Get your music distributed on iTunes, AmazonMP3, Rock Band the video game and many other places using TuneCore.
The top online music retailer is Apple’s iTunes but others such as Amazon.com MP3 service are rapidly catching up. In today’s music industry the old channels of music distribution are quickly being replaced by these digital distribution services. The good thing for us as independent musicians is that it’s easier than ever to get our music out there for sale with more of the profits going directly to us.
It’s pretty easy to become a content provider for iTunes and other digital distribution services. You usually just have to fill out an application and wait to be accepted into the program. But it can be a challenge to manage all your sales avenues. That’s why I’m recommending you give TuneCore a try for your music distribution. Continue reading “TuneCore Resources For Music Distribution”
The best way to improve your live band is to schedule a gig and get out and play.
Every live band wants to be the best band that they can be. I’ve seen so many bands that practice, practice, practice and never really feel ready to get out and play a gig. I’ve seen bands begin and end in the practice studio without ever getting out and playing a live show. The biggest reason for this is the fact that the band never feels ready to get out and play a gig. So they practice and practice until they’re bored and then they end up giving up. Continue reading “To Make Your Live Band Better Schedule Gigs”
Every member of your live band should share some basic, common goals.
One of the biggest challenges I’ve faced in my live band is getting a group of musicians together that all share the same goals. There are a lot of musicians out there but not all of them want to play in bars. Some musicians just want to jam and don’t want to play any live gigs at all, ever. If your band is going to succeed you really need to have common goals.
The first thing you need to discuss before you even decide on what type of songs you want to play is where and when you will play gigs. This will determine your song selection as well as whether or not the individual band members are willing to commit to certain types of gigs. Too many bands dive right into learning songs which is always the first goal of any band. Let’s talk about that first goal of learning songs for minute. Continue reading “Band Members Must Have Common Goals”
Does your live band sound like a train wreck? This post will help you figure out why and how to solve it.
So you’ve searched for musicians, finally found a the perfect band lineup, and you’ve decided what type of music you want to play with your live band. You’ve had a few band practices but your new live band sounds like a train wreck. This is a common problem and believe it or not, can be very simple to solve.
The first question you have to answer is, what’s causing your band to sound like a train wreck. The most common problems I’ve seen in new bands are centered around the ability to play to a beat and individual player preparation. Continue reading “So Your Band Sounds Like A Train Wreck”
Keep your show moving by having a plan in place for song changes, stage banter and instrument problems.
I’ve played in a lot of different live bands over the years and one of the biggest challenges I’ve faced is keeping the show moving along at nice pace. What I mean is minimizing space between songs, also known as Dead Air. Dead air happens between songs and can be a serious show killer. If you aren’t engaging your crowd, you’re losing them and that’s a bad thing.
There are some key ways to minimize dead air between songs. The most important is to have a well organized, printed set list for every person in the band. When you plan your setlist it’s a good idea to group songs into sets of 3 that are easy to transition from song to song. When setting up a group of 3 songs you can group them by instrument changes, tunings, singer rotation or effect settings. After awhile, your band will remember what songs are grouped together in three’s and be able to transition quickly between those songs. This makes it easy to tweak your set list on the fly and still maintain some continuity by keeping the 3-song sets together. Continue reading “Keep Your Show Moving And Minimize Dead Air”
If you want your band to sound it’s best, have a dedicated Vocals only band practice.
One of the most neglected aspects I’ve seen with live bands over the years is the backing vocals. I’ve seen plenty of bands that have an excellent lead singer or even multiple lead singers that nail the lead vocals every time. But they are severely lacking in the backing vocals. Too many bands just don’t take the time to learn and then fix problems with their backing vocals.
I’ve written many times on Live Musician Central that the ability to sing is crucial to your skills as a band musician. It’s up to you as an individual player to take ownership of singing backup vocals in your band. Along with your regular, personal practice on your instrument you need to take the time to practice your backing vocals. I often practice my singing while I’m driving as it’s something I can do without my hands. Make sure you take the time to learn your individual backing vocal part before you have a band rehearsal. Continue reading “Having A Vocal Only Rehearsal With Your Band”
One of the biggest challenges of playing in a cover band is the simple act of song selection. This simple task can make or break any band. A well chosen song list can give your band the edge in a very competitive cover band market. So how do you choose a winning setlist for your live band to play?
I’ve learned the hard way over the years not to pick songs from the heart. That’s the biggest mistake that most bands make when choosing songs. They will pick songs that they love and assume that if they love the song, everyone else will too. That’s not necessarily the case because I can tell you that a lot of the songs I love and would like to play in a band have never been huge sellers. I like complicated, progressive rock music that most people that aren’t musicians just can’t grasp. Continue reading “How To Choose Songs For Your Live Band To Play”
If you are going to be auditioning for a live band, here are some tips to help you do your best.
The other day I wrote a post about joining a band by answering Musician Wanted ads. Naturally the next step in the process is going to the audition so that’s what we’ll discuss today. I’ve played in a lot of live bands over the years and been to my share of live band auditions too. Auditions are always an interesting process and I’ve always learned something going through the band audition process. Today I’m going to give you a few tips on preparing to audition for a live band.
The first thing you want to do is make sure you have the correct address for where the audition is going to be held. I remember once getting so lost going to an audition that I was an hour late. Needless to say, it didn’t make a good impression and I didn’t get the gig. Get directions and a phone number you can call in case you get lost or you get stuck in traffic. Continue reading “Tips For Auditioning For A Live Band”
When answering Musician Wanted ads, follow these simple tips to protect yourself and your equipment.
I’ve played in a lot of live bands over the years and I’ve answered my share of “Musician Wanted” ads as well. Finding auditions are always an interesting process and I’ve always learned something going through the band audition process. Today I’m going to give you a few tips for when you answer a Musician Wanted Ad before you set up an audition.
Let me start off with a little story. One time when I was about 18, my bass playing friend and I were at the local music store looking at musician wanted ads. We picked one out that said something to the effect of “Wanted, musicians to form rock band. Need guitar, keyboard and bass player.” So naturally we gave them a call. The guy on the phone said “bring all your equipment and come to our practice studio at this address.” We asked what constituted “all our equipment” and the guy said “microphones, amplifiers, mixer, speakers…whatever you have”. Luckily, we didn’t have much but we loaded up our beat-to-crap microphones along with our beginner guitars and amplifiers. We then set out to find the address of the practice studio. Continue reading “Tips For Answering “Musician Wanted For Live Band” Ads”
Here are some very important tips that will help you when your live band is playing a gig outdoors in cold weather.
It’s the time of year when many live bands will have opportunities to play outside in some cold weather. I know I’ve played outdoor New Year’s Eve gigs, gigs on outside decks at ski resorts and some sweet gigs outdoors at the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City. For a live band, it’s essential stagecraft to know how to deal with cold weather. I’ve played in temperatures well below freezing and I’ve learned a few things along the way. Here’s a list of things you’ll want to consider when playing outdoor winter gigs. I’ll discuss each in more detail below: