How to Write for a Music Blog

Writing for blogs in general is a very liberal type of writing, it can be as informal or as formal as you like, you can write about whatever you choose, etc. But writing for music blogs is even more freeing than other types of blog writing. Most music blogs center on a specific genre of music but apart from this, the actual blog posts can focus on whatever the writer chooses. Some music bloggers choose to stick to writing reviews while others choose to expose new music through their blog posts. This freedom lends a very personal aspect to the blog posts.

While you can focus on whatever you choose, an important aspect to all music blog writing is remembering to present honest connections to the rest of the music world through your writing. You may be reviewing a new album and want to describe the new music in ways that describe the music’s connection to older works of the same artist or to other artists in the genre. If your writing displays these and other types of connections then your blog posts become much more understandable to the reader.

Target audience: The audience for music blogs tends to be people who listen and appreciate the specific genre of music but most music blogs are accessible enough so that people who don’t typically listen to the genre can still enjoy and understand what the author is talking about.

Topic: The topic of a music blog post can encompass as much or as little as you want. It could simply be a short review of an album or a big introduction to a new band that most people probably haven’t heard of, or anything in between.

Tone: It is important to keep in mind the tone in which you write for music blogs. As a music blogger you want to appear knowledgeable about the topic and about the music world and industry. This is essential because most music blogs feature reviews of music artists and it lends a definite credibility to your opinions if you come across as informed and knowledgeable.

Length: Many music blog posts tend to be longer than other types of blog posts. The example below from the blog Obscure Sound is already pretty long for a blog post and the example is only part of the post Mike Mineo wrote on the band Dragon Turtle.

Example of a music blog post from Mike Mineo’s blog Obscure Sound:
The Dragon Turtle Almanac
Posted by Mike Mineo on 12/10/09

As Brian Lightbody and Tom Asselin could tell you, the differences between rural and urban America are plentiful. Lightbody lives in media-centric Brooklyn and works as a creative director, while Asselin resides in northeastern Pennsylvania working as a tree farmer. The sights and sounds of their respective locales differ dramatically by day, but their night shifts find a fascinating meeting point (and it is not called New Jersey). Extracurricular musical interests allow both to exercise their real passions. Asselin’s studio in the Pocono Mountains is a common refuge for the two friends and collaborators, especially now that their project Dragon Turtle is beginning to fully spread its wings. As their debut release, a split 12” containing three tracks (two of them exceeding ten minutes) was released this past August with Goodnight Stars Goodnight Air, it proved to be an immediate unveiling of their stylistic ambition in thematic tone alone. The album cover depicts the Orion Constellation’s movement as winter arrives, the photo being set over the woods of Pennsylvania. The duo sought literally for a natural progression to this album, one that would use “the sky as a map” on a 17-minute journey through the blue oceans, green pastures, and the stars themselves. Asselin’s rural roots make this transcendentalist ideology more appropriate, but that does not mean a city boy like Lightbody is entirely detached from the ambition.

Even with its technical innovations put aside, the split 12” was a remarkable showing of natural skill that had no bearing on the members’ geographical backgrounds. Chilly and ambient keys, fragments of droning guitars, and sweeping orchestrals were the main ingredients for the release’s success. Its real pleasure, though, was in discovering its difference from typically predictable post-rock. Thematic experimentation, brooding song build-ups, and various sources of instrumentation are all characteristics today of this genre, but this split defiantly applied all the stereotypes and still managed to be neither classifiable nor derived. The sound produced was so uniquely atmospheric that the method required to get there proved just as interesting as the result. Lightbody and Asselin are clearly open to many forms of experimentation, both in their sound and songwriting. Their full-length debut, Almanac, shows this even more ambitiously. A cross between escalating post-rock, staunch orchestral minimalism, and ambient electronica is apparent just like it was on the split release. But on Almanac, the duo scales new heights in the stylistic and methodological ingenuity.


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