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How You Can Contribute To MusicThinkTank

Anyone can join the discussion and contribute relevant articles to Music Think Tank.  Begin by signing up and then logging in to publish your posts directly to MTT Open. Please make sure that your posts are in the proper format before posting (see previous posts) and that there are minimal errors such as grammar or spelling. Popular articles are occasionally moved to the front of the site. Contributors own and operate this blog (more info).

Saturday
Jun122010

Has the bubble burst on fan culture?

Total and instant access does not in my opinion make us like or value our artists and musicians more.  It means we take it for granted, we get used to it being free. But it can’t be free or at least it can’t carry on being free. Recorded music is not free to make, promote or produce so it should not be free to listen to or musicians can’t keep making it. We need, as musicians, labels and managers, to retain a level of intrigue and mystique around the acts that we promote. Sure promote but don’t give it all away (or certainly don’t give it all away on someone else’s website!) or to folk who are not even interested or interested enough to make any kind of move.

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Jun082010

The Musician's Guide To The 360 Record Deal

For past few years, there has been quite a bit of talk of the ‘360 deal’ and how it is becoming the new trend throughout the music industry, as major record labels attempt to rewrite the way they do business. Some see it as signing a pact with the devil, and others see it as a way to establish the kind of powerful and influential brand that otherwise may have been impossible to attain with out the help of a label. While there are clear cases for either side of the argument, it is important to understand what a 360 deal is, and how it can both positively and negatively effect your career path.

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Tuesday
Jun082010

Well, what is a good digital music strategy ? Part 5 - Master the web !

Have you ever wondered how to succeed online as a music band? Hints and tips for a perfect digital musical strategy, from social networks to SEO and viral marketing. By Virginie Berger, former head of marketing at Myspace France.

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Tuesday
Jun082010

Sweet Relief Musicians Fund Needs Your Help... Vote To Make A Difference For Artists In Need

I love making a difference. When musicians come up to me at conferences or at gigs and say “Thanks for writing your book, it really helped me learn how to market and promote myself more effectively.” Or, They say: “I read your articles online and they really help me and my band.”  It makes my day.

So, when my former housemate (and GM of the Fox Theatre in Boulder CO) Bill Bennett called me last year and asked me to be on the board of Sweet Relief, a charity I have long admired I jumped at the chance.

It’s all over the news these days: Approximately 15% of Americans are without health insurance, but when it comes to musicians that number sadly exceeds 45%; and that when faced with a medical emergency or disabling event there are very few resources for support that a musician can turn to. Since 1993 Sweet Relief Musicians Fund has been a strong and steady resource for professional musicians struggling with illness, disability or age related problems; but they can’t do it alone and the shrinking economy has made it that much harder for them to help (read: fewer people are donating individually).

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Tuesday
Jun082010

Well, what is a good digital music strategy ? Part 4 - Be A Geek !

Have you ever wondered how to succeed online as a music band? Hints and tips for a perfect digital musical strategy, from social networks to SEO and viral marketing. By Virginie Berger, former head of marketing at Myspace France.

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Monday
Jun072010

Maverick Recording Company v. Whitney Harper

Whitney Harper is one of the 40,000+ targets of legal action the RIAA has brought against ordinary Americans in downloading music for free. Each one of these is a classic case of the little guy against giant multinational corporations. An army of lawyers with essentially limitless financial resources against individual defendants with pro bono lawyers.

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Monday
Jun072010

Well, what is a good digital music strategy ? Part 3 - Monetize

Have you ever wondered how to succeed online as a music band? Hints and tips for a perfect digital musical strategy, from social networks to SEO and viral marketing. By Virginie Berger, former head of marketing at Myspace France.

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Jun022010

Revealing Shakespeare's Inner Pirate

Our modern copyright laws are under assault by two factions. One group is demanding longer copyright terms and harsher penalties for infringers, while the other group is making noise for copyright’s abolition. This article takes a look at several artists throughout history and examines the impact that modern day copyright laws would have had on each of them.

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Wednesday
Jun022010

Well, what is a good digital music strategy ? Part 2 - Social Networks

Have you ever wondered how to succeed online as a music band? Hints and tips for a perfect digital musical strategy, from social networks to SEO and viral marketing. By Virginie Berger, former head of marketing at Myspace France.

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Jun012010

Well, what is a good digital music strategy ? Part 1 - Introduction and Website

Have you ever wondered how to succeed online as a music band? Hints and tips for a perfect digital musical strategy, from social networks to SEO and viral marketing. By Virginie Berger, former head of marketing at Myspace France.

Click to read more ...

Monday
May312010

How To Increase Gig Attendance

Use this information to get yourself prepared for performing live. Becoming a gigging band can be the best way to grow your brand, ultimately helping you achieve whatever level of success you are looking for. But without a proper plan of who you are trying to attract, how you are going to attract them, and then actually attempting to do so, you will see yourself falling short each and every time.

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Wednesday
May262010

The 4 Best iPad Apps That Can Make You A Better Musician

We’ve posted the best iPad apps for musicians before but now, lets take a closer look at the best apps to help musicians learn a musican skill or develop their pre-existing skills. Here are the 4 best apps to make you a better musician:

Karajan was featured on our list of the 5 best iPhone apps for musicicans a few months ago and now that there’s an iPad version of the app it may be the best mobile learning tool for music. The app provides lessons for learning to recognize intervals, chords, scales, pitch and tempo where you can either click the right answer or play it on a simulated piano or guitar thanks to the Multi-Touch screen. 

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Tuesday
May252010

How I became Ryuichi Sakamoto's guitarist

Enough people have asked how I became Ryuichi Sakamoto’s guitarist, so I thought I should write down the story, in case it’s useful to anyone.

In 1991 I was 22 years old, and had moved to New York City to be a professional musician. I had a little home studio, and was doing some random gigs around town.

My roommate, Hoover Li, was an assistant engineer at a huge recording studio in midtown. Ryuichi Sakamoto was there recording his new album (Heartbeat).

Ryuichi mentioned to Hoover that he was looking for a guitarist for his next tour of Japan. Manu Katché on drums, Victor Bailey on bass. But no guitarist chosen yet. OMFG!

Hoover said, “My roommate is a great guitarist.”

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Monday
May242010

The “HTML5 vs. Flash War” in Regards to the Music Industry

[This article was initially posted on Tight Mix]

In addition to music, I also like to read up on technology (the two have always been closely related), so I subscribe to several tech-related RSS feeds. I have been loosely following the feud between Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs and Adobe, the creator of the popular “Flash” web plug-in. Steve’s passionate hatred of Flash kind of intrigued me. Apparently, there is a new version of HTML (the main language used to code the Internet) that may rid Internet of those web plug-ins (like Flash) that you are annoyingly forced to download (and that public computers never seem to have) in order to view certain websites. There is currently a working subset of the code that is already in use, most notably by popular video sites YouTube and Vimeo. Should companies in the music industry that use Flash to create their websites and widgets be concerned?

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