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

How to Motivate Yourself to Practice, Even When You Don’t Want To

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Many of us have been there: it's been a stressful week filled with things you hate doing and people you'd rather not talk to, and when you finally make it home, you stare at your songwriting notebook or your beloved instrument, and all you can see is a torture device instead. Suddenly, you hear Netflix calling your name, so you shove the nagging thought of, "I should be practicing…" as far back in your mind as possible.

Most of the time, the instant gratification of shirking our responsibilities leads to future guilt and frustration, as we look back and wish we had had the stick-to-itiveness to just suck it up and pick up that guitar and strum. Here are a handful of tips for those times when you know you should be doing something musically productive, but you can't quite bring yourself to do it.

6 Books Every DIY Musician Should Read This Summer

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It's summer, which means that if you're a student, you might be twiddling your thumbs wondering what to do with all the idle time you now have on your hands, and even if you've long since graduated, there's nothing like enjoying a good book!

If you're worried that time spent reading should be spent perfecting your home studio or getting more active on your band’s social media pages, we've got you covered. These six books were written precisely for you, the indie musician who's learning the ropes as you go. While experience may be the best teacher, learning from those who have spent years songwriting, recording, and networking will keep you on the right path and help you avoid costly mistakes. The following books cover a wide range of topics, from promotion to music law to mixing – everything the DIY musician needs to learn about if they want to navigate the brutal world that is the music industry.

Tell us what you're reading this summer in the comments below!

Journey to a Major Label Record Deal: Q&A With Royal Teeth

Royal Teeth. (Photo by Wyatt Troll)

It's many a musician's dream to one day be signed to a huge record label. And just being part of any label at all can greatly amplify your music's power and reach. In the massive and competitive microcosm that is the music industry, that dream can seem just about unreachable. However, after inking a deal with Elektra Records just a couple of months ago, Sonicbids indie pop band Royal Teeth has shown that it's far from impossible.

Formed fairly recently in 2010, the group of Louisiana friends whose only original goal was "to have fun, with no master plan for the music at the outset" has come an extraordinarily long way, organically building their fanbase through tight, consistent live shows and capturing that same energy in their recorded music. They credit Sonicbids with helping them lay their foundation and breaking them into the festival circuit, securing bucket list performance slots at major festivals like SXSW, Bonnaroo, and Boston Calling. Last year alone, they performed on American Idol and had their hit song "Wild" featured in a Samsung Galaxy commercial.

So, what does it take nowadays to land a record deal with a major label like Elektra? Royal Teeth shares their journey and advice with us below.

Test: Can You Hear the Difference Between WAV and MP3?

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How good are you at detecting the subtle differences between music formats? Whether you pride yourself on having a sharp ear, or maybe you haven't even considered the difference, it can be very difficult to hear the nuances between music formatted in WAV, which is uncompressed, and MP3. There are many factors that go into how each format will sound, including the listening space you're in and the headphones or monitors you're using to listen.

Take the test on NPR linked below to see if you can tell the difference between WAV and MP3, and then let us know how you did in the comments!

4 Tricks to Make Your Live Show Vastly More Interesting Than Just Running Through Your Album

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We can all probably recall a time where we went to a concert and came out thinking, "Meh, it was fine, but nothing special" or, "I just expected more." Most of the time, this isn't because the artist did anything wrong like bungle lyrics or sing off-key; it's more often than not about what the artist didn't do. If you're like me, you don't only go to a concert to hear the same songs you've had on repeat the past few days in tidy MP3 format – you go because there's something atmospheric and memorable about concerts (when done right) that Spotify could never replace. When artists fail to capitalize on all the potential interaction and freedom the stage lends, their acts fall flat because they’re giving us what we’ve already experienced, not something unique.

Here are just a few tips on how to make sure your fans aren't left hungry for more when leaving your gigs. Instead of disappointment, they'll be walking away with an unforgettable memory at the end of the night.