. ...
Read More

Hi all. My name is The Urge, I am from the band ivy Blue, and I am one of the latest writers for NZBands.Co.Nz. I'll be talking about a variety of subjects to do with music, gear, lessons on Ivy Blue songs, recording tricks, studios, live shows, so on and so forth. But for today as an introductory thing I'll be taking you through my own rig, to see if this hopefully sparks up any ideas with ...
Read More

For those of us who embrace shades of mediocrity, here are some tips for becoming a typical musician: Practice Practice one hour a day. However, feel free to skip practice if there is something more interesting going on. Play the same piece over and over again. Never try to de-construct the music and figure out how and why it works. Convince yourself that taking music lessons is out of the...
Read More

1. Ke$ha's single Tik-Tok sold more copies than ANY Beatles or Nirvana single. 2. Flo Rida's track Low sold 2 million more copies than Hey Jude by The Beatles. 3. While we're on the subject of John Lennon and co, TV show Glee has had more top 100 US hits than the Fab Four. 4. And Emeli Sandé beat the record set by The Beatles for the most consecutive weeks in the UK's top 10 chart for a d...
Read More

You know that phrase your mum taught you, Don’t judge a book by its cover? Well your mum’s a naive idiot who needs to step into the real world. Covers are a great way to judge books. If you look at a book with Ann Coulter on the cover, for example, you know right up front that you’re better off jacking off with nails as lube than wasting one second reading even a single word of her deliberately ab...
Read More

By now you should have your music, pictures, and name figured out. You should have contacted your friends and family, in person, asking them to help you spread the word about your music by linking to the social media profile(s) that you've just set up. Now we need to figure out how to boost traffic to your profiles so that you develop your web presence and, hopefully, make some fans! Step 1: Li...
Read More

(1) Having a shitty, entitled attitude. If you’re showing up late for gigs, not rehearsing, not supporting your scene, being a dick to your bandmates, and not working slavishly to cultivate your audience online and off, you’re doing a great job of killing your potential career. Now more than ever, the future doesn’t belong to bands that have crappy work ethics. (2) Being addicted to any subst...
Read More

1. So Are You Trying To Be A Musician I am a musician. Not trying. Trying to be a musician is watching the first YouTube video on how to hold a guitar. Not what I have done for the past 15 years. That is BEING a musician. 2. You Sound Like… I know you’re trying to be nice by putting me in good company, but musicians want to feel original. We don’t want to hear we sound like everyone else. Tha...
Read More

The very first part of this maintenance schedule involves keeping your strings as clean as possible. Since this particular subject happens to be very near and dear to me, I have discovered a few handy tricks and developed some basic rules throughout the years that will keep your strings squeaky clean at all times. Rule number one suggests that no one other than yourself should handle or play your ...
Read More

Image Matters Whether you’re promoting an upcoming show, distributing posters and one sheets, sending out press releases, building your press kit, doing an interview or article, designing your website, or adding content to your social sites they all should include photos of you and/or your band. Photos are the first thing people notice when looking at your marketing and promotional materials, a...
Read More

We’ve all been to bars and seen the bands playing the original showcases. Let’s face it; many bands leave most people slightly less than impressed. Live performance can be a tricky beast with so many variables and in-the-moment developments, it’s nearly impossible to plan for every contingency. Here are ten tips to help your band take your live show to the next level. Rehearse Your show begins...
Read More

Prove It

Category: Misc

When Alan Turing proposed his famous ‘Turing Test’ in 1950, its purpose seemed clear: prove that machines can think, and thus exhibit the same mental faculties of human beings. His medium of choice was a text-only conversation, as it eliminated all variables except the essence of the conversation itself – what was being communicated. But as you can imagine, he found it difficult to define the proc...
Read More

Whenever you see professional videos from concerts they will always look way more intense than the show really was. This is because the camera crew is doing their job and covering the concert from all angles so, when the guitarist bursts into his (or her) epic solo, the camera goes crazy and turns and makes it look like they're doing much more work. In reality, during solo parts, the guitarist is ...
Read More

“Can you prove that you’re self-aware?” “That’s a difficult question, Dr Tagger. Can you prove that you are?” Such was a conversation that took place in the film “Transcendence”. Regardless of the film’s scientific veracity, the logic that underpins this exchange is arguably the most relevant enigma in the concept of ‘sentience’. We all know that we feel things, and to a large extent we can ...
Read More

1) Use a metronome. A great musician is of no value if he or she cannot keep time. Either live or in the studio, a musician that cannot keep time will quickly find themselves on the short end of a very angry stick. 2) Slow is fast. Many times I have seen guitarists frustrated because they are struggling with a passage at high speeds. This is a lesson learned the hard way. In my early ye...
Read More

Sharing gear Do communicate with the others bands on the bill before the evening of the gig to find out what backline will be shared on the night. It''s common for a headline band to let support acts share drum shells and stands – but not breakables such as snare, cymbals etc – the bass rig and often guitar speaker cabs. Don''t assume that you will be able to share gear and turn up with minima...
Read More

If you''ve got a storming vocal on tape you''re halfway towards a great production. PAUL WHITE offers some tips on perfecting this most important of recording skills.Even if all the music you make is created via MIDI, the chances are that at some time or other you''ll have to record vocals using the traditional tools of a singer and a microphone. The vocal line is invariably the focal point of a s...
Read More

Singularity

Category: Misc

There are several definitions of this word in the dictionary, including: - “A trait marking one as distinct from others” - “Something uncommon or unusual” So it’s fair to say that the isolated use of this word implies that something is special, original, or unique. These are things that most, if not all musicians aspire to, in our quest to create art that defines our time on Earth. We struggle to...
Read More

1. Trashing other bands in your scene isn’t hurting their rep. It’s hurting yours. 2. Acting disinterested with folded arms at the back of the room at other bands’ shows does not make you cool. Singing along at the front of the stage does. 3. Looking like a rock star isn’t as important as sounding like one. 4. Image is actually important. Cargo shorts are for dads at a barbecue. Not for m...
Read More