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How To Make It In Music


The Influence Of Duke Ellington


While swing was reaching the height of its popularity, Duke Ellington spent the late 1920s and 1930s developing an innovative musical idiom for his orchestra. Abandoning the conventions of swing, he experimented with orchestral sounds, harmony, and musical form with complex compositions that still translated well for popular audiences some of his tunes became hits, and his own popularity spanned from the United States to Europe.

Ellington called his music American Music, rather than jazz, and liked to describe those who impressed him as “beyond category”. These included many musicians from his orchestra, some of whom are considered among the best in jazz in their own right, but it was Ellington who melded them into one of the most popular jazz orchestras in the history of jazz. He often composed for the style and skills of these individuals, such as “Jeep’s Blues” for Johnny Hodges, “Concerto for Cootie” for Cootie Williams ” rel=”nofollow”> Bob Russell’s lyrics), and “The Mooche” for Tricky Sam Nanton and Bubber Miley. He also recorded compositions written by his bandsmen, such as Juan Tizol‘s “Caravan” and “Perdido“, which brought the “Spanish Tinge” to big-band jazz. Several members of the orchestra remained with him for several decades. The band reached a creative peak in the early 1940s, when Ellington and a small hand-picked group of his composers and arrangers wrote for an orchestra of distinctive voices who displayed tremendous creativity.

Equipping Yourself To Make Music

  • 1Select a DAW. DAW stands for Digital Audio Workstation. Different DAWs have different system requirements, so knowing which DAW youll use can help you determine the kind of computer youll need to build or buy. There are many DAWs available, so you should research the one best for you, but a few popular options include:XResearch source
  • Image-Line FL Studio, which is one of the more robust options in the Fruity Loops brand. As a bonus, this DAW generally includes free updates.
  • Ableton Live is a popular choice among composers and performers. It integrates well with supplemental hardware, like synthesizers and the Push 2 controller.
  • Think of controllers as a physical interface for your DAW. By pressing a button on a controller, you can create sound in your DAW.
  • Steinberg Cubase Pro is a well-balanced DAW with specialized digital tools, like the chromatic adjustment function in the Sampler Track interface.
  • Avid Pro Tools is perhaps the best known DAW among lay-producers. Pro Tools is a dependable DAW that you’ll find in many studios.
  • Apple Logic Pro is relatively easy to use, with clear labels and intuitive graphical user interface. However, this DAW is only available for Apple products.XResearch source
  • Reaper is a DAW you can download and use for a trial period of 60 days. Following that, you’ll be asked to pay $60 or make a donation, but you’ll still have the option to decline payment and continue using the program.
  • So Then Wheres All The Money

    All of the above is by no means a comprehensive list of ways that modern artists make money keep in mind that its also now easier than ever to switch lanes and become a producer or writer for someone elses music, as is the case with Bebe Rexhas journey from songwriting to recording or American R& B hitmakers move to South Koreas K-pop industry . The sheer number of different revenue streams available to musicians is higher than its ever been in the past.

    And yet, the average modern artist is still strapped for cash.

    By recent research estimates, U.S. musicians only take home one-tenth of national industry revenues. One reason for such a meager percentage is that streaming services while reinvigorating the music industry at large arent lucrative for artists unless theyre chart-topping names like Drake or Cardi B. According to one Spotify company filing, average per-stream payouts from the company are between $0.006 and $0.0084 numbers from Apple Music, YouTube Music, Deezer and other streaming services are comparable. That creates a winner-takes-all situation in which big artists nab millions and small ones cant earn a living wage. Its nothing new one could argue that such were the dynamics in almost every era of music past but the numbers are more dramatic than before.

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    Network With Others In The Music Industry

    Having strong connections can take you a long way in any career and making it in the music industry isnt any different.

    Thats why its super important to get out and network with industry professionals as much as possible. Go to concerts, workshops, lectures and other industry events. Afterwards, try to build some meaningful connections with the other people in attendance.

    At this point, your conversations shouldnt be to drum up business or push what you do. The biggest mistake indie artists run into when networking is making the conversation all about themselves. Not only does this come across as a little sleazy, but it also sends the message that you really dont care about the person youre talking to.

    Instead, get to know people in the industry the same way you would anywhere else. Ask about them as much as possible and only talk about yourself when they ask you.

    You can still mention what you do and you should definitely exchange contact information. However, at this point, its more about forming a relationship with someone, regardless of the business side of things

    Blended African And European Music Sensibilities

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    E. W. KembleThe Old Plantation

    By the 18th century, slaves in the New Orleans area gathered socially at a special market, in an area which later became known as Congo Square, famous for its African dances.

    By 1866, the Atlantic slave trade had brought nearly 400,000 Africans to North America. The slaves came largely from West Africa and the greater Congo River basin and brought strong musical traditions with them. The African traditions primarily use a single-line melody and pattern, and the rhythms have a counter-metric structure and reflect African speech patterns.

    An 1885 account says that they were making strange music on an equally strange variety of ‘instruments’âwashboards, washtubs, jugs, boxes beaten with sticks or bones and a drum made by stretching skin over a flour-barrel.

    Lavish festivals with African-based dances to drums were organized on Sundays at Place Congo, or Congo Square, in New Orleans until 1843. There are historical accounts of other music and dance gatherings elsewhere in the southern United States. Robert Palmer said of percussive slave music:

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    Can You Make Music With Just A Laptop

    Yes, you can make music with just your laptop. If you want to make music using a laptop computer, Id strongly suggest you buy an Apple. Apples operating system , is rock solid for music production, and more intuitive compared to a Windows system. Apple is also more idiot-proof and has fewer problems. Whether its an iMac or a MacBook will not make much of a difference. A recent iMac or a MacBook model will have the processing power you need. Get one with at least 16 GB of memory.

    You will also need music production software, called a Digital Audio Workstation . Your Apple computer will come with GarageBand, and you could also get Logic Pro X, Ableton Live, Pro Tools, Cubase Pro, FL Studio, or Reason. Most people start with GarageBand since it is free, and it makes sense to progress from GarageBand to Logic Pro X, which is like GarageBands big brother. Youll likely need some other hardware and peripherals, more on that next.

    Nerships & Paid Appearances

    Each year commercial brands pay billions of dollars to musicians and music rights owners. It requires working with somebody that has relationships with brands , advertising agencies , personal managers and agents of celebrities, and film and tv. They can leverage these relationships to foster brand partnerships that pay you. Often called a tie up. Sometimes its just playing a company party and getting a fee for that.

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    Dont Quit Your Day Job

    Trying to form a music career for yourself takes a lot of time. Thats why its important that you still have some way to make ends meet as you try to make it in the music industry.

    My suggestion is to find a job that allows you a certain amount of flexibility. This is because your work week on the music side of things will vary from week to week.

    When an opportunity comes your way, you dont want to wait until you know you can get work off before saying yes. Having a job that is flexible will allow you to say yes to everything, while still being able to stay financially stable until your career takes off.

    Approach #: The ‘hack It Together’ Approach

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    This is the most common approach.

    Essentially, it involves just learning whatever comes your way.

    Watching YouTube tutorials. Reading blog posts. Maybe the odd book.

    Theres nothing inherently wrong with this approachits much better than the blind trial and error approach.

    But its not ideal.

    • Pros
    • Can learn a lot of different stuff
    • Enjoyable
    • Learn a lot of unnecessary stuff
    • Frustrating as theres a lot of low quality YouTube tutorials and blog posts. You may also get fed bad information because you cant discern between whats correct and incorrect as a new producer.
    • Not systematic or deliberate. You will waste a lot of time and be less effective than you could be.

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    Write And Record Great Songs

    Just because it takes more than the music to make it in the industry, doesnt mean you can get by with sub-par songs.

    A great song is still the most important asset to a successful career. So, make sure you learn how to write a proper song and spend time finessing it to make it as good as it can be.

    Once you have well-written music, youll want to make sure that you record it in a way thats as good as everything else out there. So, it will be well worth it to invest in high-quality studio recordings that can show your songs in their best light.

    Many indie artists fear that recording their music in a studio is an expensive endeavour, settling for a DIY approach. Unfortunately, this can end up having a negative effect on their career that can end up losing them money in the long run.

    Thankfully, there are plenty of budget-friendly options out there that allow indie artists to have commercial-grade recordings at an affordable rate.

    Sundown Sessions online recording studio does just this by pairing up artists with award-winning engineers and songwriters from around the world.

    Use Similar Strategies To Those Used By Small Businesses To Market Your Products

    Ive spent a lot of time playing at street fairs and farmers markets in LA, and it made me realise that my business isnt much different from any other small business, be it a small jewellery company, clothing line or food truck. When I play at street fairs, many of the vendors have booths with similar displays that Ari mentions: a clear sign, business cards, flyers, and product packages.

    They set up at street fairs to educate the public about what they do and direct customers to their online stores. The key similarity I see between these small businesses and the being an artist is accessibility. The more personal connections customers can make to your brand, the more they will want to support you.

    It seems like extra work, but I truly believe that if you go the extra mile to meet people face to face, you will be remembered for your authenticity and people will buy your music. People want to get to know the artist behind all the trendy pictures and video of them online. Get to know your customers and community through busking!

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    What Equipment Do You Need To Record A Music Video

    So first off, let’s look at the equipment you’ll need to record your music video. While if you want to make a simple pictures and music video, there are a number of tools out there which can do this. I won’t list them as they go out of date quickly, but have a quick Google search. If you want to make a video that will get on TV and provide real credibility for your music career, the below equipment will help you do just that.

    Your budget and desired quality level will of course determine which equipment you purchase, but if you’re planning to do more than just a couple of low budget videos, I would suggest getting the best camcorder you can afford.

    If, however, you’re not sure if making music videos is for you and you just want to try things out, go with a lower budget model and be prepared to upgrade things later if you decided to take your videos to the next level.

    But anyway, here is a rough rundown of the equipment you will need.

    A Camcorder

    This pretty much goes without saying: To record a music video, you need a camcorder. This will capture all the footage from the video shoot, and be taken to your editor later to edit to put together the finished video.

    There are many different camcorders out there, from cheap HD camcorders, to higher priced full HD camcorders.

    What you use to record your videos will depend on your budget. If you want to do more than simply record videos for YouTube, then you should invest in a good quality high definition video camera.


    Key Discipline : Diversity & Further Experimentation

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    During stage 2, it can be tempting to pigeonhole yourself into one genre or style of music. This isnt necessarily a bad thing, but I do recommend you experiment with as many different genres as you can.


    Because youll learn quicker.

    I started out making dubstep and picked up some valuable skills such as drum programming and sound design while doing so.

    I then ventured over to drum & bass and developed my drum programming skills even further.

    For a while, I made techno and house, which taught me a lot about the groove. Nowadays, I mostly make trance and progressive house, but the skills I gained from experimenting with other genres still come in handy.

    So, if you feel like making genre X, then do so. Theres no reason why you shouldnt.

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    Sacred And Liturgical Jazz

    As noted above, jazz has incorporated from its inception aspects of African-American sacred music including spirituals and hymns. Secular jazz musicians often performed renditions of spirituals and hymns as part of their repertoire or isolated compositions such as “Come Sunday,” part of “Black and Beige Suite” by Duke Ellington. Later many other jazz artists borrowed from black gospel music. However, it was only after World War II that a few jazz musicians began to compose and perform extended works intended for religious settings and/or as religious expression. Since the 1950s, sacred and liturgical music has been performed and recorded by many prominent jazz composers and musicians. The “Abyssinian Mass” by Wynton Marsalis is a recent example.

    Key Discipline : Collaboration

    Another thing thats beneficial to focus on during this stage is collaboration. This could be working with another producer, vocalist or musician. There are many reasons why collaboration helps:

    • You pick up tricks and tips from other artists and producers
    • You learn to work well with other people and communicate ideas
    • You learn how to make compromises
    • You build relationships with like-minded people
    • You build your brand by leveraging others audiences/fanbases

    Theres really no excuse for not collaborating. If you live in an area where no one makes music, you can either collaborate with someone over the internet or move.

    If you dont know anyone on the internet who makes music, stop being lazy and join the EDMProd Artist Community, post a question asking if anyone wants to collaborate with you, and get busy.

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    What Makes How To Make It In The New Music Business Different

    Nick Broad: When How Music Works by David Byrne came out marketed as a full breakdown of the music industry I perhaps naively thought that it would contain some mention, at least, of street performing. I was wrong. The book completely overlooked the worlds most common, secure and economically impactful part of a new musicians business plan.

    This is why it was so refreshing to be told by busking superstar Katie Ferrara that Ari Herstands book, How to Make it in the New Music Business, included a chapter on busking. Here is a guy whos not just focusing on the traditional industry, but providing real advice on how to survive and thrive as a start-up musician.

    I asked Ari whether he believes that busking should, now, hold a more respected place in the industry, considering what has been happening to the industrys traditional revenue streams. His answer was enlightening:

    We asked Katie Ferrara to do a short review for us. Shes not just a good singer/songwriter, but she has one of the most professional set-ups weve seen .

    Katie Ferrara: How to Make it in the New Music Business is is a great practical resource to anyone who works hard and is looking for a creative way to make money from their music. Here are my biggest takeaways:

    What Is Music Production

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    Music production is the process of creating music. A music producer oversees the process of making songs or albums. Some music producers make their beats, while others may collaborate and guide musicians to play instruments and melodies a certain way.

    A music producer oversees the music project and makes suggestions to make sure it is the best possible track.

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