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What You Need to Know About Hiring Musicians for Your Next Session or Gig

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This article originally appeared on The DIY Musician blog.

 

Are you thinking about enlisting the help of other musicians to record your new song or to perform at an upcoming show? Remembering the Golden Rule and applying common sense can go a long way towards making these kinds of collaborations a success, whether you’re paying people or not.

My friend Pony (who I’ve hired to play bass in my band on occasion) and I were talking about life as a "hired gun," and we came up with a few pointers for bandleaders who might be new to this situation. Here they are.

Video Tutorial: How to EQ Vocals in 3 Steps

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Depending on the kind of vocals you're recording, your EQ is going to differ. There's no industry-standard "perfect" fit for every voice. In this video tutorial, you'll get a simple, three-step solution to determining the ideal EQ depending on what you're recording. Which, in our opinion, is pretty much a life-saver for anyone with a DIY studio!

7 Reasons Why Releasing Your Music Digitally Isn’t Enough

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From humble beginnings in digital keyboards and samplers, all the way to the modern, internet-connected digital home studio, the evolution of music has run mostly concurrent with the development of digital technologies. CDs, cassettes, and vinyl have largely been challenged in power by streaming audio and MP3s. Expansive and expensive recording studios have been closed, but not before their precious gear could be analyzed and turned into software for replicating their properties on a computer. It's now possible to record entire albums without playing a note (in the strictly physical sense). Entire bands can be replicated. A small laptop can contain and create the sounds of a million dollars’ worth of obscure vintage mixing boards. After recording, a band can upload their music and artwork to Bandcamp, then share and sell it around the world to eager listeners. After the music is streaming, there are a multitude of ways to promote the recordings, all from your own home.

So, why should anyone bother releasing their music on a physical medium at all?

Like every large technological shift, people are eager to dismiss the past so they can welcome the future with wide, open arms. While digital technology offers lots of exciting possibilities for musicians, there are still many things lacking, some of them easier to understand now that the dust is settling. It can be hard to decide whether you should release your music on vinyl, or even cassette or CD. The important thing is understanding these seven reasons why releasing your music only in a digital format isn’t enough.

5 More Iconic Musicians Who Didn't Find Success Until Their 30s

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If you’re approaching the big 3-0 and haven’t had your first hit record, quit beating yourself up! A musician’s path to success is varied, with many twists and turns on the way.

If you feel nervous about being an aging musician, you aren’t alone. It isn’t uncommon for musicians to openly dismiss the possibility of musical success after the age of 30. Our entire culture champions youth and puts its full support behind promising young musicians as quick as they can be born. Even the heroes of music, for the most part, were young. Their ability to create in their youth is like a testament to the power of human will.

With so many tales of youthful success and excess, many young musicians put pressure on themselves to fit their achievements into a tidy timeline that sees them cashing out of the biz right around 30. But while it can be easy to chalk up many artists' successes to their youthful enthusiasm and energy, being young doesn’t really equate to being successful. The fact is, so many of our heroes lived in a very different time. A time where expectations were higher and opportunities were plenty, especially for musicians.

So give yourself a break. As we saw the last time we talked about a musical life after 30, there are plenty of exceptional musicians who hit their stride in their 30s. It’s all about having the right attitude and never giving up on making the music you need to make – not what age you are. To prove it, here are five more iconic musicians who finally found success in their 30s.

Does Getting Your Music on a TV Show Really Result in New Fans? Q&A With Singer-Songwriter Patrick Joseph

Photo by Larissa Block

Have you ever been watching a TV show or movie and heard the most incredible song sync up with a scene perfectly? You just had to find out what song it was and who the artist behind it was. Nationally acclaimed singer-songwriter and recording artist Patrick Joseph has had fans reach out to him from all over the world from that very experience. And chances are that you, too, have heard his music while watching some of your favorite shows.

For Joseph, the process has been mostly about persistence and a bit of luck. He's had people find him randomly on the internet and sign his music, while at the same time he's been rejected over and over and over. We caught up with Joseph to learn how he's been able to get so many good sync deals, what he's gotten out of it, and what his personal "cheat sheet" for getting your music on TV looks like.