Archive for the ‘Advices’ Category

Each time you meet someone, you exchange a tiny watermark with one another. This imprint can either become an investment or an expense in your future. It’s up for you to decide which one it will be. Use this “bank account” wisely to seed the garden of success.

(Cheryl Hughey)

Your music fans are the fundament of your success. Tim Sweeney points out: “Music is a personal thing. Its a connection between people. People want to become connected with you.” Don’t underestimate the social relationship between artist and fans. You have to feel your fan important. Spend some of your worthy time with your fans and they will follow you. Your fans determine how far you go.

Don’t categorize people, if they can be helpful, cultivated or inspirational. Chris Standring comments: “People love to gossip, it’s human instinct. That means that if you are a cool person who is likable, personable and talented, your reputation will go before you. On the other hand, if you are narcissistic, highly egocentric and appear not to give a damn about anyone else, that reputation will also go before you.”

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Know how to make a million dollars playing jazz? Start with two million.

We should talk about the truth behind this joke. This is the most invaluable advice, I can give you. Don’t waste your money. As musician you can fall in many traps. This article will give you some examples.


Heather McDonald suggests: “Before you start sending out your demo, you need to compile a list of labels who might be interested in hearing it. Sending your hip hop demo to an indie rock label is a waste of time and money. What bands do you like? What labels are they on? What labels deal with the kind of music you play? Spend some time online researching artists you consider to be similar to yourself and the labels that work with them. that way, your demo will land in the hands of people who “get” what you’re doing.”

Hundreds of unsolicited demos are sent in every week to record companies, many of which are never listened to. Even the most conscientious A&R person will only listen to the first 20/30 seconds of a song before sending out a rejection letter. Rejection is part of the game. Accept it.

Labels are looking for artists who already have a well developed sound, stage presence, fan base, marketable music, and game plan. They want you to show them that you can produce content on your own, book shows and perform for crowds on your own, manage your fans on your own. They want to see artists using twitter, youtube, and other tools available to them to maximize their reach on their own (Mike Lombardo). So sending demos to a label without initiated contact to the A&R person is just money down the drain.

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More and more musicians are taking more control over their music. The most common route is for the artist is to build their name organically and build a strong following before they scout for a label that will sign them. Having some sort of presence and recognition provides them a very strong leverage to take more control of their name and music even when the major labels sign them. Some of the success stories are Colbie Caillat and Justin Bieber. These two used youtube as their jump off point. The labels noticed them as the number of views increased. Since they already have a proof that they have the power to bring in the sales, the labels treated them with much more respect.

There are other big bands that were signed to a major label and slowly transitioned to controlling their own music. Linkin Park and Oasis are two of those bands. Linkin Park is signed up with Warner Bros. and has sold more than 50 million albums. Early on, they learned to establish a very strong relationship with their fans using the digital space. They never gave their label the control over their database. WB knows that there are not only now financially equipped to make their own record, they also don’t need to the traditional channel to sell their music. Even their concerts are now being pre-sold. They ask their fans to sign up to a site if they want Linkin Park to perform in their country. If they have enough numbers, then they just look for a promoter that would mount the show.

They have enough confidence in their music and abilities to even allow their fans to listen to their songs before they are released. Yes, they know that a lot of their fans are online and can easily listen to their samples for free. It would be safe to say that majority of computer owners have good speakers. That is why it has become a mandatory for all music lovers out there. If the market likes what they are hearing, they just go ahead and download it. Recently, many artists are also releasing their songs through non-traditional formats like using a USB instead of a CD.

The digital space is really becoming a friend of independent musicians and if the artists are aware on how to capitalize on this, marketing their music and their band will not be so hard. The USB packaging is a good idea as production is cheaper.

Issued by Abel Mens


The music business is in transition now. The old model for record labels is changing and it is changing fast. As a result, a lot of the old school record labels are going out of business because they don’t know how to keep up with the changing times.  Have a look at the Wikipedia to observe this development.

What do you do, when your label is going under and you have to struggle to get your masters back?

The best way to protect your music work is register your songs with the library of congress. You should also submit your work to the performing rights organization (ASCAP, BMI, SESAC, GEMA) with whom you are affiliated. But what do you do, when your label want to have the copyrights of your music, although you are the owner?

You have paid money to your label for promotion of all kind and your label uses the money to pay the own debts instead of doing their work?

To avoid these issues it’s a good idea to make your own record label. Dave Koz, Rick Braun, Richard Elliot, Dave Gruisin, Chris Standring, Herb Alpert, Russ Freeman and many more had that idea. But most of them sold their label later to the music industry, because you cannot share your spare time leading your own label with your work as musician. What did happen with GRP, Peak Records and more of these labels founded by artists? They merged with greater labels loosing their identity.

So you have to sell your music in other ways. Chris Standring for example made, which stands for Artists and Repertoire Online.  Chris comments: “It is more of a resource for artists to be totally educated about what is happening in the business today. I have written books about the music business and I sell them there.”

Another possibility is to join social networks like Facebook, MySpace, Plaxo to find and collect your fans there.

Another idea is to make a street team. A street team is a family of devoted fans who want to support and see their favorite artist or band succeed. Traditionally, they have hit the streets handing out promotional goods as well as using their own creative ideas to increase the awareness of the band. Some artists like Chris Standring started a special street team program. The idea for that program was described by him in a book especially written for artists.

For more suggestions go to The Adviser. Do you have a new marketing idea for musicians? Share it with us.