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This week, my band and I had a recording session for a new album and I was reminded, as I am every time we record, just how much preparation plays a role in a successful recording session.

Does it give you a spark of creativity when you fire it up? Your gear should make you feel good when you plug into it. It’s possibly the most important factor when it comes to your equipment. If it doesn’t contribute positively — or worse, makes you uninspired — you don’t have to let it weigh you down.

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Whatever the case, holiday albums do seem to be a great way for musicians to pull in a bit of extra cash, especially in a year when an artist hasn’t released significant new material. Holiday songs are mostly public domain, since their copyrights have lapsed, which means more royalties for the singer. These albums often “hit the shelves” (that won’t be a term for much longer…) as early as October, in order to give them a bit of time to build publicity and airtime. Labels will start ramping up marketing towards mid-late November, right as Black Friday and holiday gift fever starts to set in.

Cole Porter’s standard, “I Love You,” sung below by Sarah Vaughan, provides a broad, sweeping plunge into the major seventh interval. Listen as Vaughan sings “Love” and “You” after briefly holding on the “I” around 0:21.

Jeremy is a Montreal-based musician, sound artist and improviser who loves giving advice to emerging artists on how to make their tours more effective. He writes, records and performs electroacoustic “concrète” music for tape, oscillators and amplified objects and surfaces, as well as solo guitar. He has performed and released material throughout Europe and the UK, Asia, the US and Canada, mostly with his trio Sontag Shogun.

These different ways to get your song out there can be that little extra push you need to help generate more revenue. Think of your song like a business by doing research on other revenue avenues to help you get compensated for your work, but always remember to remain the owner of your copyright.

Logic has a ton of great built-in MIDI sounds. Your first option is to select the sound of the keyboard you’d like to record. In the top left corner, there’s a box with a file folder inside. Click on that to open the menu. From there you can turn your MIDI sound into almost anything by searching through the available sounds: everything from synths to classic, electric, and grand pianos, and percussion sounds.

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But here’s what’s even more exciting: When you sign up for Modern Pop Vocal Production, you’ll get 1:1 coaching and feedback from one of three expert Soundfly Mentors: The course instructor herself, Sırma; South African producer, touring multi-instrumentalist, and composer, Sulene; or podcast composer, remixer, and touring multi-instrumentalist, Martin D. Fowler.

Is it a total cop-out if we just said “everyone”? Anyone on any musical level can benefit from having a trained eye and ear standing by to help you make the most out of the goals you set out to accomplish. This custom mentorship program works best for motivated people with a specific musical project or goal in mind. It’s like having a personal trainer at the gym, but for your music.

Touring is great. But it can very quickly turn into exhaustive, monotonous work. Here are 10 great tips to keep things interesting and fun on the road.

Tone and slap sounds are both produced by striking the drum closer to its edge where there’s more tension in the skin than in the middle. It is actually the contact area of the fingers that determines the pitch of the strike.

“This is a fundamental truth about any sort of practice: If you never push yourself beyond your comfort zone, you will never improve. The amateur pianist who took half a dozen years of lessons when he was a teenager but who for the past 30 years has been playing the same set of songs in exactly the same way over and over again may have accumulated 10,000 hours of ‘practice’ during that time, but he is no better at playing the piano than he was 30 years ago. Indeed, he’s probably gotten worse.”