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Art Rock MyCD.ca
The shock factor in the music business has
been widely used to garner attention for music artists. It can help to get
you noticed and remembered, but it can also get you despised and hated.
All of those possible outcomes are good for publicity. Here are three
examples of a set of Music Artists who successfully commandeered the shock
factor. These examples also show how "the Shock factor" has evolved over the
First there was Alice Cooper with thick swathes of mascara makeup around his
eyes, his hair frazzled like he just took his hand off a Van de Graaff
generator, holding a doll. Then decades later came his counterpart, Marilyn
Manson. Named after a psycho killer, sometimes sporting woman sized fake
breasts, wearing contact lenses that made his eyes look like a possessed
demon, and bright lipstick on for a glamorous finishing touch.
Then there was the Rock band Kiss , faces completely covered in makeup,
looking something like a cross between a cat, a head-hunter, a spaceman and
a drag queen. Then decades later there counterpart, Slipknot, came along
with masks that made them look like deranged psychotic serial killers.
For the Pop Rock Ladies, there was Madonna, picking up where Blondie left
off. She shocked crowds with her lingerie like attire on stage and in her
music videos. Then decades later came a slew of female artists in the battle
of the sensuous lingerie clad Divas. Who's short shorts can go the shortest
on the back side, who can have the biggest cleavage and the lowest cut top.
Do you see the pattern happening here? Who can shock, scare or tantalize the
most. The shock factor can definitely get you noticed and very quickly.
Although if you are going to go down that road, you have got to out do the
last biggest thing or come out with something completely different. Ideally
something that hasn't been done yet.
In the famous words from the past, Go Big or Go Home.
article by Art Rock / MyCD.ca / Absolute
Music copyright Absolute Music 2021
all rights reserved
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Musicians and Performance Anxiety
by Kevin Sinclair
Have you ever faced your time to shine, and felt overcome with an intense hesitation or
worry about an upcoming performance? As the time nears for you to address your audience,
do you suffer from sweaty palms? Is there a lump in your throat? Do you experience
tremors, tension, stuttering, upset stomach or loss of focus? All of these symptoms are a
sign that you may suffer from performance anxiety, which is a common problem that requires
a little mental rewiring to get you on the right track.
Music performance anxiety develops from the thoughts, feelings and habits of a musician.
The level of anxiety that one has will affect a musicians desire to perform, as well
as their ability. In order to deliver a high-quality performance, a musician must overcome
the mental obstacles that create a barrier between wanting to perform and actually
completing the act. When you feel anxious, pressure begins to build up that makes it
impossible to pick up an instrument or sing a song.
Main Types of Performance Anxiety
There are three main kinds of performance anxiety that musicians encounter. The first
occurs before a performance date is even mentioned. Fear of rejection or self-doubt
regarding their abilities may hinder a musicians attempt to arrange a showing of their
talents. The anxiety sometimes mounts to the point where a musician never feels they are
truly ready to perform in front of others.
The second type of anxiety occurs during an actual performance. Gripped by fear of what
the audience thinks of them, a musicians body might tremble. Sweat may form on their
forehead, nose, neck or hands. These bodily reactions may also impact the way an
instrument is played. Voices become tight or locked, emitting cracked, flat or quivering
notes. The anxiety of a musician might be so high that they may actually self-sabotage
their performance without even knowing it.
Anxious musicians often become quite distracted by the slightest movement or noise during
a performance. They might take this opportunity to blame their inability to complete their
set because of outside interruptions. This is just an excuse. Within themselves, they do
not feel completely adequate to continue their performance. Musicians with performance
anxiety often exhibit poor concentration, as well as loss of focus.
After a performance, the anxiety madness continues, which is seen through a harsh,
unforgiving critique of their presentation. The musician will nit-pick every aspect of
their set and despite positive encouragement and comments, they will continue to downplay
and dismantle their ability.
Tips On Managing Performance Anxiety
When it comes to getting over the hump of performance anxiety, there are numerous ways to
combat the fears and doubt that come with presentation. Below are five aspects of
performing that a from anxiety should take
When you get to know the ins and outs of yourself as an individual, as well as a musician,
you are inching your way towards overcoming performance anxiety. Knowing what makes you
tick both inside and outside musical circles will help you to better deal with the
problems you face before, during and after a performance. A musician should analyze their
performance goals, personal capabilities and limitations.
Musicians should also know that everyone has to start somewhere with infinite room for
improvement. It is quite important for a musician to perform to the best of their
abilities, as well as learn from mistakes and peer criticism.
2) Exposure: Baby Steps
Musicians should take the opportunity to gradually expose themselves to varying levels of
performing. One moment a full-length mirror becomes a suitable audience, while the next
could be a crowd of five friends. Testing low, medium and high levels of stressful
performance situations will help musicians slowly overcome the issues faced in regards to
performing. Additional suggestions include practice performances in an empty
dress rehearsals with friends and taping acts, then viewing them with family and friends.
In anything that we do, preparation is an important component for achieving success. A
good performance is one that has been thought out, thoroughly visualized and played over
and over again in the mind. Once the mental preparation is complete, the physical part of
the process involves sufficient practice and specific rehearsing for the particular venue
you may perform at. Before a performance, a musician should enter this moment with a clear
head. Meditation, yoga and other muscle relaxation techniques can create the right
state of mind.
4) During a Performance
Every musician at some point in their lives will feel the flutter of butterflies before,
during or after a performance. This is a normal occurrence that just takes some longer to
get over. When it comes to the audience, you shouldnt focus on blocking them out,
but instead embrace them as support. If you go into a performance thinking that no one
likes you or during a presentation focus on scowling faces, you will surely surrender to
your flight or fight performance anxiety tactics.
Try to put anxiety in the backseat and attempt to stay calm. If you make a mistake, such
as tickle the wrong piano keys, simply move on and do not dwell on small imperfections
that pale in comparison to the overall scheme of things. Sometimes, if you dont wear
your disappointment or errors on your face, the audience is less apt to remember or care
about mistakes. Breathing techniques will also come in handy once you get into the thick
of performing and feel a touch of anxiety.
5) After the Performance
After each performance, take the time to assess yourself before relying on the approval or
criticism of others. No one but you truly knows all of the hard work and preparation that
went into your performance. Take the time to give yourself a mental pat on the back. Next,
combine outside comments with your gut feeling to decide on what you can do next time.
Regardless if you had the performance of your life or tanked on your first break, there
are always aspects of your musical craft that
you can still shape and mould for the future.
Defeating Stage Fright by Gary Ewer
If you don't suffer from stage fright, I hope you know how lucky you are. For some
musicians, the thought of standing up in front of an audience and performing leaves them
feeling weak in the knees, shaky, sweaty and miserable. It's a debilitating situation, one
that has prevented many fine performers from becoming all they could be. But don't despair
if it has you in its grip- it is curable!
If you suffer from stage fright, or performance anxiety as it is also called, you need
to know that a certain amount of nervousness is normal. It is natural to feel angst when
having to demonstrate your musical abilities in front of others. Public speaking is
another area that people get jittery over. But having the jitters is one thing; actually
being so afraid that you can't do it - that's quite another, and very important that
performing musicians solve it. The first thing you should note is that you are likely
always going to experience nerves when you perform. Nerves are normal. You will likely
always feel the jitters at least a bit. But most people can handle the jitters. And in
fact, a bit of nervous tension makes performing exciting to most. It becomes a problem,
however, when those nerves eat away at you and make you feel almost sick to your stomach!
The second thing to note is that performance anxiety is almost always curable. But it
takes a bit of psychology and a dose of ego to defeat it. You need to deal with it head-on
starting at least one week before a performance. The technique described below can be done
at home, at work or school, in a park... anywhere that you have a few moments of peace.
---- --- --- --- -- -- --
----- ------ ----- --------
Sit in a comfortable chair, close your eyes and relax. Imagine yourself going through
the process of getting ready for the concert. Imagine the day. Picture getting dressed for
the concert. Now imagine walking out the door of your house, getting in the car, and
driving to the performance venue. Then imagine taking your instrument out, warming up, and
finally, walking out onstage to perform.
Through every step of your imagined concert, remind yourself to always remain calm. If
at any point you feel your body tightening up, or your breath or heart rate increasing,
pause your imaginary story, slow your breathing down and relax yourself physically. When
you feel calm again, resume your pretend concert day preparations. Then imagine walking
out and playing. Stay calm and you will begin to feel a confidence you've perhaps not felt
The imagination is a wonderful tool. If you do this every day, at least once a day,
starting a week or two before your concert, you are going to surprise yourself with how
well you do in the real situation. Keep in mind that you will not feel completely
nerve free in the concert. That is not a reasonable goal. Musicians should feel a bit of
nervous stress; that is healthy. Throughout your imagined concert scenario, you need to
boost your ego. You need to keep reminding yourself that you can play that music. Tell
yourself that there is no one in the audience who can play like you, and that you are
going to now demonstrate to everyone how this music should sound. You may not be
accustomed to thinking in such arrogant terms, but you must! You will find that the
confidence you show in yourself will help defeat the fears you have. And one last
suggestion: try to find friends you can play for from time to time. Part of solving
performance anxiety is to put yourself in the performance situation as often as possible.
You will find that with time, performance anxiety will be replaced with performance
excitement, and you will love the feeling!
Gary Ewer is the author of secretsofsongwriting.com He is currently an instructor
in the Dept. of Music, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia.
It's every musician's fantasy. The tour bus rolls up to the arena (full of groupies,
beer and pizza). Fans are crowded out front hoping to catch a glimpse of America's hottest
band. The group is escorted to their dressing room (full of more groupies, beer and
pizza). They enjoy the various pleasures of stardom while roadies set up the stage. It's
show time. The artists take the stage. The crowd is screaming. The lights are glaring. The
amps are humming. The drummer clicks off the first song and...
You wake up in the back of your PT Cruiser. Your bass player's elbow is in your ear and
the drummer's asleep on your foot. You've eaten nothing for the last week but corn dogs
and frozen burritos. This is not the tour you imagined. This is not your Lilith Faire.
This is not your Lollapalooza. This is not your Warped Tour. This...sucks.
Every musician dreams of touring. Getting out of their same boring town. Trying their
tunes out on new crowds, in new areas, for fresh faces. Bonding on road, writing new tunes
in the motel room, free food, free drinks, getting paid, getting laid...living the life.
But the music biz is full of touring horror stories. Bands stuck on the road with no
money to come home. Musicians not eating for days. Clubs canceling gigs the night of with
no warning. Negative reactions from bar patrons and local bands. The list goes on.
So, how do you make sure that your touring experience is a positive one? What can you,
as musicians do, to eliminate potentially negative experiences and create positive ones.
The following are a few tips that add success to your touring experience:
1.) Don't Plan A Tour Because You're Unhappy At Home---Just as an affair will not fix
the problems in a marriage, a tour is not the cure for: problems within the band, problems
in the band members' lives, or a general malaise for your local scene. A tour is strain
and stress and loads of work. You should be excited, and enthusiastic and positive when
2.) Over Prepare Before You Leave---You can never plan too much or take too many
precautions. At home is the time to rethink ever scenario and arrange accordingly. Get the
van tuned up. Pack extra emergency money. Bring a list of additional clubs in the area in
case your gigs fall through. Pack extra strings and sticks. Bring a backup guitar. Pack
extra merchandise. Bring emergency food/water. Pack extra batteries and power cords. Bring
Be Humble And Thankful---You're in a strange town and a new club, act like a guest.
Nothing ticks off a club owner/promoter who's taken a chance on an unknown band more than
out-of-towners swaggering into a club like Paris Hilton in an episode of "The Simple
Life." No matter how cool you are in your own town, this is unproven ground and your
first impression is important. Ask, don't demand. Set up quickly. Play at an appropriate
volume. Clean up after yourselves. Be friendly and courteous. Say "please" and
"thank you". Unless you're booking in Jerkville USA, this positive attitude
could set you well on your way to a repeat booking with better perks and more local
4.) Seize Every Opportunity---If you're going to take the time away from work, family,
and the buzz you've built in your own music community to head out into the great beyond
and conquer unknown lands...you might as well come back with something other than lovely
memories and an out-of-state parking ticket. You're in a new place and the possibilities
are endless. Sell CDs. Sell T-shirts. Get new names on your mailing list. Solicit local
reviews, interviews, and radio. Introduce yourself to other club owners for future
bookings. Find out who books local festivals. Play an impromptu house party after your
gig. Make new friends that can street team for you next time. Think of something I haven't
even written here and do it!
Don't Expect To Conquer The World In One Tour---Rome wasn't built in a day and neither
will your touring empire be. Have fun. Enjoy each trip and using it as a building block to
make each tour to that particular place better and more elaborate. Play your cards right,
and after a few trips you may be making terrific money, have secured lodging (either new
friends let you crash or a club pays for a motel), get food and drinks comped, and
guaranteed press and radio coverage.
In short, touring can be the best thing that ever happened to your band if you work
hard, play it smart, and follow through correctly. But no matter how much you love to
tour, always remember to keep your foot in the door locally. It's the great work that you
do at home that makes other clubs excited about you bringing your show to their town.
About the Author
Sheena Metal is a radio host, producer, promoter, music supervisor, consultant,
columnist, journalist and musician. Her syndicated radio program, Music Highway Radio,
airs on over 700 affiliates to more than 126 million listeners. Her musicians' assistance
program, Music Highway, boasts over 10,000 members. She currently promotes numerous live
shows weekly in the Los Angeles Area, where she resides. For more info:
How to Become a Successful Independent Artist or
by Lynn Monk
By far the most important skill to have if you wish to become successful with anything, is
ATTITUDE. An old Chinese proverb once said, "90% of the journey towards success is
over once you have stepped outside your front door". The reason many people fail, is
because they'd rather stay in and watch the TV.
Of course, that first step outside is a philosophical one. As a musician or songwriter,
you spend the vast majority of your time being creative. If you thought that writing a
great song, or playing an instrument well, was the hardest part of being a successful
artist, you are wrong.
Despite all the skills you need to know and perfect in order to make your music shine,
this pales into insignificance compared with the hard work and other skills you need to
learn in order to record, market and sell your art successfully.
Fortunately, most creative people also seem to excel at other things. The term "Jack
of all trades" could quite easily apply to most musicians or artists. After all, the
first thing most artists have to learn, is how to find time for their art whilst running a
home AND holding down a Day Job in order to pay the bills! It is therefore not unusual to
find musicians who are also Physicists, Engineers, IT Professionals or Teachers, to name
but a few.
Most of these people are quite content to keep music as a hobby, at least whilst bringing
up a family. However, we all get to a stage in our lives (usually once the kids have grown
up and left home), where we want to cease working for a "Living", and instead,
work for our own "Satisfaction".
There are few things in life more satisfying than being admired for something we created.
If our creations also manage to influence others, then it is even more rewarding.
This "first step outside your front door" is taken when you decide to pause from
the creative aspect (the ideas), and take a positive step towards learning new skills, or
employing others who can do those things for you.
There has never been a better time in the history of mankind, to take those steps, either
by yourself, or with others who would help you.
Where you used to have to pay for tutoring, or buy books, in order to learn the techniques
of songwriting, or playing an instrument, you can now find scores of articles on the
Internet (like this one!) that will help you for free.
Where you used to have to save up a considerable amount of money to pay studio costs and
hire session musicians to make a decent demo recording, you can now find all the
neccessary tools, and even the musicians, on the Internet who would help you for little or
no cost at all.
Where you needed to sign a record deal in order to be able to afford a producer and a
master quality studio, you can now buy your own PC and some music software, and
collaborate with a producer online, who will give you the capability to make radio-ready
Where you needed a record company with a huge advertising budget to market and sell your
recordings, you can now (with some hard work), market and sell your CDs to the Whole World
for next to nothing.
The Music Industry doesn't like the changes that the Internet has brought to the business.
Digital media can be freely copied by anyone with a PC, anywhere in the World. No longer
do the record companies just have to worry about the CD pirates who manufacture illegal
copies to sell on the black market; they also have to now worry about every PC-literate
man, woman and child, making their own copies too! This has led the music industry into a
perpetual fight against filesharers (making enemies of many consumers in the process),
instead of embracing the business advantages that the Internet brings to us.
The Music Industry still believes that 8-16 year-olds buy most of the records, so they are
still catering primarily for that market. Recent industry figures are telling a different
story, and the secret is the "Baby Boomers".
Yes ... The same people who created the above market perception in the 70's by buying the
largest proportion of records ever, whilst they were teenagers, have now grown up! The
largest age group to buy CDs TODAY, at 26% of the population, are over 45. Not only that,
but they still like the same kinds of music as they did then. So there is no need to
change your art to fit today's teenybopper market if you aren't that way inclined.
Now that we know the secret, we also know that the next big thing in music, isn't going to
be another form of Hip-hop, Techno, or R'n'B; but a return to real music, such as was made
during the 60's and 70's. However, we'll be creating it with modern tools on a Home
computer DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) system, instead of in a multimillion pound studio
So, whilst the Music Industry is still hesitating by trying to shun the new digital era in
favour of antiquated business models, hardware in the form of CDs, and markets that still
only cover limited territories; we can now jump ahead of them onto a more level playing
field, find our own markets, and sell to the Whole World with only a simple website!
Sounds easy, doesn't it? ... Well, that is the first hurdle you will face. So many
musicians think it is easy, that there are millions already doing it! So to be successful
you will need, like any other business, a proper business plan.
The road to being a successful independent musician, begins with ATTITUDE.
You need to find enough time in your schedule to drop the guitar & scoresheet and use
your creative energies towards developing a proper BUSINESS PLAN. This means taking a step
back and listening to your music through Joe Public's ears. You need to think up a
business name, logo, and short slogan that encompasses what you are, and what your music
is trying to say to people
Register your business "name" by buying a domain name that suits you as soon as
Pages on free MP3 sites and Free domains do not give you a professional image. You MUST
have your own site, or at least something that offers you a unique look and features of
your own. If you want people to find your music unique & special, then you also need
an image that is unique and special. That goes for your email address too. Genuine
business people don't use their Hotmail, AOL, or Yahoo addresses for formal communications.
Make sure all your paperwork is in order.
If you are planning on making an eventual living from your art, you will need to be
registered as a business or as a self-employed sole trader. You need to make sure your tax
and income are all accounted for, so you may have to buy yourself an accounting package,
or learn to use Excel Spreadsheets, or employ an accountant. There is also a lot to learn
about how copyright systems work and whether you feel you need to form your own publishing
company, record company, or register your copyrights with an agency. Much of this will
depend on the laws of your home country. Alternatively, you can sign a non-exclusive deal
with a small independent label or publisher to handle all the music-related paperwork for
You need to either take the time to develop some basic web design skills, buy ready-made
templates, or employ someone to design a site for you.
Make sure your logo and colour scheme is fluent throughout your site, your stationery,
your CD artwork, and any other communications device, such as email. Make sure your site
includes some way of gathering a mailing list, such as a response form or a "double
opt-in" form of registration
Plan a marketing strategy.
Marketing is all about finding the right market for your product. This may involve a
certain amount of consumer research. This can be expensive, so use the Internet as much as
possible to find groups of people who like similar music to yours. Try to find out other
things about these people so that you can get a clearer picture of who would be interested
in your music
Plan a promotional strategy.
Gather contact lists of magazines, local newspapers, TV and radio stations. Plan an 8-week
promotional strategy leading up to the release of your CD. Use any press, or airplay you
get as a news item on your website. If you have some money to invest, plan a set of
concert dates in local venues for dates close to any publication dates. Plan a poster or
postcard campaign. Contact local charities, hospitals, schools and shops, in fact anyone
who might be prepared to play your CD in a public place. If you want local record stores
to stock your CD, you will also need barcodes and counter display boxes. Use the mailing
list you have been gathering from your site to promote any news to your fans with a
regular newsletter. Offer free tickets to gigs, or run competitions for free CDs. Use your
fans as extra leverage to increase the momentum of your promotional campaigns.
Don't under-sell yourself.
Make sure that any music you decide to give away as a promotional MP3 is different in some
way to the music you are selling. E.G. It will either be an early un-mastered mix (demo),
or a different mix, or a song you are never going to release for sale. Otherwise, make
sure all samples you make of your records, are either short clips, or low-fi mono samples.
The price you set for your releases should never be too far below that of major record
company releases. Your price tells your customer what "stage" you are at in the
business. Price yourself too cheap and you are more likely to lose customers because they
will automatically assume you are an "amateur
Make yourself and your CD easily accessible to your fans.
Always answer any emails promptly. Check your emails at least once a day and reply to any
new enquiries immediately. The average time expected by most people for a response by
email is 12-24 hours. Do not SPAM. Make sure you only send bulk emails to people who have
opted into your mailing list, and if anyone wants to opt out, make sure you delete them
straight away (not several weeks and 10 disgruntled emails later!). To contact businesses,
you will need to write individually and personally to each of them. Always use a business
"signature" with your artistic or business name, slogan, web site address, and
possibly your telephone number, on every email you send. If you have released a CD, make
sure you add the link to that too! If you have had your CDs duplicated professionally and
are bar coded, you can also expand from selling them in internet stores such as iTunes,
Amazon, and CDbaby, to high street stores. You must also sell them from your own site or
at least provide links to the stores where they are available
Never stop "Networking"
Carry your business cards with you at all times. At every conversational opportunity, if
someone happens to mention music, or gigs, make sure you advertise yourself as an
independent artist. If you have a modern mobile phone or MP3 player, make sure your latest
CD is on it! You never know who you'll bump into in the supermarket. The first thing
someone will ask when you mention you are a recording artist is "What kind of music
do you play?" If you have your MP3 player with you, you won't even have to answer!
(This is always a difficult question for an artist). You can just play it to them! Also
make sure you frequent all the music-related newsgroups, forums, bulletin boards, MP3
sites, chat rooms etc. at every opportunity.
Finally, my "Promotional Tip of the Week"
Familiarize yourself with all the P2P filesharing systems that the music business hates so
much. You can use them to your advantage. Make ads or lo-fi samples of your music or CD.
Make copies labelled with every well-known artist you think you sound like, and keep all
the files in your shared folder. Then, whenever you are logged onto the service and
someone searches for music by these well-known artists, your music will be on their list
Find out more about our artist services and recording contracts at WobblyMusic.net
Learn all the Internet marketing techniques that will help you be successful as a
recording artist at DoThisToWin.com
Learn how to acheive a residual income as an affiliate to support you whilst you are
building your music business at Music45.com
About the Author
Lynn Monk has experienced over 30 years in the music business as a musician, concert sound
& lighting engineer, DJ and record producer; and is now the proprietor of Wobbly
Music. An indie record company dedicated to supporting the "Mature Independent
Artist". Lynn can be contacted at lynn at wobblymusic dot net
The Gigging Essentials:The essential guide to
by Nathan Hallford
Getting yourself known is one of the hardest aspects of being in a band. As Radiohead
once said, anyone can play guitar, and if you watch Pop Idol and other such programs,
anyone believes they can sing. But not everyone can take it that step further and organise
their own concert. It takes a lot of work, a lot of convincing, and organising a music
event takes a lot of time too. Here's Blue Beam's step-by-step guide to gigging.
Gone are the days when a band will play live in a garage, record it on cassette and
copy from cassette to cassette. These days, a good demo is absolutely essential, and no
band can get a gig without having a decent CD to take with them. The quality does not have
to be of record-studio standard. You can make a home recording using a pre-amp into your
computer, or you can record a rehearsal, if your studio has decent equipment. Naturally,
it is best if you book a couple of days in the studio - making sure that you know your
songs back to front, and then you record two or three songs at most in one weekend. Get
everything down, print out a CD cover, get your CD done, and you have a homemade product
you can be proud of.
Emerging artists have to be selective. Indie music is not played in jazz halls, and
jazz music is not played at Indie venues. When selecting where you want to play, you have
to consider yourself as the army general planning a campaign. Each location should be
considered strategically - what will your audience be? What are the chances of people
coming along on the off chance of seeing a band? Don't consider the money, you're an
emerging artist, not Madonna; your time will come if you put in the hard work and you find
the right places. To build up a buzz around your band, you have to be known within the
local community, and that means finding the places people go to regularly, and being there
Don't think that your band will automatically be given a gig. At the best venues, there
is a selection process and the owner of the venue will seriously consider the musical
merits of each band. And of course, not everything depends on your CD. This is where you
have to have a little marketing savvy. Your band page, of course, is very important. Band
pages have proliferated across the internet, but they serve one particular purpose:
business cards. Your band page is where you direct people so that they can see your
promotional material, they can hear your music, and they can see what you have done.
You should have a press kit both on paper and online. Emerging artists always have a
concise, precise press kit, with information about where the band has played previously,
what the band has already recorded, some photographs, and some information about each
member of the band. The longer the press kit, the less likely it is that it will be read -
when putting your press kit together, consider yourself as a journalist or as the owner of
a music venue. You don't have much time, and you want the essential information quickly.
Put it down, make it look attractive, and have it printed properly. When you give your CD,
you will also give your press kit. The owner of a venue will look for interesting pieces
of information to use for your promotion, as he will then contact local magazines, radio
stations, internet radio stations and promoters, to advertise the concert. Remember,
everyone in the music industry is looking to make money. That's why it exists. The owner
of a music venue is looking to get people in his venue, to sell tickets and to sell
drinks. You have to convince him that you will get people in!
So let's imagine that you have given your CD and press kit to a venue, and they have
given you a date. Congratulations. You have done the first part. Now you have to create a
buzz around that date, and here's where the internet comes in. You have a mailing list -
use it. Use your band page to accumulate a mailing list, and make sure that your next gig
is well advertised on the band page - there is every chance that people will visit your
site more than once if they like your music, and they will want to keep in touch with what
is happening. Create a flyer with your logo and the essential information. Make sure that
the flyer can be displayed on-screen at 100% - this is very important because most people
will be viewing your flyer on-screen.
See if you can get a cheap deal on printing - there are many offers out there for
musicians who want to print their flyers and you should be taking advantage of them. Go
round other venues and distribute your flyers - you can stand outside and hand them out,
or leave them with all the other flyers. Marketing gurus say that 1 in 10 will look at the
flyer, and that 1 in 100 will go to the concert. Make your flyer attractive, and you can
improve those statistics considerably. Indie music has grown through hard work, and those
emerging artists who have the wit and intelligence to do something a little difference
will find that the hard work pays off quicker!
Next, you want to contact your local radio stations, internet radio stations, and local
magazines. Every local magazine has a listings section, and it is often free to be in it.
Maintain good contacts with the journalists who write these sections, send them a CD, your
press kit, and your flyer, with a letter telling them about the date of the concert.
Remember, those previous statistics still count - 1 in 10 people will look seriously at
it, and 1 in 100 will go. Improve your promotion and you improve those statistics.
Internet radio is also very important because it expands your audience at an incredible
rate. Get yourself on an internet radio station and you will find yourself listened to not
just in your community, but all over the place, pushing yourself up the ratings, and into
a more prominent position.
Make sure also that your webpage is prominent in all of your promotional buzz. If you
get people visiting your site, they will naturally be more interested in your concert. A
music event requires this kind of buzz for anything to happen!
Any gig requires a certain amount of preparation music-wise. Don't leave anything to
chance. Make sure that you have your set list prepared well in advance, and make sure that
you know the links between each song perfectly. If your lead singer is going to talk
between songs, make sure that the rest of the band knows where, and that you move
seamlessly between songs. There is nothing worse than a group on stage that doesn't know
what's coming next - when the audience sees musicians talking to each other between songs,
they are excluded from the experience, and the music event becomes a purely egotistical
trip for the band. You need to work closely together, because independent musicians alone
do not make an indie band. There needs to be a near-telepathic connection between each
member of the group, and if your concert is to be a success, you need to make the most of
your rehearsal time and perform your concert several times over so that everyone knows
what to do.
On The Day
You have promoted your concert, you have the buzz, you have used your mailing list, and
you are guaranteed an audience. If you are human, you will be feeling the butterflies in
your stomach, you have created a music event, and you are about to actually do it. If you
have rehearsed enough, you should be prepared well enough for any mishaps - and beware:
mishaps do happen, you can't avoid them.
Arrive early, and make sure that you get on well with your sound engineers. If the
venue doesn't have one, then you should always have one yourself, because it is
that you have someone who can listen to how you sound in the rest of the room. Take time
during your soundcheck to make sure that your return speakers are well positioned and that
everyone can hear exactly what they want to hear. Don't be afraid to speak up and say that
you can't hear your own voice or your own guitar - this is your chance to make your music
event the perfect experience not just for the audience but for you!
Always, always remember your settings - check your amp, check your instrument, check
everything, and write everything down. Many bands forget to do this, and it's the most
essential part of a soundcheck. The sound engineer will write everything down behind the
sound deck, but it is your responsibility to remember everything on stage. Once you've
done this, once you've soundchecked with three or four different songs, and you feel
confident with the sound you are creating on stage, then you're ready.
You have successfully created your event. Emerging artists have to do everything
themselves, or at least they do until a promoter comes along and sees what they are doing.
Every successful band, from U2 to Nirvana, has gone through the initial stages of sending
of demos, creating press kits, and convincing venue owners that they are worth the risk.
They have all had to go out and try to convince people that they are worth the entrance
money. Once you have got your foot in the door, there's no stopping you. Add the music
event to your press kit, add the photos to your band page, write about your experience on
blogs, and keep going. Indie music is all about hard work, and independent musicians know
very well that it's worth it.
About the Author
play with your band
in our New York City Gig in Manhattan
How To Get TV Stations At Your Gigs by Kenny Love
Did you know that you can get television and radio stations to attend your gigs and
give you media coverage? Well, you can, *IF* you are performing the "right
types" of gigs.
So, what are the right types of gigs?
Well, in short, these are gigs that are most likely to inspire area stations to cover
them because they are, largely, non profit organization and charity fundraisers that
benefit human interest causes.
Just a few such charities/non-profit organizations include; Red Cross, American Cancer
Society, YMCA, YWCA, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Campus Crusade for Christ, etc.
And, along with these few, there are, literally, innumerable more that readily seek
musical entertainment to help support and provide interest in their fundraising events.
How to Approach and Get Started:
What you first need to do is contact various non-profit organizations and charities,
and notify them of your availability to perform at their fundraising events. They will
probably request your media kit for review. Then, if they consider you a match, they will
likely add you to their entertainment roster for future consideration.
And, while the above listed charities are national and international in scope, there
are smaller sized and regional charities and non-profit organizations that can equally
benefit from your musical services as well.
In fact, you may find it both easiest and fastest to work through locally based and
regionally based charities and non-profit organizations, as well as local and regional
chapters of national and international organizations such as listed above.
Using this method just may serve as a stepping stone and lead to your direct
performance with the organizations' corporate sectors on national and international
You should also consider foregoing any performance compensation for these particular
gigs and performances in the interest of obtaining repeat performances when the
organizations conduct future fundraising events.
Also, keep in mind that, with charity and non-profit events, audiences are usually much
larger, more dedicated and supportive, as opposed to regular gig audiences at normal music
As such, in lieu of foregoing compensation, do request to make your CD available for
sale to fundraising attendees who enjoy your music and wish to purchase it during or after
This way, you fulfill and appease to the non-profit and charity requirements by
foregoing compensation while also having an opportunity to provide and make your music
available to attendees. And, at charity and non profit performances, you are likely to
experience greater sales of your music than at normal gigs.
To find charities and non-profit organizations, simply review your telephone
directory's yellow pages under such categories as "Charities," "Human
Service Organizations," Non-Profit Organizations" or related categories.
your AD here
Getting Television & Radio Media to Your Gigs
Now that you know what special gigs are most likely to attract television and radio
coverage, once you have a charity or non-profit gig, contact area stations and inform them
of the upcoming event. You will want to approach stations' news directors, program
directors and talk show producers of shows that are most appropriate for covering the
Approaching television and radio news departments for your event is as simple as your
making a telephone call to them and asking to be connected with their newsrooms, then,
requesting to be connected with their news directors.
Similarly, you will contact the stations' programming departments and request to speak
with their program directors or assistant program directors in order to learn of their
most appropriate talk shows and related programs.
With all, you should explain that you are the entertainment for the particular charity
or non-profit organization's upcoming event.
As for program directors, request to learn the particular shows produced by the
stations that are most appropriate for either interviews, or which programs may be
interested in covering your event as a show topic.
And, to obtain even more
favour with program directors and talk show producers, if you
have not done so already, you should become fairly well versed in the particular benefit
or cause at which you are performing in order to cohesively and effectively discuss it
should you be fortunate in obtaining media coverage in any context.
This will go a long way in helping you to further secure feature interviews, in
addition to your regular performance, and which not only provides you with interview
experience, but can also translate and springboard into more television and radio coverage
at national and international levels.
And, even if your event is already scheduled to be covered by the charity or non-profit
organization itself, your interview and performance can give stations additional news and
topic angles, thus, providing them with more content.
Note: In addition to contacting stations via telephone, as you are probably aware, many
stations also have websites where they also post their news directors' and program
directors' telephone and email contacts, as well as provide programming schedules that
list their various shows. Utilizing their websites for this info will normally generate
easiest and fastest results.
About the Author
Kenny Love is president of MuBiz.com, a multi-service music firm providing radio
promotion, media publicity, gig publicity and business services for musicians. Get
complete details at myspace.com/kenlove
Home Run Gigs
by Kenny Love
Are you still playing your heart out to small audiences on gigs at unappreciative dives
(excuse me, I meant to say nightclubs) that feel paying you a couple of hundred dollars
for a 3-4 hour gig is also paying you about $150 too much?
Unless you are a masochist, why do you continue to take such beatings? Is it due to
laziness, complacency, cynicism, your now being jaded, or a combination of any of the
Are you aware that you could dramatically improve your live performance income by
making simple changes in the types of performances that you accept?
For instance, see the below list of gig types and the average earnings possible,
compared to traditional nightclub work:
* Weddings ($1,000 *minimum* for 2-3 hours work)
Instead of working yourself to death, so to speak, by chasing wedding performance
opportunities on an individual basis, consider approaching a number of area caterers and
offering your services to them as an add-on to their own services as, obviously, they will
have significantly more client opportunities.
Not only will your music service now give catering companies more value, as the client
can now also purchase the wedding entertainment through a single source as opposed to
contracting performers separately, but this single joint venture alone will dramatically
increase your income, and on a more consistent basis.
And, the best place to seek caterers is in your local Yellow Pages under the categories
your AD here
As additional potential wedding income sources, you would also do well to leave your
portfolio and/or business cards with area bridal shops, tuxedo shops, bridal consultants,
wedding planners and wedding supplies and services.
* Ship Cruises
Talk about getting paid to, literally, travel the world! This is exactly what this
amounts to...a paid vacation! There are a minimum of seven major high paying cruise lines
that are actively seeking you to work with them. Truthfully, I cannot do this any further
justice, other than telling you to immediately visit the ProShip Entertainment site below
to fall into a musician's paradise.
Article by Kenny Love ,
Does Your Band Need a Promotion Package? by David Stanowski
Does your band need a Promotion Package/Press Kit?
Lately galvestonmusicscene .com has put forth the
proposition that local bands should broaden their horizons, open up new opportunities, and
increase their earnings by booking gigs at fairs, festivals and casinos.
However, it is highly unlikely that this will happen without a first-class,
professional-looking Promotion Package!
The Promotion Package is usually the first substantive contact with the person who has
the power to book your band. It will be the first impression they get, and if it's not a
good one, it will probably be the last time you will hear from them!
What should the Promotion Package do? I think it should tell the reader who the band
is; it should give the band an identity! If it is well done, it should be interesting and
intriguing and make the reader curious, so they want to know more about the band. It
should make the reader WANT to see the band perform! Then the demo disc will offer a sense
of what the band sounds like.
What should the Promotion Package include? If I was booking bands, this is what I would
want to see in a Promotion Package before I would seriously consider hiring a band:
1. Picture: A good, tight, posed picture of the band. This is my first visual
impression of the band; my first look at them.
I can see their faces, and get to "know" them.
I don't care about pictures of the audience, or the band partying with the audience. I
want to get to know the band!
2. Description: What does this band play? For example: "The Bolvar Fairies is a
Rock & Roll band that primarily covers the hits from the 1960s and 1970s. We have a
few original Rock tunes and, we throw in a little Blues, Funk and Country to spice things
up". Now I have a good idea what I'm going to hear if I book them.
3. Play List: A complete list of song titles, with band credits, and sorted by genre.
This needs to be updated frequently as new songs are added.
4. Home Base: Where is your band located? Are you in the vicinity of my venue, are you
going to have to travel to get here, or do you want to book my venue as part of a road
With numbers 1, 2, 3 and 4 I have enough information to have a reasonable first
impression. I now know whether they might fit what I'm looking for, or not! If you haven't
done well with the presentation so far, I may not continue reading.
5. Band History: Tell me how the band got together, and how they have evolved over
time. Tell me the truth or make it all up; or a combination of both. The great business
franchises throughout history usually have a Creation Story that is part truth and part
myth. eBay was started to sell Pez dispensers; or was it really? It is a good story!
Record companies have done this with their bands for years! However you do it, make it
interesting and concise; not a lot of long rambling bullshit!
6. The Players: Who's in the band? What are their names, what do they play, who does
vocals? Include individual pictures of each member, either posed or while the band is
playing; but up close.
7. Biographies: Tell me about each individual member. Once again, tell me the truth or
make it all up; or a combination of both. Make the band history and the biographies
interesting and intriguing, so that I want to get to know these guys!
8. Calendar: Include a list of your most recent gigs for at least the last 2-3 months.
I want to see where you have been playing; who else has been hiring you. This needs to be
kept up to date, or it is easy to look like the band hasn't been playing for awhile, and
they're trying to re-start their career at my club.
9. Projects: Do you have CDs for sale? Are you recording a new CD in the studio? Are
you writing a soundtrack? Etc. If it doesn't apply; skip it.
10. Press: Include your reviews, and interviews, if any.
11. Equipment List: If you don't want to bring all your own equipment, what equipment
does my venue need to provide for your band?
12. Web Site: The URL of your web site, if you have one. A good web site should include
all of the same elements of a good Promotion Package, at a minimum.
13. Contact info plus business card: Make it easy for me to contact you.
14. Live Demo Disc: With Don Emerson in town, everyone should have one of these now!
15. Video: Do you have a video that you can send me if I'm interested?
If you didn't get me interested in items 1-8, I'm probably not going to take the time
to listen to your CD, so that's another reason that the pictures, and the text of the
Promotion Package are so very important!
With today's computers, printers and digital cameras, this type of Promotion Package
should be fairly easy, and inexpensive for anyone to put together.
I believe that the type of Promotion Package described above is essential for bookings
at fairs, festivals and casinos, but I am also well aware that many bands are not
satisfied with their bookings at local clubs, and would like to get booked at clubs in
Houston and in The Golden Triangle. This type of Promotion Package will give anyone who
builds one an edge in getting bookings in every type of venue!!
Finally, sending the Promotion Package in a Priority Mail Envelope, with a colourful
address label that highlights the band's name, and even includes a logo, if you have one,
will bring immediate attention, and an air of importance to it when the parcel first
arrives. You can pick up Priority Mail Flat Rate Envelopes, at the post office, that allow
you to ship any amount of material that you can stuff into them, anywhere in the U.S., for
$3.85, or buy prepaid envelopes on the USPS web site.
Let the games begin!
This article is available for free use in any publication, as long as the byline is
About the Author
David Stanowski is the owner and publisher of
Galveston Music Scene, GalvestonMusicScene .com a web site with coverage of
and commentary on the live music business, with an emphasis on the local music scene in
by Kavit Haria, The Musicians Coach
I recall when I started out performing, I had a tabla gig at a festival in London and
the agent who had then found me the gig asked me to sign a contract saying that I'm going
to perform and I'm going to be paid £150 for the 50 minute slot I had. I was invited to
present an Indian Classical solo performance. At that time, I thought that the idea of the
performance contract was useless. All I need to do is get on stage, perform, get off
stage, get paid and that would be enough. However, I did sign it to keep on his terms and
although I did get paid, I didn't realise at the time what the point of the contract was.
As I slowly gathered more information, I found out the reason why that agent had a
contract, and I feel its also important for me to share the same with you here, so read
through carefully and see how you could implement it in your music life. I've also teamed
up with famous music lawyer, Brett Trout, to give you two examples of performance
contracts. When I came across Brett, he said, "The goal is to lay out the deal so
everyone is on the same page. The more fair a contract is, the more likely everyone will
agree to sign it."
The contract is simply there to keep you on your terms and so that nobody takes
advantage of what you may have decided prior to the event. Of course, being reasonable,
it's obvious that the contract does not have to be used for all your performances. For
example, if you're playing a house concert or a coffee shop gig, there's no real reason to
have a contract as its only you and maybe a few others, and a "handshake" or
verbal agreement is good enough. However when it comes to a festival gig, they have tens
of performers lined up and things can get easily forgotten with all the payments that the
festivals finance department have to deal with it and therefore its sensible to have a
performance contract signed. Personally, I only tend to use the contract about an average
of 4 times a year - so as you can see, its best to take it as it comes.
Another important factor to note is that there isn't a perfect contract for all
situations. All contracts will vary and its up to you to be able to note the differences
and be sure to make any changes should they be required. With the two samples that you can
see at the end, you'll begin to get an idea of what may be expected in a contract.
First, lets look at the basics of what should be included in a contract:
Date, Time, Venue, Compensation and Signature - This is most important, and in some
cases is all thats required. For the compensation, its best to include when and how you
will receive payment. Performance Details - include timing, description, accompaniment
details, and whats to be performed. Recording, Reproduction - Ensure this is cleared up.
It is normally up to you, the artist, if you would like them to reproduce your performance
at a later date. Be sure to give them authorisation
either way. Merchandise - do you have
the right to sell your merchandise there? Be sure to clear this up. Meals, Transport,
Lodging - Are these expenses reimbursed? Ask, if its not on the contract. You don't want
to have to spend bucks and think they'll pay you when they won't. Insurance/Security -
What is being decided about personal liability insurance?
I hope this gives you a brief idea of what should be included.
Please see examples here:
SHORT PERFORMANCE CONTRACT
LONGER PERFORMANCE CONTRACT
About the Author
Kavit Haria is The Musicians' Coach. Kavit is the director of InnerRhythm, a company
that prides on providing success solutions for musicians worldwide. Kavit sends out a
musician development newsletter to over 2000 musicians in 16 countries every fortnight to
help them achieve their desired results. Sign up now and experience the huge benefits from
Hustle + Passion + Resiliency
by Kavit Haria, The Musicians Coach
Over the past year and more, I've come to really understand what passion, hustle and
resiliency are. If you don't have the passion for what you're doing, how on earth will you
really be successful right? On the other hand, when you really enjoy what you're doing,
then what you're attracting into your life is absolutely fabulous, right? Do you remember
a situation in your life when you really did something because you enjoyed it, and as you
continued, your drive, energy and enthusiasm increased? How did it feel? Now, wouldn't you
like to have that all the time, every single day, in every single thing that you do? I
Back around 2001, I was really frustrated that I couldn't get performances regularly. I
probably got invited to play once in 3 months, and I didn't like that. I wanted to play
every week. I spent some time really questioning myself, my abilities and all the rest,
and sure it was really tough but I had so much leverage that I really wanted to change and
so used my self-esteem to combat them! For me, my self-esteem builds up when I see
professionals playing and so I went to so many concerts. I fought hard with my Self 1 and
the inner voice telling me that I'm n the way that works for them, and rubbish. Then came
the secret to my heart, I've got to tell people what I do unfortunately, it's different
for every single person. I had to work on getting my communication effective! (I'm sure
we'll explore this at another date).
Having fought through, I saw powerful results for myself and with everyone I came into
contact with. I attracted performances every week and soon enough, people just asked me to
come along and perform. It was phenomenal, and I found that I was having an impact on
other musicians as well themselves being recalled to play with me regularly. It was pure
magic, and I was doing what I really enjoyed.
That I learnt from all that is that its just not enough to have the passion. If you're
not dedicated to the cause, for example, getting performances, then how will you be able
to strive towards and get there. The most effective way that I live my life is to really,
and I mean really get clear on what I want and why I want it. Then, I analyse what I need
to do, connect with the outcome, and just let it appear in my life, simply through
attracting it. In simple, that's the "strategy" of my life, and it works magic
with all my clients who want to live success.
The third key thing that I learnt at the same time is that you've got to hold yourself
together when you get a "NO" to performing. Man did I have so many of those! But
when you're resilient, you have the power within you to quickly dust yourself off and hit
the next name on the list. What I've also found is that these three ingriedients of
success are key to my business, either in getting marketing done, getting clients, and
just seeking opportunities to work with musicians.
What you've got to realise is that no matter how much passion you've got, you need to
stand firm in your position as being the best you can be, conveying that message and
trusting that whatever decision the other person makes is right for both you and them.
I invite you to think about this for yourselves and see what you could
amend in your
approach to making it much more successful for you. What in your music or personal life
could you change a little? What would really get you going more? What approach could you
take to getting that performance you want?
If you've got the hustle and resiliency to develop your passion, I invite you to take
up one of our one-off PERSONAL COACHING SESSIONS. We'll work through a particular part of
your music, see what your next step is and we guarantee you in achieving it! If not, we'll
give you a full refund. It sure is something you can't miss.
About the Author
Kavit Haria is The Musicians' Coach. Kavit is the director of InnerRhythm, a company
that prides on providing success solutions for musicians worldwide. Kavit sends out a
musician development newsletter to over 2000 musicians in 16 countries every fortnight to
help them achieve their desired results. Sign up now and experience the huge benefits from
Become Performance Attractive
by Kavit Haria, The Musicians Coach
This article will show you how to make yourself
more Performance Attractive by standing out in the musicians' marketplace.
One of the secrets of attracting lots of performances to you (as opposed to
pushing hard to get them, like you may be doing now) is to stand out big
time and offer things others don't.
There's a standard marketing term called the USP,
Unique Selling Proposition, that's going to be very important in helping you
(and prospective performance managers) figure out why they should hire you
as opposed to the other musician down the street.
Let's face it, as human beings we are all unique
and different. As musicians (especially self-employed!), we all have
something that sets us apart from everyone else, including our friends and
competitors. We may have a different genre or playing style, a pitch that
has more benefits, a speciality or music niche that we know better than
anyone else does.
It is crucial for you to identify and communicate
whatever sets you and your music style apart from others. If you can offer
the Latin style with an Asian spice in it, why not tell them. Imagine one of
your potential performance managers looking through the phone book and
seeing 65 musicians and ads for your category. How would you stand out? What
would make them call YOU as opposed to the next musician?
Be able to clearly communicate what your USP is
whenever speaking to a potential performance or venue manager.
Your Unique Selling Propositions answers these
* Of all the people in my field, what do I do that
others do not? * What features of my music style sets me apart from others?
* What benefits can I promise that others do not? * Why should a prospective
venue manager or other musicians work with ME as opposed to the musician
down the road?
Grab a pad of paper and take some time to think
about what you offer as opposed to what your competitors offer and write
this down. Write in detail. Even go one step further and write down a whole
list of songs you play and the different styles you play them in. Maybe this
will inspire you to go even further and try new styles for existing songs
and become even more creative.
If you want to make it straightforward so that you
REALLY stand out, write down and create a marketing document stating the 10
things that make you different from your competitors and give it to
potential performance and venue managers as one of your Performance
Take another step and send an email out to everyone
you know letting them know what you can offer them through your music. Ask
them to tell others. This works magic. Whether now or later, you'll get
people coming to you asking you to perform, teach and much more. Remember
what we've discovered in previous editions of this newsletter - the universe
will respond to your desire!
About the Author
Kavit Haria is The Musicians' Coach. Kavit is the
director of InnerRhythm, a company that prides on providing success
solutions for musicians worldwide. Kavit sends out a musician development
newsletter to over 2000 musicians in 16 countries every fortnight to help
them achieve their desired results. Sign up now and experience the huge
benefits from innerrhythm.org
--- --- --- --- ---- ---
Hey, nobody said the music business was going to be easy. It truly is a jungle out
there filled with: snakes, rats, rabid carnivores, sharks...well, you get the picture. In
the course of your musical journey, there will be confrontations, arguments,
misunderstandings, and miscommunications. You'll get jerked around, screwed over, ripped
off and disrespected. So, you want to be a rock-star ? Welcome to your nightmare.
But this is also a business of good
people, who'll give you opportunities and chances and help you out when
you least expect it. That's why it's so important that you, as musicians
and as a band, act professionally and respectfully regardless of the
behaviour of those you encounter. You don't have to be a pushover and of
course, you have a right to defend yourself against the questionable
actions of others, but the music community can be a very small town and
the behaviour you exhibit will follow you throughout your musical
On the flipside of that, there are musicians out there who, either knowingly or
unknowingly bring negativity on themselves through their own actions. Short temperedness, egocentricism, brazen entitlement, compulsive lying and just plain old psychotic behaviour
can brand your band as troublemakers and deprive you of important opportunities that you
need to move forward in this business.
So, how can you make sure that you're doing onto others as you wish they would do onto
you? What can you, as musicians do, to eliminate aspects of your personality that may be
causing bad blood between you and the people you run across on your way to superstardom?
The following are a few tips that may help you to make sure you're exhibiting professional
behaviour at all times:
1.) Be Timely And Courteous---Whether you're playing out live or emailing booking
inquiries from home, there is never a substitute for courteously or timeliness. At gigs,
show up when you're supposed to, be friendly, treat others with respect, set up quickly,
end your set on time, break down quickly, be mindful of other bands on stage, compliment
those around you and don't forget simple things like, "please" and "thank
you." When you leave a positive impression in people's minds, you'll be high on their
list when it comes time to fill an open booking slot, recommend a band for a review, etc.
2.) Make Sure Your Actions Match Your Words---It's such a simple thing but you'd be
surprised how many musicians seem incapable to doing what they say they're going to. If
you book a gig, show up and play. If you say you're going to bring twenty friends and fans
to your gig, do it. If you reserve an ad in a local music magazine, pay for it. If you
write a check, make sure that it doesn't bounce. If you say you're going to send out a
press package or a CD, mail it. It is true that many people in the music business are
distrustful of bands that they don't know, and with good reason in many instances. Build
your good reputation in the industry by proving that you will do what you've promised.
Start small. Once you've gain people's trust, you'll see more and more doors opening up
for your band.
3.) Take The High Road---It may be tough but there's nothing to be gained from returning
someone's improper behaviour with a heap-load of your own. That doesn't mean that you need
to let every industry slime-bag from New York to LA ride roughshod all over your music
project but there are ways to deal with the negative behaviour in this business without
branding yourself with a label equally as negative. Sending firm yet professional letters,
making intelligent and informed phone inquiries and, if need be, taking legal action
against those who have acted inappropriately are ways to handle unpleasant situations
without drawing negative attention to yourself. Public scenes, yelling and screaming,
long-winded and ranting emails, threats and accusations and spiteful actions may make you
feel vindicated but it may chase away the good people as well as the bad and that just
sets your band back.
4.) You Can't Undo What You've Already Done---It's much harder to undo past bad
or reverse negative reputations than it is to foster positive ones. It's best when
starting out to avoid acting rash as a rule. If you have a band member that is incapable
of keeping his or her cool, perhaps it's time to rethink his or her place in your group.
The entertainment industry has a long memory and a spiteful tongue. Make sure when people
speak of you, they're speaking well.
This may all seem like such common sense that it isn't even worth mentioning but you'd be
surprised how many shows, interviews, tours, and record deals have never materialized
because of burned bridges. You may have talent and great tunes, but if your attitude sucks
you'll get passed over time and again. No one wants to work with rage-aholics, egomaniacs
or crazies. Don't let anyone think that's what your band is about. Sure it's important to
be creative geniuses but if no one likes you, you'll be performing your masterpieces in
the garage for grandma and her Pomeranian. Get smart and treat people right and you may
find yourself rockin' all the way to the bank.
About the Author
Sheena Metal is a radio host, producer, promoter, music supervisor, consultant, columnist,
journalist and musician. Her syndicated radio program, Music Highway Radio, airs on over
700 affiliates to more than 126 million listeners. Her musicians' assistance program,
Music Highway, boasts over 10,000 members. She currently promotes numerous live shows
weekly in the Los Angeles Area, where she resides. For more info sheena-metal.com