Copyrighting Your Music
Blog / 06/07/2014

Copyrighting Your Music   In 1870, Congress passed a law moving registration of copyrights from the federal courts to the Library of Congress. In 1897, Thorvald Solberg became the first Register of Copyrights and served in that capacity until 1930. Today, the Library of Congress is still the place to go to register your copyright. Technically your songs and lyrics are protected by copyright as soon as it is created and “fixed” in a tangible form such as a recording, or in the case of lyrics written down. However proving in a court of law that you created something, in the unlikely event that you would need to, is a different matter. To fully protect your rights in a court of law it is vitally important to register your work with the U.S. Copyright Office, which is part of the Library of Congress. Having done that, you get a certificate of registration and your work is a matter of public record. Then, if someone ever tries to claim authorship for a composition that you created you have a legally acceptable proof of authenticity that the work is yours. To register, you need to submit the correct application form, a non-refundable…

Does Your Music Suck?
Blog / 05/05/2014

Does Your Music Suck?   Over the last couple years or so I’ve worked with dozens of songwriters one on one via my coaching and music marketing services. During this time I’ve noticed some interesting patterns that hold writers back when it comes to successfully licensing their music. I’d like to address a couple of the biggest obstacles I see when it comes to writers not having the success they desire today. One problem is that writers simply don’t take enough action in getting their music licensed. They try one service like Broadjam or Taxi and they make a handful of submissions via these services throughout the year and then there surprised when nothing happens. Well, I’m not surprised at all! You need to take steps toward your goal every single day. This is not a business to be approached casually or lackadaisically. Sorry, if that’s what you’re looking for maybe you can get a job delivering pizzas or something. (no offense to pizza drivers, really, I used to deliver pizzas and it was a pretty easy job!) I know I might be coming across a little harsh here, but let’s be realistic. A LOT of people are out there…

Studying Heavy Metal Guitar
Blog / 04/22/2014

Studying Heavy Metal Guitar By Tennyson Williams, Author of The Essential Guide To Guitar Virtuosity   Heavy Metal is an amazing style of music, and requires a lot of refinement in a guitarist’s playing. In this article I’m going to talk about what you will need to study to get into this style of music. If you haven’t already, I highly recommend that you read my other article on studying Rock guitar. I have always talked about how universal music is, and when it comes to metal, it can be as universal as you want it to be. A lot of people shrug and don’t think that it is, but they are quite wrong. A good place to start would be to study a little bit of the approach to rock guitar. Metal, like rock, uses a lot of power chords and a lot of the same scales and modes, but because metal is more adaptable to different genres of music, it can include any number of modes or chord structures. This article has to be vague because there are so many different forms that heavy metal comes in. You have speed metal, thrash metal, black metal, alt metal, death…

How To Create Success In The Music Licensing Industry
Blog / 04/07/2014

How To Create Success In The Music Licensing Industry   Do you sometimes feel a little lost as you’re pursuing a career in music? Do you get confused as to what steps to take to move forward in your career? Do you wish there was some sort of a map or a formula that you could follow that would guarantee success? The music industry is much different than more traditional career paths in that there really isn’t a clear path to take that will guarantee success. It’s not like becoming a doctor or a lawyer where you go to medical or law school, study hard, rack up debt in student loans and at the end become a doctor or lawyer. The music industry is much different in that you have to find your own path. What works for others that have come before you might not work for you. You have to find your own way. However, just because there aren’t guarantees that doesn’t mean there aren’t things you can do that will greatly increase your chances of finding success. One way you can gain massive leverage is by simply taking action, consistently, every day. So for example, in the…

Studying Guitar Chords – The Best Methods
Blog / 03/29/2014

Studying Guitar Chords – The Best Methods By Tennyson Williams, Author of The Essential Guide To Guitar Virtuosity   I have heard over the years that there are as much as one million guitar chords that can be learned. It might even be two million. I think that one million might just be a slightly inaccurate number, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the actual calculation was close to that. There are still a lot of guitar chords that have never been named or really discovered. The possibilities are endless, and as you can see, it can become quite a chore to learn even a handful of guitar chords. In this article I’m going to give you some simple advice for studying chords and then making them stick. Let’s get to it! 1. Stick with it. If you learn a new chord, you’re going to have to play it or use it in the context of a song for a number of days. 2. My biggest suggestion would be to try and learn only five chords at a time. Don’t take on too much. From here there are two ways that you can go about this. You can either learn…

How to Set Up a Simple Home-Based Recording Studio
Blog / 02/17/2014

How to Set Up a Simple Home-Based Recording Studio By Tennyson Williams, Author of The Essential Guide To Guitar Virtuosity   In this day and age, setting up your very own home based digital recording studio is extremely affordable, as well as easy to do. Not only that, but its a lot of fun! In this article I’m going to be talking about how to get started with a home recording studio that will cost around a $1000 – that’s right, one thousand dollars. Don’t worry – our little studio is going to rock! After that I will also be discussing how to expand this same studio into a more diversified and fully functional studio, but first – let’s start with the basics. 1. Computer The computer that you choose to operate with is very important. Recording software can take its toll on just any ordinary computer, so there are some performances issues that we need to keep in mind. Its true that your computer will require a good amount of RAM, but this isn’t the only big thing. The CPU is also very important. In my opinion, I believe that anything above 3GBs of RAM is overkill. I also…

The Importance Of Following Up In The Music Licensing Business
Blog / 01/27/2014

The Importance Of Following Up In The Music Licensing Business   I’ve touched on the importance of following up with music licensing professionals a lot in previous newsletters. Today I want to dig deeper into this topic and drive home this point even further. A couple days ago I interviewed Aaron Bethune, the founder of Play It Loud Music, for members of my marketing service, Renegade Music Marketing. During my interview with Aaron he made the point very clearly that you have to follow up after making initial contact with him or anyone else. As Aaron explained, he receives so many emails on a daily basis that by the end of the day if he hasn’t gotten back to you, your email is probably so far down in his inbox that it’s possible he’s completely forgotten about it. Aaron explains that your initial contact is like planting a seed, but that you have to follow up to see anything come of your initial efforts. This is completely aligned with my experience. I’ve told the story before about the first song I signed to my previous publisher. I sent her several tracks and heard nothing back for about six weeks. I…

Guitar Hand Stretches and Why They are so Important
Blog / 01/17/2014

Guitar Hand Stretches and Why They are so Important By Tennyson Williams, Author of The Essential Guide To Guitar Virtuosity   Warming up on the guitar before starting any practice routine, or jam session is very essential, and unfortunately a lot of guitarists don’t take the time to do this. A lot of guitarists simply jump into playing, because they are so anxious to create outstanding music, but believe me when I tell you that when you take the time to warm up properly on the guitar – your playing will really flourish. 1. Why is it so important to warm up on the guitar first? Guitar playing requires a lot of looseness and flexibility of the hands. Just like any other part of your body, your hands contain many muscles, and over time, as you practice more and more, these muscles become very strong. I’m infamous in my family for being able to give amazing shoulder rubs, and its also a big joke in my family that I can practically crush bones with my hands, which is why I often times hear someone say “dude, lighten up – you’re killing me!” This kind of strength comes with many years…

Musical Discipline for the Guitarist
Blog / 12/21/2013

Musical Discipline for the Guitarist By Tennyson Williams, Author of The Essential Guide To Guitar Virtuosity   One of my favorite topics that I am most passionate about is the universal connection between music. At first, most can’t distinguish it, but if you go in search of musical knowing – you will soon be able to hear all the similarities. It truly cracks me up just how limited in thinking some musicians can be. Though I tend to play a lot of heavy metal guitar, my favorite style of music is actually Bossa Nova, which at first doesn’t sound anything like heavy metal. Yet they both have two things in common. One, they are both very rhythmic, and two, they are both very melodic in structure. By devouring every style of music imaginable, you reach a point where you can not only appreciate other styles of music, but you can also pin-point the similarities. Why is this important? Its important, because no matter what kind of a guitarist you claim to be, at the end of the day you’re in search of originality. Isn’t that one of our main goals as a species? One of the gateways to this kind…

Guitar Speed Training – Beating the Limitations of Speed
Blog / 11/17/2013

Guitar Speed Training – Beating the Limitations of Speed By Tennyson Williams, Author of The Essential Guide To Guitar Virtuosity   When it comes to training for guitar speed, there seems to be a breaking point. When I say breaking point, I mean that it can literally make or break you. I would like to label this breaking point as “the wall”, because a guitarist can make so much progress when training for speed, but then find themselves running into this dreaded stone pillar. Its hard to say exactly where this wall comes into play, and it also has a lot to do with the riff, lick, passage or exercise, but one thing is for sure – its definitely their. If you are a little confused by what I am talking about, it may be because you have never heard of this obstacle. You see, you can make a lot of progress with any exercise, but at some point you will encounter a point where you simply cannot get any faster at that exercise, or so it would seem. I have noticed that with most guitar speed exercises it comes around the 200bpm (beats per minute) mark. Once you reach…