Expert Music Career Advice For DIY Musicians
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The Ultimate EQ Cheat Sheet for Every Common Instrument
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The 5 Tools You Need to Care for Your Electric Guitar or Bass

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As the old saying goes, a craftsman is only as good as his or her tools. That may not be completely true, but there's certainly some merit to that statement. Keeping your guitar or bass in good condition can be difficult and expensive. However, if you have these five items on hand, you'll be fully equipped to keep your instrument maintained well enough that it will never need extensive repairs.

How to Get a Classic Funk Sound Out of Any Keyboard

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A funky keyboard might be something you would expect from a George Clinton song, but it appears frequently in other genres, as well. Take the John Paul Jones riff from "Trampled Underfoot" by Led Zeppelin. This riff is borrowed (some may say stolen) straight from contemporary funk artists. Peter Tosh from Bob Marley and the Wailers can be heard using a similar sound on many tracks as well. The sound even made its way into many early rap and hip-hop tracks, often in the form of a sample.

Fortunately, it's fairly easy to get a similar sound if you're looking to pick up on this trend. With this method, you won't even have to "borrow" from a decades-old single.

3 Chord Change Exercises for Guitarists New to Jazz

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Anybody can find the chord charts for every chord imaginable with just a few clicks. However, knowing all the chords and using them in practice are different things altogether. The following progressions are not terribly difficult as far as jazz goes, but they can be a great addition to any guitarist's skill set. Give these common jazz progressions some time in your routine to see if they can influence your songwriting and playing. They're the logical first steps towards getting a good feel for what jazz guitar is all about. Plus, the skills that come along with jazz guitar can easily transfer into other genres!

How to Overdrive Your Bass Amp (Without Losing Your Hearing)

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An overdriven bass is a sound that can fit into many genres of music. You can hear it in everything from Herbie Hancock's jazz fusion tracks to the glam-inspired riffs of Muse. Most bands could certainly make use of the gutsy sound to give a bit of energy to the rhythm section. The problem is getting the sound out of a variety of amps and basses. Cranking a 200-watt bass amp until it breaks up is probably just going to get your band thrown out of a small venue. Fortunately, there are options available to you at all volumes and for all types of basses. The key to deciding which option is right for you is to understand what you're getting from each method and whether it's what your band needs.

Guitarists: Why You Should Drop Everything and Learn Slide Guitar Right Now

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Slide guitar is one of the oldest sounds out there. However, gifted guitarists can still come up with fresh musical takes on the method. If you've never tried to play this way and are looking for some new sounds to experiment with, stop in at your local music store and buy a slide. They're usually inexpensive and come in enough varieties to fit all fingers. If you're feeling handy, you can make your own. Regardless of whether you're steeped in Delta Blues or have never heard a slide before, here's why all guitarists should give slide guitar a try at least once.