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How to keep your guitar safe during air travel: tips for flying with your instrument

By Chris Robley
September 5, 2014{ No Comments }

Screen shot 2014 09 04 at 8.41.08 AM How to keep your guitar safe during air travel: tips for flying with your instrument

Download the free guide to flying safely with your guitar

You’ve probably heard horror stories about expensive guitars being destroyed by air travel — maybe via careless baggage handlers or rapid humidity changes during flight.

In CD Baby’s newest guide — “Tips for Flying with Your Guitar” — you’ll find some quick tips to help you minimize the chances of becoming another victim of guitar mistreatment.

Inside, you will learn about:

* When you should check your guitar and when you should carry it on board

* How to make sure you can keep your guitar with you during flight

* How to safely pack your guitar for travel

* What to do if your guitar gets damaged during flight

* How to get the airline to take responsibility for the damage Read more »

What do all successful musicians have in common?

By Chris Robley
September 4, 2014{ 13 Comments }

shutterstock 131746688 What do all successful musicians have in common?Is there one trait that is shared by all successful artists?

There are countless musical genres (CD Baby’s online store boasts almost 700 genres and that’s just scratching the surface); there are many ways to create great music; there are numerous paths to success; and every musician defines “success” differently.

Despite all the various styles, methods, and temperaments, though, there must be some personal quality that every successful artist has in common: The need to connect with an audience? Discipline? Golden ears? A reverence for the music that inspires them? Daring? The desire to make something that will last?

If you ask me, the common thread for musicians who’ve been able to sustain successful careers is that they’re blessed (or cursed, depending) with some mixture of persistence, stubbornness, and delusion. They have to believe, often in the face of much indifference or criticism, that the music they’re creating is important enough to one day move listeners.

What do you think? Is there a single quality that all good musicians must possess?

Read more »

CD Baby Free: sell your music directly to fans, even if you’re being distributed by another company

By Chris Robley
September 3, 2014{ 2 Comments }

cdbaby free CD Baby Free: sell your music directly to fans, even if youre being distributed by another companyIntroducing CD Baby Free — a no-cost way to start selling, streaming, and sharing your music online

Yes, you heard us correctly: CD Baby Free!

Artists no longer need to pay a one-time signup fee to sell digital downloads on or via our free promotional tools such as the CD Baby Music Player and MusicStore for Facebook. We’re opening the retail site to every musician on the planet.

There’s no upfront fees and no cancellation fees, so you have nothing to lose — and we only take a 15% cut of your sales (which is comparable to other, similar services like Bandcamp). If you decide at some later point to upgrade to our full distribution service (which gets your music onto platforms like iTunes, Spotify, and Amazon), you’ll make even more money per sale, as our share of your digital sales will be reduced to just 9%.

If you already distribute your music through another company, no worries; you can still use CD Baby Free to tap into our huge base of independent music buyers (1.5 million unique monthly customers). Read more »

The website mistake that’s guaranteed to drive your fans away (and other web tips for musicians)

By Chris Robley
September 2, 2014{ 2 Comments }

WebTipsBanner 650x165 The website mistake thats guaranteed to drive your fans away (and other web tips for musicians)


A whole season’s worth of web tips to help you smarten up your online music marketing

Well, somehow summer slipped by without me posting one of my usual monthly recaps of The HostBaby Blog. To make up for it, here are links to all the best online music marketing tips from June, July, and August — beginning with an article that addresses a website mistake too many musicians are making, and one that is sure to frustrate most of your fans and visitors.

Here are the most recent HostBaby Blog articles:

The website mistake that’s guaranteed to drive your fans away

5 things your fans want to see on your website
Email marketing for musicians: “Make sure your emails are a reference” Read more »

Mobile phones at shows: A promotional boost for you or a grand distraction?

By Chris Robley
August 29, 2014{ 36 Comments }

Screen shot 2014 02 24 at 7.56.49 AM 1 650x218 Mobile phones at shows: A promotional boost for you or a grand distraction?Perennial copyright curmudgeon Don Henley recently told the Daily Telegraph that “videoing a concert with a phone is a violation (of The Eagles’ rights).”

“It spoils it for people who are going to come to a show in the future,” he said. “We’d like for them to experience it for the first time in the audience rather than experience it on a crappy video that sounds horrible.”

As far as I’m concerned, if you have to sell a kidney in order to afford a ticket to an Eagles concert, you deserve to be able to shoot a little video to prove that you were there. Furthermore, I’m not sure that a crappy YouTube video qualifies as an “experience” for the diehard Eagles fan. They’re still going to want to go to the show.

But matters of copyright aside, what’s happening at concerts today when so many attendees are holding up their smartphones to snap pictures, shoot videos, or tweet about the show? Read more »

Lighting & camera tips for online gigs (and video shoots)

By Guest Blogger
August 28, 2014{ No Comments }

Live streaming concert Lighting & camera tips for online gigs (and video shoots)[This article was written by guest contributor James Wasem from]

One of the best things about live online gigs is the audience interaction and participation with the broadcaster – you, the host of the event.

While the live online audience can certainly enjoy your performance, the music, and your interaction with them, nothing really brings fans “into your space” like good lighting and camera placement.

You spend a lot of time crafting your presentation, look, and feel for the event. Use some of the simple tips below to make sure that vibe translates well on camera. (We’ve discussed creating the right “vibe” for your events in other DIY posts here.)

The Audience Point of View

When placing the camera for your online broadcast, make sure you consider the online viewer’s perspective. Read more »

Get your music covered on blogs

By Guest Blogger
August 27, 2014{ 13 Comments }

Headphones Get your music covered on blogs[This post was written by guest contributor Dave Kusek of The New Artist Model.]

Music bloggers have overtaken the music industry, and many of them are totally accessible for indie musicians and smaller bands looking to get their name out there. The subject of music blogs can be anything from music reviews to industry commentary, but individual blogs tend to focus in on a specific niche like alternative rock reviews, EDM concert reviews, or music marketing.

Because most bloggers don’t have the following or the capital of some of the big music magazines, they tend to focus on more independent artists. This means you have a much better chance of getting coverage for your music!

The coolest thing about blogs is that they tend to have a really dedicated following. These are people who trust the bloggers’ opinions, and if the blogger recommends something they will most likely at least check it out. On top of that, their following is usually very niche specific – people wouldn’t follow a rock and roll blog if they didn’t like rock and roll. This means you’re guaranteed an audience that already likes the type of music you play. This is niche marketing at it’s finest. Read more »

4 royalties you’re probably missing (even if you’re registered with ASCAP, BMI, or SESAC)

By Chris Robley
August 25, 2014{ 5 Comments }

iStock 000011108083XSmall 4 royalties youre probably missing (even if youre registered with ASCAP, BMI, or SESAC)If you’ve affiliated yourself as a songwriter with a performing rights organization (such as ASCAP, BMI, or SESAC) and registered all your songs, you’ve taken an important first step in collecting the publishing royalties you’re owed.

That being said, PROs such as ASCAP and BMI only collect one form of music publishing revenues: the performance royalty.

In order to collect ALL of the royalties you’re owed, you either need to have a publishing rights administrator working on your behalf, or spend hundreds to thousands of hours each year tracking down this money yourself (in every corner of the globe); oh, and you’ll also need to speak dozens of languages and be absolutely psyched about paperwork.

In case my sarcasm went undetected, I’ll repeat it plainly: it’s nearly impossible for independent artists to collect all the music publishing revenue they’re owed — while also having time to make music — without the help of a traditional publisher or a service like CD Baby Pro.

If you’re only signed up with a performing rights organization such as ASCAP or BMI, here’s what you’re missing:

Read more »

How to remain upbeat despite low album sales

By Guest Blogger
August 25, 2014{ 1 Comment }

shutterstock 11171026 How to remain upbeat despite low album sales[This article was written by guest contributor Praverb.]

Every artist deals with declining album sales. It usually happens after the buzz that follows your album release fades or all your new content dries up.

Some believe that piracy plays a role while others suggest that the new music industry thrives on streaming singles.

Maybe obscurity prevents you from selling more albums, or maybe the mixing and mastering of your music was off. Maybe your inability to sell more is based on your lack of money for promotion.

Whatever the cause of your low sales, one thing is certain: the process of recording, releasing, and marketing your music is stressful.

Below I will detail five reasons you should remain upbeat despite low or declining album sales.  Read more »

The AmpHanger: build a DIY mic stand for your amp in seconds

By Guest Blogger
August 25, 2014{ 3 Comments }

OnAmp 1 The AmpHanger: build a DIY mic stand for your amp in seconds  [This article was written by Alex Andrews of Ten Kettles Development. Find them on Twitter at @tenkettles.]

If you’re an electric guitar player and have played a show or two, you probably know (or can guess) how much easier it is to move a smaller amp around, compared to a big stack. But many musicians might worry about the sound quality they’ll get through a smaller amp. Or, that the gig they’re playing won’t have that precious extra mic stand needed to mic it!

That’s where the build-it-yourself AmpHanger comes in—you can literally build a mic stand for your amp with stuff you already have around the house. I came up with the idea one day before an impromptu gig—I didn’t know what gear to expect at the venue, and wanted to be sure I had a back-up plan. The AmpHanger ended up being a great back-up solution: quick to build, very portable, and it fits popular microphones like the SM57 (pictured). All you need is a spare hanger, some pliers, tape, and you’re good to go!

But first, why use a small, miked amp instead of your giant stack?

Read more »