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how to

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Common Mistakes of New Session Musicians (and How to Avoid Them)

Mistakes are not the worst thing in the world. Often, they help us learn, highlight our trouble areas and grow. However, mistakes can also cost you jobs and relationships with clients. I’m going to list the most common errors I see in new session musicians (many of which I’ve made myself, so no judgment), and also show you how to avoid them or recover if you’ve already done them.   New Session Musician Mistakes Most of these are in no particular order, except the first one because it’s seriously so important and so few people do it. Even if you[...]

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YouTube Videos with the Most Views (and How You Can Be Like Them)

YouTube Views: We all need them. Musicians need to have their songs heard to grow their fanbase and reach more people. As part of my YouTube experiment, I want to see what the most popular videos are, and why they’re so popular. I’m going to analyze each one of the top ten videos and discuss how they were made. We'll also discuss the lessons we can learn from each of them and see how to apply their success to you.  Let's talk about a few things first: These are the top ten videos currently, as of writing this post. I won't be updating this so please don't co[...]

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6 Things I Learned After Releasing My First E-Book

YOU GUYS. My book is 2! As a person who has only ever had dogs, I have no idea what it’s like to raise children. Seeing my book-child turn two has been a milestone. Technically, Way Less Cowbell will turn 2 on April 29th. However, I’ll be on a flight to Alaska then (scared out of my mind because I hate flying), so we’re going to be celebrating early by reviewing what I knew then vs what I know now, and what I’ve done in the last two years. Way Less Cowbell - A Review I started writing this book when I realized that clients continued to have similar[...]

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The Music Mindset: How to Work on Music When Life Sucks

How to Get Music Work Done When Life Sucks

Today has been rough on me, to say the least. All day long I’ve had family issues, ongoing client issues and it’s currently -5 degrees and I can’t go for a walk to clear my head. Still, tonight I have to get into ‘work mode’ and deliver a great performance for a client. I’ll be honest, I don’t want to. I want to drink wine, cry, watch Forensic Files and go to bed early. I won’t, though. Instead, I’m going to list some ideas to help me get through this, and hopefully they will help you as well! When Life Sucks First, I need to say I am by[...]

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The Complete Guide to Taking Awesome Band Photos

How to get great band press photos

I started modeling when I was in my young teens. It was kind of fun and I made decent money, so I continued until I hit the ripe old age of 20, when the modeling jobs turn into denture ads and adult diapers (I’m actually not kidding, I was asked to do an adult diaper ad after I turned 20). During my days as a model, I learned a great deal about photography, lighting, and posing. I wouldn’t call myself an expert at photography, but I definitely know enough about posing and photo elements to give pointers on press pictures. I see a lot of talented bands and ar[...]

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How to Handle Haters in the Music Industry

Here's how to process and move on from haters of your creative work!

If you are any type of artist and your work is online, it’s pretty much a guarantee you’ll run into a hater at some point in your career. Even if you are not an artist, any person who voices an opinion on social media is likely to find a gaggle of trolls waiting in the shadows to take them down. In all of my songwriting groups, message boards and music communities, there is usually one question a week about “how to deal with haters” or “how to respond to hateful comments.” I always try to provide a thoughtful answer, because I know how much it sucks[...]

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Six (Totally Cynical) Signs You’ll Succeed in the Music Industry

How to Know if You'll Succeed in the Music Industry!

I’m making this list for two reasons: 1). To make you laugh, and 2). I see waaaay too many of these lists that have the most basic, stupid answers. “You have good taste in music” might be an important quality, but it is in no way a guarantee you’ll make it big. Lists like these are popular in every industry. I see them for female entrepreneurs as well. If one of the signs I’ll make six figures next year is “I have a good heart,” well then awesome, I’m all set! Time to buy that convertible because my good heart will pay for it next quarter! I’m g[...]

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How to Keep Your Music Career Going When You Work Full Time

8 Tips to Keep Your Music Career Going

For the month of November, I’m working full time as a temporary dental assistant. I used to work for this dental office years ago and loved it, so when they asked if I was willing to come back, I jumped at the chance. It’s a great way to catch up with my former co-workers and gets me out of the house. Plus, the holidays are coming and I’d be lying if I said I couldn’t use the extra cash. But man, I forgot all about how hard it was to juggle working full time and do music. Since music is my full-time job, of course I need to take it seriously and keep at i[...]

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Meditation For Musicians: Quiet That Musical Mind!

3 easy ideas to help musicians meditate

Today, I want to talk about meditation for musicians. As much as I love exploring spirituality and different religions, I sucked at meditation. I tried it at home and wound up taking quizzes on Buzzfeed. I listened to peaceful music as a background to discovering what One Direction member I would marry. It was nice, but not helpful. Then I tried group meditation, but I wasn't good at that either. The floor was hard and uneven. I noticed everyone's cell phone cases (mine was the coolest, but I wasn't judging). I left feeling frustrated. Where was my zen?? Aft[...]

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How to Convert iTunes Tracks to Different Formats: 5 Simple Steps!

How to convert tracks easily on iTunes!

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post all about stems and why proper export is so important! I provided a video explaining how to export them. Later I realized I didn't focus enough time on converting stems into different formats. So let's do that now!   How to convert WAV to mp3 (or vice versa) in iTunes First, let's talk about why you want to do this. When exporting stems (either individually or a mixdown), you'll want large, uncompressed files for final delivery. WAV or AIF files provide lossless quality so these are the best choice. However, if you don[...]