In the modern age, shortcuts to fame and success are abound and there’s nowhere this is more true than in the music industry. Despite competition getting tougher all the time, people are becoming household names by strange flukes on a regular basis, and even getting long term careers in some cases.
However, if you’re a performing artist, the only way to really get success and sustain it for a long time is to truly perfect your craft. A singer or performer who works hard on developing their own skills really shows, especially in the eyes of a professional. If this is the approach you are going to take with your own career, you will need to learn a few lessons first. Here are some of our top recommendations.
Know how to look after your voice
For a long term singing career to be successful, you obviously need to look after your voice. A lot of singers seem to forget that you won’t necessarily keep getting better with experience if you fail to do this, and many professionals have slowly ruined their own singing ability due to bad habits and poor maintenance.
Warm up appropriately every time
Learn how to perform vocal exercises, warm up properly, check your voice and notice when something is wrong. This is all part of looking after your voice properly. You should know your own voice better than anyone and if something is wrong at the warm-up stage you probably don’t have long to try and correct it.
Think about why you’re doing this
Don’t get caught up in the moment and choose short term enjoyment over your long term career. Singers can’t afford to do things like heavy drinking on a regular basis, smoking cigarettes, neglecting their overall health or failing to rest their voice. The likely result of this kind of behaviour is being unable to perform to the best of your ability, which will always be something you regret if you’re a true professional.
It’s all very well being a master of a particular art form, for example playing one particular musical instrument. However, how do you know what you’re missing if you stay focused on one perspective all the time? People who are able to play more than one instrument often gain many additional skills and insights, so it might be worth considering for you. Here are just a few of the benefits you might gain from doing this.
Better knowledge of music theory
Expanding your horizons when it comes to different types of instruments can give you a much deeper and more thorough understand of music as a whole, compared to just specialising in one area. You may find that you have a greater appreciation for other areas of music that you never considered much before learning another instrument.
Picking up skills faster
The more instruments you learn how to play, the easier it will be to learn even more. This is because you gradually build up a bank of transferable skills alongside those specific things you learned along the way. Musical skills can apply across the board so you might learn new things that help you play your favourite instrument every time you experiment with a different one.
Broadening your options
If you have mastered more than one instrument, then you will have more opportunities to play as part of an orchestra or a band. If necessary you may be able to fill in for other people as required, which makes you more of a valuable asset.
More career choices
By the same token, adding new instruments to your repertoire gives you additional options when it comes to a professional career in music. You could even be on your way to becoming a professional music teacher or tutor if you have a better understanding of music as a whole from playing many different instruments.
Being less reliant on others
Ultimately, you will gain flexibility from not having to rely on other people’s specific skills. If you want to have your own band, even if it’s just for music production and not for actual performances, it’s nice to work with other people but it’s even better to have a backup plan. If you can play all the instruments you need, enjoying playing in a group is just a bonus but you won’t need to get stressed if someone lets you down.
It’s very difficult to create a good relationship with your audience and perform successfully if you don’t have a pleasant tone to your singing voice. Although it has been done (we won’t name any names here), we wouldn’t advise trying to succeed as a singer until you work on your tone. The best way to do this may vary between individuals, but there are a few good methods we recommend you try.
Firstly, you need to open your mouth when you sing. If that sounds obvious, perhaps you’re doing it right already, but there’s actually a good chance you could improve on this very basic aspect of singing. A lot of people struggle, for whatever reason, to get their words out properly and enunciate clearly while singing. Sometimes this seems to be the style they are doing for, but from a professional point of view this isn’t considered a talent.
Tone comes into it because you will certainly be limiting your own natural ability when you fail to open your mouth properly. It’s impossible to show your vocal range while doing this, so your tone will suffer. You should be opening your mouth a lot more to sing than you would when you’re speaking to someone. After all, the desired effect is completely different, so you have to practice this no matter how unnatural it feels at first.
Tone is also significantly affected by the flow of air through your lungs and your mouth. Getting more air flowing will usually help your tone, making it sound more pleasant and consistent. If you don’t get enough air going through your system while you sing then you’re going to be limiting your own potential again.
You also need to make sure you are accessing your nasal vocal range and using it appropriately to add some texture to your voice. If you stick with a middle-of-the-road tone and don’t push your voice in interesting directions, it’s going to sound bland as your performance goes on. Using a bit of nasality will add some interest and personality to your tone, as long as you don’t go over the top. Balancing resonance effectively is a hallmark of a great performer.
If you are a professional or aspiring singer, it’s easy to get preoccupied with the physical aspects of your performance. You will need to follow certain rules and procedures to physically keep your voice in the best possible condition, and it is true that physical factors mean a lot.
However, something that people forget about is confidence. This can actually have a major effect on the way you sound, even if you don’t realise it. Unfortunately, this problem has the potential to grow into a self-fulfilling prophecy, as worrying about your own ability to perform can actually make your performance worse.
So how can you overcome a confidence issue? Whether this is a chronic issue for you, or you just suffer from nerves occasionally before important performances, it’s definitely an issue that’s worth resolving and it’s definitely possible with a little work. Here are three methods to remember which should help you build your confidence gradually.
1) Identify any causes for your problem
If possible, you should try to figure out why you might have confidence issues and if there is something specific you need to address. You might find that getting to the root cause of your fear can have a profound effect on your ability to perform comfortably.
2) Understand what draws people to singers
Creating a relationship with people who listen to you through the way that you sing is very difficult, but crucial if you want to truly succeed. Singing technically well isn’t enough. You also need to be strategic about what you choose to sing, how you deliver it and many other small decisions which make up your overall performance. This will help you gradually gain confidence.
3) Rationalise the risks
In order to stop yourself from panicking, you need to think logically about the consequences of failure in a way that helps you keep things in perspective. Dealing with pressure is an important part of performing confidently, and the fear of rejection may be the most important barrier for you to overcome.
4) Get professional lessons
Most professional singing tutors will be able to teach you about confidence and help you overcome your own personal problems with it. Since this is a major part of performing, you can expect these kinds if things to be covered whenever you arrange a lesson with someone who’s good at what they do.
In terms of the majority of mainstream pop music over the past decade, the rise of EDM (electronic dance music) has been one of the most widely recognised success stories. Having already gone through numerous evolutions over just the past few years, the basic formula of EDM looks set to grip the charts for the foreseeable future in some form or another.
But what is to be said for traditional musical instruments and bands? In a market where the two fields couldn’t look further apart, many artists and producers are showing an interest in going back to these concepts. There are various ways in which modern, mostly electronic pop music can be combined with traditional elements, which has always been found across various genres, but others are making a conscious effort to shun modern techniques entirely, at least on some of their work.
A fusion of different styles is usually the most commonly seen form of this renewed interest in classic musical instruments. There are many examples of recent trends involving this, such as the resurgence of the banjo in pop music that was noted a couple of years ago by Time magazine. The widely ignored string instrument suddenly found its way into EDM and pop, indicating a potential revival on the horizon for warmer, less synthetic sounds, even in dance music made for nightclubs. In the last couple of years, examples of saxophones and other woodwind riffs being used prominently in pop songs (even if they are synthesised) have also multiplied quickly.Read more: Traditional Instruments Coming Back to Pop?
Modern metal music has developed differently all over the world, with bands from various European nations currently dominating the market, but the style has evolved gradually over the decades into something quite different to the heyday of early heavy metal. Much of this transition has been put down to the divisive rise of death growls and screams in today’s metal music, which for some people is off-putting, and for others enhances their enjoyment of the genre even more.
The death growl is a name for the vocal style adopted increasingly in recent years by many hardcore metal bands, also sometimes nicknamed “Cookie Monster vocals”. These harsh, guttural tones are used when performing songs with chaotic, aggressive instrumentals to replace traditional singing. Fans of the style enjoy the way dark and disturbing lyrics are enhanced by this kind of delivery, especially in a live performance setting.
Performing death growls without proper training can be dangerous, and many high profile singers have actually developed vocal chord polyps and other problems due to the pressure the vocal style puts on the throat. There are professional techniques to help minimise this damage, although a death growl by nature involves a lot of strain on the vocal chords.Read more: Growls & Screams in Modern Metal Music
Despite the astonishing range of musical instrumentals, not to mention different music production techniques available thanks to technological developments, some remain more popular than others among people choosing to have professional lessons or take up a particular instrument as a hobby. In the last few years, some changes have also occurred among the top rankings for the most musical instruments.
According to the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music, one of the UK’s primary music lesson exam boards, 76% of children between the ages of five and 14 years reported in a 2014 survey that they could play a musical instrument. This compared to a rate of only 41% in 1999, indicated nearly a 100% increase in just fifteen years. This must be great news for anyone concerned that playing musical instruments could be going out of fashion due to electronic music’s popularity.
Not only that, the actual instruments chosen by children to learn have also changed, from looking at the ABRSM statistics. 13% of children in 2014 reported that they play an electric guitar, making it one of the most popular musical instruments in the UK and overtaking the violin, which 12% reported being adept with. The electric guitar was only played by 1% of children in 1999, with 2% playing the violin.Read more: The Most Popular Musical Instruments
Many of the most high profile and celebrated vocalists of our time are frequently compared and contrasted, with people digging through back catalogues and live performance recordings trying to identify who would really come out on top in terms of vocal ability. This is especially true for female pop artists, where competition between fans is truly fierce. As far as we know, these divas haven’t held private competitions to give us a definite answer, but here are some of the proven winners ranked for different skills.
Round 1 – Vocal Range
1) Mariah Carey –
Nobody beats Mariah when it comes to pure range. Her massive discography helps her too, as she’s had plenty of time to show off her ability to jump multiple octaves in a heartbeat.
2) Christina Aguilera –
With a range about an octave shorter than Mariah’s overall, Xtina is known for belting out her notes with more force than the rest of her contemporaries combined, but she can’t quite take the crown for range.
3) Tina Turner –
Although she ranks further down a full list of the top vocal ranges – a full 9 places below Christina if you include the male competitors – Tina Turner’s incredible range still earns a place well above the likes of Beyonce and Adele.Read more: The Greatest Female Pop Vocalists
Sometimes we might be surprised to hear a musical instrument we didn’t expect to pop up in a certain song, be it a sudden saxophone riff, uncharacteristic percussion elements or even the classic surprise guitar solo. But if any of these crazy instruments showed up in a song unexpectedly, you’d probably have a hard time identifying them – especially if you saw what they looked like. Here are some of our favourite insane instruments.
Somewhat traditional compared to the others on our list, but equally bizarre, is the serpent. It’s a distant cousin of both the brass and woodwind families, but since its quirky snake-like design doesn’t have the necessary features to fall under any particular category it is rarely featured in full orchestras.
Assembled originally as a performance piece for The Lyle and Sparkleface Band, the bikelophone incorporates half a bicycle into its complicated setup, along with a host of other more traditional musical elements, all linked and coordinated digitally to gradually build up an entire composition, all technically performed on one instrument.
This aquatic-inspired instrument takes the form of what looks like a metallic giant squid, with its operator standing in the centre. Functioning like a cross between a drum kit and a harmonica, the longest metal tube (9 metres) produces the highest pitched sound.Read more: The World’s Weirdest Musical Instruments
This is a hotly contested field, and it might ultimately come down to personal taste for many people, but some of the world’s best known guitarists have such impressive back catalogues and track records for live performance skills that they simply had to make our top 9 list. Here are all of our top picks, although we wouldn’t go so far as to rank them in order – we leave that to the audience.
An honourable mention to begin with, Prince was known for his incredible range of musical and artistic sensibilities, but some of his guitar performances are up there with the most special moments of his long career that sadly ended with his recent passing.
Everything about Hendrix’s performance style reinforced the fact that he knew exactly what he was doing when it came to entertaining a crowd. His natural musical talent was unstoppable and carried him through all his performances without
As part of one of the most original and iconic bands of all time, Brian May shares credit for some of the songs that defined the peak era of Queen. His guitar talents certainly enabled the band to reach the level of success they did, along with Freddie Mercury’s unique influence.Read more: Top 9 Guitarists of All Time
For an industry that has seen major players like Yamaha and Gibson dominate, it is pleasantly surprising seeing how other brands are fast catching up with them. Acoustic guitar designers are working round the clock refining their products to make them the stand out from the rest. Now, if buying an acoustic guitar is something you have been giving some serious thoughts to but you are confused about what you should be buying, our guide will introduce you to some of the best guitar brands available.
The first thing to consider is whether you will purchase a new or used guitar. Purchasing a new guitar offers you a wider variety, however a used guitar will allow you to purchase something with better specifications for less money. There are many online guitar shops that offer a selection of new and used musical instruments so you can compare and buy the best one for your requirements.
Here are our top 10 acoustic guitar brands to help you in your search.
From two wheelers to calculators, it is amazing how this brand has managed to make their presence felt in the guitar industry. Some of their acoustic guitars simply known because of the quality and they way they have been built, this brand alone has seen millions and millions of its units being sold.
Epiphone was making some of the best wooden guitars way before Gibson was born, and it has over all the years put their act together and held one of the best positions for the longest time. A number of their guitar models having been used by Beatles icon Paul McCartney, what else can you possibly ask about this brand.
If you have been in the industry for a while, it is obvious you have seen or come across this brand. Gibson boasts a wide array of acoustic guitars from acoustic to semi acoustic guitars. This brand is mostly used by Rockabilly and Jazz players.
If for weeks you have been combing through places looking for a green and sustainable alternative for your guitar, this is possibly what you should be going for next. Some of the most sustainable ingredients having gone into the construction of their guitars, this brand is fast becoming the number choice.
Having been in the industry for close to 7 decades, this is one of the most popular acoustic guitar designers. Some of their own, Telecaster and Stratocaster currently selling like hot cakes, it is evident; sky is the limit for Fender.Read more: Top 10 Acoustic Guitar Brands For 2015
There are different types of Casio digital keyboards that are currently available in the markets. Casio Company has developed these devices which suite different people and to tackle various tasks. There are various types which are mind blowing and boggling due to their advance features. The top five keyboards that are under the Casio Company has been developed using current technology in order to handle the arising needs under various settings. The top five Casio keyboards are as enumerated below:
Casio Workstations are designed for sophisticated and advanced tasks. They are commonly designed to be used by amateur and advanced artists, Some like Casio WK-3800 are designed with modulation for high sound effects. An example of Casio Workstations is Casio CTK1100 which is an amazing powerful Casio keyboard containing 61 keys, over 650 tones, 200 rhythms,17 track compressor, high mixing capabilities and an amazing sound production ability of its speakers. This feature makes this type of keyboard to be the best instrument to use in production of quality music.The price of this Casio keyboard is approximately about three hundred dollars in Casio shops.
Casio Privia Keyboards
They are designed for the piano player with generally heavy weighted keys though they lack tons of tones.This type of Casio keyboard is one the highest demanded and preferred keyboard due to its abilities in sound production. Casio CTK11OO has a large display that makes it easy to read and monitor its usage. Other features of these amazing devices include.
Casio Lighted Keyboards
Casio Lighted Keyboards contains easy keys that are easy to press and operate by the beginners.They are not touch responsive hence they look so cool and suitable for learning new songs. LK 280 is a Casio Lighted Keyboard with easy-up keys and can play up to 61 note and it contains up to 180 rhythm and accompaniment patterns.It has stereo piano with 600 built-in tones. Other keyboards in this category include LK-175 which has sound EFX sampler, 400 tones and 150 rhythms.Read more: The Different Types Of Casio Keyboards
Drummers across the globe all have one thing in common: the desire to keep that beat rolling. Many drummers start out by drumming on their mothers cheap pots and lids, with some drummers happy to air drum. But, there comes a time in any drummers life where this is simply not enough. They need to practice on something solid, something real. The quest for a perfect drum kit is to a drummer what a new car is to a car enthusiast. Any drummer worth their weight will want a good set when they go out gigging, therefore, knowing who the top drum set brands are will ensure a good choice is made. Whether you fawn over classic Maple finishes or want the latest in drum set designs, the following brands won’t disappoint.
Pearl Drum Kits
Pearl kits have been a firm favorite of drummers across the globe since the very first batch came out in April 1946. Their entry-level Vision series sports a very sound-friendly Birch finish, however, it is the Export series that most drummers start out on. Moving up to the Master ranges will set any drummer back a pretty penny, but the Maple finish gives it that perfect deep drum sound. They also offer drummers the opportunity to have a custom set made, fondly referred to as a Masterworks kit.
Famous for their double-pedal design favoured by metalheads and fast-paced rock, their cutting edge designs put DW on the map ever since they started as a drum school back in 1972. These drums are designed to withstand some serious drumming power and is used by the likes of Dave Grohl. DW has a set specifically for jazz musicians, making the tunings a lot easier than with a regular kit. From the Concept to Design series, there’s is a kit for every level. For those concerned about the environment, the Eco-X Project really puts DW on the map. Professionals should take a look at the Classic and Performance series for gigging.Read more: Top Brands You Need To Know Of When Deciding On A Drum Set
Music soothes the mind and piano makes the soothing of the mind to be more elaborate and touching.Pianos are music instruments that if well played then they can make good singing tunes.Piano tunes will depend on the brand that an individual uses.Six of top piano brands include: Fazioli, Bechstein, Mason and Hamlin,Kawai,Steinway and Sons and Stuart and Sons.
Steinway and sons
This is one of the top piano brand offered in the market founded by Henry Steinway in the New York city of 1853.The company makes two brands;the Boston and Essex pianos.The two brands of pianos can be joined together to be played as one instrument.The unique features of this make of piano is that the back is star shaped with a string unique scale to allow striking of hammers at the optimal spot.
Stuart and Sons
This the most recent top piano brands made, made in early 1990’s by Herald.The company has only built 55 pianos since its incorporation.This company produces studio brands and concert brands each of them made of timbers with the pianos having range of between 97-102 keys with a high pitch as compared to other pianos.This pianos are expensive because of the low number produced by the company but good for higher and lower notes because of the fourteen more keys they have
Paolo Fazioli a music partisan is the founder of this top piano brands in 1978.This company manufactures some of the biggest pianos in the current market.The price tag of these pianos is approximately $100000 to $300000 because of the small number of pianos it produces a year. Fazioli company specializes in making grand pianos and not upright pianos which approximately weighs 573kg and measures over 8 feet in length.Read more: Check Out These Top Piano Brands
Are you looking for the best violin to purchase? Do you wish to upgrade to a better violin? Choosing the right violin can be quite difficult. However, what do top violin brands necessitate? It’s really not about the price as this never guarantees excellence. Considering cost, sound quality and durability, we’ve rounded up top violin brands that will assist you in finding the best violin for you.
Arguably one of the most popular violin brands, Stentor offers high quality and durable instruments. Recommended by most violin teachers, Stentor violins are ideal for beginners, although they offer high quality orchestra constructions. They are well built and reliable. Employing quality tone-woods and superior thickness in their design, Stentor violins produce warm sounds and tones, useful for beginner students. Quality is enhanced by ebony made pegs and fingerboards, making Stentor violins as good as they sound. Ranging from 150$-200$, Stentor offers a great option, from the learner stage all the way to the accomplished stage of a professional violinist.
Popularly known among violin teachers and beginner students, the Knilling brand is ideal for those operating on fair budgets. They boast high quality craftsmanship as their violins are outfitted with ebony fingerboards and boxwood pegs, not forgetting their “Helicore” and “Thomastik Dominant” quality strings. Knilling violins are normally priced at around 500$ and this would be a perfect start for a beginner student. Once purchased, the Knilling bundle comes with the violin, bow, case, wire stand, rosin, tuner as well as a shoulder rest and off course a cloth for cleaning.
Founded in 1899, Cremona has since been able to come up with great violins suiting the needs of both beginners and intermediate violinists. The ability to design high quality instruments and bows from beginner to professional models highlights Cremona as a top violin brand. The violins are strong and durable. The high quality chin rests and tailpieces make Cremona violins attractive to the eye. Sound quality is also amazing, owing maybe to the fact that their makers have been trained by German and Italian masters. With 300$, you may settle for the company’s student violin, which will truly inspire you to the art of becoming a professional violinist.Read more: A Review on the Best Violin Brands
Whenever you decide to take on learning a new musical instrument, it can be exciting but hard to imagine the end result. Starting off as a complete novice, what’s the real secret to picking up a skill quickly and mastering an entirely new craft like playing the guitar? It’s a hugely popular instrument and a good player can turn their hand to almost any style of music, but if you’ve never played one before it doesn’t come easy without some pointers in the right direction.
You’ll need to start by finding someone, probably within your local area, that has the appropriate qualifications to teach you. For example, if you were to search for guitar lessons in Edinburgh, you’d certainly find a guitar tutor with relevant experience pretty easily. Bear in mind that just because someone knows how to play the guitar well, that may not make them an ideal tutor by any stretch. Teaching someone else to play a musical instrument probably requires even more patience than you’ll need yourself! At this point you may find yourself wishing there was a way to independently check the skill level of your potential teacher.Read more: Guitar lessons with RGT registered tutors