Connect With Us

Add Hypebot To Circleson

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

• MTT POSTS BY CATEGORY
• TUNE MTT RADIO
SEARCH

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).

Entries in professional musician (16)

Tuesday
Feb252014

121 Things Not To Do In The Music Industry

All too often, we get wrapped up in new tactics, new ideas, new plans and new ways of getting bigger and better as musicians. With social media and the internet, there’s so much information that it’s almost become immeasurable.

This is great and all, but maybe we sometimes lose sight of what we shouldn’t be doing.

There’s lots of stupid shit you shouldn’t be doing.

Here’s a quick guide to what you shouldn’t be doing.

 

THE PERSONAL ELEMENT

  1. Don’t ever stop practicing your instrument.
  2. Don’t be an asshole.
  3. Don’t WANT WANT WANT WANT. Learn to give back first.
  4. Don’t get defensive. Learn to take constructive criticism.
  5. Don’t forget to learn how to take destructive criticism, too. You’ll get a lot more of it than you think.
  6. Don’t forget that everyone’s an asshole.
  7. Don’t stop learning.

Click to read more ...

Monday
Sep302013

Being a Music Industry Professional 

There is no doubt about it, music is fun- and it should be. For many, however, music is work. For these people music pays the bills, supports their livelihood, and puts food on their table. For these individuals who work in the music industry whether it be as performers, technicians, music teachers, managers, journalists, or marketers maintaining a level of professionalism is essential.

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Jun262013

6 Things Musicians Should Know That They Don’t Teach You in Music School

“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:

Click to read more ...

Saturday
May042013

MusicThinkTank.com Weekly Recap: How Often Should You Play? 6 Drawbacks to Playing More Shows

Wednesday
Mar272013

Solving the Symphony Crisis

The major symphony orchestras in the United States are facing an increasingly dire financial situations – not just because of a decrease in consumer demand and a decade of economic recessions – but because of systemic, short-sighted and self-inflicted deficiencies in their current business models. But it doesn’t have to be like this.

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Feb282013

Landing Musician-For-Hire Gigs with your Presskit

A musician-for-hire is someone who provides a service to an event coordinator, talent buyer, or group of people that caters to the event’s specific needs and generates a notable yearly income. 

You know, the guy that’s singing “Don’t Stop Believing” in the background of a picture-perfect wedding reception, or the guy kicking off “Hava Nagila” at the most anticipated Bar Mitzvah of the year. Even the cover band at the coolest bar in town is an example of musicians-for-hire work. There’s plenty of work like this out there for us to make a living from - but how do you set yourself apart from the rest of the bands trying to compete for these kind of gigs?

Well, although there’s no short answer, there are several steps you can take to set yourself ahead of the competition and create a “wow-factor” for yourself. Indulge:

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Jan022013

Why Most Indie Music Groups and Labels Fail (Part 1)

This is part 1 of a 2 part article I wrote strictly based on my professional experience producing and engineering and managing artists. Since 2006, I’ve been involved as a key member in several music groups, labels, and production teams that despite all their potential to achieve greatness, fail and fall apart, often at critical moments.

Click to read more ...

Monday
Nov052012

How Musicians Can Save Money When Buying Instruments

In tighter financial times everyone would like to save some money on their musical purchases. This guide can help you save some money when shopping for musical equipment. So lets say you are about to buy some new instruments or some studio equipment, that can cost serious money when you opt for the best quality items. We are currently in a recession and it seems that there is some positive economic news of late on both sides of the big pond and that’s great. However most of us still need to watch the pennies and cents and there are ways that you can ensure you are getting the best possible deals on your equipment purchases. We can use the current situation to our advantage, as both musicians and retailers are experiencing the same economic conditions.

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Oct182012

Tips for become a recording studio session musician

A session musician typically plays for multiple bands and artists. Many musicians dream of becoming a session musician, sitting in on cool gigs, travelling with different outfits and generally being respected by their peers.

As you can imagine, session musicians need to be able to play many styles of music and need to be proficient in all of them. But what does it take to be a session musician?

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Aug232012

My Ever-Changing Career as a Musician

When I was in college, I held several part time jobs to make ends meet. One of those part time jobs was playing guitar at a few restaurants every month. Nothing glamorous, but I was happy to be playing guitar. I started keeping track of how much money I made on those gigs to see if I could justify quitting one of the other part time jobs.

It turns out keeping a detailed list of my music income has served me well over the last 10 years. I was eventually able to justify quitting all of my day jobs and become a full time musician, and since being a full time musician, I’m able to keep a finger on the pulse of my various streams of musician income. Just as a shop owner keeps track of her inventory and carries whatever products are in demand, I’ve been able to assess and adjust my inventory of music jobs that keep me in business.

Over the last 10 years the way I make a living has changed dramatically. I’ve never made a lot of money, but I’ve been able to make more each year despite the changes in the music industry and economy in general. Here’s my method and what I’ve learned along the way.

Click to read more ...

Monday
Aug202012

Don't Act Like an Amateur Band

A while ago, I wrote a piece about The Unspoken Rules of How to Treat a Touring Band. Basically, it was some rules on courtesy between bands show share a gig. After going on a few more tours myself, I wanted to share some additional advice on how to make shows run a little more smoothly and how you can be a little more professional in your gigging.

Here are some assorted tips on the pro’s do it:

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Nov092011

How To Reach Out To Industry Execs

Every now and then, I go on an open mic binge and discover new little spots and new artists honing their craft. There was this one girl who was absolutely amazing. I told her what I did and she started asking questions. Our conversation came around to how one can get the right exposure and further their career. I shared with her a lot of things, but one of them was about reaching out to industry insiders and building a professional network that will help propel her career forward. It’s not enough to play live. You have to also work hard at building your professional network in the music industry. Finding contact info is easy. There are directories and registries out there you can buy. However, there are some realities concerning industry people that you have to understand before you reach out to them. Or else, you’ll only annoy and alienate them. Here are those realities.

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Apr122011

Introduction: How I Became a Broadway Musician

I played keyboards on my first Broadway show a few weeks ago. For me, this is a milestone in my career and marks the achievement of a major life goal that I’ve been working toward for over 20 years. When I first decided I wanted to play keyboards on Broadway – and this will be a reoccurring theme – I had no idea where to start. There were a lot of very generous musicians who helped guide me along the way. So in an effort to pay back that kindness, and in the hopes that this might help somebody out there with similar goals, I’m going to tell you the story of how I got my gig.

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Mar152011

The Realities of Making a Living with Music in 2011

John McCrea, lead singer of the band Cake, stirred up a reaction when he told NPR’s Melissa Block that he is skeptical about the future of music as a vocation.

I see music as a really great hobby for most people in five or 10 years,” he remarked.

Keep in mind this was part of a segment about Cake’s historic new album, which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard charts in January. It was historic because the album earned the coveted ranking by selling just 44,000 copies — the lowest amount for a No. 1 in the 20-year history of calculating record sales.

I’ve been seeing a lot of articles and blog posts lately about the doom and gloom of the music biz — including depressing news about the state of independent music. There have been references to the failure of direct-to-fan as a business model, and the harsh realities that aspiring musicians, managers, and promoters face.

Really? Give me a break!

Click to read more ...