Best Sound System for the Home

The sound system that you have in your home should be a quality system, however money often dictates what you can and can’t afford. In this article I break down my own sound system that only cost $2,500.

Subwoofer – Rythmik LV12R – Price: $600

Subwoofers never look like anything special, and that’s because it’s what they do (not what they look like) that makes them a requirement. But out of everything I list today, if you’re tight on cash, then the subwoofer is the last piece of equipment you require for your own system.

My subwoofer of choice after testing 12 of them in a number of stores is the Rhythmik LV12R. It has a 12-inch driver with an oversized box/cabinet in black ash complete with a 300W RMS Amplifier that is able to handle the base speaker comfortably. The improvement of the entire sound system is remarkable and well worth the additional $200 spend, compared to other brands.

AV Receiver: Denon AVR-S700W – Price: $500

Denon has taken receiver building to a new level, but at the same time has not forgot to keep the price reasonable. It’s packed with speck including:

HDMI 2.0 wireless
Bluetooth
Airplay Audyssey MultEQ
DEQ
DVolume 7 x 120w 1kHz
0.7%THD
6ohms

I have also been impressed with the display screen software. It’s easy to set up, easy to use and has extended options for the more advanced users requirements.

Speakers – 4 x NHT Absolute Zeroes + one Absolute Center – Price total $950

Each speaker is $190 each. That seems a little pricey for a home system, but you can tell where the additional money has been spent. These are a two-way design as standard for a home speaker with a 5.25-inch woofer and an aluminum tweeter.  Combined, these produce a 86dB per unit and work well with the Rythmik subwoofer.

The NHT’s Absolute Zero has a quality sound with matching good looks, ideal for any modern home. I have tested the speakers connected to an amplifier for pure sound and the base to mid is exceptional for drum and base tracks. Even without the subwoofer, you may need to adjust the treble depending on personal preference.

Cables: Monoprice – Price: $20

I personally don’t like to spend big money on speaker cables. This is mainly because I have tested cheap versus expensive cables using the same equipment in the past and the difference is minimal, if any (just my opinion). If you believe differently please feel free to buy more expensive cables.

Cables: Monoprice

For the money, Monoprice offers a good value cable and from my own testing, the cables do last as long as you’re not messing with them every week!

Surge Protection – Panamax SP8-AV – Price: $90

The Panamax provides good value at a low cost compared to other more well-established brands. I have the SP*-AV, which protects my computer equipment and sound system. The device is 1125 joules with protection for eight outlets and noise rejection as a bonus feature. This is $90 well spent to protect your $2,500 system.

Final Words

I have been using this system for a little over four months. For the money you can’t go wrong. I spent two months researching/testing so you can be assured excellent value for your money.

Top Ten Largest Music Festivals In the World

I’ve been lucky enough to travel around the world on a number of occasions, and even though I do enjoy the normal tourist activities, when I travel I love to visit music festivals. My first-ever music festival was at Glastonbury, England. I don’t remember any of the bands, singers or artists that performed — mainly because I was too young to understand — but I do remember having the best time ever.

Electric Daisy Carniva

Below are the Top 10 music festivals by audience size:

10. EXIT (Novi Sad, Serbia)

Average attendance 200,000 people

In 2014 Exit was named the best major European festival and over the years it has had 2.5 million people participate. Not bad considering it was started as a student demonstration against the Serbian government.
Artists include: the prodigy, moby, Guns N’ Roses, Wu-tang and underworld

9.  Paleo (Nyon, Switzerland)

Average attendance 230,000 people

Established in 1976 and promoted as a “folk festival,” the Paleo festival is a popular event for the young and old. Over 6 million people have attended since its inception and the event is always sold out.
Artists include:  Elton John, James Blunt, placebo and Seasick Steve

8. Ultra (Miami, USA)

Average attendance 320,000 people

Dance music, or EDM as it’s called in the U.S., is fast growing and the Ultra festival is growing just as fast. The biggest DJs in the world spin the tunes in the heat of Miami, but Ultra has expanded not just the original! It’s now in Japan and South Africa.
Artists include:  Carl Cox, Axwell, Hardwell, Martin Garrix and Ingrosso to name a few.

7. Sziget (Budapest, Hungry)

Average attendance 380,000 people

Established in 1993 bang in the middle of Budapest, this festival really is a non-stop party from start to finish. The mixture of music styles brings a mixture of people from around the world.
Artists include: Blur, Chase and Status, Dizzee Rascal, Dub fx, and Mika

6. Electric Daisy Carniva (Las Vegas, USA)

Average attendance 400,000 people

Established in 1993 this festival is like a traveling circus with all credit given to the people who organize the EDC festivals. Now in Mexico, Orlando and Puerto Rico, one word — outstanding.
Artists include: Avicii, Knife Party, Hardwell, Afrojack and U2

5. Przystanek Woodstock (Kostrzyn Nad Odra, Poland)

Average attendance 550,000 people

This event is FREE. Yes, I said FREE. All you have to do is turn up. It’s a fundraiser for The Great Orchestra. The festival now receives massive sponsorship and attracts people from all over the world.
Artists include: Airbourne, The Prodigy, Anti Flag, Volbeat and Dog Eat Dog

4. Coachella (California, USA)

Average attendance 670,000 people

This festival was created for indie and alternative music styles, but has become more commercial over the years and is probably known more for hip hop than anything else.
Artists include: Outkast, Muse, Skrillex, Lorde, Calvin Harris and Duck Sauce

3. Summerfest (Wisconsin, USA)

Average attendance 900,000 people

If you like huge festivals, this is one to attend. It boasts over 800 acts over 11 days. I am not sure how you would see them all, but you’re spoilt for choice.
Artists include: Artic Monkeys, Nas, Ludacris, the chainsmokers and Robert DeLong

2. Mawazine (Rabat, Morocco)

Average attendance: 2.3 million people

Although this festival only began in 2001, it has already begun attracting huge numbers of people. This festival is made to bring people together with the love of music.
Artists include: Maroon 5, Justin Timberlake, Ne-yo, Ricky Martin and Alicia Keys

1. Donauinselfest (Cienna, Austria)

Average attendance: 3.1 million people

The biggest music festival in the world with over 2,000 acts over three days, it’s big and it’s getting bigger every year.
Artists include: Macy Gray, Rita Ora and the commandos to name a few.

Promoting Your Music & Gaining More Fans

Building a fan base is one of the most important aspects of establishing yourself as a music artist. Every pop star, band, hip hop artist and musician is nothing without people who enjoy listening to their music, buying albums, merchandise or a ticket to their next gig.

People often ask me, “What can I do to get more fans?” “How do I promote my music to more people?” “Where should I upload my music?” Unfortunately every situation is unique and there is no exact answer to these questions, because every artist or act is at a different stage of their career. However, there are some basics you can be doing to build a following, no matter what stage of your career. Here is my advice:

get more twitter fans

Get more Twitter fans

Gaining More Fans with Twitter

Twitter can give you a huge following, but it can be tricky to get started. Follow this set of instructions to build a dedicated following quickly.

1. Sign up to Twitter (it’s free) with your artist or band name as the username. Be sure to make the profile as attractive as possible. For example, use a unique header, fill in the “about” section and link to your website.

2. Sign up to Hootsuite.com (it’s free) and add your Twitter account. This lets you schedule tweets. You should tweet links to your website, music, videos and anything else you have online that people may want to listen to or watch. Schedule three posts a day: morning, noon and evening for one month. Also include tweets about yourself or the band. I would also suggest tweeting about other similar artists, news, photos and videos that are closely related to your style of music.

When creating tweets it’s also important to include hashtags (#). These tags are how people are going to find your Twitter account or tweets, as people search Twitter with hashtags. See an example below:

twitter hashtags

3. Sign up to Tweepi.com (it’s free), add your Twitter account and use this site to control your Twitter followers. You can find other Twitter users that like the music you create by following similar artists’ followers, or search by hashtags for words related to your music. For example, house music fans would be using words like: house, house music, dance music, DJsneak.

Every day you can follow around 70 to 100 people. Don’t follow more than this or your account will get banned. You can also use Tweepi to remove people who don’t follow you back again.

4. After two weeks you should have around 200 new followers, but more importantly these followers will be into the music you are producing. As a result, these fans are more likely to:

Re-tweet your tweets
Like your tweets
Comment on your tweets
Follow your links
Share your links on other social networks like facebook and G+

Over the next four months your Twitter account will start to grow in many other ways, making the process much easier and you should reach 2,000 dedicated followers in this time frame.

You are now armed with an audience of people who love what you do. Not everyone will interact with your account, but this doesn’t mean they are not paying attention to you and music. The best thing about this process is feedback on what your are producing. Music fans will give you feedback on your work — sometimes good and sometimes bad — but this is how you can connect with your audience and become a better artist.

A Few Tips for Struggling Singers

A Few Tips for Struggling SingersThe music industry is very competitive. You might think that you are a good singer already, but the truth is that there are a lot of other singers out there. This is the reason why singing reality searches don’t run out of contestants. A lot of people wanted to give the music industry a shot. Even in the local music scene, it is not that easy. This why even if you consider yourself a struggling artist, you continue to be one. If you think you have done your best but still nothing happens, it might be high time to reevaluate your strategies. You might get some things right, but you are wrong in many others. It is important that you come up with the right techniques to succeed in this endeavor.

 

Explore other genres

You might think that you are a solid rock performer or a true blue country artist. Yes, it is good that you stick with your roots. However, it does not hurt to give other genres a try. This is not getting lost of your identity. It is more of exploring other possibilities. Who knows? You might be better off with other genres. Your vocal quality might be more suitable with these genres. Just give it a try and see where it goes.

 

Take more risks

If you have made the music industry your part time job, then you are doing it the wrong way. It is not supposed to be treated as a job. It is a passion. It is something that you do not to make money, but because you love it. You perform because you are happy in entertaining other people. Therefore, if you don’t have your entire self poured out to succeed as a singer, then success will never come. Go out there and explore all possibilities. Join competitions, go for auditions, meet with talent agents and look for other ways for you to achieve your dreams.

 

Reinvent yourself

Whether we like it or not, people are visual by nature. We appreciate stars because of their talent, but we appreciate them even more if they look great. This is why singers reinvent themselves all the time. Some of them even have to go through the painstaking process of cosmetic surgery just to look different. You don’t have to go this far, but you can always find a new you. Try to cut your hair or sport a different color. Hit the gym and lose weight. Go for more intense exercise techniques such as cross fit. This will give you the results you always wanted to see in half the time or even faster. If you want to give it a try now, then check out the best crossfit shoes online. With the help of the best shoes for crossfit exercises, hitting the gym won’t be that difficult for you.

 

With all these tips, you will surely soar as an artist. It takes time and patience. You just have to push through and eventually, your dream is at hand.

Tips on How to Get Your Creative Juices Flowing

What You Need to Do If You Just Can’t Make Good Music Even if You Try HardThere are a lot of songs released by various artists each day. Some of them turn out to be huge hits while others don’t. There are also those who are quick to critic some songs as bad, tastelessly done or just a copycat if other hits. Listening to songs and making criticisms is easy. However, we don’t know what has gone behind the scenes. From the song writing to recording and eventually to the release, it has taken a lot of sweat and tears.

Creating a beautiful song that will turn out to be a huge hit is never easy. Sometimes, it has to be given to the right artist at the right time. Sometimes, it also depends on the quality of the song and its lyrics. Either way, a composer has a very difficult task. One song might just last for 3 or 4 minutes, but it has taken a composer weeks or even months just to get it done. If you are a composer, you know exactly how difficult it is to make songs.

When you are inspired, creating songs might not be a huge problem. You just go out there and keep on writing. In no time, you are done. If you already have a vision and you know what to do, it won’t take time before you can finish a song. In fact, some composers can finish it in just one sitting. If this is the case, then it is good for you. On the other hand, if you have tried everything and you can’t even come up with a word, what should be done?

 

Go to sleep

Nothing will happen if you force yourself to create a song when you are not inspired to do so. Forcing yourself will just lead to more problems so you better take a rest. When you wake up, you might feel refreshed again so it is time to start attempting at it again.

 

Take a walk

Just walk around and see what inspires you. Take time to appreciate small details. Go to places you’ve never been to before or eat in your favorite restaurant. These are small precious moments that might inspire you to come up with something really good.

 

Eat well

This has something to do with how your body works. Even if inspiration is essential in order to do great, it is also important that your brain functions well. If not, you really can’t concentrate no matter how hard you try. Eating healthy is one of the biggest secrets. Eat fresh fruits and vegetables. Stop smoking and let go of coffee or carbonated beverages. Instead, drink fruit juice all the time. If you don’t have a juicer at home, then check out the best juicers for 2015. You can prepare your own fresh fruit juice instantly. If you want the best juicers to buy, then go for the twin gear models.

 

With these tips, you will surely come up with a great song in no time.

Your Baby Can Inspire You to Create Beautiful Music

Your Baby Can Inspire You to Create Beautiful MusicWhen you were young, you might have been very ambitious. You wanted to travel the world, be a millionaire or achieve your dream career. However, as soon as you realize that you are shooting for the moon, you give up. You stop everything that you have hoped for before. You settle for something more realistic. You start your own family and get a stable job. Even if you have dreamt of being a musician before, you have given that up since you know you are going nowhere if you push for that dream.

Though settling down and having your own family is a good thing, the truth is that you also have to find a way to achieve what you want in life. Pursuing a career path that has always been your passion should never be out of your bucket list. If you wanted to be a popular musician, then don’t give up. The world needs to hear your songs. Just because you have not accomplished a huge goal before, it does not mean it is too late now. Even if you have started your family and you have other responsibilities such as your baby, you can still push for that dream. You just need to be determined.

 

Your kids can be your inspiration

The good thing about being a musician is that you don’t have to be far from your family to be successful at it. You don’t have to travel distances just to create a beautiful piece. Even if you are just at home, it is still possible for you to create wonderful songs. In fact, when you have kids, they can inspire you more to do better. By seeing them having the time of their lives, you will be more motivated to come up with something great. The smiles on their faces and their expression of love towards you are all essential to push you to do more.

Even if you are to travel with your kids or attend to their needs, you can still continue to be inspired. Each time you can think of something good, have it written down. When you have an app on your phone for creating songs, then you can use it as well.

 

Moving around easily

A good musician does not have to lie down for a long time just to come up with a good music. In fact, even if he is walking, he can think of something magical. Even when he is playing with kids, he can do the same. Therefore, even if you have a lot of responsibilities now that you are a parent, you can still use it to do well as a musician. When you have to travel with your kids, you can still think of writing songs. Don’t be bothered by your kids. You can just look for the best double strollers such as the best twin stroller and you are good to go. You can get one based on double stroller reviews. With these strollers, you can now move freely with your kids and think of the best songs.

 

You Need Music When Using Chainsaws

You Need Music When Using ChainsawsThe thought of using a chainsaw alone is already scary. The fact that you have to use a very sharp device that can actually kill is something serious. Add to that the influence of movies that make the chainsaws even more terrorizing. However, there are situations when you have no other choice but to use one. For instance, there is huge tree that block your house and could potentially fall over in the event of a storm you need to cut it down before serious threats happen. Another situation is when you have to cut huge logs into smaller pieces to be used as firewood. Using chainsaws can be much faster.

 

When you are the only man at home who can do the job, then you have to learn how to do it. The sad thing is that when you fear it, you can’t do anything to calm your nerves down. This is why you need music. It has been used in many circumstances when people fear something and this is another situation when it is best to use it.

 

Music makes you feel better

The sound of the chainsaw alone is already scary. As soon as it start cutting a tree, then it gets louder. When you listen to something soft and relaxing, then you won’t mind the sound of the chainsaw. You will just focus on the sound that makes you feel good. It also helps calm your nerves. Take note that when using chainsaws, you can never go wrong. If you have one mistake in handling it, the results can be fatal. When you are relaxed, then you have better control of your hands.

 

Music makes you think positive

Using chainsaws to finish a task is not easy. You have to exert a lot of efforts to get things done. You also have to spend a lot of time since you need to calculate each move. This will surely make you give up along the way. However, when you listen to music, then you become more optimistic. You will think about getting the job done and that you can get it done.

 

Choosing the right music

It is also imperative that you choose the kind of music to listen to. It does not help to listen to loud songs. It will not help in calming you down. You also have to be aware of what you are doing and loud music does not help in any way. A soft and relaxing song will help you throughout the entire process.

 

To top it all, you need the right chainsaw. It has to be of top quality. Read more chainsaw reviews in the internet to help you in choosing the right device to use. You can also choose from the best lightweight chainsaw based on the popular choices available today. When you have chosen a brand new chainsaw that is considered high quality, then you won’t feel afraid in using it anymore. It helps a lot if you stick with trusted brands only.

Can the Sound of a Flowing Faucet Really Help You Relax?

Can the Sound of a Flowing Faucet Really Help You RelaxOn YouTube, there’s a five-hour clip (that’s 300 minutes!) that plays nothing but the sound of an open faucet. It’s not just a dripping faucet. It’s a faucet that has been left open, producing the rushing sound similar to the “white noise” created by some TVs when they don’t get a signal to project video and sound. This clip is titled “Faucet Water Sleep Sounds | Music to Sleep, Relax, Fight Nightmares and Insomnia.”

The video is described as something that produces soothing sounds of water flowing from a faucet to a sink. Allegedly, this “music” is a BIG hit with babies. It can, accordingly, also be used on toddlers, teenagers, adults, and even seniors. It’s supposed to bring about the feeling of relaxation. It can supposedly address nightmares, insomnia, and tinnitus.

If you have tried listening to it, you will likely be more annoyed than relaxed. It’s just a plain monotonous sound of a typical faucet full throttled to just let all the water out with its full pressure. It sounds like rainfall but with a considerably higher frequency. It’s just some mundane sound you get to hear everyday and you tend to get annoyed with if you hear it for longer durations. It is a sound that is arguably peskier or equally annoying when compared to the sales pitches found in kitchen faucet reviews, particularly the kitchen tap reviews. The noise produced is similar to the sound produced by any kind of faucet, from the cheap screw-type units to the best kitchen faucets with two handles, or the best kitchen faucets in general.

But this noise is supposed to have a calming or relaxing effect. For babies, in particular, they are believed to be comparable to music. Maybe you will not be able to experience the kind of effect it is meant to offer if you have no intentions of sleeping or relaxing. It’s supposed to just play in the background, to be a form of ambient noise that cancels out other noises or overpowers the effect of other noises in the surroundings. Its effect may not be experienced by all but many should realize that it may actually work.

For babies, this noise can be useful because it tends to cancel out the unwanted noises in an area. It may also provide a relatively pleasant noise when there is complete silence. Babies, after all, don’t only fuss over the presence of noises in their surroundings; they also cry or worry when there is complete silence around them. All of these have been explained on the blog of the uploader of the YouTube video.

The sound on the video was captured by focusing a high quality microphone on an actual open faucet. Of course, the recording was not done for full five hours. Instead, the recording obtained was just edited and replicated to come up with a full five hours of faucet noise. The volume was also edited to come up with a good balance that would not sound irritating to the ears.

Give Yourself a Break When You’ve Worked Hard Enough in Music

Give Yourself a Break When You’ve Worked Hard Enough in Music

Pursuing  a career in music is a passion. Those who don’t pursue it won’t understand why musicians are so passionate about it. If you don’t pursue enough, this is not the right place for you. If you are starting as a musician, you might not get all the breaks you needed. In fact, you might go on for years trying something that does not pay well. There might even be a point in your life when your loved one will tell you to just stop everything since it does not lead you anywhere. This is extremely painful. This is why you need to pat yourself in the back when no one else does.

To begin with, there are a lot of other musicians out there. You might try to set yourself apart from the rest, but there will always be a point of comparison. This is why some producers won’t gamble on you. This is why you are left unnoticed no matter how good you are. However, you just have to keep trying and pushing. A lot of other artists out there tried several times before reaching their dreams. In fact, even some American Idol winners tried many times before they are where they are now.

This is why you deserve a break. You might be pushing too hard that you no longer enjoy what you are doing. If you keep doing this, you will not do your best in your performance anymore. This hurts your craft and this is not a good thing. If possible, you need to reward yourself every now and then. If you’ve accomplished a milestone, try to give yourself something. It does not have to be expensive. It can be more symbolic.

Buy something for yourself

When you have the chance to play for a bar or be invited to sing for a special event, it is already a break. You might meet other people during those events. This could lead to your success later on. Try buying something that you can also use to improve your craft. Buy a new guitar or any musical instrument you want to learn. If not, you can buy something to make you look better on your next gig. Check out the best watch or a chronograph wristwatch. This will give you a more appealing look when you are on stage. There are a lot of choices available so you don’t need to get the most expensive one. You can also get advice from watch reviews online. There are a lot of good reviews to help you make a decision.

Do more

When you have already given yourself a reward, it is time to get back to work and do better. Just like any other jobs out there, you just have to give yourself a break. Find a way to make sure that you don’t burn out. This is your biggest threat as a musician. You need to have a phase where you can stop and replenish. You need to recharge so you can make the most out of your music. Eventually, you will achieve tons of successes in life and you still need to do the same thing. Work, break and work better.

Use Cellulite Brushes While Listening to Your Favorite Songs

Use Cellulite Brushes While Listening to Your Favorite SongsMusic is not just for our ears, but also for our soul. Thus, if you listen to your favorite songs, you automatically feel relaxed. No matter how tired you are, it makes you feel lighter and much better. Thus, it does not hurt to listen to songs that relax you most every now and then. However, you need to understand that we feel relaxed by different genres of music. Thus, if you feel better listening to rock songs, go for it.

Listening to songs alone is already very relaxing. You can make it even better by using cellulite brushes. It is like being massaged when you relax, but it provides additional benefits. You won’t realize it immediately, but your excess fat is gradually being dissolved. It helps tighten your skin. You just have to use it like an ordinary massage roller on affected areas. With constant use, you can see the difference. Of course, you have to couple this with exercise routine and balanced diet. You can’t just rely on this small device to do all the changes you needed. However, it helps a lot if you constantly use it.

 

A spa weekend

If you don’t have enough time to use the cellulite brushes daily, you can just use it during weekends. You can setup the entire place as if you are on a spa. You can dim the lights, use scented candles, prepare the bed covers, and even use aroma oil. You can ask someone to do it for you or you can easily deal with it on your own. Then, before you start, you can play your favorite songs. You can prepare the playlist in advance. It must be good for at least an hour. By then, you will have enough time to finish using the best body brush for cellulite. Once you are done, you can take a nap for a while. Of course, you have to fix everything and return them to the right places.

 

Cellulite rollers during free time

When you have other free time aside from weekends, don’t waste it. Make use of that time for your cellulite brushes. You can watch the TV while using it or you can just sit while waiting for an important appointment. You can even bring it with you. It is small and portable. Thus, during lunch break at your office or if you want to take a break, this device is perfect.

 

Seeing the results

When you have a lot of cellulites, this device will just gradually restore your body’s shape. Thus, you should not try to expect massive changes immediately. Results will soon be clearer. Just give it some time. Also, don’t feel disappointed right away. Take note that it has to work on various issues in your body. If you have a lot, then you can’t see striking results immediately. However, if you constantly use the cellulite brushes, you will look better. Also, if you keep listening to your favorite songs while doing it, you won’t feel tired in any way.

Turn the Music on When Cleaning Your House

Turn the Music on When Cleaning Your HouseEveryone hates cleaning the house. It takes a lot of time and effort. If it has been some time since your last general cleaning, it might even take an entire day before you can get the job done. When you don’t have a house helper, you have no choice but to do the job yourself. There are a lot of things that you can do though in order to make the task easier to deal with. One of them is to turn the music on. In one way or another, this helps make things better for you.

 

Cleaning can be fun

When you turn the music on, you can just dance or sing with the songs being played, and not even realize that you are cleaning at all. This makes you enjoy the entire process. It makes you focus on some other things while doing your job at the same time. You just have to be careful though because you might enjoy listening to the music so much that you no longer clean your house well.

 

Less stress

When you are so stressed out and you still have to clean your house, then it makes you feel stressed out even more. The good thing is that when you play your favorite songs, then you don’t feel any pressure at all. You will not be stressed out in any way. You will think that this is just one way of having fun during the weekends. If you play rock or fast songs, then it makes you feel the beat and dance with it. If you play slow songs, then it makes you feel more relaxed. Either way, it is good for your overall mental and emotional state.

 

Choosing the right cleaning equipment

Listening to your favorite songs is just one way to reduce stress when cleaning. Another way of doing so is by choosing the right equipment to be used for cleaning. If possible, search the best items that can be used for cleaning. For instance, you can read more about the advice on the best carpet cleaners from experts. Those who have used those carpet cleaners before may also have advice on which of the choices you can rely on. As long as you read through carpet cleaner reviews, you are assured that you are getting the right equipment for your home.

 

Cleaning should be fun

Now that you know the ways to make cleaning less stressful, you have to do it all the time. By then, you will no longer think of cleaning as a task that you hate doing. You will think of it as a way for you to feel relaxed. You can think clearly the moment you started cleaning. It is also a way to release stress in your body. The best part is that when you are done cleaning and you see your beautiful home, you feel relaxed even more. Again, cleaning must be something you would love doing for fun, and not just because you are forced to do so.

The Richest Musicians

Beyoncé on her Australian tour

There was a time in decades past when a musician’s paycheck was mostly about record sales, and the gold, platinum, or multi-platinum record awards were the aspirational goals. However, the iPod and iTunes, being the game changers that they were, ushered in the digital age of music and now things aren’t the same.

Or maybe the appropriate description would be that things have gone back to the way it was before there was the facility to mass-produce music. Looking at the descriptions of Forbes list of last year’s highest paid musicians, there was hardly any mention of record sales. The kaching-kaching mostly came from touring — actually showing up at a venue and playing one’s instrument, whether it be one’s voice, guitar, or otherwise. Going on tour used to just be a means to an end, as a way to ring up publicity and/or to promote a record. But now it’s the bread and butter, baby.

Today’s hottest stars now have to work for it and hone their skills as well as develop their stamina for the demanding tour schedules and all the physical requirements entailed. These young artists all had to perform onstage for their money. Okay, they had all sorts of endorsement deals as well, which went towards sufficiently increasing their net worth. But still, touring.

  • Beyonce #2, $115 M
  • Justin Bieber – #6, $80 M, and all despite all the douchiness and negative publicity
  • One Direction – #7, $75 M
  • Calvin Harris – #9, $66 M. Although not as popular as the others, he’s extremely in demand among his fellow musicians as their go-to producer and hit maker.
  • Taylor Swift – #11 with $64 M
  • Diddy
    Bruno Mars
    and Jay-Z
    tied in #12 with $60 M apiece

Even artists whom we probably thought were past their prime raked in the big bucks in their tours. Case in point

  • The Eagles – #3, $100 M can you believe it?)
  • Paul McCartney – #8, 71 M
  • Bon Jovi – #4, $82 M
  • Bruce Springsteen, #5, $81 M

Notice that three of these guys were made it to the top 5, not by coming up with a new record, but by touring.

Of course there are exceptions. There’s Dr. Dre, who made it all the way to number 1 with a whopping $620 million dollars without rapping a single line, but by selling his brand Beats to Apple for $3 billion (yes, with a “b”). And then there’s Toby Keith, whose earnings are not solely comprised of his earnings as a musician, but as a business owner, with his record label, mescal line, and restaurant chain. The young uns could learn a lot from these two about investing and diversifying. As a matter of fact, we common folk could learn a lot from them too, whether we’re NBA players, doctors, office jocks, or website owners with modest earnings.

But back to my point. The facts presented here strongly support the position that musical artists these days do have to make their money by regularly, continuously playing their music brilliantly, night after night, stage after stage, city after city. And it’s as it should be, don’t you think?

Looking To The Sky For Songwriting Inspiration

Sometimes one of the hardest things for a musician is finding inspiration for creating new music. There are times when ideas and lyrics can just flow like a gushing river, but when writer’s block sets in, it can be extremely hard not to get frustrated or discouraged. It’s interesting that most of the time, amateur musicians don’t experience such a block, even though they are unknowingly limited in the inspiration they draw from. It’s not uncommon for new songwriters to write about the same subject over and over again without even realizing it. Sometimes that can be just as detrimental as writers block. Whether you’re a new musician, or an old-timer like me, I’d like to share two tips for expanding your horizons a bit more so that you never run out of new ideas and topics for your songs.

WRITE ABOUT THE EXPERIENCES OF OTHERS

It’s so easy to write about the same girl or the same situation that you are in repeatedly. If your goal is to become a more versatile and talented songwriter, then this is something you’ll want to avoid. Instead, learn to draw upon the experiences and situations of others. This will help get you out of repeating topics or ideas if you find yourself in such a cycle. One of the best ways to do this is actually very simple, check your Facebook. Fortunately (sometime unfortunately), we live in a world where it is easy to share with those close enough our day to day experiences and emotions. Just going through your Facebook feed will give you more than a handful of new ideas or mindsets that could easily be the major subject matter for your next song.

LOOK TO THE SKY FOR INSPIRATION

Whether during the day, or at night, staring up into the sky can help you get out of your own mind or help you feel a part of something larger. If you don’t believe me just remember that almost every major artist who’s ever been has at least one good song that had to do with the sky or celestial objects found therein. Here are just a few examples:

Bruno Mars – Staring at the Moon
Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds – The Beatles
Drops of Jupiter – Train

In fact, here is a fun piece of trivia for you: Did you know that in Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen, Freddy Mercury threw in the lyric “Galileo” because of lead guitarist, Brian May’s tendency to look up at the sky? That’s right, Brian May was an avid astronomer, who spent a bunch of free time gazing through a telescope at the stars (This is why I had him sign my Orion SkyQuest XT8 back in 1992 when I actually had the chance to meet him). Galileo, of course, was also a slightly more famous astronomer who is well-known for using the first refractor telescope.

Regardless of whether you look up at the sky through a telescope or with your own two eyes, the idea still stands. Looking up at the sky is a great way to search beyond yourself for inspiration that can be used in your songwriting pursuits. Remember not to go overboard, and start writing every new song about objects in the sky or a situation that a particular friend is in. These tips are meant to help you start getting in the habit of looking outside of your normal avenues for songwriting topics. As you get better at this you’ll begin finding new inspiration in unexpected places and this is a key step to becoming a better musician.