Expert Music Career Advice For DIY Musicians
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How to Avoid the Most Common Musicians' Injuries

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Look up “most dangerous professions.” Music isn’t going to be in the top 10, and that’s a blessing. Those don’t-let-your-guard-down-for-one-second positions generally involve heights, open water, tall trees, and power tools. But music comes with its own hazards, from hecklers armed with glass beer steins to highway mishaps on the way home from a gig.

In warehouses and factories, the first thing new hires generally hear is a safety lecture. For musicians, we take the native hazards for granted all too often. But injuries can stop us from playing, and that’s the headline here. The following is a list of some of the most common ways for musicians to end up on injured reserve and how to avoid them.

The Best Guitar Amps for Every Genre

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For all the talk about how “tone comes from the fingers,” amplifiers are still critical. Just ask any musician who’s been told, “You have to use our backline to cut down on soundchecks. Don’t worry – our gear sounds great!”

Do you really want to play on amps that have been set up according to someone else’s personal style and taste? You may still be finding and refining your guitar sound, but you know what sounds bad, and you want to find that tone that will make your music soar. With that in mind, here are some of the best amps on the market for the styles you play.

Here Are the Dead Simple Ways to Improve Your Sound in the Studio, Instrument by Instrument

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Maybe you’ve spent hundreds of hours in the same room, rehearsing your material. Perhaps you’ve performed dozens of times, on different stages, using the same gear. You’re used to your sound. You like it. But now you’re in the studio and something just doesn’t seem right. What’s the problem?

It’s no surprise when things that were once okay suddenly sound unacceptable in the studio context. For one, you’ve never scrutinized things so closely before. You’re paying attention to every detail, and some things aren’t up to par. Also, you’re hearing things in a different room, possibly though unfamiliar monitor speakers or headphones.

5 Non-Musical Skills You Should Work to Get Better At

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In garages and basements all over the world, amazing bands are practicing, writing, and developing their own styles. Some of these could become hitmakers or achieve heavy rotation on your iTunes playlist. But you also might never hear them, because they can’t get out of that garage.

Due to youth, a lack of experience, or a lack of leadership, these bands aren't getting booked consistently and nobody is hearing them. That’s because no one in the band is taking charge of the non-musical things that keep bands playing out.

Are these things the fun parts of being a musician? Probably not. And some of them are pretty hard work, but when these items aren’t handled, bands don’t perform, and they don’t stay together. Here are a few non-musical skills you and your band need to master.

4 Easy, Free Alternatives to Digital Reverb

Photo by Angel Laws via Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 2.0

Find any great album in your collection, and you'll probably find unique tones throughout. Great recordings tear down assumptions and start from scratch, creating new sounds at every stage of the process. Visionary writers team up with open-minded and canny producers to find a palette of sound that makes the artist recognizable and matches up perfectly with the message of the music. Recording musicians are always looking for new ways to hack the listening experience and transcend the normal medium.

So why do we all reach for the reverb knob as soon as we lay down a vocal in the studio? That’s because reverb works. It sounds good, and almost always works more effectively in a recording context than a bone-dry vocal.

A great studio reverb could become a part of your signature sound, but the very one you’re using is most likely in wide use already, so you’re losing a chance to find an ingredient that would make your music special. Are there easy alternatives to digital reverb? Fortunately, yes.