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The term Indy Artist, coined in the ’80s by the media, is short for ‘Independent Artist’.  It describes the band or singer-songwriter who records and releases their own records or albums released under independent labels.

Often times, the Indy Artist writes lyrics that are “rawer” than that of the mainstream.

The “Indy Artist” has come to describe a unique sound, different from the major labels. They often use sounds that are less polished or have a very different way of using their voice.

The Indy Artist frequently uses unconventional time signatures, more chord progressions, or more reverb than a mainstream artist.

Many times they also incorporate unique instruments, such as a washboard, a hurdy-gurdy, Buke and Case, singing saw, bagpipes, autoharp, and more.


Indy Rock

Indy rock began to emerge in the ’80s as a genre of alternative rock. The genre includes Indy pop, lo-fi, as grunge, grunge, punk revival, noise pop, emo, sadcore, post-rock, math rock, and in the UK, Britpop. In the ’90s, some Indy Rock Artists broke into the mainstream music scene.  Still, most retain an outsider, underground sound.

Indy Folk

The Indy-folk genre, also born in the ’90s, was a combination of the acoustic guitar sound and folk or classic country music added to the more contemporary sound.

Indy Artist and the Internet

The early 2000s brought change to the music industry with the growing importance of the Internet. Indy Artists began to enjoy commercial success by writing, singing, producing, and releasing their own original songs over the Internet. For example, many Indy Artists acquired large fan-bases or superfans. The Indy Artist will have more opportunities as technology expands.

Music City the place for Indy Artist

Nashville, TN, known as Music City, is receiving an influx of Indy Artists. Some hope of building a traditional music career, looking for fame and fortune. Some Indy Artists just want their music heard.

The diversity among the singers and songwriters is more varied now than ever before. There are some very talented artists in the Nashville music scene.  But there are also a lot of mediocre acts.  Most artists are hoping to be signed by the music moguls.

You don’t have to be the most talented to be noticed. But, you do have to be able to carry a tune, or write a good song, or play an instrument well.

Online Music Stores

In the last few years, online music stores have exploded onto the internet music scene. Companies such as CD Baby, iTunes, Bandcamp, Spotify, Soundcloud, ReverbNation are giving artists a real chance to be heard. This gives the Indy Artist a chance to make a substantial income from their music.

CD Baby will be hosting the “DIY Musician Conference” in Nashville in August 2018. For four days, Music City will be the hub for the Indy Artist, a different type of musician, the Do It Yourself Musician.

Indy Artists from varied backgrounds with different styles will fill the streets of Music City. This conference is unique in that it is dedicated to musicians of any and all genres who share a common approach to marketing their original music.

“Independent musicians and small boutique labels are one of the fastest-growing segments of the market, and they share a lot of concerns,” explains CD Baby’s Kevin Breuner. “No matter what kind of music you make, no matter where you are in your career, you need similar advice and support, and we program the conference in direct response to the questions and concerns we hear from musicians.”


by Dena Warfield

Retro MusicRetro Music is not necessarily about Babyboomers. It’s a term that seems to be floating around. What does it actually mean? Is there a difference between Retro Music and Modern Retro Music?

Modern Retro Music

Modern Retro Music is music that has been newly created but sounds like it was crafted in a different era.

The younger generation is discovering Retro Music as a new sound. Many younger artists are taking the older styles and adding their own twist making it Modern Retro Music, such as The Pipettes and The Raveonettes. These two bands are very different yet both Retro. The Pipettes give off a vibe that is almost identical to some of the girl bands in the 60s. You can tell by listening to The Raveonettes that they have an abiding love for the Ronettes. The Revivalists, on the other hand, use many different styles in craft their version of Modern Retro Music

Retro Music

Retro music can be songs that you listened to in your youth, times that brought laughter or tears, or even anger. It could be theRetro Music - Photo-by-Elviss-Railijs-Bitāns-from-Pexels actual song you heard in the past or a remake, like “I’ve Got My Mind Set on You” by James Ray originally recorded by George Harrison, or the many covers of “I Who Have Nothing” by Ben E. King (1963).

Retro songs can touch you in ways that don’t touch the person next to you. It connects with the feelings of your past. You can relive a moment, a day, an evening, a summer, or even a lifetime. Your connection may be age-dependent, whether it’s the actual song or just the vibe, you could be transported back in time to a specific event where you can relive the emotions of heartbreak, tragedy, or love.

Some of us, in the older generation, are also writing new songs with the flavor we grew up with.

Al Green, Lennon, Cat Stevens, Rolling Stones,  Smoky Robinson, Curtis Mayfield, so name a few.

Curtis Mayfield is one of Larry’s all-time favorites from his youth. He was one of the most influential musicians behind soul music. He began as a songwriter, then, created The Impressions, and later went on to achieve success as a solo artist, movie producer, and record label owner.

Larry S. Warfield’s Retro Style

Larry was also influenced by the music greats like Bill Withers, Bob Dylan, James Taylor, Stephen Stills, and Richie Havens.

“They brought an original, creative and engaging new musical interpretation of the human experience.” – Larry S. Warfield

You can hear a similar interpretation of life in Larry’s original songs.

Some of his music has a country flavor. Still, others have a jazzy, pop, or blues feel.  He also has a substantial volume of Christian and worship songs. Larry’s songs weave life’s ups and downs into the lyrics that pull on your heartstrings.

His original songs will encourage and inspire while entertaining you.

Larry S. Warfield’s Modern Retro Songs are the perfect mix of catchy 60’s or 70’s vibe, country, and jazz combined with a modern twist! An anomaly that simply just works.

by Dena Warfield



Ben, a better than an average musician, singer-songwriter, had always dreamed of having a music career, performing on stage for thousands of people. Maybe we should say, he always dreamed of being a star, a big-time entertainer. He was doing everything and getting no place with his music career.

Like many other musicians, Ben didn’t handle rejection well. Every time he’d get close enough to see that he might have a chance at a music career, his fear would surface causing him to back down.

After many years of putting his songs on the shelf, Ben decided to take a risk and pitch his songs to some music execs. Living in Southern California provided the opportunity to personally go to Pitch Sessions in Los Angeles. Every week for months, he’d spend an hour or two on the busy freeway to get to the weekly pitch. Every week it went the same.

The Pitch

First of all, the music exec would have the musicians hand in a CD which they played for the whole room. The experts then critiqued the song and handed the CD back. The exec occasionally chose one song for further review. Consequently, Ben’s drive home seemed to get longer and longer.

This went on week after week, month after month. Sometimes, he would get a few encouraging comments, but he never had a song chosen for further review.

For that reason, he stopped going to the Pitch Sessions. Instead, he began sending CDs to different music publishers and entering contests. The Songwriters’ Digest stated that the musician would receive feedback in a few weeks. But weeks passed without a word.

He had almost forgotten the CD he sent to a contest when a return package came in the mail.

Ben hurriedly ripped open the package and unfolded the letter that revealed their analysis with a list of changes that needed to be made. He immediately headed for the studio, convinced they would pick up his song, and give him a recording contract. The wait began again.

Finally, the long-awaited package arrived. Ben knew he had made the exact requested changes. With shaky hands, he opened the package and grabbed the letter that would reveal his next step to stardom. He knew there was a contract waiting for him. His music career was about to launch.

He slowly lowered himself to the sofa flipping the letter over to see the back. He looked up at his wife standing in the doorway wiping her hands on a dishtowel.

She took a step closer, “Well?”

He sat stunned, then held the letter up for her to see.

Music Career Fades From View

“Two lines? What does it say?” she asked.

He read it out loud, “Dear Ben, Thank you for submitting your song for evaluation. We regret to inform you that we will not be able to use your song.”

“That’s it?” she asked.

He looked at her with a blank stare. Another roadblock – the end of a dream.

“That’s it? That’s all there is?” she said. “After two years of going back and forth to LA and sending out CDs, that’s all there is? There’s got to be something else you can do. There’s gotta be.”

She slouched on the couch beside him.

“From everything they’ve said at the pitches this is it. If they don’t pick you up, you might as well give up or just keep going to pitches and sending in songs.”

Both were quiet for a long time.

Ben began pacing, dragging his fingers through his hair, “I guess it’s over. I’ve done everything they told me to do.”

“There has to be another way,” she said grabbing her phone. “What’s a DIY Musician?”

“DIY?” he said laughing. “DIY is Do It Yourself, as a handyman.”

They both stopped and looked at each other. Maybe there is away.

Need help getting your music out? Click Here

by Dena Warfield


Photo by Daniel Robert on Unsplash 600x300

Photo by Daniel Robert on Unsplash 600×300

Will taking charge of your own career, DIY style, turn you into a well-paid music star overnight?

Probably not. Yet, it is possible. It takes a lot of motivation and sticktoitiveness. Most people don’t have that much, do you?

We’re going to look at two current musical stars. One gained his stardom online before landing a contract. The other traveled the traditional path with a contract. We will also recap what it takes, on a personal level, to achieve stardom.

Ed Sheeran

According to Nielsen’s rating, Ed Sheeran is in the top 10 musicians in 2018. According to, Ed started playing the guitar at a very early age. When he was 11, he met Damien Rice backstage at a Rice concert. Damien advised him to begin writing his own music. That night he wrote several songs, one entitled “Typical Average Teen.” At age 14, Sheeran, with a backpack of clothes in one hand and his guitar in the other, headed for London to gig for the summer.

At age 16 he moved to London, he began singing on the local circuit, while recording his music. He began to tour relentlessly, sleeping on fans’ sofas every night after his gigs. His first album, self-titled, was released in 2006 and a second album, Want Some, in 2007. It wasn’t long until Ed was opening for more established acts. In 2009 he performed more than 300+ live shows while recording his third album, You Need Me.

In 2010 Sheeran’s career took a big leap online. He knew how to use online media to his advantage by posting videos of his performances. For example, a rapper saw his videos and asked Sheeran to go on tour with him as his opening act, resulting in an even bigger online fanbase. Ed also produced 3 more albums in 2010.

Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift, one of the worlds leading contemporary recording artists, is also in the top 10 musicians in 2018. At age nine, Swift became interested in musical theater and performed in four Berks Youth Theatre Academy productions. She also traveled regularly to New York City for vocal and acting lessons. At age 11, Swift and her mother went to Nashville and pitched cover songs to music producers but was rejected.

When Taylor was 12 she learned to play the guitar and began writing her own songs. At age 14, she moved to Nashville to pursue a music career. In Nashville, she began working with Music Row songwriters. She began meeting with one, Liz Rose, on a regular basis. Rose commented the sessions were “some of the easiest I’ve ever done. Basically, I was just her editor. She’d write about what happened in school that day. She had such a clear vision of what she was trying to say. And she’d come in with the most incredible hooks”. Taylor was the youngest ever to sign with Sony/ATV Music publishing house. Her self-titled debut album was released in 2006.

Different Paths To The Same End – Music Star

Let’s do a little recap. In comparison, both artists started working on their careers at about the same age. They both have arrived as well-paid superstars.

Taylor Swift had the backing of professional lessons and participating in musicals from a very early age. Her family moved to Nashville to give her the opportunities provided in music city.

Ed Sheeran, with a backpack thrown over one shoulder and his guitar case in hand, set out for London to dip his toe in the water to see if he could get any interest in his music. At age 16 he was gigging in London on almost a nightly basis, sleeping on fan’s sofas.

Taylor got the attention of the songwriters on Music Row, which, I’m sure, gave her a substantial leg-up in the music business.

Sheeran got his biggest break in his music career by putting videos of his performances online and opening for more established musicians.

Today in the Music Industry

The Music Industry in 2018 has changed substantially. There are hundreds of musicians in Nashville and LA gigging on a nightly basis trying to get signed as the next big star in the making. The Music Industry is being very picky. The recording company puts a lot of money upfront to launch a musician into stardom. If you listen to American Idol, America’s Got Talent, and The Voice you’ll hear many stories about a musician getting a recording contract, but for one reason or another, it never comes to fruition.

I met a musician who plays on a regular basis in restaurants and bars around Knoxville, TN. He’s really good. He had a recording contract in Nashville years ago. But, before his album was finished his agent died, which ended the contract. Now years later, he’s still gigging on a weekly basis to make a little extra cash.

Noah Guthrie, who competed on Americas Got Talent in 2018, performed in the television cast of Glee, until the show closed in 2015. Now Guthrie is starting over. But, with 400k+ fans from America’s Got Talent, Guthrie is taking his music online. Check out his Facebook page.

Making it as a Musician Today

Above I mentioned that to succeed as a musician in today’s world you must have Motivation and Sticktoitiveness.

Motivation: the state or condition of being motivated or having a strong reason to act or accomplish something.

Both Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift had the motivation to succeed in the music industry. Their minds were set at an early age to succeed as a singer/songwriter. In all I’ve read about both artists, their minds never wavered about what they wanted in life. Their goals were firmly set. I didn’t read anything about a time when either of them decided to forget music and do something different.

Sticktoitiveness: meaning dogged perseverance, tenacity, holding fast.

Both Sheeran and Swift held fast to their goals, of being a musician. The gentleman in Knoxville who still plays on a nightly or weekly basis and Noah Guthrie are still holding fast.

For many musicians, though, life has gotten in the way and the music has fallen by the wayside, but the desire never goes away.

Others may feel they aren’t good enough so why try.

Some musicians feel they’re too old and the music becomes just a hobby or something they do in their community or church.

It’s not too late

Consequently, the gentleman mentioned above is older and still gigs, but hasn’t become a star. For the older musicians, remember, the largest population is the Baby Boomers who still like their music.

Here are a few basic steps that we will be expounding on in later posts.
1. Hone your craft. May your music as good as you can possibly make it – practice.
2. Record your songs. If you perform video your performances.
3. Get a website and logins on all social media platforms. If you don’t know how to create your own website, get help.
4. Do like Ed Sheeran did, put your videos online. Use Social Media Marketing to tell others about your music.

Are you motivated? Do you want to get your music heard? Do you still have the sticktoitiveness to make it happen? Then let’s do it!!!

by Dena Warfield

Image by Bruno Germany from Pixabay

Image by Bruno Germany from Pixabay

The Best Way To Learn Piano method works with all subjects
It has proven to be very beneficial

If you’ve seen some of the pianists online you’ve probably thought, “It must have taken years of practice to be that good.”

With some of us, it has taken years. I started piano lessons at age four at the insistence of my mother because I was trying to play by ear. Back then, no I’m not going to say how many years, the only people who played by ear were rock ’n rollers. My mother wanted a classically trained pianist. As I got older I wanted to be one of the rock ‘n rollers.

Now, as with the guitar lessons, a high percentage of piano lessons are online using video lessons. If you were classically trained, you may be like me, wondering how a person could possibly learn to play the piano online.

Photo by August de Richelieu from Pexels

Photo by August de Richelieu from Pexels

Online Learning

In today’s world of the Covid Pandemic, we are bombarded with news about the pros and cons of online learning. Even older kids are having problems. My grandson, who is in the 8th grade and a straight “A” student, says it’s difficult.

“Why is it so hard,” I questioned so I started researching.

In my research listed below, I discovered the answer. Video learning is the fastest and best way to learn, but these kids are having problems learning online with videos.

The answer is simple. They are giving the kids too much information at once. In online music lessons, the students are given “bite-sized” chunks of information at a time. The school kids are given a full lesson to wade through on their own. Read my research below.

Piano Lessons

Playing Piano - Image by Bruno Germany from Pixabay

Image by Bruno Germany from Pixabay

PianoForAll claims their students see results quickly. Their claim to fame is, “Play first, ask questions later,” which is similar to the guitar lessons we promote. This approach really works. In both the piano and guitar lessons you will be up playing quickly without struggling with all the music theory, as so many of us did in years past.

PianoForAll has taught over 250,000 students using a chord-based system. The creator Robin Hall says “that his e-book course will teach you to play by ear, improvise, create compositions, and then eventually read piano sheet music.”

Each lesson is strategically designed to take you from one skill to the next in a short amount of time using “bite-sized” lessons.

One of the main comments about PianoForAll is that the video and audio lessons open on the lesson page the student is working on. You don’t have to go from book to video. Everything is coordinated to the exact page.

One-On-One Lessons

An important factor in the online lessons’ success rate is the video and the video player. With one-on-one lessons, the teacher

Photo by Any Lane from Pexels

Photo by Any Lane from Pexels

goes over the material with you then you go home and practice.

When I was learning to play the piano there were many lessons I didn’t get the first time through. Some lessons took several weeks before I got it right.

In one-on-one lessons, if the student really isn’t paying attention or doesn’t understand what is being taught, it could take several weeks before they master the lesson.

With video lessons, everything is demonstrated so the student can see exactly what the teacher is doing and how to do it. The student can take it slow and repeat as many times as necessary to master the lesson. The lessons are fun because they are playing songs.

Scientific Reasons Why Videos Connect Better

Photo by Soundtrap on Unsplash

Photo by Soundtrap on Unsplash

This research applies to any video but is very beneficial in video learning.

From the moment the first image hits the student’s retina to the last scene, different types of chemical reactions are triggered in the brain and body.

The content, lesson in this situation, is experienced in a very different way than it would be experienced in text or one-on-one instruction from a teacher. This applies to all music instruction.

  1. Memory Storage. Visual images are stored in “long term” storage rather than short-term memory. This enables the material to stick with the viewer for a longer period of time.
  2. Processing Speed. Visuals process much faster and last longer in the brain. In fact, they process 60,000 times faster than text. Yet, you don’t want to push the brain too fast. That’s why the video lessons take small “bite-sized” chunks of information that can be processed speedily, yet thoroughly.
  3. Processing Location. Visual information is processed in the brain’s medial temporal lobe, the same place where emotions are processed. This gives the student an emotional connection to the lessons and music they are practicing.
  4. Great Connectivity. They say that 40% of nerve fibers going to the brain are connected to the retina.
  5. Visual Learning. Thus, 90% of the information going to our brains comes in through the eyes. That leaves only 10% of the information coming from other parts of the body. It’s estimated that 65% of people are considered visual learners. This is why online music lessons are so effective and communicate at a much quicker pace than one-on-one learning.
  6. Keeping Focus. One reason why each lesson only covers a “bite-sized” chunk of information is so the student can stay focused on that one particular part of the lesson and learn it well. When several concepts are packed into one lesson the student’s focus is spread too thin, as in the current online school lessons

Why PianoForAll?

There are many piano lessons advertised on the internet, both online and in-person lessons. All claim they have the best method, but some stand out above the others.

PianoForAll starts with the basics. By the time you get to the end of the course you have learned how to play classical pieces and actually understand the music and the theory.

They also teach a wide variety of different genres of music. Their method of teaching basic chords is by playing simple versions of popular songs. This makes practicing much more fun. When is a person is having fun they will stick with it longer and learn faster.

A Testimonial #1

“Hi Robin, Never thought I would say this I thought I had tried every method when it came to not only learning to play the piano but understanding the method. I am truly amazed at the progress I have made in THREE DAYS !!!!

I have the benefit of being able to play but never to the standard I wanted and trying so hard to find that elusive sound, I have spent many hundreds of pounds and a lot of time with scales and all this entails and progress was so slow but I would not give up, it turned out to be very challenging and at times it felt like a battle which has gone on for ten years.

I read the reviews on your website and was very dubious as all this seemed too good to be true and claims made seemed very similar to so many others I had read and tried, but I did buy and your system just blew me away and I have been glued to my piano since downloading the book. Read More

What’s Included

With a one-time purchase, you get nine e-books to download. These books take you through a variety of styles with chords, tunes, and exercises teaching you enough theory to be able to play the songs comfortably.

There are 200 video lessons in all, each with a different aspect of piano playing. The video lessons are embedded in the e-books allowing the written page to come up at the same time as the video lesson.

The instructor plays the lesson on a lower keyboard while an animated version is played above so that it is very clear which keys to play.

For audio learners, there are 500 audio tunes and exercises. This also helps with learning to play by ear.

See the full list of courses.

A Testimonial #2

Hi, I just wanted to say thank you for the fantastic Piano Tutor Books.  I am nearing the end of the first book and can now confidently say this is the best tutor book I have ever come across.  I find your method of teaching piano from a rhythm standpoint very helpful.  I have been playing guitar for some years and as a result, I have been able to relate really well to your method.

I found with the standard way of learning Piano from other books,  that I was struggling from the start.  To use the guitar analogy it would be like trying to play like Eric Clapton from day one.  Using your method, I found that I could gain pleasure from playing a backing rhythm almost immediately, just like strumming a song on the guitar. Once again many thanks.

For more testimonials.


PianoForAll does make some big promises. If you are motivated, the course may be just what you need. As with anything, do your research first so you understand what the course will and will not teach.

The course does help you reach your musical goals, but it will not prepare a student for further education in advanced classical music.

The course will prepare you to play in a band, be able to play requests, or just play for your own enjoyment. It will also give you the basics for exploring other types of music.

You will be able to understand chords, chord progressions, keys, and the structure of music.

PianoFor All states:

  • It is comprehensive and easy to learn.
  • Affordable and comes in a convenient format.
  • Comes with a 60-day money-back guarantee.
  • You get it in three formats- written text, audio, and video format to make it easier for you to consume the content.
  • It has been proven.


Dena WarfieldDena WarfieldWriter & Classical Musician: Using faith in God to weave truth into
stories & articles that help with personal struggles.,



How To Start A Music Career

Photo by Soundtrap on Unsplash

You will find that how to start a music career today is different.  It can still be done, but it does require a lot of work and thinking outside the box.

Ben, a better than an average musician, singer-songwriter, had always dreamed of having a music career, performing on stage for thousands of people. Maybe we should say, he always dreamed of being a star, a big-time entertainer. He was doing everything and getting no place with his music career.

Like many other musicians, Ben didn’t handle rejection well. Every time he’d get close enough to see that he might have a chance at a music career, his fear and sense of rejection would surface causing him to back down.

After many years of putting his songs on the shelf, Ben decided to take a risk and pitch his songs to some music execs. Living in Southern California provided the opportunity to personally go to Pitch Sessions in Los Angeles. Every week for months, he’d spend an hour or two on the busy freeway to get to the weekly pitch. Every week it went the same.

Ben was positive he would have a record deal soon. He just knew he was on his way to stardom.


The Pitch

Pitching Music to Start a Music Career

Image by Markus Krebs from Pixabay

In days past, there were many like Ben. Songwriters and musicians who thought if they could just get their music before the right person they could launch their successful music careers.

The music moguls would post a time and place where singer/songwriters and musicians could pitch their music.

The musician would walk and hand their precious CD to the music mogul’s assistant who would play the CD for the whole room. The music exec would write out a simple critique, present it to everyone in the room, then hand it and the CD back.

Occasionally, a song would be taken back with the music exec to be reviewed later. Rarely, would you be told ahead of time what the music exec was looking for.

This process would go on week after week and month after month.

Ben and most others never really got a chance. Their music was not picked up or if it was, it was never used.


That Was Then – This Is Now

Music is important

Photo by Tallie Robinson on Unsplash

As you well know, music is around us all the time. Every commercial on television or radio is accompanied by music.

I noticed the other day when I pulled up to Walmart that music was playing outside in the parking lot for customers coming and going. Why?

Music sets a person’s mood. Think about it. Music can make a person excited. It can trigger someone to be more aggressive or agitated. Music can also be calming, helping a person relax and de-stress after a hard day. Music allows us to feel and experience all emotions.

In the case of music outside Walmart, they were playing lively, fun retro music that got the customers prepared to have a fun shopping experience.

Music is mentally stimulating. For older adults, it can stimulate favorite memories of when they were teenagers or young adults. When my husband, Larry Warfield, hears certain songs from the past he begins singing them. Believe it or not, I think he knows all the words to all the songs from the 60s, 70s, and 80s. It’s amazing. I recognize the melodies and some of the words. He can actually sing them.

The melodies, harmonies, color of the sounds, the activity of the song help us to get lost in the music.


The Pitch Today

With all the music around us, you would think that it would be easier to get your songs published or used in some way.

Unfortunately, that is not the case. You still have to pitch your music to the powers that be. In days passed, you would take one song in to have it reviewed. Danny Berrios, Creative Manager, A&R at Downtown Music Publishing Group stated, “I think a good number of songs for a writer to play in a meeting would be three to five. As far as when I pitch—I try to stick to around five, give or take a couple.”

It also seems like you don’t pitch directly to a music mogul exec, but to an A&R rep, who then pitches your music to the music companies. Taxi ( is an example of an A&R music placement service company that pitches your music for you.


A&R Services Help You Start A Music Career

Taxi, founded in 1992 by Michael Laskow,  specializes in soliciting music for recording artists and companies needing music for commercials, movies, television, or anyone else needing music. They then become the middleman. Yes, there is a $300 fee (unless it’s on sale like it is now) to even pitch your music to Taxi.

The staff at Taxi, then review the submission to see if it is suitable for the requests made by the companies. You, as the artist, always receive a constructive review back from Taxi.

If Taxi submits your song to a person or company and they chose to use your song, the company or artist will get in touch with you directly.

Taxi publishes a list of several hundred song placement opportunities every year. If you look at Taxi’s listings you will notice that they do not reveal who the artist or company. Some people try to bypass Taxi and go directly to artists or companies needing music, but it is much harder today because of all the people writing music.

You can bypass an A&R middleman by sending your CD to other companies, but you will need to follow their guidelines if you want your music heard. Companies have been known to put submissions into the circular file (the trash) if guidelines are not followed.


Pitching To Publishers

There are several websites that give you information about submitting songs to music moguls. For example, has a form to be filled out to be submitted with your song submission. Here’s a brief list:

  • Make sure your song fits closely with what the artist or company is looking for.
  • It must sound professional; otherwise, it probably will get the circular file.
  • Keep your submissions to 1 or 2 songs. Do not send in 20 songs. They won’t listen.
  • Create a professional-looking CD label – NO handwritten labels.
  • If you’ve never had a song picked up your chances are slim, so go for a less known artist.
  • Never pitch unsolicited music to artists or publishers.
  • Don’t continuously harass the publisher or artist. Mail or drop-off the CD. If you have followed the guidelines they will let you know. Often they ask for an addressed return envelope. Don’t email or call them. If they are interested they will get in touch with you.
  • No name dropping.
  • No complaining or whining to those you are pitching to.
  • A MUST – make sure your song is the best it can be.


Starting A Music Career Has Changed

I just picked up a book from Amazon entitled, “Stop Selling Music: Career Changing Lessons For Musicians,” by Damian Keyes, DK Publishing.

Damian Keyes, a Musician, Educator, and award-winning Entrepreneur has always been on the cutting edge in the music industry. People who have worked with Damian state that he is a solid, straight-talking, down-to-earth guy with a wealth of information about the music industry. He is willing to pass his wealth of information along to the struggling musician to help them succeed.

Damian states that back in the day it was possible to actually make a living selling physical copies of your music. You would gig and tour and sell CDs. It was possible then. In those days if people liked what they heard they would buy your CD. They may not ever play it, putting it away in a safe place as a memento of an awesome experience or evening out.


Everything Is Different Now

Everything Has Changed

Photo by William Iven on Unsplash

Wow!!! How things ever changed, especially with Covid raking havoc world-wide.

Remember when all this started back in March 2020. Restaurants and bars were shut down. Concerts were canceled. Tours were canceled.  Music shut down.

I remember, one of the first scenes on the nightly news was musicians playing from their balconies or in their driveways.

Damian states the change began back before Covid in 1999 when Napster allowed people to illegally download music. Then Spotify and Apple took music listening to the digital realm. Buying physical CDs soon became passé.

It seems that people who buy CDs or vinyl records are collectors.

Today, people think that spending money on music is paying $10 per month for streaming on Spotify or another streaming service. If they don’t mind the ads, they get their music for free.

So where does that leave the current day musician?

Remember!!! Music is all around us, television, movies, radio (yes, we still have the radio), streaming stations. Musicians just have to think about things differently. They still have to develop a fan-base. The restaurants and bars are starting to open back up, but things are still different. Be creative. Some musicians like to play on the streets or in malls. Gigging, playing in restaurants, is still trying to “sell your music.” Start a music career by doing something different. Think outside the box.


Where People Hang Out

How To Start A Music Career On Social Media

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay SM

You have to go where the people hang out – Social Media. Is it easy? No, nothing is easy. But it’s worth doing. It’s worth learning how to do it well.

Here are some options:

  • If you are computer savvy, figure how to get your music out in front of people on social media. Create an online fan-base.
  • Get Damian Keyes’ book or check out his online classes – people are raving about it.
  • If you have the money, hire someone to set up and maintain your social media.
  • Go where the fans are, online.

This is what I am doing. I write about music. I created a website for my husband’s music. I’m trying to find creative ways to put his music out in front of potential fans. Is it easy? Heck, no. But at the same time, it’s fun. It’s challenging. I learn something new every day.

Here’s a statement from Damian Keyes’ Music Business website:


Is this a familiar scenario?

You’ve slaved over getting your music JUST right and you’re excited to get it out into the world. You set a release date, put a few posts up on socials. Then release day comes and your music gets some traction and friends and family are loving it…

 …But after a couple of days, it’s fallen to the music graveyard. No Spotify playlists, no one replaying… Nothing. And now you’re panicking that you’ve just spent a lot of money on something that hasn’t worked.

There’s got to be a way to actually get your music to the next level right?

It’s not an easy ride in 2020 being a musician. As well as having to be amazing at the actual music, you also need to become an entrepreneur to really succeed.” Damian Keyes


My Research

As I went through Damian Keyes’ websites and other information it looked like it would be really expensive. But after much digging, I discovered it’s not expensive to take the courses on how to maneuver your way through the social media maze to get your music heard, create a fan-base, and make a living from your music.

The classes and mentoring programs are very reasonable.

Just so you know, I am not an affiliate for Damian Keyes. As I began reading the book and browsing through the jungle of material online I became more impressed with what he had to offer and, seemingly, for a reasonable price. Don’t hold me to the price comment, but it appears to be reasonable.

If any of you check it out let me know what you find.

If you are like Ben still trying to get your music heard the old fashioned way, think again.

Learn how to get your music heard ONLINE.

Don’t give up!!!

Find out how to do MUSIC in 2020!!

Join my email list to stay in touch and get your FREE MP3.

Photo by Yan Krukov from Pexels

Photo by Yan Krukov from Pexels

Have you ever wanted to learn how to play a musical instrument or do something so bad you could feel it?

Think back to when you first had the desire to play a guitar or piano or another instrument.

I remember when I was four. We had a piano in our living room and I just couldn’t keep my hands off it. Every chance I’d get I’d be plunking out a nursery rhyme or another song I had heard.

My mother was adamant that I was going to be classically trained. So the journey began.

The Guitar Enthusiast

Image by Pierre Prégardien from Pixabay

Image by Pierre Prégardien from Pixabay

Now, Larry, on the other hand, wanted to be a Jazz Guitarist. Every chance he’d get he’d go into a music store and headed for the guitar rack.

Taking a guitar off the rack, he’d feel the weight of it in his arms. It was heavier than he had imagined.

Cupping his left hand around the neck with his thumb and fingers of his small hands almost touching on either side, he’d slide his hand up and down the neck to make that scratchy sound.

He ran his hand down the body of the guitar feeling its smooth, cool surface and contour.

Strumming a couple of times with his right hand changing positions with his left, he made the sweetest music he had ever heard.

The others in the store weren’t as impressed. But it was music, his first attempts at music. He just couldn’t wait any longer. He had to have a guitar.

His parents reinforced that it was only six more months until his tenth birthday.

Six months seemed like an eternity.

His daily trek home from school took a new path by the music store. Often, he’d just sit on the stool and gaze at the guitars. Other times the clerk would tell him he could take one off the rack if there weren’t many customers in the store.

The Golden Years

Image by Candid_Shots from Pixabay

Image by Candid_Shots from Pixabay

Larry and I were young, but many have just retired, needing something to do during their golden years. Perhaps, learning how to play a musical instrument will rekindle the longing from youth.

Is this you? Can you fit into one of these categories of wanting to play an instrument? Perhaps your dream is to play or play and sing in a band. Or perhaps you are of the classical persuasion and want to play in the orchestra you listen to at every opportunity.

No matter your age or circumstance, a new adventure is about to be, like moving to a new city with places to explore and new experiences to enjoy.

Your new adventure as a guitarist or pianist is about to begin.

My First Guitar (Larry S. Warfield’s Story)

Larry wanted to learn how to play a musical instrument, mainly a guitar, so bad he could hardly wait.

The six months passed slowly except for the encouragement given by the clerk who would show me how to play a few chords when the store wasn’t busy.

The day finally arrives, my tenth birthday. I was afraid I had begged too much for a guitar. Fear and anxiety welled up inside as I was called into the living room.

There on the coffee table was a guitar case. It wasn’t an expensive guitar, but I didn’t care. A cheap guitar from JC Penney’s felt like the most expensive guitar. It was mine, my very own guitar.

Asking for lessons was out of the question, but I didn’t care. I spent hours digging through music books doing everything mentioned. Even when my fingers hurt from the higher strings on the cheap guitar I didn’t quit. It just didn’t matter.

I checked out music books from the library until I had saved enough money to buy a book by Micky Baker on how to play jazz. For weeks I pored over the book day and night until I could play the chords and songs in the book.

Stopping was not an option.

As one of six kids, my parents could not afford to give me guitar lessons. My only option was to teach myself. It worked. I’ve now played for years. But, that’s the hard way.

Today there are many other options.

Getting Started With Guitar Lessons

Image by Vlad Vasnetsov from Pixabay

Image by Vlad Vasnetsov from Pixabay

Where do you want to go with music? Do you have a particular goal, perhaps to be a professional musician touring, playing gigs and concerts for fans? Would you prefer to work as a studio musician in Nashville, Los Angeles, or someplace else? It’s very difficult to realize your dreams if they aren’t firmly planted in your mind and heart.

Take the time to write out your goals. If you aren’t sure how to structure your goals and plans to reach your goals check the internet. You will find several websites with templates and instructions on how to fill them out.

Back to music…

Assess Your Progress

Do you have a face-to-face personal teacher or are you trying to teach yourself? If so, is your teacher the right person to help you achieve your goals? Again, you won’t know if your teacher is the right person for the job if you don’t know where you are going.

If you are trying to teach yourself, is it working, or is your progress very slow and draining your motivation? If so, you have several options.

Find a face-to-face teacher. If that isn’t an option for some reason check out the online video lessons. There are several websites that offer video lessons from total beginners to very advanced.

Don’t keep trudging along losing your motivation and desire.

Wait a second. If you’ve only been teaching yourself for a month or two and you haven’t gotten a music contract yet, you may be jumping the gun.

It takes time and a lot of hard work to be good enough to get a music contract or a job in a top studio.

Give yourself time. Be patient and work hard.

Still, your progress could probably be faster if you had a professional teacher. Check it out. Don’t be afraid to make a change.

Do something different.

If you have been trying to teach yourself for some time, you have developed habits that aren’t beneficial to where you want to go. How do I know?

You wouldn’t be losing motivation if what you are doing was working.

To change a habit you have to start by doing something different.

Give yourself permission to do something different. Some people think, “Oh, I start this I have to finish it.” No you don’t. Do something different.

Switch off the autopilot. Often we get into ruts that aren’t productive or don’t move us along toward our goals and we don’t even realize it. We’re just moving on autopilot.

Be more aware of what you are thinking and feeling. Assess the situation to answer the question, “Is this really working for me?” Be more in the moment.

Change things up by adding purpose into your playing. Perhaps you need to add more variety by playing different types of music. You may have thought you wanted to be a Country Guitarist, but if you give yourself a chance you might choose Jazz or Blues or even Classical.

Personally, after 12+ years of playing Classical Piano, I was bored and started playing more pop/rock ‘n roll music. It was refreshing and a lot more fun. I had learned the basics of Classical Piano which gave me a firm foundation for other types of music. I find it’s also very helpful in helping Larry publish the music he writes.

But most of all have the courage and self-confidence to do something different. Don’t get stuck in a rut.

Photo by Artem Podrez from Pexels

Photo by Artem Podrez from Pexels


Online Guitar Lessons

There are several companies and websites that have excellent online video lessons. Many of the companies offer the beginning lessons for FREE.

This gives you the opportunity to check out their teaching style to see if it is a good fit for the way you learn.

Some companies cater to beginners while others are lean more toward intermediate and advanced students.

Check out the companies:

  • What style of music do they teach?
  • What are their video lessons like? Do they show multiple views of the guitar?
  • Will you receive chord charts with the lessons?
  • Are the lessons downloadable?
  • What is the cost?
  • In the beginning lessons do they require a credit card upfront on the free lessons?
  • What are their ratings by other students?
  • Do they teach music theory and reading music from the beginning or does that come later?
  • Do they offer a practice routine or are you left on your own again?
  • Who are the instructors?
  • How many lessons do they have available?

Is It a Good Fit?

Many students are concerned about having to plunge into studying music theory in the first lessons. If so, find a company that focuses on guitar technique with theory coming in the advanced lessons.

In the beginning lessons, you need to be focusing on learning the first chords, different strumming techniques, how to change chords easily and smoothly. They also need to teach you how to apply the chords and strumming in playing a handful of songs.

One of the important techniques in teaching music is to have practice tapes to practice with. Some call them Jam Tracks.

The good Jam Tracks give you the experience of playing along with a professional guitarist and often with a full band. This helps increase your knowledge base and your confidence while being fun.

In the online video, lessons are guided by a professional instructor that will lead you through the lessons, especially the beginning lessons. This is where the beginning free lessons are important. You get to experience the lessons, the video presentation, and the instructor to see if they are a match for you.

Just Get Started Learning How To Play A Musical Instrument

Take the first step. You weren’t born walking and talking. You had to learn one step or one word at a time. Don’t just sit there on the floor sucking your thumb. You are NOT a baby. Get up and make it happen for yourself.

No one can do it for you.

P.S. You will LOVE Jammin’!!!

Join my email list to stay in touch and get your FREE MP3.

Are you an Indy Musician, Independent Musician, one who hasn’t been signed by a music mogul, and would like to make it in the music business? Or perhaps you are a musician/singer/songwriter who just wants to get your music heard? 

There are several things you need to do before you play your music for people other than family. Have you copyrighted your music? If not, be very careful who you play your music for.

Also, have you registered your music so you can get paid when it is played? There are three companies you can register with: ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC .

If you are unsure about how to register your music or get it copyrighted, companies like can help you. They also have free information that will help guide you through the process.


The Indy Musician

Best DAW for Beginners

Digital Audio WorkstationWhat are DAWs? And what is the Best DAW for beginners?

I got that strange look from my wife when she read the title. DAWs are Digital Audio Workstations (DAW). DAWs range from the massive, very expensive recording equipment to the FREE and simple that offer the basic recording and editing capabilities of multiple tracks. My first DAWs was Audacity, which I still use.  In this post, I’ll cover some of the equipment used in the Best DAW For Beginners and some of the equipment I used in the beginning.

My Musical Beginning

I have been a singer-songwriter since the ’60s and have had various experiences with multi-track recording. My first attempt was a cover of the Beatles’ “Nowhere Man”.

Impressed with the elegant simplicity and power of the vocal harmonies and the eloquence of the lyrics, I recorded my own tribute version in the bathroom of my freshman dorm room at Mackinac College on Mackinac Island, Michigan in the fall of 1966. The acoustics were perfect.

I played a Sunburst Gibson Acoustic Guitar my mother had bought me new in 1963 when she saw I was finally serious about learning to play a musical instrument. I had thoroughly calloused my fingers learning on my first guitar, a gray and black acoustic Silvertone with high strings, and a split almost all the way around the bottom of the shell and no case or strap. But I could strum out a recognizable version of almost any song I heard that had less than seven or eight different chords.

We lived in Kalamazoo, Michigan, so Gibson was the guitar of choice. My first wife smashed it in the driveway one day while I was at work in the late ’70s.  She told me she felt I loved it more than her. She was probably right. It was that day I realized the fact that we were not destined for a long future together.

Best DAW for Beginners

My version of “Nowhere Man” was recorded on an AMPEX (Museum of Magnetic Sound Recording) suitcase stereo reel-to-reel tape recorder with a small hand-held black plastic microphone. I sang the melody to the rhythm guitar, then bounced the first harmony, then the second and lead guitar using the sound-on-sound feature. I thought it sounded great and I was really proud of it, but I was too shy to play it for anyone, except maybe my friend, Tom Houghton, our resident photographer geek. We were geeks way before being geeks was cool. Tom, who is now a famous cinematographer for the TV show Elementary and others.

My later adventures included recording my first composition… “I’ll keep trusting you, Lord”… In my cousin, David (Keys) Johnson’s 16-track studio in Austin, Texas. My baby sister, Anita, sang harmony. She couldn’t carry a tune when we were little but grew up to sing like Phoebe Snow… (Knocked me out!)

The Early DAWs for Beginners

8-Track-TascamWhen I started trying to sound sketch demos of my songs, I set up a home recording studio with a 4-track  TASCAM PortoStudio Cassette Recorder. I still like to listen to those recordings so I have managed to keep a cassette deck that still plays, barely. I captured many original songs and a few cherished covers. In the ensuing years, I upgraded to an 8-track Tascam recorder, (at that time cassette recorder) then a Roland VS-880 hardware digital recording workstation before I temporarily burned out my enthusiasm for songwriting and recording and just focused on building a sales and marketing career.

DAW Software

My first personal experience with Digital Audio Workstations – recording software was when, after not playing music for about fifteen years, I got the bug again, when I recorded a couple of cover CDs as rehearsal demos for a talent contest our marketing company sponsored as a team-building exercise. I asked my new friend, who was a Guitarist and Bass Singer at Country Tonite in Pigeon Forge to help me record a demo of a song I had written named, “Hiding In Plain Sight”, which you can now get on iTunes.

Protools - Best DAW for BeginnersHe used ProTools and it was fascinating to watch him teaching the soundboard operator, how to use it. In my attempt to remix the raw demo at home, I downloaded a free version of AUDACITY, a  Digital Audio Workstation ProTools clone. With a considerable learning curve, I found I could make the edits and additions I wanted, along with the mixed demo. My friend had graciously provided me with all the individual tracks of WAV files on a CD. Including the Bass and Rhythm guitar tracks, a stereo drum track, the keyboard tracks, the vocal lead and harmony tracks, and a lead guitar track he, himself, had played. The ProTools featured here is about $600, but they have several other versions as low as $100.



Digital Audio Workstations

After learning to create or download drum tracks to build my demos in my FREE DAW, Audacity, I began to increase my songwriting output. This hit a snag when I tried to use my AT3035 Cardioid Condenser microphone I got for my Roland VS880 on my laptop computer, so now I use an MXL Mics 770 Cardioid Condenser Microphone. I Focusrite Scarelett 2i2 - Best DAW for BeginnersMXL-Mics-770-Cardioid-Condenser-Microphoneneeded a USB Sound Card Interface. I decided on the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2, another DAW, but not FREE, largely because it came with a free trial version of ABLETON Live 9, which has been upgraded to ABLETON LIVE 10. WOW… WHAT A BEAST – that DAW!!!… I mean the ABLETON LIVE 10.


Check out this Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 Suite

Amazon Focusrite bundle - DAW for Beginners

Audio Software

I have barely scratched the surface of what it can do…   Non-Destructive editing (time-stretch a cut clip to include what you accidentally cut off)… tuning individual notes by pitch-shifting by semitones or cents… warping wave file speeds without changing pitch… auto-syncing wave files of different speeds… Digital effect manipulation. Just to mention some of the capabilities.

AND in addition to the “normal” ARRANGEMENT mode that looks like ProTools with horizontal time-scale synced wave or digital signals stacked like tracks of long recording tape that scrolls by on the screen… there is a SESSIONS mode of the same tracks arranged like a soundboard… tracks vertical and side by side. They don’t scroll while they play. They just sit there with gauges and controls and switches for you to monitor, adjust, mix, start or stop as they play or loop as a recording or live performance… Phenomenal!!!

Not to even mention the mind-blowing level of access to digital sources of sounds and controls…

Sometimes, I have to struggle to shut it down to go to sleep…

Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) software has revolutionized the music production and recording process. It has made the recording available to the home studio owners.  No matter what type of recording you are doing there is a digital audio workstation perfectly suited to your requirements. There are many different types of recording software to choose from for Mac-, PC- and Linux and in any price range and functionality.

by Larry S. Warfield,