September Features:

Somewhere in your home town this weekend, the latest up-and-coming noise-psyche-garage-doom band will blaze through a set of original material for a half-empty basement of glass-eyed twenty-somethings. Meanwhile, across town, Better than Better than Ezra -- a fictional band, feel free to take the name -- is trudging through Pixies’ “Where is My Mind” for a bar full of people who couldn’t be more thrilled to hear one of their favorite songs.

Sometimes soundchecks are quick and dirty. A total of 15 minutes to set up, do the "check 1, check 2" thing and then you're already launching into your first set. This means: No one can hear themselves. No one can hear anyone else. No one has a clue if the sound in the house is any good. The enjoyment factor is significantly lower. The reality is that the majority of gigs are in locations where setup and sound check happen while patrons are munching on nachos and chicken wings, and time is compressed.

When you desire to improve upon a skill, regardless of what the skill is, consistency is key. Practicing your instrument for 90 minutes every day will produce much better results than trying to fit six hours of practice into two days per week. This holds true for every aspect of the music industry. Consistent, daily work will be much more efficient and keep you much more sane than trying to fit a week's worth of work into your single day off.I've got a number of tasks that I try to invest time into on a daily basis. Though everybody's priorities and daily schedules will vary, here are a few ideas to get you thinking about what you should be doing every day.

Odds are good that the person working sound at your next local gig — positioning mics, balancing the mix, tweaking your monitors — is a musician just like you. But players don’t always treat them as one of their own, even though the sound engineer is a critical extension of the band in a live situation. Here are the top wishes and pet peeves from behind the board, as learned through countless shows and actually taking the time to talk to engineers. Make sure your gear is in good working order. Know before you go that all of your equipment is performance-ready. It’s not the sound engineer’s job to bail you out before or during a set, and you can’t expect them to have a stock of cables, batteries or spare drumsticks if you left things at home. Performing musicians should always have backup on hand.

When you are in charge of a group of people, there are several responsibilities that fall on your shoulders. If you've never been in a management position or haven't had any business training, this can be a challenging endeavor. The truth is that it's really not all that difficult, as long as you know what to do. The most successful leaders in any capacity practice certain fundamentals that have proven to be repeatedly effective. It may seem like a lot to remember, but you'll find that the majority of the responsibility as a leader will involve troubleshooting and problem solving. This is the real world, and that's the reality. You'll have much more success dealing with all of the variables that come into play if you first commit to having the basics covered

You get a call or text that you’re needed to fill in with a band you’ve never played with before. Naturally, you try to get all the information you’ll need; compensation, songs, style, time and place. You may even get a rehearsal with the group. Despite all your efforts to prepare, you can’t avoid some unexpected twists. Here’s five common surprises that happen when you are subbing on a gig.

It's tempting, especially as a new band, to say yes to every show you're offered. You want to take advantage of every opportunity you get to make a mark in your local scene. But even groups just starting out can't or shouldn't accept every gig they're extended. Sometimes a show can actually be detrimental to your efforts.

Try to avoid these deadly mistakes. Your fans will apprceiate it

Some people are born with an innate sense of confidence that they carry with them through life. For others, confidence is trait that has to be won in battle. Among all of the talent that exists in the world and the unfortunate realities of the music industry, it's easy for somebody who doesn't have innate confidence to feel intimidated. Below are six tips on what to do when your confidence starts to falter, and what you can do to improve the confidence you already have.

Too many people fail to see the bigger picture of life as a musician and the miserable state of the industry. If you are one of these people and catch yourself feeling in some way cheerful, stop right away and follow this simple 12 step plan to guarantee your return to a completely horrid existence on this miserable rock. Warning: Contains strong language. If you don’t like that, then you should probably still read on anyway as it will just give you more reasons to be pissed off.

In The Biz:

Improving a career in music is easily attainable using simple concepts in your everyday affairs. When these three concepts here are used your ability to get jobs will improve a lot. You will come across as a professional and put people at ease when a task is given to you. Remember, the most important part is implementing these tips into your everyday life.

Before the internet, you would have to cold-call places out of the phone book and hit the pavement in whatever weather to gain new prospects. Or even mail out mass quantities of post cards in order to get your brand in front of the masses. Now that we have the ability to reach online, one flyer posted on a social media website like Facebook or Instagram can reach a town's worth of people. This makes networking a whole lot easier than it once was.

The dream goal of most musicians is to get an illustrious record deal from a major recording label. But what most don't know is that record deals come in a range options and can often be confusing for neophyte artist (and some legends who should know better!!).In order to forge through the music business, knowing the types of agreements, some legal terms and insider jargon, will certainly be a great asset when the opportunity for that recording contracting is on the table.

A raving, loyal fan base, premium high priced gigs and worldwide recognition. Isn't that what all bands and musicians hope and pray for? Of course it is. If they're honest... But these are just some of the surface rewards of what an effective band promotions campaign can do for you. The deeper satisfaction of knowing you can be a full time musician without having to slave away at a 9-5 is where the REAL satisfaction comes from.

It kinda sucks, and I've even been guilty of this sin as well, but when most musicians and music business "experts" discuss how to market a band, they tend to turn into corporate slinging business monsters. I'm sure you've heard it before - and probably more than once or twice from me - you've got to treat your music like a business. It's the only way you'll find any success in the incredibly competitive music industry. The bottom line is that although this can sometimes take the fun out of being a musician, it's 100% bang-on true. But... the good news is the methods you use to market your music don't necessarily have to be boring and they're certainly not difficult to put into action.


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