Exceptional Apps for Musicians, Singers and Artists – Last week’s blog post, I talked about social media formats that can aid you in boosting and advertising yourself as a musician. Today, I want to talk about some unique applications for your musical needs.

 

Sing! Karaoke by Smule: The app is aimed towards those who enjoy singing. The app provides you with lyrics and karaoke to various popular songs for you to sing, and record yourself. You can even sing with other people around the globe.

CoachGuitar – Guitar Lessons for Beginners: In school, did you consider yourself a “visual learner”? This app is for visual guitar lessons. This can be super helpful if you are confused or new to music theory and chords.

 

Chordbank – How to Play Guitar Cords: This app also teaches you to play guitar if you are also a new-be, but with cords and scales. It’s a less visual and pictorial app. Although, it takes you more into truly understanding the cords and scales.

 

Guitar Tuna – The Ultimate Free Tuner: This is the best stringed-instrument tuner I could find in the app store. It works with electric and acoustic string instruments. recording studio nashvilleThis app is so convenient because you don’t need any cables, just your digital device’s microphone! It will help you teach your musical ear.

 

Songsterr Tabs & Chords: Songsterr has thousands of chords and tabs for guitar, drum and bass. If you just love to play music but from time to time wonder to yourself “what should I play?” download this application to instantly gain access to countless chords and tabs.

 

Rhymers Block: This app is primarily used for making raps or poetry. When you start to write, you’ll get suggestions as what to write next. I personally think can also help you out with song writing too.

 

There are numerous music applications. I can only tell you about a few in so many words. Go into the App Store for yourself, and look up the few applications I listed and see if any grab your attention. You can even browse through similar music apps for yourself, because I promise you’ll find a lot of fantastic ones!

 

 

 

 

Inspiration for writing a song can happen anywhere, at any time. You could be walking through the park or driving down the highway when an idea pops in your head. Whether it be a melody or a catchy lyric, you’ve created a snippet of a potentially rockin’ song. The problem is, most of the time these ideas never get put on paper. If you’re becoming more serious about your songwriting you have to understand that sometimes it’s a process.

 

The Melody

Although a catchy line came to mind in the car, a catchy melody is just as important. Even if you aren’t familiar with the melodic side of writing yet, you can get an idea of how you want the melody to go by humming or trying out vocal runs. It’s also a good idea to listen to music you’re inspired by to get an idea of what kind of sound you want your song to have. The melody might change during the duration of the writing process-but that’s okay! Your song is developing into its best form.

 

The Story

It may seem like a simple concept, but establishing the storyline of your song is such an important element. Make sure that once you know what you want your song to be about, you stick with it. Keep it on the same track so your song doesn’t become messy and seem unorganized. Is your song going to be narrative? Will it paint a picture? Do you want it to be a fun party song or an emotional ballad? These are a few decisions that need to be made early on. Be picky about you’re the vocabulary you’re using for your song.

 

“Good songwriting I think knows what it’s audience is, and knows how to speak to that audience.” Said Nashville songwriter J. Morris

 

Keep in mind who you’re talking to. This is where vocabulary plays a huge role. Although narrative structure and vocabulary seem simple, they are critical elements when it comes to great songwriting. Be sure to know your audience and what they’re looking for.

 

Co-Writing

When it comes to a co-writing session be sure that you don’t show up with a blank page. It can be anything from an initial melodic idea to a song title, but there needs to be some sort of direction you’re bringing to the table. Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable with the person you’re writing with. Some of the best songs come from genuine moments and feelings. Too many times writer’s produce songs simply because they think it will sell. Whatever genre or audience your selling to, being genuine in your writing is what is going to have your audience relate.   

 

 

It can get a little pricey going from studio to studio to record when you’re starting out. If you’re a beginner in the music business and looking to record outside a professional studio, it might be smart to invest in some home recording equipment. Home recording is a great way to get some of your music started and a great way to become your own producer. If you’re not sure how to get started recording your awesome music at home, here are a couple tips to help you out!

 

 

What You’ll Need

First things first, you’re going to need to purchase some recording equipment in order to get started. Although some of the equipment may seem pricey, home recording software is essential in order to record and mix your own tracks. There are several different types, even Apple’s Garage Band will do. Other software includes Pro Tools, Reaper, Studio One and Cakewalk SONAR. Feel free to do some research on which recording software will work best for what you’re wanting to do.

 

Although it’s possible to record through the speakers of your computer, it’s not ideal. Purchasing a microphone will give your home recording’s better quality overall. Along with your mic, be sure to grab a mic cable too! Headphones and studio monitors are equally important to get the good quality you’re looking for.

 

The Room

Make sure to set up your new studio equipment in a room with good acoustics. The dynamic of the room you’re in will affect the sound of anything you’re recording. Try to refrain from recording in a room full of clutter or large furniture-this also has the potential to affect the acoustics. Be sure to keep your new home studio organized and neat! This will be beneficial once you start tracking and mixing. Labels will be your best friend!

 

It may be intimidating to get started, but it’s worth the investment. Creating a studio in your home is a great way to get started and increase your skills. It’s convenient and available during any of your inspirational moments and can even gain revenue if you decide to let others record there. Be sure to keep in mind that you can still head to an outsourced studio for any of your larger projects!

 

For more detailed information on recording from home, check out our friends at rivingtonmusic.com. They have a rockin’ blog with a helpful and free e-book available on how to start recording at home from one of their latest posts!  

 

 

 

 

Moving to Nashville to pursue your music on a professional level can be scary. There’s a lot of talented artists on a similar pursuit and it’s easy to become disheartened. Being famous in a small town is cake, but what about when you get to the major leagues? Investing your time in pursuing music in Nashville can be tricky. Here are some things to know before moving to the city that can help the new transition.

 

Community

From the outside looking in, Nashville seems like the Los Angeles of the south. It can be intimidating knowing that other musicians have come to Music City to make their dreams come true, just like you have. Despite common belief, Nashville has a small town feeling with great community support. There are plenty of people willing to lend a helping hand and connect you with people who can assist in your music endeavors. There are also a ton of different venues throughout the city that you can meet with in order to begin playing shows and getting your name and music out there.

 

East Nashville

East Nashville is a great place to get started. This part of town also has strong community and awesome venues. With a little determination, you’ll be able to meet other artists and start getting involved in writer’s rounds. Connecting with other musicians can open the door for co-writing opportunities and might even lead to an awesome hit. It’s important to be patient in this process, however. Keep in mind there are a lot of talented musicians who’ve lived in Nashville for longer and have a similar goal.

 

Humble & Kind

Because of the amount of talented people pursuing music in Nashville, it is important to stay humble throughout your journey. “Making it” will take a lot of hard work, but will be incredibly worth it if you do. Don’t be too good for sacrifice in order to make your dream reality. Be kind to everyone you meet, because you never know where the connection will take you. Continue to be yourself, because staying genuine is what will stand out.

 

Don’t be afraid of the transition to Nashville. Although it can be challenging to get your career where you want it, the possibilities are also endless. Do your research, be patient and don’t get too hurt when things don’t work out the way you expected. Music City is an incredible place to enhance your career, if you’re courageous and dedicated and you’ll be just fine. Be sure to reach out to us at The Record Shop for any recording services or social media strategies you may need to get the ball rolling. We’re here to help!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NashvilleOver the last few years, Nashville’s music scene has elevated itself into international recognition due to the density of both the music business and the creative guitar-pickers, ballad belters, and session gods whose music graces the ears of locals and visitor alike.  The Nashville Skyline is alive with the sound of music!  Everywhere you go you are bound to hear music radiating from the local bars or some beautiful soul busking on the street corner.  Music is love.  Music is life.  We’d go so far as to argue that there is no other city in the world that is more involved, entranced, and obsessed with music than Nashville.  So as a budding artist who bravely wants to venture into the world of the music industry, here are 6 reasons why Nashville is the right place for you to be!

 

1) The Industry Lives Here

Nashville has been immersed in the Music Biz since the turn of the 20th century.  Since then, the Nashville Sound, and the massive amount of hard work put in by this town’s locals, has lifted Nashville’s rank to that of NYC or LA.  In recent years, Nashville has even surpassed the coastal giants in regards to industry involvement.  According to the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce’s analysis, found HERE, the Music Industry contributes $5.5 billion to the local economy and is responsible for around 56,000 jobs.  Everything an artist could need is here, and anyone an artist may need to help build their career is easily found here.  What are you looking for?  A Manager?  A Booking Agent?  A studio to record at?  A Publisher? An Entertainment Lawyer?  A PRO to join?  A quick Google search will provide you with lists of professionals who want to help make your career take off.  Nashville also has a very large film and photography scene for when you or your band are ready to shoot some music videos or get some photos from your next show.

2) It’s Called Music City for A Reason

Come down for a visit, and you will immediately be greeted with audible bliss emanating from someone with an instrument and a dream.  On any given day, at any given time, one can hear and see live music.  Step onto the fabled Broadway Strip where every bar and honky-tonk you pass has sweet music pouring out of it like electric sugar!  Continue your search for live music, and you will come across Nashville’s many music venues too.  Spring Water, Mercy Lounge, Station Inn, The Cannery Ballroom, Exit/In, Marathon Music Works, The Belcourt Theater, 3rd and Lindsley, The Basement, and 12th & Porter are just a few of the great venues in Nashville to check out great touring acts and local bands.  Then you have the Legendary Ryman Auditorium, TPAC, and Bridgestone Arena housing big name Jack White Nashvilleacts.  Are you a singer/songwriter or solo act?  Then you’re in luck, because Nashville also has many open mic’s and writer’s nights all over town; Bluebird Cafe should be first on your list! 

Once you spend a few hours you will also come to learn that everyone you meet in Nashville plays an instrument!  In his AMEX Unstaged concert footage, Nashville immigrant turned music-ambassador Jack White talks about finding musicians to record and tour with during his Blunderbus-era debut.  “The thing about Nashville is that everybody’s from all over the place.  I mean, you’ve got people who are like playing hillbilly, Appalachian music since they were little kids.  I’m from Detroit, so this is very different for me, having access to that many musicians around, you know?”

 

3) There is Creative Inspiration Everywhere

MLK Nashville QuoteNashville is the new Grenwich Village; a true bohemian hotspot oozing with creativity, vibrant colors, and a style all its own.  Each street you walk down has retro coffee shops, vintage clothing outlets, houses that have been turned into independent businesses (shout out to the Pfunkey Griddle!), and each one has endless racks for hipsters to lock their fixed-gear bikes too.  Good vibes are always being spread from the beautiful people of Nashville.  Spending time roaming Music City and interacting with it’s inhabitants is bound to get your creative juices flowing.  More of a night person?  Perfect, because Nashville’s night life is completely our of this world bonkers!  From the great bars on Broadway and Division Street (there are so many more too), to karaoke, dance clubs, dinner theater, and more, Nashville has it all.  Follow this link HERE to the Nashville Scene’s website where you can get a better idea at all the great places and events Music City has to offer.

 

4) Nashville is Much Friendlier & Affordable

When people think about breaking into the Music Industry, their first thought is to move to the NYC or LA.  We say NO!  Move to Nashville instead where Southern hospitality is alive and kicking.  Many professionals have moved here to get away from the blunt, fast-paced world of the coasts.  In the South, people are genuinely interested in you.  It is very common for meetings to start off with 15-20 minutes of getting to know each other, asking how your mother is doing, before getting down to business.  There is a low tolerance for rudeness round’ these parts, and having polite manners will gain you more brownie points than having a good song.  Speaking of manners, ladies, when dealing with Southerners do not be offended if they refer to you as “Ma’am.”  They ARE NOT referring to your age whatsoever!  In Nashville, like the rest of the South, calling people “sir” and “ma’am” is one of the first social cues that children are taught.  It becomes instinct.  

Rogers NashvilleNashville is also much more affordable to live in than NYC or LA ever will be.  While moving into the heart of the city is still pricey, it is still very doable with new apartment complexes and developments being built everyday.  Many of these new developments have even been tailor made specifically for career artists.  However, if big city life isn’t for you there are many fantastic neighborhoods only a stones throw away from Music City.  Franklin, Hermitage, Green Hills, Hillsboro Village, Belmont, and Vanderbilt are just a few great areas to go house hunting in!  Follow this link HERE for a Nashville living/housing guide.

 

5) Education

I believe in nashvilleAccording to the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce’s analysis from earlier, Nashville is slighted to become world’s “premier music education center”.  Besides having Belmont University and MTSU, two of the best four-year institutions for Audio Production, Music Performance, and Music Business education nearby, Nashville also has created many educational programs.  One of the largest is “Music Makes Us“.  Mayor Karl Dean, the Nashville Public School system, and many industry professionals joined together to provide high quality musical education to children K-12 by incorporating traditional musical schooling while also tackling newer genres, styles, and technologies.  Other fantastic education programs can be found at SAE, The Recording Connection, and BlackBird Academy!  It is also very pertinent to mention that the studios, publishers, labels, etc all have internship opportunities! 

“I don’t see us as being a farm team for the music industry,” he said. Instead, Dean said, the effort is a recognition that music “enriches a person’s life, makes them a well-rounded person and helps them academically.” –Mayor Karl Dean

 

6) The Record Shop is here!

We know how excited you are about starting your career in the music industry, and we want to help!!  The Record Shop Nashville’s mission is to provide the best quality product and service for our clients whether they are looking to record a simple demo, an LP, EP, or voice overs.  If you want something visual (that’s not to abysmal) , we also provide high quality video and photography.  Pack your bags, call the movers, and head down south to Nashville where good music, people and food are abundant.  

 

 

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Thanks for spending some time inside The Record Shop’s Nashville Recording Studio!  Be sure to follow and chat with us on Twitter @therecordshop for daily updates from Giovanni & The Henchmen.

Hey y’all!  Welcome back the The Record Shop Nashville Recording Studio for another installment of BEHIND THE GEAR, one of the most splendiforous, titillating gear blogs on this rock we call Earth!  Well…we love it anyways.  Today we want to share some information about one of the most prolific pianos in music history.  The one…the only…Fender Rhodes Mark II electric piano!  The Fender Rhodes has been a coveted piano since it’s creation in 1960, when its inventor Harold Rhodes teamed up with Leo Fender to begin mass producing these fine instruments.  From Ray Manzarek to Herbie Hancock to “The Ruler of the Rhodes” Billy Preston, pianists alike have been performing live and recording the songs of their generations with these pianos.  So come on in, and lets talk about the Fender Rhodes!

harold rhodesHarold Rhodes: Inventor & Humanitarian

Before we dive into the instrument itself, we at The Record Shop want to shed a light on Harold Rhodes.  A Los Angeles native, Rhodes began teaching piano when he was 19, where he developed what is now called the “Rhodes Method” of teaching.  Harold aimed to combine classical piano’s reliance on written sheet music with jazz improvisation.  During WWII Rhodes, now one of the top piano instructors in the U.S., joined the Army Air Corps where he continued to teach piano to his fellow soldiers.  Harold was soon asked by the Air General Surgeon to create a music-therapy program for injured GIs.  Rhodes then built several “lap-top” pianos, along with kits that soldiers could build themselves. These portable, 29-key pianos were made from used aluminum from B-17 airplanes and functioned almost like a xylophone.  “Make and Play”, as the program was named, became the the most successful music-related program ever implemented by the United States government!  After he returned from War, Rhodes continued teaching and developing pianos with his new venture Rhodes Piano Corporation.  Then as history goes, Leo Fender bought RPC in 1959 and mass production began. 

 

Rhodes Mark II

The Rhodes Stage Piano

Harold stayed with the Rhodes company after the 1965, CBS acquisition of Fender and developed the first Fender Rhodes piano.  These 73-keyed pianos were made up of two parts – the actual piano and a built-in power amplifier and speaker.  5 years later the 73-note Stage Piano was released!  The Stage Piano was marketed for its light-weight portability, detachable legs, sustain pedal, and single output jack.  From 1970 – 1981, Rhodes put out The Mark I Stage Piano, which was modified several times over the 1970s, and the Mark II Stage Piano.  Of the Mark Series (I-VII), the Mark I and II seem to be the most sought after by pianists.  There other pianos in the series seem to be used more for specific sounds and tastes, but they are mostly purchased as collectors items.  The Mark II is essentially a Mark I stage piano after all the design changes made during the 1970s.  It has the same black suitacse look, removable music rack, flat hard cover, volume-control & tone-control (bass boost) knobs, tuning fork principle sound generation, sustain pedal, and adjustable legs. 

fender rhodes mark IIThere really isn’t much we can say to describe the Mark II’s tone in words.  Follow this link HERE for a video demonstration by Neville Styke’s YouTube channel where he showcases the full audio spectrum of the Mark II.  In closing, the Rhodes Mark II Stage Piano has a completely unique tone that can add so much richness to your track and arrangement that is simply unparalleled.  Harold Rhodes gave the world an amazing gift by creating these instruments, and he will forever go down in history for his revolutionary designs for pianos and sound creation.  So, the next time you find yourself in Nashville give us here at The Record Shop a call and tickle the keys of our Mark II. 

 

 

 

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Thank you for joining The Record Shop Nashville for another Behind The Gear.  We hope we’ve been informative.  Click HERE for a complete list of our Nashville Recording Studio’s gear.  And HEY!!! Follow and chat with Gio & the crew on Twitter @therecordshop!  See y’all next time!

Have you even thought about what it takes to obtain a PhD in any type of musical performance? As a musician you know that talent can come naturally. Those with musical talent seem to be born with it. Musical skill is something that artists can perfect though. Studying music professionally can be a very rewarding experience and can boost your career immensely for both musical performers as well as educators.

 

The Highest Level of Musical Study

 For studying music professionally in the States, there are two main options for the top degrees. The Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) and the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) are the two terminal degrees in music education. Some schools will offer both programs, and there are some similarities and similar requirements for both.

 

The Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)

This degree can be completed in three to five years. It allows gifted music students to get ready for promising careers in music while studying the subtleties of music theory and history. DMA students will train with artists, complete research projects and perform at major recitals during the program. A requirement at some schools is to learn a foreign language. There are several specializations for this degree, including musical performance, composition or conducting music.

 

A PhD in Music

A PhD program in music will focus more on academic research rather than musical performance. This degree option can take between four to six years to complete. Specializations include musicology, music theory or music history. There is a specific requirement  in terms of coursework and qualifying exams for this type of program. Also, students must write and defend a thesis on an individual research topic. This type of program will also require students to learn at least one foreign language. Making the choice between the two types of top music degrees will depend on how you envision your musical career to unfold.

 

Music apps are useful for musicians who are traveling, touring and recording. They can be used on portable devices such as laptops, iPhones or iPads. They can also be integrated into studio equipment through your computer system. They can be helpful in editing, tuning and creating backbeats.

 

Cleartune     

For tuning stringed instruments and wind instruments, Cleartune is a chromatic digital tuner that has a good range to get the job done. It is easy to find a desired pitch because of the way that the note wheel is designed. You can tune your instrument with a precision of up to 1/100th semitone. The cost for the app is $4 and it is also available for Android devices.

 

Beatmaker 2

This updated version of Beatmaker has an easy to use interface and a large selection of back beats to choose from. This is a music production app with many different features. You could create a tempo of your own by including custom drum beats or keyboard notes. Once the beat has been created you can edit the volume, pitch and groove to customize your sound for your song writing and recording needs. This app costs $20 and is only available for iOS.

 

Real Time Analyzers

This music app has the capability of listening to music and displaying its frequency ranges in audio samples. When you are in the process of fine tuning your tracks, this app will certainly help you out. It will also help with recording live performances. The cost of this music app is $11. 

 

FourTrack

FourTrack is an app which you will find very useful during the editing stage of your music production. You can record and layer audio sounds to make songs and perfect them for 16-bit or 44.1kHz quality. This app has an export feature so you can record with software on your desktop computer. It costs $5 and you can also get it for Android. 

Online music streaming and can be a quick and efficient method for getting your music out there for listeners to enjoy.  Many speculate that streaming is the future of music consumption.  Statistics already show a rising number of streaming site subscribers while digital downloads, album and single alike, are declining fast.  There are a growing number of great streaming sites out there to choose from on the web.  Lets take a look at a few!

 

Groovesharkimages-3

Grooveshark is an overall great music streaming site.  You can search for almost any song and create a playlist, just as on an iPod, with the same playback options.  Its only fault is that sometimes the site will freeze and your playlist is lost.

 

 

 

spotify music streamingSpotify

Spotify is one of the best known music streaming sites out there. It has a catalog of over 20 million songs available for listening. Besides creating a playlist or listening to one album, you can also use Spotify’s radio option. This feature will choose music related to the original artists you were listening to and create a unique playlist for you. You can subscribe to their premium plan to get an ad-free version as well as higher quality tracks.

 

 

PandoraPandora Music Streaming

This music streaming site takes the personal playlist to a whole new level. You can choose a song and then Pandora will create a custom radio station of similar music. It works really well the recommendations for music selections are usually good choices based on the song you picked. With their premium service you can get rid of the ads and download a desktop app.

 

 

Google Play Music StreamingGoogle Play

Google Play is another great option for music streaming. You can choose from over 20 million songs to listen to. This streaming service is great when it comes to mobile listening options so you are not restricted to listening to music from your desktop.

 

 

MixcloudMixCloud Music Streaming

 

Mixcloud has a bit of different collection of music than the other music streaming services mentioned. They have a large collection of DJ mixes, podcasts and longer audio format recordings. It is great for listening to background music for long periods of time. 

 

 

 

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Thanks for stepping into The Record Shop Nashville Recording Studio!  Follow & Chat with us on Twitter @therecordshop for daily updates from Gio & His Henchmen!  We hope to see y’all again!

 

Summer is the best time to take in outdoor music performances and Nashville hosts some of the best summer music festivals around. Be sure to check out your favorite bands throughout the summer!

 

June

In mid-June there is the American Artisan Festival which is held at the Centennial Park. This festival mainly focuses on various handmade crafts, but also features local music performances. The TNN Country Awards are also in mid-June. This is a country music lover’s haven and the awards show features country stars from across the States. The Celtic Music and Summer Solstice Celebration is also happening in June. Here you will find the best of all things Scottish and Irish including Celtic dancing, music and of course, the bagpipes. The International Country Music Fan Fair happens in June too. This festival hosts over 24,000 country music fans and over 100 different country artists. It takes place at the Opryland and the fairgrounds.

 

July

The main event that takes place in July is the July 4th Independence Day celebration. These take place at Riverfront Park and there will be lots of food as well as an awesome fireworks show. This event is fun for the whole family.

     

August

In August be sure to check out the Music City Pig Fest. It takes place in mid-August at the National Guard Armory. It includes a huge array of barbeque vendors as well as entertaining activities for kids such as pony rides.

 

September

The Tennessee State Fair takes place in mid-September and it is one of the largest events in Nashville. There will be amusement rides, livestock shows, games, a petting zoo as well as acrobatics and karaoke. The Nashville Shakespeare Festival will be in early September. At this festival you can enjoy live theatre outside at Centennial Park. At the end of September is the African Street Festival which features a celebration of African culture through music, food and poetry.