day-at-the-grind

Hustle, Son

It feels great to finally air out all my personal baggage and be moving past it. But now there’s a huge canvas to start working on – my life.  I’ve recently gotten on top of the single dad scenario, moved through awkwardly-wonderful dating adventures, survived kidney failure, (early stages of) cancer and a brutal ACL/medial meniscus reconstruction, fought off lawsuits from crazy, litigious freaks, and rekindled my atrophying musical career. What comes next? I guess it’s time to hustle, son.

Fortunately the hustle is something I’ve always done pretty well (when not spinning wheels in severe trauma or healing mode, natch). I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how to structure my life and move forward without losing sight of all the lessons I’ve learned.  If your life is in chaos and you want to move through it – I’ve got some thoughts to consider.  Having spent years on the road both as a touring musician and press mouthpiece, as well as in offices as a product manager and content strategist, my perspective is sharpened to work with lives of all varieties.  Read forth and soak up the insight gained from years of skinned knees and bumped foreheads, good people.

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6 tips to boost your productivity

6 Habits Guaranteed to Boost Your Productivity

I was a really disorganized kid. My room looked like a war zone, my internal clock was always about 30 minutes late, and my life was a series of minor emergencies strung together by random chance. I spent so much time trying to keep up with my day-to-day responsibilities that my bigger life goals seemed completely out of reach.

By the time I hit my twenties, the frustration of always feeling behind and overworked reached a breaking point, so I started searching for a solution. What I found were countless productivity philosophies and tools that promised to organize my life.

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Use 3rd Party Drum Plugins with the Ableton Push Controller

Using 3rd Party Drum Plugins with Ableton Push

The Ableton Push is a super-flexible songwriting tool and its Drum sequencer view is particularly helpful for building out beats quickly. But when you add a third-party drum plug-in to a MIDI track, Push only gives you its general melodic keyboard interface, not the super-handy Push drum pad and sequencing interface. If you want to use a third-party drum module like NI’s Battery or Toontrack’s Superior Drummer with Push’s drum-programming interface, you’ll need to follow a few simple, but often-overlooked steps.

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5 business skills beyond the degree

5 Business Skills You Need – Beyond the Degree

Is a traditional college degree enough to compete in today’s workforce? A recent Today.com article suggests that potential employers aren’t just looking for targeted skills. They want a broad set of skills that reach beyond your job-specific role into business, analytical, and interpersonal areas. Being an expert in your particular field of knowledge is critical—but here are 5 complementary skills that potential employers also consider valuable.

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Installing a Badass II bridge in your bass

Install a Badass or Omega bridge on your bass.

I’ve installed Badass high-mass bridges in every bass in my collection that will take them. Why? I love ’em to death for their beefy sustain and definition. That said, they often come without string slots cut. This doesn’t exactly make them a drop-in mod, they’ll need some handiwork to install. I avoid the pre-slotted bridges, as cutting them yourself allows you to get a perfect string spacing and fit for your particular bass. If you’ve got an unslotted Badass bridge (or one of the recently-available Omega bass bridges from Allparts, which from what I can tell are exact replicas of the Badasses, even constructed w/zinc), here’s a rundown of how to install them.

UPDATE: re-edited this in January 2017 to add pictures (finally!) from a new build. Also note- if you’ve got an Omega bridge, these steps should also work.

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Record Great Audio with your Smartphone

3 Simple Tricks to Record Great Audio with Your Phone

There’s an old saying: Nothing ruins a great video like lousy audio. And when using consumer cameras, you’re often stuck with a less-than-optimal microphone to begin with.  But if you have a reasonably modern smartphone, you have all you need to record great audio wherever you might be.  Here’s three simple tricks I rely on regularly to help you get the most out of your smartphone, and capture awesome sound on your next project.

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Personal productivity.

From DayRunners to Franklin Planners to Palm Pilots, Handspring Visors, Android and iOS phones and tablets and more, I’ve regularly pushed the boundaries of the tools I had on hand to make organizing my life as minimal and frictionless as possible.  However, the basics of personal productivity transcend technology- and are much more about routine and discipline.  Without discipline and consistency, any productivity strategy will fail.  Here’s the simple tactics I use to keep life on the rails – whether on paper or electrons – and how you can do the same for your own life.

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