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Expert Music Career Advice For DIY Musicians
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The Number One Mistake Bands Make Right After Booking a Gig
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Performing, Honing Your Craft

Jun 23, 2016 07:00 AM

Ian Temple

This Psychologist Wants You to Stop Wasting Your Practice Time

All images via flypaper.soundfly.com

This article originally appeared on Soundfly.

 

“Practice makes perfect” is a classic cliché – it contains elements of the truth but misses the whole story by a long shot. As musicians, we’ve all experienced times when we master a new concept in seconds, and other times when we’ve been working on the same song for years with seemingly no progress. What accounts for the difference?

If you’re anything like me, your practice routine is something you do intuitively. It often involves sitting down with your instrument, playing a few scales, banging around for 20 minutes on a few songs or improvs, maybe working on something specific for 10 minutes in a repetitive manner, and then bowing out. Basically, it’s casual, repetitive, and thoughtless.

The problem is that these tendencies are the exact opposite of what we should be doing if we want to see real improvement, according to Dr. Anders Ericsson. And we might be wise to listen. Dr. Ericsson is widely considered one of the foremost thinkers on the subject of “expertise.” His research is one of the primary sources that inspired Malcolm Gladwell’s now-famous “10,000 Hour Rule” – that it takes 10,000 hours of deliberate practice to be an expert in anything. But that rule, though memorable, is far from the whole story.

Performing, Honing Your Craft

May 28, 2015 10:00 AM

Ian Temple

7 Ways to Practice Music While on the Road

Photo by Manuel Toledo

This article originally appeared on Soundfly.

 

If you're like me, you love to travel, whether going on tour or just seeing the world. As a musician, though, traveling can get tricky, especially when you have to leave your instrument behind. How do you stay at the top of your game musically, even while out on the road?

How to Find the Perfect Band Name

You, too, can be as ingenious as Gnarls Barkley. (Image via stereogum.com)

This article originally appeared on Soundfly.

 

Let’s face it: being a musician can be tough. You have to write music, find the right people to play with, get yourself heard, craft a professional sound, record some tracks, etc., etc., etc. And yet, the challenge that I hear cited most frequently by aspiring musicians is how hard it is to come up with a band name. The music side is easy. But coming up with a novel name that captures your unique take on '80s fringe crooner metal? For some reason, that seems to be impossible. But even though deciding between the Red Scare or Camouflage! may seem like a silly thing to get hung up on, the truth is that it's often the very first step you're taking in sharing your art with the world. And that can be a really scary thing. Being a musician takes a lot of courage – offering up your creative output for judgment and then standing by it – and it starts with choosing a single, simple, memorable moniker that people will know you by.

Recording, Honing Your Craft

May 24, 2015 09:00 AM

Ian Temple

5 Tips Every Musician Needs to Better Prepare for a Recording Session

Image via soundpressurestudios.com

This article originally appeared on Soundfly.

 

This week, my band and I had a recording session for a new album and I was reminded, as I am every time we record, just how much preparation plays a role in a successful recording session. Obviously, you always hope to just show up and the magic will take over, and before you know it, you're going platinum. Sure, spontaneous magic can definitely happen in the recording studio, but in my experience, it's almost always facilitated by being above-and-beyond prepared for what you're going to do.