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Found 16 results

  1. I just had a vocal lesson before, and this kinda drove me nuts, because I'm sure I'm right, but so was she ("I'll bet you money on it"), so I just needed to confirmation that I am right: Tenors read the treble clef, but sound an octave lower, yes? The highest range for a classical bass or baritone would be around F# or G, and you would write that 2 1/2 or 3 lines above bass clef, which is the same as the second line of treble clef. If we're singing, say, a Schubert baritone piece, the G written above the Treble clef will sound an octave lower. Pavarotti hitting his high C would be written two lines above the treble clef, but sound an octave lower; as the third space in the treble celf ...and high rock singer like Eric Adams of Manowar here at 5:13 : ...is hitting a high F# a tritone above Pavarotti, which would be WRITTEN 3 lines and a space above the treble clef for a tenor, but SOUND on the top line of the treble clef. She is trying to tell me that this is wrong. That tenors do NOT read an octave off, that the high F# in the Manowar is the same as a top line F# in a Schubert piece ("You only think it's higher because his voice is so thin"), and Pavarotti hitting his high C is going a tritone above both. And...unless I'm missing something huge, that can't possibly be right. Yes? Or no? I mean, I tried to show her by singing the pitch, and showing where it sounded the same on the piano, and she kept insisting, "No, you're singing that (plays an octave higher)" It got so we both had to just drop it. But...this seems obvious to me. So, what's the verdict?
  2. For the pipe organ an open valve will trigger the sound of the pipe. The key of a song tells us which valves we can open safely to stay in harmony. Singers have a comfort zone All singers have a comfort zone, a range of notes that sound best and can be performed effortless. Despite of the ability to expand the vocal range through training, every singer has an individual physical quality which is responsible for the position of the comfort zone within the vocal spectrum. We may not consciously observe this, but the habit of speaking is already giving us a clue about this range. In classic musical education we classify this range by defining voice types, though this method is mostly a helpful convergence to reality. For the singer it is therefore essential to spend some effort on song choice, especially to ensure that a song lies within his or her vocal abilities. Of course that is not the only consideration during song choice, and if you are interested we invite you to read our article "Improve Your Song Choice" to find out more. Another possibility is to simply change the range of notes to be performed by changing the key of the song. The original key Every song was written in an original key. The key we know for any of these songs could be the one it was written in, or it could be the key used when the recording we know was produced. We still refer to it as original key. Original keys are usually relatively easy to access. They may be documented in sheet music, or available in databases, per example for DJ's that research harmonic mixing, among other sources. It also can be determined by examining the chords and notes of the song. It is to mention that a key can and oftentimes does change within a song. The key a song is regarded to be in is most often starting in the key and at one point returning to the same key before the end. Find out what exactly a key is, and how keys are transitioned in our article "Musical Keys and the Key Change". Here is an example. A song written or performed in a G Major key is based on the tonic note of G, and includes a system of notes defined by the major scale that is also based on the tonic note. The chord progressions used in the song will to a great extent lie within the scale, with the tonic chord being the foundation of those progressions. What happens between the use of G Major may be harmonic movement and/or modulation. Lead Vocals and original keys Here at Lead Vocals we consider our practice section as a tool to quickly review and learn the melody, timing, phrasing, and mood of a performance. In addition we think that the tool enables vocalists to study other artists by paying close attention to ingredients like dialect and pronunciation in language, the choice of placing words or phrases within rhythm and beats, any habits, and style and musical influences. Unlike other existing tools like per example some karaoke platforms we do not offer access to the same performance in multiple keys. But just recently we have introduced additional helpful information about many of the songs available here within the tagging system. At present we offer selection by tonic pitch, musical key, and scale information which can be helpful to explore new music. We think that from an educational point of view the choice of the tonic pitch is most interesting, because many melodies in songs may start or end with the tonic note. If a vocalist can deliver that note in a rich, strong, and compelling tonal quality that makes the audience want to hear more, then the song choice by tonic pitch may lead to the discovery of suitable songs for the singer. You may give this a try by selecting a song to practice by tonic pitch. Continue solving the mystery Find out why vocalists change the key of a song and how they approach the key change. In an attempt to solve the mystery behind the musical key we define what a key is, and explain the background of harmonic movement, chord progressions, and modulation. We also include the consideration of emotional characteristics for all keys based on the major and minor scale, that may play an additional role in the selection process for the vocalist. Further we're taking a brief look at common practice in recording sessions. Continue reading about this topic in our article "Musical Keys and the Key Change" at http://www.leadvocals.ca/background/musical-keys-and-the-key-change Additional Information Our Practice Section at Lead Vocals http://www.leadvocals.ca/practice Try to Sing Along at Lead Vocals http://www.leadvocals.ca/lyrics/songs What is Lead Vocals? Lead Vocals is a free of charge online resource for aspiring vocalists, who are learning the craft of singing and who practice their art by singing along to playback recordings and to other selected musical performances on video. All recordings are hand selected and the lyrics are spot on matching to the performance of the lead vocalist. The tool allows for quick access to practice specific parts within a song. We especially took care in avoiding clutter and disruptive advertising. Follow us on Social Media https://facebook.com/leadvocals.ca https://plus.google.com/+LeadvocalsCa https://www.linkedin.com/company/leadvocals https://www.twitter.com/leadvocalsca https://www.youtube.com/LeadvocalsCa
  3. An example for the use of music is its distribution to people through a sound system. If a singer, instrumentalist or a band wants to record, use, or perform music that is owned or controlled by somebody else, it is very likely that a license has to be obtained to do this on legal ground. Find out what kind of licenses control the use and recreation of music compositions, audio recordings, the use of music in public, the reproduction of sheet music, and the performance of theatrical productions. At Lead Vocals we also offer links and services to help you obtaining licenses for cover songs. The purpose of licensing The purpose of music licensing is to make sure that the people and companies involved in the creation process of music, like per example the composer, the record label, the performing artist, and the publisher will get paid for the work and effort they have put into a piece of music. Allowing somebody to use a piece of music either as a composition, or as a recording, can be understood like a trade between the creator and the licensee. Per example, if an artist is recording a cover song of another artist and is then distributing and selling that song on his or her own album release, he or she must ensure that the original composer of that song gets a share in form of a royalty. A royalty is a sum of money paid to the rights holder for each copy of a work sold, or for each public performance of a work. In common practice such royalties are most often calculated and collected in advance during the phase of producing the copies. Types of music licenses It is to mention that we in general distinguish between different kinds of uses for music, its recordings, and its production. Here is an overview with examples for the most common types of music licenses: In general a license is necessary when the task is done by someone, who did not create the work. The overview shows a common example, but is in no way a complete reference. If you are interested in reading deeper into the topic please continue reading our article at - http://www.leadvocals.ca/background/music-licensing Additional Information License a Cover Song http://www.leadvocals.ca/resources/license-a-cover-song Our Practice Section at Lead Vocals http://www.leadvocals.ca/practice Try to Sing Along at Lead Vocals http://www.leadvocals.ca/lyrics/songs What is Lead Vocals? Lead Vocals is a free of charge online resource for aspiring vocalists, who are learning the craft of singing and who practice their art by singing along to playback recordings and to other selected musical performances on video. All recordings are hand selected and the lyrics are spot on matching to the performance of the lead vocalist. The tool allows for quick access to practice specific parts within a song. We especially took care in avoiding clutter and disruptive advertising. Follow us on Social Media https://facebook.com/leadvocals.ca https://plus.google.com/+LeadvocalsCa https://www.linkedin.com/company/leadvocals https://www.twitter.com/leadvocalsca https://www.youtube.com/LeadvocalsCa
  4. Really would like to get some helpful criticism on my first song I have on the radio in order to improve my vocal performance. The song is "Love Like You" All the songs on Early Mornings, Late Nights, and Long Roads were written and composed by me and were produced by Joel Kazmi--who’s worked with artists like The Tea Party, Rush, N’sync, Sum 41, and Anne Murray. If you don't want to listen that is absolutely cool and if you can recommend some new music or mention any great shows you've seen lately, that would be great. Cheers! edit by moderator: link removed
  5. Proper Breathing for Vocalists Breath is the motor of our voice. Knowing how to breathe correctly and being able to control it is one of the most important skills a singer can have. A proper breathing technique will enable us to sound great and to improve the tone of our voice. Our ability to sustain notes will increase and we will master to sing longer phrases more effortless. Breathing is a natural process of our body and therefore a good breathing technique comes natural and unforced. Methods of Breathing The human body knows several different ways of breathing which are called costal or chest breathing, clavicular breathing, abdominal or belly breathing, and diapragmatic breathing. The latter two are to prefer when it comes to singing, though only the diapragmatic method allows for full breath with maximum control. The diaphragm by the way is a muscle system that is located in the abdominal region right under the lungs. It controls the air flow by contracting when we breathe in and relaxing when we breathe out. Breath Support As a singer you want to learn slowing down the relaxation of the diaphragm to gain extra volume used for sustaining notes and sing longer phrases. This is called "breath support" and can be achieved in two different ways, either by adding a bit of muscle force during exhalation and while using your voice, or through lowering the muscle force used during inhalation. While the first method allows for an increased volume the latter will result in less air pressure in the lungs which in turn will slow down the exhalation process to the extent that you can sing longer. The second method is popular through the "Italian School" of singing, also known as Appoggio, which includes resonance factors in form of phonation alongside the breath management. Exercises to improve breathing Understanding the theory behind how the body masters the task of breathing builds the base for the vocalist to improve upon his or her own breathing technique, however the singer also needs to build an understanding on an experimental level. For this reason it is well worth to experiment with a few exercises to gain an additional understanding. At Lead Vocals we have collected a number of exercises to get you started. Continue reading about the topic and these exercises at - http://www.leadvocals.ca/improve/breathing Additional Information Our Practice Section at Lead Vocals http://www.leadvocals.ca/practice Try to Sing Along at Lead Vocals http://www.leadvocals.ca/lyrics/songs What is Lead Vocals? Lead Vocals is a free of charge online resource for aspiring vocalists, who are learning the craft of singing and who practice their art by singing along to playback recordings and to other selected musical performances on video. All recordings are hand selected and the lyrics are spot on matching to the performance of the lead vocalist. The tool allows for quick access to practice specific parts within a song. We especially took care in avoiding clutter and disruptive advertising. Follow us on Social Media https://facebook.com/leadvocals.ca https://plus.google.com/+LeadvocalsCa https://www.linkedin.com/company/leadvocals https://www.twitter.com/leadvocalsca https://www.youtube.com/LeadvocalsCa
  6. It's been a while since we had a thread about critiques. How to give them but more importantly, how to receive them when you have posted a song. As you may know, it is a premium or charged service to have your singing submissions reviewed here by experts. Edited to add: just realized this. If you wanted an expert opinion on your singing and went to a vocal coach near you for that appraisal, you would have to pay for a lesson to get that. Robert's fee for a year is less than the cost of one lesson. Let that thought sink in for a minute. If the poster wants an expert opinion, they can get one. People here are concentrated on singing, above all else. end of edit. What if you get what you asked and paid for? Someone actually listens and offers some things to change or improve? The worst thing to do is get defensive. I have been there, done that. Live, most everyone has liked my singing and applauded. How could the people in this forum not appreciate my total awesomeness? Well, fortunately, my parents let me know how worthless I was, so, I don't start out with an inflated opinion of myself. But I would still get defensive because I am good at fighting. You know, if I was good at singing as I am at fighting .... Anyway, you have a few options for receiving criticism that will go a long way for you. First, accept the pointers and work on the things suggested. Forget for a moment that someone is taking time from a busy day to review and compose a reply. Just take the advice at face value. You asked for a critique and advice, got what you asked for, now use it. Even if you think it sounds weird like "find your little boy voice." Sometimes, during training, you are going to make some sounds that are funny. Part of my "training" is making funny voices. Either scrunching up my voice to sound like Minnie Mouse or creating a lisp and a hick accent and doing something similar to Hayseed Dixie. It's a good way to stretch the voice. So, don't be afraid to try the advice. Or don't. You can think, well, they just don't appreciate what I did. And you may be right about that. And getting defensive and abrasive and frankly, being a whiny butt won't make people like it any more. Because here are some impediments or accelerants, depending on your results, of posting here. Each person has his or her own taste and sensibilities. I also think a number of people are mislabeling tonality shift as pitchiness because it sounds like a cross-phase beat in there. And, even if someone has the same hearing range as you, they can only hear the recording you posted, not you, live and in person. The only person from this forum who has heard me sing live is my brother, Slstone, and former moderator Aaron (he is originally from Texas and came back here to visit family, once or twice.) Even in phone conversations with Bob and Adolph where I may sing a snippet over the phone, that is a phone, not live and in person and phone mics are very limited and have a compressor circuit that squashes everything into a mid range about a few dB wide. So, let's say you think you did fine and others are just being too critical for the sake of being critical. And that could happen. So? To quote the song from the Disney feature, "let it go, let it go ..." Like the military strategist realizes, not every hill is worth fighting for. Pick and choose what to argue about, if at all. And certainly you can ask for clarification. Whether you get that clarification or not, I don't think asking for clarification of a critique is argumentative or defensive. But I had realized that if I write "What do you mean I was off pitch? Where?" Reading that, you think I am getting in your face and flexing my biceps. Not the case at all. I am looking for a landmark. A turn of phrase or a timer mark. If I know where to look, that can sometimes lead to the solution, which is often a vowel sound that is not working. Also, while on the subject of recordings, since that is all we have to hear each other, I am going to have to repeat the words of Robert and even GSoul, as well as others, such as my brother, who is a recording pro, with his own label, studio, the whole nine yards. You need to make the recording as good as possible with what you have. And that means singing the song more than once, if necessary. A number of songs I have always sang well live have problems when recorded and I left those problems in, at first, not hearing them and being from the mind set of live performance, where stopping is death, there are no do overs. In recording, it is the opposite. Recording is all fake. From the first moment you change eq or put on a compressor, it is altered and no longer "reality." "But I am a singer, not a recording engineer." Well, now you are both. You are the one who created and "produced" this recording, good or bad. "Well, I only get to sing this once at midnight on Tuesday because my family laughs at me and it is my only time." Okay, so make that time work for you. And I am not making fun of that. I have often structured my recording time around times when my wife is busy with something else so as not impact our time together. We all have family and don't have all day to record. So, aside from improving recording skills and work flow, which can be and often is another thread, you can take the advice and follow it. You can take the advice and ignore it. You can simply thank people for their time. And remember that what they hear is based on the recording you provided. Can you change something about the recording or the mixing and editing you did to it after sound files were done? The one thing you don't want to do is get defensive. Even if it is a natural instinct, and it is, because we are great apes (technically chimpanzees) swinging from the trees and fighting over bananas. You raise your hackles and beat your chest and the ape opposite you does the same. It is how we impress prospective mates to continue the species. (I enjoy that image. Let that sink in a moment ...) You cannot belittle or harangue someone into liking your singing or your recording of your singing. Let's say that you get some responses, all positive, but not many. So, live with that. Not everyone in the world is going to like you or the song or your singing of the song. It's our simian nature, again. And the few people who did respond and responded favorably, well, that is your audience, no matter how small. Accept success at all levels and grades. And review what it is that you did that garnered applause. Firstly, a song that really fits your voice, especially if it is a cover song. Second, well-rehearsed and recorded, not a dud note in there. And you sang it like you wrote the song. Try to repeat that, ad infinitum. To quote Ricky Nelson from the song "Garden Party," "You can't please everyone so you've got to please yourself." And what if we just want to showcase? There is not a separate showcase section but I don't know if it would help. We can still showcase in the review section and a number of people do. What if not a lot of people care for your showcase? Well, let me be a bit abrasive and say, "well, boo-hoo for you. Here is a tissue to blow your nose." In the real world, you could produce and release an album and have the great un-washed public not buy it, either. Famous stars with way more talent, work, and gear than you have spent a million dollars, literally, on albums that tanked right from the start. Launching right of the end of a dock and straight down into the water. What is the difference between them and you? They don't quit. Winners never quit. They fail as often or more often than others but they don't quit, ever. And what if someone reviews and simply liked it and you feel that was not enough of a review? Well, excuse me, but most people are gracious to accept applause and take it as a sign that they did things right. Try to be one of those people. Don't assume that because you think you have a problem that others will think so, too. You do not hear yourself as others hear you. That is a fact, whether you like it or not and you cannot change that fact no matter how stubborn or old or young you are. Just get over it. Also ask yourself what it is that you need from here. You could have all the applause from all the singing experts here. Let's say it's a grand slam. Everyone likes it. Great. That does not mean that it will be a success as a professional recording. And conversely, you get panned here but could sell platinum on the open market. So, go and sell platinum. It is nice to have the accolades and kudos from one's peers but what do you want to do with that, other than be well-liked in our group, awesome as it may be (and I am not being sarcastic)? And you could get all the applause here and be a recording success. So, go and do it. Others have. Keith Goehner and his band Drop Head have a major release. And so does Adon Fanon and his band Ghost Ship Octavius and that is an awesome album and yes, I bought it, including the signed poster. It was worth my hard-earned money. Something else I thought of. Sometimes, you do a cover, with either a backing track made to sound very close to the original and in some cases, is the original backing track (producers these days have another revenue stream from making pre-master stems to sell to karaoke sites, so you are paying for the legit use of the music and only have to pay copyright if including it on your album, for sale, but that is a whole 'nother thread) and is, in other cases you and / or some friends creating a new recording with your own instruments and you do it well but it is not well received, especially here, because you don't sound like the original. That is also okay. There are a number of cases where a cover of a song became more well known and liked than the original. Nearly every Bob Dylan song went further as a cover from someone else. To some extent, same with Ray Wylie Hubbard. "Redneck Mother" was a huge hit as a cover song done by Jerry Jeff Walker. Shinedown's cover of "Simple Man" has been as big a hit for them as it was for Lynrd Skynrd and these days, I see young'ns doing a cover of the cover. So, you do a song here and you don't sound like the original but you sang well and even you know that you sang well and it doesn't get a lot of traction. That's okay, this just wasn't the right audience, this time. We may be experts in singing but are human, nonetheless. You could still go big with it in the public place. At least you did not have comments that would seem detrimental or hard to take. Again, I think it is good to define for yourself your purpose in singing, the purpose in being here. Next, I want to talk about giving critiques, if I may be so bold.
  7. I'd appreciate hearing some of youz guys's perspectives on Paul Rogers comments in this interview. I'm sure everyone would agree with his comments about "warming up" however, he makes an interesting comment about "his range," and then still manages to really avoid answering the question. Personally, I'm convinced he simply doesn't know the answer yet, he does offer the good warm up advice. The actual question is: "why do some singers lose their upper range as they age, and some don't?" -That's point #1, point #2 is, what about the interesting answer he gives regarding "feeling the song" in order to confidently sing the high notes in it. There are a few singers who don't seem in possession of the range they commanded in the prime of their career: i.e. Perry, Plant, Elton vs. other singers who are still going strong past their career peak: i.e. Rogers, Tyler, Elefante, Mickey Thomas, Tony Bennett, etc. the question is asked around 22:30
  8. Hi guys! I just want to ask a question. In this video, what technique does the vocalist (Brendon Urie of Panic! at the Disco) use at around 1:27 - 1:34 mark of the video? is he really just using a stronger falsetto or a very high mixed voice? Please help me.Here's the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5XwBBVPeWfUThanks!!
  9. Hi! I'm new here so I'm sorry if I've done anything wrong. Either way, I just did a vocal range thing, and I went from C3 to a C6, but I managed to come up to E6+ but my voice got very squeaky. Many people have commented that I sing very high, and I really don't know what voice type I have. I have some trouble with singing very low, considering that my normal talking voice is low, but when singing high notes I don't have any problem at all, afterall, I prefer to do that. I'd like to do whistle tones, but I think it's better that I know what voice type I have before I do so so I won't damage my voice. What do you think?
  10. Hi TMV, Today I had to upload a few videos for an audition. Basically I sang for a few hours to get the takes just right, and it was more singing than I've been doing lately. Some of it was in the upper parts of my range. Long story short, after finishing everything, I tried hitting my upper notes a few minutes ago and I couldn't do it, I didn't have control over it, and it sounded really raspy, and not in a controlled way. I sound fine while speaking and I can sing lower down, and in the middle of my voice. There is no pain, and aside from the rough sound in the upper notes, there's no hoarseness. Could I have done permanent damage to my voice or is this just from tiredness and improper use of my voice? I admit I don't have perfect technique, and I chose a song that had a few parts that were too high for me. However now I'm worried I have nodules or something. Please do let me know what you think. I'm gonna go to a doctor in maybe 2-3 days if this doesn't change, but for now I'm trying not to panic, because it might not be anything serious.
  11. i have searched a lot to get vocal scales to practice but im not so sure about it so would u please suggest me some samples of these scales scales i need are double octave scale and 3 octave scale i would also like what a long scale i would like to get some samples so than i can play and practice thank you
  12. How do you go about "solfeging a song". My music teacher suggested I solfege Home by Phillip Phillips in the key of C. I know it starts off on a high C..making it do? I need help because I am fairly new to this. Please help.
  13. i wanted to ask how you folk feel any anxieties around being physically present on stage moving and dancing in front of an audience? My second hobby for the last few years has been dancing (primarily swing and blues), so I'm considering blogging some advice taking what I've learnt to help people remove any anxieties they might have around looking awkward in their movements on stage. I'd rather not sink time in to writing unwanted advice, so if you have any feedback around whether you've had problems of this type then that would be super useful The first post I'm planning out is around what to do with your hand that's not holding a microphone which I'll link here if there's interest. Follow ups could include a few understated steps, how to make your movements looks and feel good, strutting on to stage, motown style backing singer choreographies etc.
  14. Song selection is sometimes the most important factor in an audition preparation. What type of song you pick depends entirely on what you audition for. Here is what to consider. Musical: Take time to get to know the show. Choose who you want to be and pick a difficult song from another show by a similar character. For instance, if you want to be Marian in Music Man, find a piece similar to her hardest solo, “My White Knight.” Several aspects of the song are difficult, but focus on singing something in the same vocal range and style. Opera: Whether you audition for the chorus or as a soloist makes a big difference in the world of opera. You may sing one selection to sing in the chorus, and at least two to sing solo. Pick an aria in German, Italian, English, or French. Do not audition with an art song. Typically as a soloist, you pick one aria to perform and prepare and list several others for the casting director to pick from. List at least one serious and one funny selection, represent several languages, pick arias from several periods (Mozart, Rossini, Massenet), and be prepared to sing whatever they ask you to. Jazz Gig: With jazz gigs, most managers expect you to either play the piano yourself or provide your own live accompaniment. Be proactive and ask at restaurants or department stores whether you may audition. They may want background music or a main attraction. Try to find out before the audition, so you can select music accordingly. Prepare at least 30-45 minutes of repertoire for a performance. If you are hired for a longer period of time, just take a break, and then run your set again
  15. (Blues, Jazz singer Cheryl Hodge - author, is currently nominated for BEST BLUES SONG, 2011, at the Hollywood Music In Media Awards) People are always asking me about what my secrets have been for getting ahead in the music biz. It's almost like they think there is some magic answer that will help them move up the ladder. Well, in a funny way, maybe there is one. But you might not like the answer. There are basically three rules that I live by and have for 30 years. In order to succeed in the music biz (the simple answer), you need three basic ingredients. In time you will find that all three ingredients are inner-related, and that one hand scratches the other. You must have: 1.) A great musical product (it doesn't have to be original - but if you are going to do a cover, do it nothing like the original... avoid comparisons.) The first 20 seconds of the production have to be both innovative, infectious, and flawless. This has to be music so catchy that if you, yourself, had only enough money to buy one CD a year, this would be the one you would buy. Put yourself in the consumer's seat. Remember, we are presently in a devastating recession. Talk is cheap (there are lots of sales pitches out there), and money is dear. For someone to buy your music, they need to be really moved by you, in a way that no one else has. 2.) Relentless drive (unending belief in yourself). 99% of the artists who are successful did not "make it" over night. They knew, at the start, that they would most likely be in for a "long haul" before the public would become aware of them. The chances of being a huge success in the selling market are actually less than that of being kidnapped, believe it or not. When people see those odds, they tend to become daunted. The sooner you get started, the better. Look at former mouseketeers, Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake and Christine Aguilera. Starting early certainly gave them a "leg up" in the business. However, having said all this, it is truly never too late. At 56 years old, I am starting to be discovered in the biz. Why? Because I didn't give up. I believed in my music; I believed in myself. I knew my niche, as it were. I realized my market. The great Lou Rawls once said at a seminar that his golden rule for success was, "Never change your music to suit the public, and current trends. Do what YOU believe in. If you believe in your music, then sooner or later the public will, too." 3.) Business savvy. This is the one that some artists absolutely hate to acknowledge. Many believe that the words "business" and "artist" are polar opposites. Every year, a few songwriters approach me by saying that they feel that being a business-minded musician is the equivalent of "selling out". Interesting premise, but I beg to differ. Songs are a communication. If you believe in your art, then you will admit that you believe in communicating the message of the song with the most listeners you can possibly relay the song to. And now we get to the ultimate goal: exposure. You'll need to learn all about agents and managers. You will need to schedule out at least an hour per day of web work. You will need to know about tax shelters. You will need an office that includes: a computer, possibly (probably) a home studio, a phone/fax machine, a scanner, a filing cabinet, and a few absolutely great books about the music business. One of my personal favorites is Hal Galper's book, "The Touring Musician". The best way to find out what you like is to talk to some of the most successful people whom you have already made acquaintances with in the music business. Questions? Feel free to contact me at one of the following places: cherylhodge.com ,jazzboulevard.com, reverbnation.com, Jazz & Blues Artist, Cheryl Hodge (facebook) .
  16. (Blues, Jazz singer Cheryl Hodge - author, is currently nominated for BEST BLUES SONG, 2011, at the Hollywood Music In Media Awards) People are always asking me about what my secrets have been for getting ahead in the music biz. It's almost like they think there is some magic answer that will help them move up the ladder. Well, in a funny way, maybe there is one. But you might not like the answer. There are basically three rules that I live by and have for 30 years. In order to succeed in the music biz (the simple answer), you need three basic ingredients. In time you will find that all three ingredients are inner-related, and that one hand scratches the other. You must have: 1.) A great musical product (it doesn't have to be original - but if you are going to do a cover, do it nothing like the original... avoid comparisons.) The first 20 seconds of the production have to be both innovative, infectious, and flawless. This has to be music so catchy that if you, yourself, had only enough money to buy one CD a year, this would be the one you would buy. Put yourself in the consumer's seat. Remember, we are presently in a devastating recession. Talk is cheap (there are lots of sales pitches out there), and money is dear. For someone to buy your music, they need to be really moved by you, in a way that no one else has. 2.) Relentless drive (unending belief in yourself). 99% of the artists who are successful did not "make it" over night. They knew, at the start, that they would most likely be in for a "long haul" before the public would become aware of them. The chances of being a huge success in the selling market are actually less than that of being kidnapped, believe it or not. When people see those odds, they tend to become daunted. The sooner you get started, the better. Look at former mouseketeers, Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake and Christine Aguilera. Starting early certainly gave them a "leg up" in the business. However, having said all this, it is truly never too late. At 56 years old, I am starting to be discovered in the biz. Why? Because I didn't give up. I believed in my music; I believed in myself. I knew my niche, as it were. I realized my market. The great Lou Rawls once said at a seminar that his golden rule for success was, "Never change your music to suit the public, and current trends. Do what YOU believe in. If you believe in your music, then sooner or later the public will, too." 3.) Business savvy. This is the one that some artists absolutely hate to acknowledge. Many believe that the words "business" and "artist" are polar opposites. Every year, a few songwriters approach me by saying that they feel that being a business-minded musician is the equivalent of "selling out". Interesting premise, but I beg to differ. Songs are a communication. If you believe in your art, then you will admit that you believe in communicating the message of the song with the most listeners you can possibly relay the song to. And now we get to the ultimate goal: exposure. You'll need to learn all about agents and managers. You will need to schedule out at least an hour per day of web work. You will need to know about tax shelters. You will need an office that includes: a computer, possibly (probably) a home studio, a phone/fax machine, a scanner, a filing cabinet, and a few absolutely great books about the music business. One of my personal favorites is Hal Galper's book, "The Touring Musician". The best way to find out what you like is to talk to some of the most successful people whom you have already made acquaintances with in the music business. Questions? Feel free to contact me at one of the following places: cherylhodge.com ,jazzboulevard.com, reverbnation.com, Jazz & Blues Artist, Cheryl Hodge (facebook) . View full articles