Principles of Playing an Excellent Show

**Guest post written by Joshua Powell, singer-songwriter, DIY musician, and frontman for Joshua Powell and the Great Train Robbery, as featured in his blog Fearsome Folk.


"I met with my old friend Sal at Panera one morning. He’s a young and aspiring musician and was willing to look past my greasy hair and elbow-holed flannel to ask for advice on getting his foot into the door of the independent music community....As I fumbled to explain to Sal what I believed makes our show (or any show) one of superior quality, I realized that I could distill most of the factors into four easily digestible elements...and I believe them to be..."

The Visual Aspect of Music

**Guest post written by Danny Schmitz, an indy musician, writer, and connoisseur of all things Mexican food.


"Being a musician, it has taken me a long time to accept the fact that music is actually quite visual. To be honest, I’ve always intrinsically known this, but have never really realized it. There is no disputing that people associate their favorite artists with their best-known songs, but it is almost always accompanied by a visualization of the artist."

Renman U-Lesson #5: Organizing Your Business


In week #5 of RenmanMB's Insider's Guide to Today's Music Business, the lesson looked at the key contracts and agreements you will likely come across if you are doing something big in the music business. Among many topics covered are the 4 key agreements: Band Agreements, Management Agreements, Recording Agreements and Music Publishing Agreements. To help teach this session of Renman U, Renman enlisted Gary Gilbert Partner and Co-Chair of Entertainment & Media for one of top entertainment and media legal firms in today's business.

4 Ways To Get Your Band Booked When The Booker Ignores You

**Guest post by Chris "Seth" Jackson, a bass guitarist and composer and founder of


OH no! I can't get a show! I keep sending out booking emails that never get replied to. What do I do?...

Online Marketing Strategies For Musicians

**Guest post written by Brandon Swift, musician and creator of


When marketing a band online, a musician should create a website that lets the band accept countless payment methods, establish numerous pages on the social media networks, encourage people to write positive reviews about the group and consistently post ads for the band in local directories. So how do you do this?...

Making Great Music


Every artist can put on a great performance if there are enough lights, effects, and production, but what really makes an artist stand out is a great song to back it all up. In class 7 of Renman MB's Introduction to the Music Business, Renman explains the process of how a great song comes to life and enlists the help of Grammy award winning producer and good friend, Brendan O'Brien, to share his thoughts on how it all goes down. On this episode, we discuss everything from the elements that make a song stand out to advice on how to find a great producer.

YouTube Marketing for Bands and Musicians

**Guest post written by Brandon Seymour, musician, SEO analyst, web designer, and social media marketer.


Independent bands and musicians in particular stand to gain a great deal of exposure if they put the time and effort into creating quality, engaging videos and marketing themselves on popular video platforms like YouTube, Vimeo and others of the like...Plain and simple, videos work. It's just a matter of figuring out how they can work for you...

It's All of Your Business

**Guest post written by Samuel Mahler, marketing manager, booking agent, and band member of "The Electric Lights".


One of the major problems that has plagued today’s music world is the bad stigma placed on bands’ lack of “Professionalism”. This seemingly simple word that should be self-explanatory has been the death of many a band. Why is this, you may ask?...

I Love the New Folks at Home! (with apologies to Stephen Foster)

**Guest post written by Salina Sias. Salina is a Brooklyn based singer-songwriter with a deeply personal folk-inflected vision and serves on the board of directors of Women In Music. This piece was originally posted on


"I just got back from the 26th annual Folk Alliance International (FAI) music conference in Kansas City, MO...They [music conferences] can be overwhelming, as I can attest after having just dragged my butt back to Brooklyn from Kansas City. So, the generous soul that I am, I thought I’d share my experiences and advice after my first trip ever to a “folk-music conference.”"

The Manager


Finding the right manager might be the most important decision an artist makes after they've picked their musical partners. But finding a great manager is not easy. In this lesson of Renman U, the Renman talks about why to hire a manager, what a manager does, what qualifications you should be looking for in a manager, what personality traits to look for, when to get a manager, how to connect with a manager, and about the artist manager relationship.

How Do I Follow Up With a Venue That Hasn’t Returned My Email?

**Guest post written by Joy Ike, creator of and Independent Musician, as featured on


THE QUESTION: I have a question that I hope someone here can help me with. After you’ve sent an email and you don’t hear back for a week or two, is it ok to resend the same email in the case that it got lost in the shuffle? I don’t want to come off as being pushy, but I want to make sure that they actually received the email.


THE ANSWER: Art, this is a really great question that I think a lot of people struggle with. It’s hard to know how to follow up on a email when you don’t know if it was ever read, if it reached the correct person, or if the receiver purposely didn’t get back to you. So we’ve got a few suggestions on what you can do...

How to Make Money in the Music Biz

**Guest post written by David Priebe of Green Room Music Source, a full time agent/artist manager and also part time instructor of music business at the Institute of Production & Recording in Minneapolis.


"It official- it’s now impossible to make money in the music industry." There are scads and scads of articles and commentary that sound a lot like that statement. What you hear much less about are the people who completely disagree with that sentiment. I’m in that camp, and I’m going to tell you why...

How to Submit to Pandora (Without a CD)

**Guest post written by Ari Herstand, a DIY singer-songwriter from Los Angeles, CA with 550+ shows under his belt. Originally written for Digital Music News and featured in his blog Ari's Take.


"Pandora Radio just quietly updated their submission process to allow anyone to submit music for consideration WITHOUT a physical CD." Here's how...

Treating Your Career as a Business & Thinking Like an Entrepreneur


Looking for some great advice on the music business? Simple: Think like an entrepreneur and treat your career as a business. If you're serious about music as a career - not just a hobby - than you've got to think like a small start up company. Use the resources around you and be creative. Check this clip out and hear the Renman explain a bit further on how to do this.

# I Respect Music (.org)

**Guest post written by Blake Morgan, artist, musician, record producer, and founder and owner of ECR Music Group.


"The Washington beltway turned a deaf ear to artists' rights until one guy, one activist, wrote the words "I Respect Music" on an index card and showed it to the world. Now, thousands upon thousands of music makers and music lovers are standing together and making history by adding their names to a petition that is not only shaking up the music world, it's shaking up Congress."

Building Your Professional Team


If you're going to do something great in this music biz, you're going to need some help. But that's easier said than done. Finding the right qualified people to help you takes time, networking, and knowing what and who to look for. In this clip, the Renman talks about the players that make up an artist's professional team and how you can find one when you're starting out as an artist.

Spotify or Physical CDs: What's better for the music creators?

**Guest post written by Danny Schmitz, an indy musician, writer, and connoisseur of all things Mexican food.


"I had a conversation via email with a friend from LA, and another friend living in Singapore. All three of us are musicians and frequently talk about the current state of the music industry. We were talking about the streaming music subscription service Spotify..."

Building Your Website: A Step-By-Step Guide for Bands and Musicians

**Guest Post from


Bandzoogle has released a free eBook called "Building Your Website: A Step­-By-­Step Guide for Bands and Musicians”. Whether you’re building a new website, or looking to improve your current one, the eBook offers tons of tips to help you make an effective website for your music.

Will I Get Sued on YouTube? Licensing a Cover Song

**Guest post written by Chris "Seth" Jackson, a bass guitarist and composer and founder of


"My band is recording a cover song, Baby Got Back by Sir Mix-A-Lot. Since it’s a cover song, I need to get the rights to use it. I found a really easy and affordable way to license the music! But, I also found a giant and annoying snag in regards to YouTube. A snag so big it makes me a bit resentful of the music industry’s antiquated ways."

To Sell or Not to Sell? - Why Giving Your Music Away Can Pay Off

**Guest post written by Brandon Swift, musician and creator of


Music marketers and artists who have come after The Grateful Dead have been trying to emulate this marketing model since the group's success with it. The model casts a wide net of influence for any artist or group hoping to make a serious mark in the music industry. Here are some reasons giving away your music works so well and has the power to help those who are willing to make a considerable profit.

The Music Industry Is Not Static


In this Renman MB throwback clip, the Renman sits down with Jay Boberg, long time record business heavy hitter. Jay reminds us that truly good art can be good business if the art is the focus and not used solely for exploitation. Among other gems of knowledge, Jay leaves us with a great quote about today's business: "The music industry is a river, not a lake. It's moving."

How To Make It: Guest Post by Bob Lefsetz

**Guest Post by Bob Lefsetz of The Lefsetz Letter.


Your ability to play exceeds social networking. Your chops are more important than your social skills. Frequently the best musicians are near mute, they speak through their music, which brings adoring fans to them. First learn how to play. Everything else comes next...

Inbound Marketing and SEO for Bands and Musicians

**Guest post written by Brandon Seymour, musician, SEO analyst, web designer, and social media marketer.


What I find really interesting though is that some niches act as if they are immune to the constant pressures of the modern day marketer. In my experience, one of the biggest offenders is the music industry - specifically independent artists. I've been working in SEO and inbound marketing for about four years now and since I've always had a passion for music, I wanted to take some time to discuss some simple, highly actionable steps that musicians can take to start marketing their band like a boss.

When Am I Ready to Tour?

**As featured in Indie on the Move's Touring Tips Section.


If you are considering going on tour, there are a few prerequisites that must be met in order for you to make everything happen...

Record Labels: Recording, Marketing, & Promotion


Though their business has changed, Record labels are an essential part of today's music business. Even if you're still far away from landing a record deal, it's helpful to know what record labels do, their different departments, and how you can get your foot in the door with them. But what exactly does a record label do and how can it help you? Watch this video to find out!