Since streaming became the new norm, overtaking CD sales and now paid downloads of artists music, it’s now become more evident how streaming and music playlists are actually hurting artists and devaluing who’s behind the music.
But does anyone care?
I wish I could say they do, but it seems that every time someone say’s ‘Playlist’, artists are jumping on board to add themselves to one or more of the millions of playlists that exist only to be added to the needle in the haystack.
While I’m not totally against the playlist, the only real value of getting onto a playlist is that it’s another form of promotion for the artist. However, unless you’re making it on playlists such as ‘Discover Weekly’ and the likes of, or even those who go to the extra effort of promoting their playlists, the unknown artists are again just hurling themselves out to the 1 million playlist followers in the “HOPE” they are either listened to, discovered or streamed thousands of times to be heard, noticed and perhaps earn a few measly dollars in return for months or even years of work.
Am I the only one, who still doesn’t get this so called ‘Common Sense’. Or is it the case of the herd just following what everyone else is doing?
Let’s face it, to stand up and out as an artist, your song has to be better than good. Otherwise you’re just another artist/musician in a list of songs played in amongst other artists whom the average listener may like the sound of, but for the life of them, couldn’t even tell you the name of the artist. (Unless, as mentioned before, you do stand out from the crowd encouraging the listener to actually ‘make an effort’ to find out who the artist is)
Playlists are great for…well, having a playlist to listen to of course, but my concern as stated above goes beyond the devaluated artist and musician. It reduces conversation, opinions and discussion. It simply becomes a one-dimensional tool that does not involve point of views about the music, education and discussion…you know, the social aspect music used to be known for. When people used to go out and see a band/artist, when they used to listen to radio conversation about a song or artist, when people could read and respond to an article about an artist.
The unfortunate aspect about social media is that if anyone voices an opinion in a constructive way, then many take offence, reducing the art of real conversation, therefore not really helping an artist or anyone in that matter. We have become far too sensitive for honest discussion with those who disagree or simply not like what they hear or read as the need to block others or make threats.
Artists who don’t succeed on making it on a so-called radio show or online blog site, fail to keep up with those shows or sites in finding out why? They do not follow or gracefully accept tips to improve, learn more from those sites who offer advice and freebies, instead, they just keep moving to find a place that will accept them, often resulting in a playlist.
The other end of the scale comes down to the effort required by an artist to do what’s necessary to be included on a radio show or blog site, placing them in the ‘to hard’ basket.
There’s a great saying, which reminds me to follow my intent;
|‘Do What’s Right, Not What Is Easy’.
I usually like to think outside that box, and often see where the masses gravitate and ask why? I would look at the world population of over 7 billion people with one million plus listening to playlists. For those who are in radio or online magazines, you would be excused for thinking playlists and streaming are killing us.
Sure, the radio, blog/magazine may have their own playlists along with their online presence, simply to provide for those in the one million demographic, but let’s not forget about the 6.9 billion other people.
If blogs and radio are seeing the word ‘Playlist’and ‘Streaming’everywhere, then why not find a different audience who appreciate the music and the artists behind the music.
If you are in radio, or an online blog, I would stay; artists will ask themselves after a few short years, ‘why did I only focus all my energies on the playlist’? Everything moves in circles.
Time will tell, and to me, the most important aspect of music is not just the music, but the connection. Otherwise you are an artist who is just hurled in with the masses who come and go like every other artist on a playlist.
After all, my intent when Music Talks started, was to help artists stand out from the crowd, and I’ll do my best to continue to do so.
There are several things you can do to be a good vocalist. One of one of the most vital points to do, is to engage an excellent singing teacher. However, locating a good vocal singing teacher can be at sometimes be complicated.
Many vocal singing teachers actually invent their very own vocal singing system and also methods to educate their pupils. Each method as well as vocal singing strategy will usually consist of vocal workouts, singing techniques, abilities and ideas.
To add to the complication, there are several books and details, as well as occasionally false information you can discover in the collections, music shops and also online. One of the most frustrating point is that most of these products as well as books, feature contradictory info.
With so much information, you could be learning vocal singing techniques that conflict with each other and this could be extremely damaging to your singing support system as well as occasionally, the damage done may be irreparable.
Numerous amazing singing professionals were damaged because of learning incorrect vocal singing strategies.
Take a look at babies. They breathe naturally with their diaphragm and they can toss their powerful voices throughout an area when they cry to get your attention. Exactly how can they project their voice so naturally?
This is due to the fact that nature has actually given us the all-natural singing system to sing well and also powerfully. It is when we adopt bad vocal habits as we got older that the all-natural capabilities to be a great vocalist is lost and needs to be rekindled by great and appropriate vocal exercises as well as singing ideas.
One challenge to good singing, is to incorporate straight forward yet powerful singing strategies with solid and real emotions. Effective feelings can break down a voice that is not trained with solid vocal singing skills as well as methods as a foundation. Good vocal singing strategies is the structure to build the psychological aspect of singing.
As an example, if you pour out all of your emotions in a song, you will understand that something does not seem right in the singing sound you produced. Take note of your internal feelings and you will recognise what appears appropriate or incorrect.
Effective singing requires not just the will and ability to share your feelings in a track, yet additionally the appropriate singing strategy as well as abilities.
Since emotions are transported via your singing support system, your system needs to be fully established for the feeling to come via powerfully as well as convincingly.
To become a good vocalist, you should build your voice and also the support system that creates that voice. With a great mastery of your voice mechanism, your own vocal singing style and analysis of songs will certainly be much more effective and boosted. You do not have to be too concerned in the early stages, regarding seeming like a copy of various other excellent vocalists when you perform.
Yes, there are born voices, but there are no birthed artists. Every single vocalist must establish his/her own specific abilities to be an exceptional artist.
“It is not simply exactly how great a singing voice you have.
It is what you can do with your specific singing resources that is the essence of a great vocalist.”
Having singing lessons or online singing lessons and finding a good singing teacher either with online singing lessons to help you hone your vocal singing skills to excellence is necessary if you intend to be an excellent singer.
Chris Leonpresented a show which featured a special about vocals, training and recording, where several singers including myself talked about their singing and gave worthwhile tips to help other singers. You can listen here.
During the past 35 years I have also trained at the Conservatorium Of Music, Jazz College and contemporary singing as well as performing and recording. Through this long path, I have found ways in which you can benefit greatly with a combination of great technique and finding your own voice and style with different ways you can sing. You can find more info on my course here.
How to Choose A Website/builder and Host For Indie Artists
How to Choose A Website/builder and Host For Indie Artists
When it comes to choosing a website for your music it can be quite complexing at the beginning. From choosing a trustworthy host, a theme or even domain all come into play.
From my experience, there has been quite a few hosts and trials which I’ve tried and tested and it wasn’t until Music Talks grew to an extent, I tried to implement idea’s and found it was very difficult to do so, resulting in the move to a different host and re-building the entire site again.
Now, many would say, “why couldn’t you just upload the FTP file across”. Simply because it was not at all possible.
Why You Need A Website
But let’s get back to the easier solutions for an indie artist. An artist should have at least a basic website as their base. This should be their space, their place, their own little piece of the net in which they own to send fans and business personnel.
Your website should feature your latest music, all your social media links which are easy to see, a newsletter subscription, contact details, pictures of you, and video if you have any.
These are the basics and should be kept up to date!
You can even have a private portal for PR purposes only so you can include your latest music and PR release for download to radio, management or other business industry professionals.
The easiest and cheapest solution without having your own domain name as a stand-alone domain name, is either Wix or Weebly. (you can have your name in the URL, but it will be set up as a sub-domain) This means that your name will be at the beginning of the URL and end with either Wix or Weebly. (See Example here:https://traceyarbon.wixsite.com/musictalks-xyz-old/home)
Wix or Weebly providers require little to no coding experience and provide a drag and drop builder. Once you learn and know where everything is, it is quite easy and very fast to just get in there and do what you need; well at least that’s the aim of it, and should be that way.
I did find by using Wix, that it took quite a long time to upload pictures and quite often during my experience in the editor, the site editor would freeze. (however, this could be due to the fact that the site just became too big and I was on it every day.)
Wix only offers the plugins they have on offer and nothing outside, unless you have coding skills. And I did find that by using Wix, the SEO was affected. I believe this is also the case with Weebly.
However, it is very good for a simple site for artists at very little cost.
If you do like to purchase your own domain name, I would suggest not to purchase from Wix itself. Wix is locked in with Network Solutions, which means, should you wish to re-locate your domain with a different host, you are unable to transfer your domain immediately. If you do wish to transfer your domain, it takes 60 days, which will mean your site will be offline for that period of time. You can point your domain to your new host if you do not wish to take 2 months off the web.
The other disadvantage is with Wix, is that you cannot download your FTP, which consists of all of your content. This means your blogs, pictures etc. can not be downloaded all at once in one file. You have to copy and paste every single article into your new site or onto a word document and be super organized.
You can download your pictures one at a time.
So, if you plan on building your site into a huge blog site or E-commerce site, I would not suggest Wix.
However, I do stress that it is perfect for the simple few pages of an artist for their music, gig dates, have a base place for fans or business personnel and to sell your music directly from Wix. You will need a Paypal account set up for this as well.
If you do want to purchase your domain, I would recommend Namecheap, Bluehost or Go Daddy. There are quite a few to choose from.
Namecheap and Go Daddyalso have website builders available for free as well, with hosting at very good rates and support is average.
To Upgrade to one of the premium packages for Wix, which allows your own domain, begin at $10usd a month but does not give much bandwidth or any e-commerce features, nor your own email. Email accounts need to be purchased separately and can be done through Wix, but is a G-Suite email account.
A domain name alone will cost you around $15USD a year from a separate host if you choose to purchase this outside of Wix.
The other options are WordPress. So many options will have your head spinning,
However, to build a simple site for an artist, you can set this up with a simple WordPress theme for free.
You will need hosting and purchase your own domain name. Using WordPress has so many options available and it is nice and fast.
The down side of WordPress, is if you are always needing to add content on a daily basis it can take a bit longer, and you need to be on top of understanding more about certain aspects of how a site works. But hey, with so many using it around the world, it can’t be too hard.
If you are using WordPress for a large site, you need to keep an eye on your plugins and their updates, as they can break your site. Word press hosts also usually have unlimited email accounts and sub-domains included in their plans. Shared hosting is the normal option and is absolutely fine to use for sites that are not huge businesses.
Other options areSquarespace, which looks amazing, but I think are quite expensive after looking into it, but super easy to use, fast, have great themes and looks to be able to do it all. However, you will need to pay for all the bells and whistles.
For a simple artist website, you would be looking at paying approx. $23USD a month if paid annually on the Basic Commerce package, which includes a checkout page should you wish to sell merchandise. Squarespace does not include emails either and needs to be purchased in addition to paying for hosting.
Bandzoogle looks like a fantastic option for artists and if you are looking at paying a little bit and get a lot, then this looks to be perfect. Prices here:https://bandzoogle.com/pricing
Bandzoogle don’t require coding skills. Email account is not included and to be paid annually in addition to hosting fees.
I could keep going, but it really does depend on how much you can afford to pay, and what you need on your site.
My recommendations from my own personal experience with website builders – in order from Free to paid purely for independent artists are:
Again, it does depend how much control you want over your site. As you will see, many sites with builders do not include your own emails and have to be purchased separately, so the cost can add up.
When using word press, as mentioned above, you will only need to pay for the hosting, any paid plugins (but there are many for free), and if the host does not offer a SSL certificate (which is recommended), you will need to pay for that. Check the hosting packages and what it includes. Word Press can end up being the cheapest option, but requires a bit more work.
If you want to save money and have your own domain with emails and subdomains, I would highly recommend using WordPress. You can also update and change themes. You are in full control.
Becoming a professional musician is a long journey that takes a lot of different skills. While creating quality music is the foundation, being able to promote the songs you created is critical. There are many online tools that promise to help you along the way, but it takes resourcefulness and dedication to pave your way to success.
We recently came acrossDrooble – a market network for musicians, where artists monetize their music skills, purchase useful services and receive genuine feedback for their songs. This is our short list of three things we consider worth checking out if you want to boost your music career:
Become part of a strong music community
Strong music communities are often the launch pads of many successful artists. Just think of Seattle and the grunge music or the Deep South and blues music. Numerous opportunities arise each time you treat someone as a potential collaborator, rather than a competitor. And while nowadays you are more likely to become part of an online music community, the same principles apply. Usually the most active members of the community will be the first to hear your new songs or demos, introduce you to industry professionals or give you a recommendation for your next gear purchase. Music communities is where you find loyal supporters for your music and connections to grow your career.
Drooble is a global community of independent musicians that stimulates collaboration and engagement. Music creators are rewarded with a virtual currency called Karma for participating in discussions and giving feedback to others. Once earned, the points can be spent on various promotion tools which are normally paid with money on other music platforms. Today Drooble has over 70,000 independent artists actively exchanging ideas, sharing experience and supporting each other.
1. Get honest feedback for your songs from fellow artists
No matter if you’re an established artist or a rising one, sometimes you spend so much time on a song that you stop hearing it properly. That’s when a pair of fresh ears can be really helpful, especially if they belong to a fellow musician. Constructive music feedback is one of the best ways to evaluate what you need to further improve on your finished song or work in progress.
Drooble Song Reviews service provides musicians with written general impressions and recommendations for improvement, along with various emotional and analytical responses
for the track they have submitted. Artists can also get deeper insights into key areas like production, songwriting and audience analytics. All organized in a beautiful song report. Such service helps musicians get creative motivation and understand how their music is perceived.
Make a strong first impression with industry professionals
Electronic Press Kit is the best way to create a powerful
impression with venuеs, labels, promoters, journalists and other industry representatives. It’s а professional music resume containing all your content including discography, photos, videos, bio, upcoming gigs, testimonials, downloadable assets andmore.
Drooble’s Professional EPK turns your artistry into a masterpiece! Get your content presented in a cutting edge design web page that is easy to create and effortless to edit. Maintaining an up to date EPK is a prerequisite for getting more opportunities for gigs, endorsements and PR publications.
Boosting your career requires dedication and constant improvement. But if you take the right steps – success will follow. Now go explore what a music community can do for you, get your songs reviewed and build your professional music resume. Take these three steps and the next will unfold.
Why You’re Not Getting Engagement – let me entertain you
I often see artists who just post and push their new album or EP and not much more. Let me ask you a question. If an EP/album cover from an artist you have never heard of, continually pushed their picture of the cover in front of you, would it be enough for you to go and take a look and listen?
Have you scrolled through your Facebook feed and engaged or watched something funny and entertaining?
So given the fact that so many musicians/artists are mainly posting their music, don’t you think that the average person would just scroll past it, knowing it’s the same kind of content which is being posted day in and day out?
Lets look at business, perhaps a business that sells a product. If you hadn’t heard of that product and they just posted a picture up and an explanation of what it is, would it be enough for you to engage in? However, if you saw a video of this product in action, showing you exactly what this product does, and it interests you, would you check it out and would think about it for a while.
Now lets take a look at some of those highly engaging stories we see on Facebook quite often, you know the ones that have a moving slide like video with the story attached. The ones where the first line captures your attention leaving you sitting there wanting more, knowing more about this person and the story, and if you found yourself watching the whole thing, you then find yourself sharing it. Am I right?
So, what other content can you create as an artist to create interest? Lets just put our latest music release aside for a moment and focus on the ‘SOCIAL’ aspect of social media.
As an artist you want to be known and seen preferably by those people who like and buy the major artists. You want to be able to jump up and down and say, ‘hey, look at me’, my music is just as good. Will they stop at your post of you music not really knowing who you are. Or do they stop at an engaging story that perhaps sparks their attention?
I don’t know if you’ve ever heard the marketing term, ‘Content is king’, but I’m here to tell you, it is the content that will bring them to you,…… or not.
I mentioned in one other article that video is or actually already has taken over as opposed to a stand alone picture. So what does an artist do? You can read that post here.
Firstly, get your Instagram stories and Snap Chat going and create stories of what you do behind the scenes, this could be going out for a walk, being stranded in a carpark and having to get your car towed away, (that was me only last week) posting you decorating your Christmas tree etc. It can be anything, but not just your music.
People like to be entertained and they like to see different things, they like a ‘SHOW’, so put on a show.
Use every possible opportunity to create content. (It doesn’t have to be with an expensive camera, your phone will do the job just fine.)
Birthday’s, Christmas, Easter and what ever other celebration is going on within your country or globally, create your own unique content around it.
If you don’t celebrate Christmas, then perhaps other places around the world would like to know what you do, what do celebrate?
Incorporate some Christmas cheer with recording a Christmas carol with your own spin on it, and place it up on YouTube and share it around on your social media channels, record your story of you buying your Christmas presents or video, and have your own music just playing in the background while you talk to people.
Now don’t you think that people are more likely to comment or say something about the really ugly fairy you placed on top of your tree? They would be more likely to comment and engage.
Share your story about your life on a video with the captions and photo’s of those life events as it brings people to the current time in your life. What you think is not relevant, others find fascinating. An interesting theory which I believe is similar to, ‘What is one man’s trash, is another man’s treasure’.
There are so many ways you can create content and use that to engage people outside your current circle and to help build your audience. See what the popular hashtag is going on twitter for the day, and find something you can post and record around that hashtag to create more engagement.
On Facebook, try a boosted post to a similar artist to yourself, even if you don’t like that artist, their audience may very well be yours too. But don’t post your music to begin with, post your story, post something that creates interest in which people can relate to. Funny, sad or interesting.
Scale yourself up, then on approximately the 5th post, post your music, but not an EP cover or a still.
Create an engaging video
When posting to Facebook, remember to place any ads with your correct objective. Do you want people to engage, or do you want to create lot of video views?
People don’t still quite understand why use the video views objective, when the video views objective doesn’t get the engagement…..I’ll tell you.
Video views are there to help you create your target audience and to be able to save all the people who watched your video, whether they liked and commented on it, or not.
Your following ads and posts can then be re-targeted back to those who watched your first ad.
I hope this very small explanation and ideas has helped demystify a few things for you.
There is a whole lot more as well, so start thinking outside the box and start entertaining people.
How to submit to music blogs, magazines and radio, and get heard
Before you go ahead and pump your music out to the world, take a good look at what you are offering.
Is your website up to date?
Do you have your social media accounts looking good with links that work?
In less than three lines, can you explain who you are, or have your latest most relevant music linked to all your socials?
These are only the starting points, but think about first impressions.
Make sure that when you upload anything on your YouTube channel that your sound is exceptional, not confused with music production.
If you have made a live performance video sitting in your living room sharing your most loved latest piece of art, before you even begin, be sure you are set up correctly. Grab a laptop and plug in a microphone directly into your music program, (i.e. Logic, Protools, Cubase, Garageband) to enable you a clearer sound.
Learn how to import your video and sound into a video/movie-making platform and sync it correctly.(iMovie is fine) Make it be seen that you have at least gone to some effort to be considered and somewhat serious about your music career.
Whatever you do, when you are asked for links to your channels from blogs and music magazines, please make sure there is something to hear and available to see.
Do not send anything with a blank page. If you don’t have anything on your YouTube channel to show, do not send that link in. After all, blogs have asked for those links to see you and hear your music.
How hard is it to find your latest songs or any of your music for that matter?
If we are having to poke around your website trying to find some music, I guarantee you won’t have anyone else surfing around your site with frustration building and wanting to spend anymore time on your site trying to find what you most love doing. YOUR MUSIC
It’s extremely annoying and very unprofessional trying to get the attention of music blogs and radio when the artist is private messaging or has an automated message saying, ‘Yo, check out my music’. Not is it unprofessional, but it shows that you do not have the respect for others, including artsits’ or place any effort into wanting to have your music really listened to as this is seen as being lazy.
What makes you think those who are running blogs and radio have the time to CHECK you out in amongst those artists who have taken the time and effort to actually email and submit anything. After all, consider the amount of time it takes to sort through all the music from submissions alone.
And you want the blogs and radio to poke around trying to find your music?
Please research the blog and radio station you are submitting to. This means find out the style and genre radio are playing, the format, special events etc. Each radio station is different too, and each blog and music website is also different. We all have our own ways of doing things which make us unique from each other. After all, artists don’t like to be placed in a box and neither do publicatons, radio and websites.
Go to the actual website or radio site/station and find out if they have a #NewMusicFriday, or as in the case of Music Talks, we have a set format and if you were to notice and simply check out the pages, you will find explanations on the top of the pages informing you what its all about.
Do the same for radio and follow their protocols and procedures for a chance to be played. If the station plays mainly country music then why are you sending your rap mixtape?
This is obvious to every station and blog site when an artist has not really had a look at the site or station to understand or know what it’s about and what the protocol is.
Never assume anything…
And now to shake things completely upside down…..
If you have a great production yet your singing and music is so off key to the point of where melody cannot be recognised, please don’t send that link as your proudest masterpiece.
Think about how to submit….
If blogs don’t have a sign up form where you only have to insert answers (as with Music Talks) read what is required. Send them exactly what they are asking, (but not the blank YouTube channels and pages) If you don’t have certain things that are required and/or asked of, send something that shows you in the best possible light and let them know.
When sending press releases, bios, photo’s and tracks, word doc. files are fine, but for web, it is best to send jpg. files that are NOT huge!
For several reasons.
Large photo files slow down sites
Quite often they will not post on social media from the sites due to the enormous size.
There are many online sites which you can change the size of your photo’s.
Another really great way to send information is via dropbox or Google Drive with links with your word doc. and photo’s.
Word documents are preferable to PDF.
All the information, which is placed on websites still have to be copied and adjusted and this is much easier done with word documents.
Look at other really great avenues to help administer your package as well, such as LinkTree. https://linktr.ee/
This is a fantastic tool to use for many reasons, and I strongly suggest you take a look, as it does more than just provide your package to blogs, magazines and radio.
Last of all, see what other independent artists are doing and be honest with yourself. Be aware of what else is going on around you and what others are submitting.
Blogs and radio prefer not to play or have music placed on their sites that don’t cut the mustard.
Remember, this is also a reflection of the site and station playing and promoting music to people who want to find great music!
If you haven’t heard back from a blog or music magazine, don’t take it personally. They are either super busy trying to get back to those who sent music to them back a month ago.
If you’re music gets them super excited, you will hear from them very quickly.
I guess this also say’s two things which you need to keep in mind.
If you don’t hear from them straight away, then maybe your music or track that you submitted needs work. It doesn’t mean for you to give up. It simply means, be objective at your music. What’s so unique about YOUR music and WHY should everyone hear YOURS? Ask yourself these questions when you’re about to record your track first. And don’t try and fix it in the mix.
If you never hear from them, then your music needs work.
Keep in mind, music blogs, radio and magazines go through hundreds of emails a day with submissions. The one’s that stand out are the ones that are considered.
The emails that are friendly and professional with a howdy, how are you, and especially if our first name is in it, we think, cool, they know who runs this place, they have done their research or seen who interacts on social media. We then read them first. Funny about that. Why I hear you say???…it just shows us that you mean business and say’s a lot about who you are.
These tips among many more will be coming out shortly are now available in our brand new ‘Essential Indie Guide’ with real tips to guide artists with what goes on and what it entails to get your music heard.
Why is it so many talented artists don’t see the light? Why do so many artists release so much music without thought or learning more of what is required outside of the music.
As mentioned in various music tips on Music Talks I still fail to see so many artists not taking up opportunities to learn. Instead, they are releasing one single, EP or Album after another in the hope it sticks.
Firstly, lets eliminate the word ‘Hope’. ‘Hope’ won’t get you anywhere.
Music is just the beginning in this business. Key word; ‘Business’.
Before any artist plans to release anything, are they thinking about what happens after?
Let just say that an artist knows exactly which direction they’re heading; i.e. Rap with a twist of country. Sounds weird, sure, but this first point I’m making is how will your music separate you from the rest.
What’s your plan of attack, who is your audience and how will they learn about you?
Any plan of any musical release should encompass the strategy of how you are going to find new fans and expand. This should be sort through social media interaction well and truly before you release. (daily videos of you or your band, vlogging your journey etc.)
A marketing strategy should also be well and truly sort.
In fact, the average amount of time to put in place the whole package, (plan & strategy) and to work on it towards the release of your brand-new EP or Album could/should take anywhere from 3-6 months. Some may even take longer depending of the intention to tour.
Keeping in mind, some of the larger radio stations are eight weeks ahead of programming music into their playlists.
So why are artists just pumping out music as if they are feeding a flock of chickens?
Sure, the internet is a fast-paced environment, but you can’t allow that to dictate the quality of your music which becomes detrimental to how you are seen as a credible artist.
As mentioned above, there are very few artists who seem to take the time out to learn. To slow it down a notch and get their heads around things they don’t understand. I often hear artists say, ‘Oh, I don’t know how to do that’…well, learn.
Read and get as many ideas as you can. Think outside the box. There are no hard and fast rules as to how to market yourself, so think up something original and test it out on Instagram. Do all the testing before you release, but please, do not try and get attention to your music via social media to blogs and radio. So many are just too busy getting through the emails of the artists who have actually taken the time and effort out to email. So of course, we notice those who say they are serious and those who don’t take an extra step to make more effort than a social media shout out or pm.
Make mistakes, make a lot of mistakes and don’t worry about some old school hard-head believing making mistakes in public is a big fat ‘No No’.
Just do it! (my favourite saying btw) Stop thinking and procrastinating and do it!
If there are FREE eBooks on offer, grab them and learn. They’re not full of BS, and even if there are things in there that don’t quite gel, take what does, and keep moving to learn and try.
Listen to podcasts from experienced artists and business people who have succeeded and how they did it.. Listen to people who are doing it day in and day out. The people who are receiving hundreds of emails from PR, managers, labels and other artists about their music. What we see on a daily basis, what stands out, what doesn’t and what we see artists doing every single day.
Why listen to us? Because some of us pay very close attention to our stats, analytics and what the audiences are listening to, what they respond to well and what gets them excited.
After all, don’t you want to get an audience excited and to spread the word about your music?
How Do Indie Music Blogs and Radio Survive? A Harsh Reality
Over the past few years I’ve watched many indie music blogs and independent radio come and go like the wind.
We often hear about supporting the artists, which is exactly what these independent platforms do. The people behind the indie platforms sacrifice their health, families, lifestyle and quite often go into debt struggling to pay for the necessary costs associated with running such platforms.
MusicTalks recently ran a poll on twitter which asked the question;
‘What would you do if all the independently run blogs and radio disappeared? Who would you get to place your new releases, interviews etc. up?’
The response was an astounding 71% saying they would use social media and ads with 76% of those saying that they were willing to pay for ads.
This leaves me thinking; do artists really know how to create funnels, put in the amount of money it requires to gain attention?
It requires one person 17 times to see a product/artist/music (whatever it may be) before they actually click on an ad. Artists and businesses not only need to create trust with an audience, build their profiles and brands, but to constantly create engaging content that people can relate to. And even then, more often than not, this requires more time and cash.
Why do artists need to create more content? There’s a term in marketing called, ‘Banner Blindness’, sure it still exists, but now it’s ‘Video Blindness’. You need to cut through the noise and this has been mentioned in so many posts, articles and free eBooks which has been written as well as suggested on how to do this.
So, are artists willing to give their hard-earned cash to the big corporations that suck the life out of you unless you really know what you are doing?
Marketing agency’s charge businesses an enormous amount of money just to get their product seen. In a phone call to a marketing agency, they had quoted $10K to set up and run Facebook ads.
I thought this was an exorbitant amount, but since doing this for quite a while, I can see how this can add up to the $10K mark.
Sure, there are many people selling their idea’s, hacks and tools all over the net, but you first need to spend that money to get those tools, and even then, you realise you need to do more. More often than not, these lead to upgrades and click baits which you find yourself passing over more money, let alone the time and effort to learn how to do it properly. (these tools and idea’s I’ve given free with Music Talks eBooks)
Trust me, I know, I’ve paid for so many that ultimately at the end of the day, it all comes back to money and the amount of money that needs to be invested to make an impact can be substantial.
That being said, sure, there are hacks; but you have to keep hacking just like the indie blogs do for years every single day. Not to mention the amount of money just to place funnels and ads on social media platforms.
Over the past few years Music Talks has spent over $5K in ads and in total over $35K and counting just on Music Talks alone.
This is where so many miss the point.
The indie blogs and radio that haven’t bottomed out within 2 years have spent most of their lives pushing their platforms to gain the audience, audiences which are targeted to steer people to their platforms for the indie artists to be seen and heard.
So many artists think that it’s the blogs and radio that owe them and that the artists are entitled. Why do the blogs and radio owe the artists? After all, how many artists themselves would build platforms to help promote other artists other than themselves? (other than a handful I know of, including myself)
These indie blogs are exactly that, indie, meaning independent. That means that they are not supported financially by anyone. Some blogs have ads from google, (which don’t help at all & are becoming extinct), some blogs ask for donations or crowdfunded when times get tough, some try to sell things to help keep their blogs running and some make the tough decision to close down altogether. (BTW, we do have The Storethat appeals to everyone outside of the music scene as well, which was created to help fund Music Talks)
Running a blog or music website is so much more than what people often think, and it’s until people set up and start running one, they then realise what a mammoth task it really is. (just like anything is until you begin an endeavour)
After 30+ years as a singer, I can honestly say that it’s far easier writing and singing than it is running a blog.
e.g.: The hours for the past 3.5 years, the full run down of costs, sacrifices made with family, unpaid bills, no oven, no lights working rooms, major plumbing issues and sacrificing health needs and food are just a small example of cutting back and lifestyle choices made to enable supporting independent artists, including borrowing money from kids bank accounts etc.
This is just a picture of what it takes to make something work. This is an honest straight down the line black and white picture.
The typical response from the majority is ‘I can’t afford it’.
As in any business or anyone with a passion, those people who are serious will never say they can’t afford it when it comes to their business. They will always try to find a way.
If you’re an artist, and really do want to succeed, you need to do what’s right, not what is easy.
As in any business, you need to look at your lifestyle choices and cut back to put into what you believe is your true passion, wants and needs.
Instead of a holiday that costs money, go camping, eliminate going out to dinner, (a luxury for my family), instead of buying alcohol each week, cut back etc. you get the point.
Going out on long trips across town in the car is thought about carefully and only made unless It’s a necessary trip not to waste petrol.
The picture and perceived success of others making it look so easy, is quite often that; a perception. What looks easy on the outside, is often around the clock work behind the scenes.
Unless the indie blogs and radio don’t get any financial support, you will continue to see them fold and the ever-growing presence of large corporations holding the key in attempts to monopolise the whole industry while you continue to see the extinction of the indie blogs and radio.
Independents are similar to small business and need support to help them to continue to support the artists. They have already done and continue to do all the hard work it would take an artist to do working 24/7 sacrificing everything in the meantime. The indie scene, fans and artists collectively are much larger than the majors, so why aren’t we working on improving this?
Let’s also keep in mind, the longer a blog or station is around, the more support they receive, the larger it grows and builds its audience, the more the indie artists are seen.
If they kept running and can do so for more than 5 years, the chances of the independent music scene of breaking through to the people who are not aware of indie music is so much greater.
It’s until then, that if the indie music community (including Public Relations) unites and realises that if we all work together as a team, there is enormous potential for independent music to be in a position where each and every indie artist will be recognised and heard by more than the fans.
Music Talks recently introduced paid packages for feature artists due to this very reason of only covering the expenses, non-profit.
There were two reasons this was done. The obvious one mentioned, but also because I saw so many artists pay PR and marketing companies to get their music out there, with PR companies making huge profits from passing them on to the blogs and radio that actually promote them.
This left me thinking how much effect does the PR in itself actually have?
Music Talks latest analytics is over 20,000 visits a month and growing, with 54% Male and 46% Female, 34.6% in the 25-34 age group, 23% in 35-44 age group etc.
This is because Music Talks pushes out to more than social media, trying to respond to everyone on email and replies back personally, the use of other platforms to help get the word out about indie artists, including the stories being submitted to over 800+ other arts & culture blogs and so much more.
Music Talks also have PR packages now available for artists with the top package still being much cheaper than many PR agencies which includes contacting radio and other blogs with press releases that are absolutely guaranteed to get the artists story or press release to over400 other sites, (which provides the list of the sites with direct links to their articles for each site) as well as content creation and so much more with the cost of these packages only covering the costs of the applications needed to enable Music Talks to offer high quality content and submission fees for press distribution and not time.
When artists spend a massive amount of money on PR, what is that money buying them?
Sure, it is very difficult to keep track of every radio station who decides to play your track, and not too many will tag you either, so you are not to know.
My point here is that PR companies are charging artists an enormous amount for basic things, which of course includes their time, and yes, we all need to live; but who supports the blogs and radio who are putting in so much of their own time and finances to publish what the PR agencies are sending the blogs and radio?
Of course, I’d be totally stupid not to mention we have a donation button located all aroundMusic Talks. But do you assume people are donating?
In three years, only ONE person has actually used the donate button on Music Talks, yet there are over 20K visits a month…?? Is there any value in Music Talks and other indie blogs? Do artists and fans find value and enjoy reading and hearing about new indie artists and their music?
I guess this question was answered with a resounding NO, with the latest poll conducted onTwitter giving a clear picture of the naivety and truth about how artists think about the importance of such platforms not realising who and what’s being mentioned via countless people watching for the next big thing.
A classic example of “who else watches” indie blogs was when I was asked by the casting producer of an American TV talent show aired on the Fox network to find and send him artists who I think may be suitable for the show, among many others, who I know is watching who is next on Music Talks.
It will be a huge blow for the small percentage of artists who do support and really appreciate what the indie blogs and radio do.
With hundreds of emails every single day, promoting artists, and costing at least over $500 a month from a pension (yes, I did say pension) and trying to support a family of four on just one pension is rather a difficult feat. Could you do that?
Everyone needs to survive.
If you really want to do something with your life, and I believe you will do it, please don’t take advantage of others in the process and please do not think that anyone is entitled.
The Royalties You’re Entitled to and How To Get Them
The Royalties You’re Entitled to and How To Get Them
The big picture. There’s really no business-like show business. Yet below I have outlined the issue.
You maintain putting on the show, yet you’re not managing the business. If you resemble much of the young artists coming-up in the game, you possibly do not have a strong understanding on the music Industries many guidelines as well as laws. You might have reviewed a write-up right here or there, or perhaps grabbed a book or more regarding the music company, but chances are that unless you’re a legal representative you probably didn’t comprehend it.
Below I’ve outlined a few points to assist you add a little business to your program.
Let’s face it, the music business is a well-oiled machine developed to do something, which is to make money.
Throughout your profession you will observe that at every corner you turn there is someone who is waiting to take advantage of your talent as well as success. No matter just how big you might become, you will certainly never ever be able to totally get rid of the intermediary. Go ahead and mess up your face if you want, yet if you believe you can delete every person and middleman to help you get to where you need to be, shut your eyes and go back to La-La-Land, ’cause my friend, you’re still dreaming.
Even when you come to be a Hip Jump mogul like Russell Simmons or P-Diddy, you still have answer to another person, and they are typically making even more money after that you are. There are unfortunately so many financial inequalities of the music business. So without further hold-up, let’s talk about earning money …
Get Your Money Right
Since we have actually established other individuals and/or potentially streaming platforms, corporations etc. are going to be making money off of your skills, allows us to concentrate on just how you can begin to get your beak wet as well. So often it seems from what I’m hearing, that so many people believe the world owes them. More often than not, artists feel that if they have poured every cent, their heart and soul into their music, that everything else should just come to them. Ranging from free help, promotion, marketing, publishing their music and making money from it. So many are not willing to get into that important role of taking on the responsibility of themselves as a product of this machine. After music has been written and recorded, this is only the beginning. Now how are you to make your money from your music?
Publishing is fairly a tough subject; I will explain it as basic as humanly possible. Take a seat class and listen.
Publishing is money gained from the songs that you have actually written. This cash originates from two separates sources.
Source # 1: Mechanical Royalties- This is the money that record companies pay to the publisher for songs that have actually been mechanically recorded.
Resource # 2: Public Performance Royalties permits others to utilize your music in various mediums such as; radio, TV, movies, and so on
You’re not entitled to every cent of the money if you are signed with a publishing or record company, just a part of it. Let me discuss.
All money made from music publishing is simply referred to as Publishing Royalties. Publishing royalties are broken down right into two different shares; publisher share as well as writers share. Consider the shares as a pie with two halves; the publishers side represents 50% of the pie and the writers share stands for 50% of the pie, as well as with each other they stand for 100% of Music Publishing Earnings.
The publisher is the party that gathers both shares and then pays the writer’s share to the writer or writers of the song. The publisher is the one who controls the copyright of the tune. This implies that they have the legal rights to do with it as they please, such as licensing (renting) it out for motion pictures, or sheet music. Likewise, granting permission to other vocalists to re-record it. At some point, you as a songwriter are going to have to take care of publishing on some level, whether you decide to self-publish or not. The primary advantage to self-publishing is that you are the single controller of your copyrights, yet unless you have the moment, energy, and sources to do what a publisher does, you better find out to play “Let’s Negotiate.”
What a Publisher can do for you, the Songwriter
– Copyright your tracks so your butt is covered around the globe.
– See to it your tunes are used in every conceivable tool, such as: radio, computer game, downloadable ring-tones, movies, etc.
– Hook up production and distribution bargains for music publications and sheet music of your tracks.
– Register your songs with debt collectors like APRA, PPCA, SOUNDEXCHANGE, BMI, ASCAP, SEASAC, and the Harry Fox Agency.
– Secure you from copyright infringers attempting to swipe your material by tasting, file-sharing, as well as bootlegging.
– Develop as well as Promote you as a writer.
– Discussing licensing bargains on your behalf
One option is to set-up a co-publishing contract with a major publisher; by doing this you will certainly ensure that points will be done correctly, without you losing your mind while doing so. There are far way too many sorts of publishing agreements to get into information, but you need to always accept the deal you can live with. Believe long-lasting and also your loan will expand, believe temporary as well as the following song you compose may be one for Food Stamps.
The Relevance Of Getting Songs Licensed
There are musicians out there playing every type of music ever made as well as once they generate a sound that catches on, every person in the market attempts to copy it. For this reason it is essential that every artist knows about the process for getting their songs certified. This indicates they have the copyrights to the songs they have created. If that music is to be made use of by someone else for advertising or in a motion picture they need to acquire approval and also normally pay royalties so as to get that consent.
Let me create a scenario. – A musician who plays the violin. He discovers a competition of interest to him where he is required to compose an opus for a junk food restaurant. They wanted the material for a future advertising campaign. He wins $500 for his songs keeping that competition, but it was just after the reality that he understood he ought to have had that songs licensed.
The fast food dining establishment succeeds from the advertising project using his music. They also offered it to another business so they could use in a movie. The musician produced the songs however he never ever was entitled to a cent for making use of his track afterwards $500 prize due to the licensing needs.-
You require to keep these songs licensing rights in mind when you are accessing songs you don’t truly own from the net or other source. Even if you make a CD for your close friend from CD’s or downloads, you do not own that and is a form of piracy. This is since the songs market and also the artists aren’t obtaining their royalties for that music, so essentially you are stealing from them.
The expense of legal fees to look after charges of infringing on the songs licensing legal rights of someone are also expensive to take lightly. There are likewise fines and also jail time that could be attached to any sentence you get, as a result of such charges. It is lawful to download as well as share music that is found without a certificate.
Many new bands permit this in the hopes that their tunes will certainly get discovered. They have absolutely nothing to lose by you accessing their products due to the fact that they have not been supplied a recording deal yet. However, this also makes it harder for music overall and can devalue music as a whole, giving the illusion to fans and people who do not truly understand the nature of the business believing they are entitled to music for free. This is partially why it is difficult to convince people that music is worthy of more than a freebie, just like a painting. If someone saw a painting they would like, the artist doesn’t give it away for free.
So as an independent musician, singer and/or songwriter, the choice is really up to you to know what you’re entitled to and what work needs to be done before your music is released.
From the outset, make sure you have filled in all necessary forms and documents required with your country’s relevant organization.
In addition to the two types of royalties as listed above, keep in mind, there are also performance royalties, sync licensing/synchronization royalties and print royalties.
A list of some of these organizations are available for download here.
Be sure that the organization covers usage for your music that is also played in café’s, restaurants, shopping centres etc. Such as PPCA in Australia.
In addition to these society’s, there are also other bodies which will help to cover your music being played, for example on internet radio.
No whining, no excuses, no stopping your way to success
How many times have you blamed circumstances and make justifications for not being successful?
People who make a decision to start a business, grow a company, sign up for the olympics etc. all have similar traits in their mindset to succeed. No matter what. No matter the setbacks, the time it takes and the amount of blood, sweat and tears. And the same should apply if you want to be successful as an artist.
You can develop lots of justifications for not achieving success however absolutely nothing will change.
Blaming makes you seem like a victim with no power or control over your life or fate.
Blaming and also making justifications will ruin your power and also vigor and leaving you with a feeling of frustration and anxiety.
Your life will not change until you take 100% responsibility of your life and be accountable for your actions.
Surrender all excuses and quit any type of condemns.
Quit condemning your parents, education, close friends, spouse, coworkers, boss, weather condition, country, government, … and so on
. If you proceed blaming and also making justifications then congratulations … You will certainly fall short!!!!
” 99% of all failures come from people who have a routine of making excuses” – George Washington Carver.
Inscribe the above quote in your mind. You just fail when you surrender and loose perseverance. You will surrender by beginning at fault, as well as make justifications, however, consistency is the key.
But if you take 100% obligation of your life, you will try again and again up until you achieve what you desire. Due to the fact that just you can obtain the right results and also, you will waste your time by blaming conditions.
If you are not encouraged, then before I prove it to you, lets agree on this:.
” At least act as if you are 100% responsible”.
If you don’t think that you are 100% responsible of your life which every little thing happens to you, results from your decisions, as well as actions, then at least act AS IF you are.
This will reduce your degree of blaming, boost your opportunities of success and also supply you with self-confidence in on your own as well as capabilities.
If you want an evidence that you are 100% liable after that allows, go over the following formula;
Back to your math classes …
Occasion + Reaction = End result.
Your outcome just depends upon your response to a certain occasion or situation. You have no control over events or scenarios. You just have control over yourself and your actions. You shed your control a long time ago due to myths like “no body can alter conditions”,”external factors identify your destiny” and all similar to that you have discovered in the past.
Now forget your past and concentrate on complying with these two options:.
1. You can blame your circumstances and also make excuses, however you will certainly not get to anything you desire.
2. You can change your reactions to a particular event until you get what you desire. This will certainly make all the difference.
Gain control of your thinking, decisions, activities, reactions, and so on and you get on your achievement course.
Take 100% obligation of your life. You have control over your thoughts and activities. So, don’t release your supreme power.
And also pursue success.
You can make a distinction.
No Whining, No Excuses, No Stopping Your Way To Success
Below’s some guideline for success:
– no whining – no justifications – no giving up
– be accountable
– no excuses
If you will certainly simply get these few things out of your life TODAY, your life will certainly change immediately for the better.
If you stop whimpering, stop making excuses and also quit quitting, you will certainly accept obligation for your thoughts and also actions, and you will certainly be compensated with the goals you intend to attain. Guess who makes this happen? That’s right — you do. No other person, just you. You choose on your own, the outcomes in your life.
Certain, points might not occur quickly when you want them to, that’s childlike to expect. You will find that all points pertain to you when you are really all set to obtain them … and not a minute prior to.
Indeed, there will certainly be people who want to tear you down and also try to block your progression (you’ll discover to maneuver around them).
So decide RIGHT NOW to live by this basic expression …
” Outcomes, not justifications.”
Write it down on a little piece of paper and also put it where you can see it when you work. ( go on, obtain some paper and pen currently and also do it … do it now). Did you do it? No? … why not?– (write down why not).
Yes? … congratulations– you simply obtained RESULTS!
You are about to release new music. You have invested months and even years establishing yourself, as well as examining your target market. After what appeared like infinity, you are lastly all set to present your creation to the masses. The special day arrived; you jumped out of bed excited and very early prepared to flaunt your greatest smile to every person who can be found. By the end of the first week you notice that despite the fact many people like a post or two, check out the music (maybe), yet there’s no real interaction, comments or no-one has seemed to really notice let alone buy it. Currently this gave you something to think seriously. What could perhaps be wrong with your music? You’re music may be incredible, possibly a hit, but no-one’s listening, but there can be something extremely incorrect with your advertising method.
When people are searching for services, music or products to make use of, they generally opt for ones that they are familiar with or have actually long utilised and been a fan of. In this manner, they can be certain that they are only listening to artists that are most familiar to them.
So for a company owner, an artist, or someone trying to sell a service that is simply starting up in their business or market, it is essential to make a great first impression. Certain, you can do this by using price cuts and also other special deals. You can even place a big banner, ads and whatever else you may think of to get attention before your music is about to release, announcing your new music. However when are not able to provide the right image you might too consider concealing in your den as well as assess what you need to boost in your marketing approach.
But then again you might be doing the best strategy and using the right marketing method.
However have you taken a look at your image and branding? That’s exactly what I’m assuming. You could have forgotten the most vital part of your product– your style. Logo designs, branding and image frequently tantamount to a persons whole image, for this reason, whether it is hip, elegant, fascinating or dull, it is important to create your brand and image that gives the ideal effect to the fans. It does not truly matter if you, your good friends or workers like or does not like your image. What is very important is the perception that it provides to potential fans.
A great brand and image must stand for photo appealingly and also effectively. It needs to likewise be functional and practical as complicated images, logo’s and designs commonly leave consumers overwhelmed and wondering what is actually being sold or offered. Remember that less is always more. Therefore, an easy logo, brand and strong image will certainly more than likely increase your numbers and views. Absolutely a vibrant as well as over-designed logo design will certainly capture even more interest however no business achieves success based only on their logo design. So an easy adaptable logo design, simple branding is most likely to attract potential fans.
A mix of art, scientific research and psychology typically develops a great image. A designer and image stylist should know this. Keep in mind that a poor brand and image can destroy your photo but a good one can immediately create name recognition as well as can improve credibility to go hand in hand with your music.
So, Do you Need An Image Specialist or Stylist
Do you have low self-confidence? Do you have an idea of the image you want to portray but not sure how or where to find what you need? Then you require an image professional.
An image specialist or stylist is kind of like your “fairy godmother” due to the fact that this expert might simply be what you require to transform you as an artist. In order for this person to do their work, you have to tell them how you see yourself, play them your music and be open to their tips.
If fashion is your problem, you will have to at least place all your old performing clothes in a box, lock it, and perhaps throw away the key. Better yet, throw them away. Normally, that is most likely to cost you some cash, so prepare to buy, or put in order who you are as a private member of your community/society and who you are as an artist. Are they the same person? Or do you see yourself as a completely different person to what you actually wear today, yet unable to obtain the desired outcomes as to who you really feel you are, weather you’re an artist or not.
For those who have bad communication skills, an image consultant can also help by mentoring you to giving some points prior to you opening your mouth. He or she can tell you to listen to what others are saying so you recognise just how to react to them, express your message in a positive method as opposed to supplying it in a critical way as well as making use of easy words to express your factor.
So where can you locate an image specialist?
Fortunately, a great deal of people are doing this so you won’t have a problem seeking a trained expert. You can look for a person in the newspaper, in posters as well as online.
When you have their name and also contact number, you schedule a visit to see if you will certainly be able to work well with this individual. You need to additionally ask how much they charge, how much time they have been in business as well as a couple of previous clients so you can ask how well he or she offered them help in the past.
After doing a background check, you can already pick which among the picture experts around you wish to work with.
The image consultant does not need to be with every day in order for you to enhance. He or she will be around on a regular basis until such time that things get better so such check outs will certainly decrease to possibly once or twice in a year. Or simply help you piece together your image as an artist. They will also be able to help you with your image for your photo shoots, and make suggestions on your image for TV, Video and live performances.
If the suggestions from your stylist/image consultant have provided has a made a remarkable effect on your life, after that, you owe everything to this person. The only thing to do currently is continue on coping with what was handed down to you so this will have the ability to stick to you for the long-term.
Image consultants or stylists do not only benefit specific customers and artists because they also represent huge companies.
The vital thing is that these professionals have the ability to transform the assumption of the public towards you as an artist.
An image/stylist professional could be the answer to your whole look and be the defining factor of your overall package as an artist. You just have to locate them since they will not be the ones knocking at your door as well as asking if you need help.
why You need to fail & how to stand out in the crowd
How many emails do you get in your inbox with so much advice on how to succeed?
How many times have you tried something based on the advice given from your emails on how to release an EP/single/album, distribution to ‘X’ number of online stores, how to get your music on radio and blogs, what the particular source it suggests; and on it goes.
If you’re a beginner, I guess you will need some guidance on some of these points, but at the end of the day, you have an EP/single or album distributed to every online store, you’ve reached out to radio and blogs, you’ve had some cool photos and an awesome video and last of all, you’ve splashed your new music out on social media while you check every day what’s going on.?
No-one’s commented, no-one’s listened and no-one seems to really care.
Mainly because the last line is probably closer to the truth than what you would probably admit to or dis gruntingly want to admit to.
You can keep reading the ‘How to’s’ and become overwhelmed with it all not really knowing where you went wrong.
First of all, you didn’t go wrong. You have done everything that’s suggested, you’ve worked hard…..but maybe the reality of it, is that you need to work harder. You also won’t know until you’ve found the issues after making countless mistakes. Remember; mistakes are a good thing!
Lets get to it and find out what more you can do, but first, I need to clear something up before I proceed.
Your music MUST be cutting edge. Not average, not good, but outstanding.
Outstanding means these typical points most A&R, managers, labels even blogs listen for:
If the first 30 secs don’t grab anyone, then it’s unlikely to grab an audience
If your music is out of tune and out of time….don’t do it.
The beat and melody will usually always come first. Eg: If someone has their radio on and it’s at low volume, the first thing that sparks attention would be the beat and the melody. They would then turn it up to hear more….with great vocals and lyrics on top of that gaining interest and excitement. People who are general listeners of music will not crank up a song plucked out of an online store or Spotify if: Firstly they don’t know it, and secondly if they don’t like it.
You have to get people’s attention first.
If your singing doesn’t resonate with the listener and you’re not getting it across, (meaning people don’t understand it) and you’re out of tune dramatically, forget it.
Production is very much dependent on the style of music you record and is also a personal aspect, regardless if it’s a full-on orchestra or just guitar and vocal. But the quality of the sound MUST be good.
This is why there are various sites that offer ratings and feedback from PEOPLE. They comment on what they don’t like (if you’re lucky) or just give you a thumbs down if they don’t like it. These give you a great indication on whether the track will be received well. These are the general listeners ears.
Having said all that, what happens when you still have a killer song that seems to get sucked down the gurgler? The common and very natural thing to do with most artists, is to pick yourself up and go again at another song…another track. This time, you will just somehow make it better with perhaps production?? A stronger song?? Better Vocals?? Maybe it was the mix? Maybe the mastering didn’t cut?
Not sure how many artists actually take the time out to listen to other established artists and even successful business people, but you really need to be doing this if you are a serious artist.
Listen to their past experiences and mistakes, hear what they are saying and how long it’s taken them to get a track going for example. But whatever you do, don’t expect it to happen overnight. (hence why I do these podcasts with people who are and have been successful….these are for you!)
Do you know why majority of artists don’t happen overnight? It’s because it takes time for them to build their audience. Please don’t come back at me saying that artists the likes of Ed Sheeran made it quickly because it wasn’t the case. Not only that, major artists are major because they have large record labels with a machine behind them. (I’ve mentioned this many times before in previous e-books and blog posts)
If you do plan to release an EP/Single or Album, know that JUST releasing with your video and great photo’s, having it up on blogs, radio and social media, quite often won’t be enough to cut through.
Suddenly another new track and/or artist is here, just another out of the thousands each week releasing new music.
(Hope that puts things into perspective a little.)
You need to get in front of people BEFORE the release. You need to get on social media, twitch, perform acoustically on twitch, Facebook video live, Periscope live, twitter live, Instagram live, Busker etc.
You need to post things about you that IS NOT music related.
Let people know who you are, what else you do…but don’t hit them with “HEY….LISTEN TO MY NEW SONG….I KNOW YOU DON’T HAVE A CLUE WHO I AM, BUT I’M JUMPING UP AND DOWN FOR YOU TO STOP AT MY POST AND LISTEN TO MY MUSIC”……Arrrrrr, right….along with every other post before you and after you.
Quite a while ago I put together a part one and part two e-book on how to create great video content, there were even tips in the books saying similar things to what I have done so in this blog post.
There was a reason to why I put this together.
That reason is because; there are not many other emails or other online music sites giving the real deal about how to really get out there, and that video is key along with your plan and your strategy. (Yes…..yet another free e-book with a complete plan and strategy which outlines all the bits in-between that others do not even delve into)
You will notice, if you haven’t already, that if you have been lucky enough to recieve all my free e-books, you will then know how to piece together great content for your plan and strategy.
If not, you can still find them either by joining, or through our store or shop.
So many artists will send me messages asking me HOW to do something……I then know they either don’t know about this page on tips, or don’t have or read the free e-books.
You have to put the work in yourself on social media too!
I’ve been very fortunate to have guidance from a team of expert marketers, business people and entrepreneurs; we all see and know how business works….but I rarely see this with artists.
At the end of day…you need:
An exceptional song
Lots of content (in various formats)
Lots on interaction
And a new way to share YOU on social media
If you do want any of the Free E-books you can join to one of our first ones.
Here are some links for the one’s via Facebook Messenger:
If you would like to know how to piece together your plan and strategy and other information to help you understand what is needed as an artist, we have our 60 page Indie Essential Guide which includes more in detail. Please know, that you need to do these things in order to see a difference in your audience growth and success. INDIE MUSIC GUIDE
All the e-books I have put together from scratch FOR THE ARTISTS to help them. (and no, I’m not mad, just still a little puzzled why so many expect to get all the answers in a few lines via a PM)
Why Some indie music artists will make it and others won’t
I have written quite a lot about social media, marketing and other related tips for artists, but I am still surprised at how many artists do not go to the effort of putting the tips in place. There is a reason for tips, and that is to learn more to create better engagement and to build your profile and audience. The one thing artists need to remember, is that it really doesn’t happen overnight. However, it will happen faster if you just put aside some time each week to perfect your overall presence.
The very first thing, which I have mentioned some time back, is to make sure ALL of your social media pages have the same images. This is your brand and this makes it easier for people to find you. When people are looking for you on other platforms, they are looking for what is familiar to them.
When you have several social media accounts, try to have the same (if you can) name on all your accounts. Preferably your name as the artist. Not some stupid and difficult name that means nothing, hard to remember, or we can’t even spell easily.
I’ve mentioned about posting your music up previously, but I still see artists constantly just posting their music, and worse still, you haven’t told us anything about the music? Is it new, is it a new video to a previously released single? Where did you record it? Who produced it? What’s it about? Does it grab your attention?
If you are trying to build your fan base, it’s not going to happen if you are just posting up links to your music. People do like to be entertained. Less people are now clicking over to listen to music, so you need to build a relationship with them first.
Engage in other social media posts, not only that, be active and make comments on blog sites; get involved. Don’t be lazy and think by posting anything quickly will actually get you anywhere. Put some thought behind it.
If you had a blog, how nice would it be to get some comments? Keep this in mind when you’re reading other peoples blogs and posts. They too would love some comments, and you know what?….they will remember you as an active player.
Before you post up all your music, and only your music, show your audience who you are. What did you do on the weekend? Do you have a sense of humour? What’s your views on other topics other than music? (preferably not politics) Let your audience get to know who you are first. You will be more inclined to build relationships with your audience, and they will be more inclined then to listen to your music.
Be nice. Some people find it hard to be nice, I know. But if you don’t want to get blocked or lose fans, think twice before you press that post button.
DO NOT send those PM’s saying‘I have new music for you to check out’, to busy blogs…please. 🙏🏼 It just tells us one thing about you. You’re lazy.
Ok, so that may seem a little harsh, but really. What do you think it tells the people running busy blog sites? Ok, I’ll tell you.
When there are other artists going to the effort of reading actual blog sites and checking out radio sites to take the time out to email those sites, it tells us that, “hey, they made an effort”, Cool…then we open the email…and we’re either really loving it, or our jaw drops. Why?
The difference between an email with just a link and no introduction as to who you are, no information, no social media links to even see you, no hello…means goodbye.
Then there’s the Hi there, and some actual effort into spending a few minutes into your email is the difference in being heard and not.
Whatever you do, DO NOT play the follow and unfollow game. This is the worst! Just tells people you are not interested, really.
Have you ever heard a song or noticed a band or artist and thought to yourself, what a crap song, how did they get all the attention it did? Then you find a song that rocks your socks and think, this needs to be heard. Why hasn’t this artist been noticed?
The simple truth (generally) is that it is obvious to blogs, media and radio who is active and works hard. These artists, despite them perhaps not quite having an exceptional song, may only have a mediocre track, but is noticed because they are emailing, socialising, putting themselves out there, commenting and creating a following by getting involved. They are sharing other interests and engaging others. They are welcoming their community while building it.
Then there’s the artist who has unbelievable music who doesn’t communicate and only tells people when they have new music coming out and that’s it. Despite if that artist has gone to the effort of paying PR to distribute their music. They still need to make the most of it and get involved. It’s so unfortunate when this happens.
I have time and time again, tried to contact incredible musicians and artists asking if they would like to be featured, or asked if they could send their press release, chasing them up, only to get no response, no email back. Artists who are perhaps not aware that their music has been placed; blogs and radio would go to the effort in trying to reach out to them and tag them, and still no response. Not even recognition. After several times of trying to reach out to artists who have incredible music, they really only have themselves to blame in not responding or at least recognising the effort made to help them out. After all, they could have been asked for an exclusive interview.This is why so many great artists and great music goes down the gurgler and sucked in by those deep dark cracks never to be heard.
While this all may seem a little rough for some, it is the unfortunate reality of what goes on, on a daily basis.
So, if you are a serious artist and want to be noticed, then get it together and treat your music like you would any other business. Get out there and do what you can to show others you are serious and worthy.
Oh, and one last point. Please, check to see if all your links are working on your website and social media pages.
There’s nothing worse (than the follow/unfollow game) than when we want to actually check out who you are, click on your link to be greeted with ‘Sorry, this page isn’t available. The link you followed may be broken, or the page may have been removed’.
Why Some Indie Music Artists Will Make It And Others Won’t
When it comes to performing live, sometimes our nerves can get the better of us.
Often the scenario would play out in this fashion;
We are standing on side stage about to go on and perform to hopefully an eager audience, excited to see you. You hear the crowd, and thoughts are running through your head, ‘What are the words to the first verse’, you go over the verse and perhaps the chorus, then for the life of you, you draw a blank to the second verse. Your nerves get the better of you and you begin to panic, ‘Oh no, damn, I can’t remember the words’.
Nerves can sometimes be detrimental to our performance and can prevent us from performing at our best.
You quite often think to yourself, ‘I did that song so much better in rehearsals’, and now that you have finished your performance, you feel ready and want to go back on and do it again.
Firstly, let me just say, that if you don’t have a certain amount of nerves, I would be more worried than not.
Nerves help us get through various situations and we need them. However when they become more than nerves and form into anxiety, you feel you are out of control and can ruin your performance to the point of despair.
I remember when I was performing on National Television, when I was coming up to the second verse of the song, my mind went blank and I repeated the first verse. Of course I kept going and pretended nothing was wrong. I came off bitterly disappointed and when someone would give me a compliment on my performance, I really didn’t know how to react.
To those I knew well, I had mentioned to them I had stuffed up and sang the same verse twice.
What was really interesting is that no one noticed. I couldn’t believe it.
I auditioned for a role in the musical ‘Rent’, and I was so focused on getting the role, for weeks I practiced like I had never practiced before. I wanted this more than anything. Placing so much pressure on myself, during the audition, not only did I stuff up and forgot the words, but my voice didn’t come out how I had practiced.. This was the absolute worst experience I had ever encountered. Placing too much pressure and the wanting of something so so much resulted in my failure with my audition.
There have been countless times nerves have got the better of me, but over time, I learned to manage them and deal with them by putting in place a few really great helpers.
Firstly, know that you can do it. If you knew your words without a thought during rehearsal, and you have allowed enough time for sound checks and are prepared well in advance, remind yourself that you are prepared, and treat it similar to your sound check or rehearsals, but you will have a little more energy which will help to add that spark and excitement.
Take in the atmosphere and don’t think about the songs you are about to sing.
Be in that moment and learn to enjoy what you are doing. This can take an enormous amount of pressure off.
People who are coming to see you perform will be having fun, and when they see YOU having fun, you will more likely feel a better connection.
If you do forget your words, you can either laugh it off; make it into a joke; especially if nothing comes out. Just be yourself. (of course you can’t do this on Live TV)
The other tactic is to make up words or repeat them. Although, if your audience is familiar with your songs, they will more than likely notice.
Finish the song, and if you think your audience noticed, talk to them and say, ‘hey, I decided to repeat the verse because I like it better than the second verse…..’ or something of that nature. Lighten it up.
The other alternative is, if you feel you are blanking out, point the microphone to your audience and ask them to sing it, getting them involved. Not only will they love it, but would have created a diversion to you memory loss.
Some great tips on what you can do before you step onto the stage are;
Ask for someone to tell you a joke
Laughing is a great stress release and can help in many circumstances to relieve tension and lighten up.
Some people find the exact opposite to help with nerves.
Meditating and getting in the zone of your ‘self’. Sitting quietly; not necessarily thinking about the words or your nerves, but sitting calmly, closing your eyes and not allowing your thoughts to come into your head focusing on your breathing and the here and now.
Remember why you are doing it.
If you have fun, then it will show, and it will always improve your performance in more ways than you could imagine. When you focus on having fun, the muscles in your body relax and enable your voice to sing without the tension. When you are not relaxed with your head, jaw and neck area especially, this creates the stress and tension, which can cause breaking and cracking with the voice.
Let it go, and have fun. You will also find you will have better control over your diaphragm when you can focus on the fun.
I asked our Teen Talks team what they do to help with performance nerves.
What is the worst memory you have with nerves while performing and what did you learn from it?
MADDIE: My worst experience with nerves was when I was doing a pretty large performance and I forgot the words to the first verse of Justin Beiber’s “Love Yourself”. I was super embarrassed, and it made me extremely nervous on stage but I kept the song going and skipped to a part that I did know. After that I couldn’t play that song live for a really long time because I was afraid to mess it up. I practiced it lots at home and I’m finally comfortable covering it now!
FAITH: Once I’m on the stage all my nerves go, it’s the few days before a performance my nerves take over, as a vocalist this is terrible because I get tight shoulders and neck, so my practices end up sounding like a dying animal. This adds to my nerves how will I ever hit a note!
HARRY: I’m the opposite to Faith I’m not nervous until the point I hit the stage, I’m still goofing off behind the stage moments before we play. But as soon as I walk up the steps and look out at the crowd I’m like a deer in headlights ‘frozen on the spot’ it’s so embarrassing! Faith once had to guide me to the piano and place my hand on the keys! Actually as soon as I hit the keys that’s it for me I get the job done! The only trouble is I’m now concentrating so much I look really serious.
What do you do before you perform in terms of battling those pesky nerves?
MADDIE: Something that helps me get over the nerves is getting friendly with the audience before I start singing if it’s possible. I like to talk and ask questions so that everyone is more comfortable. If I feel like my normal self, I have less nerves.
If it’s not possible to talk much, I always play the songs that I feel are my strongest first, and ones I’ve been playing for years. It calms me down and gets some of my jitters out!
FAITH: My vocal coach taught me vocalists yoga, certain postures that help to relax the upper body and mind. Having good vocal practices before I go on stage are important to my confidence so using these yoga techniques really helps and allows me to enjoy up and coming performances.
HARRY: I’m still looking for an answer to ‘stage fright’ that literally happens the moment you hit the stage. I can’t use Faiths yoga on stage the crowd would think me crazy! I’m sure theirs a solution just have to find it!
Just remember to enjoy the moment. Life is to have fun and the more you have fun, the more you also create great memories.
Do you intend to live a life of more convenience, happiness, equilibrium as well as success? Certainly you do!
Why is it so hard for some to relocate closer to these goals?
The response exists within.
Each one of us brings deep within us subconscious ideas that contribute to our actions, and therefore the real conditions of our lives. If we believe at this level that we just are entitled to a specific amount of joy, or that life is a struggle, or that we are unworthy of very much, then we act appropriately.
Through my journey in life from various experiences to date, learning from successful people, listening to health professionals, and others, I now find myself on altering the conditions in our lives.
I have pertained to the realisation that it is crucial to change our beliefs. And, as a singer/musician, I have actually found that songs can be the device to recover your soul, change these ideas, and also hence to change your life.
Most of us recognise music can be effective, yet can one track truly alter your life? Definitely.
Songs have actually been coming through me since I went through some life-altering events. These songs were a gift for my healing as I experienced life obstacles, consisting of the death of my mother, the fatality of my marriage, the autism diagnosis of my children, to continuous and ongoing situations beyond my control.
When I composed the tune, “Life Goes On”, and three other songs not yet released, I saw that these songs had a power that exceeded several of my other tunes. They have the capacity to recover the wound of unworthiness that beings in our hearts.
These new songs have served as a powerful tool and as one person stated, “It’s my soul’s song. I long to hear it on a daily basis after the death of their own loved one” helping them to know they were not alone through their grief.
Songs Produces New Software Application in Your Mind
A lot of you are already on a path to realizing your integrity and your dreams. You check out publications, take courses, pay attention to web seminars, as well as you use these principles to your life. Perhaps you wonder why you typically aren’t proceeding much faster. Here’s one factor: You do not genuinely believe you can do it and that you deserve it. Those subconscious limiting ideas are undermining you over and over.
Think about your thoughts, statements concerning on your own, and also your beliefs concerning how the globe works as the software program that runs your life.
Sadly, much of this software program lies hidden within us as well as we don’t realize just how we consistently prefer to keep running it and allow it to disrupt all our hard work and also the steps we have been taking to our objectives.
Music Bypasses Your “Keep Things the Means They Are” Radar
Music has the capacity to get past our intellectual radars, the ones that keep great info from getting to our core, to that area that makes or breaks us. All of us have beliefs and habitual patterns of response built up throughout the years, making it tough to make enduring favourable adjustments. Regardless of how hard we attempt! It isn’t adequate to review these things and to hear the specialists offering us tools to change our beliefs. We have to surpass our cognitive ‘filters’ since they are the gatekeepers to our subconscious.
You Have to Be Your Authority
An additional trouble is that too often we want others to be our authorities, to assist us locate our method. It’s alright to go outside ourselves to collect information. Then it us as much as every one of us to choose just what information we will accept and to give ourselves the message that we are going to be changing, eliminating what hasn’t worked, and attempting some new points. We need to place ourselves back in the position of authority so that our subconscious will certainly approve the brand-new ideas. If we only listen to others informing us we could do something, or vocal singing to us about our magnificence, we are still making others the authority. Each person is in charge of his or her own development. Instead of paying attention to someone else informing you exactly what to believe, trigger your own passkey to your subconscious.
Music could be your passkey.
Songs provides the emphasis that is typically the missing active ingredient in an individual’s course to their objectives. It’s easy to let day-to-day tasks, unanticipated events as well as job and also family concerns shift emphasis. It’s not that the intent is not there; it’s that we enable other things to ‘take over’ as well as we can allow days, weeks as well as months slip by without completing the steps that lead us closer to our desires.
Music Obtains “Stuck” in Your Head as well as Supplies a Favourable Focus
Songs supplies the reminder, in a gentle and persuasive means, that our dreams matter, and that we are worthy of having and pursuing our desires.
If somebody likes a song, they are most likely to play it commonly, as well as they are more likely to stay focused on those steps on their trip to an abundant, deliberate and also joy-filled life. Additionally, most of us have had the experience of singing a track over and over in our heads– whether we wanted to or otherwise! This function of music makes it a natural tool for producing brand-new thought patterns that support your need to change.
Via rep of this song, you can create a brand-new path in your mind that informs you just how splendid you are which you could step into your power now. The even more you sing it, the much more you will form a brand-new habitual path that informs you what you really wish to hear. It has actually been confirmed that just what we inform ourselves with favourable and adverse self-talk has an extensive influence on our habits as well as exactly what we attract to us.
Why Not Just Claim Affirmations?
This musical passkey is much better than claiming affirmations. Why? It is due to the fact that the resonances of the real music bring the message deeper right into your being. It resembles a massage to your subconscious. The music resonance allows the place where the ideas reside to be loosened, enabling room for the old to be uprooted and raised misplaced, and also allows the new beliefs a location to take root. The repetition of the song will aid to create a strong path to this newer, extra positive idea.
Additionally, the subconscious mind absorbs this information much better when you are extra kicked back as well as the mind remains in an “alpha” as opposed to “beta” state. The enhancement of the music accompaniment to verifying messages assists to generate this understanding, thus boosting the likelihood of the favourable messages getting to the place where the ideas live.
You Have the Choice to Change as well as Be the very best thats Feasible
The right song can create and transform the way you think and act. To discard feelings and deep-seated ideas of unworthiness or of feeling you could only have and also do so a lot. You are just as limited as you think you are.
When you see those famous quotes, such as, ‘Never Underestimate The Power Of Music’, know that this has meaning so much more than is realized, as music is the one of the most used techniques and recommendations from psychologist to improve the state of depression in people.
It is known that those who attend music shows, dance to music regularly, listen to music and write and perform music are generally happier people. As long as it is done so on a regular basis, and the songs, which are listened, are relatable to you, or one in which lifts the mood of despair.
30, 20, even 10 years ago it seems there wasn’t as much required from artists in terms of promotion.
Artists who were signed to labels would have dedicated days to sit in a room in the record company office with a list of radio and magazines handed to them, with the time frames of which they would engage and be interviewed.
If you were lucky enough, you would have a schedule of TV performances and radio interviews organized for you, and all you had to do was be there, greeted by others within the label, at the given studio’s in each state/city, driven from place to place for radio interviews etc. etc.
Then there would be the shopping centre performances, and the meet and greets, and going to each music store….of course they would be aware you were coming in, so they would strategically place your CD where all could see. You would sign quite a few, have a chat, and then on to the next.
Now, 2018 is a whole different ball game. Or is it? It seems like there is more music than ever, or is this because it is now available to everyone, and artists have the resources to strut their stuff.
Even though there is so much now available to everyone, artists need to be strategic in terms of their music and promotion.
and you have contacted blogs and radio to give you a hand in playing and promoting, then it should also be your job as part of your music, to share it all. Yes it’s a lot of work, but you can’t expect to release anything only based on your music now a days. (as mentioned in this previous tips article https://www.musictalks.xyz/music-tips/Let-Me-Entertain-You )
I know by now, I shouldn’t be surprised by what I hear at times from artists, (lets not forget, I too am an artist) but these words keeps appearing right in front of me….. “I don’t feel obligated to retweet or share”….WT….?? Major Jaw Drop! This completely baffles me to every degree imaginable.
THIS IS YOUR MUSIC! This IS your obligation, at least it should be!
You can’t just sit on your cushy butt and JUST keep moving on to the next track. Why aren’t you promoting what’s just been released?
Did you know, the more you retweet, share, and communicate on your social media account, those platforms move you up and place you higher, giving those who have engagement, special mentions which go out to others who don’t even know you. Have you ever been in to the twitter search section? Seen who’s there…how do you think these posts in the special search section get there?
The same goes with Facebook, the more people who like and share the posts and those who comment and engage sends the algorithm a signal to say, ‘Oh, this must be of interest, we better send this out to more people’.
When you enter competitions or want to have your video’s placed somewhere where there is a possibility of being seen, don’t think of it as one dimensional. It’s not about winning! It’s about the string of events that can occur afterwards. Think beyond that one event. Someone else may very well really like what they see. They may follow you on social media to see what else you are up to, they may stand back and watch you for a while. If they don’t see dedication from you, what thoughts do you think they would have swimming around?
I’m always aware of who is out there. You never know who’s watching. They may not like or share anything of yours, but they may be watching. I know this from personal experience, where I have been contacted by top writers, TV from USA, high end business’s who have made contact saying they have been watching Music Talks for the last 2 years. Whoa! So you never know.
Another little peak of information for you….don’t always assume that a promotional platform is as it is. What I mean by this, is that when a platform is seen for the first time, majority of people would understandably assume this is all there is to it. However if a promotional platform is always active and changing things, adding to their sites, deleting things from their sites, moving things around….(ok, you get the idea) know that they are always trying to improve and grow to enable the promotion of artists to reach a higher audience. As in most businesses, they have a plans. If Plan ‘A’ didn’t work well, they would move to plan ‘B’, even plan ‘C’. If the promotional platforms as in blogs and radio are making mistakes while trying new things….they are serious.
If the support for those blogs and radio are also recognized by the artists and shared as well, those blogs and radio are shared beyond the current circle; they also grow, which ultimately means, more reach and larger audiences for YOU, THE ARTIST.
Again, this has to do with the one-dimensional way of thinking…as they say, ‘Read between the lines’.
Whatever an independent artist does, they can not think or to expect for their music to do the same as the major players. The major artists’ promotion is planned and executed via their major record companies and labels. They have all their interviews and TV performances set up for them.
You can’t expect to release your music and then wait for something to happen. It doesn’t work that way.
Independent artists need to use what they can and have access to and make the most of it.
How often is it you hear a great song and the only thing that turns you off from listening to it more often, is the vocal?
How often do you begin to play a song and find you just can’t listen to it any longer; the music may be good; the production; yet right smack bang in the centre of the track is (play dramatic music here) THE VOCAL.
Vocals are the icing on the cake.
Before you go in to record anything, seriously consider a vocal producer.
Unfortunately it is not all that common to hire a vocal producer, but the benefit may see better results all round.
If you are fortunate enough to have a producer for your track, ask some questions to the overall producer before you hire them.
1. Listen to their previous work
2. Do they have musical talent
3. Do they understand the voice and how it work
4. Are they a producer or engineer?
5. Are they better at some genre’s of music than others?
6. Try to listen to some of their work which is similar to the track you are going to record.
With a vocal producer, they do more than tell you how to sing; they will guide you verse by verse and chorus by chorus, even line and word by word. They should be able to pull the best from your performance and make your voice shine above the track.
They will give you different idea’s on phrasing, how to approach certain elements in the song, give you idea’s on ad libs, over dubs and the tone of your voice may sound better by producing your notes in a different way in which you are used to singing.
You may be surprised at how different your vocals will sound giving the track and the song itself the recognition it deserves.
The story of the song also needs to be considered, how can you reach out through the story with your vocals?
Is the track an upbeat dance track or a slow ballad?
Your breathing and use of the consonants is approached differently in each.
Some people struggle with singing upbeat songs as they find they’re unable to stay in time very well and produce the best from their voice, yet they are able to soar through a power ballad and hold beautiful long notes.
Lets not get caught up with how good the tone of your voice is and look at the performance of the song itself.
I have always said, “anyone can have a great voice, but are they are great singer?”A great singer is someone who can bring out the best in a song. They know how to SING the song.
Quite often singers find themselves learning the song and how it should be sung during the recording process, only to find out after having a chance to listen to the vocal has taught you a better way to sing. Probably a bit late to be learning HOW it should be sung in the recording stage.
This is where a vocal producer can help you through.
Before you record any vocal, make sure you sing it as much as you can and record it, either on your phone or another device until you feel you have mastered the phrasing and how it’s to be sung.
Make sure when recording the vocal it is not recorded over several days. Try and record it on the one-day. Your vocal tone changes from day to day. Do not warm up to much before you lay down your vocal. Start warming up through the softer sections of the song; generally this would be the verse. You may be able to catch some great elements from the softer tones this way.
If you are super warmed up, you may find it quite difficult to capture the quieter moments within the song.
Another great idea, is practice with a singing teacher, but again, make sure they are a GREAT singing teacher who can teach you ways to not only sing a song, but perform it well.
A great singing teacher should also know the difference between how to sing live and how to sing in the studio.
They should also know what is required to sing different kinds of songs and what it needs, to be sung well.
A song from a musical is approached vastly different to that of an original pop song, rock song, r’n’b etc. And each of these different genres and the way of singing is also quite different from each other.
For example” Jazz/Blues/RnB will allow you to get away with “Singing between the cracks” so to speak, otherwise known as “Blue Notes”. Generally the music and chord structure under the vocals allow the vocal the space to play, where as a classic rock track would have the vocal fierce and spot on in terms of your notes and phrasing; “singing between the cracks”generally do not work to well with a rock song.
All in all, a vocal producer will know how to help you ‘SING’ and how to make your voice shine for that particular track.
I have also known a vocal producer to sing and record the track first, so the singer can follow should it be difficult for the singer to remain in tune.
A singer singing out of tune would have to be one of my cringing points. I cannot listen to a song in its entirety when it’s sung off key throughout the song.
If you find it difficult to find a good vocal producer, then search for a great singing teacher and ask what their fee would be if they could sit in on the recording and give some tips.
Remember; the voice is generally in the centre of the track, the singer has to sell that song, and the listener has to be able to feel it.
If you would like to read more about singing, take a look at our blog post on
Whether you are a young adult or are well into your golden years, the great thing about writing, is it’s never too late to explore your imaginative side, specifically if you are interested in songs.
You will certainly find that writing music is a rewarding experience whether it is a leisure activity or a profession.
Individuals write tracks in several means. Some artists compose the music first, while others initially write words. For some, words and the melody pertained to them at the very same time, while others create the melodies initially as well as compose the words last.
Whatever order you are comfortable with, you will ultimately need to choose what the tune has to do with. There are a variety of various kinds of tracks ranging from tunes that tell imaginary tales to tracks that connect deep personal feelings.
If you decide to compose a story track, a great very first workout is to cover a newspaper article or about something you have actually reviewed in the paper. This way you can utilize your first song to sharpen your word picking abilities without the stress of developing your own tale. Nonetheless, if you currently have a suggestion for a tale to inform, you can write it out in poem form and also aim to make proper rhymes and also frameworks that assist connect what happens in the tune.
Since songs are so meaningful, lots of songwriters utilize their experiences to reveal how they feel, whether it have to do with a person or a situation or perhaps geographical area. Composing these kinds of tracks could be highly personal, so every person does it in different ways.
When you have a solid feeling regarding something, write it down in a notebook and also come back to it later on. You may think of a good line that expresses a feeling well, as well as if you remember it you could be able to construct an entire song around it.
Having silent time to think is always practical when you are attempting to compose a track.
You may notice however, that quite often the best songs are those that come to you without even trying. You could be anywhere, so make sure you have a recording app or player with you at all times to capture the idea. (your phone will do the job perfectly)
Writing the real songs for a tune could be carried out in several ways relying on your music expertise and your focus. If you write mainly to interact words, then a few well-chosen guitar or piano chords might be every one of the enhancements you need. However, if you are a crucial virtuoso, your technique to writing songs will be fairly different.
Lots of people think about a musical idea and play it over and over once more until they consider a melody.
Often times, songwriters will create whole chord structures, creating the structure of the song first without also knowing just what the tune is going to be.
When you have a song down, do not just allow it stop there. Trust me, it hasn’t ended.
There may be exemptions to the policy, yet mostly – you will still have a job to do.
Listen to the verse … could it finish with a modification of tune? Does it tie in well with the Pre-Chorus? Does the tune make good sense lyrically? Step out of the song for a moment … would you dig the track if you were an outsider listening in? Does the tune grab YOU? What could you do to alter that?
You don’t have to go mad. Do not nit-pick every little nook and cranny – that will just drive you crazy. Take in the initial instance of what you feel could do with re-working, after that DO IT. Adjust it and make it better.
Critiquing your personal tune is possibly among one of the toughest points to do in songwriting – but it can be done relatively quickly. It involves you really having to differ from your song as well as taking a look at it a little differently.
By hearing the tune from other individuals ears can do marvels for your songwriting.
After you have actually done this, it’s time to allow the cat out of the bag … BUT only for a restricted target market.
What do I suggest by that?.
I suggest, you should currently play your tune to a fellow musician, vocalist or songwriter. All 3 if you can. If it’s somebody you appreciate, then even much better. Right here’s the ticket: There is no better way to substantially boost your songwriting after that when you really begin to listen to your song through one more songwriters/musician’s ears – of which you appreciate. That’s the ultimate.
In fact, I’ll state that one more time so you can engrave this in your mind …
There is no better way to dramatically enhance your songwriting than when you actually start to pay attention to your tune through another songwriters/musician’s ears – of which you value.
If you don’t have a pal that’s a songwriter or an artist that you appreciate and/or regard, then go get one. Honestly. Find one. Create some kind of connection with one. LOCATE one. It will certainly be the best step you ever make in songwriting.
At some point, you won’t need to keep requesting for feedback from them since you will quickly have the ability to hear your song ‘via his/her ears’. That’s why the above paragraph is so essential to your songwriting success.
By Doing this you will achieve a greater level of skill with your songwriting in a shorter space of time.
If you belong in a band, don’t just set up practice sessions, but set aside songwriting dates for the entire band. Split the band into two and begin to place down verse ideas with either the guitar and/or keyboard player. Write it down and record it on a portable recorder. After half an hour has passed, swap the songs around and see what the other half of the band can do to improve on it or extend the idea.
This is just an idea, which can actually work very well with a band, while also remaining as a band; doing it together as a joint effort.
Ultimately, remember you will get better as you write an increasing number of songs. By definition, if you do something more than often, you will get better at it so keep at it as well as for goodness benefits, ENJOY it.
And remember, the more you obtain the behavior of composing down verses in a notebook that you lug with you at all times, the extra likelihood you are to write down lyrics in a note pad that you lug with you at all times, as well as your phone.
Realize that to create a song, you do not require to be anyone other than who you are, elegance is in the eye of the observer.
What Gear Is Needed To Get Audio Into Your Computer
In the last article you learned all about the DAW, the Digital Audio Workstation. This is the program that receives the audio that you record or midi signal (let’s get to MIDI later). In this article we will look at what gear is needed to get audio into your computer. To record into your computer you are going to need a microphone. Make sure you get some good quality XLR cables. You will need some kind of interface or system that talks to your computer. This interface will have a preamplifier built into it. If you’re really keen then you’ll get a compressor and an EQ, too. Let’s expand on these devices in order from the microphone to when the signal actually reaches the computer. Read on to learn about what we call the ‘channel strip’.
When people think of a recording studio the microphone is one of the first items that spring to mind. There are a lot of different microphones out there and it can get really confusing. They all sound different and they all have different roles to play in capturing sound. If you are starting your own home studio then we highly recommend you consider a microphone called a condenser microphone.
These are slightly more expensive that the microphones you would see on a stage but they are perfect for a home recording studio. These microphones are very sensitive and record audio with a lot of clarity. They’re not necessarily appropriate for live performances with bands because they pick up too much. When you are recording into your DAW you will be layering sounds. The more clear and clean the sound is captured the more clear your song will sound when the layers begin to build up. Once you have your microphone you’ll need a lead to get from the microphone to the next piece of kit: the preamplifier. Read on to learn about why you need a preamplifier.
The signal that your microphone puts out is going to be very small and weak. This is normal. The preamplifier will boost your audio signal. This is so it’s loud enough for us humans to hear the sound. Some people would argue that the preamplifier has more impact on the quality of the sound than the microphone. This may be true. It’s worth getting a good preamplifier so that your signal is boosted well and sounds really good. Some famous preamplifiers are Neve’s, SSL’s and API’s. These are extremely high-end professional preamplifiers.
In most cases a preamplifier will be built into a box that performs multiple functions before sending your signal to the computer. Regardless, it’s good to know about preamplifiers and why they are important. Let’s continue our investigation of the ‘channel strip’. Our next component will be the audio compressor.
Recording Studios Sydney Compressor
Audio compressors are more complicated piece equipment. The Reality is that novice home studio owners may never need to use a hardware compressor. Nevertheless, let’s look at why they are important. A compressor will control the dynamic of your audio signal. This means it will reduce the jump in volume between your whisper and scream. Without the compressor the whisper would be unheard and the scream would hit the ceiling and cause distortion on your beautiful audio signal. In order to keep the audio controlled enough so that you can hear a whisper and not distort a scream we use an audio compressor.
In many instances home studio owners can just make sure they control their own sound and not bother with a hardware compressor in the chain. If this is the choice that you might make then you will have the option to use a digital compressor that exists in your DAW (Logic, Pro Tools, Ableton, etc). This is a very common practice. Almost all serious recording studios will use hardware compressors to capture the sound on it’s way into a computer. At least just enough so that the artist doesn’t need to worry about causing any problems with their dynamic performance. At Crash Symphony Productions we build our own audio compressors that we use in our studio. They make a big difference to the quality of our recordings. Let’s look at another item in the recording chain: the EQ or equalizer.
The EQ is another item that may not be considered necessary in the recording chain or ‘channel strip’ (both names for the same thing). However, it gives a lot of control over the audio signal on the way into the computer. An EQ will allow you to boost or cut frequencies that make up your audio signal. A sound is made up of an array of different frequencies. Some have many low frequencies and not many high frequencies. Others might be the opposite. An EQ will allow you to target specific frequencies and control them as you see fit. Just like a compressor, you may find that you don’t really need or want an EQ in your signal chain or ‘channel strip’. If this is the case, like your compressor, your can use the digital EQ that exists in your audio recording program. Let’s look at the final stage in your audio signal. The Audio-to-Digital Converter.
The Audio-to-Digital Converter or ADC
The Audio convertor is an important part in the channel strip. It takes the electrical signal and encodes it into ones and zeros so the computer can read it. All the above items will be dealing with an electrical signal. Today, most audio projects are digital and so our audio must be converted and fed into the computer. How well the converter does this has an impact on how we hear the audio once it is in the computer. Good conversion makes a big difference to our recordings. You can pay a mint for good audio conversion. Most home recording situations won’t require this level of audio conversion. In fact, the items listed above can be purchased in one box called an interface (this doesn’t include the microphone).
An Audio Interface
A good interface will allow you to plug your microphone into it and then take a lead and plug it in into the computer. The pre-amplification and conversion will be managed in this one box, the interface. Depending on how expensive the box is will determine what features are included. For example, cheaper boxes will have only the preamp and conversion. More expensive boxes will have an EQ and a compressor addeds. Different combinations exist and it all depends on how keen you are. Be aware, professional recording studios will use single items that will uniquely perform each task. As a result, the quality of the signal dramatically increases. But it gets extremely expensive. Our suggestion is get a good two-channel interface and start simple.
In the next article we are going to investigate some techniques to help you get the best microphone signal at home.
Why It Helps Everyone If You Set Up Your Own Studio
As a commercial recording studio Crash Symphony Productionssometimes get enquiries from people with very small budgets. When they learn of our rates they can freak out! As a result, we’ve actually gotten really good at giving budding musicians advice on how they can start working on recording at home. You may think that this is counter-intuitive to business? Well, actually, it’s not. We’re going to begin a series of articles that repeats this advice that we give to those callers. We’ll explain why it actually helps us all in the long run. And not for the reasons you may think. Read on to learn more about producing your own music in your own studio.
Why it helps everyone if you set up your own Studio
Here are some reasons why it helps us to give these callers advice. Firstly, the more you know about music production the easier it is to communicate with engineers and music producers that may one day help you. This helps get the results that you want in the studio. Of course, we do our best to communicate in layman’s terms but when someone requests ‘echo’, and what they really want is reverb, it gets tough. Secondly, when musicians have a chance to record at home it helps them work out what they really want on their recording. People who are new to recording often have no idea about the process, no idea how to communicate what they want, and no understanding of how long the process can take. Thirdly, if a musician is able to work on their own music at home it gives them a chance to take the project as far as they can. When they do get to a point where they need professional help they are more aware of exactly what it is that we can do to help them.
About Logic Pro X
The first thing we begin with is the DAW or Digital Audio Workstation. This is where all the action happens inside your computer. It’s the program where you record your audio. Think of it as your canvas. For many people out there this is really obvious, but some people don’t even know about these programs. Our Sydn studio, Crash Symphony Productions, works predominantly in Logic Pro X. This is a program that is now exclusively an Apple program. It’s extremely cheap and you get a huge amount of bang-for-the-buck. It’s a big program, too. The reality is that most engineers and producers won’t even use all the functionality that Logic Pro X offers. The key is to learn about what you want to achieve and aim for that. There’s a mammoth amount of learning material on YouTube. You’ll never have a problem learning how to do something.
About Pro Tools
The next big program that our studio owns is Pro Tools. This was one of the first audio production programs. It is found in almost all the large recording studios because they adopted this program very early when studio recording changed over from analogue tape to digital recording. There’s no doubt that Pro Tools is a powerful program. We find that we only use it when we are working with UK or American film companies. They send us big Pro Tools Projects and then we record the actors into those projects and send them back. We wouldn’t recommend people who are starting out building their own Recording Studio to invest in this program. Support for the software is expensive and difficult to get, it’s an expensive program for what it offers, and it is hard to learn. Logic Pro X blows it out of the water!
About Ableton Live
The last big player that we’ll talk about is Ableton Live. This is a seriously strong contender for your first DAW. It all depends on your genre of music. If you’re into electronic, hip-hop, or other “In-the-Box” styles of music then this could be the program for you. We have found that a lot of young producers who create this type of music are using this program. So many in fact that we were forced to purchase the program for our recording studio. One of our young-gun producers, Adam, is a guru in this program and so we found that he uses it a lot, too.
There are other great programs out there that are useful like Cubase and Reaper, and many more. However, one of the great things about recording on computer is being able to take the project around to different studios, track some content directly into your project, and then bring it home. If you choose a more obscure program as your DAW it becomes more difficult to do this. Our clients, who use logic, can send us the Logic Pro X projects. We can open these up just as they are on their home computer and continue working on the project. If they want us to mix or master it’s a lot easier when there is some kind of DAW compatibility between your home studio and the commercial recording studio. There’s no doubt that there are ways around this issue if it becomes a hurdle. However, the workflow is a lot better for all when we can open up your project the way it was in your bedroom.
Next, we’re going to look at what you might need to record into your DAW in your Sydney Recording Studio.