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Make A Collaborative Performance Video Remotely

The pandemic might prevent musicians from working together in person, but it is not an excuse to stop collaborating altogether. With the technological tools at our disposal, we can collaborate using remote sessions to record videos and songs. video

In fact, many music videos or performances are being created with remote videos these days. With some planning and coordination, it is possible for anyone to create remote music videos. In this blog post, we’d like to outline the six steps for making a collaborative performance video remotely.

1. Determine orientation, angle, and position of each player in the video

The first step is to decide on your video orientation. Do you want a horizontal or a vertical video? Vertical videos are great for highlighting individual players, and they are usually preferred for a solo performance or a performance up to two players.

On the other hand, horizontal videos are great if you have two or more players in the video. It is easy to divide up the horizontal video into smaller sections to show what each player is doing in each video.

Then, the next step is to decide on the angle of each player. You should plan this ahead and perhaps even create a storyboard to make sure everyone’s position is predetermined. If you have two players, it would be nice if one of them was facing slightly left and one slightly right so it would look like they are facing each other. Or, perhaps you could have an angle where all players are facing the camera.

Based on how everyone’s positions will be in the video, then you can instruct each player. Moreover, you should coordinate how far each player should be from the camera, what the background should be and what color should they wear to make sure the color coordination in the video is cohesive.

Once everything is carefully planned out visually, it’s time to plan how to record audio.

Related:- Why You Should Write Music When You Don’t Feel Like It

2. Decide how audio will be recorded

An important decision to make is how audio will be recorded. If the proper equipment is available, I highly recommend using a dynamic or condenser microphone to record any given instrument in the video. Phone microphones can be used as a last resort,  but for a commercial quality video, solid audio is required.

3. Create an arrangement where every player knows the timing of their performance

Once the visual aspect of the performance is planned out, the next step is to determine the musical arrangement. I think the best way to approach a remote video is to start with one instrument. This could be a guitar or a piano, ideally tracked to a click, so people can keep up with the tempo. Once this initial instrument is recorded, you can send it to all other players and everyone can shoot their own videos based on the visual plan.

4. Mix the audio

Once you receive the recordings from players, the first step should be to mix the audio. You can run a regular mixing chain, such as an EQ and compressor, and you can also add effects like reverb and delay. You can even apply some moderate automation in order to make the volume levels a bit more balanced. In certain cases, it might be a good idea to pan some players to the left and some to the right in order to create a more real live audio experience.

Related:- 5 Things To Try When You Can’t Finish A Song

5. Put the video together

Using video editing software, start putting the picture together. First, import the videos into the software. Line up the videos to make sure everything is synced up properly. In order to make the sync easier, feel free to use the camera microphone recording.

Once you line up the picture, add the mixed audio. Then, extract the camera audio and delete it to make sure all that’s left is the mixed audio.

Once the picture and audio are locked up, now you can edit the picture. You can create little squares or rectangles and place each player into them. This will create a clean layout and also an entertaining experience for the viewer. Once you have a layout that you like, make some color adjustments and make sure the colors are cohesive for each player. The overall experience of watching this video should be a pleasant experience for the viewer and it should not be visually overwhelming.

6. Export and upload

Once everything is ready, export your video and upload it to the platform of your choice!

Final Words

These are the six steps of creating a collaborative performance video remotely. There are many details involved in planning and producing a remote video, but I highly recommend that you find some reference videos. Also, do not hesitate to use the search engines to look up any problems you might encounter.

When you’re making a video for the first time, the process can be difficult and the learning curve is steep. But, as you keep making more videos, you will find out that the process can be streamlined and you get quicker every time.

Performance videos are great for social media engagement and they really drive the traffic to your music. Videos are memorable and listeners really like seeing their favorite music in video form, especially during these days when concerts are non-existent. So, give it a try and record some collaborative music videos!

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5 Things To Try When You Can’t Finish A Song

The situation of when a great new idea runs into a wall is all too familiar for serious songwriters. For countless reasons it can feel difficult or even impossible to finish a song, even if you love where it’s headed. Sometimes, it takes a couple days, hours, or weeks to realize that a promising song just isn’t worth finishing. When

But for the ones that are, but just aren’t there yet, you’ll need to find strategies for how to move forward and wrap things up. Here are five ways to finish songs:

Take a walk

Whether it’s a 30-minute stroll around the neighborhood or a grueling mountain hike, getting outside away from your studio is a good way to clear your mind and start thinking about your song in a new way. We usually don’t know the full story about our songs and their potential until they’re finished, and briefly stepping away from them gives us new perspectives and ideas for how to get there. When all else fails, step away from the DAW, instrument, band, or studio, and give your song some space.

Related:- Why You Should Write Music When You Don’t Feel Like It

Change up the structure

Sometimes songs need to be structurally changed to be heard the right way. Major changes in structure also help to unlock ideas, reveal places in the music that lack interest, and show the best way for moving forward. This strategy might show you that all your song needed was a rearrangement, or that entire sections of it need to be cut and rewritten. If you’re set on ending up with the best song possible, don’t be afraid to do the work by cutting out parts that aren’t rewarding to listen to.

Identify why you’re stuck and experiment with ways to make it better

Maybe it’s a mediocre melody you’re stuck with or a chord progression that doesn’t give you enough melodic options. Nail down why you’re not finishing your song and then try everything you can to fix it. It’s important to note that doing this might blow up your song completely and leave you with just one or two elements from the original idea you actually liked. That’s okay as long as you like the direction it’s headed in. Don’t commit to setting ideas in stone too soon because you’ll potentially need to transform them or cut them out altogether.

Related:- 5 Reasons Songwriting Can Be Therapy For Musicians

Listen to great music

Taking breaks to experience music from other artists that inspire you is a great way to unlock ideas and move forward. You might hear an instrumental approach you wouldn’t have thought of otherwise, or new inspiration for writing melodies, drum beats, or chord progressions. It’s easy to get caught up in the world of our own songs and forget there are other ways to write music. Listen to other ideas and ask what makes them good and how you can create similar experiences in your own song.

Change the key or tempo

Extreme or even slight changes in the tempo of your song can give your song an entirely new feel and shake loose what it needs to be finished. Key changes can also do this in an even more profound way. That’s because sticking with the original key might limit possibilities for vocal and instrumental melodies, and moving to another tonality can show you different ways forward.

If you love your idea, it can be a hard sell to make major changes to it. But not being willing to try new directions could leave your song in permanent demo status indefinitely. You can always save or remember old directions for your songs if you need to, but you may not be able to finish them without trying out new things, embracing risk and curiosity, and ultimately moving in a different direction. Letting go of control might be the exact thing your song needs to move forward and be completed. If you’re not finished with a song you’re truly passionate about, don’t be afraid to try new things and cut out parts of your ideas that aren’t working. If your song just can’t seem to wrap up, there’s probably a good reason why. What you do now will determine whether it wraps up and meets its potential or not.

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Why You Should Write Music When You Don’t Feel Like It

If you make music for fun with no intention of improving as a songwriter, creating only when you feel like it isn’t a bad way to go. But if you’re serious about making the best music you can and want to get better and better as a songwriter, you’ll have to put in the work during the times when writing music feels like the last thing you want to do. music

The inspiration myth

The stories we hear about in music when a songwriter hears a song in a dream and writes a hit or a band transforms something that happened to them into great music are usually true. Using inspiration to fuel music is an undeniably great way to create. But what do you do when inspiration is nowhere to be found? How do you create when life momentarily feels boring, predictable, and seemingly impossible to transform into music?

The truth is that the ability to write during these times might be one of the biggest indicators of whether you’ll be able to pursue music seriously over the long term or not. Professional songwriters aren’t sitting around at home waiting for great musical ideas to fall into their laps. They are constantly experimenting, exploring, and asking what’s possible in music. Inspiration is fantastic when you can identify and leverage it, but sometimes it’s an asset we can’t start to use until we sit down and toy around on an instrument or while writing lyrics. In other words, inspiration is often there waiting for us, but we have to do our parts by putting the work in first.

Related:- Guitars Used by Famous Musicians Instrument

Creatively thriving through consistent work

The more time and effort you throw into your songwriting practice, the better work you’ll make. This sounds so obvious, but it’s something many bands and songwriters don’t take to heart. Wait for that special feeling of emotional motivation to wash over you to start writing, and you might be waiting forever. But if you commit to writing multiple times every week for hours at a time day in and day out for years, and you’ll be sure to finish songs and consistently improve as a songwriter.

It’s a lot sexier to view songwriting as something we do in reaction to big life events or as a coping mechanism when things get hard, but that approach won’t work if you want to pursue music seriously. If we want to make the best music we can, we need to devote enough time and space in our lives to discover and refine ideas. The simple truth is that writing in a reactionary and inconsistent way almost certainly won’t give you enough good material to work with. You’ll get better and better ideas the longer you look for them, and this inevitably means writing when you don’t want to.

Related:- 5 Reasons Songwriting Can Be Therapy For Musicians

A couple of minutes after tooling around on an instrument or freewriting lyrics you’ll probably feel glad you did. In this sense, writing consistently is a bit like exercising in the way that we often dread it but are happy we’re doing it once we get started. It’s important to remember that making music is hard and often thankless work. Yes, it should be fun and gratifying, but it’s not realistic to think it will feel great 100% of the time. It’s possible to work on an idea you love only to see it go nowhere, or to write music for weeks and come up with nothing you like or can use. These situations are common, of course, and if you can keep going through rough patches like these, you’ll be able to write better music on the other side. The truth is that working during especially difficult and uninspiring circumstances is a cost of admission of being a serious songwriter.

We have to be able to work consistently as songwriters, but we should also know when it’s time to take breaks. If you truly love music and want to make it for the rest of your life, you’re running a marathon, not a sprint. Sitting it out for a period of time is essential for your well-being, but also for your ability to create. Like so many other things in life, knowing when to show up to the music-creation process and when to rest is a balance.

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5 Reasons Songwriting Can Be Therapy For Musicians

Songwriting delivers musicians some huge benefits that have nothing to do with money or critical acclaim. It’s a pursuit that is endless because we can always write better and better music, and it’s an incredible resource for helping us to understand ourselves and others.Songwriting

We often hear about the idea of songwriting being good therapy a lot in music, but it’s helpful to get to the bottom of what that really means. Here are five ways writing music can be therapeutic for musicians:

Helps process emotions

Making music gives us permission to feel our feelings and process our emotions. This is because creating music without feeling and emotion is essentially impossible to do––not if you’re trying to write songs that other people actually want to hear, anyway. The hard emotional labor that goes into songwriting pays off for musicians in big ways. It helps us to be more attentive in our relationships and more empathetic in the way we view the world. You can think of it as sort of an emotional awareness training benefit that you can’t get working at a conventional job.

Related:- 9 Songwriting Competitions You Can Enter

Helps tell your story

Your story is important. How you were raised, what you believe, how you fell in or out of love––these are all human stories that can shape and inspire great music. Wrapping your head around who you are and what’s happened to you in your life isn’t always easy, but telling it through songwriting helps. We’re healthier and happier people when we can tell our stories not just to other people, but to ourselves. If you write music honestly and passionately, the songwriting process can not only tell you who you really are, but also why.

Reveals the humanity in yourself and others

Writing music is one of the most human and emotionally revealing things a person can do. This is because songs contain human stories not only by way of lyrics but also through the arrangement of sounds. Songwriting can help reveal the humanity in yourself and in the fictional and real people you write about. Familiarity with humanity allows you to be more compassionate to others and yourself, and that’s an asset that can benefit you and the people closest to you for the rest of your life.

Related:- Guitars Used by Famous Musicians Instrument

Connects you to the joy of making something new

Something doesn’t have to be complicated in order for it to be therapeutic. One of the best benefits of writing music is that it connects us with the simple joy of making something new. Whether your songs are heard by millions or just you, you’re creating something that’s never been made before, and that’s incredibly special and exciting, but more importantly, it’s hopeful. Every time we write something new, we hope that we can make something meaningful and honest. Every song is another chance to connect with people through our art, and that’s endlessly exciting and rewarding. If you’re ever been jaded with making music, recognize that not all people have this sort of joy in their lives. You’ll need to remember this when the inevitable disappointments in music come your way.

Eases the pain of you and your listeners

Songwriting is something that eases you and your listeners’ pain. Countless human beings have made it through breakups, deaths, job losses, and other hardships with the help of great music. But writing music helps us deal with our own pain as well. By telling our stories, confronting our emotions, and throwing our energy into the hope of making something new, songwriting is truly a gift when it comes to coping with pain and disappointment. If pain isn’t something you seem to be able to outrun in your life, enduring it through music creation is one of the best things you can do. Songwriting gives us a path towards understanding and helping others, and also ourselves.

The challenges of seriously pursuing music are so overwhelming for some musicians that it can seem impossible to reach their goals. We can’t force success or make the world pay attention to our music. We can, however, thrive in our personal lives by creating music.

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Guitars Used by Famous Musicians Instrument

The stars understand the value of a great instrument. But when you make it to the top of the industry and have the cash to spare, what’s your guitar of choice? Whether acoustic, classical or electric, there’s the perfect model out there for everyone.

instrument

And most major musicians will have a whole collection. Although one usually stands out as their favourite stalwart piece.

Most iconic guitar models

The big factors considered by music icons when choosing a guitar are the functionality, sound and look of the instrument. The latter is probably the least impactful, as it can be hacked and customised to suit. Often the brand that is chosen just comes down to a personal preference.

What are the most famous guitars?

How do you know which guitar is right for you? Should it be electric or acoustic? What size and what budget?  Here are some iconic guitars as listed by Rolling Stone.com.

  • Eric Clapton’s customised Fifties Fender Stratocaster was assembled from parts of three Strats bought in Nashville in the 1970s.
  • The Canadian musician Neil Young, had a 1950s vintage Gibson Les Paul Goldtop.
  • Bruce Springsteen’s Fender Esquire was sometimes identified as a Telecaster – yet another creation from the mid-century era renowned for great design.
  • US band frontwoman Joan Jett has a beaten up Gibson Melody Maker with a single Red Rhodes Velvet Hammer humbucker. It’s covered in stickers and survived decades of music-making.
  • Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page played a double-neck Gibson with 12 strings on top and six on the bottom.
  • The Beatles’ legendary guitarist and sometime solo artist George Harrison, played a Gretsch. However, his most iconic guitar was probably a 1963 Rickenbacker 12 string.
  • Jimi Hendrix is often named the finest guitarist who ever lived. But his Stratocaster had a short life when he famously set it on fire at the Monterey Pop Festival.

Related:- Hoarse Singing Voice: Best Natural Remedy

What guitars do rock stars use?

It’s been said that the electric guitar has been the soul of rock and roll. Over the years certain guitars have become legendary and almost have a mythical quality. Here is a list of some of the best rock guitars:

  • The Fender Stratocaster. Among its most famous players are Eric Clapton, Mark Knopfler, Jeff Beck, Jimmy Hendrix, and Eddie Van Halen.
  • The Fender Telecaster. Rock stars who used this guitar include Chrissie Hynde (who has recently had a cool new Telecaster named after her) Noel Gallagher, Muddy Waters, Bruce Springsteen and Joe Strummer.
  • The Fender Jaguar. This was popular with Kurt Cobain, Elvis Costello and Johnny Marr.
  • The Gibson Flying V. The solid body shaped like a V made this popular with Eddie Van Halen, Lenny Kravitz and Jimmy Hendrix.
  • The Gibson SG. Angus Young of AC/DC was one of the most notable players of the SG, as well as The Who’s Pete Townsend and Thom Yorke.
  • The Ibanez RG550. Popular with many hard rockers and metallers since the late 1980s, this is a modern classic.
  • The Gibson Les Paul. This was a favourite with Jimmy Page, Slash, Frank Zappa, Eric Clapton and Billy Gibbons.

Which players use Martin guitars?

Martin guitars and strings have been among the top choices for musicians due to their quality, craftsmanship and tone. Top musicians worldwide from all genres, classical and country to blues, folk and acoustic rock have played from their range.

  • Elvis Presley had the acoustic Martin D model which he played in the early days of his career.
  • Beatle Paul McCartney used a D-28.
  • Eric Clapton has used a number of Martin guitars.
  • John Mayer – who has owned hundreds of guitars including his main acoustic through the years – has a Martin own signature model.

Although these are top artists with big budgets, the guitars are also suitable for those beginning their careers. And the smaller models can be well suited to students, as well as those instrumentalists or singers who frequently have to travel about to gigs and lessons.

Guitars given nicknames by famous musicians

Once in possession of the perfect strings, many of the stars have chosen to given their instrument a pet name. Here are some famous examples.

  • George Harrison was given a unique red Gibson Les Paul guitar which he named Lucy. It is one of the most famous electric guitars in the world.
  • Eric Clapton’s nickname for his Fender Stratocaster is Blackie. He played Blackie on stage and in the studio from 74-85, recording some of his biggest hits such as Layla, Wonderful Tonight and I Shot the Sheriff.
  • A Telecaster used by both Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page in both The Yardbirds and Led Zeppelin was named The Dragon for its green, yellow and red paint. It was used to record the famous Stairway to Heaven.
  • Nile Rodgers’ white Fender Stratocaster was called The Hitmaker.
  • Bob Marley had a favourite guitar during the 1970s which he affectionately christened Old Faithful.
  • Brian May’s Red Special has been with him through thirty years of live concerts and studio work with Queen.
  • Billy Gibbons of American rock band ZZ Top calls his guitar Pearly Gates.
  • Prince had a custom-built guitar which had an asymmetric cloud-shaped body, which was given the name The Cloud.

Related:- 9 Songwriting Competitions You Can Enter

Famous acoustic guitar players

An acoustic guitar can be funky, soulful and raw, whether you’re strumming, picking or tapping. Many well-known musicians have chosen acoustic guitars. In a Music Radar poll, readers voted for their favourites guitar players – among them the dynamic acoustic player Stephen Stills who transitioned from rock to folk. Another favourite was Bob Dylan, who made it look so easy with elaborate fingerpicking, perfect sense of rhythm and amazing runs.

From the classical world, Andres Segovia made the top 20 poll – a genuine classical legend with stunning tone and delivery. Singer/songwriter James Taylor had a sensitive and emotional touch to his songs and playing. Top place in the poll went to Tommy Emmanuel. Described as having fingers blessed with the tone of gods, it’s said he could make wire stretched across a plank of wood sound good.

Celebrity guitars

Top guitarists have often owned or played hundreds of guitars but usually started out with a fairly simple instrument, often second hand or a humble barely playable guitar.

  • Ed Sheeran has long been a fan of the Lowden. So much so, there’s now an entire range named after him – Sheeran Guitars. Irish made, these are great for aspiring music makers who need something affordable, but high quality.
  • Ed’s not the only artists to have had an entire range named after him. Alternative songstress and guitarist St Vincent also has a collection (albeit smaller). The St Vincent Collection is eclectic and funky, like the star herself
  • Slash, lead guitarist of hard rock band Guns N’ Roses received a one-string Spanish style acoustic from his grandmother for his 15th birthday.
  • Award-winning Joe Satriani decided to be a guitarist after hearing Hendrix had died. He saw a white Hagstrom in the local music shop and thought it looked like the one Hendrix played, and with help from his sister he bought it, knowing little about guitars.
  • Todd Rundgren, a pioneer in the fields of electronic music and progressive rock, was seven when he signed up for lessons at the local music store and with it came a steel-string acoustic.
  • Aerosmith’s Joe Perry used to play around on his uncle’s homemade guitar but he got his own Silvertone which he said was difficult to play because of the heavy strings, however, he fell in love with the guitar and knew it was his calling.

From these humble beginnings, many fledgeling musicians have learned and practised and progressed to become top guitarists. Every guitar has a story and every player remembers his first guitar.

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9 Songwriting Competitions You Can Enter

Find out which songwriting competitions you can enter to be in with a chance of winning cash, air time and industry packages. If you win, you’ll likely advance your career in leaps and bounds, as well as attracting the attention of record executives.

songwriting

Before you go all the way and win a songwriting contest, you’ll need to understand the art of songwriting and what is expected from a competition first. Read on to discover the best songwriting contests open to you.

Songwriting competitions you can enter

The idea of writing your own songs for a competition can be daunting. Before you go all the way and win a contest, you’ll need to understand the art of songwriting and what is expected from a competition first. There are lots of small, easy things you can start doing now to get your songwriting skills competition-worthy. And if you find yourself out and about when inspiration strikes, use a voice recording app to take note of your ideas. Android users can access a Voice Recording app on their phones, and Apple users have Voice Memos available to them.

Songwriting competitions may be more lowkey than singing competitions, but there are still lots out there. Some even have big cash prizes and dream co-writing opportunities with existing writers up for grabs.

Are songwriting contests worth it?

Yes. They offer opportunities and some amazing prizes. If you win a songwriting competition it may launch you into a lucrative and successful career.

But be sure to enter your song into the category that suits it best. Your piece will be judged on its originality and quality, not its conformity to a genre. If you’re struggling to decide what category your piece fits into best, ask people you know to listen to it for you and give their opinion.

It’s worth thinking about the finished product when you create your song, too. Apps like Dropbox and WeTransfer let you create accounts for free and you can store and transfer your final pieces. If you want to add some extra flair to your recorded songs – or even just to experiment and have fun – there are lots of amazing music apps out there to jazz up the instrumental side of your music, too.

UK songwriting contests

Different competitions have different rules and regulations so it’s always best to check their specific guidelines before you enter a contest. Most competitions allow you to enter a song that you’ve entered into other competitions and some contests even allow you to enter songs that have previously won other competitions.

The rules may vary depending on the competition you enter, but songwriting competitions can accept songs that have already been released. You have to own the rights to the song – or be able to get permission from the copyright owner – to enter it into a contest though.

When you enter a song into a songwriting competition, that contest does not hold the rights to your music. You can still release that song to a record label and company after entering it into a contest.

Related:- Why Nothing Is More Important In Music Than Creation

Best Songwriting Competitions  

Songwriting competitions may be more lowkey than singing competitions, but there are still lots out there. Some even have big cash prizes and dream co-writing opportunities with existing writers up for grabs. These are the most anticipated competitions: 

#1 Uploaded

This is hosted by Andrson, an innovative A&R platform which enables musicians to deliver their music to industry executives.  The Andrson Uploaded competition runs from June 15th to November 11th and invites finalists to perform live in Dublin. A grand prize package includes €10,000 cash, a feature interview with Songwriting Magazine and a Dublin Vinyl Full Artist D2C Package. Entry is £15 per song, with 20% of sponsorships and all donations from the competition donated to the Make-a-Wish Ireland charity.

#2 The UK Songwriting Contest

The international UK Songwriting Contest was launched in 2002 and has a strong partnership with the BBC. Finalists and winners receive BBC Radio coverage and there is a star-studded judging panel comprised of top Grammy, Emmy, CMA, and BRIT Award-winning Gold and Platinum Album producers and artists. Each entry with original lyrics automatically receives a free entry in The Lyricist Of The Year (LOTY) Awards. The overall entry fee is £15.

#3 BBC Music Introducing

The Beeb previously had its own songwriting competition. However, artists can now apply to feature on their Music Introducing programme. While not a traditional style contests with prizes and first or second place, it is a forum to compete for air time. If your original song is successful, you’ll be played on the BBC. So it’s well worth a shot.

Worldwide songwriting competitions

It’s important you format your submission in the right way to make sure your music gets heard. A submission that doesn’t meet the guidelines or is handled unprofessionally may put the judges off from the start.

Make sure you’re sending your recording to somewhere who’s expecting to receive it. Competitions are a good way to guarantee a willing audience to your song. Sending a recording to random people hoping to get a deal off the back of it will be more irritating than impressive for the recipient.

#4 The John Lennon Songwriting Contest  

In memory of the late John Lennon, the John Lennon Songwriting Contest welcomes submissions in any of the following categories: Rock, Country, Jazz, Pop, World, Rhythm & Blues, Hip Hop, Gospel/Inspirational, Latin, Electronic, Folk, and Children’s. It doesn’t have to be polished. It’s more about artistry and creativity than professional recordings here. Entry is $30 per song, but you could win $300,000.

#5 International Songwriting Competition 

International Songwriting Competition is an annual contest that is open to both amateur and professional songwriters. Submissions are judged on originality, creativity, lyrics (they exclude songs without them), melody, arrangement and overall likability. The fee to enter is $25 per song.

#6 Song Academy

Song Academy’s Young Songwriter competition is open for those aged between 8 and 18. Entrants receive written feedback from a professional music industry expert to help them with their songwriting. Past judges include Tom Odell, Imelda May, Rumer, Chris Difford, and Emily Phillips.  Entry is just £10 per song.

Related:- Hoarse Singing Voice: Best Natural Remedy

Songwriting competitions 2021

If the production side of songwriting isn’t your thing, there are still lots of competitions out there for you. You don’t have to be able to produce backing tracks, play instruments or be a master of riffs and intros to win a songwriting contest, as there are some lyric only categories open to songwriters.

Lyric contests welcome Lyric Only entries and look for poetic imagery, good song composition, and effective rhyme. Competitions such as the UK Songwriting Contest and the Great American Song Contest have Lyric Only categories that focus on the words themselves.

Lyric contests give you the option to upload some context alongside your submission. You can add a description of how you envisage the presentation/lyricist/style that accompanies your lyric. This is optional but including a description will help the judges picture how you imagine your song being brought to life.

#7 The Great American Song Contest

The 21st annual American Song Contest is now open for submissions and has a $15,000 cash prize. All submissions receive a written evaluation from the contest judges and all entrants have a judging schedule to easily track their progress.  The entry fee is $35.

#8 Unsigned Only

If you’re an independent artist, then this one’s exclusively for you. Unsigned Only comes from the same team as the International Songwriting Competition. It was designed as a segue for up and coming solo artists and bands to get noticed and it has many diverse categories for entry, including:

  • AAA (Adult Album Alternative)
  • AC (Adult Contemporary)
  • Americana
  • Blues
  • Christian
  • Country
  • EDM (Electronic Dance Music)
  • Folk/Singer-Songwriter
  • Instrumental
  • Jazz
  • Latin Music
  • Pop/Top 40
  • R&B/Hip-Hop
  • Rock
  • Screen Shot (original songs in all genres suited for placement in Film/TV/Advertising/Gaming)
  • Teen (for artists 18 years old and younger)
  • Vocal Performance
  • World Music

Entry is $35 per track.

#9 Eurovision Song Contest

No doubt you’ll already be familiar with this one. But did you know, as a songwriter, you can put forward a track for consideration as the UK Eurovision entry? Obviously, the winning prize is the chance for it to be heard in front of millions, both live and televised internationally. Check out past winners to get some tips.

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Hoarse Singing Voice: Best Natural Remedy

This abnormal change in the voice causes a gruff, overly husky, weak or raspy tone. You may experience alternating pitch and volume, often quite sudden and out of your control. This comes with anything from mild vocal cord irritation through to vocal cord injury.Voice

It can be the result of a variety of conditions, however, the most common cause of hoarseness is laryngitis. Prevention is of course always better than cure. With that in mind, try to avoid excessive strenuous shouting, screaming or yelling and give up cigarettes if you’re a smoker. Vaping isn’t quite as bad for your voice, but it won’t do it any good either, so is best avoided too.

Voice remedies for singers

Sometimes hoarseness is unavoidable. In winter particularly, colds, coughs and flu can play havoc with your respiratory system and leave you with a gravelly sounding voice Usually, any kind of vocal improvement takes time, but that are some quick fixes you can employ for hoarseness that can improve the condition relatively quickly.

Home remedies for a hoarse voice

There’s much you can do to improve your voice without even having to leave the house. Here’s where you should start, before seeking out medications.

Stopping smoking

You’ve no doubt heard this before, but smoking is bad for you. Not just your overall health, but your voice in particular. If you’re plagued by persistent hoarseness, chances are the cigarettes are getting to you. Stop buying them and spend some of the money you’ll be saving on a steamer instead…

Steaming 

This is a super habit for singers to develop. And it’ll work wonders to clear mucus from your airways and sinuses when you have a cold. But don’t wait till you’re sick to do it. Start now. Remember – prevention is better than cure!

While you can do it with a mug of hot water and a tea towel, a purpose-designed device is more effective. Check out these top steaming products for singers.

Related:- 7 Loss of Singing Voice Causes: Get Your Voice Back!

How to cure a hoarse voice in an hour

If you don’t have an underlying condition or an illness what could be causing your hoarseness and how do you get rid of it? Well, there is another trigger – allergy.

Antihistamines

Allergens often cause vocal irritation and allergies may develop at all stages of life. So if you suddenly find yourself with red eyes, a cough and/or a hoarse voice, you may have developed an allergy to something. If you’re allergic to a particular food or washing powder, for example, avoiding that allergen should be enough to stop the problem. But if you have hay fever or are allergic to something else that’s unavoidable, antihistamines are the solution.

So if this is the root cause it’s good news, as hoarseness from allergies is usually a quick fix. Some antihistamines will make you drowsy – not what you want when performing on stage. Look out for varieties that won’t make you feel sleepy, or take yours before bed. If your allergy is continuous, you can buy a brand of antihistamine that’s suitable for daily use.

My voice is hoarse and I have to sing tonight

It’s the singer’s nightmare. You have a big gig tonight, but your voice isn’t on top form. The most important thing you can do at this stage is to save what little you have left. If the event isn’t a super important one – like an open mic night or rehearsal with your band – it’s best to reschedule. Singing with a weak voice can worsen the effects and it’ll take longer to get it back as a result.

Many singers go to the doctor to request antibiotics when hoarse, but this is very unlikely to be the answer and the doctor will usually say no. Unless you have an infection that can only be cleared using these medications, your doctor will not prescribe them. Overuse of antibiotics resulting in resistance has become a real problem in the UK, so you should only seek them out when it’s really necessary. And they’re rarely a cure for hoarseness.

Voice rest 

Perhaps it’s vital you carry on. If you’re performing in a professional show, or have a place in a competition final, you won’t want to cancel unless you’re unable to get out of bed. In this instance, your remedy is to rest your voice ahead of the gig as much as possible. That means no singing, no talking and definitely no whispering. Do a very gentle warm-up before you go on and if possible, adapt your repertoire to songs well within your range that won’t tire or tax the voice too much.

What is the best medicine for a hoarse voice?

Fishermen’s Friend

Dating all the way back to 1885, these little lozenges have quite a heritage.. A menthol and eucalyptus liquid was created by an English pharmacist for fishermen sailing the North Atlantic a cure-all tonic for a number of respiratory issues. But with glass bottles proving a challenge when navigating choppy seas, it was later engineered into the lozenges we now know and love. The recipe remains more or less unchanged, other than the introduction of an aniseed variety (an ingredient that is also excellent for clearing the voice) and a sugar-free version.

Cough suppressants

Hoarseness often comes with a cough. You can buy lozenges to help suppress it though. It’s not good for you to take these regularly, but they are a fall back if you really need them.

Related:- Why Nothing Is More Important In Music Than Creation

Hoarse voice for months 

Some people, like Joss Stone and Rod Stewart, have naturally raspy voices. If yours has always been that way, it’s nothing to worry about. But if you noticed a change that doesn’t go away, it’s time to get it checked out.

Perhaps your hoarse voice is being brought on by a medical condition. It should be stressed, that this is much less likely than the aforementioned causes. But if it is the case, your remedy will need to come from a medical professional, rather than your kitchen cupboards or a pharmacy. The rule is, if your hoarseness lasts longer than 2 to 3 weeks, you should see a doctor and request a consultation with an otolaryngologist. They can then exclude any of the more serious causes of hoarseness, which are:

  • benign vocal cord nodules, cysts or polyps
  • vocal cord paralysis
  • inhalation of irritants
  • thyroid problems
  • trauma to the larynx or vocal cords
  • neurological conditions
  • cancer of the larynx

My voice is hoarse but my throat doesn’t hurt

So what else could be the underlying cause of your hoarseness?

Acid reflux could be the culprit. Again, you’ll need to be examined by a medical professional to properly identify this. But it’s easily solved and a relatively common complaint.

Medications for gastroesophageal reflux

GERD, or gastroesophageal reflux, is a condition that may cause hoarseness.  If so, your doctor or specialist will prescribe medication to treat it.  There are plenty of things you can eat and drink – like manuka honey, ginger, lemon and throat coat tea, that will ease your symptoms. They’re not remedies as such, as they only soothe and help. However, they will be of benefit when used alongside some of the remedies we’ve talked about in this article. Getting into a good health routine and developing positive daily habits will prevent hoarseness from striking in the first place. But you always have these hoarse voice singing remedies to fall back on when it does.

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Why Nothing Is More Important In Music Than Creation

From booking shows to arranging rehearsals to promoting music, there’s usually enough non-musical work involved with being a serious musician for a part or full-time job. This is why successful artists have teams of managers, entertainment lawyers, and PR agents behind them. But if you’re a developing artist, you’re more than likely doing all of this sort of work yourself.

music

Like everything else in music, there’s a hard balance to strike here between needing to put in the hours it takes to answer emails, pitch music, and stay organized and prioritizing music creation. When artists place the administrative and promotional aspects of their work over making music, there’s a major problem that needs to be addressed.

Related:- 7 Loss of Singing Voice Causes: Get Your Voice Back!

Why music doesn’t come first for some artists

What is a serious musician without their music? If there’s not compelling music behind an artist’s image, social media following, and promotional efforts, there’s nothing for audiences to connect to. Music creation can slip as a priority for artists for multiple reasons. Instead of doing the hard emotional and creative work of writing new music, some musicians find it easier to dig deep into the endless efforts it takes to sustain their public identities as artists. Other musicians start their careers with an uncompromising desire to create music but get bogged down by the day to day duties of being a part of an active band or promoting their solo music.

If you’re set on sharing meaningful music with the world, nothing is more important than the act of creating, exploring, taking risks, asking questions, and shaping vague musical ideas into developed songs. But few things are harder, even if you’ve already managed to find success in music in the past. It’s easy to forget that creating music can be tedious, demanding, and difficult work––the sort of work that might not ever give us the results we want.

It’s natural to not want to take on the burden of making new music, but choosing not to over and over again is a dangerous spot to be in as a serious musician. It takes you further away from your goals, puts you out of practice as a songwriter, and keeps you distracted as an artist.

Related:- 4 Signs That A Song Isn’t Ready For Release

The importance of prioritizing music creation

Nothing is more important than music creation for artists who want to make an impact with their songs. However, while choosing to prioritize songwriting, producing, and recording is easy, maintaining that priority is another story. Whether it’s sticking to a strict weekly songwriting schedule, writing lists of ever-changing short-term goals, or making the conscious effort to stay inspired by constantly trying new things in music, prioritizing music creation isn’t a choice you make once as an artist, but over and over again. Similar to how romantic relationships take constant work to keep healthy and rewarding, making music creation the center of your identity and purpose as an artist requires constant effort and attention.

It’s not as simple as stepping back from promoting an album to free up time to write a new one, though time management is part of it. Instead, it’s about where your focus is as an artist. In your daily life are you more focused on racking up song plays than discovering what’s possible through music? Do you have an incredible idea for a song percolating but can’t get to it until you post on your artist’s social media accounts? These are a few examples of how the joy and spontaneity of music get put on the back burner for musicians.

In theory, we want to create the sort of music that truly resonates with listeners, but it’s often easier and more convenient not to try. When we force ourselves to show up to the creative process and engage over and over again, songwriting becomes a priority and a focus, not just something we’ll get around to doing when we feel like it. When we do this over and over again, there will be days when throwing everything we’ve got into the process simply won’t work, and that’s okay. But by prioritizing music creation above everything else as artists, we’ll have the time, freedom, and energy we need to create our best work.

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7 Loss of Singing Voice Causes: Get Your Voice Back!

Voice loss is not uncommon among singers, just like injury is not unusual in sport. But, as professional athletes must do everything possible to look after their bodies (eating well, warming up and down, recognizing when there’s a weakness), so must you. Many of the famous names in the industry haven’t heeded these warnings and have paid the price as a result.

Voice

Loss of singing voice causes vary and most are nothing to worry about, just a sign that you need to take a little extra care and rest. Let’s take a deep dive into the seven possible issues you might encounter in your career as a singer.

1. Vocal Fatigue

The most likely reason, if you’re a less experienced singer, will be overuse. This kind of hoarseness or voice loss should pass quickly. But you should follow these rules:

  • Don’t scream and shout excessively
  • Avoid too much alcohol, nicotine and vaping
  • Rest when your voice feels tired and never continue if it’s hurting in any way
  • Avoid singing on your throat – learn correct breathing technique and release any tension
  • Don’t sing out with your range (apart from gentle exercises to gradually increase your range safely)

    2. Hoarse voice and mucus in throat

    If you know you’ve not been oversinging or pushing your voice to excess, the next most likely cause is an infection. Common colds, flu and other viruses can all cause voice loss. The body produces mucus to protect the delicate membranes from invading germs. However, this clogs up the vocals, causes coughing and sinus blockages, all of which are the enemy of the singer. However, this is also a frequent event that you’ll have to deal with as a professional singer and to some degree is unavoidable. You can reduce the number of viruses you catch by doing the following:

    1. Wash your hands regularly, especially when out and about touching surfaces in public spaces
    2. Eat a healthy, nutritious balanced diet to boost your immunity
    3. Exercise regularly
    4. Take rest, relax and have fun! This too boosts the immune system
    5. Supplements like echinacea and vitamin D during winter months can be helpful

    3. Laryngitis

    If your infection is more pronounced, you may develop laryngitis. This is an inflammation and swelling of the larynx, or voice box, usually resulting from infection. Your vocal cords can’t move freely when they’re enlarged, meaning you struggle to speak and can only make a coraking sound. You may also develop laryngitis from oversinging if you’ve sufficiently irritated the larynx. If you have no other symptoms, this is likely to be the case. However, if your laryngitis occurs simultaneously with a cold, the virus will be the root cause.

    If you strain or tire your voice at all while suffering from a respiratory infection, you’re much more likely to develop laryngitis as the voice is already compromised. This is why it’s so important to go easy when you’re sick. Laryngitis may pass in a day or two, or it could go on for up to a fortnight.

    Realted:-,4 Signs That A Song Isn’t Ready For Release

    4. Vocal cord nodules

Here we venture into more serious territory. Many singers get nodules (or cysts, or polyps), so it’s not a reason to panic. However, it is a reason to re-evaluate your technique and make some changes. Most importantly you must rest and seek medical advice. At this stage, it’s not an option to carry on regardless, or you could find yourself with major problems. Symptoms of nodules are:

  • Raspiness
  • Breathiness
  • Inability so sing the notes you used to
  • Sudden change in register
  • Persistent, ongoing hoarseness

Some famous singers who overcame this issue include Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, Freddie Mercury, Luciano Pavarotti, Rod Stewart, Shirley Manson and Joss Stone. There are some patterns here. Singers with gravelly voices and those who belt ‘big’ powerful numbers are most at risk.

5. Vocal cord paralysis

One or both of your vocal cords can be affected by this rare syndrome. It’s usually triggered by an injury or health condition such as a tumour, multiple sclerosis or Parkinson’s. Occasionally it’s a result of extreme inflammation. Surgery is sometimes required to restore communication between nerves in the vocal cords and brain, but it may just resolve on its own after around a year, alongside speech therapy. Symptoms of vocal cord paralysis are:

  • Breathiness
  • Hoarseness
  • Noisy breathing
  • Loss of pitch
  • Trouble swallowing and loss of gag reflex
  • Increased need for breath refills
  • Inability to project when speaking
  • Persistent coughing and throat clearing

Related:- 8 Gadgets Every Recording Studio Must Have

6. Permanently damaged vocal cords

We must stress that this is very rare indeed. Especially nowadays with all the medical interventions available. But there are some cautionary tales in this category of cause. Never think that your voice is invincible. You must take care of it, as permanent damage will be the result of ignoring the warning signs like nodules, haemorrhage, and bruising.

Julie Andrews suffered from throat nodules, and unfortunately experienced further – and permanent – damage following surgery to remove them in 1997. Sadly, this ended her singing career and she sued the hospital.

7. Vocal cord haemorrhage

Adele, on the other hand, recovered from a serious vocal injury, a haemorrhage. While she was forced to cancel the tour, she bounced back after she had surgery to deal with the issue. She now has to avoid acidic foods that cause reflux – something that contributed to her haemorrhage. If you’re prone to this kind of thing like Adele, you may need to make changes to your diet.

Unfortunately, haemorrhages can recur if lifestyle changes are not made. Jess Glynne underwent vocal cord surgery in 2009 and 2015, yet again last year, she was forced to cancel major gigs due to a vocal haemorrhage.

This caused a lot of controversies, as Jess had been seen partying hard with the Spice Girls shortly before pulling out of the Isle of Wight Festival. While it may be a separate issue, we do know that lack of sleep, alcohol and smoky environments are terrible for your vocals. Jess has a superb sound, so these vocal issues are a growing concern for the artist. A haemorrhage isn’t painful, but it will cause sudden hoarseness and render you unable to sing.

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4 Signs That A Song Isn’t Ready For Release

In today’s shockingly competitive music industry, it’s not easy knowing how much music to release and how often. There’s a feeling that between how hungry listeners are for new music and the astounding number of new songs uploaded to major streaming platforms every day that artists will lose their audience’s attention without constantly releasing music.

release

The problem is that it’s hard to write, record, and produce great music consistently, and that if you’re approaching the songwriting process in ways that embrace curiosity and risk-taking, you’re bound to run into false starts and failures over and over again. Since not everything we write should see the light of day, it’s crucial to be able to discern what’s worth sharing and what needs more tweaking when it comes to our music. Here are four signs that your music isn’t ready for release:

Something feels missing

If you feel like you’re nearing the completion of a song and get the sense that something’s missing, it’s important to take that intuition seriously. When we’re more concerned with putting out music consistently or finishing music on a deadline, it’s easy to cut corners and leave our songs far from reaching their true potential. Whether it’s a subpar performance or a section of a song that isn’t as strong as it could be, releasing music that feels unfinished or lacking in any way is a bad idea.

Related:- How to Do Vocal Runs: 7 Simple Steps

Numerous listens reveal glaring errors

It should go without saying, but if there are noticeable errors in your songs, they’re not ready for release. By errors, I don’t mean minor and nuanced parts of your performances or production choices that can be interpreted as beneficial sounds that build character in your music. Instead, I’m referring to stuff you’ll listen back to later with your head in your hands because it sounds so bad and embarrassing.

If you’re a spur of the moment sort of musician that wants to release lots of music, that’s totally fine as long as you’re not putting out rushed and flawed art that will end up hurting your career and report with fans down the line. It’s easy to fix errors in your songs or decide they’re not strong enough to share. Recovering from putting out weak work however is much, much harder.

The song sounds unintentionally unmixed and unproduced

Intentionality is a big deal when it comes to the way your songs sound and feel to listeners. If noticeable parts of your music sound like you didn’t mean for them to sound the way they do, it’s a signifier that the track isn’t ready to be heard by anyone aside from you and your collaborators.

There’s plenty of happy mistakes and surprises to be found in the process of recording and producing, but when things come off as unintentional in ways that are inconsistent, distracting, and unsupportive of the song and your musical aesthetic in general, your work isn’t finished as a music-maker.

Related:- 8 Gadgets Every Recording Studio Must Have

You wouldn’t want to listen to it if you weren’t the artist that created it

This is the most important sign. If the end result of a song is a piece of music you genuinely wouldn’t want to listen to if you weren’t the songwriter behind it, it’s either unfinished or unworthy of being released. This is a hard pill to swallow for developing artists who are establishing their voices or anyone else who’s spent lots of time on a song only to see it go nowhere or need new revisions, but if you follow this rule, you’ll be so much better off as a songwriter. When you put out music you’re genuinely excited about, everything becomes infinitely easier and more natural as an artist, whether it’s playing the same songs over and over again during concerts or promoting a new album. If we want and expect people to support us and our music, we need to hold up our end of the bargain, which is delivering meaningful music that other human beings will actually want to hear.

Once you recognize that your work is valuable and can be hugely meaningful to listeners, you’ll find the balance between wanting to give them music consistently and only sharing songs that reflect your best creative effort.