The Representation of Women at Electronic Music Festivals

The Representation of Women at Electronic Music Festivals

The Representation of Women at Electronic Music Festivals
By Caro Churchill

As a female artist operating in this field of the music industry, I like to keep abreast of latest research. And a very interesting recent study shows how the land lies for women in the lucrative field of electronic music festivals. International support network and database Female Pressure consists of female DJs, Vjs, electronic musicians, sound artists, sound engineers, academics and other diverse professionals involved in the post club culture industry and vibrant scenes in most cities.

As a collective endeavour, active members of the Female Pressure network submitted statistics for festivals they were aware of. And then, collating all these findings, they produced a report and graphic representation clearly demonstrating their informal research using music faders and ven diagrams. Some countries fared better than others - the UK was not the best for gender representation with women making up ten per cent of the artists performing. And quite surprisingly perhaps, Germany did not fair much better despite the assumption that there are more female DJs and artists active especially in Berlin.

Overall, the study showed over eighty percent of festival artists were male and less than ten per cent were female - the rest were acts made of men and women. So what can be done about this? One solution put forward has been festivals representing only female artists. The aim of this would be to make a statement that there are many female artists out there that can entertain an audience. However there is an argument against this approach as this can still lead to separation and lack of integration in the male dominated rosters. There are wonderful examples of festivals and collectives that strive for a more representative and diverse offer of live and DJ acts - LEM festival in Barcelona was one of these though this sadly no longer exists.

Female Pressure have decided for this year to present an all female line up in Berlin to boldly highlight the quantity and quality of women working in the electronic music industry. Future festivals will however focus on aiming for a 50-50 male female ratio as increased female acts at electronic music festivals seems the most effective way forward. There are many interesting and most capable female live performers and DJs, one only has to use your favourite search engine to find this out. And more importantly audiences deserve a varied and reflective range of performances when they have invested in a ticket for an event.

Caro C is an independent electronic music producer and performer currently based in Manchester, UK. She is often asked about the under-representation of women in electronic music and audio engineering and contributes to research on this topic.

Caro C will perform at the first Perspectives Festival to be held in Berlin in September 2013.

Article Source:

6 Warning Signs That You Don't Know the First Thing About EQ

6 Warning Signs That You Don't Know the First Thing About EQ

6 Warning Signs That You Don't Know the First Thing About EQ
By Bjorgvin Benediktsson

Especially if you're doing any of these things below.

1. You Move the Wrong Knobs

This is beginner's mistake number 1 but it's worth pointing out. If you're only moving the frequency knob without moving the gain knob, you're not EQ'ing. This is a terrible mistake to make, because you're actually doing nothing at all!

If the gain knob is at zero, then moving the frequency knob will gain you nothing, no pun intended. And don't laugh, I've seen this a few times with people who just don't know the first thing about what they're trying to accomplish.

2. You Don't Filter

Filtering is the first step in EQ'ing. It's like cleaning up the clutter before you can make your room nice. All instruments have frequency ranges that get in the way of other instruments in a mix.

Don't fear the filter, it's the best way to eliminate low-end buildup and clutter from instruments that don't need it. Filter out the low-end of the guitars to make the bass guitar fit, and get rid of the high-end when your instrument doesn't need it.

3. You Make Aggressive Boosts

Sometimes you really do need to boost frequencies to make that track pop, but don't go overboard. A 20 dB boost is just asking for trouble. When you boost, you're manipulating the phase relationship of the frequencies, introducing a lot more gain as well as potential noise to your tracks.

Use subtractive EQ instead, it's a much cleaner alternative. By subtracting the frequencies you don't want, you're subjectively boosting the frequencies that you want. For instance, cutting the lower-mids can achieve the same result as boosting the higher-mids. Don't boost aggressively. Be conservative and cut instead.

4. Your Cuts are Wide

A simple goal to live by is:

Broad Boosts, Narrow Cuts

When cutting frequencies, use a narrow Q. Think of subtractive EQ like a scalpel. You're taking away frequencies you don't like, but you have to be careful to not cut the vitals of the instrument.

5. Your Boosts are Narrow

Same thing as before, but in reverse. Narrow boosts sound very unnatural. A 20 dB boost with a very narrow Q will pinpoint that frequency and it will stick out like a sore thumb. Use broad boosts for a more flattering sound.

6. You Boost the Same Frequencies in 5 Different Instruments

This is a surefire way to make all the elements of a mix clash together, resulting in a cluttered and unclear mix. Think of it like a division problem. You have a set amount of apples, and you need to divide them among a set amount of people. Similarly, you have a set amount of instruments that you need to divide among the frequency spectrum. The kick-drum, bass guitar, acoustic and vocal can't all have a 12 dB boost at 4 kHz.

Find different frequencies that flatter each instrument individually, and spread them around. Also, if you're boosting a frequency in a certain instrument, then it's usually a good idea to cut in an instrument that occupies the same frequency range. Divide the frequencies evenly among instrument and achieve better separation and clarity in your mixes.

EQ Should Be Your Best Friend

The equalizer is one of the most powerful tools in your arsenal. But you can also completely screw up your mix if you don't know how to use it. I hope you weren't making many of these mistakes that I mentioned above, I know I've done plenty of them.

Bjorgvin Benediktsson is an audio engineer and writer. He is an Alumni from the SAE Institute and has been working in the audio industry since 2006. He has written about audio and music for blogs and magazines since 2006 and has published books on audio recording and mixing. He writes about music production on his blog. Check out more of his writing right here on Audio Issues

Article Source:

Home Studio on a Budget

Home Studio on a Budget

Home Studio on a Budget
By John Rimmer

If you are are reading this then you are either planning on building a home studio or you already have started building one. Hopefully this guide will give you an idea as to some of the dos and don'ts when it comes to buying, building and using your studio and the hardware/software within it.

It is important to understand what you want to achieve before you start. Knowing what kind of music it is that you want to record before you start gives you a better understanding of what kind of space you're going to need and also the hardware and software that you may have to buy.

If you're wanting to record drums for example you will need quite a large room or outhouse. This will ideally be soundproofed (unless you have don't have any neighbours in which case it doesn't matter so much) which could cost quite a bit of money.

If you're just recording guitar and vocals or you just want to write some electronic music then no soundproofing will be required although you can buy products to improve the acoustics of your chosen room should you feel that the acoustics are not good enough. A couple of bass traps in the corner of your room can significantly reduce the natural reverb of the room and make it easier to record things. Bass traps will also make mixing and mastering a more enjoyable experience because you will be able to hear your speakers with more clarity.

Once you have chosen what room to use for your home studio and have established what kind of music that you will be writing and recording it's time to think about what kind of software and hardware you will need to purchase.

If you are using a microphone/ keyboard or guitar you will need to buy a recording interface. This is the piece of hardware that bridges the gap between you and your instrument and the software on the computer. You can buy many different recording interfaces each with different strengths and weaknesses so it's good to understand exactly what you want before you make this purchase. For example if you are only going to be recording vocals and guitar then you won't need a recording interface with 4-8 inputs because the max you will ever be using will be 2. Another important parameter to look at when choosing a recording interface is exactly what kind of latency it has. Some recording interfaces have firewire which offers virtually zero latency. Usually the more money you spend the better latency you're going to get.

Once you have bought your recording interface it's time to think about what software you're going to use. There are many products on the market with a wide variety of prices. Most musicians either use Cubase, Pro Tools, Logic, Fruity loops or Ableton Live. They all offer different things and some are better for certain styles of music than others. Fruity loops and ableton are better suited to electronic based music production and Cubase and Protools are better suited to live music recording.

Thankyou for reading this article, I hope you found it helpful. If you did find it useful I would ask you to take a small amount of your time to glance at our website. You can find more tutorials and downloads there.

Article Source:

What We Need to Understand With Rock Music Today

What We Need to Understand With Rock Music Today

What We Need to Understand With Rock Music Today
By Martin Swan

Music keeps changing as time goes by. The rock music trends are borne to maintain a cultural influence depending on their era of formation. Many of the artists are becoming theatrical with many of the bands putting up a great show. Some of the groups have been around for many decades and so they stand to influence the current music trends. However, their influence on the current music depends on how well they continue providing great shows to their audiences, considering treads come and go.

The current music trends

Today, shock rock is proving to be the "big thing", making many of the rock groups to become exceedingly popular. Therefore, many of the audiences are becoming tired of gimmicks that are observed with some musicians. In fact, some of these musicians are losing the attention that is otherwise required for surviving in a competitive industry. Some of the buyers or listeners are overlooking the trends to find their own voices.

It has become easier to find the desired voice, because we live in a community that detects the right voice from the least appealing. Lyricists who offer the best in terms of song writing are also identified readily. Therefore, the future of rock music is likely to gravitate towards the humble beginning where people begin to appreciate the skill of writing good music. It will be more that presenting an image to the point of expressing one's talents and creativity. The society is asking for better, bigger and extreme talents. This offers a good way of ensuring the latest trends of rock music are being introduced.

The difference with the music

The current trends in rock music are not necessarily different from the performances in other eras, although many of the followers may choose to differ. When you consider the most recent trends of rock music, you stand to find a presentation that you enjoy. Many rock bands are sincere in their presentation while managing their theatrical. You will discover many more bands that choose to maintain their low profile; therefore, they get to be heard when they hit the top charts.

Some of the rock groups can be compared with the "Beetles" who captured the attention of the audience in the 70s. The latest rock music trends are seeking to capture the attention of the audience by offering great performances. Therefore, the recent trends stand to impact significantly the future generations.

We provide the best info about Pink Floyd cover. For further details on this topic, check my website!

Article Source:

The Songwriter's Challenge - Creating New Music While Maintaining an Effective Web Presence

The Songwriter's Challenge - Creating New Music While Maintaining an Effective Web Presence

The Songwriter's Challenge - Creating New Music While Maintaining an Effective Web Presence
By Durwood L Walker

Dream Based On Old Music Industry

When I began writing songs some thirty years ago, my dream was to get just one of those songs signed to a major label or artist. That was the objective for most of us because that was the way the system operated then. Was I successful? No, that didn't happen for me.

Dream Based On New Music Industry

In today's music industry environment, where the independent artist/musician is in far more control of his or her destiny, signing with a big record label has less importance. In fact, many of us no longer even entertain that idea.

Theoretically, the internet has made the playing field much more level. Still, that is not to say it is easy to be successful. Far from it! The technology that spawned the change in approach also opened the door for many more artists to attempt to enter.

Internet Marketing Wake Up Call

When setting up my first website with a company called Site Build It (SBI), I was totally unaware of all the nuts and bolts that are part of establishing and maintaining a viable website.

Thinking a panda was a bear and a penguin was a flightless bird living largely at the Poles, I knew of Google only as a search engine. I had no idea of their role in keeping a site running smoothly and how not satisfying their requirements can make your site of little value, if any.

I was aware that a musician or songwriter should not set up a Flash based site if he or she expected it to succeed. That was a vital piece of information. Still, I was not as prepared as I thought.

Juggling Between Creating and Maintaining Site

We all do things differently. While some songwriters, or any other creative individual, might be able to sit down at any time and deliver the goods, others have to wait for just the right moment. I happen to be part of the latter group.

So, I continue to find myself struggling to come up with new music while keeping the website at peak performance. This, coupled with staying abreast of the constantly changing requirements of the web, is a balancing act.

Message To The New Aspiring Songwriter

If you are a songwriter/artist about to begin a web presence for the first time, my advice is to thoroughly research the components that go into creating and maintaining an effective music website. Do this before the fact. Learn as much as you can about how to approach this task. It will save you much time and frustration in the long haul.

Durwood L. Walker writes positive message songs with vocalist/lyricist Bunny Relerford. Together they form the music duo TopazThyme.

Visit us at:

There is likely a song that relates directly or indirectly to each Ezine article.

Our music speaks in a large part to those in or around the baby boomer generation.

However, if you're younger or older, check it out anyway. Everyone can use an uplifting word.

Find a tune to brighten up your day, or your life for that matter. Don't forget to look for free mp3 downloads

Article Source:

5 Mistakes You Made on Your Last Recording

5 Mistakes You Made on Your Last Recording

5 Mistakes You Made on Your Last Recording
By Robert Honablue

1. You didn't book enough studio time.

  • Artists: Today it is common to book a "lockout" of a studio where you have one or a few days in which to accomplish everything. Invariably the beginning of these sessions are relaxed, but when you realize that the mixing or editing is going to take longer than you planned it can make the end of the sessions very stressful. Make sure you consult with an experienced engineer or producer for the amount of time you need to do your project without rushing it.
  • Engineers: Make sure your artists remember to plan for mixing. Often this takes longer than the actual tracking. Also, make sure your clients plan for doing multiple takes during tracking and that they allot time to listen after each and every take. The recording equipment is never perfect and is prone to failure. Don't be caught when your pants down because you neglected to listen back to a take.

2. Lack of preparation

  • Artists: Are your arrangements finished? Are your lyrics finished? Did you change your strings and put on new drum heads? When you are in the studio you are on the clock. Wouldn't you rather finish writing lyrics for free on your own time rather than paying the studio?
  • Engineers: Are you truly familiar with your client's musical style? They are going to expect you to know what all their favorite bands sound like. Make sure that you do.

3. You mixed too soon after your tracking session.

  • Artists: Remember that tiny little mistake you obsessed over? Guess what, it probably doesn't matter. Your producer's job is to keep track of the big picture. You do have a producer don't you?
  • Engineers: At the end of the tracking session your ears are tired. Everything starts to sound good because you can't really hear it anymore. Was the session long, or late at night? The next day your ears are still not rested. Mix next week so you have a fresh perspective on the tracks.

4. You had the wrong input levels.

  • Artists and Engineers: This is really the engineer's responsibility, but we know a lot of you are out there recording yourselves. This is very simple. Recording digital? Live in the green, touch the yellow, stay out of the red. Just like traffic lights. Recording analog? Go into the red always except on high frequency track like cymbals. -10 to 0 is a good range for those. This is how you get that fat tape sound without bad distortion.

5. You tried to make your mixes "loud."

  • Artists: Remember that mixing is an intermediate step. It is not about getting the finished product. It is about balancing all the elements. Think of it like baking. Tracking is gathering the ingredients, mixing is stirring the batter, and mastering is the actual baking.
  • Engineers: Did you put a compressor or limiter on your master bus? Do you really need that? We strongly recommend leaving this type of processing to your mastering engineer. If you take all the dynamics out, they he/she will have nowhere to go with it. Make sure your artists understand the differences between mixing and mastering.

Thanks for taking the time to read and we sincerely hope this will help you achieve better results in the studio.

Article Source:

Bruno Mars - Capturing the Hearts of Millions

Bruno Mars - Capturing the Hearts of Millions

Bruno Mars - Capturing the Hearts of Millions
By R. Acosta

His name rose to fame in the music industry with the release of his debut album in which critically acclaimed high-note song with an odd title "Grenade" and "Just the Way You Are" are a part of. Both songs reached number one in the Billboard Hot 100 including several charts worldwide. Mars holds the distinction for being the only artist having back-to-back singles to have sold 5 million copies in Billboard history for the third time in the digital era. "Grenade " is praised for its emotional lyrics of heartbreak caused by a failed relationship and its vocals. Some critics call it as "nothing short of an explosive".

Born in 1985, he started his musical career at a young age. He was influenced by his uncle, an Elvis Presley impersonator himself, to perform on stage at age three. Coming from a family of musicians, he began performing at age four with the family's band, The Love Notes, for which he became popular for impersonating Elvis Presley. Because of his facial resemblance with a legendary professional wrestler, he was nicknamed "Bruno" after Bruno Samartino by his Puerto Rican and Jewish descent father.

He is noted for his versatility having displayed in different musical styles, genres, influences, which includes hip hop, R&B, soul, reggae, rock and pop. His vocal range of styles, described as a universal donor by a critic, and his pure entertainment is equally compared to that of Michael Jackson.

Everyone gets euphoric whenever he performs on stage. His song-and-dance style, with the participation of his band members, the Hooligans, makes his audience rose from their seats. His audience participation is unprecedented. The fans shriek on top of their voice every time he started playing his song and kick off over the stage.

His musical prowess and timeless influences continue to delight his fans. His choreographed dances and his funny antics make him even more engaging and connected with his fans. He is an ultimate performer, so to speak, catering to the young and old audience.

He is always engaged with the crowds and he even flirts with his female fans. Even male fans can hardly contain their admiration for him.

Meanwhile, he is still recovering from the lost of his beloved mother during the past weeks, who had died recently of brain aneurysm, but his enthusiasm and perplexing personality have never diminished a bit. Astonishingly, the lost of his mom did not prevent him from performing and doing the things he enjoys most. Just as what the saying goes, however the lost of his mom means so much to him "the show must go on".

He has ubiquitous hit singles up his sleeve after he became a solo artist in 2009. He has hits after hits, and to date he has five number one hits to his credit. His other hits include "The Lazy Song", "Marry You", "Count on Me", Runaway Baby", "It Will Rain", "Locked Out of Heaven" and "When I Was Your Man" among others.

Bruno Mars' performance on stage always leaves a smile on the face of his fans. Everyone is spellbound at anytime they chance upon him, be it on live performances, in YouTube, TV guestings, concerts, gigs. His bright personality, his funny antics, and his musical ingenuity will continue to capture the hearts of millions of his fans around the world.

Article Source:

3 Warnings For Independent Album Launches

3 Warnings For Independent Album Launches

3 Warnings For Independent Album Launches
By Valeria Stephens

Releasing your own independent album ensures you have total control over the end product, gives you the responsibility of getting your music to exactly the audience you're aiming for, and puts potential profits right in your own pocket. While this is an exciting, interesting, and thrilling endeavor, there can also be pitfalls on the way to your dream. The good news is that once you're aware of these problems you can take steps to avoid them. Consider these three common warnings and learn how to avoid the most common problems.

1) Take Advantage of Live Shows and the Opportunities They Bring

While getting out a quality product is important, the reality is that if you don't reach an audience, it may all be for nothing. There's a lot of focus put on gaining an internet following, and while it's important, it's not the best way to make money from your music. Set up live shows in your area to really get fans behind you - and to get the money rolling in. Even if the venue doesn't pay you for playing at first, you can sell merchandise - including your new album. Live shows are still the most lucrative way to get your name out there.

2) Treat Your Band Like a Business

Most people who get into the music industry do so because they love music and they want to share that enthusiasm with others. While this is a noble goal, if you really want to reach a larger audience, and make a living playing music, you need to treat it like a business. This doesn't mean letting the market dictate the way you write or play your songs, and it doesn't mean you can't have fun while you're doing it. But it does mean that you need to make savvy decisions about the way your music is produced, distributed, and enjoyed.

3) Quality Recordings Are a Must

The quality of your writing and the music itself is the first step, but if it doesn't sound as good on your alum as it does live, then you're not going to find success. You can pay big bucks to have someone engineer the album for you, or you can invest in audio school. The right audio engineering schools will not only give you the chops to get your next album out, but they'll give teach you how to engineer an infinite number of albums in the future.

In fact, audio school can help you in many other ways as well. When you're able to help produce the work of others, you'll have the opportunity not just to network with other prominent bands, but to get paid to do it. Audio engineering schools are an investment that can pay off big for many years to come.

Visit Trebas for more information on launching your career with other options like film production programs.

Valeria Stephens is a Copywriter at Higher Education Marketing, a leading Web marketing firm specializing in Google Analytics, Education Lead Generation, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Mobile SMS Alerts, Social Media Marketing and Pay Per Click Marketing, among other web marketing services and tools.

Article Source:

When You Get a Partner - Your Songwriting Success Becomes Easier

When You Get a Partner - Your Songwriting Success Becomes Easier

When You Get a Partner - Your Songwriting Success Becomes Easier
By Obafemi S Tunbosun

Even the song writing figures have never missed the importance of partnership as a means to get more done with a less - less effort. Taking the time necessary to locate the perfect match is far more crucial and can be sometimes breathe taking, especially if you're new in the industry. Nonetheless, it does worth the effort. We all need a partner for, at least, the mutual benefit.

Every determined prolific songwriter needs a helping hand to remain fresh and I think that's an art of being strategic in your progress plan. Christine Storm and the British powerhouse music producer are a good example to underscore the need for a good partnership that guaranteed uniqueness and dynamism.

Although, the collaboration quietly shows both parties are in for the mutual benefits on both ends and that is why you should locate another person of the same mindset, but of a complementary skills to your own - Not both of you in a box. What am saying is that - songwriter collaborating song producer; it's a mutual benefit.

Of course, two will always be better than one. Combining your talents with others safe you a lot of useful energy and could lead to opportunity that beyond your thinkable reach. The collaboration of Christine Storm with the European producer is an impressive partnership in both mental and physical impact that will definitely results in multiple creativity.

Whenever you're considering a 'collab', be ready to share and contribute your effort. It's important to discuss your goal, vision and objectives with the other person in the business. Your partnership will cost you both - a shared inspiration, personal techniques, experiences and challenges.

With the present development in technology, you do not need to be in the same continent to fulfill your partnership obligations. You can be in different continent apart and yet share your work - beat, lyrics, progress report and communications.

You can get good partners that will really complement your skill on the internet. Nevertheless, it is important to know whom you spend your time with. Avoid time wasters. It will be good to have a well prepared beginning... before you both conclude to work together; make sure you asked her (your chosen partner) the 5 - formula questions that guaranteed a perfect start.The question goes thus:

1. How long have you been involved in music?

2. Can I see a sample of your work?

3. What's your value and stand in the partnership?

4. What and how do we implement the assignment?

5. Moreover, what is our finished line?

The heart of these questions is to be sure you're not collaborating with a wrong person. Mostly, if not all, her responses should agree with your expectations, and if not - quite immediately...

Combining talents in achieving a single objective goes a long way to shortcut your proficiency in the market and capable of positioning you on the fast track to becoming famous and to profit. It's a common say that "No man is an island." You can't get all the skills in one box, but you can always reach out for assistance anytime. It's, however, smart to discover the 7 Wonder Tools for Song Writers

Article Source:

Make It Your Own - Tips on Covering a Popular Song

Make It Your Own - Tips on Covering a Popular Song

Make It Your Own - Tips on Covering a Popular Song
By Christopher Bright

Performing a cover song can be a great thing for you and your career as a musician. It can help you get more exposure, both live and over the internet. In a live setting, people love to hear songs they are familiar with, and if the song you are covering is well known, it'll be sure to turn some heads and grab their attention. People are constantly doing internet searches for popular songs, and covering one of them can make it possible for you to be included during their searches. And while covering a hit song can be a big boost to your career, it's essential that you avoid the one big mistake that countless musicians fall into. Solve this problem and you'll be able to maximize your results.

The biggest mistake people make when choosing to cover a song isn't the song choice (although you'll probably want to avoid choosing an obscure song that people won't easily recognize). The problem you'll face is that most covered songs are considered classics, and on of a scale of 1 to 10, most are arguably 9's or 10's and were recorded in top-notch studios. If you simply copy it, it's more likely than not that your "copy" won't reach the same level as the original. Many people have very strong feelings and associations with songs that they love, and they would much rather listen to the original than a near "carbon-copy." Fortunately, with some thought and effort, this problem can be solved. The answer is that you need to "make it your own" by giving it something unique.

The natural question that comes out of saying "make it unique" is simply, how? Here are a few different ways to differentiate your cover from others. Change the mood of the song in a drastic way. Take a slow ballad and change it into a fast rock song, or vice versa. Change the key in which the song is performed. Change the tempo of the song or the song arrangement. Change the dynamics. The key is to take your time and be intentional as you think all this through.

One example of a great cover song that might inspire you is Johnny Cash's cover of Nine Inch Nails "Hurt." "Sweet Child 'O Mine" by Guns 'N Roses has been softened in a cover by Sheryl Crow. Eric Clapton put a unique spin on Bob Marley's "I Shot The Sheriff." Many more can be found with a few quick internet searches. Additionally, if you have a niche musical project, such as Camille and Kennerly (sisters who have found great success covering popular songs on the harp), or the Vitamin String Quartet (a string quartet that creates classical interpretations of various popular songs and artists), you might find that performing covers can even turn into a viable business model.

Covering songs can be a great way of getting exposure, and if you take the time to make your cover unique, you'll maximize that exposure and give yourself a much better chance to stand above the rest of the crowd.

Christopher Bright is a musician and educator in the greater Los Angeles area. For more information, please visit:

Article Source:

5 Ways to Customize Your Finger Picks for Better Resonator Guitar Playing

5 Ways to Customize Your Finger Picks for Better Resonator Guitar Playing

5 Ways to Customize Your Finger Picks for Better Resonator Guitar Playing
By Kevin B Clinton

Finger picks and thumb picks are a bit of a necessary evil. Many players struggle with them, but if you want speed, volume and attack, they are are essential. Most new finger picks feel bulky, awkward and uncomfortable. Ill-fitting picks are painful and distracting, cutting off circulation while constantly catching on each other and the strings. The best players will spend hours tweaking and "breaking in" a set of finger and thumb picks until they feel like a second skin. Once you've achieved the "perfect pick", however, it can drastically improve your playing.

Below are 5 ways to customize and shape your finger picks to create a more natural experience that works with you instead of against you.

1. Smooth surface jewelry pliers

Metal finger picks need to be shaped to ensure the meatiest part of the pick blade is making contact with the string. We all position our hand differently when playing guitar and rarely does the natural stroke of your finger align perpendicularly with the string. Without shaping the pick, you end up catching just a portion of the pick surface which can weaken your tone and cause your picks to catch on the string. The best thing to do is to manually shape both the blade of the pick as well as the bands so that the pick conforms to your fingertip and your stroke.

Start with two pairs of smooth surface needle nose pliers. Do not use standard grooved needle nose pliers, as they will leave indents and burrs that will cause irritation. You can find a range of smooth surface pliers at a jewelry supply stores or online. If you absolutely cannot find smooth pliers, you can wrap stand needle nose pliers in a few wraps of masking tape.

First work on the side bands of the pick, gently straightening and re-bending to fit the diameter of your finger. Position the pick so it is rotated in a way that allows the most area of the blade to come in contact with the string. Once you have the bands wrapped fairly comfortably around your finger, use your hand to pinch it tighter, taking care not to kink the side wraps. You want it to feel tight and secure on your finger

Next work on angling and shaping the blade so it contours around the circumference of your finger pad. Most people like between an 1/8 and a � of an inch of the pick tip to extend beyond your finger, but it is really a personal preference. The key is to be gentle, go slow and make small bends until you've got the shape exactly how you want it.

2. Nose Pads

One of my favorite tricks is using stick-on foam nose piece pads made for eyeglasses. You can pick these up at most drug stores. Just peel off a pad and stick it to the inside of the finger pick band. It creates a soft cushion that will make your finger picks a pleasure to wear for hours on end. If they get gunky with sweat and dirt, just peel them out and replace.

3. Heat Shrink Tubing

The metal bands of a finger pick can be brutal, cutting off circulation and digging into your cuticles. Besides properly shaping your pick, one trick is to use heat shrink tubing around the bands to create a more comfortable surface with better grip. Heat shrink tubing is sold at any hardware store and is used to provide installation over electrical wiring. The �" tubing works fine.

Place the tubing over the metal bands and snip off the ends. Instead of placing the shrink wrapping over an open flame, which can warp and damage the pick, place them in a small pan of water and bring to a boil. The water will heat the shrink wrap without damaging the pick. Within a few minutes the tube wrap will shrink to form a perfect fit around the band. If you want to get really clever, use two colors of shrink tubing (my store had black and white) so you always know which pick is for your index finger and which is for the middle finger.

4. Use Plasti-Dip to Coat the Bands

Heat shrink tubing works great, but for some picks, particularly the split band ProPiks, shrink tubing is not an option. Not to fear, there is another way to rubberize the bands for better comfort and control: Plasti-Dip. Plasti-Dip is a liquid plastic meant for coating tool handles like pliers or screwdrivers, but works great as a coating for metal fingerpicks. You simply dip into the liquid plastic and it forms a permanent coating around the band. Plasti-Dip can be picked up at the hardware store for around $5. I recommend the can rather than the spray on version, but either will work. The whole process can be a little tricky. Here's how to do it.

-First, take some painters tape and tape off the pick blade and other areas you don't want to coat.
- Wrap some wire around the tip of the pick so you have a way to handle and hang it.
-Next, take some sandpaper and rough up the surface to be coated.
-Then spray the pick with 1 or 2 light coats of metal primer this will give the Plasti-Dip a better surface to stick to. Once the primer is dry you're ready to dip.
- Add a small amount of thinner (follow supplied instructions) and stir up the can of Plasti-Dip, also find a deep cup or bucket and keep it nearby to shake off excess material
- Dip the pick slowly into and out of the Plasti-Dip and give it a light shake over the bucket
- Hang the pick over a piece of cardboard or newspaper and allow to dry
- After around 30 minutes, dip again for a second coat and hang to dry, this time for around 4 hours
- After the coating is fully dry, apply a light coat of MinWax Water-Based Polyurethane, this will keep the plastic coating from wearing over time
- Once the poly is dry, remove the tape. You may need to trim off some of the coating with a razorblade if any made it onto an area you don't want covered

And that's it. It's not the easiest solution, but in the end you'll have some of the nicest picks on the planet.

5. Lick Them

Finally, one of the simplest and easiest ways to get a tighter non-slip grip is simply to lick your finger before putting them on. Lick your finger,, place the pick on, take it back off, wipe your finger on your shirt and then slip the pick back on. For whatever reason this creates one of the tightest grips around and is one of the best methods I've found. Couldn't be faster or easier!

And there you have it, 5 tips and tricks to customize your finger picks for better playing. I strongly encourage you to mix and match. Personally, I'll spend some time shaping my picks, then apply shrink wrap tubing, then stick on some nose pads. Since following this method, I can play for hours on end with no issues whatsoever.

These tips are particularly useful for those that play a resonator guitar, if you're interested in the resonator guitar, check out

Article Source:

Music Promotion Vs Marketing

Music Promotion Vs Marketing

Music Promotion Vs Marketing
By Harrison Welshimer

There tends to be a good deal of confusion between promotion and marketing among musicians. This article is designed to clear the waters.

I think of promotion as the what. This what is often associated with a product or show/event. The message is quite simple. It explains the what, when, where and price with a call for action at the end.

For example, let's say you're on Facebook and you want to let your fans know about an upcoming CD release show. Your message will sound something like this, "Hey guys, it's been a whirlwind 3 months, but we are stoked to announce the new album is ready. We want you to celebrate with us at the Bluebird Theater on August 30th! Buy your tickets here" (hyperlink "Buy Your Tickets Here"). Simple, short, and it has a call to action.

Marketing, on the other hand is more like messaging. It's not the "shout out" that promotion is. Think of marketing as your why. Marketing explains your reason for doing what you do, saying the things you say, playing the style of music you play.

Now, I'm not saying you're going to get on Facebook and explain why you play music every single day - that message is for your bio, press release kit, etc. But in your daily interaction with your fans, the message you send should always be in character with the band's beliefs, ideals - it should match the brand and image you've created.

An example is the band I manage, Petals of Spain. They have a very holistic view of life and their messaging reflects that. A post from them sounds like, "What positive experience did the universe give you today? We felt incredible synergy during our rehearsal today. Please, share your experience."

The best uses of promotion and marketing are when you use them together. When you have something worthy of promotion, combine the message and the "shout out." Using our two examples above, it could sound something like, "What positive experience did the universe give you today? We felt incredible synergy during our rehearsal today. The vibes are strong for a great show at the Bluebird Theater on August 30th. We want to share this energy with you. RSVP by clicking here."

In summary, think of music promotion as your what. It revolves around a selling point and asks for action. Music marketing is your messaging. It's your why and gives people a reason to care.

For more information on effective social media marketing, I encourage you to read "Online Music Marketing Tips" on my blog, MusicMunch. If you have any questions, please visit my website for band and artist management help.

Alright, see ya' at the next jam!

Article Source:

The Various Forms Of Guitars

The Various Forms Of Guitars

Author: Dianne Grover

To help you decide, below are the guitar's different forms and their definitions.

Acoustic Guitars

These are guitars that generate their own sound without the use of other devices. The fact that you are able to produce a sound right away, with nothing that is coming in between you and your instrument is somewhat a magical experience brought by acoustic instruments. The acoustic guitar has a large and hollow sound-box that is in a form similar to that of a female torso and acts as a resonating chamber, and can be played about anywhere you are. It also has two types, the classical and the steel stringed guitars.

1.) Classical or Spanish Guitar

- This type originally came from Spain. They have wider necks and nylon strings. In the 1800s, the three treble strings were made from animal intestines or ‘gut' and the other three bass strings were made from silk cores wrapped in gut. It was only after the 1940s when nylon was used for strings. They proved to be more dependable and cheaper than gut strings. Today, classical guitars use three nylon treble strings and nylon-core wrapped in metal for bass chords which provides gentle yet slightly muted sounds.

2.) Folk or Steel-Stringed Guitar

- They were first established in the late 1900s. Their main difference with the classical type is that their necks are narrower and their sound-box may sometimes be extra large, and use steel strings. The two treble strings are made from plain metal wires and the four lower strings have a core of metal wire wrapped with brass or bronze metal windings. These metal chords can be a little hard for beginners but the sound they make come out very resonant.

Electric Guitars

The first genuine electric guitar was developed in 1931 by George Beauchamp because he implemented electromagnetic pickups with it. These are magnets that capture the vibrations of the chords and transform them into electrical signals that can be amplified. Hence, the sound of this type is generated by an amplifier and not by itself. They have no sound-holes, they have solid-wood bodies, three plain metal treble chords and three wounded-metal bass chords.

Electric Bass Guitar

Shortly after the electric guitar was developed, electric bass was created. They have two major distinctions from the electric guitar type. This type has only four chords, and they are thicker and lower-pitched than a regular guitar. However, you can now find 5 stringed bass guitars, and sometimes even 6.

Flamenco Guitar

It is very much alike with the classical type's design, although it is lighter and smaller. Its sound tends to be more percussive and less beautiful than a regular one.

Bass Guitars

They come four or sometimes five strings, often with fretless necks. The chords are heavier and thicker since their tuning is one octave lower than regular types. They are commonly used for a bass line or for the rhythm.

Twelve-String Guitars

As its name implies, instead of the regular six strings, this guitar has twelve which offers a sound with more volume. The added strings help produce unique and different sounds, giving a fuller tone that guitars with only 6 strings. Anyone who can play a regular type will not have a hard time playing this guitar since its strings are very close to one another and you end up pressing 2 strings where you normally only have one.

These various forms of guitars are played depending on what kind of music the owner wants to play it with. If you plan to get yourself one, you probably already know which one will suit you, but if you do not know much about guitars and you just want to learn how to play one for starters, then a regular acoustic guitar will be just right.

Article Source:

About the Author

The writer of this article is a music professor in a local university. He specializes on stringed instruments and percussions. Being a member of a popular band, his students often refer to him as the coolest music lessons Houston professor. His method of teaching his students is not based on books, instead he base it from his experiences and on what he learned from his mentors. According to him, the best moment of him being an instructor is when his apprentices are able to surpass him in the music level.

Becoming a Music Entrepreneur

Becoming a Music Entrepreneur Becoming a Music Entrepreneur
By David Andrew Wiebe
Although the world at large has continued to make the shift from the Industrial Age to the Data Age, the music sector has lagged behind. When the book industry started moving online, was prepared with their user-friendly Kindle platform. Thanks to that, they see very few instances of piracy and illegal downloading.
When music went digital, everybody's initial exposure to it was Napster, which could basically be equated with piracy. Several legal-and-honest online stores have emerged since (like iTunes), but it took quite a bit of time for anyone to develop an application or program that matched the ease and convenience of file-sharing.
That is the reality we still find ourselves in nowadays. Surely, music continues to get bought, but the demographic that grew familiar with free music continues to prowl the online world for a handout. Many other people have also been drawn in by the allure of instant gratification.
The Big Break
Record labels are not in a position to consider taking big risks on artists. There was virtually never a time when each and every garage band was getting signed, but alas even development deals have become a thing of the past, unless we're talking about some of the labor-of-love independent or upstart labels. Major labels will not look your way unless they feel you could be immediately marketable.
Even so, you'll find independent musicians creating six-figures from their:
  • YouTube channels
  • Live performances
  • Licenses and Placements

There are some undeniable possibilities in these sectors, but many musicians will find these prospects questionable too.
Going viral on YouTube requires hard work and perseverance, and most likely a little luck (cute kittens might help too). Achievement on stage entails coordination, a solid work ethic and recognition. You will find an increasing number of placement possibilities showing up day-to-day, but not only is competition fierce, reps are often only looking for a single genre of music at any given time, and you may not have any concept of what they're going to be searching for next.
Nonetheless, this does not mean that these are the only opportunities accessible to musicians determined to make a living within their passion. A lot of the good results we see these days come from one of the three areas already described, but a growing number of new ideas and alternatives are coming out from the woodwork. If you consider yourself ambitious and you have a burning desire to have full control over the music you create, you could consider music entrepreneurship.
A Possible Alternative
Most musicians depend on their music careers to provide them with the results they are trying to find; monetary or otherwise. They work a job by day to pay their bills, and take what's left over and put it towards their music career, praying and dreaming about the huge break.
What if, rather than working a job, a musician constructed an asset (or multiple assets) that created a substantial passive income stream on the side that not merely covered the bills, but allowed for the total funding of their music career?
After all, what would be the two things that hold most musicians back? Money and time. The problem of time can generally be solved with enough money. The problem of cash could be solved by putting time towards a vehicle that has the potential to continue to pay out over the long-haul.
Embracing Entrepreneurship
Is music entrepreneurship idealism? Well, becoming an entrepreneur calls for a new mindset, and it isn't usually effortless. However, you can find examples of individuals who've constructed businesses as a way to pay for his or her passions. If they can do it, then what's to say an artist can't?
The big query, needless to say, is what to do. A musician has to take an inventory of their capabilities, talents and knowledge and carefully consider what type of organization or asset they might construct.
It may be worthwhile to think about possibilities within the industry, like starting an agency, a label, a marketing firm or possibly a printing and design service. Nonetheless, it is essential to take note of the fact that services and firms of this nature are a dime a dozen, and unless your offering is specifically special and valuable, you could end up spinning your wheels instead of creating an asset.
If you find that you have abilities and know-how that could be applied to enterprise outside of the music sector, then you may consider giving these a try. If you are a solid writer, you could write, buy and flip blogs. Maybe you could obtain real estate and rent out properties. Perhaps network marketing would be a viable option to make residual revenue. You could grow your self-image and entrepreneurial skills in the process.
What it takes
The journey of enterprise is not for the faint of heart. Developing an effective company is but a choice away, but to think that it will not call for patience, perseverance, hard work and sacrifice is merely na�ve. Music might have to take a backseat to your business for a while, while you realize your financial goals.
Becoming an entrepreneur implies becoming a problem-solver and solution-seeker. An entrepreneur always searches for ways to overcome problems, and difficulties will inevitably arise. This really is where just a little bit of resourcefulness and also the openness to learn from the examples of other entrepreneurs is incredibly beneficial.
Deciding to grow to be an entrepreneur implies growing as an individual. If you're not a reader, it's time to start reading. If you don't listen to podcasts, start subscribing to a few relevant ones. If you don't go to seminars and workshops, make the decision to get to as many as humanly possible.
Time And Money
If you are sick and tired of not having control over time and money and the ability to make the music you really want to make, then music entrepreneurship may be just the ticket you've been searching for. If you are ambitious and prepared to make some big changes in your mindset, that would be a strong indicator that you are ready.
The journey doesn't end here. This is only the beginning. If you're serious about entrepreneurship, you'll have to seek out advice, coaching and mentorship. You'll have to make a commitment to consistency and daily action. You'll have to get good at setting goals and actually reaching them.You'll have to leave your comfort bubble from time to time.
Nevertheless, when freedom and control of time and money is yours, it is possible to make music on your own terms. You would be free to realize all of your musical dreams.
David Andrew Wiebe spent the better part of 10 years pursuing a career in music. Through that process, he discovered the value in business principles and entrepreneurship. Go to for more mindset tips, business ideas and music marketing advice.
Article Source:

Customize your own guitar for your own music

Quality and quantity of the people working in the music industry are increasing, as the rapid growing music industry. The impact goes to musical instruments Manufacture, too, Guitar as one of the main instruments included in it. Choosing the first guitar to learn in playing it is certainly confusing. Moreover, if we are not sure that you really want to learn what kind of music. So, here's what should be done first. Make sure what kind of music you want to learn, whether classical, folk, pop, rock. Then what you want to accomplish? Playing accompaniment / rhythm, can play a melody, or play solo. However, guitars sold in the market tend to have the same guitar model because manufacturers produce a particular guitar model mass. So it is that makes some people feel bored eventually, they chose a custom guitar made by local Luthiers. What you should concern about custom guitar:

The most important aspect of any guitar is that he should have played better action. that is, the strings must be close to the fret board to make them easier to press the strings. When the strings are too high and found it too hard, people trying to learn to play usually quit in frustration.

Structure of the guitar should be made with good details. To produce good music, need a good musical instrument anyway.

Custom guitar allows us to choose what kind of model we want. We can choose any model of guitar from guitarist suit our tastes. It depends on the guitar model, if the structure is simple and general, the guitar making usually only takes about 2 weeks, but if the structure of complicated guitar, especially with the carvings, usually it takes about 6 months. It’s not bad, is it? Choose your own guitar for your own music, free your mind and cross the boundaries to get what best in your music.

Understanding the II-V-I chord progression

Understanding the II-V-I chord progression could be difficult as we learn chemical component, OR it could be as easy as listening into it. As we know this progression is one of three-chords progression variations. In modern music this could be the very popular one. There are a lot of popular music made based on II-V-I chord progression. What I'm trying to do here is to introduce you the basic characteristic of this chord progression in a song analysis. But at very first you must understand the interval, scales and modes as your previous understanding.

let's take one song example for this whole article. i pick Maroon 5's song called "Sunday Morning" as the object to be analyzed. this song is built by II-V-I chord progression from the first intro until the end of song. we can call it a "turnaround". If you listen to the studio version of this song, you may find that the song is in the root of C#, and the whole turnaround would be D#m-G#-C#.

let me put this way, when you see II-V-I, try to put them in order first and then mark the II-V-I. here I write them down.

"I - II - III - IV - V - VI - VII" and the intervals are; I -whole note- II -whole note- III -half note- IV -whole note- V -whole note- VI -whole note- VII. (get your readings about Intervals, Scales and Modes first if you are stuck here)

if C# = I = do, then the order will be
  •  I = C# 
  • II = D#m 
  • III = Fm 
  • IV = F# 
  • V = G# 
  • VI = A#m 
  • VII = Cm7b5
now i mark them, so they would be: I - II - ii - iv - V - vi - vii
This II-V-I Chord Progression has the C# as root, and the turnaround is started with the II chord which means it starts with D#m, then the next chord is the fifth, that is G#, and the last chord is on the root, C#. you play this repeatedly and try to get the characteristic of this progression.
now you can play along with "Sunday morning" song and you will find there are so many song built by II-V-I Chord Progression.

for your information, you can colorize II-V-I Chord Progression more by using different chordal sounds. i recommend you to listen to the live acoustic version of maroon 5 "Sunday morning" (they turned the pitch down into I = C), or other similar songs with the same chord progression. from there you can find some nice chord sounding such as:
  • Dm7 - G7 - Cmaj7 
  • Dm9 - Gaug - Cmaj7 
  • Dm7 - G11 - Cmaj7(9)
and a lot more. I hope this helps. happy learning guitar and enjoy in playing it