How To Tame Nerves Before a Big Show

After working hard to create meaningful music, it can be incredibly exciting when your band starts to get opportunities like opening up big shows. But unfortunately, the thought of playing to a packed crowd often comes hand-in-hand with debilitating performance anxiety for some people, including everyone from members of newer inexperienced bands to seasoned music veterans.

While some performers get nothing more than the feeling of butterflies in their stomach before an important show, performance anxiety is a major issue for some musicians no matter their age and level of talent. But if you’re someone struggling to tame nerves during performances, don’t despair. Here’s some tips:

KevinHow To Tame Nerves Before a Big Show
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How Being Impulsive Could Hurt Your Band

Since impulsivity and music often go hand in hand, it can be tempting to make quick, on-the-spot decisions when it comes to how you make, perform, record, and promote your music. Feeling comfortable and confident with the way you make decisions is pretty important in the songwriting arena, but ironically, giving your instincts too much of a say in matters other than music-making could end up significantly hurting your band.

RebeccaHow Being Impulsive Could Hurt Your Band
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Think Your City’s Music Scene Is Bad? Maybe You’re The Problem

In my decade of experience playing music around the country, I’ve noticed a strange similarity in many of the musicians I’ve encountered. Lots of active musicians I’ve met firmly believe their music scene is bad or that it used to be good and has somehow lost its luster over the past few years. Being in a young, ambitious band, I used to relate to these negative sentiments as it can often feel hard to find acceptance and support from a music scene when you’re new and trying to prove yourself. But over the years, I’ve come to realize that no, there’s not a widespread worsening of music communities across the nation, but instead a problematic issue with the jaded attitudes often found in the musicians who form music scenes.

What makes a music scene great

What constitutes a thriving music scene? From where I sit, a music scene worth its salt is filled with enthusiastic artists intent on making meaningful music and supporting other musicians within their community. The lines become blurred between fan and band in solid music scenes because musicians in these communities make a real effort to go to other band’s shows and to act as advocates for music they’re making, even if it doesn’t benefit themselves in any way. Over time, enthusiasm for music being made within a scene infectiously spreads outward and people outside the music community take notice and begin getting involved by attending shows and buying music. That’s how it’s supposed to work, anyway.

Why you might be the problem

What often happens in music scenes is that bands become isolated by adopting an “us vs. the world” mentality, which makes total sense due to our flawed human nature. “Why should I go to that other band’s CD release show when they’ve never been to one of our shows?” is a completely fair question for a band to ask, but it’s not helpful in terms of building or sustaining any sort of music community. If you think your music scene is bad and you don’t make an effort to see other band’s shows, why in the world would you have the expectation that other local musicians should be supporting you? You’re probably a small reason behind why your local community isn’t everything you want it to be.

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Leave your baggage out of it

I get the feeling that many musician’s complaints about their local scenes are rooted in years of pernicious frustration and disappointment when it comes to making music, and I completely relate. When you devote so much of your life trying to make good music and getting the world to take notice, it can be tempting to blame your scene for why music hasn’t given you everything you’d hoped it would when you were younger. But you know what makes a scene bad? Musicians bitching and complaining rather than making real actionable strides to improve things and make better music.

If you want your city to have a great music scene, then go and become that great music scene. See other band’s shows and buy their music. Stop complaining and start completely devoting yourself to making and performing music. Instead of obsessing over how other bands from your city get opportunities that you don’t have access to, build and develop the ones you do have. If you do these things, you’ll be too busy building a meaningful legacy in your scene to sit on the sidelines and complain.

Patrick McGuire is a musician, writer, and educator currently residing in the great city of Philadelphia. He creates music under the name Straight White Teeth, and has a great affinity for dogs and putting his hands in his pockets.

RebeccaThink Your City’s Music Scene Is Bad? Maybe You’re The Problem
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How To Book Your First National Tour In Ten Steps

A certain new and exciting credibility is lended to bands when they transition from playing locally to performing at venues around the country. If you’re new to playing music, you might think that touring is an experience filled with non-stop fun, venues filled to the brim with adoring fans, and luxurious accommodations, but the dramatized version of tour portrayed in movies and TV rarely reflects the massive challenges that come along with heading out on a national tour as a small band. If you want a more realistic picture of what it’s like to head out on tour with an unknown band, think sparsely attended shows, strained finances, and sleeping on floors.

But even with the general stress and discomfort that touring usually brings for smaller acts, it’s an absolute necessity if you want to be taken seriously by fans, press, and labels. There’s no better manifestation of an artist’s hopes and aspirations than seeing them set out for a long national first tour for the first time.

If you’re interested in booking your first national tour, this article was written specially for you. Making the transition from playing locally to regionally and eventually nationally can often be overwhelming, so we’ve assembled ten helpful tips to help you get started.

MikeHow To Book Your First National Tour In Ten Steps
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6 Million Spotify Streams & Counting: Meet Jerry Williams

British indie pop, singer/songwriter, Jerry Williams, draws inspiration from her life and the lives of others around her. At just 21 years old, Jerry has racked up over 6 million streams on Spotify and has been supported from the likes of Radio 1’s Adelle Roberts, Cel Spellman, Huw Stephens, BBC Introducing locally and Nationally, KCRW, and Amazing Radio. She has also supported sold out tours with Nathan Sykes and Vanessa Carlton.

With all of these accolades under her belt, it’s no wonder she’s been selected for past opportunities with ReverbNation and is now a part of our CONNECT program. We chatted to her about songwriting, her biggest challenge as an indie artist, and what’s up next for her.

Rebecca6 Million Spotify Streams & Counting: Meet Jerry Williams
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Why Money Shouldn’t Be Your Only Motivation For Making Music

In cities like LA, New York and London, you can’t throw a stone without hitting a musician intent on finding fame and fortune through making music. Despite existing in an oversaturated industry built on its workforce making less and less money, the idea that you could pump out a couple of hits and start making as much money as Kanye West is one that seems to persist despite mounting evidence that proves otherwise. If money is the motivating force behind why you create music, you might want to reconsider.

KrissyWhy Money Shouldn’t Be Your Only Motivation For Making Music
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How To Write The Perfect Email Pitch

When you’re running a DIY PR campaign, there are a few crucial components that you have to get right: relationship building, strong content, timing, and impeccable email etiquette. It’s that last one that tends to trip people up right as they feel like they start to get their footing. After all, we’re a culture of abbreviations, misspellings, social media, and honestly most of us have no clue how to craft an email that’s professional enough to get the attention of editors and gain respect, while still being casual enough that it feels like a human being wrote it.

As a publicist and blogger I write and read a lot of pitches, and there are a few things I’ve noticed as stand out Dos and Don’ts of pitches over the years.

Let’s start with the things you should avoid doing:

KevinHow To Write The Perfect Email Pitch
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4 Methods To Quickly Make A Great Beat From Scratch

When a producer sits down, opens up their DAW of choice, turns on their speakers or plugs in their headphones with a blank canvas, the possibilities are endless. With that limitless ability to experiment also comes the ability to feel stuck. Have you ever flipped through tons of TV channels and wondered, “Why is there nothing good to watch?” You have so many options, but feel like there’s nothing worth sticking around for. Well, that same “stuck” feeling can apply to beatmakers. So, if you are feeling like you can’t come up with anything good, or you just want to start over, before going into a new project file, try evaluating some methods to really help you hone in on your creative output, There are countless ways to make music — none are better than the other. But there are a few surefire methods to really get your production off its feet.

We’ve listed four ways that you can make a quality beat from scratch, even if you’re in a creative rut.

Rebecca4 Methods To Quickly Make A Great Beat From Scratch
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