“Musician Advice” Articles

How to sell out an out-of-town music club

April 17, 2015{ No Comments }

Lots of artists can draw a big crowd in their hometown. The big leap comes when you can fill music venues with fans every night on tour.

So, how do you start building an audience in a city where no one’s ever heard of you before?

Here are 5 tips to help you bring a crowd to your next out-of-town concert:

[Note: These same tips can help you build a following in your own hometown if you’re new to performing, or if you’re returning to music after a long hiatus.]

1. Get to know bands in other cities

Opening for established acts in other towns is the best way to build your out-of-town draw, and to ensure that there are people in attendance at your shows.

Read more »

A quick guide to YouTube advertising for musicians

April 15, 2015{ No Comments }

YouTube advertising for musicians[This post was written by music marketing strategist Tyler Allen. It originally appeared on the Sonicbids Blog.]

Today’s society loves a good visual, so music videos, live performances, and even lyric videos are becoming huge components in a musician’s tool kit. Plenty of fans stumble upon new music from YouTube – in fact, it’s the number one way that teens today discover music – and many artists use the platform for bonus content, sneak peeks, and much more.

YouTube becomes an even more effective platform for artists when paired with its simple-to-use TrueView advertising feature. Most artists shy away from advertising because it conjures up images of dollar signs flying out the window, but YouTube (as well as many social platforms) easily works with a budget, and can go as low as $1 to $5 a day for a campaign. Here are some quick ins and outs of YouTube’s native advertising feature (as well as organic tips) that can help your next music video, vlog, or any other content get that needed boost. Read more »

3 Lessons from the Indie Artist Summit

April 15, 2015{ 3 Comments }

Music tips for 2014[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.]

Today, you can build your own music career from the ground up. You can record your own music, you can distribute it on your own, and you can grow and connect with your fanbase.

While, this is a huge freedom for indie musicians, it’s also a pretty big barrier. There’s just so much to learn. Read more »

“No matter what you think about Facebook, you have to market your music there”

April 15, 2015{ 12 Comments }

Facebook marketing for musiciansAs a musician, do you NEED to be on Facebook? And if so, how often?

A couple months ago we posted an article written by singer-songwriter Eric Eckhart called “Time to STOP marketing your music on social media?

In it, he talks about his frustrations with online music marketing and how it can easily become a distraction from the things that matter most: improving your craft, writing better songs, etc.

Plenty of people agreed with Eric, while many others thought the article ignored the fact that social media marketing, when done right, can be a great way (and is sometimes the only way) to build an audience in a world where everyone is online all the time. Read more »

The fundamentals of being a great player on your instrument

April 15, 2015{ 2 Comments }

Bass Player Rick Bass[This post was written by guest contributor Lorna Earnshaw, a singer-songwriter and vocal coach now living in Los Angeles after years in Argentina and Brazil.]

Ok, you can play music. But are you actually GREAT?

Are you so good that you can be considered a PROFESSIONAL MUSICIAN?

If you’re looking for some simple advice on how to take your instrumental skills to the next level, check out what Dr. Abraham Laboriel, the most widely recorded session bassist since 1971, has to say on the matter in the short video below. Read more »

10 ways to get your music in the press (besides the usual album release and tour PR)

April 14, 2015{ 3 Comments }

How to get music pressAs a musician, when are you most likely to contact the press?

Probably when you’re putting out a new album or heading out on tour. Well hopefully a few months prior to those events, actually.

But there are a lot of other ways to get press and blog coverage for your music besides the usual tour and album-launch publicity push.

A perfect stranger will probably need to hear your name at least a few times before they say to themselves, “hey, maybe I should check out their music.” If that’s the case, then you need to be taking advantage of as many of these press opportunities as possible.

If you start with a few of these in advance of your next album release, you might just have a whole new audience primed for your music!

So, here are some additional newsworthy events in your music career that you can pitch to journalists and bloggers

Read more »

13 things every DIY musician should know how to do

April 13, 2015{ 11 Comments }

Photo of the band Black Light Discipline taken by Sabine Van Gameren at Tulliklubi-Tampere, Finland.

If you’re one of those artists who thinks it’s enough just to be a good musician, check out Pigeons and Planes’ recent article “Things Every Indie Artist Should Know How to Do.”

It’s a good kick-in-the-pants for anyone clinging to the very 20th-Century fiction (because it wasn’t true then either) that musicians can get by on talent alone.

Work ethic and attitude have always been important for success in the music industry (particularly for independent artists). They just might look a little different today than they did 15 years ago.

Check out Pigeons and Planes’ full article HERE, or check out my quick summary below.

What you should know how to do if you want to be a successful musician today:

1. Manage your expectations — Read more »

How Starbomb used YouTube to drive 6000 CD sales in one week

April 7, 2015{ No Comments }

Starbomb: how one band used YouTube to sell 6000 CDs in one week through CD Baby“If your music is good, your fans will want to buy the CD”

In one week, Starbomb sold almost 6,000 CD copies of its Player Select album through CD Baby, including 3,438 in pre-sales. The comedy synthpop/hip-hop group (comprised of Leigh Daniel Avidan and Brian Wecht of Ninja Sex Party and animator/internet personality Arin “Egoraptor” Hanson) went on to become Billboard’s third best-selling comedy artist of 2014.How’d they do it? YouTube.

“There’s no doubt in our minds that YouTube is a big part of the reason our albums have done as well as they have,” says Starbomb’s Brian Wecht. “Through YouTube, we reached the people we were trying to reach — and anybody can do that with time and effort.”

New media fueling old media

Read more »

A musician’s guide to merch: how to sell more CDs and t-shirts at your next show

April 6, 2015{ No Comments }

How to sell more merch at your showsMerch makes the difference

[Use coupon code TEES10 during the month of April and get 10% off your next order of custom band t-shirts at Merch.ly.]

As the band was packing up, I brushed by and could hear the owner spouting his contorted excuses about why he couldn’t pay the guarantee. I’ve heard it all before and I’ve felt that crushing feeling of not knowing how I would make it to the next town because an owner or promoter let me down. I was glad it wasn’t me in that position that night.

That’s why it surprised me to see that Tony just nodded and smiled as he listened to the news!

It all made sense twenty minutes later when I saw him packing up the merch booth. As he stuffed an impressive wad of cash into his guitar case, he gave me the most valuable piece of advice I ever heard on tour:

“Don’t rely on the promoters. As long as you put on a killer show and have killer merch, you’ll always have enough gas to make it to the next stop.”

The bottom line is that if you want to be a professional musician, you should have a solid merch setup and promote it effectively at your gigs. Because it might be the only money you make that night.

What constitutes a solid merch setup?

Read more »

Instagram for Musicians: how to use the social photo platform to promote your music

April 3, 2015{ No Comments }

Instagram for musicians (and its dirty secrets)More than a thousand artists are now using HostBaby’s Instagram tool to display awesome photos on their websites, and it reminded me… we’ve written quite a few articles over the years about promoting your music with Instagram.

Time for a recap!

Here are 6 articles about Instagram that might give you some new ideas on how to promote your music with pictures and video:

1. Why you should be using Instagram as a musician (and all its dirty secrets) Read more »