3 Tips to Get Noticed in the Music Industry Today

Any independent and unsigned musician knows how difficult it is to get noticed in the fast-paced and competitive music industry.

Probably the only way by which one can make a career out of music is by standing out amongst a long list of unsigned musicians.

So, here are 3 tips to get noticed in the music industry today:

#1: A Superior Product

What has and will always get any musician noticed is to have a superior product compared to the rest of the musicians trying to get signed. Without a doubt, ensuring that your demo/ EP is created with the greatest quality, in terms of production and writing, is imperative if you wish to get noticed.

#2: A strong fan-base

Almost every independent musician knows that without an actual fan base, making a career out of music. The reason for this is because record executives are also interested in not only the quality of your music but also whether you have a fan base that will, quite honestly, put down the money if you release a record. So, if you are an independent musician, it’s important for you to build and maintain a loyal fan base in order to increase your chances of being noticed by label executives.

#3: Follow up with label executives consistently

The fact is that with almost 5 million independent artists working hard for a record deal, it’s pretty difficult to stand out but worse still, expect a label executive to knock at your door with a contract waiting to be signed.

Yet despite the competition, technology, by means of social media networks have made it possible for people to get in touch with CEOs at the mere click of a button. This is one of the best ways by which you can follow up with label executives consistently.

The First Few Steps to Playing the Harmonica

Even if the harmonica is one of the easiest instruments to play, the truth is that it is one of the hardest instruments to master.

 

Among the types of harmonicas that are available to play, the Diatonic, Tremolo, Orchestral and Echo harmonicas.

 

As mentioned earlier, playing the harmonica might be an easy one to begin with, and so here are a few steps (and tips) to playing the harmonica:

 

#1: Start off by breathing through the harmonica but don’t think about breathing or sucking. It’s important to focus on breathing with your diaphragm and not your lungs.

 

#2: Another aspect to keep in mind when it comes to breathing is to breathe as deeply as possible, and some of the ways by which you can improve your breathing is by taking up meditation and aerobics.

 

#3: Learning to inhale and exhale slowly while also breathing in and out quickly is also important as well.

 

#4: Once you’ve begun to master the basics of breathing, it’s time to purchase a diatonic harmonica and start playing simple tunes such as “Oh, Susannah”.

 

#5: What you should also keep in mind is to play these songs in first position, also called the straight harp, where the key you play the song in, should be the same as the one the song is in.

 

#6: The next step would be to play the songs in the middle range, or the middle octave, of the harmonica, which would not require any bends and gives you the entire diatonic scale.

How an Electric Guitar Works

What can be said about the electric guitar that hasn’t been expressed through the music of Jimmy Page, B.B King, Brian May and even the immortal Hendrix.

 

It’s a good reason that the electric guitar remains an important element of popular music today whether it is blues, jazz, rock and so on and so forth – and an instrument that most people would love to play.

 

However, before picks one up to strum a tune,, it’s important to understand its components.

 

So, here are the part of the electric guitar:

 

#1: Body

 

While an acoustic guitar is usually made from wood, considering how the guitar sound is produced, this isn’t a thumb of rule wit the rule. In fact, its inventor clearly mentioned that not only can its shape vary but different materials can be used as well. As opposed to an acoustic guitar, the body is also solid and thin as opposed to being hollow.

 

#2: Neck, Frets and Strings

 

While at the end of the neck and frets are the tuning keys, six strings usually run through the length. Simply put, as you press any string on different frets, the tension that is produced creates a unique note or frequency, and that’s really how the guitar is played.

 

#3: Bridge and Whammy Bar

 

The bridge serves an important function of holding the strings to the body of the electric guitar while the whammy bar is designed to create a wavering sound as it tightens or loosens the strings on the electric guitar.

 

#4: Volume, Tone and Pickup Selector

 

All three of these options determine what sound the guitar makes, with the volume and tone being the first of the lot. As for the pickup selector, if you choose a pick up closest to the bridge you amplify sounds of higher frequencies while the pickup closest to the next ampified sounds of lower frequencies, and which is also known as bass.

 

#5: Pickups & Amp

 

Based on Faraday’s Law of Induction, which states that a changing magnetic field will generate electricity, a string when plucked, will vibrate at a certain frequency and induce an electric current in the pickup which is filtered for noise reduction in the preamp and is amplified with the amp, and then played on the amp’s speakers.

3 Tips When Networking in the Music Industry

It’s evident that networking is a very important factor if you want to find recognition (money and fame) as a musician. You are nothing without the fans, aren’t you? If you understand that, you’d also understand why it is important for you to remain in ‘networking mode’ almost all of the time.
So, here are 3 tips when networking in the music industry:

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#1: Remain in Networking Mode
It’s funny how networking opportunities can be found in the most unlikeliest places. Interestingly, the influential people in the music industry are usually people who are not well-known. You won’t even know who they are until they have gotten to know and which is why you should be prepared to network no matter where you go.

#2: Avoid Gherming
The term ‘gherming’ is one which is used to describe a situation where in meeting someone influential, you throw a song demo or CD in their face. It’s not the best thing to do considering the reality that there is a time and a place to ask for such favors. If you are at an industry networking event, at their office, that’s alright but doing this when they’re out eating with their family at a restaurant can very annoying. Respecting people’s privacy is good manners.

#3: Ask for What You Need Professionally
It’s a golden rule to help someone else first and then ask for help. If you’ve done this before, the next step is to ask for help that is realistic and specific. Just saying that you need a big break isn’t the way to as for help. An example of being specific and realistic would be to say “ I am good at writing melodies but need the assistance of a lyricist”.

3 Tips for Budding Musicians

Becoming a musician takes some work but it isn’t all that hard as it is made out to be. Sometimes, keeping track of the small things often is enough to get you where you want to go. So, what will help you get to where you want to go, as a budding musician?
Here are 3 simple (but important) tips to consider no matter where you are as a musician:

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#1: People are most important
As a rule, it is most important that you not only keep in touch with people you’ve met in the recent past while also meeting 3 new people every week. Setting aside some time in order get in touch with people you’ve just met can lead to new opportunities. As for the former, it’s a good idea to schedule a lunch or a coffee to see how they can help you.

#2: Don’t be Afraid to be Weird
Pick a niche even if it’s weird and excel in it not forgetting to sell yourself as much as possible. The best part about being a musician is that there are an innumerable number of niches available to specialize in.

Bottom line: it’s better to be the best in a niche or your choosing rather than being just another musician in a band.
#3: Get off your Computer Even if you have to finish that song you just composed, it’s important to note that the path to your
success isn’t by means of a computer but by improving your skills as a musician. Turn off the computer and practice if you must.

3 Tips to Buy a Used Instrument

Buying a used musical instrument can leave you with more money. However, if you find yourself at the wrong end of a deal, with an instrument that’s in poor condition, not getting a warranty with your purchase can mean that you were better off buying a new instrument in the first place.

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So, here are 3 tips that you must keep in mind when buying a used instrument:

#1: Ask questions

If you are purchasing the instrument from a garage sale, make sure you talk to the owner and find information that will clue you in on the instrument’s condition. Asking him why he wants to sell it or how long he or she used it should help you make a smart decision before buying. You can also ask the same questions to the salesman if you are buying it from a brick-and-mortar music store. If you are buying it at online store, ensure that the store enjoys an excellent customer service rating.

#2: Determine its overall condition

One of the best ways to determine an instrument’s overall condition is to take a musician friend or music teacher along with you when you visit the store or the owner.  They can tell you whether it’s worth the money just listening to how it sounds when playing it or

#3: Value for money

As mentioned earlier buying a used instrument in good condition for a lesser price can give you value for money. For that, it’s a good idea to check whether the price you are paying for the instrument you’ve picked is actually worth that much. So, in order to get value for money, it’s a good idea to do some homework by visiting different shops and comparing prices for old models in similar condition.

The Benefits of Playing Music by Memory

As a child, we memorize historical facts and numbers as a part of our course curriculum. This is no different when it comes to music either, thanks to the necessity to memorize note names, their position on the staff among other music concepts.

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Once you grasp the rudiments of the basics of sheet music, the next stage for any musician involves putting it all together in playing a music piece using sheet music. However, the act of memorization can also prove to be advantageous here are well.

So, here are 3 benefits to committing a music piece to memory that budding musician will appreciate:

#1: Improves Technique

Since you won’t be looking at the sheet music at all when playing, the musician can focus on improving the way in which he or she will play the piece – as effectively as possible.

#2: Spontaneity

Since you won’t need the sheet music in front of you to play, you won’t have a problem playing the piece you’ve memorized spontaneously for an audience – which happens more often than not.

#3: Improves finger positions

With no need for the sheet music, you can now shift your focus on improving your finger or hand positions on the instrument – an aspect that can help you interpret the piece in your own way, bringing out the best in you.

#4: Helps aural memory

Even if you do get distracted, a common experience shared by most musicians, memorizing the music piece will ensure that you get back on track as soon as possible, without having to scour through sheet music.

3 Most Famous Instances of Alleged Pop Plagiarism

Every art form, including the songwriting process often involves ‘borrowing’ with only so many chords available to musicians.

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However, this is no different when it comes to the lyrics as well, and some of pop’s greatest acts have acknowledged that their songs have been influenced greatly by other people’s music and writing.

With that said, there’s a distinct line between ‘being influenced’ and ‘outright plagiarism’. This fact has resurfaced, thanks to a lawsuit that was filed against performers Owl City and Carla Rae Jepsen for the latter.

So, here are 3 popular examples of pop plagiarism as we know it:

#1: Michael Jackson – Will you be there

It wasn’t once but twice that the courts tried MJ for seemingly adding a recording made by the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony while also not giving the original composer credit. However, it was also an Italian songwriter who found similarities between his song ‘Swans of Balaka’ and the smash hit. While the first lawsuit was settled out of court, MJ wasn’t held responsible for the latter many years later.

#2: Lady Gaga – Born this Way

It’s not only Jessica Simpson but Lady Gaga as well who has taken a page out of Madonna’s book. In fact, the latter’s hit, Born this way, while being a smash hit, is considered by critics to sound very similar to ‘Express yourself’. Of course, while she has never sued Lady Gaga, she does perform both these songs to remind her audience who came first.

#3: Avril Lavigne – Girlfriend

When Lavigne made ‘Girlfriend’ in 2007, it turned out to be a massive hit. However, the song also resembled one made in the 70s by a band called Rubinoos who were talented but never really made it to the charts then. A confidential out-of-court settlement ensured that this matter was never heard of again with Lavigne and Dr. Luke keeping the songwriting credits.

3 Surprising Moments at the American Music Awards

Even if you didn’t catch the American Music Awards, it’s pretty obvious who won most of the awards. Yes, Justin Bieber seemed to feature pretty much everywhere including Favorite Male Artist, Pop/Rock Album of the Year and Artist of the Year.

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While it wasn’t surprising that there weren’t any surprises as to who the winners were, the televised broadcast told a different story.

So here are 3 surprising moments that you might have missed at the American Music Awards:

#1: Justin Bieber’s Mom

Although Bieber was seen with Selena Gomez after the ceremony, he did what any young single boy would do – bring his mom in place of his ‘significant other’ to the awards ceremony. If that wasn’t enough, she even shared the stage with him to accept the ‘Artist of the Year’ award, and thanked her for always believing in him.

#2: The PSY and MC Hammer Performance

While PSY’s performance of his hit single, ‘Gangnam Style’, at the awards ceremony wasn’t the surprising part – it was his special guest, MC Hammer that added that element of surprise to the performance. In fact, some people think that it’s surprising that this hadn’t happened already.

#3: P!nk’s rendition of ‘Try’

While it’s obvious that the American Music Awards brings together some of the biggest names that perform at the show, this year’s show was no different – with Christina Aguilera, Nicki Minaj and Taylor Swift all doing their thing.

However, it was P!nk’s performance of ‘Try’ that really pushed the limits – one that included modern dance and body paint but most of all, burning down the set in the end.

Beyonce Set To Perform During Half-Time At The Superbowl, Scheduled For February 3, 2013

Now there’s a reason for women to watch the Super Bowl along with football lovers as Beyonce is set to perform on the half-time show.

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The Super Bowl is set for February 3, 2012 at the Mercedez-Benz SuperDome in New Orleans, and with Beyonce’s photo on Tumblr sporting eye black, with ‘Feb.3’ on one eye and ‘2013’ on the other, thereafter, the NFL confirmed that she was to be the half-time show performer.

It is also likely that if her show involves collaborations with other artistes, her husband (and rapper) Jay-Z, Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams who were her Destiny’s Child bandmates will also perform at the Pepsi NFL Halftime Show.

This is not the first time that Beyonce will be performing at the Super Bowl as she had sang the National Anthem in 2004 in her hometown in Houston as the New England Patriots played (and defeated) the Carolina Panthers. Since then, her hits such as ‘Crazy in Love’, ‘Irreplaceable’ and ‘Single Ladies (Put a Ring on it) in pop and R&B, have also garnered her 16 Grammy awards.

Earlier this year, Madonna performed at half-time of the Super Bowl in February 2012 along with acts such as LMFAO, M.I.A, Nicki Minaj and CeeLo Green – a performance that was seen by an average of 114 million people, and which according to Nielsen Co., was a number higher than those who watch the game itself.

The last time New Orleans hosted a Super Bowl was in 2002, and it will be the first time that they host the championship in the city ever since the Louisiana SuperDome was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.