Developing a serious career in music is attainable

Many people think that having a career in music is wishing for the impossible, and question how someone could possibly earn a living from doing something they enjoy and are passionate about. It is achievable.

You can enhance your guitar playing abilities immeasurably by employing the services of a competent guitar teacher. There is a plethora of guitar teachers available, such as Tom Hess, however, the abilities and quality of these teachers can vary drastically.  Ensure that you select carefully, validate the reputations of potential guitar teachers by referring to a range of forums and testimonials to make sure that you employ the services of an effective tutor with proven teaching strategies and a good reputation who will be able to impart and transfer their extensive skills set to you.  Only by acquiring high level guitar skills will you be able to incorporate them to effect within your music.

Don’t try to do things alone, interact with, learn from, jam with, practice and hang around with other quality guitarists and guitar enthusiasts.  By doing this you will be able to adopt a wealth of tips and techniques from a variety of musicians that you can then incorporate into your own musical repartee.  By introducing yourself to innovative, new experiences offered by other musicians this could potentially transform your guitar playing abilities.  To stop yourself from musically stagnating and avoiding impeding your progress, find people to play music with who are better than you as they will give you the impetus to improve.

Having an expensive guitar is not essential.  More important by far, is that you pick an instrument that is particularly suited to you.  Finding and sourcing the right guitar is a task that you should expend a lot of time and effort on.  Failure to get this right, could potentially impede your future musical progress.  Visiting a wide range of music stores and trying a variety of different instruments is crucial to narrow down your choices.  Make a note of those you prefer, short list them and return to try them again to make sure you make the right choice.

Do not let others dictate the kind of music you play. Playing the genre of music you prefer rather than having a style of music imposed on you will result in a beneficial effect on the quality of your performance.  Your creativity is likely to be compromised and your style stifled if you bow to peer pressure and play music that you are not passionate about.  Also, it could result in a substandard performance rather than the outstanding one you would prefer.

Try to learn something new every day, access the wide range of resources available in books, on the internet and within videos.  Adopting this effective strategy could potentially accentuate your musical strengths and help eradicate weaknesses in your techniques.

Learn from others, be yourself and follow your passions and a career in music could be yours.

Modular Synths AndThe Eurorack Craze

A synthesizer is composed of oscillators, filters to modify the vibrations produced by the oscillators, and finally, and amplification component so you can hear the vibrations. When the first synthesizers were built and utilized by progressive rock heroes like Emerson, Lake & Palmer, they were massive futuristic looking boards. They looked like they might be the motherboard of a spaceship or something (certainly this look was agreeable to the sci-fi/ fantasyspirit of prog-rock). Kraftwerk’s experiments with early Moog’s to make some of the first ever electronic dance music is worth noting here as well.

When Bob Moog developed the first synths that were available for retail, this changed. The guts of the synth could be built on a smaller scale. The closed nature of most Moog manufactured synths was termed ‘fixed architecture’ synthesizers. An easy point of reference is Apple computers and Steve Jobs: Jobs was so obsessive about preventing consumers from tinkering with his products, that he made it virtually impossible to access the insides of the computers without breaking them.

To be fair, Moog still offers synths in their raw form: just the guts of the machine. You can plug whatever trigger you want into a Slim Phatty and dispense with the carefully designed shell. But this would still be considered fixed architecture. If you want to fall through the rabbit hole of fully customizable modular synth sounds and get totally off the grid, Eurorack is currently your best option.

Fixed architecture synths offer a fast, repeatable result. However, a subculture of mad scientists working with speed and efficiency outside of the traditional, slow moving world of popular brand synthesizers (with prolonged, drawn out product cycles) is increasingly churning out mouth wateringly sophisticated synth technology with incredibly rich tone.

With a modular Eurorack synth, custom oscillations, step sequencers, modulations and filters can be added to your pre-existing analog synths. Additionally, and even more excitingly, you can use a modular synth to process guitars, drum machines, or anything else, to create otherworldly sounds. If you’re taking professional music lessons from a synthesizer expert, mention Eurorack and watch their eyes light up – chances are you won’t be able to get them to shut up about it. If they happen to own one of these magnificent specimens, ask if they’ll bring it to your next lesson. In the right hands, these instruments can create some truly mind-blowing sounds.

The upside of modular is the spontaneity, which unfortunately has its downside as well: with modular synths, it is extremely difficult to reproduce the same effect twice. This is at once their magic and their downfall. For creating wild, Rothko-esque musical experiments, they are unrivaled, but it’s difficult to capture that beauty. If you get a good take in the studio, you could always convert it into a sample to trigger on stage, and while this is a valid solution, some purists might say that it cheapens the integrity of your live show. Really, it’s up to you.

Currently, the modular synth in the Eurorack format is experiencing a massive amount of buzz and popularity. The number of manufacturers has jumped from a select few to about eighty and there are hundreds of different versions on the market. Are they cool? Definitely. Are they worth the price tag? That’s for you to decide.

Jargon and Terminology Used in the Business of Music

Jargon is something that most people hate, but that seems to be totally inevitable regardless. If you are looking into the different music business programs, it is likely that you will instantly start to come across quite a bit of jargon. Hence, before you actually enroll, you may want to familiarize yourself with some of the most common terms, giving you a heads up above the rest.

Jargon and Terminology in the World of Music Business

  1. Bundling and unbundling – When tracks can be downloaded, but only if they are purchased as part of an album, they have been “bundled”. This means that you have to buy more than just one song. When a track is unbundled, it means you can buy it on its own, just like the old-fashioned “singles” of years gone by.
  2. Bundle – A bundle is basically a type of music service, tied up for third parties. For instance, a French bank entered into an agreement with Universal Music Group, offering young people a music service if they took out a credit card. This means financial services and music are tied together, and that is a “bundle”.
  3. Re-bundle – This describes when artists create a bundle of products as one large package. For instance, they can create a concert package, whereby fans receive the ticket, DVD, t-shirt, and CD, for one price. Re-bundling is very popular among artists with large fan bases. Fans, meanwhile, are happy about getting a good bundle deal, which is generally cheaper than purchasing each of the items individually.
  4. A la Carte – This is a term that puts control back in the hands of the customer. A good example of this is the iTunes music service. Those who put credit into their iTunes account can spend their credit on anything they want, regardless of genres, artists, songs, and so on.
  5. Streaming – This is one of the most important technical terms around nowadays, as it links music production with the online world. Streaming is very different from download, because with a download, you actually move the entire file to an external device before being able to hear it. With streaming, however, you can listen instantly, but the file will not be put on your device. In fact, downloading music is almost always illegal.
  6. Subscriptions – Most of us are aware of what a subscription is. Within the world of music, it generally means that people subscribe to a certain music services, such as Spotify or Amazon Prime Music.
  7. Ad-funded Models – This is a business type whereby revenue is shared among providers of content. For instance, Spotify make its subscribers view advertisements before they can play the music. Spotify gets paid for this, and this money is shared between the owners of the music on which the ad was shown.
  8. Music on Demand – This is a service that allows people to watch, play back, or listen to high quality music simply by pressing play, even though the music is not stored on their device. That has been made possible thanks to various technological developments.