November Features:

With today's over saturated music business, a lot of artist/producers want to know how to get the big players, the gatekeepers to listen to their music and HOPEFULLY sign them or cut them a check. If that's something you're trying to do I can honestly tell you for myself it's all about the way you market YOURSELF. Jay z said it best "I'm not a businessman, I'm a business man." Your creativity is one thing but if you don't know how to market yourself effectively you won't get heard by anyone let alone a A&R.

Professional musicians only work with other musicians who are totally committed to success in the music business. For instance, here is a one question test to help you understand if your band is near or at the professional level: Would every member in your band cancel all their plans to go on a huge tour throughout the country (that could possibly results in losing substantial money in the short term), in order to increase the chances of gaining more profitable opportunities in the band's future? If the answer is no, then your band is a long way away from reaching the pro level. To find out how to fix this situation for your band, read this article about pursuing music as a full time career.

Wurlitzer developed a system of individual metal reeds that each contained a blob of solder on its tip. The lower pitch reeds were larger and the higher ones smaller.The reeds by themselves were near each desired pitch and the addition of solder to the tip allowed a reed to be tuned to exact pitch by either filing away solder to slightly raise its pitch or add solder to lower the pitch. This was a sometimes maddening method needed to attain the correct pitch. If you filed off too much, then you had to add solder to the reed and start filing again. The reeds were struck and made to vibrate by the keys which were made of wood. These keys, unlike the flimsy plastic keys on modern keyboards, were one solid piece that extended from the playing area back into the keyboard and when played the back end pivoted up and struck the reed

Restoring an instrument that suffered severe damage. It’s inevitable that, if you operate a lutherie shop long enough, you will get your fair share of clients bringing you instruments that had severe damage occur. And I’m not just talking about the usual broken headstock repair. I’m talking about acoustic instruments that have had their tops caved in, or sides cracked badly, etc. Such was the case with this month’s example. This was a brand new guitar, by the way. It’s one thing for an instrument that has seen better days to be brought in with severe damage needing repair. But it’s a whole other thing when it’s a brand new instrument that needs to be restored to showroom quality.

Turning up late. To everything. Every. Single. Time.
Do you have some sort of disease that makes it impossible for you turn up on time?
We even developed an elaborate system where we tell you a time 2 hours earlier than when we need to arrive. You’re STILL an hour late.

I've been looking for gigs lately, I've never seen so many free and low paying gigs. Well the economy is bad, so I can understand that a little bit. However, it is no longer good enough for the musician to be willing to perform for little compensation. Now we are expected to also be the venue promoter? The expectations are that the band will not only provide great music, but also bring lots of people to their venue. It is now the band’s responsibility to make this happen, not the club owner.

In The Biz:

Those of us who have been around for over 40 years know a little bit more about the evolution of the music industry than our younger counterparts. Remember the 45? You know back when the Jackson 5 was a group and Michael Jackson had an afro? You had an A side and a B side. Then there was the LP and the 8 tracks. Most of us bought singles in those days because it was all we could afford. However, we got the music we wanted and record labels made money. Even when the tape recorder came out and we started recording our favorite songs off of the radio the industry still made money.

A band is a unique and complex relationship, and with so many different personalities and goals among band members, things can sometimes get tricky. Some people are direct, some are passive, some are more organized than others. "Musicians are sensitive and odd creatures," says songwriter/guitarist Paul Hansen of indie folk band The Grownup Noise. "So inevitably, it will be a dysfunctional, but hopefully loving, family."

Mental illness and music isn't a subject that is often discussed, but it is one that affects a disproportionate number of musicians. Many, probably most of us, can think of a time that music listening to it, playing guitar, writing and performing songs helped us through a difficult time in our lives. I know I can. Playing music is a way of achieving catharsis, to deal with our emotions by expressing them. I'm a long way from the troubled teenager I once was, but even now, there's nothing like grabbing an axe and rocking out to lift my mood if I get low.

These are some of the worst and most common hoaxes because they seem so benign but they can easily cost you a lot of money without getting you anywhere. They tend to disguise themselves in the form of some sort of legitimate opportunity from a legitimate business whether it be getting your song played on the radio, getting you a record deal, or letting you play a showcase in front of a big time A&R rep. The common thread though is that they will all ask you for money to get access. With the exception of membership-based organizations like ASCAP or The Recording Academy, press, marketing, or radio promotion agencies, or a qualified professional industry consultant (determining that requires research though), there are hardly any legitimate music businesses that will charge you in order to get access to a career opportunity (and honestly the aforementioned companies aren't charging you for access, they're charging for their services- but I didn't want to confuse anyone into thinking they are not legitimate businesses because they cost money).

Congratulations, your album is finally finished and you are ready to share your masterpiece with the world! You have already read "The Secret to Using Social Media to Build a Massive Base" and you are eager to implement those ideas and promote your project. You have gathered a list of websites, DJs, booking agents, A&R's and promoters to begin networking. Well... on that list is a sketchy promoter, an unethical booking agent and a commercial DJ waiting to take your money. There are members of the music community who prey on unsigned musicians. "The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side."-Hunter S. Thompson.


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