A dream for most up-and-coming American bands is to perform at world famous venues like Red Rocks, The Fillmore, and House of Blues, but there’s thousands of incredible small venues scattered across the country that are often overlooked. If you’re a new band eager to take on the world, making your mark at small venues is one of the best ways to do it, but small venues are a blast to play even if you’re in an experienced band that can sell out 1,000-capacity rooms. We’ve assembled a list of five incredible small venues that are worth playing whether you’re just starting out or have been at it for years.
Electronic drums have become the new standard for most popular genres of music, from hip-hop to pop to EDM. Several of the world’s biggest artists go on tour without a drummer — something unimaginable just a few decades ago. Drums are still an integral part of popular music, but instead of an actual drummer on an acoustic kit pounding out the beats, it’s usually a producer hunched over a laptop.
However, that doesn’t mean acoustic drums don’t have a place in modern music. Obviously genres like rock and country still use drummers. But for producers that are used to working with 808s and digitally-created percussion, there are plenty of benefits of blending acoustic drums with electronic drums. Though, it’s important to make sure blending the two is done smoothly. Otherwise, the contrast can be overbearing, sloppy, and inorganic. Here are five ways to blend the two:
Cover bands can be a lucrative side gig for musicians today. Many corporate events, weddings, or private parties book them for a flat rate, i.e., no door percentage, nothing contingent on merch or drink sales, which equals more take-home pay in most cases.
Like any musical venture, though, there are many things to consider before committing to a cover band; use this list to think it through.
We all know that touring has the potential to do some game-changing things for bands. In addition to getting a band tighter and more experienced musically, the right tour has the potential to bring industry attention and exposure to fans. But what’s often not talked about is the benefits serious touring can give to the individuals behind the band. Traveling can open up a person to incredible things they couldn’t have seen or experienced sitting at home. Unless you’re incredibly lucky and financially successful, touring is an unglamorous affair, but it’s also a fantastic way to see the country. We’ve assembled five gorgeous routes to take on your next tour through the United States. Some of these routes are off the beaten path, but are well worth exploring if you’ve got time to kill.
With songs like Migos’ “Bad and Boujee,” 21 Savage’s “X,” and The Weeknd’s “The Hills” gathering millions of streams and views across the online musical spectrum, the question eventually arises: “When did dark-sounding music become so popular?” Sure, sad songs have always been on repeat on the radio stations, especially for country music, but one genre in particular has been capitalizing on minor key music, hip-hop. And it’s not just about sounding sad, rather, dark. Hip-hop producer Metro Boomin is the biggest hit songwriter of 2017 so far according to Music Business Worldwide, but the majority of his beats feature ominous, eerie melodies, with lush minor chords that feel both sad and menacing. Isn’t popular music supposed to be, like, happy and fun? Well, happy and fun have found a place in dark music. For example, Drake’s song, “Energy,” is built around a dark, minimal piano line — but when he performs live, the crowd isn’t sitting there sulking; they’re jumping up and down and screaming the lyrics jubilantly. So, we wanted to dissect what makes this new wave of dark music so popular from a producer’s point of view.
I’m going to let you in on a little secret. I’m going to tell you about a tool that is incredibly powerful in connecting with your audience, and yet completely underutilized particularly in the world of musicians. It has the power to bring forth laughter, tears, reflection, happiness, and most of all, it evokes a sense of connection from the reader to the writer.
I’m talking about blogging.
The power of words is not to be underestimated—beyond their daily use in our lives, we use them all the time in our careers. Every time we craft an email, post to our social media, or send out our newsletter, we’re harnessing the power of words to connect with our audience.
And yet for some reason musicians overlook blogging as one of the most powerful ways to connect with their audience.
As an indie artist, most of the time you end up doing everything yourself from recording your album to taking your own band photos to promoting your new release. One of those do-it-yourself items is creating your album artwork. You may be thinking “but I’m not a designer” or “I don’t know how to use Photoshop.” An alternative route would be to pay a graphic designer to put something together for you. But what if that’s not in your budget?
In this tutorial, I’m going to show you how to create your album artwork for free using a website called Canva. With Canva, you don’t have to know how to use Photoshop or pay a graphic designer. It’s very user-friendly and they even have templates you can use for social posts, album artwork, gig posters, and lots more.
If you’ve heard it once you’ve heard it a million times—there’s nothing quite like the power of community to take your career to the next level. Calling on your network in times of need is one thing, but the real power of a strong community is that they call on you before you’ve even had a chance to ask for help. They’re the ones that connect you with an opportunity before you even knew it existed.
But one thing that doesn’t get talked about a lot is the power of local community, and how musicians can leverage what’s right in front of them to give real boost to their career. Whether you live in a small town or a big city, these tips are for you.