Recording Artist Advocate: Find that niche. It can still be wide...

I recently recorded a rapper. No, wait. He calls himself a Hip Hop Artist. Things cycle back around. I think that's great. 

He is a very unique artist. Really. I'm not being ironic. 

Because of his nationality, religion, and… OK, his nationality and religion - he has an amazing following in different parts of the world. He drops a track on those countries and gets a hundred thousand plays in short order. Some tracks get much more.

Even though he represents a more narrow niche, he speaks to his audience well. They have hopes and dreams too. They feel marginalized within their own countries, cultures and families. It's almost like Rock and Roll of the 50's all over again - to them. Just hearing a guy about their age expressing the same things they feel gives them hope. 

I don't think he could do what he does if he were over there. Well, not for long. 

Who are your "people"? What will give them hope? 

Write a song for em'.  

Recording Artist Advocate: Get a better guitar DI - Please...

It's just a fact of life that you have to plug an acoustic guitar in when you go on stage. But please, get a better DI box. The difference will be good for you and your audience. 

Let me take a step back. Start at the pickups in your guitar. Better pickups sound more natural. That may be enough. But something like a Fishman AURA will make even marginal pickups sound better. 

Back when we first started interviewing bands and having em' play a song (this was when we had the radio stations) I played around with different DI's but settled on good microphones. I still prefer a mic'd acoustic in the studio, but on stage you do what you gotta' do.

Most guitars from the stage sound like your head is touching the body of the guitar. It's not natural. It's just a mess. But so easy to fix.

It's another thing to make you head and shoulders above the rest.



Recording Artist Advocate: Don't listen to the news...

It's so easy to record TV. But I noticed that if I accidentally watch a news show even a day later,  it's amazingly out of date.

News just doesn't have a shelf life anymore.

If you write music thats topical, it's on it's way to being stale faster than ever. 

So what can you write about? Well, just all of human experience. Love and hate and war and happiness are timeless. So is a snapshot of two people meeting for the first time, falling in love, or realizing their love is cold - or has grown deeper with time! It's all there waiting to be mined. 

White hot sparks of blinding intensity are swirling all around you. You're in the calm eye of a storm now, but the destruction (or joy) will roll over you with bulldozer weight and intensity any time now.

The people need your song to mean something next month, next year, and for years to come. 

And you need it to be recorded well. That's where I can help. 



Recording Artist Advocate: Christmas and the parties that go with it...

Again this year I hope you booked some well paying Christmas gigs.

Christmas and New Years! Great times for booking your band at the best prices.

Same advice as always: Schedule your end time so that people who want to stay later pay you extra for the privelage. (They'll take up a collection if they want you bad enough) Try to get extras - food or hotel acomodations. And don't let some alcoholic in the crowd get you too drunk to finish your set. You don't have to do shots just because they're free.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays - all of em'.

When you get back to a regular schedule, whatever that is, schedule some time in the studio and tell me about the great show you did.    

Recording Artist Advocate: Know what time it is...

At any given time there are ,figuratively speaking, many people with their "End Is Near" signs yelling at the world as it goes by. When everything is fine they are called cooks. When the bad stuff starts happening they are profits. The hardest part has always been knowing whats about to happen. Will you be a cook or a profit?

People look for patterns - in the stars, in demographics, in whats popular.

I say, "Go Deeper. Look at history."

History does keep repeating itself whether you know it are are totally ignorant. It just does. 

I've referenced the book "Pendulum" in the past. Even given links to videos about it. But now I recommend you get it for yourself. Look for "Pendulum - Roy Williams" and get it wherever you can. It's an easy read and deceptively easy to rush through, so you will want to go through it several times.

I'll give you some of the take-aways, but you still need the book:

Societies swing back and forth between two extremes. As we get too close to either side, we need people to say, "slow down! We're going too far!" 

When we start to change direction we need people to say, "Now we're on the right track!"

And when we're in the middle we need people to say, "This is nice, bon't take a good thing too far!" (…even though we will eventually, anyway.)  And then it starts again.

So where are we? Read the book. If you've been paying attention at all you will see it's all been predicted with uncanny accuracy. 

You have a story to tell - a song to sing. Now you can know how it will be received.