Tagged: diy

Double Your Income... No Really

**Guest post written by Ari Herstand, a DIY singer-songwriter from Los Angeles, CA with 500+ shows under his belt, as featured in his blog Ari's Take. 

 

When you're on tour, merch is your #1 income generator. This can't be stressed enough. Believe it. Bands stress over their guarantees and door splits and turnouts. If you want to survive financially with your music you must understand the importance of merch sales and approach it as such. I've played shows where 10 people showed up, but they had such an amazing time and I stressed the merch to them that all 10 people bought something averaging about $15. That's $150 in merch sales. That's good for any night.

How do you achieve success as an indie artist? Enjoy baking and sell your bread.

 

"Major labels didn't start showing up, really, until they smelled money, and that’s all they're ever going to be attracted to is money – that's the business they're in – making money. My idea was: Enjoy baking, sell your bread, people like it, sell more. Keep the bakery going because you're making good food and people are happy.” – Ian MacKaye (Fugazi, Minor Threat, etc.)

Prolific: Rewards of the DIY ethos, and indie innovation, Canadian-style

 

Life is full of unrealistic expectations. Just ask Toronto-based rapper, Prolific. Today he is the archetype of the modern DIY musician: active in the local scene, nurturing collaborations on his own and other artist’s releases, and energetically investing in the power of social media. But, like many, he started with nothing but the youthful fantasy of being discovered, and whisked to notoriety based on the most menial of effort.

On Demand Printing Outlets

 

Sure, we all know that releasing a CD allows you to take your music from the stage to the hands, homes, and ears of your fans. And having a cd with your best work on hand is also crucial when meeting and networking with a talent buyer, producer, or agent. But what if you don't have the budget to print a large run of your album, or even a place to store the inventory? Well you've got options...check out these on demand printing outlets so you can print just the number of cds you need, when you need them.

Dave Grohl's SXSW Keynote Speech: The Complete Text

**Courtesy of rollingstone.com. 

 

Dave Grohl delivered the keynote speech at SXSW this year and hit on some very important topics for the independent music community and the DIY ethic. "The musician comes first." says Grohl. Read the complete speech text here...

Constant Creation - Guest Post by Bob Lefsetz

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

 

"We live in a direct to consumer society. Amazon knows it. Google knows it. Apple knows it. But somehow musicians don't know it. They want someone else to do the work for them. They don't want to take risks, they don't want to fail, they don't want to try new ways. The new way is you bond to your fan. If he or she doesn't think you're living in their house, you're doing it wrong."

You Don't Find A Manager, A Manager Finds You

**Guest post written by Ari Herstand, a DIY singer-songwriter from Los Angeles, CA with 500+ shows under his belt, as featured in his blog "Ari's Take". 

 

"A manager's biggest asset is not being you. A manager talking his band up will get a much better response than the singer talking his band up. Even if the manager is the lead singer's brother (Imagine Dragons)...You need to be kicking ass on your own BEFORE any manager will want to represent you."

Musings From The Tail

**Guest Post by Bret Alexander of The Badlees and Saturation Acres.

 

Music doesn’t sell in the numbers it once did, but a bigger variety is being consumed. There is so much more to choose from. Everyone is splintering into thousands of little niches. So your best course of action as a creator is to nurture and take care of the core people who are really passionate about what you do...[And]...

 

You have to do everything yourself. And that means booking, teaching lessons, playing shitty gigs for cash, producing, making your own records, working in a music store, etc. etc. You can’t specialize anymore...

Survival of the Indie Artist

**Guest post by Stephen Wrench of Musik and Film as featured in their blog.

 

The sooner that indie artists realize that they are on their own in this world of 360 deals and pay-to-play radio, the better off they will be. There will be no major label knocking on your door offering riches and fame just because you’re good. If you are good, you better be very smart and be savvy in business and the art of promotion if you want to succeed in the new world of being an independent artist.

How to Increase Merch Sales

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

 

When first breaking into a new market, even the best promotion can often yield poor results in attendance because you have yet to build name recognition in that area. Other times, you are forced to play for exposure alone just to get your leg in the door at one of the local music venues. In either case, merchandise sales can not only get you to the next show and pay for gas, but also allow you to continue and finish the tour without going bankrupt.

Social Media: The Best Friend A Musician Never Wanted

**Guest post written by Chris Lee of The Shakers, a melodic high energy Rock act from Los Angeles, CA. 

 

"I would like to go on record and state that, with every fiber of my being, I vehemently HATE social networking. I hate it. I hated Myspace. I hate Facebook. I hate Google+. I hate Tumblr. I hate Twitter. I hate Pintrest. I hate Instagram. And god help your mortal soul if you so much as THINK about sending me something on frikkin LinkedIn. Unfortunately for myself, and hard working musicians everywhere, the fantasy of being discovered over night came and went with my TMNT feetie pajamas as did almost the entirety of what I once (thought I) knew of the music industry."

Radio Airplay Myths

**Guest post by Stephen Wrench of Musik and Film as featured in their blog.

 

If you want to get a hit in the US, you will have to play the game. Meaning - you better have some very deep pockets to play in this high stakes game. You will need to hire a team of promoters to maneuver your song into the charts. This team will need to be in a position to grease the airplay wheels to get your song played. Call it payola, call it big business, call it what you want. But the bottom line is -- unless you have a million dollars to drop into your single you are not going to get a hit record in the US.

Blasko Talks About the Touring Business

 

If you want to be in a rock and roll band, touring is going to be your biggest asset. It's not all glitz and glam and it's definitely not for for everyone, but if you're anything like Blasko, Ozzy Bassist and manager of The Black Veil Brides, you'll enjoy the struggle and learn on the fly along the way. Check out this bit of Blasko discussing the ups and downs of the touring business and what you should expect when getting involved.

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...

When should an indie band take on a booking agent, as opposed to booking their own shows?

**Q&A with Eva Alexiou-Reo of FATA Booking Agency.

 

This is a great question! I feel that a band should take on a booking agent after they have booked a few tours themselves or if they have a high demand by fans to be in national markets. Since an agent's job is to find and route live engagements, then it should be during a time when there is something going on in those markets...

What To Charge For Merch

**Guest post written by Ari Herstand. It originally appeared on Ari's Take.

 

"It was a great show [Low Cut Connie at the Echo]. So naturally I stopped by the merch table afterwards to get their vinyl and a T...when she told me the price for the vinyl and T I thought there must be some kind of mistake. $27?! For both? No way. They were charging $13 for the vinyl and $14 for the T. Way too low!..."

Shows: Which Ones to Play, When to Play Them, and Why

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

 

"...we thought it would be important to talk about the different types of shows out there and give you a comprehensive understanding of the types of shows you should be taking at certain stages in your career depending on what city you are in and depending on the timing. Yea, that’s a mouthful, but stick with us and you*ll get what we mean..."

Do It Your Fucking Self...the blog

**Guest post written by Ashley E. Norton, a Colorado based nomad, currently touring across the country with her Indie duo, Whitherward.

 

"I've been a professional singer-songwriter for about 10 years now...and I've been screwed over many times...I moved to Music City 5 years ago to hire a team of people to do the behind-the-scenes work I was so tired of doing my fucking self. Like many of us, I wanted to solely focus on my craft. This, is the only mistake I've ever made..."

7 Signs Your Grind is Finally Paying Off

**Guest post written by Brandon Waardenburg, founder of Apparatus (an artist accelerator providing music advice and coaching to independent artists and DIY musicians) as well as a musician, songwriter, "musicpreneur" and consultant.

 

"The luster of performing can die pretty quickly when it becomes old...Truthfully, any activity can turn into a grind no matter how intentional we are about keeping focused..." Here are some signs that you are on the right track.

Independently Creating Video Content For Your Band

**Guest post by Hank & Cupcakes, Brooklyn based Indie/Pop/Rock duo.

 

All of us are aware of how important the visual aspect of our music is for promoting, exposing and marketing our band. It seems that many indie bands are afraid of making their own videos mainly because there's a common mythological assumption that it is very complicated, expensive and technically demanding to create this kind of content, so many bands don't even try to explore this territory which is today as accessible to us as the audio recording field is...

Major vs. Indie: What really happens when you sign a record deal

**Guest Post written by Dave Cool of Bandzoogle.com.

 

"...it can be difficult as an independent musician to determine the best path to take for long-term growth and success. Ultimately this crossroads is met with three separate avenues: DIY (Do It Yourself), Independent Label, or Major Label. There are pros and cons to each avenue, which should be weighed carefully against what type of musician / band you are and how you expect to see growth."

I Got a Major Label Meeting and Nothing Happened

**Guest post written by Gaetano, a NYC based Singer, Songwriter, Producer, and Guitarist, as featured in his blog and on Digital Music News.

 

"At this point, we all know someone trying to “make it” in the music business. Thanks to the world of technology we live in, the industry has easily become over-saturated with thousands, if not millions, of aspiring singers, producers, songwriters, musicians, DJs, etc. Anyone with a smartphone and a Wi-Fi connection can simply fill out their social media bio and give themselves whatever title they wish to be called. With too much supply and not enough demand, it’s no wonder that so many are getting discouraged while in pursuit of their dreams..."

How To Make A Music Video On A Tiny Budget

**Guest post written by Ari Herstand. It originally appeared on Ari's Take.

 

"I just released a music video. It cost me exactly $0 to make and it looks pretty darn awesome if I do say so myself. Well, I can say so because I didn't make it. I kind of had nothing to do with it - other than writing and recording the song of course (and showing up and shooting the thing). So how did this happen?"

The Tyranny of the Primal Ear

**Guest Post by Bret Alexander of The Badlees and Saturation Acres.

 

"Over the past few months, I have written several entries about diversification in the music business. You have to be able to do it all to keep your calendar full. Write, play, record, teach, etc, etc…… it takes a wide array of skills to fill your calendar these days. But here is the rub: Once the calendar is full, that’s when the real soul searching begins. Ironically, the real gold is in being a samurai at something. That’s how you get to the next level. A master of one, not a master of none."

4 Tips For DIY Drum Recording

**Guest Post by Mahea Lee of Soundfly.

 

"For many musicians, the idea of recording a demo can seem a bit daunting, especially when taking a do-it-yourself approach. Fortunately for those of us who need a bit of guidance, Black Lodge Recording’s Vishal Nayak has helped the Soundfly team create a brand new course, full of tips for efficient, effective, and stress-free demo production."