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Nightshifters – Epic Music, Epic Life

Nightshigters is your new favorite place to be. It’s all about music and all the awesomeness that go with it. Learn how to play the guitar and which festivals you absolutely must attend. Read about the amazing effects of music and how it changes lives and people. And so much more…keep reading to share in the epicness that is Nighshifters.

Our Team

We are a team of music crazies that guarantee to keep you entertained, move you, keep you in the loop, and share amazing music with you.

Share Your Story

Tell us about how music has influenced your life or how your band is making progress or anything else you want to share about music.

Live the Music

Live music is incomparable and everyone needs to experience a live event or concert. We keep you posted on all the events and festivals.

Nightshifters Team

The Nightshifters team is based in Newville, Pennsylvania and headed by Vernetta Rickey. She used to be the assistant to major music producers and worked in all kinds of unbelievable jobs in the music industry. Her team consists of music boffins, band members, and music lovers. We have permanent and guest writers and together we strive to bring our readers only the best of the music world. We share the tears, the laughter, the crazy, and everything else in-between.

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Contribute to Nightshifters

At Nightshifters, we firmly believe that everyone can benefit from music. Not only is music a way of expression, a theme to our lives, and the reason why we survive life, but it also inspires us. We know that there are millions of stories out there that will inspire us and our readers. Bands that made it, music that saved a life, events that touched your soul. We want to hear all about it. Visit our CONTRIBUTE page for more information. We are eagerly waiting.

Change Your Life

Every life has a few big and a lot of small events that change it and steer it in another direction. Music has the power to that. It gives us clarity, helps us realize the magic and purpose of life, makes us feel things we never knew before. Music speaks to us and it is one of the best methods of therapy in the world. The best way to experience all this epicness is at live music events and festivals. If you haven’t been, check out our EVENTS page for where you must go.

For the Love of Music

We love music, we think that’s clear. Our purpose and aim with this music-oriented magazine are to inspire our readers. Like music can change minds, lives, people, and moods, we want to do that too. Our tips can help you learn to play your instrument better. Stories from our readers can inspire and offer comfort. We can introduce you to the band or music that will blow your mind and make you reach all your goals. That’s why we exist.

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Latest Blogs

How to Start Your Own Band in a Few Easy Steps

Many of us music lovers had the dream to start our own band at some point. Whether it was the rock star stage when you were 7 or the hormonal stage when you were 15, we all thought about it. If you are one of the few that truly want to make it happen, this is for you. Who knows, you may be the next U2 or Nirvana or Bruno Mars. Whichever genre or style you’re going for here is how to star you band in a few simple steps.

  1. Decide which instruments you want and advertise the positions. To know what you want you need to know which instruments should be in the band. A guitar, drums, keyboard, and bass are pretty standard. You will also need a vocalist unless you plan on being an instrumental band. Once you know what you want, post advertisements at schools, the library, convenience stores, and ask your friends who play instruments.
  2. Do auditions and choose your band. Let the interested players audition and ask them questions that may influence your decision. Choose the best ones and finalize your band. Once you guys are together and get to know each other, decide on your music genre and style. You should also choose a band name that reflects who you are and you style of music.
  3. Practice, practice, practice. You should play together and practice a lot. Start with covers until you can write your own songs. The best way to be successful and really get to the point where people will pay to hear you play is to be extremely good at playing your instruments and knowing your songs back to front.
  4. Start playing local gigs. If you want to know how people will respond to your music and get yourselves out there, you need play local gigs. School dances, pubs, coffee shops, birthday parties, and those types of events are very good exposure. Once you start doing a few of these people will start responding and go to where you are playing.
  5. Promote yourselves to a wider audience. Social media is wonderful. Promote your gigs on social media and invite people to attend and hear you perform. Soon, your gigs will be paid and people will line up to see you play and then you’ll go on tour. Obviously, it’s not that simple, but it will get you started.

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Once you reach this point, you need to build on the momentum, write your own songs, and keep people interested.

Let us know if you have a local band. We will promote you and feature an article on you.

Best Annual Music Festivals Across the World

Music is one of the oldest ways in which we express our culture, believes, and emotions. It is, therefore, no surprise that music festivals are common all over the world. Local musicians take to the streets, world-famous stars tour the world, and almost every religious festival or celebration of anything has music as a big feature. There are way too many festivals to even begin to cover them here. However, we are going to a list a few and hope you can attend one of them.

Benicassim – Spain

This is one of the biggest music festivals in Spain and features a line-up guitar acts that will blow you away. The artists that play at this festival are magicians with a guitar and you will need to pick your jaw back up on your way out. To make it even better, you have the beautiful beach, beautiful people, lots of culture and energy and great food.

Montreux Jazz Festival – Montreux, Switzerland

This is a fantastic festival to attend if you like blues, soul, and rock music. You will get to see and listen to a whole host of talented artists across these genres. There are competitions, beautiful scenery, and of course delicious food.

NOS Alive – Lisbon, Portugal

If you want all the best of DJs, bands, and camping, this is for you. You get to experience it all in one place with headliners and top DJs. The festival is famous for its crispy-bits kebabs. So, if you don’t like the music (which is unlikely) at least you’ll get to have delicious kebabs. You can also sign up for a wave riding experience if you dare.

OppiKoppi – South Africa

You may not know about South Africa or their rich cultures, but if you ever find yourself there, you’ll understand. The OppiKoppi festival takes place every year in August and features the best of the local bands, up and comers, and international acts like Muse, The Killers, and more. You may not understand all the words of the songs (they have 11 official languages and people sing in all of them), but you will still love the music. You can camp there for the duration of the four-day festival and get the full experience.

VilletteSonique – Paris, France

This festival is for the rock and electro fans. The festival lasts for 7 days and is jam-packed full of artists that combine rock and electro and make it work. If you’re a fan, you are sure to enjoy the vibe, the music, and the people.

There you have it. These are a very small drop in the bucket of amazing festivals. If you travel somewhere new, find out which festivals are happening when you’re there. You will experience the most amazing things if you attend local festivals.

Check out our EVENTS page for local music events for the rest of the year.

How to Plan a Local Tour for Your Band

Ready to take on your first band tour? Then we have some great pointers for you. If your band has just started to build a following and get the word out, a tour will be a good idea. The best way to get exposure is to make people hear and see you. Planning a tour takes a lot of planning, patience, and teamwork. It will also cost, so be prepared. Let’s get you started with the following tips.

1. Decide on dates and your route

Before you do anything else, you need to decide when you want to do the tour. Factors like holidays or breaks or other big events may play a role. These things may influence the availability of venues and it may also make it difficult for you to take off if you have a job or study.

The route is important. You need to take into account logistics and which route will make the most sense. Decide if you’re going one way or making a circle. Your route will also have to take into account where venues are situated. You may struggle to get play space or even a stay over in the very small places.

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2. Contact venues and book your gigs

Once you have your dates and routes, start calling possible venues along the route. You will likely have several options. If one doesn’t pan out ask for an alternative option and keep calling. If you find that you have some dates open, see if there aren’t any people looking for some live music on that day and go play in a pub or at a wedding. It’s still exposure.

3. Gather your helpers

Some people call this your ‘street team’. Post your tour and the venues you will be playing so fans can see where you will be. Gather your street team ahead of time online. These guys will help with spreading the word, setting up, and just basically get the word out that you will there and that you’re worth seeing. You can reward these guys with free merchandise or tickets.

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4. Plan your setlist

It is important that your set list flows. After one or two shows, you will start feeling whether things are flowing or maybe need a shuffle. With experience, you will also get a feel for the town and the audience and adjust the list accordingly. The flow needs to make sense and not get boring or be too much up. There should be a balance.

5. Use social media

Social media is great if you want to get the word out. Your street team will definitely help you with this part. Advertise your tour on social media and gather as many followers as possible. Offer merchandise for sale and get things rolling before you even leave your hometown.

A tour is a lot of fun, but it is also a lot of work. When you plan properly and make sure you cover all your bases, you will be fine. A big part of planning is the costs involved. Make sure that gets enough attention.

Everyone Must Experience a Live Concert: Here’s Why

Live music is life changing. It doesn’t matter whether you are seeing a world-famous artist, a local band, or an orchestra – there’s just something about live music. If you have ever been to a live music concert you know what I’m talking about. The vibe, the energy, the adrenaline, and rhythm compares to nothing. If you haven’t been to a live concert before, here’s why you need to make a plan today!

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The Vibe and Energy

The excitement of seeing a live band and experiencing the sound of the instruments so close to you creates an amazing vibe and energy. People are happy and psyched to hear the band play and make them feel good. When the artists perform well and also have good energy, being at a live concert is like a drug. It gives you an amazing high without illegal drugs and the all the bad that goes with it.

The Social Aspect

Hanging out with friends is always fun. Experiencing a live concert with them is a fantastic experience. It’s almost like a bonding experience to see these talented people on stage create magic and beautiful music. You can go to a concert alone, but I guarantee you it will not be half as much fun as sharing the experience with your friends. What we often do is we make a day of it. This means we get together early in the day and get our outfits ready, get psyched for what’s to come, and just relax before we go.

The Emotional Effect

When an artist and a band is truly amazing, you get goosebumps. Some artists have the ability to quiet a rowdy crowd with a single song or phrase. When the music is deep and soulful and has meaning, you can feel it. You will react and the people around you will react and it is just an amazing experience. If you have ever gotten goosebumps in response to a song on the radio or a CD, you will be blown away by the effect it has on you when it’s live.

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The Fun

Life is serious and difficult and most of the time we’re stressed. Going to a live concert makes you forget all these things. It is fun, it is social, it is loud, and it will be an experience to remember. Strangely enough, you will find yourself relaxed and chilled despite the noise and the energetic crowd. It’s a fun night or day that will be a great memory and an experience you will never forget.

Even if it’s only once in your life, everyone must experience the wonder of a live music concert. There is nothing like it. All the positive effects music can have happens in one shot and in stereo. It’s awesome!

5 Psychological and Mental Effects of Listening to Music

The human mind and psyche are intricate and complex. However, there is one thing that affects both these things in a major way: music. Listening to music has many benefits and can change someone’s life. We know that music is used in therapy and that it has been successful to get a response from people who were in comas. Clearly, music has power. Let’s have a look at the effects that listening to music has on our minds and psyches.

1. It improves attention and concentration

Music can increase productivity and learning ability by increasing attention and concentration. The right type of music (usually Baroque or other classical forms) stimulates the brain and make it more responsive and open. You can concentrate for hours and take in a lot more information if you study or work with music in the background. Studies have proven this time and time and again.

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2. It relieves stress

People who suffer from stress and anxiety often find peace and calm when listening to music. They type of music may differ for different people, but music calms people down. Again, the classical types of music are definitely effective, but other types can also work. This is also why music is used in therapy. People who get anxiety attacks or are under immense stress and pressure can feel a definite change when they listen to music.

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3. It improves cognitive abilities

Music has been found to improve the cognitive abilities of people of all ages. Listening to music can make you smarter by stimulating your brain functions. Older people stay sharp for longer and their memories are better than people who don’t listen to music regularly. It is also true that music helps to improve academic performance in children, especially with mathematics.

4. It can help with depression

Depression is a very serious condition that cannot just be wished away. Severe depression requires treatment. The most common treatment is medication, but music therapy has also proven effective. If the medication isn’t effective or the patient cannot afford it or doesn’t want it, music therapy is a legitimate option for treatment of depression. The music soothes and can help the patient to deal with their condition better.

5. It helps battle insomnia

People who struggle to sleep can often find relief when they listen to music before bed and when they are trying to fall asleep. Again, there are certain sounds and types of music that are most effective for this purpose. Music is soothing and can quiet the part of the brain that just doesn’t want to shut off.

In all our years of working with music and doing research on the effects, it has become clear that music is magic. There is almost nothing it cannot do. The benefits and the positive effect of music are astounding and a reason for all of us to listen to music more often. It is good for your health.

Let us know if you have experienced these positive effects of music.

5 Tips for Learning to Play Guitar for All Ages

Playing an instrument is good for you on many different levels. The guitar is one of the favorite and easier instruments to learn to play. Guitar lessons are very popular and the best thing about it is that you are never too old to learn. Online guitar lessons are very popular and effective. It is definitely a good option if you don’t have a lot of time. So, whether you are a kid or an adult who wants to learn to play the guitar, we have a few tips that will hopefully help the process.

Tip #1: Take guitar lessons

Many people have taught themselves to play the guitar, but you will get there faster and better with guitar lessons. An experienced player and teacher will be able to point out things that will make you play better. They already know all the pitfalls and how to fix it. You will have to figure it all out on your own if you take lessons and that may take a lot of your time. The beauty of online guitar lessons is that you get the expert teacher and get to learn at your own pace.

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Tip #2: Make time to practice

Practice makes perfect. If you really want to be able to play the guitar and do it relatively well, you need to practice. Your fingers and wrists need to get used to the chords and your ears need to learn about pitch and all that. The only way to master these things is to practice as much as possible. If you’re an adult that works full time you will have to book out time every week to spend on your guitar.

Tip #3: Don’t be too hard on yourself

You are going to make mistakes and you are going to struggle at some point. Don’t lose hope and don’t quit. Give yourself the chance to fail and figure it out. It is a learning process and with anything you learn you will struggle. Set realistic goals for your guitar lessons and progress. Don’t try to be like someone else or want to be perfect. It will come. Give yourself a break and time.

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Tip #4: Involve friends or family

If you learn, practice and play with others it will be more fun and social. It helps when you have someone who is going through the same thing as you and you can help each other. Chances are you will each have something you do better than the other and you can help each other out. Plus, the company makes it less formal.

Tip #5: Have fun with your guitar lessons

Lessons and practice should be fun. You have to be able to laugh at yourself and enjoy the process. If you don’t enjoy it and don’t have fun learning and playing, then why do it? For most people playing the guitar is a hobby or an item on a bucket list or just something they want to learn. So, why put the pressure of being perfect on yourself. Have fun, do silly things, makeup tunes, and enjoy the learning and playing. When you look again, you will be able to play the guitar.

Music is a great thing, whether you listen to it or play it. It’s just really cool being able to do both. If you have always wanted to learn, sign up for guitar lessons and get started. You will not regret it.

Top 6 Music Artists of the Last Few Decades

Music is always growing and changing and evolving. The reason for this is mostly the innovativeand talented artists that make the music. There has been hundreds and thousands of brilliant music writers, songwriters, producers, and artists that have made an impact. Today, we look at a few of the power artists that have made the last decade or two what it is, musically speaking.

Linkin Park

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Linkin Park has been the heroes and saviors of so many young people. Their music and talent are beyond the norm and they have created music and albums that will live with the greats forever. Their music speaks to troubled teens, people who are ready to give up, and those struggling with depression. The band and the individual members have impacted music and the world.

Taylor Swift

Whether you like her and her music or not, there is no denying that he has made her mark. She transforms, improves, and evolves with every album she releases. She is a powerhouse who started young and will likely continue to do so. Her music has inspired and entertained everyone from little girls to tough men.

Beyonce

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Lady B is truly an inspiration. She has not always had the best life, but she definitely didn’t let that get her down. Her music is creative, inspirational, and has set the tone for many to follow. She has changed the industry of pop and R&B and we know she will keep wowing us and making history.

Adele

Adele is one of the most talented and vocally strong artists the world has seen in a while. Her music is soulful and deep. She moves people with her music like few other people can do. Through her personal struggles, she also inspires and educates young girls and boys to follow their dreams.

Kanye West

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Kanye continues to take the hip-hop and R&B genres to new heights. He shows no signs of slowing down and has definitely been one of the most influential artists of the last 20 years. He tries new things, pushes the limits, and keeps his fans happy and wanting more.

Lady Gaga

Yes, she may seem weird to some, but she has changed music and the way we see and experience it. As a performer she is brilliant and she also has the vocal talent to back that up. She is not just some artist who follows what has been done. She goes outside the box and sometimes even throws it away. She is inventive and her music is strong and inspires many.

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Many artists come and go but only a few really make an impact. The ones who take risks, speak out and inspires with both their music and their compassion for others are the ones who stay on top. As we learned with Madonna and Michael Jackson, change is good and it is good to take risks and do new things.

Playing Instruments: Why You Should Learn

Playing an instrument makes you smarter. That is just one of the benefits of learning to play an instrument. If your parents were ever adamant about you taking piano or tuba lessons, we can tell you why. Playing an instrument actually has a lot of benefits on different levels. There is a whole bunch to choose from, but we will only share a few choice ones today.

It makes you smarter. Many studies have been done on this and they have found that playing an instrument definitely improves academic abilities. It improves your mathematics abilities and academic performance in general.

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It teaches you patience. Learning to play an instrument is not an easy thing and it takes a lot of practice and years to master an instrument. So, if you want to be successful in playing an instrument, you will inevitably learn to be more patient with yourself and in general. With the patience, you also learn to persevere. It takes time and it will be difficult at times, but if you want to succeed, you need to stick with it. Perseverance and patience are very important when you learn to play an instrument.

It improves fine motor skills. Playing an instrument involves small and big movements. From violin to drums to guitar and piano, you have to have good control of your arms, hands, legs, and feet to successfully play an instrument.

It builds your confidence. Whenever we master something or reach a goal, we feel good about ourselves and our abilities. The same happens with learning to play an instrument. Every step you improve and every new song you learn makes you feel more confident and that confidence carries over into other activities.

It is an escape. We tend to listen to music that reflects our mood or state of mind. When you feel tired or sad or angry or happy, you can play your interest and create the music that you’re feeling. This also makes a form of expression. It is not only helping you escape or deal with your emotions, but it also gives a healthy outlet. It can convert your pain into something beautiful and creative.

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It teaches you many things. Learning to play an instrument isn’t just about knowing how to play the right note or understanding how to make the right sounds. In the process of learning to play, you also learn to read music. You learn about where music comes from and what types of music different cultures play and which music has its origins in which era. The list goes on. Learning to play an instrument is educational in many areas.

It is fun. The last and very important benefit is that it is fun. Playing an instrument will be an escape, a way to create, a way to entertain, a way to show what you can do, and a way to just let of steam and relax.

Music is powerful and so is playing an instrument. The benefits are multiple and in general it is just a good idea. The good news is that you are never too old. So get started.

4 Reasons Why Music is So Powerful

Music is powerful; there is no arguing that. But why is it so powerful? Well, I have my own ideas about that. Music has been proven to have psychological and physical benefits and it is very successful in therapy. The evidence is there. The reason for this is that it works with our brain waves and moods to make us feel better. So, here is my ten cents on the topic.

Music is powerful because it connects people. It doesn’t matter what your race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, or political affiliation is, we all have music. Music may be played differently and sound differently in different countries and culture, but we all have some form of it. People of all kinds and from everywhere in the world come together at big concerts to listen to their favorite artists and musicians. That is powerful.

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Music is powerful because it speaks to us. Different types of music speak to different people. Some respond to classical music, others to metal music, and others to country music, etc. We all have a genre or maybe three that make us feel better and stronger and get us through the rough days. We connect with music, whether it be the melody or the lyrics, we hear and feel what it says and it means something to us. This is why music can heal and change our moods.

Music is powerful because it stimulates the brain. Classical music has been proven to help people study, calm down, be more productive, heal, and be more creative. You may find that other types of music do the same for you. The music waves somehow stimulate our brain waves and make us better at doing certain mental things. Few other things have this power. Music is powerful in how it affects the biological makeup of humans and even animals.

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Music is powerful because it is beautiful. The world is filled with ugly things. Music makes it better. It doesn’t matter what your choice of music, there is beauty in it. A singer, songwriter, and instruments played by people created that song you love so much. In creation there is beauty. You may not agree if you don’t like metal music, but there is beauty in that too. The way the notes are put together, the talent of the singer or guitarist or drummer and the little nuances in every piece of music is beautiful.

Bottom line – music is powerful. I don’t know of anything else that can speak to so many people at once and immediately influence how they feel, bring back memories, inspire, and wow at the same time. If you doubt the power of music, put on your favorite songs and pay attention to the changes in your thoughts and feelings. You’ll be a believer soon enough.

Share your experiences with the power of music with us.

5 Most Epic Music Tours of All Time

The world has seen many music tours from the superstars to the up and comers. Some artists and tours are unforgettable and leave a mark in history that will always be remembered. Unfortunately, we can’t list all the epic ones since the beginning, so we’re just doing the last two or three decades. There are so many, but here are a few that will stand out for years to come.

Prince ‘Purple Rain’ Tour

Prince is well-known for his hit ‘Purple Rain’ and the tour with the same name was just as legendary as this phenomenal singer and performer. He made history and influenced the music industry immensely. His showmanship and on-stage performances were like you have never seen before. He always aimed for higher, better, longer, and harder. The 98 shows he performed in this tour were compared to Broadways shows because of the theatrics and costume changes that he was known for.

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Jay Z and Kanye West ‘Watch the Throne’ Tour – 2011 to 2012

The best and possibly most successful hip-hop collaboration in the last few decades – Z and West. They wowed the audience on this tour did it with energy and style and all kinds of epic tricks. They encored twelve times in Paris and drove the world crazy.

Leonard Cohen Worldwide Tour – 2008 to 2013

Leonard Cohen, may he rest in peace, had one hell of a life. His manager ran of his life savings and that led to this tour which turned out to be one of the best tours ever. With his deep voice and unique on-stage charisma he wowed and entertained crowds across the world. As the tour continued and people learned how amazing he still was, his shows sold out in Europe and America and filled stadiums with tens of thousands of fans.

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Taylor Swift ‘1989’ Tour – 2015

She has been compared to Madonna in her innovation, the risks she takes, and her bold mix of country, pop, and rock. With this album and tour and she graduated into full dance-pop and made all her fans fall even more in love with her music. While staying true to her emotional overshares and ballads, she added this new flavour with a glam look to show her more grown up. She brought out all the stops and invited several big acts onto the stage with her at different venues. She sang with Justin Timberlake, Alanis Morissette, Mick Jagger, and Chris Rock, to name a few.

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Beyonce Formation Tour – 2016

The big B has always been a powerhouse and she has come a long way since her days with Destiny’s Child. Making history in terms of large-scale concert theatrics and stage setup, Beyonce stepped out with all the energy and confidence we have come to love about her. She sang all the fats and slow favorites while entertaining the audience with visuals and dancers and effects to make anyone feel part of the experience. She sang a tribute to Prince shortly after his death in Minneapolis to honour this great music legend.

Find yourself the DVD of these if they are available. It will never compare to the live experience, but these performers are so powerful that you may just feel that magic regardless.

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