Alabama Shakes is an American blue rocks band formed in 2009 with Brittany Howard as the lead singer, Heath Fogg the guitarist, Zac Cockrell the bassist, and Steve Johnson the drummer. With only two releases albums, Boys & Girls and Sound & Color, Alabama Shakes has already won three Grammy Awards, making them one of the best rock bands of our time.
Here are a few ways musicians can learn from the rising band.
1. Take your time when you’re writing music.
Though they only have two albums, each song is a hit. The uniqueness of Alabama Shakes is that they compose and write all their own songs. Many musicians are pressured to compose music at a fast and often rushed pace, and that can impact the quality of their music. You should never rush your creative process, and always let it come naturally.
In their bio, lead singer Brittany Howard explains, “We took our time to write this record, and I am really glad we did. We were able to sit down and think about what’s exciting to us, explore all the things we wanted on our first album.”
Here is a video of the band performing “Hold On.”
2. Embrace the raspy and growling tones of rock music.
The uniqueness of Alabama Shakes’s music is the lead singer’s frequent usage of growling sounds paired with loud electronic guitar melodies. You can either embrace the raspy quality of your voice, or you can add rock’n’roll guitar chords to your music.
Dare to be loud!
Here is the audio of the band’s song, “Gimme All Your Love.”
3. The band keeps it simple.
A lot of pop musicians spend a lot of time filming elaborate music videos and eye-catching promos, but Alabama Shakes’s videos are as simple as it gets. Most of their videos on YouTube are of the band performing live in a rectangular room. With Brittany Howard’s voice and the band’s instrumental skills, Alabama Shakes does not need anything else.
One thing you can learn from the band is their simplicity. Focus on your voice, your melodies, and pay less attention to the outfits and appearances.
Here is a video of Alabama Shakes performing “Don’t Wanna Fight.”
With three Grammys already under its belt, Alabama Shakes is well on its way to becoming a legendary rock band. Follow in their footsteps on your own rise to stardom.
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Weng Cheong is a Psychology and International Relations double major at Syracuse University. She loves to listen to music, take photographs, and travel in her spare time.