Writing a song is an art form that is considered to be both simple and inscrutable. Anyone who has experienced a truly revelatory emotional moment thanks to a song (or even just had an “ear worm” of a tune stuck in their head for days), knows that songs can be quite powerful. Once you make your vision a reality, how do you get it heard, and what do you if and when people deem it offensive?
From heavy-metal bangers to country twangers to EDM mix wizards, The Hub gets up close and personal with musicians from every significant genre. We ask probing questions about their gear, their inspiration, their strategies in carving out a distinctive sound and style. We skip the fluff in seeking their perspectives about what it takes to launch and sustain a life in music. You’ll find interviews with major recording and performing artists and bands as well as profiles of new, emerging acts. Count on The Hub’s exclusive Artist Interviews for the inspiration and gear intelligence you need to make your own musical aspirations a reality.
By Brad Porter
Musician’s Friend reached out to one of our best friends in the music education community, world-renowned drum instructor Mike Johnston. Mike’s website, MikesLessons.com, is leading the way in online drum education content, with Mike’s positive, upbeat personality at its core. His passion for learning the drums, knack for teaching others, and willingness to stay up late teaching himself audio/video techniques after his wife had fallen asleep, have helped him create a unique atmosphere where players of all levels can come together and, as Mike says, “Embrace the Suck,” or rather, celebrate the process of learning the art and craft of drumming.
Keeper of the keys to the kingdom of hard rock
If you play an instrument, you probably got into music for the fun of it. Whether you learned bass to start a garage band or took piano lessons as a kid, you just kept playing. Eventually, some will get serious and take their music to the next level. Sooner or later you will have to accept that part of the business of being in a band is treating it as a business. We talked to some bands who have found success in music and they shared some of their ideas on how to become (and remain) successful, where to invest your band’s budget, and where you can save money on your way to success.
When someone says they play drums, the first thing that comes to mind for most of us is the modern drum kit. As a major driving force behind contemporary music, the drum kit is something of an icon, and the backbone of many of our favorite pop, rock, and jazz songs.
Sound advice about capturing your music and promoting your records from a slate of pro musicians who have been there and done that.
A panel of professional musicians weigh in on what it takes to make the leap from garage jams and bedroom concertos to real venues, playing for real people.
Even though new technology is responsible for so much of how music today is played, recorded, distributed, and even listened to, it can sometimes meet with pockets of resistance. Musicians are artists, and the hallmark of an artist is often his/her open-mindedness. But even artists run the risk of becoming a traditionalist. Some writers wage a war on the nefarious ebook, some painters refuse to even acknowledge software that enables them to work on a computer, and there are musicians who listen with disdain to any electronically synthesized notes. Not all technological advances are for the greater aesthetic good, but many can lift an artist’s work to the next level.
Turn on the radio in any major city. Start rolling through the stations, and notice where you hear the distinct sounds of the banjo. The first instance will probably be on a contemporary country station—maybe a Keith Urban song or the hook in Eric Pasley’s “Friday Night.” Next, you may hear picking on the oldies or classic rock station, an Eagles song or some Neil Young. What may surprise you is hearing the banjo on contemporary pop, and even college or alternative rock stations. From Mumford and Sons to Bon Iver, the banjo is popping up in new and unusual places.
A diverse collection of musicians reflect on how they’ve been shaped by the USA
The unique musical innovations born in the United States range from the internationally acclaimed pop and R&B of Detroit’s Motown, to the rock and roll of New Jersey’s Bruce Springsteen. Regional delicacies like Louisiana cajun and Tennessee bluegrass keep the world hungry for more American music. The basic ingredients of all of these sounds are the homegrown musical genres of blues, jazz, gospel, and country western, and each is as American as apple pie or hot dogs.
On the eve of Independence Day, we asked a wide range of amazing American musicians how the culture, geography, and history of the United States has influenced them, both personally and musically.