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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

7-Step Plan to Successfully Book a Weekend Tour (From an Indie Band That Does It Every Month)

Image courtesy of School Damage

School Damage tours a lot. By the Toronto punk band’s own estimation, they hit the road at least one weekend a month, sometimes more. Traveling around Southeastern Ontario, Quebec, the US Midwest, and the East Coast a number of times has made them weekend warriors of sorts. Currently, the band is gearing up for a weekend run to Ottawa in Montreal in April, followed by a three-day run in at the beginning of May and a five-day tour to Montreal’s Pouzza Fest closer to the end of May.

So when the band’s bassist, Jon Cabatan, says some of the best experiences he’s had "have been loading a van with gear, playing strange places with my friends, and making music," you get the distinct impression he knows what he’s talking about.

8 Rules to Maintain a Healthy Songwriting Partnership

Image via pixabay.com

Musical collaboration is a lot like being in any other kind of relationship. There's give and take, sadness and reward, anger and joy. A musical relationship takes a lot of work to maintain, and this may be most exemplified by the songwriting partnership.

Two people sit down to write a song together and they can end up making magic, but if they’re not careful, it can destroy friendships. After all, creative endeavors are fraught with egos, emotions, and opinions. So maintaining that partnership takes a lot of work.

With that in mind, I combed through a number of relationship advice columns, magazine articles, and general life knowledge to dissect the best ways to keep a songwriting partnership (or really, any kind of partnership) healthy, fulfilling, and productive.

Performing, Honing Your Craft

Mar 30, 2016 08:00 AM

Ty Trumbull

How to Avoid Live Sound Problems With Your Acoustic Instrument: Advice From a Senior Sound Engineer

Photo by Macey Cohen

Compared to acoustic instruments, getting a decent sound out of electric instruments is relatively easy. It’s something you can work on, refine, and tweak on your own. Then, when you bring your rig to the venue, you can be reasonably confident that when you strum the strings, it will sound the way you want it to. And if something is amiss, there are an abundance of knobs and switches at your disposal to make the necessary tweaks.

But if you’re the guy in the band who would rather plug in his beautiful Gretsch acoustic while his bandmates flip on their Marshall stacks, then you’re already aware of the problems that can arise, from feedback to low volume levels. Learning how to deal with the problems that can crop up are essential for all the acoustic players out there. We sat down with a live sound engineer to get some answers.

4 Life Skills That Every Touring Band Should Have Down

Photo by the author

You’ve just released your album, and you’re putting it out into the world in style. A hometown release show followed by a short run of four shows. It’s a good way to break into new markets and expand your fanbase. But, as with any tour, you’re going to run into problems.

Knowing how to deal with the inevitable, to make do with what you’re given, and still put on the best show possible is integral for any young band. You can start demanding separate monitor mixes and bowls full of green M&Ms when you’re more successful, but this is the "paying your dues" part of your career. And, as such, a few basic skills and some contingency planning will improve your chances for success.

How to Make Sure Your Band Gets Paid for the Gig

Photo by Quazie via flickr.com

You’ve just finished playing. You traveled five hours to get to the show. The promoter has done a fine job putting the gig together – you can tell just by the number of people who’ve come through the door. With the $10 cover, it looks like everyone will be able to eat tonight. But then it happens: the promoter doesn’t want to pay.

Every band has been there. And if you haven’t yet, you will be eventually. Because no matter how hard everyone works, there are still assholes out there in the world who will try to take advantage of you.

A good concert works best when everyone is working together. The venue is there to provide a space for the bands to play in, the band’s job is to entertain people and get them to buy drinks, and the promoter is there to get people in the door. If everyone does their part, then everyone wins.

Sometimes, though, one of the pieces of the machine breaks down.