TuneCore Resources For Music Distribution

Get your music distributed on iTunes, AmazonMP3, Rock Band the video game and many other places using TuneCore.

   The top online music retailer is Apple’s iTunes but others such as Amazon.com MP3 service are rapidly catching up. In today’s music industry the old channels of music distribution are quickly being replaced by these digital distribution services. The good thing for us as independent musicians is that it’s easier than ever to get our music out there for sale with more of the profits going directly to us.

   It’s pretty easy to become a content provider for iTunes and other digital distribution services. You usually just have to fill out an application and wait to be accepted into the program. But it can be a challenge to manage all your sales avenues. That’s why I’m recommending you give TuneCore a try for your music distribution.   Continue reading “TuneCore Resources For Music Distribution”

Having A Jam Session Songwriting Session

Having a jam session with other musicians is a great way to generate new song ideas.

Shufflin' Noah In The Jam Room
Shufflin' Noah In The Jam Room

   I am a songwriter as well as a live performing musician. I’ve been writing songs since I was about 15 years old and I have an extensive catalog of completed music. I write songs a lot of different ways. Sometimes I’ll sit down at the piano or with a guitar and write an entire song with lyrics, start to finish. Sometimes I’ll come up with a riff or chord progression and I’ll have to turn it over in my mind for a few days until I feel like I can finish a song with it. Another thing I’ll do is write with my band by getting together and actively writing a complete song. These are usually great songs because everyone adds something to them. Today I’m going to talk about one of my all-time favorite ways to write songs. That’s by having a jam session and just letting things happen while we record everything we play.

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Playing The Song Instead Of The Instrument

AC/DC Play As A Band

   As a musician have you ever heard the saying “Playing The Song Instead Of The Instrument”? I was having a discussion with some fellow musicians the other day and we were discussing the problem of musicians overplaying during a song. It’s something that I guarantee you’ll have to deal with at some point if you’re playing in a band.

   Let’s define what overplaying is: Overplaying is when you play too much to suit the song. Let’s use the drums as an example. A blatant example of overplaying would be changing the beat deliberately to 5/4 without the rest of the band, just for a measure or two to show you can do it. Blatant overplaying would also be putting a drum break in every bit of extra space in a song. Continue reading “Playing The Song Instead Of The Instrument”

Learn Guitar Chords, Scales And Tunings For Free

Guitar Chordbook at Chordbook.com

   When I was learning guitar one of my most valuable learning aids was a chord book. I had a Beatles songbook that didn’t have chord diagrams but it did have chord names above the music notation. So I had to turn to the chord book to learn how to finger the chords I wanted to play. It was a good way to do it because I memorized chords faster that way. Later on I got in Jazz Band in high school and had to learn all kinds of jazz chords on the guitar. Needless to say I used that chord book until the covers were falling off.

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Get A Good Music Recorder

Olympus LS-10 Linear PCM Recorder

   There are a lot of incredibly good audio recorders on the market right now. They are compact and handheld with built-in stereo microphones. Having one in your gear arsenal is very important for a number of reasons.

   I’ve written before about how important it is to record your live performances. You can learn so much from hearing your gigs back on a recording. Having a recorder like the
Olympus LS-10 Linear PCM Recorder
 can make recording your live shows as easy as setting the recorder up in the back of the room and letting it record. Since it’s all digital you can edit out dead spaces later. Making a back of the room recording is a good idea because it really lets you hear what the audience is hearing. You can also capture the audience reaction to your performance. If you get good at placing the recorder where it picks up well, you could end up with an excellent live recording that you could use as a demo in your bands marketing kit.      Continue reading “Get A Good Music Recorder”

To Be A Great Musician, Be A Fan Of Music

Ringo Listening To Some New Music

   I have people ask me all the time who my biggest influences are in music. I always just keep it simple and say “The Beatles, The Who and Pink Floyd”. While that’s true to a large degree they’re obviously not my only influence. When I first started to get really excited about music those three bands really turned me on to a lot of great things. But then naturally I wanted to hear more new and exciting music. Which brings me to my topic today. I can honestly say that I’m a huge fan of all music and that every piece of music I hear influences me in some way or another.

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Writing Lyrics That People Can Relate To

Billy Joel - Piano Man

   There are a lot of great songwriters out there. Some writers can write a tune that will stick in your head for days on end. Some writers will write a set of lyrics that will really touch you on a deeper level. The lyrics that I enjoy the most are lyrics that I can personally relate to and that mean something to me. I like a song that will make me say “Yeah man, I’ve been there myself.”

   So how can you as a writer write lyrics that other people can relate to? The best and easiest way is to write what you know. Write about what you have personally experienced in your life. The best things to write about that other people can relate to are the times in your life when you’ve felt really strong emotions. Continue reading “Writing Lyrics That People Can Relate To”

Inadvertent Plagiarism – Did I Steal This Song?

George Harrison - My Sweet Lord

   Have you ever written a song and worried that you stole that song from somebody else? I was reading in the Harmony Central Songwriting Forum and a user named blue2blue started a very interesting discussion on this. Here’s the link to the discussion click here. 

   I’m sure that’s a question that every songwriter has pondered. What are we other than a mix of everything we’ve ever heard. Think of George Harrison getting hit with a lawsuit for “My Sweet Lord” and losing because it sounded like “He’s So Fine” recorded by the Chiffons. It makes us all question “where did my song come from?”

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