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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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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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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Why You Should Play Shows In Smaller Scenes

New York, Los Angeles, Chicago. The music scenes in these cities typically garner a huge amount of attention from bands and fans alike for good reason. If you’re a young, ambitious band, successfully growing a fanbase and becoming well known in any one of these cities could connect you to a world of possibilities within the music industry. But while building your presence in a large scene comes with its massive potential payoffs, playing shows in bigger cities comes attached to massive challenges, stiff competition, and some big missed opportunities you can only find in smaller scenes.

RebeccaWhy You Should Play Shows In Smaller Scenes
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5 Common Songwriter Struggles and How To Overcome Them

Guest post by Tunedly, a ReverbNation Marketplace partner and company catering to a community of music creators.

My years of wearing the hat of a songwriter and working with others in the game, taught me that it isn’t the most glamorous job. And when one considers that only a small fraction of the songwriting population actually make it big in the business, it would seem you’d have to be short of a few screws to decide that writing songs is what you want to do for the rest of your life.

Many songwriters started out doing it as a hobby, a way to soothe the turmoil in their minds, and then learned about the possible financial gains afterwards. With that said, every songwriter, who gets serious about making it a career, faces their own set of struggles along the way. But many of these struggles are not unique to one; if you speak with other songwriters, you will quickly find out that they pretty much endure some of the same problems you’re faced with on a daily basis. We’ll delve deeper with a few examples throughout this post, so you might want to stick around.

Rebecca5 Common Songwriter Struggles and How To Overcome Them
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Artist Interview: Nuela Charles

With her epic, cinematic, soulful vibes, Nuela Charles sounds like something straight out of a James Bond film. Hailing from Edmonton, this Canadian singer/songwriter describes herself as “Alternative-Soul.”

Nuela Charles submitted her song to one of our opportunities where she was picked from thousands of artists to be signed to Killing Moon. We spoke to her about how she got started, the submission process, and what’s next for Nuela Charles.

RebeccaArtist Interview: Nuela Charles
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Why An All-Or-Nothing Approach Is Bad For Your Band

There’s something about making music that has the ability to bring out hard-line attitudes within a person. Maybe it’s because the process of writing music is often jarringly intimate and revealing for some of us, like an urgent accounting of how we truly perceive the world as human beings. Or perhaps the competitive you vs. the world mindset born out of an industry fueled by an obsession with clicks, plays, and views is somewhat to blame. No matter where it comes from and for better or worse, we often associate music-making with potent and extreme emotion, but approaching your craft with such a high-stakes attitude towards things could be detrimental.

RebeccaWhy An All-Or-Nothing Approach Is Bad For Your Band
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