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
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The Best Electric Guitars for Every Budget

Image via Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

If you visit any guitar shop, chances are there are 30 or more models of electric guitar hanging on the wall. Check out a website like Musician’s Friend and that number balloons to 1,200. You can’t test them all!

Bound by the need to buy stuff that sells, retailers may not have many of the most interesting designs in stock, preferring to stick with the basics and throw one or two radical instruments up in the window just to intrigue passing musicians. How do you get a playable guitar with a cool design for a fair price? Well, you could start with these six popular electric guitar designs on the market for price points from budget to premium.

5 Ways to Make Improvisation Less Scary

Image by Michael Hoefner via Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 3.0

For those who don't know, the man pictured above is none other than Ornette Coleman. Coleman was a pioneer of the free-jazz phenomenon that exploded onto the scene in the 1950s and 1960s. To most, free jazz is anything but easy listening, and it's no wonder that it created such an uproar among casual listeners. A large part of this controversy had to do with fear. People fear what they don't know. They fear the unpredictable. Improvisation is the embodiment of unpredictability in music, but you shouldn't fear it.

The Best Guitar Pedals on the Market for Your Budget

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If you’re a violinist, tone comes from wood and your fingers, and that’s it. If you play electric guitar, there are several more stages in the signal chain that run from your fingers to the listener’s ear. Pedals are so important that many players would rather use a house amp with their own pedals than bring their own amp along and leave the stompboxes at home. But there are so many to choose from, and you can’t buy the whole store. By category, here are some of the best choices in guitar pedals, with a budget option and another choice if cost is no object.

How to Avoid the Most Common Musicians' Injuries

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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.