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Expert Music Career Advice For DIY Musicians
4 Times You Shouldn't Take the Gig
The Number One Mistake Bands Make Right After Booking a Gig
The Ultimate EQ Cheat Sheet for Every Common Instrument
15 Reality Checks Young Artists Need to Hear

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.

7 Crucial Performance Skills You Should Work On

Image via Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

Talk to live musicians about the people they play with, and a few of the same complaints tend to emerge over and over. There are tons of players who are nice people and can get through a song without screwing it up, but there’s a lot more to playing live than that.

Here are seven of the mini-skills that separate the okay from the great onstage. You’ve most likely played with someone who needs to brush up on one or two of them. Could that person be you? Read on.

opinion

Sep 9, 2016 09:00 AM

Jesse Sterling Harrison

Why the '80s Were the Best Decade for Popular Music [Opinion]

Image by Joe Haupt via Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

Just like it’s hard to have perspective on your own work, it’s also difficult to judge the era we’re in… until years or decades later. In the 1930s, did people realize that pretty much every car on the road would someday be deemed a classic? What are the chances that the Nissan Juke in your driveway will ever claim that status?

It’s just the same way with music. We have decades of popular music behind us now, but what bands, styles, or movements in the biz will have staying power?

One era that still rules the airwaves and live venues today: the 1980s. More than 26 years after the decade’s final day, clubs have '80s nights, satellite radio boasts '80s channels, and the FM dial offers tunes by Billy Joel, Huey Lewis, and A-Ha. Why does that material have so much staying power, drowning out the decades on either end? That’s simple: the 1980s were the best decade so far for popular music. 

The Unexpected Ways These 5 Famous Artists Were Discovered

They're out there somewhere: tastemakers. Talent buyers. Record label CEOs. They probably look like you and me, but they have the ability to hand you an opportunity to step onto a larger stage, taking a huge step forward in your career. If you're lucky, you're only one degree of separation away from someone who show you a path to fame or, at the very least, doing music full time. These opportunities can arrive at absolutely any time, and often in the most unlikely ways. These five stars prove how important it is to be practiced, committed, and prepared for when those opportunities come knocking.

Singers: How to Learn an Instrument Later in Life

Photo by Restuccia Giancarlo via Shutterstock

There’s a bond between bandmates that can’t be duplicated. People love writing books and screenplays about that relationship, but rarely capture the special dialogue and silly inside jokes that make up a band’s conversation. But if this collective is special, the links between members of a rhythm section must be stronger still. Guitarists, bassists, and drummers have a powerful interplay onstage and share a lot of that telepathy in conversation.

As a singer who doesn’t play, do you ever feel left out? Do you want a stronger role in your band’s songwriting? Maybe you’ve wanted to learn an instrument for years, you’ve just never gotten around to it. Well, the time is now. Here are some tips that might help.