If It Sounds Good - It Is Good!
— Duke Ellington

Don't Worry, Be Happy.

My youngest son's Jack O' Lantern from last Halloween - how happy is that? :)

My youngest son's Jack O' Lantern from last Halloween - how happy is that? :)

(Yeah, I really don't like that song either, but it's damned catchy...) :)

I've been racing out the posts on this first week of Blogdom, mostly because I wanted to get a lot of stuff out my head so I could set the tone for what I want to accomplish here. The schedule will slow down quite a bit, settling into a monthly series of topics that should be easier on all of us. Thanks for sticking around.

Michael Donaldson dropped an article on one of my Slack Channels yesterday about how one person is dominating the charts. And that's fine - a lot of people just want a tune they can sing in the shower and are want to light up their Social Media Networks with what they're listening to. Said individual is quite good at making these types of songs. This will get worse before it gets better.

Here's the link: https://www.theguardian.com/music/musicblog/2017/mar/10/ed-sheeran-has-16-songs-in-the-top-20-and-its-a-sign-of-how-sick-the-charts-are

Oh, and here's Michael's site - he digs up treasures like this every day and you should be plugged in there too: http://www.8dindustries.com/blog/

The Democratization of Music in a technological sense has made this inevitable. You can invest a few hundred bucks on some music software that lets you (and will happily assist you) make high-quality tracks that sound like the big artists. Those big artists have exactly the same software you do, they just might have more experience using it in a musical and creative context. You can now release your tunes out there at zero cost (just like the big kids do) and have a chance of getting them heard by everyone on the planet. w00t Interwebz.

When everyone has access to the same tools and distribution networks, what floats to the top and what sinks to the bottom? That's an easy one - Quality. It might be the Quality of songwriting, production, or novelty. It might be the Quality of making the same-sounding song over and over again reliably. It might be the Quality of a long time of trial and error and sweat and slogging it out night after night building your repitoire and audience. It might the Quality of sheer dumb luck. But it is a quality of some type.

So what is your Quality in this Game?

If it's a lark, a hobby, a few hours on the weekend with some friends for a jam session then there's your answer. You have no expectations other than to enjoy the music making process and the gratification it gives you.

If you're in it only to create the 'Soundtrack for the Lifestyle' (Tip 'O The Hat to Lord Smithers for the meme) because it's your ticket to the money and the fame and the Mansion on the Hill, then good luck. Every other act clamoring for the top is doing that too, they've got a head start on you, and they will fight tooth and nail to get it and hang on to it.

But if you have the absolute burning need to get your voice heard, and it doesn't matter if you have to work a day gig (or six) while spending all your free time writing or recording or playing out as much as you can, baring your heart and your soul to anyone who will listen because you have just have to do it, then you've got what it takes to be in it for the long run. Don't let anyone tell you can't or you won't and whatever you do never, ever give up. We need as many of you as we can get.

So again, what's your Quality in this Game?

Regardless of your answer, I will leave you with these:

Don't worry about what's happening on The Charts - they're for people looking for another song like the one they just listened to or for journos looking for stories.

Don't worry about who's got the houses and the cars and headlines and the gear - if that's all you're in it for then you'll be broke before you know it.

Don't worry about getting your voice heard - if you give us truth and honesty, we'll find you. Trust me.

Be happy that it's never been a better time to be a Artist or Musician. We have all the technology on our side, and the biggest market in history to hear it.

Be happy with what you have, and learn it to it's fullest potential. We'll talk more about this later, but don't let GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome) get in the way of your sound or vision.

But most of all, be happy that you have a voice to share. A lot of people need your words and music to make their world a brighter place.

Mixing for Loudness Units Full Scale (101)

Ain't Talkin' 'Bout LUFS!