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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

Honing Your Craft, Performing

Aug 14, 2017 06:00 AM

Sam Friedman

8 Ways to Perform With a Backing Track (and Still Engage Your Audience)

Photo by Aija Lentonen via Shutterstock

This article originally appeared on Soundfly.

 

From pop to hip-hop to jazz, musicians in every genre rely heavily on electronic production today. If you turn on any commercial radio station around the country, you’re pretty much guaranteed to hear more electronic drums than physical acoustic drums. Guitar-driven music has begun to shed its 20th-century popularity, and, subsequently, electronic music is taking over everything.

Honing Your Craft, Performing, voice

Jul 20, 2017 06:00 AM

Cari Cole

Struggling With Singing? Achieve Vocal Freedom in 5 Easy Steps

Image via Shutterstock

A version of this article originally appeared on Cari Cole's Standing in the Spotlight blog.

 

Vocal freedom. It’s what all singers want. But how do you get it when your voice is stuck in your throat, wears out too quickly, or doesn’t respond the way you want? Are you stuck with the voice you have, or can it be improved?.

The latter. Your voice is an instrument. You just have to learn how to play it. It’s a sensitive and invisible instrument. You can’t buy it at the store. Its inner processes are tucked away. You can’t see it working. As a result, it’s tougher to navigate, tougher to control. The problem is so many singers think you’re dealt a deck, and that’s it. But there is soooo much you can do to improve your voice, it’s astonishing.

Don’t Hit the Stage Without These Overlooked Heroes of Your Pedalboard

Image via Shutterstock; all other images via flypaper.soundfly.com

This article originally appeared on Soundfly.

 

Guitarists like to spill ink all the time about distortion boxes, classic overdrives, boutique delay pedals, and bucket-brigade modulation effects. It’s understandable why: These attention-grabbing stompboxes lead to dramatic and satisfying changes in sound. Like a great vintage amp or a top-notch guitar, it’s these larger-than-life pedals that help a player define his or her own sonic character.

Sometimes, however, it’s the most often-overlooked pedals that can make all the difference. Learn about them, and get them on your pedalboard  you’ll be surprised at the wonders a simple and relatively unsexy pedal can do for your sound.

5 Live Show Investments (Besides Gear) That Will Elevate Your Shows

Get a fog machine. Fog machines rule. (Image via Stocksnap.io)

When we talk about a live-show setup, we're usually referring to gear, obviously. But there's actually more you can do to ensure a memorable performance. Sounding good is the bulk of the battle, of course, but looking good counts for something, too.

The Best Acoustic Guitars for Every Budget

Image via Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0

Whenever we think “songwriter,” our mental image usually includes an acoustic guitar. This instrument is the iconic companion of earnest coffeehouse songsters, grizzled folk storytellers, and country crooners who tell it like it is. And like most instruments, the price of admission goes from very little to sky’s-the-limit.

Sweetwater Sound’s catalog of acoustics ranges in price from just over $200 (for a tiny backpack guitar) on up to this $10,000 museum piece by Martin. But unless you absolutely need to match Neil Young’s guitar tone on “Harvest Moon,” price point is a matter of diminishing returns. Does a $1,200 Taylor sound better than a $250 Yamaha? In general, yes. But what extras do you get when you hit the $3,000 price point? How about $5,000?