Expert Music Career Advice For DIY Musicians
7 Things Publicists Wish Bands Knew
4 Music Promotion Hacks for Lazy (or Insanely Busy) Musicians
Dave Grohl's Advice on Being a Successful Musician
8 Easy Tweaks to Make Your Practice Time Way More Productive


May 29, 2015 11:00 AM

Berklee Online

58 Instruments That Made Rolling Stone's Top 100 Songs of All Time [Infographic]

Johnny Cash. (Image via

This article originally appeared on Berklee Online.


With a little vocal talent, some excellent songwriting, and a whole lot of brilliant artistry (amongst many, many other things) classic hits can reach instant or even cult stardom. But without their instruments – from the reserves like guitar and vocals down to the cabasa and glockenspiel – successful songs may have missed the mark.

Demystifying the Dark Art of Mastering: A Conversation With Paul Logus

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So there's this audio nerd meme starring a promising young ingénue named Scarlett Johansson that perfectly illustrates the three main stages of producing music: before mix, after mix, and after mastering. In each picture, Johansson looks progressively glamorized – an evolution that begins before makeup and ends in a stylized portrait. That is, until the fourth picture – MP3 – that finds the "mastered" photo vulgarly pixilated. So it goes.

Mastering is the final step in getting your album ready for manufacturing. It's a service that’s both practical and mysterious: the former because you'll have to be settled on your mix, the track titles, the running order, the space between songs – the things that make the audio journey complete. The latter because this is where the last bit of sonic polish is applied to your music. Like that stylized portrait, this is where every last detail is put perfectly in place. It's the icing on your aural cake.

Dave Grohl Asks: What Happened to Rock Bands?

Photo by Gary Miller

If there's one person in the music world who should be asking, "What happened to rock bands?" it's probably Dave Grohl. In this video, the former Nirvana drummer and current frontman and guitarist of the Foo Fighters remembers what it was like to be a rock band that wanted to go mainstream, despite punk backlash at the time. But what's Grohl's key to success for rock music? Watch below and find out.

How to Juggle a Music Career, Day Job, and Family: Advice From Damen Samuel

Photo by Ronnie Minder

How many times have you just wished there were more hours in the day to work on your music? We've all been there: feeling overwhelmed by life's responsibilities and just wishing we could spend all day doing what we love. But it's not that easy as a self-managed artist. Not only do you have to juggle your day job and your music, but you have to act as a manager, publicist, booker, and more, all of which eats up your creative time to work on your craft and songs. Damen Samuel, an international singer-songwriter and traveling troubadour based in Melbourne, Australia, has more than a lot on his plate. Between having two children, a full-time job, and managing his own music, he still finds time to successfully submit to and perform at big events like the CMJ Music Marathon in New York. We caught up with Samuel to find out just how he manages to do it all.

When, How, and Why to Break the Rules of Songwriting

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This article originally appeared on Educated Songwriter.


While there isn't an official songwriting rulebook, there are quite a few tried-and-true songwriting conventions that over time have essentially become rules. In almost all instances, these "rules" are there because they tend to make songs more commercial or catchy or both. That being said, breaking these rules can be a very effective tool, assuming it's done with the full understanding that you are doing so. In other words, breaking the rules by accident doesn't count and can often result in a song that isn't as effective as it could be. In this article, I'm going to walk you through the when, how, and why of breaking the rules of popular songwriting.