How Basic Music Theory Can Improve Your Songwriting

No matter who you are and what sort of music you make, learning basic music theory is something that can absolutely change the way you think about songwriting for the better. Sheer songwriting talent, solid instruments, and compositional technology can certainly help you write great music, but nothing can replace music theory knowledge as being the best tool for explaining what music literally is and how it works. Rather than explain what basic music theory is––I already did that in a two-part series you can read here––in this article, I’m making the case for why every songwriter should take the time to master music theory basics.

RebeccaHow Basic Music Theory Can Improve Your Songwriting
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Why The Music Industry Favors Night Owls

It isn’t fair for everyone, but most of the world is designed for people who wake up early. Music, however, is a completely different story. Music is rare in the fact that the industry surrounding it is mostly suited for people who stay up late. Besides the service industry, most every other occupation requires its employees to show up at or before 9AM. This means that music can be both a bastion for night owls and a significant challenge for musicians accustomed to sleep schedules that align with more conventional industries.

RebeccaWhy The Music Industry Favors Night Owls
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Want To Be Successful In Music? Try Thinking Of It Like Your Job

Having musical talent and intuition is good, but if you really want to succeed in music, you’ll need much more than that. Whether it’s the discipline it takes to spend hours at a time practicing an instrument or the planning and communication skills needed to book shows and pitch new music to press outlets, sheer talent isn’t enough to make it in music––especially in today’s DIY-driven industry. If you want to find success in music, you might want to try thinking about it like your job.

RebeccaWant To Be Successful In Music? Try Thinking Of It Like Your Job
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5 Mistakes Emerging Bands Make

Part of being an emerging band is learning as you go. When you look at it this way, making mistakes along the way is perfectly natural. But imagine if you could save yourself the trouble of certain obstacles—wouldn’t that be kind of great?

Having been in the industry for nearly a decade as both a writer and a publicist, not to mention my almost 30 years on this earth as a music fan, I tend to see artists make the same mistakes. The good news is, because the mistakes tend to be the same, they’re a bit easier to mass diagnose, meaning once you know what they are, you can work to avoid them. So what are some of the biggest mistakes I see emerging bands make?

Rebecca5 Mistakes Emerging Bands Make
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How Rejection Can Be Used As A Tool For Success In Music

Most musicians know that rejection is part and parcel of working creatively in any medium, but that doesn’t make the sting any less discouraging when things don’t go your way. Whether it’s being turned down for a show or releasing music that listeners don’t seem to resonate with, some artists experience rejection so acute and devastating that it causes them to stop making music altogether. But while nothing can remove the pain a musician feels when things don’t go the way they’d hoped, all creatives can––eventually must––use rejection as a tool for success and artistic survival.

RebeccaHow Rejection Can Be Used As A Tool For Success In Music
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Why Musicians Should Care About Making Money

For some reason, the idea that music should be completely separated from money is one that just won’t die within our culture. Some musicians and fans alike hold the belief that music somehow loses its purity once it begins earning someone money. But while that idea is obviously wrong, it’s one that manages to persist and thwart the careers of lots of talented artists. Here’s why all musicians should be invested in making money off of their hard work:

RebeccaWhy Musicians Should Care About Making Money
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Why Writing Record Labels Won’t Help Your Band Get Signed

For new, undiscovered bands, there’s nothing more exciting than releasing new music and truly believing in its potential. Every great, insanely successful artist has been in the position of taking the time, money, and emotional investment of making music without ever knowing if anyone in the world would bother to listen to it. But as nice as the idea of getting the attention of record labels with unsolicited songs is, it just doesn’t work for the massive majority of artists who bother to. Here’s why:

RebeccaWhy Writing Record Labels Won’t Help Your Band Get Signed
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How To Delegate Tasks And Work As A Team

When I first started my company, I did everything myself. Emails, press releases, blog posts, social media posts, artist discovery, and a million other tasks that not only filled me with dread, but completely drained my energy. By year two, I was a walking zombie. I was irritable most of the time, and I was incredibly tired and overworked. Worse yet, I had done this to myself! It was a prison of my own making.

When you’re in a band, it can become easy to default all or most of the tasks to just one or two people and let them carry the bulk of it. It’s one of those things that tends to happen naturally because someone is really good at a certain task, or takes the initiative before anyone else, and before you know it, one person is doing everything from booking to press to social media. But not only will that burn them out over time, it’s completely ineffective and unsustainable. Just because someone can do something, doesn’t mean they should.

If you’re the person who is already doing everything for your band, the first step is getting comfortable delegating tasks to them, and letting them know it’s time to share the workload. If you’re one of the band members who hasn’t been picking up their share of the slack, here’s how you can start.

RebeccaHow To Delegate Tasks And Work As A Team
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