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How to Avoid the Most Common Musicians' Injuries

Photo by Cameron Perkins via Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Look up “most dangerous professions.” Music isn’t going to be in the top 10, and that’s a blessing. Those don’t-let-your-guard-down-for-one-second positions generally involve heights, open water, tall trees, and power tools. But music comes with its own hazards, from hecklers armed with glass beer steins to highway mishaps on the way home from a gig.

In warehouses and factories, the first thing new hires generally hear is a safety lecture. For musicians, we take the native hazards for granted all too often. But injuries can stop us from playing, and that’s the headline here. The following is a list of some of the most common ways for musicians to end up on injured reserve and how to avoid them.

The Best Guitar Amps for Every Genre

Image via Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 3.0

For all the talk about how “tone comes from the fingers,” amplifiers are still critical. Just ask any musician who’s been told, “You have to use our backline to cut down on soundchecks. Don’t worry – our gear sounds great!”

Do you really want to play on amps that have been set up according to someone else’s personal style and taste? You may still be finding and refining your guitar sound, but you know what sounds bad, and you want to find that tone that will make your music soar. With that in mind, here are some of the best amps on the market for the styles you play.

Musicians: How to Make Repetition Less Boring

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The following article adapts and discusses concepts developed by Gerald Klickstein that are published on The Musician's Way Blog and in his book, The Musician's Way.

 

A day in the life of a musician involves a lot of repetition. Whether it's playing the same city over and over again, promoting your music to your fans every night, or playing the same songs every day in practice, it's impossible to shake repetition.

When one thinks of repetition, a feeling of pleasure isn't usually associated with the word. Instead, we tend to think of painstaking boredom. But it's a necessary evil; we need it to sharpen our skills, nail compositions, and become a better performer in general. All musicians have to wade through the grind of repetition, yet how do so many still stay artistic? Fortunately, repetition and artistry can coexist, and there are ways to make repetition much more tolerable.

Performing, Honing Your Craft

Sep 20, 2016 09:00 AM

Cari Cole

How to Win Over Your Audience at Every Performance

Image via caricole.com

This article originally appeared on Cari Cole's Standing in the Spotlight blog.

 

Every performer has good days and bad days. It’s par for the course. However, the goal of any superstar or rising star is that even on bad days, you still can rock the stage.

And that’s a tall order when your voice punks out on you, or you’ve got personal stuff to deal with, or maybe your label just dropped you... sigh. But you still have to go put on a show, no matter what. That’s the life of a performer.

So, how do you still strut the stage when you’re underwhelmed yourself? You gotta have a few tricks up your sleeve. Don’t worry; Mama’s got you covered. I’ve been in the trenches with artists over the past three decades and have some handy solutions for pretty much every possible scenario.

The 4-Step Guide to Better Memorization for Performances

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The following article adapts and discusses concepts developed by Gerald Klickstein that are published on The Musician's Way Blog and in his book,The Musician's Way.

 

We've all been there. The big gig. Your band has practiced hard for this very moment. Friends, families, and loving fans pack the venue, and they absorb every note dripping from your instrument. The songs should feel like second nature at this point, but something is amiss.

An upcoming chord change is near and as you dig inside your head for the answer, you're met with darkness. The change is fast approaching and your mind scrambles around every crevice to find the solution to this anxiety. Sadly, it's just not there. Memory has failed you and, suddenly, you’re playing the wrong note. Being the good musician that you are, you rub off the memory slip and continue on. The audience is none the wiser.

Mistakes like this happen all the time, and learning how to recover from them is an essential skill as a performer – but it's even better to prevent them from happening in the first place. There are strategies out there to help improve memorization for performances. Different strategies will work for different people, but here's one four-step process to try.