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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).

Entries in DIY (22)

Wednesday
Nov062013

6 Ways to Get More People to Your Shows

Do you sometimes feel that your band’s draw is languishing? Are you tired of seeing the same people at your shows and want to play to a new crowd, even in your hometown?

If you’re like most musicians, you know that you absolutely can do better, that you have more fans out there than who actually show up at at the venue, and despite always receiving positive feedback, you don’t know why more people aren’t showing up. Here are some tips on building some momentum back into your tour dates so you can increase your band’s draw:

1. Find a Different Angle for The Show: It’s easier to get more people to show up if it’s your band’s first show, when you’re releasing a new album, it’s a tour kick off, or when it’s your final gig. Obviously, it’s because your fans realize those as special occasions and want to be there.

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Monday
May202013

10 Great Tips For Home & DIY Recordings

1. Start with some good gear A good microphone coupled with a good audio interface is the very foundation of a good recording. You don’t need a $1000 mic, but a decent microphone will do the job. The audio interface needs to have clear preamps and introduce minimal noise in the recordings. Your recording software needs to be good, so that there are no latency issues. Take some time to know your gear well before starting to record.

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Wednesday
May082013

3 Ways Your Band Can Use Creativity to Make More Money

Money. Many artists struggle with it: either we’re poor at managing income or we lack creativity in getting it. It’s clear that with the shape of the music industry, most artists aren’t making a living from record sales. So how are they getting the support that they need?

You might argue that some bands make their money from performing: they command large guarantees when playing a show. Another popular idea is that most bands survive because of merch sales (few promoters provide a decent guarantee, if one at all). Others see crowdsourcing as the new golden calf.

I don’t think there is a one-size fits-all model for all artists. What artists need is something that is personal, transparent, and appropriate for their career. In 5 Non-traditional Ways to Promote Your Music, I called upon artists to use their creativity when it comes to music promotion. I think the same could be said of your sources of income as well.

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Thursday
Mar282013

The Rise of the Musicpreneur (Part 1/3)

We’re still in the early stage of the rise of polymath and entrepreneurial musicians, but the Musicpreneur is not far from being the norm.

Nobody, however, has come up with a satisfactory description of what being an independent musicians in the digital age entails. It’s a cool name, but how does it work? In this essay, I will attempt to adumbrate those attributes, because I strongly believe we’ll see them get amplified in the future.

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Thursday
Sep272012

How Much Money Should You Aim To Make From Music? And How Much CAN You Make?

Ever wondered what kind of income levels are achievable as a musician? Well read on, as that’s exactly what we’re going to be looking at today.

Below is one of the chapters taken from my new book ‘The Independent Musician’s Survival Guide’. I know there’s a lot of misconceptions about how much money can actually be made from your music career, so I thought it’d be valuable to share this chapter and help you gain a more realistic view of what is achievable. There’s no hype or half truths here, this is as realistic a evaluation as you’ll likely get.

If you find this information useful, please share it on your favorite social networking sites and link to it from your site. Thank you.

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Wednesday
Jun132012

The Indie Artist Launch Plan

Got your attention? Good. Now obviously there is no ONE path to launching a career as a musical artist, whether you are going the Indie Route or aim to get picked up by a Major Label…

But I fear that the overwhelming DIY concepts saturating the already overloaded artist/musician is causing analysis paralysis and/or an unneeded amount of complication surrounding what one really needs to do to build your foundation as an Independent Artist or Band.

Throughout this two part article series I am going to do my best to break the component parts down to understandable and slightly over-simplified concepts to leave you with what I believe you’ll find very valuable insight and a message that you can apply to your life/career in some helpful way.

Or, screw it… If you read this article, 4 million dollars will fall out of the sky and land on your doorstep, and the girl/guy of your dreams will instantly show up in your life… Ok. NOW you’ll read!

But today, in retrospect of what I know now, and from working with artists and bands to progress and develop their career, launch albums, and get more clear on what they need to do and as a DIY Indie Artist, there are a few things I would do differently to build the foundation of my musical career…

This is what I would like to share, and exactly what I would have liked to have had someone tell me eight years ago, so hopefully you will be able to benefit from this.

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Tuesday
Jun122012

4 Key Traits Of Successful Independent Musicians

Hi guys. Today, I want to share with you my views on some of the traits that makes an independent musician successful. While this isn’t a complete list of the things that they generally have in common, all of these things do tend to be defining characteristics outside of the fact that they have talent.

So read on, and see if you can incorporate any of the below points into your music career.

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Wednesday
May232012

Can You Recover From Free Music?

I’ve lost count of the number of articles I’ve read that insist bands and artists should give their music away for free.  Personally I believe, unless you have the benefit of on-going PR support or are reaching mass audiences through radio airplay, giving away your core product might just be a mistake you’ll never recover from. Here’s why…

Giving away your music might be a prudent strategy for artists like Prince that have successfully established, genuine, alternative income streams (EG tours) to sustain a living. However, for the average DIY, or unsigned musician who barely covers costs when they play live, is it really a smart strategy to remove your most obvious and immediate income stream?

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Thursday
Apr052012

How Flexible Pricing Can Help You Sell More Merch

This article originally appeared on CD Baby’s DIY Musician Blog.

Why the Value of Your Merch Changes Every Day

Let’s say you just started a hot-sauce business. The price of your product probably changes depending on the buyer; lower-end grocery stores, shi-shi markets, restaurants, and direct customers on your website will all pay a little something different for the same mouth-burning sensations— to say nothing of the folks who will try free samples at the store.

Musical products aren’t that different; the value of your merch changes from gig to gig, and should (or could) be priced accordingly. This is NOT “Name-Your-Price,” but an alternate system where the band and manager keep the context of the concert in mind when setting today’s “market price.” And unlike fish, your music won’t grow stale,… right?

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Tuesday
Apr032012

The Viral Power of Fan Communication: A Case Study On Fleet Foxes

It’s always exhilarating finding stories like this that validate the lessons we so often, teach, learn, and debate here on MTT. This story in particular, highlights the power of conscientious direct-to-fan (D2F) communication on the part of Fleet Foxes’ front man, Robin Pecknold.  

If Grammy awards were given to artists DIY’ing it each year, Pecknold would win the award for “Outstanding Performance In D2F Communication”. Pecknold’s proclivity for treating fans like friends recently went viral when a fan of his enthusiastically wrote the following post on reddit:

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Wednesday
Mar282012

The Successful DIY Indie Artist Series - Project

There’s too much back and forth about who’s finding success and why in the DIY independent artist scene, so i’ve decided to go out and do some deep investigative research to pull all the info i can together, and focus on deep patterns and strategies across several facets of how successful DIY’ers have put their career together, what they’re doing, how they manage it, and hopefully uncover what some of the underlying reasons why it’s all working for them, are.

 

Purpose = Going beyond “surface level” exploration, research, and interviews, on the successful indie artists and bands that are thriving today. Cluster and define correlations and key strategies that are common and prevalent, as well as highlight the business models that are working today. Get candid and get to the “core” of what actually is THE THING that is making some people succesful today and why as Independent artists in the new music business…

 

There’s a lot of doom and gloom out there… There are a lot of skeptics, naysayers, and doubting thomases out there that perpetuate a vibe of hopelessness in regards to the DIY movement… This is not only unhealthy but destructive, and it ain’t where or what we should be focusing on.

 

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Saturday
Mar032012

MusicThinkTank Weekly Recap: Facebook's Timeline & More

Friday
Mar022012

What Can We Learn From Indie Band Pomplamoose?

Having been hearing about the growing success of the band Pomplamoose many times now, I decided to check them out and listen to their music/interviews and watch some of their videos to get a feel for who they were-both as artists, and see what we could learn from this independent band who have carved out a living with STRICTLY their MUSIC, using a 99% web-based business model. Listening to them in the first interview with Tech Crunch’s Andrew Keen, Jack Conte and Nataly Dawn answered several very basic questions, of which, although the interview could have been hosted better to get down to some more insightful questions, the resulting insight I continue to find the more I learn about this powerhouse duo remains consistent with the very simple mantra this band has so very successfully modeled for us as independent musicians in our brave new music business. Pomplamoose, who have now turned down all of the “big three” major labels – are in fact making enough money to live in a fully paid for house, primarily off iTunes revenue, and don’t see the need OR the strategic advantage to sign with a major record label. The bottom line is that Record labels today - are more like general contractors who hire other companies to do things for the artist, (when, with a little knowledge and ambition one could go hire that company directly) and decision makers for those who don’t want or don’t know where to start with building their own business model. Perhaps not as extreme as “the powerful praying on the ignorant and powerless,” but something close to that, is what perpetuates most of the unknown yet talented and intelligent signed acts that you’ve never heard of.

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Tuesday
Feb212012

BACK TO BASICS: COPYRIGHT(S)

1.  Introduction.

Any artist hoping to break through in the digital age has a fundamental decision to make; embrace wholeheartedly a DIY pathos and work ethic, or throw in the towel now and reconcile oneself to hating on those whose perceived ease of success masks tireless work, focused dedication, and strategic planning—don’t think Skrillex deserves his meteoric success?  Let’s see you make a commitment to your fans to try and play 322 shows next year! (www.billboard.biz/bbbiz/industry/record-labels/skrillex-on-how-he-got-5-grammy-noms-we-1005601152.story.)  

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