11 Artists You NEED To Listen To If You Love Piano

11 Artists You NEED To Listen To If You Love Piano

Keyboards don't often get the spotlight, but when they do, they definitely shine.
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Keyboard enthusiasts don't often find artists who utilize piano at the beginning of their songs. Here are 11 musicians who make music with piano... and do it well.

1. Regina Spektor

Spektor is a smart, powerful woman with catchy beats, and with such a diverse catalog, there's a song for everyone. What's not to love?

2. Ben Folds

With a few chart-toppers under his belt, this piano rock legend always uses keys at his forefront to create everything from intense jazzy tunes to beautifully sad ballads.

3. Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness

Creating alternative beats, sing-a-long lyrics and spinning big stories with his songs, McMahon keeps his piano at the front of it all.

4. Sara Bareilles

An accomplished songwriter, Bareilles has eight albums AND a Broadway score among her credits. With a strong voice and skilled piano playing, she still manages to keep her songs diverse and interesting.

5. Tori Amos

Never afraid to put a powerful message into her music, Amos' red hair isn't the only reason she's considered so fiery.

6. Vienna Teng

Teng's eclectic music isn't for everyone, specifically her more haunting pieces, but any piano lover can agree she's talented on the keys.

7. Walk The Moon

Walk The Moon's music can be described as fun, 80s-style synth-rock. Lead singer Nicholas Petricca doubles as a keyboard/synth player, putting piano LITERALLY always at the front of the band.

8. Birdy

Making her way to the top covering others' songs on her piano, Birdy's unique voice and her skilled playing made her a sensation at only 15. Since, she's composed her own beautiful, piano-centered music.

9. Ingrid Michaelson

Michaelson's a seasoned musician who started out on piano, collaborating with Bareilles and many others while hitting charts a few times. Her music can be described as folk-pop and is definitely worth a listen.

10. Bowerbirds

A relatively unknown indie band, Bowerbirds always manage to jazz up their songs with keys leaving you feeling like you're in the middle of an indie film while you're listening.

11. Emily Bear

Classified as a jazz pianist, Bear has been composing intricate pieces since she was a small child, gaining notary from Ellen at the young age of six. Bear's music is for anyone who loves a good piano piece, as she never writes lyrics.

No matter your taste in music, if you like keys, you're bound to like one of these musicians. If not, there IS always Beethoven...

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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57 Things You Think When You're Debating Whether To Miss A Deadline In College

Wait... for real, though, did I finish that assignment?
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Deadline. It's a great thing, it teaches us how important it is to do things by, well, a deadline. BUT when you have like a million other things to do because you're about to graduate and the semester is coming to an end, well, you fear you may miss it.

Never fear, though, here are 57 things you are thinking about when debating on whether or not to miss this said deadline.

1. Did I do all of my work for that class?

2. Am I going to pass said class?

3. C's get degrees, right?

4. Well, I hope so because that's what it's going to be.

5. Wait... for real, though, did I finish that assignment?

6. I literally have assignments on assignments.

7. Don't I have an article due, too?

8. Welllllll...

9. OK, OK, five minutes on Facebook won't hurt.

10. LOOK AT THAT DOG!

11. I'm so buying that dog.

12. I wonder how much they cost?

13. Let me Google it.

14. Wait... how many zeroes is that?

15. Oh... that many zeroes.

16. Well, what if I adopt one?

17. OH MY GOSH WHY DID THIS GUY JUST ABANDON HIS 10-YEAR-OLD DOG ON THE SIDE OF THE ROAD?!

18. I want to adopt you.

19. But, sorry, you're a Great Dane and I barely live in an apartment big enough for one.

20. Maybe my parents would buy him?

21. Let me tag my mom in a Facebook post about Great Danes and see what she says back.

22. Success! She didn't hate him.

23. Maybe I should text her and ask her if we can get a Great Dane.

24. OK, maybe not then...

25. Wait... don't I have a deadline?

26. Oh, not for another hour, I'm good.

27. I wonder what is on Netflix.

28. WAIT, they just uploaded a new season of my favorite show.

29. Let me find some popcorn because it's going to be a binge fest tonight!

30. Gosh, I just love this character. That's so me.

31. I'm hungry.

32. Do I have any food here?

33. Well, there's popcorn.

34. But, I need real food.

35. Do I have any money in my bank account?

36. Score! Enough for some real food.

37. OK, I'll be right back, Netflix, I just need to feed myself.

38. Why didn't I wear a heavier jacket?

39. Why do I live so far away from this restaurant?

40. What do I even want?

41. Do I even like this place?

42. What do you mean you're out of chicken?

43. Fine, that's fine. I'll take whatever.

44. Here I come, Netflix!

45. Bye-bye pause button.

46. Play next episode?

47. YES

48. Play next episode?

49. What time is it?

50. Oh, I'm still good.

51. Wait...

52. I think deadline was at 5...

53. Welp, it's 8 now, I might as well fully embrace this missing deadline thing.

54. AGH, NO

55. OK OK OK, regroup

56. This article is going to be amazing.

57. Who cares if I was late? This article is going viral.

Actual note though: don't be late for deadline. Seriously, Just don't do it, not even for the dog photo.

Cover Image Credit: NBC Universal

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The Key To Ending Your First Draft Blues

Or at least getting through the next chapter with your hair intact
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Ah, the first draft. We’ve all been there as writers. The day we decide to turn a blank word document into a 70,000 word (or more) masterpiece. Or, at least, that’s always the aim. Often as first-time writers, we go into the experience blind, learning as we go, and never really knowing whether what we’re doing is right or wrong.

It can be frustrating at times, as most first drafts are a test of sanity. As somebody who had written ten first draft books (nearing eleven) in six years, I have had my fair share of ups and downs when it comes to first drafts.

My first book ever took me four years just to write it, I started at the age of sixteen and finished by the time I was twenty. A year later I had written another. I then wrote one in thirty days, and nowadays I write about three to four books a year.

My point is, there is no science to writing. It is all about learning how to do it, and finding the methods that suit you best. I just wish I could have had someone to tell me all of that when I started.

With that in mind, here are my five pieces of advice on how to write your first draft:

#5 Embrace the Terribleness

The first draft is always the worst version of any story. The sooner you accept it, the easier it is to move forward with your work. So you misspell a few words so bad that even Word can't help you. That shouldn't stop you from going with the flow. Your dialogue will feel hammier than a "Star Wars" film, but you'll clean it up the second time around. You're not expected to create a masterpiece on the first go, so just enjoy the ride.

#4 Suffer for your Art

Writing can be hard. I've said it enough times already, but it's true. You have to be prepared to suffer for it. The reason my first book took four years to write was because I didn't commit to it. The reason I wrote 80,000 words in thirty days was because I committed myself to write at least 1,000 words a day. Now I average 3,000 daily. Is it painful to force 3,000 words to the page every day? Yes, but that's what you have to do to get the draft finished.

#3 Take your Time

Now I know this goes against what I just said, but it's important that you go at the pace you want to. I was happier writing 1,000 words a day, but I was eighteen then. At twenty-three, I'll never get everything done going at 1,000 words a day. Commit yourself to writing every day, even if its only 200 words. Writing is a marathon, not a sprint. You'll get to the finishing line quicker if you jog a steady pace rather than adopting a sprint and rest mentality.

#2 Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

Yes, it's important to remember what colour your character's hair is, which one is taller, and what weapon they are carrying. Although with that said, it is important to keep going forward. In my editing, I go over everything with a fine comb, often with a character profile at my side. Don't get bogged down giving every little detail the first time around, you'll have time for that later. The hardest thing is getting it down the first time.

#1 Keep the Story Going at All Costs

This kind of goes without saying, but it is by far the most important step for me. You have to keep moving forward. It doesn't matter if you have to use the biggest Deus ex machina to get your plot going again, you can always edit it away in the re-draft. I use a technique called automatic writing, which means that I don't plan every detail of a chapter. I simply write it as I go. This allows me to give my characters natural reactions as events often come as a surprise to me too.

Obviously it is good to have a rough idea of what is meant to happen, but as long as you can get your characters from A to B, then you are half way there. The other half will be polishing it to the point you can see your reflection.

Good luck, and happy writing.

Cover Image Credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Writer%27s_Block_I.jpg

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