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Music Think Tank Open

Anybody (no really anybody) can contribute anything relevant to this page…All mp3s should be posted on the MTT radio page. If you cannot find your post here, your article may have been moved to the MTT homepage.

If you would like Music Think Tank to publish your contribution, please read our posting guidelines and our posting advice.

Tuesday
Nov292011

Perfect Pitch Piano: Learn to Play Piano by Ear

Perfect Pitch Piano is an app that teaches you to play piano by ear.

Click to read more ...

Monday
Nov282011

The Genius Of Secrecy

Do not make the mistake. Do not think that being completely transparent is the way forward. Not as an artist. The musical economy may change, and so may the ways of distribution and consumption, but our gut feeling towards art never will.

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Friday
Nov252011

What Do You Hear?

What do you hear? Cells in your ear are impacted by waves and register their shape and size-frequencies and amplitude-and almost everyone can hear those. Can you hear more? Listening is a skill; it can be improved upon. I’ll post tips on how to improve your listening skills later but now I just want to share a few examples of “insightful” listening. Please excuse the unfortunate pretentiousness.

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Wednesday
Nov232011

How To Get Your Music Posted In Hip Hop Blogs

A brief guide on increasing your chances of getting your music posted in Hip Hop Blogs. Sample pitch letter included

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Tuesday
Nov222011

What IS Exposure?

“Getting your name out there.”

Some are willing to give away their entire catalog for free in hopes that the extra exposure will build loytalty and gain fans.

Other artists insist that every piece of music should be paid for and don’t care about exposure.

What, exactly, is exposure worth?

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Monday
Nov212011

How Important is a Lyric Anyway?!

I am about to propose that lyrics are perhaps less important than one may first think. I’ll admit, I am playing devils advocate a little because we all know that lyrics are very important, but stick with me, I may have a point and it may throw up a nice debate!

The overwhelming majority of people will say that the lyrics are the most important part of a song. They’ll claim that the lyrics are the thing they like most about a given song, especially a ballad.

This afternoon I played devils advocate with my girlfriend who told me how she loves Stevie Wonders’ “Over Joyed”. I agree with her that the song is awesome, but I wanted to know why she likes the song so much. She told me that the lyrics are beautiful and explained that the lyrics are the primary reason she loves listening to the song.

I proposed that the lyrics play a tiny role in why she likes the song. I explained that if we took the lyrics and sung them in a grungy, upbeat punk way (which I know she dislikes) then the lyrics would carry no meaning and she would avoid listening to the song!

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Thursday
Nov172011

Don't think you need custom cover art? You might want to think again.

As with any business (and yes your band is a business) you try and find out where you can save money. I am advising not to settle for a generic album identity and to budget for a custom cover. Your cover is really an album identity. To promote your album you should use that same design for a Facebook skin, t-shirt design, set design, possible new website design and more. Building a solid brand identity is crucial for success in this modern market, and your cover becomes the visual identity of your music.

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Wednesday
Nov162011

Arrrrrgh my ears are ringing! (Part 1) - I have Tinnitus

I was never that super cool dude with the booming car stereo, where the sub-woofers significantly caused diminished trunk space, or the super cool kid on the bus with the loud iPod anyone can hear from more than 5 feet away;  Best yet, where I’m from in Jamaica, the dude in front of the speaker box at the session (alternative word for party) acting like the ridiculously loud volume is not bothering him.  Instead, I am the guy that complains about volume levels in the rehearsal room, at the sound check, and during the gig.  I’m the guy that wears ear plugs only on rare occasions, but could never sing with them because of this and that, so just never used them much.  That’s unfortunate, because now I’m the guy with TINNITUS.

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Tuesday
Nov152011

Why join the musicians union?

Most musicians have heard of the Musicians Union but what are the benefits? If you are a professional musician then you should definitely become a member. Even if you are an amateur musician who performs part time then you should still consider joining.

The Musicians Union was set up to protect the right of musicians. They negotiate and set standard minimum fees and terms of service for musicians and live bands. There is also a whole range of advice and guidance available including approved performance and recording contract for things like session work as well as legal advice available. It can be costly having contracts drawn up and professional music industry legal advice is very expensive. Joining the MU give you access to these.

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Monday
Nov142011

"The Internet As A Platform For Musicians"

During my last semesters at university I started to work on the relationship between music and technology (you can take a look at my blog about Media & Technologies: http://mediaandtechnologies.blogspot.com/).

My thesis “The Internet as a platform for musicians” (it can be found at: http://www.docstoc.com/docs/document-preview.aspx?doc_id=101233079) focused on how technological innovation have shaped (and still shaping) the music world.

For this work I gathered reading material such as books, magazines, online articles, etc and I had the chance to interview ( mainly by e-mail) musicians from the US, from UK and from Switzerland. There were independent musicians, soundtrack composers & producers, radio show host and other people involved in the music business.

The project is divided in 4 sections:

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Friday
Nov112011

Annoying music sends shoppers heading for the exits

Study illustrates the danger of retailers leaving the sound of their brand to chance

Half of Britain’s shoppers have left a store because they were annoyed by the music. This is the result of a study carried out by Immedia Plc, which develops music strategies for retailers. 

The findings illustrate the danger High Street brands face by not developing a suitable ‘sound’ for their brand.

1,000+ shoppers were asked both about their attitude to in-store music, and about how music affects them psychologically and emotionally. 

 

Key results are as follows:

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Nov102011

Getting paid gigs - a mindset issue?

An interview with Simon Scardanelli of Dr Scardo by Eliza Michaels, author of The Fan Formula.

Chatting to Simon Scardanelli about his new band, Dr Scardo, he mentioned most of their gigs are paid. I was intrigued so I asked Simon how he does it.

Scardanelli is able to look back on a long and varied career with an ironic appreciation of its highs and lows. As a child of the 60’s, Simon has been singing, writing and recording since the age of 16. He’s worked extensively in Europe and the US. Having been signed to both major and independent labels, Simon has an uncompromising attitude to his work and now releases independently through Resonator Records.

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Thursday
Nov102011

Unusual Song Writing Technique

Hi guys,

I am not sure if any song writing teacher would recommend this but I wonder, can a poorly written, lazy and uninspiring verse make a well written chorus sound twice as good as it otherwise would have?

And, more controversially, could this be a song writing technique that is worth using?

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Nov092011

Internet Promotion from Zero in 2011

I know similar articles to this have been posted here many times, but I thought it would be worth giving my take today, right now, with my perceptions, right or wrong.  So please comment & debate.

Recently a friend of mine was asking where he should post up stuff for his brand new band (no web presence yet at all) given the decline in MySpace.  So I came up with this as my list in order of importance.

Click to read more ...