Expert Music Career Advice For DIY Musicians
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In Defense of Digital: The Headroom Fallacy

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A couple of weeks ago, we revisited the great debate on analog tape as a medium; this week we set another rampant misconception of the audio world in our sights: the analog vs. digital headroom debate. Mythology, or perhaps misunderstanding, are two other words I'd use for this topic. Unfortunately, the pro-audio world is steeped in these nuggets of folklore, which is maybe what causes such great debate among professionals and amateurs alike.

The audio realm stands at an interesting crossroads, with one foot rooted in art and the other in science. One side subjective, the other objective. This duality can muddy the waters quickly, as quantifiable, measurable data often must yield to the simple fact that if it sounds good, it is good.

On our virtual chopping block today? The concept of headroom and what it means to you.

How to Successfully Book Follow-Up Gigs With Venue Bookers

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This article originally appeared on Performingbiz.

 

Keeping your band on the road gigging is a constant challenge for any artist. As a self-managed, self-booking artist, you need to be even more diligent in your attempts to book tour dates. In your efforts to build a loyal following in specific markets, it's important to book return dates at venues you've already played. There's no better time to begin negotiating a return date as at the time you're settling the current date.

The President of Wind-up Records' Top 3 Nuggets of Songwriting Wisdom

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At the center of being a musician is perhaps its most difficult component: songwriting. Beyond writing about what we like, we also want our music to be powerful, to convey a message, to create palpable emotion. And with so many people fighting for recognition, how to come up with something perfectly unique, impactful, and lasting is the $64,000 question.

Ed Vetri, the president and CEO of Wind-up Records (which represents acts such as The Griswolds and Strange Talk), is on the panel of judges for this year's International Songwriting Competition (ISC), a prestigious contest that gives away over $150,000 in cash and prizes and is renowned for its high caliber of both winners and judges.

"ISC's panel of judges is the best of the songwriter community and the industry," Vetri says. "The experiences and diversity of the panel, including major songwriters and industry executives from both the recorded music and publishing side, give ISC a very diverse, experienced professional and thoughtful collection of opinions. It's not every day an aspiring songwriter gets their music heard by such a renowned panel of experts."

Below, Vetri lets us in on how he reviews songs for ISC and distills his extensive knowledge of songwriting into three simple nuggets of wisdom.

4 Ways to Be More Proactive With Your Band's Publicity

If you can't be Tenacious D, at least be tenacious. (Photo by Noel Vasquez)

Music PR is not easy. It's a lot of work and is usually best left to a professional publicist. But sometimes, due to lack of funds, difficulty finding the right fit in terms of person or firm, or the desire to just get 'er done on your own can dictate your decision to take matters into your own hands and do your own publicity (which can actually help you eventually find that ever-elusive PR rep).

There are many things you can do to be proactive with your band's publicity if you're not yet ready or able to hire someone. And even when you reach the point where you need to hand the reigns over to someone, there are little things you can do to make sure that the transition is smooth.

Is It More Effective to Practice Scales and Etudes in the Morning?

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This article originally appeared on Bulletproof Musician.

 

I don't remember the day when I first laid eyes on the glossy burgundy cover of the Carl Flesch scale book, but I do remember that summer when it went from one of those books that collected dust on the shelf to one which took up permanent residence on my music stand. Until that time, scales were a mostly neglected part of my practice regimen. A chore, that I (mistakenly) thought was just for beginners.

I was working with a new teacher that summer, and he insisted that I begin devoting some time to scales every morning. And to make sure I would follow through, he spent a good bit of my lessons teaching me how to practice scales – what to listen for, what to work on, fingerings, bowing, and variations galore. It was to be the very first thing I did each day, like taking my Flintstones vitamins.