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5 tips to get a knockout vocal in your next recording session

By Guest Blogger
January 13, 2015{ No Comments }

How to record a great vocal performance[This article was written by professional voice teacher and vocal producer Arden Kaywin.]

I’ve been a voice teacher and vocal producer for many years now and one of the things I’ve noticed from working with singer/songwriters is that they often don’t give the same kind of advanced focus and preparation to their vocals as they do to the songwriting and production of their songs.

It’s easy to believe that since you wrote the song and have been singing it throughout the writing/production process that your vocals will be ready when it comes time to record. That is true to a degree: you will be ready. But there’s a difference between giving a “ready” performance and giving a “knockout” performance.

Here are some insights into my work with singers to help them access that “knockout” performance

1. You are NOT a singer, you are a storyteller

In my experience, many of the things that trip up a singer vanish when the singer is really immersed in telling the story of the song. Read more »

Flying with a musical instrument just got easier

By Chris Robley
January 13, 2015{ 1 Comment }

Flying with your guitarOur free “Tips for Flying with Your Guitar” guide gives practical advice on how to travel safely with your instrument. In it we talk about some legislation that simplified and standardized the rules allowing musicians to take their instruments on board an airline as carry-on luggage, so long as they meet certain criteria.

According to this post on Hypebot, The U.S. Department of Transportation has issued a new rule on that legislation, making it official and final across the country:

The rule states musicians must store smaller instruments in an approved location either overhead or under the seat, but that even oddly shaped instruments such as a violin or guitar will be recognized as approved carry-ons and will be allotted space on a first come, first serve basis. 

 U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx says, “This final rule implements the statute, and it will go a long way towards keeping instruments safe when they fly – from allowing them in the cabin if there’s space for safe stowage, to letting passengers buy a seat for certain large instruments.”

The Department of Transportation has created a webpage giving tips on how to keep your instrument safe during air travel, including:

Read more »

Using your Music Player stats to build your fanbase

By Chris Robley
January 9, 2015{ 1 Comment }

CD Baby Music Player statsIf you’ve already been using CD Baby’s Music Player then you know what sets it apart:

* You can save unlimited custom players, embeddable by you AND your fans on any website.

* Create playlists featuring any and all of the music in your CD Baby account (including playlists that feature multiple artists, albums, and singles).

* Multiple size and styles to choose from, including a full Music Store option for your website.

* Your choice of full-song streaming or 30 second clips.

* CD and vinyl fulfillment, as well as CD-quality downloads.

* You can edit players and playlists on the fly without having to cut and paste code every time you make a change.

Now you can get even more out of your CD Baby Music Players by checking out the stats in your CD Baby members account

Who’s sharing your music? How many people are listening? What are their favorite tracks? These are just a few of the questions you can answer by looking at your Music Player stats.

Here’s how…

Read more »

3 easy and creative fan engagement ideas for 2015

By Guest Blogger
January 9, 2015{ No Comments }

3 things to boost fan engagement[This article was written by Dave Kusek, founder of the New Artist Model, an online music business school for independent musicians, performers, recording artists, producers, managers, and songwriters. He is also the founder of Berklee Online, co-author of The Future of Music book, and a member of the team who brought midi to the market.]

If you don’t take risks and try out new things, you’ll never know how much further you can get.

I recommend that instead of taking a huge leap and trying to do too much at once, take little steps, gradually making small tweaks in your strategy. This is easy, won’t take you very much time, and is a good way to jumpstart your career in 2015.

In this article, we’ll be looking at some little things New Artist Model members have done to boost fan engagement and grow their fanbase. All these examples were shared on our member-only Facebook group. It’s a great resource for learning, networking, and collaboration. Access to this group is included with all New Artist Model courses. We’d love for you to join the community! Read more »

5 types of pitch emails all music journalists hate getting from indie bands

By Guest Blogger
January 9, 2015{ 8 Comments }

How NOT to pitch your music to journalists[This post was written by Jhoni Jackson and it originally appeared on the SonicBids Blog.]

Pitches from brand new bands and artists not tied to a public relations company are unarguably the ones that catch the most skepticism from journalists. Sometimes it only takes an unfamiliar name amid an avalanche of emails from recognizable PR reps for a writer to pass you over. If they’ve actually opened your message, then any sort of blunder could easily cost you.

Does that sound harsh? It’s not, really. I can’t speak for everyone, but generally, journalists aren’t unnecessarily mean; it’s just that there is more music than there are writers. There are expectations about the quality of music, of course, but also the presentation of your inquiry. Outlined here are five general types of pitches to avoid, and the mistakes commonly found within them. Keep them in mind when getting your pitch together, and you’ll better the likelihood of receiving a response. Read more »

20 kinds of band photos you can share with your fans

By Chris Robley
January 6, 2015{ No Comments }

14 kinds of band photos you can share with your fans

Keep your listeners interested in your music with… pictures!

HostBaby just created an easy way for you to display your Instagram pics on your band website’s photo gallery.

[For more details, check out “How to display your Instagram photos on your website.]

This got me wondering about all the different kinds of photos bands are sharing with their fans (on Instagram, and elsewhere).

Pictures are super important online (which I’m sure is no big revelation to you). They convey a ton of information and feeling in a tiny amount of time. So they’re one of the best tools you have for getting people interested in your world (and your music), and probably THE best tool besides the music itself for KEEPING fans interested.

When someone loves your music, they want to get a glimpse into many different aspects of your creative life. So give it to them.

Here are just some of the many kind of pictures you can share with your fans:

Read more »

The 5 essential components of a home recording studio

By Chris Robley
January 5, 2015{ 21 Comments }

Microphone Technique for VocalsThe bare minimum amount of gear you need to create great digital recordings at home

If you’ve read my post about New Year’s Resolutions, you know I’ve been spending some time putting my home recording studio back together after a long break.

Some of it came back to me like riding a bike. Some of it (like Pro Tools) did not! Which brought me, of course, to YouTube, searching for online tutorials — where I found a video that appealed to me for completely different reasons…

Part of the beauty of recording in a small home “studio” (mine is basically just a bedroom filled with gear) is that you can use limitations to your advantage. So I’ve been obsessing lately over the basics, wanting to break my gear, my signal path, and my creative process down to something that allowed for quick tracking and decision making. Read more »

How to deal with the shifting target of your music goals and resolutions

By Chris Robley
January 2, 2015{ 22 Comments }
Screen Shot 2015-01-02 at 10.49.59 AM

Salt & pepper. Hall & Oates. 4th of July & fireworks. Pro Tools & the spinning rainbow wheel of death.

When something as pesky as LIFE gets in the way of your musical goals, don’t fight it; live it

We set grand goals for our music. Recording a classic album. Selling out a stadium tour. Getting a billion views on YouTube. Being everywhere, loved by everybody. Then life happens. Your dog Kiki gets sick. You get a promotion at work. You realize that staying in a strong relationship takes just as much love and attention as your creative life. Things change (didn’t Rush sing about that?)

We don’t give up on our music; we just… attenuate our ambitions a bit. A cult classic, if not a best-seller. A theater instead of a stadium. Forget a billion views; we’d be happy with a hundred thousand!

That’s normal. It’s part of maturing. In fact, I think this kind of scaling back of expectations can actually bring you closer to real, achievable, sustainable success. I see it all the time with bands that work with CD Baby and in the lives of some of my music friends.

Here’s a small example from my past week that illustrates the point. Read more »

5 ways to get your money’s worth out of EVERY recording session

By Guest Blogger
January 2, 2015{ 1 Comment }

How to get your money's worth from EVERY recording session

The genesis of this article comes from the desire to help musicians and recording engineers get the most out of their studio time.

As an audio engineer who’s worked in many different scenarios (large studios, private home studios, and a few live setups) I’ve noticed what typically works and what doesn’t.

This is my nugget of info for the musicians that look to get their money’s worth while recording. I think the engineers who read this will nod their heads along in agreement, and I know the members of our music mixing contest website will notice a familiar theme.

1. Be on time & prepared

So simple it almost goes without saying. But punctuality isn’t a given, especially when dealing with musicians. Read more »

The DIY Musician Blog’s top 10 articles from 2014

By Chris Robley
December 29, 2014{ No Comments }

The DIY Musician's top 10 articles from 2014

There’s only a few days left in 2014, which means it’s time to recap your favorite DIY Musician articles from this year.

Live performance disasters, the debate over free streaming, the relationship between age and success, music marketing tips, sticking it to American Idol, and much more.

Here’s a list of the top DIY Musician Blog articles from this past year

Read more »