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Cliches You Need to Stop Using Now

It happens to the best of us. We’re writing the next great song, and Oops! A cliche slips out. One of these things happens next:


A) We don’t notice it.

B) We think, “Well, it sounds good, so I’ll keep…


What Needs Does your Music Fill?

Whether we admit it or not, music exists to serve a need. We may write for ourselves, but if we want strangers to listen, we must address that need. No one needs to hear you croon about your latest breakup,…


Why You Might Need a Producer

You’ve got the songs. You’ve got the talent. Thinking about self-producing your album? Here are a few reasons you might want to consider working with a producer.

You need someone who knows your potential who can push you. You might…


Knowing the Rules

 I just received my first hate mail. After reading all my songwriting articles, the gentleman said I was trying to put every songwriter into the same box. He called me the master of the formulaic approach. This actually made me…

Letting Go of Perfection

As I come to the end of a four-year recording project, I look back on vocal tracks I did two years ago versus a month ago. The difference is striking. After trying so many versions of the same song,…

The Why and How of Busking

 Busking, or street performing for tips, is not for everyone long term. But trying it can yield fantastic results on many levels.

1. Good practice. You were going to practice anyway, right?

2. Tips. Depending on the…

Lessons from an Ice Cream Scooper

I worked part time at an ice cream booth on the pier when I first moved to the city. It was fun work for the most part, meeting tourists from all over the world and either thrilling or disappointing them…

9 Secrets to Writing a Great Chorus

 One of the main tools in your songwriting arsenal is the almighty Chorus. Sometimes it comes naturally, sometimes it is elusive. Oftentimes, it gets lost in the other sections and needs a way to stand apart. Here are nine unabashed…

If I Never Made a Dime

 I understand how frustrating the music industry can seem at times. Sometimes it's like you are shouting into a void and you hear no reply except your own echo. But you have to ask yourself something and then decide:

The Female Disadvantage(?)

 I recently came across Bitter Gertrude’s blog post about a common problem made by beginning female playwrights. Being a gal who creates things, I thought this could apply to more than writing plays. Boy, was I right (pardon the expression)…

How to Do a Great Cover Song

Work with what you’ve got. Play to your strengths (literally). If you have a great range, showcase it with big sweeping melodies (Queen, Mariah Carey, and other non-cheesy artists as well!). If your tone is average but you have a…

Band Leading 202

 In Band Leading 101, we talked about how to run a rehearsal to get your band tight. We discussed having the appropriate charts for the musicians, running through a piece and breaking it down, and constructive criticism.

Once you…

Revamped: Amanda Palmer's Mistake

 Here is the revamped article (with more angles taken into account):

Amanda Palmer's Mistake (and Why it Will Hurt Working Class Musicians) - by Robin Yukiko

I am a big fan of Amanda Palmer. I contributed to her Kickstarter…

Band Leading 101

 While there are many bands that share credit equally among their members, there is usually a person who stands out as a leader. This is a good thing since it helps get things done. Often the singer, lead soloist, or…

8 Tell-tale Signs You Should Keep Your Day Job

1. You don’t see music as a job.
  • You don’t think people need to be paid for doing what they love. If you don’t take music as a job seriously, no one else will. And not only does…

3 Things I Learned about the Music Business from Sports

 Before I begin, I’d like to preface this by saying that I am not athletic. I was the last to be picked in kickball and the only afterschool activity I did was chamber choir. That being said, there are a…

Service and the Power of Positivity

 I ran into an acquaintance who has been out of work for some time. He complains that the market is terrible and how he is sick of this town. He blames politics and says the dating scene sucks here. Then…

10 Tips for Better Lyric Writing

 There are as many lyric-writing styles as there are genres. From conversational and literal to poetic, abstract, and even nonsensical. Whatever style you embody, you can always improve your craft. Here are some tips on how to do that.