Today is January 31st. With this post the first month of the #PostADay2017 challenge is complete. 31 Days, 31 blog posts. The toughest part is over. There were a few blog posts I had scheduled in advance that didn’t go as planned. There were also a few technical bumps I experienced and will continue to work out over the next month or so. Getting your website in tip top condition is time-consuming… so it goes. Besides working on the blog every day I have been spending time developing content and resources for other musicians and music business overs that right now are not live on the website. And then there is the issue of SEO. I have yet to spend any time doing SEO or promotion on social media. Overall though I have been pretty pleased with my effort and the blog has been a great way to reflect on things that happened during the day.
Even during the chaos that our daily news cycle has become, there will always be music. The view from my seat in the trumpet section. On Monday nights I get to connect with different musicians from all over Brooklyn for 2 hours. The Grand Street Community band is everything that is good in the world. People coming together to communicate through music. Art in all its forms is more important than life itself. Art and music have outlived all things before us and will survive us.
Today was Yoga Class No. 7. I can’t believe I have been doing this a month already. A good portion of the initial awkwardness I felt is fading and I am getting more comfortable with the flow of the class. When I find myself not doing the right thing I smile and laugh it off as I peek around to see what the teacher is doing or how others have modified the pose to work within their means. It is athletic and very physical but not competitive.
Last week I began to attempt the crow pose. This week was a continuation of that challenge as well as an hour full of other meditations, stretches, and other postures. I feel improvement. The progress seems small but it is noticeable. No cool Rick Rubin medication postures or head standing photos yet. Once I get the hang of crow may I’ll post a photo for fun. Besides the physical poses and movement, I really enjoy the breathing exercises. My favorite being Alternate Side Nose Breathing or Nadi Shodhan pranayama . I recommend this to everyone. It is simple and you can learn from the Dali Lama himself via the video link below.
The most noticeable difference outside of yoga class, especially after today’s session, was a sense of attention and awareness for my spine. As I was out walking this evening I could feel better alignment in my spine and less tension in my shoulders. More importantly, as I tried to move into my usual hunched over posture I was aware that it did not feel correct or good. Mr chiropractor Dr. Michael Bernstein called this Caveman Dragging The Knuckles or something to that like that. I would like to eventually eliminate this hunched over caveman feeling. I suspect over time it will happen especially taking into account the progress that I feel already.
Almost everyone has heard the term “One hit wonder”. Being a one hit wonder is usually looked as a bad thing. But in the case of Dieter Meier, the writer of the famous “Oh Yeah” song used in Ferris Bullers Day Off and endless other movies and advertisements the income from this song became a stepping stone for investments that would help him build a $175 million dollar fortune. Aside from owning shares in some interesting swiss companies. Meier also owns 250000 acres of land in Argentina. The Wall Street Journal article states that his father initially helped him make some early investment decisions that paid off big.
If you are just starting out in the music business heed this lesson. Meier should be the model for every aspiring songwriter. Take what you make from your songs and invest your profits (money coming from royalties and sync fees) in a way that will continue to let it grow. This one asset for Dieter Meier has created several long-term income streams. I tip my hat to your sir. Well played.
Something to think about as you build your song catalog and begin to profit from your synchronizations of it.
Read more about this story from:
The Wall Street Journal – Full Article
Hear the original song in all its electropop glory.
We have been working on this trick for a long time. Last night it all came together for the first time.
There are few parts to this trick. First, you must get the dog to be very steady. Next he must know that he can not eat the dog biscuit until you give him the command. These two steps are fairly easy. They took a few weeks of training and trying the trick on and off. It was the final part of the trick, catching the dog biscuit in the air that took as a long time to figure out. And ultimately Leo needed to figure it out, not us. So without further ado here is our dog Leo doing the complete Dog Biscuit On The Nose Trick.
Celebrating National Spouse day with my beautiful wife of 12 years. Here is a picture from our trip to Italy last summer. Nothing more in the world that I love than you. #love #nationalspouseday #italy #tuscany
Every artist I talk to always wants to be original, but that doesn’t mean you can not do cover songs. Many artists have launched amazing careers from performing cover songs. Over a series of blog posts I plan to take you through the process of doing a cover song from start to finish. From picking a song all the way to recording and release on iTunes and Spotify. In this post I’ll talk why you should even do cover songs to being with.
So why do cover songs? There are few reasons and they can be broken down into two categories.
Education and Marketing.
Let us start with the education side of things. Learning other people’s songs is how you build the foundations for your talent. If you play piano, you will play the works of Bach, Beethoven, Debussy, and countless others in your quest to improve your technique on the instrument. The more works you learn the better you get. This is a simple idea but often overlooked by many of the autotune artists that begin their music careers today. Everyone wants to be famous and talented instantly, and it doesn’t work that way. You have to put time in. When you learn other people’s work you not only are building your physical technique as a singer or instrumentalist you are also adding to your musical vocabulary. You are learning about form, the structure of how a song works. You are learning about the stylistic differences in a particular genre or time period. An 80’s song doesn’t sound like a 90s song. Why? You are learning about other elements of music like phrasing and melodic structure. And if some day you plan to write your own songs there is no better way to start then to learn covers. John Lennon and Paul McCartney played did countless covers and the went on to become two of the most famous songwriters in the history of music.
The 2nd important reason to do cover songs is that it is a great way to market yourself and find your personal sound. This is now true more than ever as youtube’s popularity continues to rise. Performing a cover song either on youtube or a social media app like musical.ly or even instagram gives people the opportunity to find you. Someone is much more likely to come across you singing a cover song than they are with you singing an original. It is also easier for people to identify with you through a song that they are familiar with. They might not know you, but they know the song, and they like the song so they’ll give you a chance. Your job is to make the cover entertaining and grab their attention until you have made them a fan. Your creative style and individual sound is also your chance to be creative. Being creative is a very important and with a cover song you have the chance to brand your style to any song. You could be the quirky girl that sings covers with an acoustic guitar or ukelele. You group that does covers in the style of 50s swing or jazz. You could even be a 50 person senior citizen choir singing rap tunes. Use your style as a branding technique on every song you do and your fans will find you.
Staytuned for part 2, when we talk about picking a song to cover.
Examples of great cover artists on youtube:
Post Modern Juke Box
Kina Grannis – has over a million subscribers and still does covers.
Lucky Chops – a brass band in NY (no vocals)
One Voice Childrens Choir
The Cast Of Glee – An entire TV show full of covers.
Went out for a nice 1 mile nor’easter fun run tonight. Not as bad as last night but I’ll still take the snow over rain any day of the week. This is the #ziplocbagfilter I am using on this awesome soaking wet selfie. Run365 year no. 2
As the Yoga journey continues… Last night, which was my fifth yoga class, we were introduced to The Crow Pose. After a bit of instruction, I tried to get into the pose a few times. I was able to get my legs off the ground a support myself a bit. It was fun and the same time very challenging. This is something I can see I will working on for a while. After doing some research online I also learned that this pose is an entryway to many other poses. The pose like everything else in Yoga seems like an even split between strength in various muscles and lining up your physical structure so that it can support itself. Aside from the introductory crow pose experience, I felt during the session I was able to get into a few of the stretches a bit more and also less physical stress on my legs. My hips, lower legs, and torso still are feeling really tight. Progress comes slowly.
On to class no. 6 this week.
Earlier this afternoon I took advantage of the mild weather we have been having in NY. I l tightened up my yellow Newton running sneakers and headed out. My running workouts as of late have been minimal but extremely consistent. (I am currently on day 388 of my daily running streak) A mile at an average pace has been the routine. This past week I got in a really good Speedwork out but other than that I’ve have been reluctant to push too much in the new year as I adjust to the new Yoga workouts I am doing twice a week. Rule no. 1 for me: don’t over do it. (unless your in a race, then go for it) Today I got in a much-needed longer run of 5 miles. It has been a few weeks maybe even two months since I have gotten in a long run. Long runs and short runs are very different. Long runs are much more about exploring your running technique and your own mental space. Longer runs provide a meditative zone that let you clear your mind and take notice of everything going on in a particular moment with your body. It usually takes me 20 minutes or more to settle into a consistent long run pace in which everything begins to settle. I find in important in a long run to give yourself a few minutes to work things out. For me, it is common for muscle problems to appear. Especially early in a run. I might have a pain in my ankle, or strange feeling in my knee for a few moments and then it will disappear. I say this because often issues arise and people put on the brakes and give up immediately. The best distance runners and triathletes have taught themselves how to get through those points of discomfort and keep pushing forward. Whenever you feel something strange while you are running give take a moment to see if your body can work through it or think about your form. Ask if you are doing something different. Where is your foot hitting the ground? How can you work through it? You might need to bring the pace down or even adjust something in the way your foot is striking the ground. But do not give up. I hope this a quick look into how I run helps you. As always I would love to hear your experiences and tips in the comments below.