“The difference between school and life? In school, you’re taught a lesson and then given a test. In life, you’re given a test that teaches you a lesson.” - Tom Bodett
Music schools might be great for really helping you fine-tune your musicianship skills, but there are some lessons that they don’t cover which you’ll need to know for your career. Here are six things that you should know that aren’t covered in curriculum:
It has become commonplace to hear artists, management, agents and labels complain about how streaming will crush the music industry. This same mentality arose during the transition into the CD and digital downloading eras. Don’t fear the numerous myths that have saturated our industry, streaming is not evil; merely different. And it is about to become the next powerhouse, quite possibly changing music distribution in a way never seen before. This transformation has already commenced in television and film. The music industry has fallen behind, but is quickly catching up with vengeance.
Fran Snyder: House Concerts - You’re Probably Doing it Wrong
Today is my birthday and, each year, I love to take a moment to reflect on the year behind, the state of the music business, and my love for music.
A few months ago, while everyone in the world I know went to SXSW, I took myself to a quiet beach for a few days to think, to write, and to and recharge.
I got back from Australia last week after an amazing 2 week journey on the 3 Wise Monkeys Tour with Ralph Murphy & Tom Jackson. Along my journey I re-connected with artist and social media coach Rose Wintergreen, who guest tweeted my entire 6 hour presentation with gusto. She and I got to chatting after the seminar and she gave me some great insights on her experience as an artist and coaching artists in Australia.
If you treat someone’s home (or your own) like a public venue, you are inviting several types of liability with potentially serious consequences. House concerts should be private events, and this article describes ways to safely build an audience, and the problems that can arise if you go “public.”
As an independent recording artist, do you think of your music as a service or as a product?
When the phonograph debuted in 1877, the traditional service of music (live performance) was transformed into a product (recordings). This product was stored on physical media — wax cylinders that eventually evolved into vinyl records, 8-tracks, cassettes, CDs, digital downloads, and other formats. This single innovation, through its ability to reproduce recorded sound, forever changed the way we experience music.
Now that Twitter’s new music platform, #Music, has been available for public use for almost two months it is safe to make the following assessment.
It is one resounding dud.
Simon Tam: 6 Bad Habits Most Musicians are Guilty Of
David Roberts: Make Better Marketing Plans with a SWOT Analysis
Self-promotion in the music industry is a topic that has been explored extensively over the past 20 years. Some of the basic ground rules are the same that apply to any business or freelancer. Most people in the industry, however, bands included, don’t know a whole lot about it. Many prefer to hover around the topic of social media because it’s all they know. After all, once you call yourself a “social media coach”, there’s really not much room for expansion besides posting an analysis of every new Twitter or Facebook development/etc. Artists flock to new music technologies, discovery platforms, unsigned networks, indie authorities, and crowd funding platforms looking for the answer, and yet, the message generally being sent to the artists tends to do them a disservice. Promises, promises. Even the term “submit your music” can be very misleading. Submit it where? Well…the junk folder, to be blunt.
What does signing to a non-exclusive deal mean? One question has come up consistently over the years when my artist friends come across a company using the term “…represented on a non-exclusive basis…” At first they think “Score! Someone’s going to put my music on TV and I get to keep my all my rights!” But hold on - it’s important to understand more about this situation.
The start of just about every marketing plan in history starts with what’s known as a SWOT Analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats). It just so happens to be my first go-to step as well when I’m taking a look at a new band.
Although I don’t always do it formally, a SWOT analysis is the best way to get a handle on a band’s current position in a market and what the next steps should be. Having one in hand will help you determine what the steps of your marketing plan should be and how best to approach the next 2-3 months of marketing for your band.
It’s hard being a musician these days. In addition to writing/performing music, we’re often bombarded with the need to maintain an online presence, deal with licensing contracts, book tours, work with promoters, find sponsors, record/mix/master/distribute CD’s, and more. Because the work can be overwhelming, it’s easy to fall into bad habits and do things that hurt, not help our careers. Here are some of the bad habits that musicians are guilty of:
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(Updated January 13, 2016)