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The 20 Best Music Podcasts / Podcasts for Musicians / Musician Podcasts

Posted by Grant Patten on Apr 13, 2021 7:36:49 AM

The 20 Best Music Podcasts / Podcasts for Musicians / Musician Podcasts

The 20 Best Music PodcastsSource: Royalty-free stock photo ID: 650796391, Shutterstock

Let’s review Front Row’s top 20 podcasts for musicians. We’ll discuss:

(in no particular order)

  1. Future Friday
  2. The Watt from Pedro Show
  3. "Walking The Floor" with Chris Shiflet‪t
  4. Questlove Supreme
  5. Turned Out A Pun‪k
  6. Broken Record
  7. Sodajerker
  8. DIY Musician Podcast
  9. Canadian Musician Podcast
  10. Something About the Beatles
  11. Music Business Hack‪s
  12. Song Exploder
  13. Sound Opinions
  14. Popcast
  15. All Songs Considere‪d
  16. The Soundtrack Sho‪w
  17. Song Vs. Song
  18. Middle Class Musicia‪n
  19. Sticky Notes: The Classical Music Podcast
  20. Charlie Likes Musi‪c

 

Future Friday | musician podcasts

Link: https://futurefriday.net/

Guitarist Tom May from American rock band The Menzingers hosts this podcast, which features conversations and stories with his musician friends and others at home and on the road.

Notable episodes include #10 with vocalist/guitarist Lauren Denitzio of Worriers, #17 with singer and guitarist of Broadway Calls, Ty Vaughn and #19 with Dave Hause (American singer-songwriter).

The Watt from Pedro Show | music podcasts free

Link: https://www.twfps.com/

This show takes its name from San Pedro, California and is hosted by acclaimed bassist, vocalist and songwriter Mike Watt (NME voted Watt one of the “40 Greatest Bassists of All Time”).

Each episode begins with a John Coltrane song, and then Watt plays an “eclectic mix of underground music” and interviews guests about their musical history and other topics. Famous guests have included Flea, Barrence Whitfield and Peter Stampfel.

"Walking The Floor" with Chris Shiflet‪t | best rock music podcast

Link: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/walking-the-floor-with-chris-shiflett/id725700990

Chris Shiflett, guitarist for Foo Fighters, hosts “Walking The Floor” where he engages a wide range of musical guests, writers and artists in one-on-one interviews exploring their creative inspirations, failures, successes and everything in between.

Notable episodes include #6 and #7 with Dwight Yoakam, #12 with Steve Earle, #73 with Lucinda Williams, #147 with Todd Snifer and #181 with Tommy Lee.

Questlove Supreme | best music podcasts

Link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Questlove_Supreme

Created in 2016, Questlove Supreme is a weekly podcast hosted by The Roots’ drummer Questlove.

A combination of interviews, humor, pop culture and music, the program normally features musical guests, such as Darius Rucker, John Densmore, Mariah Carey, Solange, Q-Tip, The Revolution and even Weird Al. Magazine Consequence of Sound summed the show up as a “music junkie's dream.”

Turned Out A Pun‪k | best punk music podcast

Link: https://audioboom.com/channel/turned-out-a-punk

Damian Abraham, the lead singer of a Toronto-based punk band, created this podcast.

Each week, Abraham sits down and chats with an interesting person from the far-reaching worlds of entertainment to find out how their life was changed by the discovery of punk music. Guests are normally (not always) musicians, including Jason Williamson, Fat Mike Burkett, Steve Diggle, Dean Spunt, Mike Watt and Jay Bentley.

Broken Record | top music podcasts

Link: https://brokenrecordpodcast.com/

The Broken Record podcast is hosted by acclaimed music producer Rick Rubin and features writer Malcolm Gladwell (of Blink and Outliers fame). In this podcast, “the musicians you love talk about their life, inspiration and craft.”

There have been interesting interviews with many famous musicians on this podcast, including Rivers Cuomo, Ben Folds, Jack White, Wyclef Jean, Flea, Bruce Springsteen and the Beastie Boys.

Sodajerker | best podcasts about music

Link: https://www.sodajerker.com/podcast/

This podcast from the UK features interviews with some of the world’s most successful songwriters, including Jeff Tweedy, Lucinda Williams, Matt Berninger, Billy Ocean and Rufus Wainwright.

Hosted by UK songwriting duo Simon Barber and Brian O’Connor (Sodajerker).

DIY Musician Podcast

Link: https://podcast.cdbaby.com/

DIY Musician features interviews with artists of all styles and backgrounds who have found a unique but authentic pathway to success, as well as in-depth discussions with music publicists, promoters, lawyers, publishers, talent agents and more.

This podcast is geared toward independent musicians who want to build a sustainable music career without giving up (too much) financial or creative control. Hosted by guitarist Kevin Breuner (Smalltown Poets) and pop lyricist Chris Robley (The Sort Ofs).

Canadian Musician | best Canadian music podcast

Link: https://www.canadianmusicianpodcast.com/

Launched in 1979, Canadian Musician is a magazine profiling musicians (usually Canadian ones), published bi-monthly. Their podcast was launched in 2013 and features many interesting interviews with musicians, including Brendan Canning, Randy Bachman, Dallas Smith and Jason Collett.

This podcast features in-depth conversations and insider information on timely topics from around the music industry.

Note: Front Row has contributed to Canadian Musician magazine; see article: INSURE YOUR GEAR: Unfortunate Examples of Instrument Damage

Something About the Beatles | best Beatles podcast

Link: https://somethingaboutthebeatles.com/

Something About the Beatles is an intelligent and entertaining examination of The Beatles' music and career. “Smart, funny and surprising; just like the Fab Four.” The podcast often features interviews with insiders who knew The Beatles well, including photographer Ethan Russell.

Robert Rodriquez, an award-winning author who has written extensively about The Beatles (including the book Revolver: How the Beatles Re-Imagined Rock 'n' Roll; Amazon Affiliate Link), hosts the podcast.

Music Business Hacks | music business podcast

Link: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/music-business-hacks/id1343284015

A music business podcast made for artists who are looking for clear information, inspiration and application for their careers. Ideas are broken down into steps that musicians can use to advance their career. The podcast is written and hosted by Simon Tam, founder of rock band The Slants.

Episodes include #356, which focuses on the world of k-pop, #341, which explores helpful fitness routines for musicians and #312, which is about record labels and demos.

Song Exploder | best song analysis podcast

Link: https://songexploder.net/

Song Exploder is a music podcast created by musician Hrishikesh Hirway, who hosted it from its 2014 inception until late 2018 and again from December 2019 onwards. This biweekly podcast features musicians talking about the creative process behind an individual song while "deconstructing" the song into its component parts.

The songs highlighted on the program have ranged from pop to hardcore punk to television theme songs, film scores and video game music.

Sound Opinions | best music criticism podcast

Link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sound_Opinions

Sound Opinions is an independent radio talk show and podcast based in Chicago. It focuses on the discussion of music genres, history, artists and albums.

This podcast is hosted by American music critics Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot and features interviews with musicians and industry figures as well as dissections of classic albums and musical movements. Kot and DeRogatis review recent record releases and under-the-radar albums.

Popcast | best pop music podcast

Link: https://www.nytimes.com/column/popcast-pop-music-podcast

Popcast is The New York Times's pop music podcast about music news, new songs, albums and artists of note. Jon Caramanica, an American pop music critic for The Times, hosts this podcast. It covers the latest in popular music criticism, trends and news.

Past episodes have covered an eclectic mix of artists, including Taylor Swift, Mariah Carey, Ennio Morricone, Kenny Rogers, Post Malone, Prince, Kanye West, among others.

All Songs Considered | best podcasts about music

Link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/All_Songs_Considered

All Songs Considered (a project of National Public Radio/NPR) is a weekly podcast launched in January 2000 by American musician and media personality Bob Boilen. This podcast is a source of discovery for new music of all genres.

The podcast has interviews with both emerging and established musicians, including Ed O’Brien, John Legend, Wayne Coyne and Cat Stevens. “Hear songs that can completely change your day, with humor, heart and (sometimes) a whole lot of noise.”

The Soundtrack Show | best film score podcast

Link: https://podcasts.apple.com/ca/podcast/the-soundtrack-show/id1351960656

The Soundtrack Show is a look at film scores and soundtracks for some of the most popular movies, TV Shows, Video Games and Theater pieces of all time.

Notable episodes have analyzed the film scores of Home Alone, The Karate Kid, The Goonies, Casablanca, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Rocky, Psycho and many others.

Song Vs. Song | best song analysis podcast

Link: https://songvssong.libsyn.com/

Hosted by Todd (in the Shadows) Nathanson and SyFy's Dany Roth, Song vs. Song pits two similar songs of an era against each other with controversial outcomes.

Some past episodes have featured “battles” between The Shins vs. Death Cab for Cutie, Korn vs. Limp Bizkit, Neutral Milk Hotel vs. The Magnetic Fields, Backstreet Boys vs. 'N Sync, Franz Ferdinand vs. Modest Mouse, Cher vs. Tina Turner, and many others.

Middle Class Musician | best podcasts about music

Link: https://www.middleclassmusician.co/podcast

Candid conversations with the working force of the music industry. This Nashville-based podcast explores what it really looks like to make a living in one of the fastest changing industries in the world. Hosted by American singer/songwriter Andrew Galucki.

“The middle class musician is the music professional who is finding a way to make a living in the post-Napster world.”

Sticky Notes: The Classical Music Podcast | best classical music podcast

Link: https://stickynotespodcast.libsyn.com/

Sticky Notes is a classical music podcast for everyone. Whether you are a beginner just looking to get into classical music but don't know where to start, or a seasoned musician interested in the lives and ideas of your fellow artists, this podcast is for you.

This podcast has interviews with top artists of today, in-depth looks at specific pieces from the repertoire, and deep dives into each era of classical music, plus much more.

Charlie Likes Music | top music podcasts

Link: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/charlie-likes-music/id1493325429

Charlie Short, a Chicago-based musician, hosts this podcast. Short plays bass, guitar, sings and has played in and around the Midwestern US for ~20 years. On his podcast, he talks about recorded music through the lens of music that he likes.

Short covers the history of musicians and groups, as well other interesting facts about music. He tries to bring attention to music that many have not heard before.

Get Musical Instrument Insurance | Front Row Instrument Insurance | Insurance for Musicians | Guitar Insurance | Piano Insurance

If you’re listening to podcasts about music, chances are that you own some musical instruments; perhaps you’re even a musician yourself. And if you own valuable instruments, you should consider protecting them with musical instrument insurance.

Front Row’s insurance for musical instruments (Canada) is a good option for insuring your musical instruments, including guitars, violins, drums, etc. You can get a quote and purchase a policy online in just a few minutes, or read more about the coverages available on the instrument insurance site.

 

About: Front Row Insurance Brokers Inc. is an independent insurance broker that provides musical instrument insurance for a very low cost. Should a claim occur, Front Row works diligently with clients and insurers to expedite the payment of claims.

One of Front Row’s specialties is creating custom insurance packages for musicians. This can include tour liability and coverage for recording studios. Front Row has offices in Toronto, Halifax, Montreal, Vancouver, New York and LA and a staff of 50+ with a combined ~510 years of insurance experience. Front Row also has a Nashville office with Tom Corley, music industry insurance expert.

Related posts:

Disclaimer: Informational statements regarding insurance coverage are for general description purposes only. These statements do not amend, modify or supplement any insurance policy. Consult the actual policy or your broker for details regarding terms, conditions, coverage, exclusions, products, services and programs which may be available to you. Your eligibility for particular products and services is subject to the final determination of underwriting qualifications and acceptance by the insurance underwriting company providing such products or services. This website does not make any representations that coverage does or does not exist for any particular claim or loss, or type of claim or loss, under any policy. Whether coverage exists or does not exist for any particular claim or loss under any policy depends on the facts and circumstances involved in the claim or loss and all applicable policy wording.

Amazon Associates Disclosure: Front Row Insurance is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon. This post may contain affiliate links. There is no additional cost to you.

Topics: musical instrument insurance, Best of

The 10 Best Laptops for Music Production in 2021

Posted by Grant Patten on Oct 14, 2020 10:06:06 AM

The 10 Best Laptops for Music Production in 2021 / Best Music Production Computers

Let’s review the ten best laptops for music production available on the market now.

(in no particular order)

We’ll discuss:

  1. Asus VivoBook
  2. Asus ZenBook
  3. Apple MacBook Pro
  4. Microsoft Surface Book
  5. Samsung Notebook
  6. Dell Inspiron Gaming Edition
  7. Huawei MateBook
  8. Razer Blade Gaming Edition
  9. Lenovo ThinkPad
  10. Acer Swift

 

1. Asus VivoBook | best budget music production laptop

VivoBook 15

Asus is an underrated and affordable brand for music production laptops and their VivoBook 15 [Amazon Affiliate Link] is a solid laptop for music production that can be had at a reasonable price.

Designed especially for those who value portability (just ~3 lbs and 0.78” thin), the VivoBook is a powerful laptop that you can use to carry out high-end music recording and production.

A 7th Gen i5 Intel Core processor powerfully drives the laptop and it contains 8GB RAM (upgradable to 16GB). Comprehensive connections, including USB 3.2 Type-C, USB 3.2 Type-A, USB 2.0, and HDMI.

2. Asus ZenBook | affordable music production laptop

ZenBook Asus

Another solid, affordable laptop in the Asus line is their ZenBook. [Amazon Affiliate Link] This computer is ultra slim and durable, making it easily portable.

The laptop has an ErgoLift design for improved typing position (although some reviewers on Amazon have complained about the keyboard), an optimized cooling system and enhanced audio performance.

The ZenBook’s 8th Gen Intel Core i7 Quad Core Processor with 16GB RAM makes it a slightly more powerful machine than the aforementioned VivoBook.

3. Apple MacBook Pro (various sizes) | best computers for music production

MacBook Pro Apple

The music industry, largely, seems to use Macs for music production at this point.

The famous MacBook Pro has excellent performance (especially if you opt for up to 32GB of memory) and it can handle high-level processing for programs like Cubase, Ableton Live and Adobe Audition.

The 16-inch larger screen is more expensive than the smaller 13-inch [Amazon Affiliate Link], of course, but both are excellent machines.

Tip: Admittedly, MacBooks aren’t cheap. If you’d rather not pay for a brand new MacBook, be sure to also check out resale sites like eBay, Kijiji, etc. and consider the older models.

4. Microsoft Surface Book | best computer for music production

Microsoft’s Surface Book

Microsoft’s Surface Book 3 [Amazon Affiliate Link] is a powerful little machine that is able to convert into a laptop or a tablet. However, if you wish to use a stylus with the touchscreen, a Surface Pen has to be purchased separately.

The 3240 x 2160 display is vibrant and impressive, and the 1TB solid state hard drive will be able to store a generous amount of music files.

The Surface Book has enhanced dual far-field Studio Mics and Dolby Audio sound. The touchscreen ability makes it convenient for music producers, as it provides the option of quickly editing a track on screen with their fingers and provides quick access to a keyboard and trackpad.

5. Samsung Notebook | best music production laptop

the Samsung Notebook

With 16GB DDR4 memory and a 256GB SSD, the Samsung Notebook [Amazon Affiliate Link] is a powerful laptop that should be able to handle most music production requirements.

The Notebook also has touchscreen functionality, can be flipped into a tablet and comes along with a built-in “S Pen” stylus. The Intel Core i7 processor is quite fast and should be able to handle most multitasking situations that come up while making music.

In terms of ports, the Notebook just has two USB 3 ports, one USB Type-C and one HDMI, so you may need additional peripherals and/or adaptors to attach more.

6. Dell Inspiron Gaming Edition

The Dell Inspiron Gaming Edition

The Dell Inspiron Gaming Edition [Amazon Affiliate Link] comes with the 7th-generation Intel Quad-Core processor and 8GB DDR4 Memory (can be upgraded to 16GB), so it should be powerful enough for most music production needs.

This laptop has impressive sound: front-firing speakers, a subwoofer and Waves MaxxAudio Pro. Spacious stereo imaging and the laptop actually gets loud. There is even a little bit of genuine bass.

Three USB 3.0 ports. The keyboard has a nice feel, and the backlighting is just right. Supports a 4K second monitor, if desired.

7. Huawei MateBook

the MateBook Huawei

You will get solid performance out of the MateBook [Amazon Affiliate Link]: Radeon Vega 8 Graphics, Wi-Fi 2x2 MIMO, and a new Gen Intel Processor all boost the performance of this machine.

It is a light and thin laptop with long battery life (10 hours). The 8GB DDR4 RAM (no RAM upgrades possible) allows for light to moderate music producing.

The laptop’s precision touchscreen (1920 x 1080 display, 14 inches) makes it easy to navigate any of your programs or apps and its weight of just 1.38 kg makes it easy to take on the road.

8. Razer Blade Gaming Edition

The Razer Blade Gaming Edition

The Razer Blade 15 Gaming Edition [Amazon Affiliate Link] includes 16GB RAM and is upgradeable (advanced model) to a 1TB solid state drive, making it capable of handling the most complex music production tasks.

The 0.7" thin aluminum unibody makes this computer lightweight and highly portable. The computer also has a “vapor chamber cooling” system for maximum performance and comfort.

The 4K (3840 x 2160) OLED touch display will be pleasing to most music producers.

9. Lenovo ThinkPad | best laptop for music production and recording

the Lenovo ThinkPad

For those who prefer to stick to the Windows operating system, the Lenovo ThinkPad [Amazon Affiliate Link] is likely the best Windows laptop for music production.

With the 8th Generation R Intel Core i7 processor and 32GB RAM, you’ll be able to handle complex music production tasks on this machine quite easily.

The computer’s default 512GB solid state drive is upgradeable to an enormous 2TB storage size. The computer also has a nice variety of ports: 1 x Thunderbolt 3, 1 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C, 2 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A, and 1 x HDMI.

10. Acer Swift | cheap laptop for music production

The Acer Swift laptop

The Acer Swift 3 [Amazon Affiliate Link] is an inexpensive laptop that can be used for music production. It has a 10th Generation Intel Core i5 Processor with 8GB of RAM (not upgradeable), so it should be powerful enough to handle light to moderate music production tasks.

The solid state drive is a generous size at 256GB. The 14-inch display is 1920 x 1080 pixels with LED backlighting. The computer has a decent variety of ports: 1 x USB 3.1 Type C, 1 x Thunderbolt 3, 1 x USB 3.1 Gen 1, 1 x USB 2.0 and 1 x HDMI.

The battery life is very respectable at 11 hours. At just 2.62 lbs and 0.63" thin, this laptop is very lightweight and portable. Embedded fingerprint reader for fast verification.

Music Production Accessories for your Laptop | Best Music Production Software | Best Music Making Software | Music Editing Software

If you’re getting a laptop for music production, don’t forget about these accessories:

A laptop sleeve will help protect your laptop against dust, debris and scratches. You could get the “official” one that is usually an accessory to the laptop purchase, or you could get a generic one that fits various laptops of a certain size, such as the RAINYEAR 13 Inch Laptop Sleeve. [Amazon Link]

An external hard drive and/or subscription to a cloud storage service such as Dropbox would be advisable because even if you have a large hard drive on the laptop, you will likely be surprised at how quickly that drive can fill up. A well-reviewed external HD to consider is the KwiltGo Personal Cloud Storage Device. [Amazon Link]

You’ll of course need music production software to produce music on the laptop! Here are some commonly recommended programs:

  • Ableton Live: digital audio workstation for macOS and Windows
  • Adobe Audition: digital audio workstation from Adobe
  • Cakewalk by BandLab: complete music production package
  • Cubase: digital audio workstation for music and MIDI recording
  • Logic Pro: digital audio workstation and MIDI sequencer for macOS
  • Reaper: digital audio workstation and MIDI sequencer for macOS, Windows & Linux
  • Reason: more for electronic music production
  • Sibelius (music notation software): mainly for setting actual sheet music and probably best if you want to make printed parts for a band/orchestra

Note: ~8GB of RAM can be a bit tight if you're running multiple music production software programs, plus other software like a web browser, so if you’ll be using a lot of software simultaneously, always opt for more RAM.

Get Musical Instrument Insurance | Instrument Insurance | Insurance for Musicians

If you’re looking at music production laptops, chances are you own some musical instruments; perhaps you’re even a musician yourself. And if you own valuable instruments, you should consider protecting them with musical instrument insurance.

Front Row’s insurance for musical instruments (Canada) is a good option for insuring your musical instruments, including guitars, violins, drums, etc. You can get a quote and purchase a policy online in just a few minutes, or read more about the coverages available on the instrument insurance site.

Note: Front Row’s musical instrument insurance policy comes along with $5,000 CAD (subject to change) in Computer Hardware/Software Coverage.

 

About: Front Row Insurance Brokers Inc. is an independent insurance broker that provides musical instrument insurance for a very low cost. Should a claim occur, Front Row works diligently with clients and insurers to expedite the payment of claims.

One of Front Row’s specialties is creating custom insurance packages for musicians. This can include tour liability and coverage for recording studios. Front Row has offices in Toronto, Halifax, Montreal and Vancouver and a staff of 50+ with a combined ~510 years of insurance experience. Front Row also has a Nashville office with Tom Corley, music industry insurance expert.

Amazon Associates Disclosure: Front Row Insurance is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon. This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, Front Row Insurance earns from qualifying purchases. There is no additional cost to you. 

Related posts:

Citations:

https://www.binarytides.com/best-laptops-for-music-production-under-500/
https://www.pclaunches.com/best-laptop-for-music-production/
https://consordini.com/best-laptops-for-music-production/
https://www.musicgateway.com/blog/how-to/best-laptop-for-music-production

Topics: musical instrument insurance, Best of

The 10 Best Music Documentaries / the Best Rockumentaries

Posted by Grant Patten on Oct 5, 2020 7:06:06 AM

Stop Making Sense coverThe 10 Best Music Documentaries / the Best Rockumentaries

Let’s review Front Row’s top 10 music documentary films. We’ll discuss:

(in no particular order)

  1. Stop Making Sense
  2. Montage of Heck and Soaked in Bleach
  3. Gimme Shelter
  4. Dont Look Back [sic]
  5. Rattle and Hum
  6. The Decline of Western Civilization
  7. Woodstock
  8. The Last Waltz and Once Were Brothers
  9. Amy
  10. The Story of Wish You Were Here and Live at Pompeii

 

1. Stop Making Sense / best music documentaries

According to Rolling Stone, “the greatest concert movie ever” is Jonathan Demme’s Stop Making Sense. [Amazon Link] This documentary of the Talking Heads band was filmed over the course of four nights at Hollywood's Pantages Theater in 1983.

The songs performed in the movie are mostly from Talking Heads’ album, Speaking in Tongues, including hits such as “Burning Down the House” and "Girlfriend Is Better".

via GIPHY

Montage of Heck cover2. Montage of Heck and Soaked in Bleach / best rockumentaries

Montage of Heck [Amazon Link] is an artful documentary directed by Brett Morgen about the life of musician Kurt Cobain. The documentary is “fully authorized” in that Cobain’s widow, Courtney Love, was consulted throughout the process and even granted Morgen access to Cobain's personal archive of art, music, notes, and never-before-seen home movie footage. The documentary contains various interviews with those who were in Cobain’s life, including his mother, bandmates and ex-girlfriend.

Soaked in Bleach [Amazon Link] is a much more controversial quasi-documentary (contains some scripted scenes of docudrama in it) that seems to push the narrative that Cobain *potentially* did not commit suicide and was instead perhaps murdered, or some other form of foul play. But the movie does contain some interesting interviews with various members of the police force involved in the Cobain death investigation – no matter what side of the “interpretation fence” you might be on, it’s an entertaining piece, even if it has somewhat of an agenda.

Gimme Shelter cover3. Gimme Shelter / best music docs

Gimme Shelter [Amazon Link] is a documentary by the Maysles Brothers about the last weeks of The Rolling Stones' 1969 US tour, which culminated in the disastrous Altamont Free Concert. Violence erupted at this concert, resulting in the deaths of multiple fans and injuries to many others.

One Amazon reviewer’s comment (Jeff Morant): “One of the best documentaries ever made and one of the best Criterion releases! Even if you're not a fan of The Stones, this a very haunting film and one that will stay with you for quite some time.”

Dont Look Back jacket4. Dont Look Back [sic]

Dont Look Back [Amazon Link] is a documentary about singer-songwriter Bob Dylan. The film documents Dylan's 1965 concert tour in England.

The movie features some of Dylan’s most famous songs, including “Subterranean Homesick Blues,” “The Times They Are A-Changin’,” and “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue”.

Fun Fact/Trivia: the famous "Subterranean Homesick Blues" footage of Dylan shuffling cue cards shown at the beginning of the film was actually shot at the end of filming.

5. Rattle and Hum / best movies about music

Rattle and Hum jacketRattle and Hum [Amazon Link] is a music documentary about the much lauded Irish rock band U2, filmed during their fall 1987 tour of North America.

The doc includes footage of U2 performing live with famed guitarist B.B. King (song: “When Love Comes to Town”).

The documentary features an artful mix of black-and-white and colour cinematography and includes many of the band’s most famous songs, including “Desire”, “I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For”, “Where the Streets Have No Name” and “Sunday Bloody Sunday”.

The Decline of Western Civilization cover6. The Decline of Western Civilization

The Decline of Western Civilization [Amazon Link] is about the Los Angeles punk rock scene/subculture in the late 1970s and early ‘80s.

The doc features concert footage of LA punk bands and (often amusing) interviews with band members and their fans.

Notable bands featured in the doc include Black Flag, Circle Jerks, Germs, and X. Two sequels were also made: Part II: The Metal Years and Part III. [Amazon Links]

7. Woodstock / best docs about music

Woodstock jacketWoodstock [Amazon Link] is about the watershed counterculture Woodstock Festival which took place in August 1969 near Bethel, New York.

The Director’s Cut version contains a Blu-ray version of the film along with a second disc of bonus features, including “Untold Stories Revisited" and 16 previously unreleased performances.

Notable musicians and bands featured in this famous concert doc include Crosby, Stills & Nash, Joan Baez, The Who, Jefferson Airplane, and Joe Cocker.

The Last Waltz jacket8. The Last Waltz / Once Were Brothers

One of the most respected concert docs of all time is certainly The Last Waltz [Amazon Link], which is about The Band's historic 1976 farewell performance. Directed by Martin Scorsese.

The concert was held on American Thanksgiving Day, November 25, 1976, at Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco. The doc features many of The Band’s best known songs, including “Up on Cripple Creek”, “Life Is a Carnival” and “King Harvest (Has Surely Come)”. Other musicians featured in the doc include Eric Clapton, Neil Young, Bob Dylan, and Joni Mitchell.

A nice companion documentary to this is the more recent doc, Once Were Brothers. [Amazon Link] This doc focuses on frontman Robbie Robertson’s life, how The Band formed, and how/why they eventually disbanded. Produced by Scorsese.

Amy jacket9. Amy

Amy [Amazon Link] tells the tragic story of the talented English singer-songwriter, Amy Winehouse.

The film covers Winehouse's life and her struggle with substance abuse, both before and after her career blossomed, and which eventually caused her untimely death.

The film includes footage of Winehouse performing some of her best known songs, including "Stronger than Me", "Back to Black", and "Rehab"; and even some never-before-heard songs and auditions.

The Story of Wish You Were Here jacket10. The Story of Wish You Were Here and Live at Pompeii

The Story of Wish You Were Here [Amazon Link] is about the making of the Wish You Were Here album by Pink Floyd. The doc includes interviews with almost every key person who participated in the making of this acclaimed album, including David Gilmour, Nick Mason and Roger Waters.

Live at Pompeii [Amazon Link] is an older Pink Floyd doc that focuses on the band performing at the ancient Roman amphitheatre in Pompeii, Italy. The main footage in and around Pompeii was filmed over four days in October 1971, using the band's regular touring equipment. The Director's Cut DVD combines the original footage from ‘71 with more contemporary shots.

Get Musical Instrument Insurance | Front Row Instrument Insurance | Insurance for Musicians

If you’re watching music documentaries, chances are you own some musical instruments; perhaps you’re even a musician yourself. And if you own valuable instruments, you should consider protecting them with musical instrument insurance.

Front Row’s insurance for musical instruments (Canada) is a good option for insuring your musical instruments, including guitars, violins, drums, etc. You can get a quote and purchase a policy online in just a few minutes, or read more about the coverages available on the instrument insurance site.

 

About: Front Row Insurance Brokers Inc. is an independent insurance broker that provides musical instrument insurance for a very low cost. Should a claim occur, Front Row works diligently with clients and insurers to expedite the payment of claims.

One of Front Row’s specialties is creating custom insurance packages for musicians. This can include tour liability and coverage for recording studios. Front Row has offices in Toronto, Halifax, Montreal and Vancouver and a staff of 50+ with a combined ~510 years of insurance experience. Front Row also has a Nashville office with Tom Corley, music industry insurance expert.

Related posts:

Amazon Associates Disclosure: Front Row Insurance is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon. This post may contain affiliate links. There is no additional cost to you.

Topics: musical instrument insurance, Documentary Insurance, docudrama insurance, Best of

The 10 Best Music Theory Books | Top 10 Music Theory Books

Posted by Grant Patten on Sep 28, 2020 7:29:32 AM

The 10 Best Music Theory Books | Top 10 Music Theory Books

Let’s review Front Row’s top 10 music theory books. We’ll discuss:

(in no particular order)

  1. Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain
  2. How Music Works
  3. The Study of Counterpoint
  4. Hooktheory
  5. Silence: Lectures and Writings
  6. The Joy of Music
  7. Tonal Harmony with an Introduction to Twentieth-Century Music
  8. Harmonic Experience
  9. Theory of Harmony
  10. Music Theory for Computer Musicians

 

Musicophilia book cover1. Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain | Best Music Theory Books

This interesting crossover of music and neuroscience – Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain [Amazon Link] – was a bestseller. Written by famed neurologist Oliver Sacks.

Sacks explores the place music occupies in the brain and how it affects the human condition.

One user’s comment (Noman) on Amazon: “An eye opener into the world of music therapy, and a thoughtful work expressing the benefits of music with respect to neurology and neurological disease.”

 

How music works book cover2. How Music Works | Best Music Theory Books

How Music Works [Amazon Link] by famed Talking Heads singer David Byrne is a creative exploration of the musical art form and how music can be so powerful.

There are chapters on how technology (both analog and digital) shapes music, the power of curation, and the anthropology of music, among others.

One user’s comment (Michael) on Amazon: “As the book progresses, Byrne explains much about the technical processes involved in recording music and the business side of music.”

 

Counterpoint book cover3. The Study of Counterpoint

Many of the greatest composers, including Bach, have benefited from this classic [Amazon Link] – first published in 1725, and its concepts are still relevant to the modern musician.

This book explains in detail the concept of counterpoint (a melody played in conjunction with another).

Counterpoint techniques and rules are explained with clarity, and succinctly, as the book is a slim 160 pages. The book has a straightforward, analytic style.

 

Hooktheory book cover4. Hooktheory 

Hooktheory I: Music Theory [Amazon Link] describes itself as “an intuitive, modern take on music theory.” Examples are drawn from popular songs you have likely heard on the radio.

Chapters include “The building blocks of music”, harmony, melody, and inversions. The book includes skill-building exercises with an easy-to-understand music format that is an improvement on sheet music.

Anyone interested in music theory and writing songs should also check out the Hooktheory site.

 

Silence book cover5. Silence | Best Music Theory Books

Silence: Lectures and Writings [Amazon Link] by the revered experimental composer John Cage has influenced the thinking of many musicians since the book’s publication in 1961. Silence is a collection of essays and lectures Cage wrote during the period from ‘39 to ‘61.

Cage can perhaps be a bit inscrutable at times, but his ideas have remained important, especially his emphasis on the intelligent use of silence to create the perfect melody.

One user’s (SH) Amazon comment: “Even if you don't like Cage's music, reading this book will give you insights into what he did that may change your mind or at least instill a newfound respect.”

 

Joy of music book cover6. The Joy of Music | Best Music Theory Books

American composer Leonard Bernstein’s first book, The Joy of Music [Amazon Link], abandons the traditional academic style of books on classical music. The initial chapters are cast in the style of conversations about music between Bernstein and several imaginary people.

There are chapters on jazz, musical comedy, Bach, opera, and more.

One user’s (Tobin) comment on Amazon: “If you can't read music, you would enjoy getting CDs of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony, Brahms' First Symphony, and Bach's St. Matthew Passion before curling up with this book. It will enhance your enjoyment of Bernstein's exciting descriptions, and will make them come to life.”

 

Tonal harmony book cover7. Tonal Harmony

Since its publication in 1984, Tonal Harmony [Amazon Link] by Kostka (American music theorist) has been consistently praised for its practicality and ease of use for the practicing musician, music student and instructor alike. This textbook is widely used in music classrooms across the world.

Tonal Harmony contains chapters on the elements of pitch, rhythm, triads, diatonic chords, voice leading, harmonic progression, inversion, cadences, and more.

Now available in McGraw-Hill Education’s Connect® with SmartBook® format (a digital version of the textbook, with interactive exercises and assignments).

 

Harmonic experience book cover8. Harmonic Experience | Best Music Theory Books

Harmonic Experience [Amazon Link] by W. A. Mathieu (American composer and recording artist) is an exploration of musical harmony from its ancient fundamentals to its most complex modern progressions.

The book contains chapters on octaves, major thirds, harmonic relationships, mixed modes, chromatic pairs, triads, diesis, cadence, and more.

Mathieu’s theory of music reconciles the ancient harmonic system of just intonation with the modern system of twelve-tone temperament.

 

Theory of harmony book cover9. Theory of Harmony | Best Music Theory Books

Theory of Harmony [Amazon Link] by famed Austrian composer Arnold Schoenberg delineates connections between music, theory, art, science, and architecture.

From this one book, one may well learn less about harmony than about form, about aesthetics, even about life. First published in 1948, it remains one of the most influential music theory books.

One user’s comment on Amazon: “This book is the ‘Teach Yourself Person's’ music theory bible. If you take the time to study it properly and reread any sections that seem a bit hazy, it will take you a while to get through it, but your understanding of music and harmony will be incredibly profound.”

 

Music theory for computer musicians book cover10. Music Theory for Computer Musicians | Best Music Theory Books

Music Theory for Computer Musicians [Amazon Link] is a more modern music theory book that focuses on DJs, electronic music producers and musicians who compose computer music.

The book contains chapters on musical sound, notes, scale, rhythm, score editing, meter, chords, keys, triads, root movement, diatonic modes, intonation, and more.

One user’s comment on Amazon: “Easy to read and a wealth of information. The diagrams of scales are especially useful for quickly coming up with new ideas.”

 

Get Musical Instrument Insurance | Front Row Instrument Insurance | Insurance for Musicians

If you’re reading music theory books, chances are you own some musical instruments. And if you own valuable instruments, you should consider protecting them with musical instrument insurance.

Front Row’s insurance for musical instruments is a good option for insuring your musical instruments, including guitars, violins, drums, etc. You can get a quote and purchase a policy online in just a few minutes, or read more about the coverages available on the instrument insurance site.

 

About: Front Row Insurance Brokers Inc. is an independent insurance broker that provides musical instrument insurance for a very low cost. Should a claim occur, Front Row works diligently with clients and insurers to expedite the payment of claims.

One of Front Row’s specialties is creating custom insurance packages for musicians. This can include tour liability and coverage for recording studios. Front Row has offices in Toronto, Halifax, Montreal and Vancouver and a staff of 50+ with a combined ~510 years of insurance experience. Front Row also has a Nashville office with Tom Corley, music industry insurance expert.

Related posts:

Amazon Associates Disclosure: Front Row Insurance is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon. This post may contain affiliate links. There is no additional cost to you.

Topics: musical instrument insurance

20 Effective Ways to Protect Your Saxophone (Downloadable Checklist!)

Posted by Grant Patten on Jan 21, 2020 9:43:03 AM

20 Effective Ways to Protect Your Saxophone

Protect Your Saxophone

As an entertainment insurance brokerage with a specialty in creating custom insurance packages for musicians, we have seen enough music gear-related insurance claims to be able to speak with some authority on what musicians can do to protect their gear. As it’s one of the most popular instruments, let’s focus on the saxophone in this article:

Protecting your Saxophone | Saxophone Maintenance

  1. Where to keep your saxophone? Never store the saxophone in a very hot or very cold area. Store the saxophone in a dry place at room temperature – a closet would likely be a good candidate, but not an attic, basement or garage.
  2. Always hold your saxophone by the bell because that is the sturdiest part of a sax and holding it in this manner should reduce the chances of a drop.
  3. Tighten the lyre screw enough so that the lyre doesn’t wiggle around. A loose lyre can gnaw away the brass of your lyre holder.
  4. Use a tooth patch bite cushion [Amazon Affiliate Link] on your saxophone mouthpiece. This will help protect your saxophone and – perhaps even more importantly – your teeth.
  5. Neck strap saxophone playerUse a neck strap [Amazon Affiliate Link] to move the sax’s weight from your neck onto your shoulders. This will provide extra stability, reducing chances of falling or dropping the saxophone.
  6. Do NOT clamp the sax keys closed for any length of time. Clamping a used saxophone closed is a bad idea for storage because the pads have already been exposed to bacteria, yeast and fungus that encourage rot.
  7. Apply a drop of sewing machine oil to keep the sax keys lubricated. If you notice that any of the keys are becoming stiff, add a drop to the key(s).
  8. Applypad dope to the sax pads to keep them from drying out and protect them from any moisture carried through the instrument.
  9. Brush your teeth before playing your sax. Sugar + saliva makes for a nasty solution that accumulates on sax pads and can cause them to stick – so get that mouth as clean as possible before playing.
  10. Check the saxophone’s instruction manual/manufacturer’s notes for specific and acceptable cleaning methods.
  11. Swab your sax after playing. Silk swabs [Amazon Affiliate Link], in particular, can be effective.
  12. Always lean toward using a special saxophone solution [Amazon Affiliate Link] for cleaning, rather than some generic furniture polish or other cleaner that may damage your saxophone’s finish.
  13. Don’t forget to clean the saxophone’s key tone hole after playing. A tone hole cleaner set with cleaning rods [Amazon Affiliate Link] would be ideal for this job.
  14. Open the closed keys to dry after you play. The G#, Eb, and Low C# key pads of the sax are the worst for sticking and trapping bacteria. There are certain products on the market that can assist with this, such as key pads [Amazon Affiliate Link].
  15. If you’re touring, always use a high-quality carrying case such as a hard-bodied, foam-lined, locking Pelican case that protects against impact & moisture.
  16. Put some desiccant in the case to absorb moisture before it can damage the sax.
  17. Get a saxophone case [Amazon Affiliate Link], ideally waterproof, to put over your saxophone when not in use to protect it from dust and water.
  18. Hiding a Tile [Amazon Affiliate Link] or similar tracker in your cases results in a good recovery rate for stolen saxophones and other music gear.
  19. At least once a year, take your saxophone to your local instrument technician for a once-over. This annual investment in expert service will no doubt pay for itself over the long run by keeping your saxophone in good shape.
  20. Try to get into the habit of washing your hands before picking up and using your saxophone. You may not realize it, but your fingers and palms contain moisture and oils that can damage your saxophone.

Downloadable Checklist – Effective Ways to Protect Your Saxophone

Take the tips in this article with you by filling out this form. We’ll email you a PDF copy of Effective Ways to Protect Your Saxophone. Or just complete the form below:

Topics: musical instrument insurance, Entertainment Insurance

20 Effective Ways to Protect Your Violin (Downloadable Checklist!)

Posted by Grant Patten on Jan 20, 2020 11:05:17 AM

20 EFFECTIVE WAYS TO PROTECT YOUR VIOLIN (DOWNLOADABLE CHECKLIST!)

PROTECT YOUR VIOLIN

As an entertainment insurance brokerage with a specialty in creating custom insurance packages for musicians, we have seen enough music gear-related insurance claims to be able to speak with some authority on what musicians can do to protect their gear. As it’s one of the most popular instruments, let’s focus on the violin in this article:

Protecting your Violin | Violin Maintenance

  1. Where to keep your violin? Never store the violin in a very hot or very cold area. Avoid fireplaces, for example. The violin’s organic materials can be affected by its environment, so keep the atmosphere where it's stored stable. The violin should be stored face-up, or on-side, in a case. Never have your violin resting on its bridge, even in a case.
  2. Consider getting a room humidifier or an in-case moisture regulator [Affiliate Link] for your violin.
  3. Slacken the bow before storing it. Leaving unnecessary tension on the violin bow can destroy its delicate camber.
  4. Do not allow pets to get near your violin. Dogs, in particular, may be tempted to chew on the violin, which of course should be prevented.
  5. Occasionally check and adjust the violin bridge’s alignment. The bridge will lean forward if the strings are too tight. Carefully adjust the bridge, making sure the feet are flat against the surface of the violin.
  6. Be careful about the amount of rosin you apply – it needs to be adequate to provide friction, but too much will produce a “cloud” that can build up on the surface over time.
  7. Check the violin’s instruction manual/manufacturer’s notes for specific and acceptable cleaning methods.
  8. Always lean toward using a special violin solution [Affiliate Link] for cleaning, rather than some generic furniture polish or other cleaner that may damage your violin’s finish.
  9. Always wipe off the body and strings with a dry cloth to remove any rosin that was on the finish while you were playing.
  10. Try the “rice technique” for removing dust from inside the violin: place dry rice inside the sound holes of the violin, then gently shake the violin upside-down and let the rice fall out. Dust should come out with the rice.
  11. If you’re touring, always use a high-quality carrying case [Affiliate Link] such as a hard-bodied, foam-lined, locking Pelican case that protects against impact & moisture.
  12. Get a violin case cover, ideally waterproof, to put over your violin when not in use to protect it from dust and water.
  13. Always remove the shoulder rest or pad before storing your violin in its case.
  14. Get an appropriately sized violin chinrest [Affiliate Link]. If the chinrest is too large, for example, it might scratch the violin.
  15. Consider replacing your violin’s strings on occasion to ensure the instrument plays and sounds to its full potential. Active violinists change their strings as often as every six months for optimal sound.
  16. Consider replacing your violin bow hair on occasion. Bow hair stretches with use, becoming brittle with age. Active violinists require fairly frequent bow rehairing, typically every three to six months.
  17. Violin’s pegsConsider replacing your violin’s pegs on occasion. All pegs will eventually need to be replaced after regular “wear and tear”, but especially when extreme changes in temperature or humidity affect the way they fit.
  18. Hiding a Tile [Affiliate Link] or similar tracker in your cases results in a good recovery rate for stolen violins and other music gear.
  19. At least once a year, take your violin to your local luthier for a once-over. This annual investment in expert service will no doubt pay for itself over the long run by keeping your violin in good shape.
  20. Try to get into the habit of washing your hands before picking up and using your violin bow. You may not realize it, but your fingers and palms contain moisture and oils that can damage your violin bow.

Downloadable Checklist – Effective Ways to Protect Your Violin

Take the tips in this article with you by filling out this form. We’ll email you a PDF copy of Effective Ways to Protect Your Violin. Or complete the form below:

Topics: musical instrument insurance, Entertainment Insurance

20 Effective Ways to Protect Your Keyboard (Downloadable Checklist!)

Posted by Grant Patten on Jan 17, 2020 11:29:14 AM

20 EFFECTIVE WAYS TO PROTECT YOUR ELECTRONIC KEYBOARD/DIGITAL PIANO

Protecting your Keyboard/Piano

As an entertainment insurance brokerage with a specialty in creating custom insurance packages for musicians, we have seen enough music gear-related insurance claims to be able to speak with some authority on what musicians can do to protect their gear. As it’s one of the most popular instruments, let’s focus on the electronic keyboard/digital piano in this article:

Protecting your ELECTRONIC Keyboard/DIGITAL Piano | KEYBOARD MAINTENANCE

  1. Where to keep your keyboard? According to Yamaha, a room with relative humidity between 40 and 45% is ideal for keyboards.
  2. Do not place the keyboard outside or near an open window. Dust will coat the keyboard, which could create issues with electronic parts inside.
  3. Do not place the keyboard under a shelf with a lot of objects on it. Heavy falling objects from shelves such as trophies can severely damage a keyboard.
  4. Do not place the keyboard near a fireplace, where ash and dust would inevitably get into it and likely damage the electronic components.
  5. Do not allow pets to get on the keyboard. Cats, in particular, would likely enjoy climbing on top of your keyboard, but their fur could get into the sensors and potentially damage the electronic components.
  6. Do not use a vacuum cleaner to pull out dust from your keyboard. Tiny parts and screws may get loosened, compromising your keyboard over time.
  7. Get a keyboard cover [Affiliate Link], ideally waterproof, to put over your keyboard when not in use to protect it from dust and water.
  8. Get a solid, sturdy keyboard stand [Affiliate Link].
  9. Keep the electrical cords out of the way where they won’t be tripped over.
  10. MultimeterUse a multimeter [Affiliate Link] to check if the electrical outlet you’re plugging the keyboard into is supplying the proper voltage recommended by your keyboard’s manufacturer. If it isn’t, try a different outlet. Always turn the keyboard off before you unplug it, and unplug it when you’re not playing it.
  11. Don’t plug your keyboard into an outlet that is shared by a microwave, AC, fridge or any other major electrical appliance. Interference from such devices can negatively impact the sound of your keyboard.
  12. Check the keyboard’s instruction manual/manufacturer’s notes for specific and acceptable cleaning methods.
  13. Use a regular cotton cloth to clean the keyboard. Do not use a thinner, as that can remove the printing and even damage the (usually plastic) body.
  14. Any cleaning solution that you use on the keyboard should have an alcohol content of around 90%.
  15. A cotton swab can be used to clean corners of the keyboard that a cloth cannot reach.
  16. If you’re touring, always use a high-quality carrying case [Affiliate Link] such as a hard-bodied, foam-lined, locking Pelican case that protects against impact & moisture.
  17. A seemingly innocuous action, like placing one’s drink atop a keyboard panel, can result in said drink eventually spilling and short-circuiting the keyboard. Insurance claims often occur after absent-minded actions such as this. So, put any nearby drinks on a side table, not on top of the keyboard panel.
  18. Hiding a Tile [Affiliate Link] or similar tracker in your cases results in a good recovery rate for stolen keyboards and other music gear.
  19. At least once a year, take your keyboard to your local music instrument technician for a once-over. This annual investment in expert service will no doubt pay for itself over the long run by keeping your keyboard in good shape.
  20. Try to get into the habit of washing your hands before playing the keyboard. You may not realize it, but your fingers and palms contain moisture and oils that can damage your keys. Finally: play your keyboard with care and don’t pound those keys too hard!

Downloadable Checklist – Effective Ways to Protect Your Keyboard

Take the tips in this article with you by filling out this form. We’ll email you a PDF copy of Effective Ways to Protect Your Keyboard. You can also complete the form below:

Topics: musical instrument insurance, Entertainment Insurance

20 Effective Ways to Protect Your Drums (Downloadable Checklist!)

Posted by Grant Patten on Jan 16, 2020 8:45:16 AM

20 EFFECTIVE WAYS TO PROTECT YOUR DRUMS

WAYS TO PROTECT YOUR DRUMS

As an entertainment insurance brokerage with a specialty in creating custom insurance packages for musicians, we have seen enough music gear-related insurance claims to be able to speak with some authority on what musicians can do to protect their gear. As it’s one of the most popular instruments, let’s focus on drums in this article:

Protecting your Drums | Drum Maintenance

  1. Where to keep your drums? If you’re storing drums for an extended period, leaving the heads on under moderate tension would be best for them, and help keep them in shape. Extreme temperature changes can cause drums to grow or shrink slightly in size, so storing them in a room where the temperature won’t change dramatically is ideal.
  2. If storing for longer periods: don’t store drums in an attic or garage if you can help it. Wood is organic so it will react dramatically to changes in temperature and moisture, while metal drums can corrode over time in a moist environment.
  3. Do NOT cover your drums in plastic for any length of time; this will inevitably cause moisture issues.
  4. Disengage the snare wires when storing a snare drum. Keeping the snares tight over a long period of time will stretch them out.
  5. Polish your drums, especially if they’re chrome-plated. If left out too long, especially in harsher conditions, they can start to become dull and corrode.
  6. If there’s any moving part like a tension rod, give it a small dose of lubricating oil and wipe off any excess to keep parts moving smoothly.
  7. Use an edge conditioner [Affiliate Link] to allow your drum heads to move freely across edges without sticking. This results in a smoother, more gradual tune-up without skips and jumps.
  8. Use a hoop protector [Affiliate Link] where your pedal connects to the bass drum hoop. This prevents the hoop from being chewed up from the teeth of the bass drum clamp.
  9. Microfiber cloths (Flickr)Regularly wipe down your drum shells with microfiber cloths. Paper towels aren’t recommended as they can be too abrasive and may cause scratches.
  10. Look into getting some hard cases [Affiliate Link] with polyethylene shells for each drum.
  11. If you’re touring on your own, you’ll want bring your drums in bags with high-quality zippers and some padding. You’ll then want to look into using fiber cases, or the aforementioned polyethylene cases. Remember to label each case with your contact information.
  12. Playing drums outside: the biggest concern is the weather. Try to avoid rainstorms and watch the weather forecasts every day leading up to the gig. Have a tarp to throw over the drums in case a sudden rainstorm happens.
  13. Never leave your drums to bake in direct sunlight. Ideally, play under some shade.
  14. If you ship drum sets for musical performances, you need to know how to pack them safely. Remove the drum heads and put them in separate boxes. Use foam slabs inside each box to keep the drums in place. You can then place these boxes into one larger box. If you have additional equipment like cymbals, use those to fill in the spaces after they are wrapped securely with cardboard.
  15. When changing drum heads, never lay the drum down with its bearing edges unprotected. A simple folded towel placed on a table will protect the edges while providing a firm, flat surface to work on.
  16. Use only genuine drum covering material to recover your drums, such as drum wrap.
  17. When it comes to transporting your drums: drive, if you can. You have complete control over them versus handing them over to an airline.
  18. If you MUST fly your drums: rather than checking them as regular excess baggage, you could consider flying your drums as air freight cartage. This may cost a little more, but it adds the benefit of having your gear handled more professionally. Otherwise, you could always look into just renting a drum kit in the area of your gig instead of flying your own kit across the country.
  19. Hiding a Tile [Affiliate Link]or similar tracker in your drums and/or cases results in a good recovery rate for stolen drums.
  20. At least once a year, take your drums to your local drum technician for a once-over. This annual investment in expert service will no doubt pay for itself over the long run by keeping your drums in good shape.

Downloadable Checklist – Effective Ways to Protect Your Drums

Take the tips in this article with you by filling out this form. We’ll email you a PDF copy of Effective Ways to Protect Your Drums. Or complete the form below:

Topics: musical instrument insurance, Entertainment Insurance

20 Effective Ways to Protect Your Guitar (Downloadable Checklist!)

Posted by Grant Patten on Jan 15, 2020 9:56:34 AM

20 EFFECTIVE WAYS TO PROTECT YOUR GUITAR (DOWNLOADABLE CHECKLIST!)

20 EFFECTIVE WAYS TO PROTECT YOUR GUITAR

As an entertainment insurance brokerage with a specialty in creating custom insurance packages for musicians, we have seen enough music gear-related insurance claims to be able to speak with some authority on what musicians can do to protect their gear. As it’s one of the most popular instruments, let’s focus on the guitar in this article:

Protecting your Guitar | GUITAR MAINTENANCE

  1. Where to keep your guitar? Store your guitar in a room closer to the center of the building rather than near an outside wall. This helps maintain a constant temperature.
  2. Store the guitar in its case, standing up or on edge – never lying down – to prevent it from being stepped on. Also, loosen its strings one or two half-steps while the guitar is in storage.
  3. Store vibrato-equipped guitars with arms detached.
  4. Get a gig bag [Amazon Affiliate Link] with some good padding and put your guitar in it whenever transporting it. Carrying the bag in your hand is OK, but it’s even safer to strap it to your back while walking with your guitar.
  5. If you’re touring, always use a high-quality carrying case such as a hard-bodied, foam-lined, locking Pelican case that protects against impact & moisture.
  6. Guitar wall hangar (Flickr)Consider getting a guitar wall hangar [Amazon Affiliate Link] to hang your guitar(s) on. When you hang the guitar on a wall hanger, little-to-no pressure is exerted on the neck of the guitar in a direction that could potentially distort, bend or warp it. This is a much better storage option than leaning the guitar against a wall, which could bend the neck.
  7. Put a digital hygrometer in your guitar case to ensure humidity levels are under control. The ideal humidity range for an acoustic guitar is 45-55%, but 40-60% is generally considered acceptable. A good guitar humidifier [Amazon Affiliate Link] will automate the humidity control process to stay within this range, making it easy to maintain proper humidification for your guitar while in its case. A well-reviewed one is the Oasis Guitar Humidifier.
  8. Do NOT transport your guitar in the trunk of a vehicle. The above-mentioned humidity issues are particularly bad in a closed trunk and no guitar humidifier will be able to save your guitar if kept in a trunk for long.
  9. When playing outside, especially in summer, make sure your guitar is in some shade if possible, as the sun can damage the finish on your guitar. Overheated guitar strings can stretch and may fall out of tune while playing.
  10. While performing on stage, set your guitar in an area where it is less likely to be knocked into by passers-by, and try to set up your guitar last because, generally speaking, the less time an instrument is onstage, the less risk there is of potential damage.
  11. Even if you sit while playing, having a strong strap [Amazon Affiliate Link] is an intelligent precaution that can prevent your guitar from dropping to the ground. But don’t wear a belt buckle while the guitar is strapped on – belt buckles often cause unfortunate scratches and dings on a guitar. Or untuck your shirt to act as a buffer between your belt buckle and the back of the guitar.
  12. Get a pickguard/scratchplate [Amazon Affiliate Link] for your guitar to protect the guitar's finish from being scratched by guitar picks.
  13. Keeping your strings clean will help protect them; you can make the life of your strings last longer by wiping them down with a cloth or towel after playing. For guitars with steel strings, putting 70-90% isopropyl rubbing alcohol on the towel to help clean the strings is generally considered a best practice.
  14. Use paint-cleaning clay for additional cleaning. This kind of clay removes contaminants, dirt and gunk from your guitar. You can even hear the clay pick up the contaminants. To clean the guitar after you're done with claying, use a microfiber cloth.
  15. If traveling with your guitar, consider stuffing its case with some extra padding (e.g., socks, towels, other fabrics) to pack it in tightly and prevent slippage. Also, don’t check your guitar as regular excess baggage. Carry it on as hand luggage whenever possible.
  16. If you MUST check your guitar as excess baggage, invest in a specialized flight case [Amazon Affiliate Link] for the guitar. These hard-bodied guitar cases are designed specifically for flying instruments as checked baggage. Look for phrases in the product description such as “ATA” (Air Transport Association), “ATA approved”, “ATA flight case”, etc.
  17. Hiding a Tile [Amazon Affiliate Link] or similar tracker in your cases results in a good recovery rate for stolen guitars. These products are especially valuable for vintage guitars.
  18. At least once a year, take your guitar to your local guitar technician for a once-over. This annual investment in expert service will no doubt pay for itself over the long run by keeping your guitar in good shape.
  19. Try to get into the habit of washing your hands before playing the guitar. You may not realize it, but your fingers and palms contain moisture and oils that can damage your guitar strings.
  20. And, of course, PLAY your guitar regularly! Just as a muscle will atrophy from lack of stress, so a guitar will eventually deteriorate from lack of use.

Downloadable Checklist – Effective Ways to Protect Your Guitar

Take the tips in this article with you by filling out this form. We’ll email you a PDF copy of Effective Ways to Protect Your Guitar. Or complete the form below:

Topics: musical instrument insurance, Entertainment Insurance