How to Start a Music Project
by Alex Cosper (2/18/14)

Starting a musical project, whether it's a solo or band effort involved time and probably money. It is possible to make a minimal investment in musical gear and develop a career of playing in public frequently just as a solo artist. Learning popular cover songs acoustic guitar is the best way to get quick easy paying gigs.

Your musical project needs a theme that ties all of it together, which will be the way you market your music. The theme needs to be more about the genre or genres that the music embraces. Naming the project can actually help make or break it as strange names usually lead to obscurity whereas picturesque or easy to remember names are more successful.

I use the word "project" because that covers all types of recording, including if you want to be a one person project under a creative entity besides your own real name. There are many advantages to being a one person project, but there are also strengths to getting help from other band memebers, especially if the music is meant to be cutting edge.

You should first ask yourself why you want to create a musical project in the first place. If you are mainly in it to make money, then learning cover songs is the best route to getting paid right away. You can expand that business model by becoming a karaoke DJ. But if you want to make music for other reasons, such as sharing ideas with the world, then it will be a more difficult journey in your search for gigs. Night club owners typically want bands that can pull a crowd, but many small venues feature up and coming acts.

Many musical projects come together through friends talking about forming a band. The drawback to a band in the big picutre is that the money must be split several ways. At the same time, bands that sound great can earn a lot of money with originals or covers if they refine their art and stand out regionally. It also takes a little bit of creative marketing to raise awareness about the group. Media reviews are very important to spreading the word.

If the music project revolves around songs, then it's a good idea to record the songs in some form, whether online or on discs, so that the music can be promoted to individuals. Recording can be an expensive process if you're trying to make commerical music that sells. However, there are ways to cut costs drastically, especially if you are an acoustic solo artist.

The best place to start with an original music project is learning specific musical instruments. Acoustic guitar is the most popular instrument because it's portable and it handles both rhythm and melody. It only takes a few months to develop a decent guitar sound. With three chords you can literally learn thousands of cover songs.

The electric guitar is an essential instrument for rock and roll and is used in several contemporary genres as a background instrument to create a fuller sound. While the prices for adequate acoustic guitars range from $100 to $600 new, electric guitars start around $300 new for decent quality. Of course, it's always possible to find a great deal online. Investing in electric guitars also involves investing in amps, cables and effects units.

Piano is still an important instrument found across all genres, but its size and weight make it difficult to transport. Synthesizers are designed to be portable and provide a much wider universe of sounds. Keyboards, like guitar, make a great accompaniment for almost any type of song.

Drums are the heartbeat of music. They can also be the most expensive part of the band. If budget is a concern you may want to go with bongos or other forms of stripped down percussion. The most important role of the drummer is to keep the song in time with itself. In live situations drums are usually the loudest instrument in the mix. In recording drum tracks are usually laid down first, then bass.

Bass is an instrument that helps color the sound and outline the chord progression with root notes. The bass also acts as the marriage between rhythm, melody and harmony. Many times simple bass lines are all that is needed to enhance the rhythm, especially went it comes to dance music. In recording drums and bass represent the "low end" of the sonic spectrum.

Playing live and recording music are two very different worlds. With live music you don't get to correct mistakes and you hope no one noticed any. With recording, correcting mistakes can run up big bills, but it's essential not to release a recording full of obvious errors. Both live and studio projects require a lot of practice. The more rehearsed you are in both situations, the more smooth your performance will be.

There is all kinds of free software available for basic recording. Investing in more professional recording software will help accelerate your understanding of music production. Learning the art of recording it the key to creating a vast music library at low cost. One way to learn about recording is by researching recording arts schools. Learning from interviews with professinal producers is can make a big difference.

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