Are You Plugged In? How Keeping Current Helps Singer-Songwriters Keep in Tune

So wait, you’re telling me I don’t have to go to a recording studio to record a CD anymore? So hold it, usf95zone hold it, you’re telling me I can sell my album through my computer? Now you’re really pulling my leg–you say people can hear my songs on their phones!?!

Well, yes that’s all possible. And we all know that, right? Right? If you don’t, you’re
missing out in more ways than one. Too many people who are artists/performers
don’t know what they can accomplish with today’s technology or even where to go
to find out about it all. There are plenty of opportunities to improve technically and
artistically with the use of a few doo-dads. I am constantly impressed by what’s
available in the tech world for musicians. I just recently purchased a little box that
can control my DAW (the computer I use to record) from another room so I don’t
have to run back and forth when I record myself away from the computer. AMAZING. techmagazinenews
But, I wouldn’t have known about it if I wasn’t keeping current.

A growing artist doesn’t live in a cave. On a certain level we already know that
because there wouldn’t be much to write or sing about if we did. But to truly excel
we need to be challenged by our peers, to be part of a community that will support
us in our artistic endeavors. When I was performing regularly in NYC I was on the
periphery of an incestuous group of musicians that haunted the clubs on the Lower
East Side. They played in each other’s bands and went to hear their friends when
they knew the audience needed some boosting. It was great to be a part of that
community and to be able to make connections with other musicians that ultimately
helped me with some of my own projects.

So what to do if there isn’t a ready group of musicians to hang out with? You have
to go out and find them, sometimes virtually. At the very least, you find out what
they’re doing! I subscribe to a variety of magazines and newspapers from which I
get info on upcoming concerts, trends, tech news, etc. And of course there is the
Internet with its various newsgroups and websites. The one publication that I feel is
of greatest service to the independent musician is The Performing Songwriter
( This is a wonderful monthly magazine that has
feature articles on top musicians, easy to read tech articles and features for DIY (do
it yourself) artists. I also subscribe to Electronic Musician and Mix because I run a
recording studio. I read the New York Times, Rolling Stone, The Village Voice and
the local free Arts paper. There are also a ton of web-based newsletters out there
like, Just Plain Folks (, CMJ ( and the
occasional letter from CDBaby’s founder Derek Sivers. renownednews

What types of things you keep current on largely depends on your interests, but it’s
always good to be aware of things outside your usual artistic tastes. Be aware of
trends and different styles of music if only to borrow from what you like. I’m not a
big fan of hip-hop, but I read the occasional article and watch the videos on MTV2
just so I know what’s going on and to hear the new sounds that these producers are
coming up with.
I once read an article (in Rolling Stone, in fact!) about Bruce Springsteen and how he
will go to a music store and buy a bunch of CDs of all different types of music just
so he can keep abreast of the sounds that are out there. You can hear the results of
his findings on The Rising where he uses a lot of Arabic rhythms and Rai singing
styles. xnxx

Musicians also need to keep up on the business world and know how to go about
marketing their music. I’ve read some great articles on marketing from Derek Sivers
of CDBaby and also from the IndieBible and they all talk about looking for the
unexpected place to put your music. I’ve recently become acquainted with Flash
movie developers who need music and producers of web-based info material who
need underscoring music for their CD products. after working with two producers,
I’ve started to create a library of short loops that are ideal for those applications.

So if you’re an artist, stay ‘in tune’ with your profession. Lawyers and doctors and
teachers do it. They go to conferences and read professional journals. Why shouldn’t
artists do the same? Find a community and communicate. Read everything (even the
ads, it’s where I first read about that box I bought) and listen to more than just the
style of music you play. I’ll be interested in hearing about the discoveries you
make–and the music you create–when you do! techimpacter



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