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Staying Fit And Eating Healthy On The Road!

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As a professional musician, I travel a lot. Domestically and internationally. This means my schedule is constantly changing. I have had to be flexible with my day to day activities (like practicing, learning new music, paying bills, sleeping, etc), but most importantly with taking care of my body so that I can continue to travel the world playing drums. This includes my physical fitness routine as well as my eating habits. Fortunately for me, one of my very good friends is a personal trainer who has worked with professional athletes from the NBA and NFL, and my mother is an RN in the field of infectious disease control, working with the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) and top doctors. I have not gotten sick in over a year, and my pants size has only gone up one number from high school (32 to a 33). I’m going to share the tips I use to keep this music making machine running in tip top shape.

Continue reading Staying Fit And Eating Healthy On The Road!

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Mastering Sight-Reading Made Easy!

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After helping a lot of my students with their auditions, sight-reading is what instilled fear in almost all of them. I’m not saying you can’t be a great musician if you don’t know how to read music or read extremely well, but you will be missing out on many gigs and opportunities to make more money. There are plenty of heavy intensive reading gigs that you are saying no to if you choose not to get your reading chops up to speed. This post will give you things to think about when approaching your reading, as well as helpful methods to improving your reading quickly and efficiently.

Continue reading Mastering Sight-Reading Made Easy!

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Audition Better!

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It’s almost september and a fair amount of my private students have been asking for help with their various back-to-school and ensemble auditions. A couple of them have even asked for competition audition help. I had a long conversation with a great friend (and soon to be Doctoral recipient) Mark Small. Mark and I have been friends since high school and he is an amazing woodwind player finishing up his Doctorate degree from the University of Miami. Before that he was in Michael Buble’s band for 6 years (among other prestigious groups). He has auditioned for more ensembles, and competitions than you can shake a stick at, and we bounced our do’s and don’t’s off of each other in hopes to making your audition process easier. Continue reading Audition Better!

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Become a Better Musician With These Practice Tips (in less time)

Allen-Iverson_PracticeDo you hate to practice? Well you’re not alone. I don’t know very many people that get excited to practice the same way that they get excited to perform. When you’re practicing, it is usually alone, probably doesn’t sound good (at first), and is tedious (and possibly boring) among other things. Whereas when you perform, there are people watching, giving instant gratification of your talents, can be done with other musicians, and sounds polished and perfected. So how do you turn your practice time into a more enjoyable event? Continue reading Become a Better Musician With These Practice Tips (in less time)

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Get The Gig, Keep The Gig!

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This blog post is going to help you figure out how to get the gig you want and then how to keep it. This isn’t a “step-by-step”, but more of a “these guidelines will point you in the right direction”. Every situation is different. This is just a introduction to some of the topics and will most likely be expanded upon at a later date.

 

The thing you should always keep in mind is that the music business is still a business, even though the medium is music. Most people go to see music performed in a social setting. It’s even described most of the time as “I play this” or “I play that”. That description alone makes it sound “fun” or “recreational” and not a serious business.

 

You may or may not know who I am, but you definitely know some of the people I have worked with. I have been playing music professionally for over 20 years and making a living at it with the ability to pay all of my bills. I work constantly and the information I am going to mention below has been taken from my personal experiences as well as several other musicians who all work consistently solely in the business of music. Continue reading Get The Gig, Keep The Gig!

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Are Your Ears Ringing, and Why You Should Be Worried About It!

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Do your ears ring sometimes? Do you know what that is? Do you know that it is dangerous?

“You only get one set of ears, be careful of how you treat them.” That is what my ear, nose, and throat doctor said as I inquired about getting customized earplugs. Why was I getting earplugs? Tinnitus. What is tinnitus? It is that ringing in your ears after you watch a concert from the 3rd row. It’s that same ringing after turning up your headphones too loud while going for a run, rocking that new Kanye track. It is basically that ringing you hear when there is no other sound. However, it is not limited to just a “ringing” sound.  It has also been described as a buzzing, humming, hissing, whistling sounds, as well as clicking, ticking, roaring, “crickets” or “locusts (cicadas)”, tunes, songs, beeping, or even a pure steady tone like that heard during a hearing test.

Why is that ringing dangerous? What is causing it? Continue reading Are Your Ears Ringing, and Why You Should Be Worried About It!

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Become A More Successful Studio Musician!

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Are you recording in a studio? This post will give you tips and hints to make sure you are well prepared, so that you are the one getting all the calls.

 I will share with you information taken from my personal experiences as well as what I learned interviewing top studio musicians who record constantly all over the world. I also sat down with some of those same studios’ recording engineers to let you know what they look for in choosing a musician for a session. The one thing they all agreed upon was the more time you spend in preparation (with a high attention for detail), the easier the session will be when it comes to dealing with any changes or curveballs, and the smoother the overall session will be. Also, three of the top things mentioned in creating Continue reading Become A More Successful Studio Musician!

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How To Get Endorsement Deals!!!

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What is an endorsement and how do you get one? This post will make that a lot clearer, and help you understand what companies are looking for when they are reviewing possible candidates.

The dictionary says the word is a noun, which means it is something that can be obtained. Here is the definition: an act of giving one’s public approval or support to someone or something. Most companies file ‘giving an endorsement’ under their marketing umbrella. Bottom line the company is trying to sell product. That is how they stay in business. If you being on their roster helps them achieve that goal, then your chances of being endorsed just increased. Continue reading How To Get Endorsement Deals!!!

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8 Pro Tax Tips for Musicians to Make You Money! 2/15/14

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Since tax time is approaching, I figured this would be a good platform to offer some pro-tips about filing your taxes as a self-employed musician. I didn’t go to school for any sort of math degree, and in no way am anything close to a C.P.A. What I can offer here are some things to think about and look into, as you get ready to file. I will try to keep this relatively brief, as I’m sure you don’t want to read about this for hours. Believe me, I would much rather nerd out about drum gear or recipes or hundreds of other things than taxes. However, the last thing you need is the IRS knocking at your door threatening to put you in jail. Just ask Wesley Snipes or Martha Stewart. Continue reading 8 Pro Tax Tips for Musicians to Make You Money! 2/15/14

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First Post!!! 1.15.14

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Welcome to my blog. This is my first post and I’m going to try and find things to say that you might not find in a music techniques book but are also interesting and informative. If not from me, then from friends of mine that you would probably enjoy listening to. To me this is like moving into a new place; unpacking the boxes from the old place, figuring out where everything should go, getting tips from others already established in their comfortable little nook. I invite you on this journey with me and hopefully I won’t get us lost. Continue reading First Post!!! 1.15.14