Read e-book How to Make it Small in the Music Business - The survival guide for the beginning band

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Unlike most festivals that give out their set times weeks in advance to let fans prepare their day, Warped Tour usually gives out their set lists the day of the event. Some bands start playing immediately after the gates get open. Also keep in mind which bands you want to see because unfortunately some set times overlap each other. Warped Tour is in the dead of summer. Add that with the body heat of thousands of concert goers and you have the recipe of heat related illnesses.

Make sure that you drink plenty of water the day before so you can ensure that you are hydrated. Wear a short sleeve shirt or a tank top so that you will cool off faster. Quickly learn that shorts will be your friend, because the majority of the day will be spent walking from stage to stage. Lastly, the shoes that you wear are critical.

How does talking about you or promoting your music benefit them? Unless you know them or have connections, industry people are less likely to do you any favors just out the goodness of their hearts.

Musicians' Survival Guide: Funding for Musicians

The value you possess could be that you have really good music that makes influencers look good in front of their audience for discovering you. Maybe you have a large, engaged social media audience that can get the blogger or popular playlist additional exposure. Same goes with the local press.

The media entities have an audience as well that they need to engage, so if your story is unique enough, it can fill that need. Your story can also be leverage. This concept even extends to potential team members, managers, booking agents, promoters and even labels taking notice and wanting to work with you.

Music Publishing 101

It also governs the relationship that you have with your fans. One aspect that can get easily overlooked is protecting your music. To avoid this, you want to make sure you properly copyright your work. Technically, your music is copyrighted when it is created and made into a tangible form written or recorded.

However, registering your music with the copyright office can offer further protection and help provide evidence that you are, in fact, the originator of that work. Copyrighting your music prevents you from becoming a victim of copyright infringement intellectual property theft. If they were not registered, they could essentially steal it. But, the main point is to take precaution and know your basic rights as a creative. Unless you want to be someone who solely produces music behind the scenes for other artists or for licensing, you need to find opportunities to perform.

Live performances are more important than ever as an income source while record sales continue to decline. The idea is to get practice performing for others live, be comfortable in these live environments and improve. Just like with any other skill, you need practice and experience to get better. Feedback is important too, so you know what to improve on. If possible, record your live performances to watch later. Also, watch live performances of your favorite artists and study them. I touched on this in a few of the previous points.

If you really want to take your music career seriously, you will need a team. You may be one of the few artists who love running the entire business operation and manage to do it well in addition to the creative, but it would be difficult to grow this way. You will need to find competent people you can trust and hand over control to in order for your music career to flourish.

Of course, there are other things you may want to consider before working with someone, but ultimately you want people who are willing to grow with you, grind it out with you and not just trying to take advantage of you.

Marketing & Promotion

They will vary in costs, fees and tools, so do your research before deciding which to use. This is covered below. However, CD Baby has grown to become a one stop shop for many artist services so you can check them out. This is an area that can be confusing and complicated. I did my best to simplify music royalties in this blog here. For example, if you put your music on places like Spotify, Pandora and Youtube, you are owed money or royalties from those platforms when someone streams your music.

A PRO collects royalties generated from your music when performed live, which can be an important income stream to help sustain artists. You only need to sign up with one PRO. Technically, you can do it yourself, but it can be a tedious process that is probably easier if someone else handles it. It really does take time and work to get your name out there and build momentum. It will be challenging. In addition to being active in your local music scene, you most likely know at least one musician friend or family member you can reach out to them for advice. Part of starting a music career is realizing that it starts with investing in yourself first.

You have to be willing to put up the capital and bet on yourself. As they say, time is money. You will be doing a lot of learning so prepare yourself. Unless you have a lot of disposable income and you can pay a bunch of people, you will have to do things yourself.

Hopefully everything outlined in this blog gives you a big picture perspective of what you need to do to get started in your music career. I provided links and additional resources for you to explore in some of the sections, so be sure to check those out. Simplifying the Concept of Marketing for Musicians. Want to grow your fan base effectively? Think funnels. Fan funnels. I have been doing music for 15 years in China, even I had a couple of times went to States to record my album, but I had no experience of develope my career here.

I do believe this blog could help me a lot and even in the next few years that I could reread that.

Not to fear — while music publishing is a complicated subject, it has a lot to do with how you make money from your music, and understanding the basics can go a long way. In short, music publishing is really all about songwriters and copyrights. When music is used commercially whether sold, licensed, or publicly performed , the songwriter and copyright owner is owed royalties. A music publishing company can offer multiple services for songwriters. Additionally, these creative teams play an active role in setting up co-writes and pitching songs to artists and labels to be recorded for the first time.

Each of these properties has rights — meaning those who own them have can decide who can use them and how. Artist A owns both the composition and their own sound recording of the composition.


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In New York City, a small neighborhood that came to be known as Tin Pan Alley housed a collective of music publishers and songwriters, who connected to create and release popular music outside of the religious and classical genres.