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There’s a ton of debate about whether they really do sound like the real thing. In my experience, amp simulators come extremely close, so much so that it does actually make sense to invest in one of these systems both for touring because of the convenience and ease of use. In the studio, though, where you’ll likely have several options available to you, it really comes down to taste and playability.

New wave and post-punk era bassists did a lot of single-note chugging on root notes of chords. No offense to them; it’s what the music called for. As a consequence, bass players in those genres, like Peter Hook, Adam Clayton, and John Taylor, tend to be pretty underrated. But those minimalist bass parts actually did allow room for some subtle fill-ins to really stick out.

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First, create a list of small, reasonable venues to reach out to, and then write down the names and email addresses for the people who book music for those places (virtually all venues now book talent through email). Instead of putting all your booking hopes in one basket, writing down multiple venue options will give you the best chance at booking shows. Again, instead of focusing on the best local venues, you’ll need to start building your reputation anywhere you can.

It’s so easy nowadays to get caught up in what’s trendy, and in the age of independent artists being able to produce and release work on one’s own, it’s hard to stand out when there’s so much content available at our fingertips. But in the end, if you’re doing something that feels 200% authentic to you, confidence will follow. Clear and to the point, the legendary Aretha Franklin knows her stuff.