How to Write A Song Like A Pro

songSo you want to become a songwriter and write a song, but you do not know quite where to start. Most aspiring artist get hungup on rather to write the lyrics or the melody first. Well throw that thought out of your mind. It doesn’t matter exactly where you start, as long as you finally take steps to start. And lastlynyou must make the commitment to follow through and complete your song.

I believe that there are three ways you can start

  • You can start with the lyrics and let everything else follow
  • You can start with the title which and from there think of lyrics that explains the tittle.
  • Lastly you could think of a melody and think of lyrics that will complement your music Continue reading »
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What You Will Study In Music School – 2014 Edition

Classic MusicTaking courses throughout their careers allows musicians to have a better understanding of the fundamentals of music composition. While musicians are not required to have a formal education, continuing education is always a wise investment. There are a number of popular education programs for musicians in two thousand and fourteen!

Music adds life everywhere it is heard. Musicians that write, produce and record music are extremely talented individuals with a very unique skill set. Many musicians that choose to further their knowledge base by attending classes often have a technical edge over those who lack a formal education.  Continue reading »

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Tips for the Singer-Songwriter in 2014

RapSo you’re a singer-songwriter and your New Year’s resolution is to have your music on the radio (or at least a known stage) in 2014. It’s not impossible, but there are a few things you should understand about the industry. Times are constantly changing, and as with any market, producers have to cater to the consumer in order to make a sensible profit. No real artist wants to compromise their artistic integrity or ‘dumb down’ their musical vision for the masses, but if you want to be a full-time, mainstream singer-songwriter you will have to make some exceptions.

Eminem, a well respected rapper, co-wrote “Syllables,” a hip-hop song about what it takes to be number one as a rapper in today’s music market. He says, “It is not about lyrics anymore, it’s about a hot beat.” He goes on to mention that the chorus must be catchy and easy to remember. This isn’t just true for hip-hop. A teachable melody, trendy instrumentation and a catchy hook is desired across most mainstream genres. Eminem didn’t sound too thrilled about this reality but he managed to throw a catchy hook into the song, mocking the current state of music. Continue reading »
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Musicians and Their Expensive Toys

Imagine that you are a successful musician with loads of disposable money to buy any car (or even a 7-passenger vehicle) you want. Would you go full gorilla and buy the most expensive car on the market or would you play it cool, going low key and middle of the road in terms of cost? I would not hesitate to buy a midnight blue 1969 Shelby Mustang with all the bells and whistles! I may or may not have thought about this very topic a time or two. I started to wonder what cars and SUVs musicians that are currently popular drive just out of curiosity and boy was I shocked by some of the price tags. Take a look at who drives what:

Rapper Jay Z drives a Maybach Excelero with a price tag of $8 million! I’d say he redefines the old adage of “go big or go home” with that hefty price. The Maybach Excelero is a high performance luxury car with a twin turbo V12 engine. The engine is able to accelerate to 60 miles per hour in roughly 4.4 seconds, but let’s hope he saves that neat little trick for when Blue Ivy isn’t riding along!

Rapper Birdman and music producer and TV talent show judge, Simon Cowell are other big spender although they didn’t have to dip quite as far into their piggy banks as Jay Z did. Birdman and Cowell own the fastest street legal cars in production, the Bugatti Veyron. The Bugatti Veyron carries a price tag of $2 million, although Cowell paid a bit less ($1.7 million), and features a quad-turbocharged W16 engine that allows you to drive up to 408.47 kilometers per hour, which for those non metric system users is nearly 254 miles per hour. I have to admit that I would love to take this car for a spin!

Sean Combs (P.Diddy, Puff Daddy or any of his other incarnations) also likes to spend big when buying cars. He has quite the selection, but his most expensive car purchase to date is his two-door Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe. The Phantom has a more conservative price tag of $443,000. This car is a pretty big deal for Rolls Royce with its fancy interior and powertrain, V12 engine with a 6-speed transmission.

Justin Bieber is trying to join the big boys car club and at the age of 20 already owns 8 super-fast and super expensive cars. He paid about $420, 000 for his newest baby, the Lamborghini Murcielago Roadster. The Murcielago features a 6.2 V12 engine that can reach speeds of 63 miles per hour in less than 3 and half seconds. This particular car is also featured in Batman Begins, so Bieber has his very own Bat Mobile. Are you jealous yet, because I am?!

On the totally opposite side of the price spectrum, but no less awesome than it’s more expensive counter parts is Jack White’s 2014 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Edition 507. This is an awesome car with a 500 horsepower engine that allows the driver to go from 0-60 in less than 3 seconds. The price tag is a totally reasonable and somewhat shocking $70,000. This is really modest for someone that has the funds like Jack White, but it just shows what a cool cat he is that he doesn’t need a Maybach or Phantom to make him feel like he’s “made” it.

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How to Listen to Music While SCUBA Diving

True music lovers often have ear buds and an Ipod with them at all times. When driving in a car the first thing a music fan does is turn their favorite tune on loudly. Gyms all across America, mechanics shops, restaurants and bars also have music playing. However, how does a SCUBA diving, music lover, listen to music when they are underwater?  This is how I listen to music when I am diving with my Rebreather CCR. Below are some helpful tips to ensure all SCUBA diving enthusiasts, cone now combine their love of underwater adventure with their personal musical playlist.

What is the iDive 300?

The iDive 300 is taking music levels to new depths and allowing music lovers to take their favorite bands with them beneath the surface of the water. The iDive 300 works with your favorite portably music device, regardless of it is an MP3 player or Ipod. The iDive 300 deep dive waterproof case and speakers allow SCUBA divers to not only take pictures underwater, but to create movies, listen to an audio-book, or be serenaded by the divers favorite music artist. Click here for more reviews about iDive 300.

Scuba

How does the iDive 300 work?

The iDive works at up to depths of 300 feet and allows users to watch video, listen to audio and even run phone apps. The iDive comes with special spacers and trim pieces which allow various sized devices to snuggly fit into the waterproof case. Inside the iDive is a circuit board which works to counteract the pressure build up underwater, allowing for continued use. The iDive 300 also comes with a dock connecting plug and space for three AA batteries, which are used to power the circuit board and headphones. The outside of the iDive 300 has easy to use and handle controls for volume, play and other menu navigational features.

Features of the iDive 300:

  • ·         Completely waterproof up to 300feet or 90 meters
  • ·         Push button control allows touch screen on iPod/iPhones to work
  • ·         Over the ear speakers are able to be attached to air mask strap to under snug fit and to stay in place while diving
  • ·         Built in speaker amplifer for enhanced audio sound

Conclusion

There is arguably nothing more peaceful than being underwater embracing the natural habitat of breathtakingly beautiful sea creatures. Being one with fish swimming, watching manta rays, sting rays and crabs co-exist hundreds of feet below the hectic lifestyle above water is why many SCUBA divers dive deep into the water time and time again. However, until recently, capturing these one of a kind, indescribable, images has been impossible to do. Now with the iDive 300, not only can these images be captured, but they can be turned into a majestic movie and enjoyed for years to come and shared with loved ones who have never had the pleasure of diving into the reefs. The iDive allows divers to dive with more than just bubbles and listen to the soundtrack of their diving equipment. The iDive allows divers to listen to music, watch movies and create capture unforgettable images, all while being up to 300 feet below the sandy shores and is a must have for every diving enthusiast.

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How Pop Stars Maintain Great Hair

ShampoosAlong with movie stars pop stars set the bar for what constitutes “great hair”. While they may have highly paid stylists and barbers at their every whim it is not impossible for the average person to replicate their hairstyles. In this article we will go look into how pop stars maintain great hair and at the same time help you to achieve the same look.

Start By Wash Your Hair The Right Way:

Most people wash their hair based on commercials from shampoo commercials. That is like deciding on how many haircuts to get based on what your barber says. The first step to having great, celebrity style hair is to make sure that you are cleaning your hair correctly. Make sure you use high quality natural shampoo and conditioner. This will have a big effect on the overall health and appearance of your hair. When you are in the shower or bath washing your hair make sure that you massage the shampoo and conditioner into your hair for at least 30 seconds. This helps to penetrate your scalp and increase the general healthiness of your hair. Once you have massaged the shampoo and conditioner into your hair wash it off with cool water. Hot water can remove essential oils that keep your hair strong and shiny.

Once you are done washing your hair you must dry it in the correct manner. Either air dry your hair or use a towel. If you have especially long hair you may use a hair dryer but remember that this can damage your hair and lead to problems like split ends and brittle hair. If you can avoid doing so try to not use a hair dryer. Towels are a fine method and they look good while you wear them up as well.

Once your hair is dry brush and style it in the fashion you desire. If you brush your hair while it is wet you will increase your chances of dandruff as well as potentially damage parts of your hair. Any serious styling should be done once your hair is nice and dry. This also helps various hair styling products to stay in your hair as they are intended.

Go Easy on the Styling Tools:

Make sure you find the right selection of Styling tools and don’t overdo it.  Find great tools like moderate heat curling irons, dryers and find yourself the best curling wand possible for your look.  You can see some examples of these at betterhairday.com.

Watch Your Diet:

One often overlooked factor in maintaining a gorgeous, healthy head of hair is diet. If you are eating low quality/non nutritious foods your hair will reflect that. In order to have the best quality hair you must eat the best quality food. This means getting lots of Vitamin A, D and other supplements like fish oil. A good way to accomplish this without taking a bunch of pills is to try and eat whole foods and natural foods like fruits, vegetables and fish.

Pop stars maintain great hair by using a combination of all of these methods plus attending to regular grooming. While it may seem hard sticking to these rules will become a habit over time. Eventually you will benefit by having a gorgeous head of hair that could rival any celebrity or pop star.

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Classified Musician Skin Secrets

My job as a make-up artist has allowed me to work with many great people and I am currently traveling with a group of amazing musicians on a tour around the United States. Each day before their shows I find myself having to remind them of some of the most basic skin care steps to follow daily to ensure that their skin stays clear, healthy and as undamaged as possible. Below I will outline four of the major steps needed to take to keep skin healthy. These apply to both men and women with all different lifestyles and occupations.

The first and most important tip to having and maintaining healthy skin is to properly clean and moisturize. I am always having to stress the importance of this to my musician clients, especially since they are often sweaty after performances and don’t have time to cleanse their skin immediately, thus forgetting and going to sleep with dirty faces. I suggest using a mild soap and warm water to cleanse the skin at least twice a day to remove excess oil and bacteria that the skin will hold onto. Moisturizing is very important to protecting the skin from weather and keeps it looking healthy rather than dull. When choosing a moisturizer try to keep your skin type in mind as you don’t want to apply one that will irate your skin or cause it to be too oily before your next wash.

Many of my musician clients perform a good amount of their shows outside and during the day, which increases their exposure to the sun’s harmful rays. I cannot stress the importance of applying sunscreen daily and not just to the face but to any exposed skin. Sun damage speeds up the aging process and kills good cells causing new cells to be formed that may lead to cancer.

It is so important to get a good amount of sleep every day to promote skin health. I have to stress this a lot to my clients since their jobs don’t always allow them to take the best care of themselves since their tours often require a crazy busy schedule. Sleep is important to keep skin looking healthy and refreshed rather than dull with heavy, dark bags under your eyes. It is important to try to establish healthy sleeping patterns and before bed rituals to aid in the amount and quality of sleep you get.

It is so important to abstain from smoking cigarettes and drinking excess alcohol to keep skin healthy on the inside and out. This is also something that some of my musician clients struggle with, but many try to at least listen to a bit of my advice. Smoking can really age the skin due to all of the toxins that are in cigarettes as well as the smoke that is generated from them when lit. Many smokers have extra wrinkles and dull, unhealthy looking skin. Excessive alcohol consumption is also a culprit for dull and unhealthy looking skin. A glass of wine of two a day is actually great for the skin, but much more than that and the results are a much undesired pallor.

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Tips On Writing Songs That Rhyme

lyrics - rappingDid your mind just go blank when trying to put your thoughts into song form? Lyrics seem easy, until you try to do it yourself! Try the following strategies to produce a song that rhymes, and sounds great at the same time.

Brainstorm

A good way to create song lyrics that have both meaning and structure is to brainstorm your ideas. Quickly write out all your thoughts, ideas, words and phrases that come to mind. This seemingly random method starts the ball rolling.

Outline

Map out a general plan for your song. This may include writing out rhymes that do not quite work and using phrases that are not ideal. It is easier to edit an existing song, than to spin your wheels looking for the perfect hook.

Find the beat

Rhymes help your song sound cohesive and memorable. Decide how you want your song to flow by using general poetry patterns such as ABAB where every other line rhymes, or try a ABCB and have just the second and fourth lines rhyme. Play with the patterns until you find one that suits your needs.

Change it up

Poetry in all forms is an art form and should be treated as such. This means your rhymes and patterns can be altered in order to make the song flow correctly. Look for words that have a similar sound, like knife sharpener (see examples here) and gardener instead of a perfect rhyme like moon and June. Instead of using a single word to create a rhyme, try substituting a pair of words, such as word play and sway.

Look it up

Rhyming dictionaries are a great resource when looking for just the right word. It is easy to get stuck in a rut when trying to come up with words. This handy book is an organized way to come up with new options when writing song lyrics.

Avoid cliches

Steer clear of obvious rhymes when writing your song and you will most likely avoid cliches as well. If you used the rhyming phrase in elementary school, that it is probably not ideal for your song lyric. Unless of course you are writing a song for children. But even then putting your own spin on metaphors and rhymes will make it your own and give it credibility.

Skip the rhyme

There are few rules in song writing that cannot be broken. You do not have to have the pattern just right or make the chorus rhyme. Focus on the message and meaning and let the words fall where they may.

Study your favorite songs

Take the time to analyse your favorite songs to help create new sparks in your brain. Read the lyrics out loud, without the music, to get a feel for how a song is structured. Look for the rhyming patterns the song writers used and take a good look at the number of lines in each verse and the chorus. This is not to copy the work, but to give you the confidence you need in writing your own songs.

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Ted Nugent: NRA Enthusiast and Musician

Ted Nugent ConcertOur current legal practices relating to personal liberty, business operation, property rights, wealth, gun rights, and a host of other matters bear little or no resemblance to how the Framers originally practiced them. We have drifted far away from our founders’ vision for the country.

Ted Nugent knows this. He also knows what we, as human beings, have a right to enjoy. He reminds us we are not “subjects”, as we once were called under the monarchy we fled, but are–or should be–citizens of a free country. We have a God-given right to self defense, among other things.  Ted is not reckless with his firearms and often times will recommend that specific safety measures be taken to make sure firearms are secure.  He’s found that the best gun safe (examples here) is often not purchased in a shop, it’s found in the minds of the American people.

Nugent will tell you that the Constitution, as wonderful as it is, merely recognizes a pre-existing right that is ours as a consequence of our humanity. It is just as foundational as our right to express ourselves freely, to choose who–or what–to worship, and to enjoy the fruit of our own labor without having it taken from us and given to others without our consent.

Yet today, we have allowed several degrees of separation, like weeds growing out of control, to form between what was originally assumed as true and what we have come to accept as “common sense.” For Ted Nugent and millions of others who know history, true common sense has been lost amid a wave of restrictions that have not only drowned out our rights, but which have literally transformed our once precious rights into a crime.

For men, and not a few women, a firearm used to be as common as a handkerchief, a pair of gloves, or an umbrella. An unarmed man was an ill-equipped man, and man with no thought for his own well being. The accessory of yesteryear is now a sign of a dangerous person. But, like the boiled frog, we haven’t noticed the change in environment.

Nugent believes gun rights have a direct and demonstrable impact on crime, and he is not alone. Where more law-abiding people are gun owners and gun carriers, there is often a drop in overall violent crime.  That’s not because these gun owners don’t pay attention to their firearms, it’s because they keep them locked up inside their house (even next to their beds with a bedside gun safe like these) and practice firearms safety measures with every waking moment.

Even those who have committed crimes and are incarcerated for doing so concur: they are less inclined to attack a stranger or break into a premise when they believe the chance of being shot is increased. “Gun free zones” are therefore the site of choice for violent crimes: no one there will be equipped to fight back.

The number and types of firearms owned by Nugent are plentiful, and he takes great pride in educating any who are willing to learn facts about them. He is a law and order person, and in this age of an out-of-control criminal justice system, where repeat offenders are legion, he advocates the Constitutional requirement of speedy trials–if the accused is fortunate enough to survive his encounter with an armed victim.

More and more, his “return to basics” regarding gun rights is winning the hearts and minds of the public.

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