Ten things I’m still learning about being in a band

By Guest Blogger
February 10, 2016{ No Comments }

Ten things I'm still learning about being in a band[This article was written by Jay Rutherford of the band Los Colognes. It was originally published on the blog of Artist Growth, a service that helps musicians and managers streamline touring, finances, merchandise, royalties and more, all in one place.]

Like millions of other morons out there, I’m attempting to make music both the primary joy and primary financial security in my life.  My band Los Colognes has achieved marginal success, just enough to get mom and dad off our backs, so to speak.  Without further adieu, here’s me convincing myself I have achieved some wisdom, when in reality I have no psychological control over any of it yet.  Pretend this is the Old Ben Kenobi version of me, from somewhere in the future.

1. “Making It” Versus “Making It”

The single greatest test is simply this:  do you enjoy where you are at, right now, right here, making music everyday?  Or is some part of you holding off joy for the fantasy of “making it” big?  The one where you close your eyes and see 100,000 people singing every word? Read more »

Music Memos: Apple’s new, free app for demoing your song ideas

By Chris Robley
February 9, 2016{ No Comments }

Apple's Music Memo: demoing app for musiciansFor years I’ve been using the Voice Memos app on my iPhone to record crude demos, or just to get bits of song ideas down while they’re fresh in my mind.

Now Apple has taken Voice Memos to a whole new level with Music Memos, a free iOS app that,  according to Apple, takes the functionality of Voice Memos “even further by adding musician-friendly features designed specifically for songwriting and developing musical ideas.”

Here’s what a recent Apple press release says about Music Memos:

Read more »

5 ways for musicians to make money without leaving home

By Guest Blogger
February 9, 2016{ No Comments }

5 ways musicians can earn money from home[This article was written by Jennifer Newman Sharpe, entertainment attorney and COO & Co-Founder of Sparkplug, the sharing economy marketplace where musicians rent their instruments, gear, and space to and from other musicians.]

If you’re anything like me, as soon as January rolls around, the last thing you want to do every day is leave the house and venture into the cold, wet winter. And for being the shortest month, February often feels like it drags on for years. Even if you’re lucky to live in a warm climate, I’m sure you have days where you’re happier sleeping in and doing work from your couch rather than facing the morning commute.

Whatever your motivation for staying in, here are five ways that musicians can make money without leaving the house: Read more »

How (and when) to make a Spotify playlist to promote your music

By Chris Robley
February 8, 2016{ 2 Comments }

How to make a Spotify playlist to promote your music

Spotify playlists: a simple way to get creative, curate a music collection, and promote your music to new and existing fans

[This article is about promoting your music through Spotify playlists that you create yourself. For information about getting your songs added to other peoples’ playlists, click HERE.]

Last month I performed more than sixty different songs across seven nights at a residency in Portland, Oregon. In preparation, I’d actually learned (or relearned) more than eighty five songs. It was fun to dust off so many older cover songs and originals, and to try out a bunch of new songs too.

A surprising number of people made it out multiple times that week (the trophy goes to someone who was there five nights) but since no attendee was likely to be there all week long, CD Baby’s VP of Marketing Kevin Breuner suggested I make a Spotify playlist of all the songs from all the nights, both covers and originals, to share for those who felt like they might’ve missed out.

So this morning I did.

I put together all the songs I could find on Spotify, and created this playlist of original indie-pop songs, David Bowie covers, Harry Nilsson tunes, Katy Perry, Danny Kaye, Erik Satie, old American standards, and many more: Read more »

CD Baby’s 29FOR29 (Part 1): the deal, the drama, the documentary

By Chris Robley
February 8, 2016{ No Comments }

Years from now you can tell your friends you were there when it happened, CD Baby offering $29 standard album distribution for the 29 days of February!

Read more »

How to switch your music to CD Baby from another distributor

By CD Baby
February 2, 2016{ No Comments }

How to switch distributors to CD BabyMore ways to make money from your music. No annual fees. Get paid weekly.

All February long, you can get worldwide distribution for your album, as well as YouTube monetization, sync licensing, and more — all for just $29. Just use coupon code 29FOR29 at checkout.

If you’ve been using another distributor for your older music, now’s the perfect time to switch to CD Baby and tap into more revenue streams.
Read more »

Notes from an Independent Record Producer, Part 5: Knowing When to Stop

By Guest Blogger
February 2, 2016{ 1 Comment }

Music Production: knowing when to stop[This article is written by guest contributor and music producer Jamie Hill.]

Okay, quick show of hands. Do any of the following describe you?

* You’ve been working on your record for over a year, and you’re feeling stuck.

* You’re creating your masterwork. It’s special, and it needs more time than average records.

* You’re into your 25th round of mixes. They just need a couple more tweaks!

* You keep hearing different ideas for what the left-hand could be doing in the piano part in the verse of this one song.

* You can’t release this album yet. It’s not perfect yet. But it’s really close! Read more »

$29 album submissions for 29 days — all February long!

By CD Baby
February 1, 2016{ No Comments }

Do we know how to celebrate a leap year, or what?

Of course we do — CD Baby’s been helping artists sell their music globally longer than anyone else out there! We’ve been through a few of these before.

It’s that time of year: DIY artists are mapping out tours, making strategic plans for the summer, and deriving motivation from that “new year=new goals” burst of energy we all should be embracing.

Got some goals of your own for your music? Do they involve making new money? We’ve got you covered. Sign up a new album today and we’ll get it selling and streaming all over the world. But that’s just the beginning. Read more »

How to double your merch sales overnight

By Chris Robley
February 1, 2016{ 2 Comments }

How to double your merch sales overnightLast month I played a seven-night residency in Portland, Oregon. It was a blast. A marathon. Exhausting. Exhilarating. Each night I had a different featured guest play their own music for an hour, and I’d usually do both a solo acoustic and full-band set as well.

The week before I flew out for the shows I went to Kinkos, Goodwill, and some crafts stores to try to piece together a new merch display. It’d been a while since I put real effort into a proper merch setup.

I liked what I came up with this time around and thought it was a good compromise between being easily portable (because I needed everything to fit in a suitcase) and easily modular (so I could give different merch items their own little section of the display).

[The picture above shows what it looked like when I first set it up in the venue.]

So the shows began: Sunday night, Monday night, Tuesday night,…

I sold some CDs, but I wasn’t selling as many as I thought I would.

After my set on Tuesday night I mentioned to my friend Naomi, who performs in Moody Little Sister (the featured guest that evening), that I was feeling a little bummed about my merch sales.

Without missing a beat she attacked the problem like a pro-makeover artist. Seriously, she should have her own reality TV show. In literally three or four minutes she helped me switch things around in such a way that I started selling twice the amount of CDs in the second half of the week as I did in the earlier part of my residency. (Ya know, we’re still talking modest sales, but hey, double is double!)

So here’s the tips Naomi gave me… Read more »

6 ways to keep fans coming to your gigs

By Guest Blogger
February 1, 2016{ No Comments }

How to get people coming back to your shows[This article was written by guest contributor Dave Kusek, founder of the New Artist Model.]

If you’re an indie musician who plays mostly local and regional gigs, you know that most audiences start getting fatigued if you play too many shows too frequently. And this trend gets amplified if you haven’t yet built up a huge catalog of songs.

So how do you keep your live show fresh and exciting and keep people coming out?

In this article we’re going to go through six cool ideas you can try no matter what level you are at in your gigging career.

No matter which approach you choose, make sure you highlight it when you’re promoting the show! Let fans know how cool and unique this show will be in the emails you send out, the posts you share on social media, and the flyers and posters you put around town. Read more »