Is there a better time of year than Fall? Depending on where you live the weather is getting cooler, the leaves are changing, and you get to visit all kinds of spooky haunts. It’s the best! Not to mention, if you’re in a band, you get to live out your childhood every year as you dress up in full costume for any and all shows around October 31st.
One of my favorite things to see, as a fan, is all the incredibly creative, elaborate costumes that bands put together in celebration of the big day. If you’re feeling stuck, we’ve got you covered. Don’t forget the candy!
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Back in the day, the ability to read sheet music was essential for composing, performing, and analyzing Western music.
The rise in popularity of alternative notations such as MIDI and tablature has changed this notion, expanding notation to be more idiomatic for musicians across different walks. That said, staff notation still remains as a universal standard, a common language that can be shared between any two musicians.
For this reason, even if you produce great music using solely MIDI scrolls, it never hurts to be able to read sheet music – one day you might have to transcribe a piano part to have it recorded by a pianist, and you wouldn’t want to have to learn for the first time then! This article will provide you a series of tips, tricks, and mnemonic devices to kickstart your ability to quickly identify some key aspects of a piece of music written in sheet notation. We’ll go through three cheat codes at three difficulty levels, spanning tricks helpful for absolute beginners as well as seasoned sheet music readers.
Asking what makes a song valuable in 2018 seems sort of silly. With music streaming and video platforms displaying listener stats in real time, one doesn’t have to look much further than that to see whether a piece of music is valuable or not, right? If your metric for a song’s success is purely based off of how many times it’s bought, listened to, or downloaded, then no. But what makes a song valuable, in my opinion, is much deeper and more complex than what can be quantified with numbers. To figure out what makes music valuable, listeners and musicians alike need to look past the numbers.
We’ve all heard stories of huge bands breaking up seemingly out of the middle of nowhere. For aspiring musicians, it’s hard to imagine why bands who experience so much success explode and fizzle out, but there’s always hidden dynamics and unhealthy patterns at work in the frayed relationships in these bands. Bands who haven’t achieved major success are often plagued by the same sorts of relationship issues on top of challenges like worries about money and whether their hard work will ever pay off.
So many of these problems are centered around trust and respect. You could be making incredible music, selling out shows night after night, and signed to the label of your dreams, but you’ll be miserable if there’s turmoil within the relationships in your band.
Goals have always been important in music, but they’re more important than ever in today’s complicated music industry. Lots of musicians start bands because they want to express themselves through music, and that is and always should be the driving force behind why a band makes music. But if the goals stop there, your band probably won’t be able to accomplish much.
Songwriting can be frustratingly unpredictable. You might write for six hours and come up with nothing memorable one day and come up with something incredible the minute you sit down the next. But believe it or not, songwriters are best off pursuing all their ideas, even the ones they think won’t go anywhere. Musicians risk cutting themselves off from opportunities to develop good ideas when they’re too rigid about their own creative processes, and one of the best ways to combat this is by following through on finishing all of your songs.
Tom Shawcroft is an indie-electronica singer, songwriter, and producer from Nottingham, UK. Over the past several years, Tom’s sound evolved from predominantly acoustic when he started making music as a teenager to a now unique style of production influenced heavily by his love for electronic music.
It’s that unique style that caught the attention of fierce panda, who he signed to after submitting to one of our opportunities.
“What we really like about the whole ReverbNation talent-spotting process is that it gives us a chance to think outside the A&R box. The fierce panda label is generally renowned for peddling shambolic indie noises but Tom comes from a totally pop background, and his finger-clicking beats and soulful vocals really made him stand out from the alt.rock crowd. It’s a modern sound in a world gone mad.”
Check out this interview with Tom Shawcroft below where he shares how being diagnosed with an illness as a child ignited his spark for songwriting, how artists should make use of every tool available to them, and what’s up next for him.
A few months ago, I was on the verge of burnout. Maybe you can relate?
Feeling overwhelmed, like there just aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done, is quite common with musicians. After all, we are expected not only to perform and record, but also to book our shows, do all the marketing to get people to attend our shows, engage on social media, write songs, keep up with our song catalog & PRO administration, and a lot more.
Often, artists don’t recognize the signs of burnout until it’s too late to just “take a break.” They end up exhausted, jaded, and many actually give up on music (sometimes until the passion and drive kick back in, but sometimes for good!)
I want to help you recognize the signs of impending burnout so you can avoid full burnout. Once you know the signs, I’ll give you some simple changes you can make to turn it around and help you live a healthier, more balanced life without having to quit music.