Every day I get to write, and to play music, is a great day, for which I am very grateful. I am a recovering lawyer, and while that was a great gig for me for a while (and while I cast no aspersions whatsoever on the noble profession), as a songwriter I am able to connect with my feelings of joy and gratitude more directly. Here's a story of how stepping away from my usual songwriting routine lead to a flash of inspiration.
Announcing Songwriter Sessions: Live! Enter for your chance at not only performing your song on the Acoustic Nation stage, but also having it critiqued and discussed by #1 hit songwriter and Songtown USA founder, Clay Mills and Acoustic Nation editor, Laura B. Whitmore.
As musicians, we all have to memorize music, lyrics, chords, dynamics and more. That alone can be daunting and definitely requires some effort. It’s easier to memorize a song you really like or perhaps one you’ve written yourself. I find the best way to start memorizing a song you didn’t write is to listen to it as much as possible. Put it on your portable player and listen both actively and passively.
The Folk Alliance is an international organization, founded in 1989 which exists to foster and promote traditional, contemporary, and multicultural folk music and dance and related performing arts. Now 3100 members strong, the Folk Alliance community has grown to include record companies, publishers, presenters, agents, managers, music support services, manufacturers and artists that work in the folk world.
Have you written a song or two or three, but only play them to your mirror? Would you like to perform publicly and get inspired? It’s time to try an open mic! Chances are there are quite a few open mics in your area. Every one I’ve been to is generally supportive. When I went to my first open mic, I didn’t know how to plug in or even properly adjust a mic. Here are some tips to start you off!
Creating passable demos of new songs is a common first step for independent musicians preparing to make an album of original music. It's definitely a good idea to make a basic recording of a new song before taking it into the studio, but why not take it a step further? Recording the song on your iPhone with a voice recorder app has its merits, but taking a few additional steps can not only expand your creative process and the depth of your songwriting, but it can also help to better convey your musical ideas to your band members. Yes, adding even more technological elements may feel cumbersome to many of us, but once you get a hang of the basics the prep work can become an experience in solitary musical exploration and artistic independence.
Nashville singer-songwriter Ben Rector has just released an acoustic rendition of his song "I Like You," from his newly released album The Walking In Between. The video was filmed by LR Baggs. Rector 's recently released independent album, The Walking In Between, made an impressive debut at #16 on the Billboard 200 album chart, #6 on Digital Albums chart, and #5 on the Independent Albums chart. Check out the video and see tour dates here.
Last year I accomplished my dream of playing festivals. I’ve already done four in the last year. Somehow I instinctively knew how to manage my first one. Whatever I suggest here is what worked for me as a current solo artist. Some things will work for everyone, some won't. But here are 11 ideas you can try out.
I love a great cover performance. Especially one that has a different take than the original, but remains recognizable. Sometimes I am more interested in listening to great cover than to the original! The artist took something that’s already familiar and added his or her own personality to it. Not only that, but the new performer is paying respect to another artist.
The life of a musician can be tough, and as an artist, I'm always looking for new ways to keep the juices flowing. Here are my favorite sources of support and inspiration for your journey as a singer-songwriter.