The concept of crowd-funding has proved one of the biggest successes of the last few years, with musicians turning to fans to finance albums, tours, merchandise and (probably) rounds of drinks for their road crew. Not only have there been thousands of bands running campaigns, but the number of platforms available for their use has multiplied too. So in such a saturated market, can any platform really bring something new to the table?
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The Real DIY Musician The reality is that though you may call yourself a DIY musician, there is no such thing as a successful DIY musician. There are only successful musicians. Everyone who is successful has help, and every large venture is a collaborative effort. Music careers are no different. DIY Musician = musician who is knowledgeable in the basics of online marketing, music distribution, and other music industry related business skills.
There has been a great deal of buzz about music licensing in recent years, and with good reason! Compared to other revenue streams, licensing can have potentially big payouts for indie musicians. It’s also a pretty confusing aspect of the music industry. Just how exactly do songs get on those TV shows? The conductors behind those licenses are music supervisors.
What is a Music Supervisor?
Music supervisors oversee the music-related aspects of TV, films, and video games. They are in charge of interpreting the producer’s vision, finding the right track, and negotiating the contract with the artists. Of course, there are MILLIONS of songs out there, so finding the right one is no easy task. On top of that, licensing for use in visual mediums is a juggling act, with as many as eight separate deals depending on how many parties are involved (songwriter, recording artist, record label, publishing company, etc.) and how the song will be used.
Releasing an album or EP into today’s music landscape can feel like a daunting task. Who do you send it to? How will you get people to listen? How do you cut through the noise? Where are all the places to put it online?
The first blog post in this 3-part series for creating an effective marketing plan dealt with building a strong online presence, so if you follow those instructions you are already in better shape than the majority of artists releasing music today.
In this, part 2, we will discuss steps to take in order to have a successful new release launch.
by Janelle Rogers, Green Light Go Publicity “We hired a music pr company to promote our last album and were really disappointed in the results.” This is something we hear a lot when new clients come to us. I get it. Nobody wants to spend a ton of cash on something and then see very little come out of it. I know I don’t. I could go on and on about starting with a clear vision of where you want your band to go and what you hope to come out of a successful campaign, but first things first – you need to make sure you are in the right hands.
I’ve always wanted to share my thoughts on how I listen to music and how I interpret what I hear. What is it that makes some tracks “work” for me while others leave me uninspired? Of course, there’s no short answer. Sometimes it’s a vocal hook, sometimes a driving guitar part, sometimes a floating ambience or a pumping bass line. With every track it is different. However, after giving some thought to this and “analyzing” the way I perceive music, I’ve come to realize that I can clearly distinguish between the two types of music: what I call “thinking music” and “emotional music”.
“Emotional music” is probably the most obvious kind. This is the type of music that makes you feel good or makes you want to cry or just makes you feel like you’re flying through the sky and all your problems just seem to melt away. This music caters to the basic human emotions, and this is what you usually can hear on the mainstream radio. Of course, that does not exclude jazz or classical or any type of indie or alternative music. For instance, Bach’s “Air on the G string” or Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata” or even Philip Glass’ fabulous score to the film “The Hours” are all — to me — examples of this type of music. As are Radiohead’s “Fake Plastic Trees” or U2’s “Where the Streets Have No Name” or Bob Dylan’s “Desolation Row” or even Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror” and, strangely, most of Sigur Ros’ catalogue as well. As you can see, very different music genres belong here. This doesn’t have to be pop music in the narrowest sense of the term but tracks belonging to this type usually have a strong sense of melody and/or harmony and quite simple chord progressions (although again, this is not mandatory) especially when compared to what is called “academic music” or some of the more complex forms of jazz.
Inspiration cannot be scheduled. It could be the rustling of leaves or the sound of traffic whizzing by that forms the theme of your next song. To make sure you can record your latest musical genius, here are a few things you should always have with you.
If you play an instrument like a harmonica, it is fairly easy to keep it at hand, but what happens if you are a drummer or play the harp? For musicians who can't carry their instruments, it becomes essential to find a tool that creates music in a similar way. A musical app like the KORG iMS20 is a great example because it emulates a synth and is easy to customize. You can install it on your phone, and move around town with a mini studio on hand. It includes a synthesizer, sequencer, mixer, effects and drum machine all rolled into one.
My wife and I are gearing up to take our six year old to see Styx in October and a few of our friends have expressed concern at the idea of taking a young child to a rock concert. Despite my comebacks of “We’ll make him wear earplugs,” and “Come on, it’s only Styx!” — I keep getting flack.
Perhaps you don’t sell too many albums on iTunes, or have that many SoundCloud plays or YouTube views. But maybe, just maybe, your music is really popular in some far off corner of the digital universe you never even knew about, and all that “exposure” you’ve racked up over the years is paying off behind the scenes.Next Big Sound provides detailed online music analytics to measure the growth of bands on streaming services and social networks. It doesn’t cover everything, but it casts a wide enough net to shatter an artist’s dreams with cold, hard data. I know it did mine! <sniff> Cidney at NBS agreed to give me an artist credit for one month so that I could write this article, way back in April. Hopefully she’ll forget to downgrade my account.
FeaturesThe screenshot above shows a dozen “key metrics” of my choosing. It’s an easy way to focus on what’s important to me, and not get bogged down in all those numbers. So for example, I could replace Rdio plays with Vine loops, Last.fm shouts, or unique pageviews of my website.
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(Updated Sept 29, 2014)