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Archives for December 2011

Attitude

That’s one of those word which, depending on the context, can mean several things. “He’s got an attitude!” Not good. “She plays with attitude!” Good. The word has positive and negative interpretations. But what I want to discuss is the negative one. Let’s cut to the chase. The fact is this. Once one has sufficient […]

SongBlox™ Pt. 1 – The Foundations of Song Structure

The key word here is structure. Think of your song as a house you’re building. A wonderful, inviting, or simply interesting place that folks want to visit over and again. Your chorus is the foundation and roof, the living room and kitchen. It’s the highest place and that which supports everything else, the top and […]

My Nemesis, the Pedal Board

Yeah I know, you guitar players LOVE having gigantic pedal boards. Boys and their toys. I’m sure shopping for pedals is like women shopping for shoes… the guy version of ‘accessories.’ When I walk into a session and see massive pedal boards, my heart sinks. Not because I inherently hate pedals, but because I know […]

From Stage Fright to Confidence

As a Live Music Producer, I find I spend a lot of time helping the artists I work with enjoy their experience onstage. I don’t want their goal to be to “get through it!” I want their goal to be “have fun, connect emotionally, and have the audience walk away completely satisfied.” We can spend […]

Talladega Nights and the Problem With Hands

There’s a scene in Talladega Nights: the Ballad of Ricky Bobby in which Will Ferrell is being interviewed and doesn’t know what to do with his hands. Consequently, his hands just float awkwardly up by his face. Funny stuff! Watch the video below to see this scene. Most of the artists I work with can […]

Bands: Save money and time on your studio mix

You may have heard some of the horror stories about how long it takes to mix an album, especially when you are in a band. I have worked with bands that have crossed the spectrum of time frames. On the short, an engineer and I were able to mix a recording of a small trio […]

Let Me Ask You a Question?

Have you ever been introduced to someone and they began to ask you one question after another, without giving you a moment to breathe? When you ask questions in a song – because the music keeps the mind moving quickly – that’s how the listener’s brain feels. It’s a real art to ask a question(s) […]

Things Can Blur When You’re Too Close

Sometimes you need an outside perspective. Things can be a little blurry when you try to see things that are very close to you! For instance, when you write a song it’s hard to see what changes might need to be made… I always suggest having other, more experienced writers take a look at what […]

Focus on Your Craft

Focus is the key factor behind all results. Lack of focus means your full potential will never see the light of day. It is the key ingredient that can make or break your career. How you focus your hours and minutes every day is what really counts. Make lists of the things you want to […]

Simple Ways to Double Your Merch Sales at Live Shows

During one of the weekly chat sessions I do with my “Music Marketing 101” course for Berklee, one of my students shared a couple of great ideas to increase merchandise sales. Jon Fies is a member of Steal the Prize, a groove-driven rock group based out of Lynchburg, Virginia, that has built up an active […]