Articles Tips

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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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 ...
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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...
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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...
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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 ...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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 ...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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 ...
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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...
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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...
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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. ...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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