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In this climate of increasing lawsuits, protecting your intellectual musical property is becoming an essential tool in the songwriter’s toolkit. Learn more.

To me, this is the real reason to do a cassette — all the incredible DIY options and customizable pieces. When I think of a band doing a DIY cassette, I think of them handwriting the album name on the cassette label, I imagine cute doodles on the case, I think of them writing a “To: Fan” “From: Your favorite band X” There are just SO many ways to customize this and put a real DIY feel to it that can skyrocket the connection you make with your fans.

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The first time you offer thousands of dollars to an act can feel incredibly stressful, but if you’re diligent about your research and transparent about your abilities and reach, you should be able to pay everyone — and make a little for yourself. At the very least, you’ll be showing your local music community that you care about equal pay and increasing opportunities.

We live in an exciting time for music. Now more than ever, independent musicians can create, release, and earn from music while maintaining full ownership. Gone are the days when a handful of tastemakers and big businesses decide who’s in and who’s out. We, the people — the producers, the songwriters — now have the ability to “place” our music on digital “shelves” where real consumers can listen to that music and thus support the continued creative process.

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“Thank you, I really loved this course and am so impressed with Soundfly! I want to keep taking courses with you indefinitely. I came to this course to learn about chords, and I learned about chords but also so much about music production — which I was not expecting! It was a nice surprise.”

Speaking of research, since artists love to talk about themselves, it’s often quite easy to find out who influenced your favorite singers! A quick search will often turn up a comprehensive list. For example: if you’re particularly into Bob Dylan, you might benefit from reading Ginsberg, Rimbaud, and Kerouac, or listening to Woody Guthrie.

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Music is the beautiful communication of vibrations in space, as perceived by our ears and interpreted by our brains, and the ultimate aural expression of our existential experience of life. In the words of E.T.A. Hoffman, “Music discloses to man an unknown realm, a world in which he leaves behind him all definite feelings to surrender himself to an inexpressible longing.”

Ethan Hein is a Doctoral Fellow in Music Education at New York University. He teaches music technology, production and education at NYU and Montclair State University. With the NYU Music Experience Design Lab, Ethan has taken a leadership role in the creation of new technologies for learning and expression, most notably the Groove Pizza. He is the instructor of the free Soundfly course series called Theory for Producers. He maintains a widely-followed and influential blog, and has written for various publications, including Slate, Quartz, and NewMusicBox.