So Your Band Sounds Like A Train Wreck

Does your live band sound like a train wreck? This post will help you figure out why and how to solve it.

In Stereo Jamming Live At The Canyon Inn
In Stereo Started Out Sounding Like A Train Wreck

   So you’ve searched for musicians, finally found a the perfect band lineup, and you’ve decided what type of music you want to play with your live band. You’ve had a few band practices but your new live band sounds like a train wreck. This is a common problem and believe it or not, can be very simple to solve.

   The first question you have to answer is, what’s causing your band to sound like a train wreck. The most common problems I’ve seen in new bands are centered around the ability to play to a beat and individual player preparation.    Continue reading “So Your Band Sounds Like A Train Wreck”

Sunday Funnies – Bikini Girls And Spectacles

It doesn’t matter how good you smell if you look like a dork.

   For today’s Sunday Funnies I’m posting up a pretty funny ad for Specsavers. It’s relevant to performing musicians because let’s face it, you have to look cool when you’re up onstage. There’s nothing that can overcome a dorky look, so be careful how you dress!   Continue reading “Sunday Funnies – Bikini Girls And Spectacles”

Keep Your Show Moving And Minimize Dead Air

Keep your show moving by having a plan in place for song changes, stage banter and instrument problems.

Matt-Ted-Tom of In Stereo
Matt, Ted and Tom Keep The Show Moving

   I’ve played in a lot of different live bands over the years and one of the biggest challenges I’ve faced is keeping the show moving along at  nice pace. What I mean is minimizing space between songs, also known as Dead Air. Dead air happens between songs and can be a serious show killer. If you aren’t engaging your crowd, you’re losing them and that’s a bad thing.

   There are some key ways to minimize dead air between songs. The most important is to have a well organized, printed set list for every person in the band. When you plan your setlist it’s a good idea to group songs into sets of 3 that are easy to transition from song to song. When setting up a group of 3 songs you can group them by instrument changes, tunings, singer rotation or effect settings. After awhile, your band will remember what songs are grouped together in three’s and be able to transition quickly between those songs. This makes it easy to tweak your set list on the fly and still maintain some continuity by keeping the 3-song sets together.    Continue reading “Keep Your Show Moving And Minimize Dead Air”

Get Your Music Distributed On iTunes And Amazon.mp3

Get your music on iTunes, Amazon mp3, Napster, eMusic and many other online sales channels using TuneCore.

   Today it’s easier than ever to get your own original music recorded either at home or at a professional studio. Once you have the perfect recording of your original song it’s easier than ever to sell your music to your fans. The beauty of current online music distribution channels such as iTunes or Amazon.mp3 service is that anyone can get their music sold through those channels. Today I’m going to tell you about a very easy way to get your music distributed through iTunes, Amazon.mp3, eMusic and many other major online music distributors.    Continue reading “Get Your Music Distributed On iTunes And Amazon.mp3”

Sunday Funnies – Annoying Orange Harasses Leprechaun

The Annoying Orange seriously annoys a Leprechaun in this funny clip called Luck o’ the Irish.

   I figured since it was almost St. Patricks day that we ought to have a little St. Patty’s day humor. Today I’m posting up a video of the Annoying Orange, who is truly annoying, giving a Leprechaun a seriously hard time. I hope you all have a great St. Patricks day!   Continue reading “Sunday Funnies – Annoying Orange Harasses Leprechaun”

How To Tune Your Own Piano

Tuning your piano is easy with the right tools and a good guide book.

Piano Tuning
Tune Your Own Piano

   I’m a pianist as well as a guitarist and I have an old Kranich and Bach baby Grand Piano. I’ve had my piano tuned professionally only once since I’ve had it and naturally, over time it has gone out of tune. So I decided to tackle the job myself to see how well I could tune my own piano. It wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be and the results have been very good.    Continue reading “How To Tune Your Own Piano”

Having A Vocal Only Rehearsal With Your Band

If you want your band to sound it’s best, have a dedicated Vocals only band practice.

The Eagles Singing Harmony
The Eagles Sing Harmony Live

   One of the most neglected aspects I’ve seen with live bands over the years is the backing vocals. I’ve seen plenty of bands that have an excellent lead singer or even multiple lead singers that nail the lead vocals every time. But they are severely lacking in the backing vocals. Too many bands just don’t take the time to learn and then fix problems with their backing vocals.

   I’ve written many times on Live Musician Central that the ability to sing is crucial to your skills as a band musician. It’s up to you as an individual player to take ownership of singing backup vocals in your band. Along with your regular, personal practice on your instrument you need to take the time to practice your backing vocals. I often practice my singing while I’m driving as it’s something I can do without my hands. Make sure you take the time to learn your individual backing vocal part before you have a band rehearsal.   Continue reading “Having A Vocal Only Rehearsal With Your Band”

Gig Report – Bonne Nuit Live Online Concert March 6, 2010

Bonne Nuit played another successful live online concert on March 6, 2010.

Matt and Erik Rushton
Matt and Erik Rushton Play Guitar In Bonne Nuit

   I played a gig in the live band I’ve started with my 3 oldest sons this past weekend. The name of the band is Bonne Nuit and we play a lot of current hit music. The band is a four-piece comprised of two guitars, bass guitar and drums. We are playing some seriously synthesizer based songs using only guitars. We cover the Black Eyed Peas, Metric and Gary Numan and we play these songs on our guitars.

   We are able to take the main synthesizer parts and using my prowess as a patch programmer on my guitar effects units we are able to capture the overall feel of the songs with guitars. I use my trusty Fender Cyber-Twin SE amplifier and Erik uses my Digitech 2120 guitar effect rack. Between these two excellent guitar units we can create enough synthesizer type sounds to really flesh out the songs and make them work using guitars.    Continue reading “Gig Report – Bonne Nuit Live Online Concert March 6, 2010”

Sunday Funnies – ‘Let’s Duet’ from the movie Walk Hard

John C. Reilly and Jenna Fischer singing “Let’s Duet” from the movie Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story

   There’s some pretty good music parody movies out there. One of the more irreverent ones is Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story starring John C. Reilly. There are a lot of funny scenes in that movie and today I’m posting up a clip of Dewey Cox singing a song with Darlene Madison (played by Jenna Fischer). The song is called “Let’s Duet” and it has some very hilarious lyrics in it.   Continue reading “Sunday Funnies – ‘Let’s Duet’ from the movie Walk Hard”

Bonne Nuit To Play Live Online Concert Saturday March 3, 2010

The band Bonne Nuit comprised of Matt Rushton, Skyler Rushton, Erik Rushton and Austin Rushton will be playing a live online concert on March 3, 2010.

Bonne Nuit
Bonne Nuit Is A Band Featuring Live Musician Central Author - Matt Rushton

   My band, “Bonne Nuit”, will be playing a live online concert on March 3, 2010 from 7:30 pm-9:00 pm Mountain Time. The band members are Matt Rushton, Erik Rushton, Austin Rushton and Skyler Rushton. Bonne Nuit plays a few cover songs and some original music too. It’s all guitar based rock-n-roll with the instrumentation being two guitars, bass and drums. We’re very excited to be playing an online concert as it’s a real thrill to explore new ways of playing live in a band and reaching an audience. 

   The show will be broadcast using a Shoutcast server. It’s very easy to connect and enjoy the show. The name of the Shoutcast station will be Bonne Nuit Live and that’s what you will want to search for when you go to Shoutcast.com.     Continue reading “Bonne Nuit To Play Live Online Concert Saturday March 3, 2010”