March 31, 2014
Most paid rehearsal spaces stink, if not literally, then at least figuratively. For several years, my band rehearsed in one: A windowless room slapped together with drywall inside of a warehouse space in a sad and desolate part of town.
We played two nights a week in that rented space, sharing the room with up to three other bands. Our roommates, schedules, and the price of rent changed each time our la...
March 17, 2014
“Good habits are worth being fanatical about.”
Research shows that developing a skill is nothing like cramming for an exam. Creative ability, like physical strength, is something that develops slowly, almost unconsciously over time, given the right stimulus.
Because of this, the most fundamental determinant of how great your musicianship will become lies in consistent, focused practice. Evidence suggests that this is a more important ingredient than innate ability, specific practice tactics, or perhaps anything else.
This is true whether your goal in music is expressiveness or virtuosity, great s...
March 3, 2014
This is a post by associate editor Blake Madden.
It’s early 1975, and Brian Eno strains to hear the recording of 18th century harp music a friend has given him.
Eno is in recovery after being hit by a car and can barely get out of bed. After putting the record on with great difficulty and lying back down, he notices the volume is too low, and that one channel on his stereo is blown.
The sheer pain of moving forces him to listen to the record at a volume that barely eclipses the background sound of the room around it.
“This presented what was fo...
February 3, 2014
“Of course I’m ambitious. What’s wrong with that? Otherwise you sleep all day.”
50 years ago this week, The Beatles touched down in New York City for the first time. It is a cliché, but a truthful one, to say that the pop music world has never been the same since.
By any reasonable account, The Beatles stand among the most successful bands in history, both creatively and commercially. Their story is testament to the idea that art and business are not necessarily incompatible. At their best, the two can even feed and inform one another.
According to the Daily Mail, the Beatles mac...
Surround sound made its first public appearance in 1941, when Disney released its groundbreaking animated musical, Fantasia. Ever since then, surround systems have increasingly been used to enhance the emotional impact of films (which George Lucas has famously, and accurately, declared are “50% sound.”)
In the mid 1990s, a small but meaningful mass market for digital home theater syst...
New Gear Reviews
It’s hard to make a great pop song without a great bass line, and it’s hard to do a great bass line justice without a great bass sound. The bass often serves as the soul and the spine of a record, and if it’s not right, nothing is. Although the vast majority of tone lies in the fingers, each of the major types of electric bass offers its own subtle color. Today we’ll be looking at a few of the ...
Mike Sniper started the indie label Captured Tracks in 2008, working nights out of the basement of Williamsburg’s Academy Records, which he helped run during the day. Within a year, he’d be putting out a constant stream of new releases. Although 2009 was an especially rocky year for the global economy, that didn’t slow things down for Captured Tracks ...
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