Demystifying Staff Notation Part One: Pitch

To the uninitiated, classical music notation looks beautiful and terrifying, filled with bizarre looping symbols, black dots scattered around lines like footprints and numbers and fragments of text in strange languages peppered all around. Many people have confused memories of school music lessons about good boys deserving fine apples and other nonsense with no obvious […]

Notes From The Total Perspective Vortex – Finding Your Way In The Big, Big World Of Music

”For when you are put into the Vortex you are given just one momentary glimpse of the entire unimaginable infinity of creation, and somewhere in it a tiny little marker, a microscopic dot on a microscopic dot, which says “You are here.” – Douglas Adams, The Restaurant At The End Of The Universe If you […]

Among Musicians There Are No Divisions

This story concerns Roddy, a fantastic fiddler and folk musician hailing from Glasgow, Scotland, who I met on the Leeds music scene. To give a little backstory for those who don’t know, the city of Glasgow has a history of sectarianism between Catholic and Protestant communities, most famously associated with the rivalry between the city’s […]

Music’s Worst Motivational Techniques (that worked)

Musicians can be an unruly bunch, so producers, bandleaders and managers need some way of knocking them into a high performing unit. But what to do when an employee of the month award, a paintballing trip and a bunch of attaboy certificates won’t cut the mustard? What follows is a compendium of harsh, bizarre, dangerous […]

Review: Sly & Robbie meet Nils Petter Malvaer – Nordub

This is fusion. On a list of collaborations you never knew were eternally meant to be until you hear them, Jamaica’s legendary rhythm section of Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare first joined with Norwegian trumpeter Nils Petter Molvaer for a series of gigs (followed by a full tour) in 2015, combining the Riddim Twins’ hot, […]

Review: Matt Steady – Echoes Of Albion

Over the last few years, Leicester’s Matt Steady has emerged as a poster boy of the internet orientated independent music scene, being held up as an inspiration by many music business podcasters. His latest long-player Echoes Of Albion is a concept album taking the listener on a bittersweet tour of Britain across time – this […]

The Perfect Jeans Fit – Finding Your Genre Niche

Quick – what, in a nutshell, is the genre category of your music? If you can’t answer that succinctly, you’re not alone. Every artist goes through a period of exploration and experimentation while they discover their particular voice, and, with the exception of a few purists, no-one likes to think of themselves as a derivative […]

Changing Your Voice Part 6 – Cross-Gender Vocal Techniques

This is the sixth article in my series introducing ways you can develop and change the sound of your singing voice to get the sound you want, whatever style, setting or aim you have in mind. These articles are not intended as a replacement for singing lessons – on the contrary, I hope the techniques […]

Changing Your Voice Part 5 – Hard Rock, Metal and Extreme Vocal Styles

So now you’ve sung like an angel, it’s time to scream like a demon. This is the latest in my series of articles introducing the aspects of developing a unique singing voice – if you’re new to singing and have found this article via google, you may want to read back on the previous articles […]