What is Your Greatest Weakness?









As musicians and humans in general, we can have a tendency to “favor” our weaknesses and character flaws. Much like a broken down pickup truck or appliance in our yard that we mow around (I do live in the South, after all,) these things don’t go away. One answer is to look hard at our least-favorable traits, identify them and make a change.  Continue Reading…

11 Ways to Feel Better









As musicians (and humans in general) we have a lot of stress and anxiety; this is inevitable. Perhaps we dream of a “stress-free” environment where we can relax and unwind… yet when we actually arrive there, we are just as keyed-up as ever. This is because we carry the stress everywhere we go, and any escape seems like loss of control, like letting go of the steering wheel of a speeding car. Needless to say, we won’t do our best work or enjoy life if we don’t have some ways to learn to handle the unavoidable. While I am no expert on this (though I do play one on TV) I do have some suggestions. Continue Reading…

How to Get More Work









Getting enough jobs to make ends meet is always a challenge for a musician. It entails marketing, personal relations, investment, preparation and a dash of psychology. How do we get the ball rolling, and what can we do to avoid problems?

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There is No Competition













Can you neutralize all your competition? Is it possible for you rise to the top in a busy, crowded field like music? Is there really room for imperfect, flawed artists like you and me when there are brilliant talents already out there? Continue Reading…

8 Ways We Avoid Making A Recording










Last time, we discussed the reasons why it is so important it is for us to make a recording of our music. While those reasons are compelling, as soon as we begin to build up a “head of steam,” various doubts and fears can creep in, slowing us down, or even paralyzing us. Let’s look at these issues, and how we can move past them and get our project going.

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8 Reasons Why You Should Make a Recording Now

hen is the best time to release your new recording? Right now. Don’t have one? Let’s talk about why making one is so important, and how this can benefit you.









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Music Production Story Time

In The Not-So-Distant Future (la la la)

(In this play, Randy will be crustily portraying the role of Grandpa)

Kids: “Grandpa, tell us again about the days before Auto-Tune!”

Grandpa: “Well, I know it’s hard to imagine, but there were these people called singers who could stand in front of an audience or a microphone and perform a song from beginning to end! ”

Kids: “But didn’t they use a computer to fix wrong notes?”

Grandpa:  “No, they actually sang the whole song correctly!”

Kids: “But that’s not possible!”

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“Skillz” vs. “Swagg” or Doing vs. Appearing













With the new era of the internet, self-promotion and marketing have reached new levels of affordability and accessibility. Now anyone can have a website (like me!) or a “fan page” (me again) and can appear to be a “player” or a big time artist. How do we tell the difference, and how do we distinguish ourselves as the real thing in a world of pretenders? Or is there any difference?

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Overcoming the Fear of Wasted Time

One thing that can really hold us back is the fear of going down a “dead end,” with the assumption that the precious time we spend traveling these paths will have gone to waste. In order to avoid this, we attempt to make sure we choose only what seem to be directions leading to certain benefit. We end up not knowing where to begin, or what to do next. Let’s look at this logic, and how it can hold us back.

Dead Ends

Starting with grade-school, we find ourselves in the position of putting in time on things that don’t appear to have a payoff. The basic premise here is that we will burn irreplaceable hours, days or even years of our lives pursuing goals that will turn out not to move us towards our dreams. Let’s look at some examples:

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Keyboard Harmony: Ma7#5 Shapes

The Major 7 #5 chord is a very useful shape for a number of colorful chord sounds. It also is very valuable as a linear structure for improvisation over these same chords when used as an arpeggio.

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