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When you compose, do you gravitate toward certain instruments? And how much of the composition is being orchestrated in your inner ear and how much of it are you playing while you write?

Get into the writing room with confidence and excitement next time you’re working with a total stranger on a co-writing song project with these 7 tips.

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The best and cheapest ones I’ve found are the Digitech RV-7 and the Electro Harmonix Cathedral. Both have reverse settings but the RV-7 is much smaller, in case you need to save space on your pedalboard! If you’re playing your favorite chords through this effect they will sound like psychedelic, dreamy synthesized strings, especially when you’re playing a guitar that has a whammy. First try it with your clean sound. Yum! And if you put it through a distortion pedal… BAM! Shoegaze!

Search the geo-tag for the venues you played at, as well as, the hashtag for your band’s name. Once you’ve found all the photos and videos that people have taken from your show, follow those people and thank them with a tweet, comment or DM for coming out and ask them to follow you back so they can keep up with your new music and return visits.

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In several interviews, Sandison and Eoin reveal how they love using old reel-to-reel, four-track, and cassette tape machines as pseudo-preamps to impart a certain sound. The aim was to drive the inputs on this old tech and harness its audio downsampling, imprinting a sense of nostalgia and decay right into the tracking process of the recording.

The second of two articles on time management, we switch gears today to focus on workflow tips and strategies, based on the writer’s years of experience.

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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.