All posts by Singer

Become a Local Star | 7 Tips for you

Local Star - Tips for conquering the local market with your sound!
Become a local star – Tips for conquering the local market with your sound! artwork: JShaw

Map out a solid strategy for becoming a ‘local star‘.  Start building a local fan-base and that’s the place to start.

7 Tips For Becoming A Local Star

1) You have to figure out early on what your niche [market/audience] is going to be.

2) One person seeing a poster or a Facebook ad or a YouTube video won’t get them out to your show. They have to be hit from multiple angles and from multiple people.

3) No social network or YouTube video can change the electrifying energy of a physical experience. Get out in the world and meet people!

4) Go to local concerts OFTEN and meet all the other bands.

5) Target your local promo efforts to specific groups that are unique to your band.

6) I recommend playing a big local show…once every 2-3 months as to not overwhelm your audience.

7) Make sure you get people to film these shows as you’ll want footage of you playing to a packed house. Share with local media so they know you have a real audience.

Become a local star

These tips ring true to me from my own experience of building a following for alternative arts events I organized with my friends in North Carolina in the 80’s. Once I got settled into any of the communities in which I lived, our shows always had solid attendance and often had full or close to full houses. It’s nice to know that people are still finding success with these tactics in the age of the web.

Herstand has more to say about each of these points over at The DIY Musician. And be sure to check out Ari’s Take in which he drops knowledge on a regular basis.

How to become a singer

Learn Play Piano – Free online lessons

Learn play piano – The best free online piano lesson website we have found is True Piano Lessons with David Graf. He has a deep commitment to teaching piano and bringing it within reach of the average person. You don’t need to read music. He shows you chord patterns. Which is one of the easiest ways to learn to play the piano.

Learn Play Piano

Learn play piano. Free online piano lesson.
Learn to play piano online with an extensive learning program designed by a caring professional.

Check out this welcome video to his site and then go right on over there and start learning to play the piano. Oh, and… David teaches piano in the Denver-metro area. If you would like to become a student of his, -click here-!

Learning to play an instrument like the piano can be a long and arduous climb. Depending on how the subject is approached. Many kids who’s parent have forced them to take piano lessons have hated every moment of it and hardly retain any of the knowledge.

Learn play piano from free online piano lessons.
In our opinion this is the best way – learn play piano.

However, if you are searching for this material for yourself, you may be ready to find out how easy it can be to learn to play piano. Especially if you use the technique taught by David. Learning all of the chords is incredibly important and makes your life so much easier once you learn to string the chords together to play a song. Then you can slowly begin to play notes between the chords which will totally makes sense because you know all of the chords and what is coming and playing a small progression between the chords becomes second nature.

You may then find it is very easy to incorporate the melody within the chords structures. Learning to play many hit songs is very easy in this way. If you are ready, you are ready to learn play piano and express yourself in a way you never thought possible!

PA Sound System | How to simple explanation

PA Sound System: How To Setup and Use A Simple System

Arguably, if you are a musician, singer, speaker, etc., the PA Sound System is the most important aspect of any performance.  Here is a great, though simplified, explanation of what a PA/Sound system is. And, basically how to use it.  Learn where to plug your microphone and what the little dials on your channel mean.

If you are new to singing/performing, then you have probably never learned to use a PA (public address) or sound system.  As a singer, you will ultimately need to know, at least, a little about how to set up or use a simple sound system.  Where do you plug in the mic?  How do you make it sound good?  What is reverb?  Where do you put the speaker wires?

PA Sound System - Learn about effects like delay, reverb, flange and more in our how to work PA system lessons.
Beginners need to know how to set up and run the PA, too! Learn about sound systems now!

Howard Mock, Owner of Rhapsody Music in Mankato, MN, Walks you through setup and proper usage of a simple PA sound system.

Rhapsody Music
326 Madison Avenue
Mankato, Minnesota
(507) 387-2562

Using a PA Sound System

You don’t need to have a degree in Music Production and Engineering from Berklee College of Music to make your band sound good.  Sometimes just using a simple little cost effective PA sound system can make your:

  • band
  • duo
  • trio
  • speaking engagement
  • whatever

sound great!  After you have played around with the system for a while, you will know exactly how to set all the knobs for the best sound for any situation.  Whether you are using self-powered (active) speakers or a powered mixer/head, you will get comfortable after a little messing around.

Next, to go along with the nice little PA sound system, you need to grab a few lights to create a nice atmosphere around you on the stage/performance area.

Learn to play guitar – Beginners

Play Guitar for beginners – Learn to play the guitar in a few hours

Play guitar - free online video lessons.
Nick Minnion (a.k.a. the Secret Guitar Teacher) has been teaching guitar for over 35 years. Here he gives a demonstration of how beginners to guitar can impress their friends in just a few hours with his superb easy to learn fast track beginners guitar course for complete beginners.

Playing guitar is not hard.  In fact, if you put in just a few minutes per day, you can get pretty good and quickly.  At first, you will only be able to play a couple of minutes because your will find your fingers hurting pretty badly.  Push through and it comes pretty fast.  It is like anything else.  No pain, no gain!  🙂

This free online guitar course takes you right from the absolute guitar beginner stage and doesn’t require you to have any knowledge of music whatsoever. All you will need is a guitar in your hands and then we’re ready to begin.

The course covers the following topics:

1. Name the parts of the guitar
2. Understand the names and numbers of the strings and frets
3. Understand fingering rules and conventions for each hand
4. Make nice clean sounding notes and chords
5. Tune the guitar by ear as well as by tuning machine
6. Read guitar tab that will allow you access to the millions of songs available on internet guitar tab sites.
7. Link notes together in musical phrases, riffs and licks
8. Lay the foundations of good lead guitar technique and proper coordination between right and left hands
9. Develop speed without sacrificing quality
10. Play the ‘Beginners Boogie’ a fun tune that’s nice and easy to play
11. Play chords and how to read different types of chord diagram
12. Change quickly from one chord to another
13. Use the metronome to develop good time-keeping from the outset.

Professional Vocal Warm Up – “Open Up Your Voice”

Warm up your voice like the pros! Online singing lessons.

Warming up is always important when you are planning on singing for any extended period of time.
A complete vocal warm up can mean the difference between singing well and often, and… not.

“Opening Up Your Voice”

Welcome – 00:00

Learn how to get the most of this vocal warm up video by watching the “Welcome” section.

Introduction – 2:46 “Body Warmup”

By learning to wake up the proper torso muscles, neck/throat tension can be greatly reduced. Learn more about the benefits in this section.

Coordination & Conditioning – 4:13 “Releasing/Awakening The Power Muscles”

Coordination and Conditioning are one and the same for this lesson. Simply follow along with me, performing each action as I explain it.

Everett Dumas launches ‘Red Raindrops’ album

Proudly featured on Click, Hear radio online.
Everett Dumas is proudly featured on Click, Hear radio.


Everett Dumas - Red Raindrops
Everett Dumas – Red Raindrops

Hampden, Maine musician Everett Dumas has launched a new album – “Red Raindrops,” which was recorded and produced independently. “Red Raindrops” includes ten original songs by Everett. TEN emotional, heartfelt tunes about family, life, love and small town realities of life in a Maine town!


Purchase album here and preview more songs.

A singer-songwriter in the Rock, Americana, Singer/Songwriter genre, Everett has been entertaining Bangor area audiences for 10+ years at many local establishments, including Sea Dog Brewing Co., Seasons Restaurant and Sports Bar, High Tide, The Charles Inn, Nocturnem Draft Haus, 4 Points BBQ , The Bacon Tree and more.

Red Raindrops - Everett Dumas
Red Raindrops – Everett Dumas

Raised in a musical family, Everett was always surrounded by singing and playing. His mother is a skilled pianist, and still plays at age 83! His father, Everett Sr., was also a musician and yodeler, and enjoyed playing country western music. Everett was always “moved“ by music, he felt what the songwriter was saying. Everett knew that he had to express himself in this musical way… it was “in” him! Music in the home is so important to Everett now, there is always a guitar nearby to capture the musical ideas. “Song ideas flood my mind constantly”, Everett says, one idea or word or phrase triggering a songwriting session.

“Music was always a hobby, a pastime activity, secondary to work and family”,  Dumas said.

Insert from Red Raindrops album from Everett Dumas.
Insert from Red Raindrops album from Everett Dumas.

Everett coached his sons in several sports, mainly hockey, for many years. Being a good father to his 2 sons Mitchell and Nathan will always be his proudest accomplishment! When they moved on from sports, Everett’s passion for guitar and singing started growing.

Everett learned and practiced many songs and felt compelled to share his passion for music with others. Excruciating stage fright led to some less than stellar moments for Everett, “I could hear my knees knocking and I forgot ALL the words” Everett says laughing!

Everett continued to persevere and discovered “open mics” where you can learn on the fly and develop the confidence to perform with support from other learning musicians!

Back Cover of Red Raindrops from Everett Dumas
Back Cover of Red Raindrops from Everett Dumas

At The Brick Church open mic, in Bangor, Everett honed his skills and his confidence grew, his first paying gig was at The Seadog Brewing Co. in Bangor and was a huge success! After several years of gigging, Everett started to develop his songwriting skills.

Check him out at CDBaby.

Crumpling many a cliche’d original song draft, Everett couldn’t get past the first verse, chorus dilemma! Hungry to write meaningful songs, Everett “holed up” and devoured all the information he could find on the craft of songwriting.

His new album “Red Raindrops” is the fruit of this intense labor to learn and develop a meaningful song!

Everett was born and raised in Millinocket , Maine.  Everett’s Father, “Duke,” was a milkman for Pleasant Hill Dairy. Everett’s Mom worked for Great Northern Paper Co. in the salary and benefits office. Everett worked summers in The Mill between his years at Eastern Maine Voc. Tech. Institute. At E.M.V.T.I. he studied Machine Tool Technology and upon graduation went right to work as a machinist, which has been Everett’s 35 year career.

“Train”, Everett’s first song on The “Red Raindrops” cd ,is a powerful rock song about the Papermill’s closing and the effects on his small town and family.

”Red Raindrops”, the cd’s title track, is a well crafted song of heartbreak, realization and the relief of knowing the truth.

“Hug Me” is a totally fun, upbeat song about the therapeutic effects of a hug!

“You Love So Much” is a love song dedicated to Everett’s beautiful Lady Maggie, who has cared for hundreds of foster children through her life!

“He Let The Fire Go Out” is a tribute to Everett’s Dad.

“Last Day” is a thought provoking tribute to Everett’s StepDad.

ALL TEN songs on this cd have special meaning to Everett and will connect with so many people at so many levels!!

Currently, Everett’s original songs can be heard on local radio stations in Maine, WKIT and WERU.

Everett’s cd “Red Raindrops” is ON SALE NOW at Bull Moose Music,,, iTunes, Amazon and local outlets too, such as, Maine Jewelry & Art in Bangor and The Bacon Tree restaurant in Winterport.

Proper Care Guidelines For Your Guitar

Putting your guitar in the corner and telling your friends not to touch it isn’t enough to properly care for it. An instrument that is well-cared for can last your entire lifetime. There are plenty of guitars used by famous musicians decades ago that still work and sound perfectly. What’s their secret?

Proper Care Guidelines For Your Guitar.
Proper care guidelines for your stringed instrument.

Properly caring for a guitar isn’t really a secret. There are just some common problems that many new owners overlook. This can cause the guitar to slowly suffer damage. This harms the playability, the sound, and the integrity.

By keeping these potential problems in mind and following some simple guitar care tips you can be sure that your axe will outlive you. Here are some of the most important guidelines to follow if you want a guitar that sounds just as good next year as it does today.

Guitars And Humidity

Humidity is the worst enemy of any guitar.  They are usually composed of thin pieces of wood that have been glued together. Humidity will affect the condition of the wood as well as the glue. Either too much or too little can be damaging. A great majority of the guitar repairs performed each year are from humidity-related damage.

Too little humidity and the wood can crack. This happens because wood shrinks when it dries. The top of the body may shrink as much as an eighth of an inch because of extremely low humidity. The fret can shrink as well, which causes an unsightly protrusion. If it shrinks too much or too quickly, then the wood will crack.

Proper Care Guidelines For Your Guitar.
Learn About Proper Care Guidelines

Wood absorbs moisture from the air. Too much humidity means the guitar will absorb too much water. These are referred to as “wet guitars.”  These will have some visible signs of damage. The wood expands and the shape of the body will change, even crack. This leads to distorted sounds and the bridge can eventually break off entirely.

You have to do everything you can to control the humidity if you want to properly care for your guitar. It can be difficult to control at all times, but a guitar humidifier can do a great job. It helps control the humidity in the case or is installed inside the guitar to control internal humidity. At the very least, it can prevent the rapid changes in humidity that cause the most damage.

A Clean Guitar Is Happy

Cleaning is the easiest and the most common maintenance it will require. It should be cleaned regularly. The more it is played, the more frequently it should be cleaned. Likewise, if it sits around collecting dust, then it needs to be dusted regularly as well.

Strings should be wiped down and cleaned after each use. The oil from fingertips contributes to rust formation. A simple cloth is enough to clean the strings after playing. A feather duster, cloth, and toothbrush are great tools for cleaning the rest of it. The feather duster removes the dust. The cloth is used to apply a guitar polish to the body. A toothbrush is used to dress the frets so that oil and dirt are removed after changing the strings.

Protect Your Guitar At All Times

If you’ve invested in a guitar then it only makes sense to invest in a heavy-duty case, as well. A travel bag or the trunk of your car is not a safe location for storage.

A hard case will protect it from damage that occurs when falling. It also helps control the humidity of the instrument to some degree. The temperature and humidity will change more slowly inside the case if moving from an area that is hot to an area that is cold.

It is always a good idea to keep the case in an area near the passengers and never in the trunk of the car when traveling. Temperatures are usually controlled where the passengers are sitting. Either because of the air conditioner or the heater in the vehicle. This helps keep it in a temperature controlled environment.

Regularly inspect your guitar to judge the condition and spot problems while they are still small. If you spot any changes in the shape or size of the wood, then it’s likely a humidity problem. Rusty strings are a sign that it hasn’t been cleaned properly. And don’t forget to keep it safe in a heavy-duty guitar case whenever possible.

Robert Menne writes and plays music in his spare time. He runs a site, that shares the latest tips and advice about guitars and playing, as well as the best video guitar lessons to help you learn to play guitar.

How to sing – Tips for beginners

Excerpted from:  From Singing For Dummies, 2nd Edition by Pamelia S. Phillips

Singing is an art and a craft that becomes more of an art as you pay more attention to the craft. The craft of singing includes breathing and standing properly. Adding a new song to your repertoire is a matter of breaking the song into steps. Whether you’re preparing for an audition or a performance, the successful presentation of any song includes conveying the story behind the song, as well as the musical notes.

Posture Checklist for Better Singing

A voice can be trained to work 5/6 nights per week for months at a time.
A voice can be trained to work 5/6 nights per week for months at a time.

The next time you watch a professional singer, observe the posture. Posture plays a large part in how well you sing. If you hunch over, your lungs can’t inflate fully; and if you fidget, you distract your audience — and yourself. Use the following list to correctly position yourself for singing:

  • Feet are hip-width apart with feet parallel.
  • Knees are unlocked with the weight evenly distributed on the three points of the feet — the tripod.
  • Spine is long and straight, from bottom to top.
  • Head is centered over shoulders; chin is parallel with the ground.
  • Shoulders are back but down and released.
  • Arms are hanging at your side.

Breathing Checklist to Improve Singing

Singing should be fun. If you feel pain, train. Stop singing and find out why your voice hurts.
Singing should be fun. If you feel pain, train. Stop singing and find out why your voice hurts.

Breathing is breathing, right? Not so with singing. For singers, good breath control and strong lungs contribute to powerful performances. It all begins with knowing how to breathe from deep within your body — from your diaphragm, actually, which is a membrane of muscle and tendons located between your lungs and abdomen. Follow this checklist to ensure that your breathing helps make your singing better:

  • Each breath drops low in the body.
  • Open your throat to prevent gasping.
  • Chest stays steady as you inhale.
  • Body movement consists of the lower abdominal area and the ribs expanding upon inhalation.
  • With exhalation, the abdominal area moves in as the air is slowly released.

Steps for Singing a New Song

Learning a new song to sing can be intimidating, but by using the following steps, you can integrate a new song into your repertoire without much difficulty. As with any new skill, learning a new song is a process, made easier if you break it into manageable steps:

  • Memorize the words as a story — write out the text as sentences with punctuation.
  • Tap out the rhythm.
  • Sing through the melody — without words — using a single vowel such as ah or oh.
  • Sing through the melody with the piano accompaniment without words.
  • Put it all together: words, rhythm, melody, and acting.

Tips for Dealing with Stage Fright When Singing

Warming up is always important when you are planning on singing for any extended period of time.
A complete vocal warm up can mean the difference between singing well and often and… not.

Deciding what you’re afraid of is the first big step in conquering stage fright, or performance anxiety. Some common fears include cracking your voice, looking stupid, or being afraid of audience rejection. Make a plan to eliminate the fear by following these tips:

Make a practice checklist to make sure you’re technically prepared for your performance. Work on your technique so you know you can depend on your voice under pressure.

  • Expect to be nervous and feel adrenaline before a performance.
  • Think positive thoughts.
  • Sing for friends before the big performance to work out the anxiety.

Audition Tips for Singers

Remember - deep breath! Be calm and do your best!
Remember – deep breath! Be calm and do your best!

The big tip to use on singing auditions is to know the typical behavior for your style of music. Pop-rock auditions are more laid-back than opera auditions. The way you dress for the opera audition is very different from how you dress at the pop-rock audition. Knowing these specifics increases your chances of getting the gig. This list highlights some tips to help you at auditions:

  • Choose songs that highlight your vocal strengths.
  • Pick stories you want to tell.
  • Prepare your music in a notebook so your songs are easy to locate. Or bring your recording to sing along with.
  • Polish your resume and print out your headshot to take to the audition.
  • Ask an accompanist to read through your song before your audition.
  • Choose your outfit wisely based on expectations for your type of audition.
  • Polish your acting skills.

O! Chips – Weesay, Liberia

Here is Weesay, the Bob Marley of Liberia!  He is a blind man who lives in the capital city of Monrovia. Weesay enjoys singing reggae with an instrument that he created using a stick of wood stuck to an oil can.  Here is his song, O! Chips.  It sounds like there are a couple of strings there, too.  We can’t make them out, though.  He is definitely great.  Let’s make him famous!  Share this video!

Weesay | The free spirited Liberian – O! Chips

Weesay - O! Chips
Weesay the free spirited Liberian sings O! Chips in Monrovia. Listen on youtube.

His name is Wesseh Freeman, he’s a self-taught singer and composer from Monrovia (Liberia). Wesseh is blind and plays music in the streets to make a living.

Check out Weesay on Facebook.

Weesay - The Bob Marley of Liberia.
Weesay or ‘Weeseh’ is blind and from Liberia. He built his own guitar from a stick and an oil can.

Some guy named Nicky’s family owns a chip company and asked this guy to do their jingle.  Here is what he says on youtube:  “My brother got a street musician named weesay the free spirited Liberian in monrovia, Liberia to do a jingle for our brand of potato chips. The brand is O! Chips.

Sach Ramchandani made a video of someone (possibly him) giving Weesay a guitar. Watch this video…

Weeseh gets a guitar.
Weeseh in Liberia – The Liberian Bob Marley. Watch him get a guitar!