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Showing posts from 2013

Never Say Die!

Some of you that are linked up with me on Facebook probably know why I chose this title. I have been posting a video for a song with the same named from a band called the 69 Eyes around lately for various reasons. I felt the message of the song is good and I have been listening to this group a lot recently. Also, I just felt this was a fitting message to send people into 2014 with. A few weeks ago I warned everyone about the dangers of being sidetracked during the Holidays. Which I'm sure may have gone wayside, and justifiably so. I have found myself practically in panic mode not being able to get even the simple of tasks done(actually I'm lying I did come up with a few new riffs and lyrics) forgetting that this is a well earned break from all the pressure and stress that comes along with being a D.I.Y. musician/owner of a soon to be launched independent record label. I found myself very anxious too when thinking about spending time with the people that will accept me no

Steady is the course

Hello again, I'm sure most of you that live in places the have seasons are already braving the cold or may have come down with one already. This time of year just sneaks up on us. Not to mention having the Holidays and the pressure to spend being forced on you. And of course all those Christmas songs, which I'm sure you have heard so many times that you may have created your own parodies of. After all " its the most annoying time of the year " lol. It is nice to spend time with family and friends during this time and celebrate after working all year. But the cold weather does make us more run down, unmotivated and more prone to over eat. A few things that are poison to anybody that is trying to focus on being successful in any field, especially in music. I decided to post this entry since this time of year is an easy one for us to lose focus on working towards our goals. Many work overtime if they are stuck in retail, and not to mention the music industry does shu

The Vicious Circle

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I took the name of a Facebook group that I joined for the title of this post. I believe the group deals with ranting, but I realized that ranting takes away from the time needed to become successful. However, we all do it from time to time so here is the link to that group if you feel the need to do so. The one good thing about a rant is that many people can relate to do it. For those of you that are linked to my Facebook and Twitter accounts, you may noticed that I created my catchphrase for the most dreaded day of the week, Monday. I figured, we have "Feel good Friday" and "Throwback Thursday" why not "Bitch and Moan Monday"? Come on you know we all do it, so feel free to post it but make sure you include these hashtags: #BMM #ihatemondays #mondayssuck. The Vicious Circle I am referring to is that which as artists we must be a part of. My last few posts focused on learning how the music business operates,putting out and promoting a professional

Im Baaaaaaack!

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After that last entry and all I put into it and the previous entries that include tips on the music Business, I needed to take a breather(which is needed from time to time). Well that and I have been having computer issues. Anyway, I really hope my last few entries gave you some serious insight into what is put into a career as a professional musician. What I really mean is an original band that plays professionally. All the Orchestras you may have heard(think Star Wars ) in movies, Tv, or in plays or operas are all classically trained musicians, some of which have been playing since early in their childhood that have spent some much time learning their instrument that can not only play many complex pieces of music, but can also play them as soon as a piece is given them. Which is also known as "Sight Reading". That is in itself is something many artists(including myself)can barely do if at all.Luckily these musicians usually are well compensated and receive medical and ot

The Musical Artist's Survival Guide Part 3: Touring

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In my last entry this was one the things I didn't mention about promoting an album, well this and the importance of making a video (mainly because I assumed most bands have videos on you tube of performance and regular MTV style music videos). Touring is a very necessary and effective way for bands to build a more solid fan base and insure that album sales will increase, if done correctly and effectively. Many bands have an unenthusiastic opinion about touring or unrealistic expectations. First off the word "Tour" doesn't necessarily mean 3 months out on the road packed in a van, but it can mean that. You can actually take trips to separate cities and come home each time and consider that a tour too. Either way the goal is to play in as many different cities as you can in order to strengthen your fan base and album sales. But of course it is wise to KNOW YOUR LIMITATIONS in this case it pertains to how many places you can afford to travel to with your budget and the

the Musical Artist's Survival Guide Part 2: Releasing your album

I trust that most of you read my last post, so I decided to keep going with this format so that those who brains didn't melt yet could read on. Believe me, I know there is a lot to know and go over beyond songwriting and performance and even if you are the guy in the band that says "they just tell me when to show up and I do" you should inform yourself about the business side. It is not easy even with the advances in technology allowing for the informed to be their own manager/booking agent/record label. Obviously when you are releasing your own album you want to make that you make it sound and look as professional as possible. However this goes beyond the quality of the actual recording and artwork. I thought that this would be best in a Question and Answer format: How do we get our cds made professionally? Your cds need to be replicated and not duplicated The difference is a duplicated cd is like a cdr burned on your computer. These work well and can be sold, howev

the Musical Artist's survival guide part 1: the music business and promoting yourself

Ok, I have been speaking about this for some time now. A few years back I put together a list of books and webpages I suggest for all independent artists. They will help you learn about the music business and make it easier for you further all your musical endeavors. I have read most of these books(really, I did. I'm not lying) and they can be found at the library and on sites like Ebay or Amazon. If anyone has any other books or webpages that you think are useful please let me know. I will start with the Books and include some webpages for the end. REFERENCE BOOKS The Indie Bible a book that is released yearly that has a list of contact information for record companies, radio stations, magazines, distributors and more that will work with independent bands. It is divided up Geographically and by Genre. The Music Atlas Another Yearly reference book. Not specifically geared towards independent artists. But does have many resources such as record labels and other information bro

Times they are a changing

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Earlier on in the week, I found myself commenting on a Facebook post by a slightly discouraged musician from a new younger band out of NYC called Candy Brain that feels that the music industry is ruining music for him. I think he was speaking more about the local "seen" which is basically just a staging area and not the be all end of all the music business(Thank God). Luckily, there were a few people like myself to shed some light on this. Years ago, the Record companies decided your fate and very few bands could control their own destinies. Simply because the resources available to us now where not there 20, 25 or even 30 years ago.Remember there was no Itunes or Cdbaby , so no record deal meant no distribution. Yes you could go into a studio on your own and record(if you were lucky enough to even afford that let alone getting your finished product duplicated), hoping a record label would take notice of your valiant effort and offer you some sort of deal which would includ

There is a Song for any occasion

After my last blog post I started thinking how there is a song that can fit almost any situation. If you read that post you would know that it was no laughing matter. However, another choice song to post may have been: Into the great wide open by Tom Petty . It much like the song from The Byrds : Turn,Turn,Turn , with the words taken from the Bible : to everything turn,turn,turn, there is a season. I know most of you probably know the rest but, it basically states that there is a time for everything. I'm sure we have all been to enough Weddings, Birthdays, and various joyous occasions to have heard Kool & the Gang's Celebration more times than we can count. I didn’t want to come right out and make it obvious this was a farewell to summer entry. I was even worried that naming this entry "There is a Song for every Season", fearing that I may give it away. I think most of us are in denial about or just sad to see it go. On the other hand, I'm sure many

Priorities

Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans-John Lennon I was waiting to get some updated mix downs of some songs today, but it was practically the furthest thing from my mind. In the mists of what was nearly a family tragedy, I found myself using my resources and my knowledge of working along side of the press to search for a missing relative. Fortunately he was found unharmed, however when something of this nature occurs it really shows you how much somethings that we see as important are virtually insignificant in the grand scheme of things. Some artists have an "all or nothing" attitude when it comes be successful. I have even seen some bands putting out an ad looking for a new member saying we dont want anyone that will be looking to take time off for Birthdays, Anniversaries, Holidays. What nerve? This is clearly not the case for all bands. I recall U2 canceling an entire tour due to a family tragedy. And since they probably were playing in arenas,

Starting from scratch

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    I wanted to copy an old blog I had made years ago on myspace with some tips, reference materials and links to help people learn more about promotions and the music business. However, the new myspace has deleted all the blogs created on their page. Instead of getting mad, sulking and feeling stuck yet again here I am taking a more progmatic approach to this, while knowing it could be worse. I still have most of the books I have read and I remember most of the links. However, many of them probably are outdated. Ironically enough, I thought I had saved this blog years ago but all I saved was a blog with links for pages that Imbolg has profiles on (and lets face it who wants to see that). Lesson learned (yet again) Always have a back up. If did not have most of these books, or a good enough memory to remember most of what I was trying to enter I would have lost most of this information for good. I hate to put this off yet again, but I will have to create another blog on this topic at

Whats next?

Hello all, I should be focusing on the fact that in a few hours I will be seeing one of my biggest musical influences live. I have seen them before, with original drummer Bill Ward. And yes, I am one of these people that get bent out of shape when a reunion is missing one member(maybe its just an OCD tendency,idk). By now you should have guessed that I am going to see Black Sabbath . So here I am putting on a You Tube playlist of songs from Sabbath(yes in hopes that it will help me get through this entry) recalling stories of how they wrote some of their albums in the studio and came up with one of their most popular songs, Paranoid on a whim only because they had an extra three minutes on the tape to record with. Like I may have stated in older entries, I discover Sabbath as a Child when my Uncle had been listening to them(even admitting to truly subconsciously screw me by putting headphones on me in my sleep lol). Nevertheless, they have been engrained in me and keep me writing

Approach Anxiety

   This title may suggest that this post is about the feeling a guy or girl has when they approach someone that they are attracted to for the first time hoping to strike up a conversation. But, I'm afraid it is not about that for the most part. I am speaking mainly about trying to learn a new song that someone else has written. This can also help those that are thinking of picking up an instrument for the first time. One of the hardest things I have noticed with my students was that they are not used to having guitar playing as part of their everyday routine and hence they don't practice as much.Or they become frustrated early on that they don't know many songs. But the more you pratice, the better you become and the easier it will become to learn songs(sometimes,it happens by accident just from fiddling around,the start of learning a song by ear-no sheet music or instruction needed)Many people sometimes hear a song on the radio & are so intimidated by the artist's

Failure?

In music, everyone will point out your flaws, unless you are the Rolling Stones After my last post, I noticed that I didn’t get much response from people as some of my previous posts. Even with a video,and it being my Birthday. But, I did realize that in my hast to not waste my day as I rushed off to see the Hangover 3 that I made several grammatical and typographical errors. Which brings me to my topic of choice, Failure .I really was shocked that some of my regular readers did not even comment. However, as stated previously I made many errors and looked at what I created in the eyes of a first time reader. Some one who was careless enough to not examine his work and present it in an orderly fashion shouldn’t expect to be taken seriously(from now on I will be even more meticulous when it comes to my final edit,lesson learned). As far as my regular readers, many people are away,planning trips and what not. You can never let one flop be your last post,last album,show,whatever.