The Looking List Can Connect You With Music Business Players

lookinglistlogosmall1The Looking List allows any Songwriter, Artist, Manager, Producer, Attorney and Music  Publisher to see which music business figures are currently looking for songs, co-writes or collaborations. They publish a monthly “Who’s Looking List” of recording projects where the performers are looking for songs, co-writes or collaborations. They’ve recently expanded the site’s premise by adding pages for folks who were “Looking For”  producers, mixers, managers, engineers, studios, attorneys , venues and many other categories.

From The Readers: Giving Away Free CDs Effectively

Reader Lee Adams writes, “I’m thinking of giving some away at gigs because they’re cheap, easy for someone to just stick on in the car and I’m nostalgic.

What do you think would be the best way to give them away for free while making sure that they end up in the hands of people who appreciate the music so I don’t have a bunch of them left behind or put in bins at the end of an evening?”
While I may not be the biggest fan of CDs, they can still be a great and affordable way to spread your music to potential fans. If there is any way to give them away for free it is using the techniques in this classic Derek Sivers post. Make sure everyone gets a CD and also list your CDs as Name Your Own Price at your merch booth. If a customer says, free or a low price, give them a burned CD. If they are generous with their funds give them a CD and maybe some bonus gifts. Walk around at the end of the show and introduce yourself to everyone and push the CD on them and emphasise your connection at this show and you should be off to much better results.


Interview: Madam West

Madam West is an NYC-based experimental soul-pop band. They were kind enough to reach out to us about their experience using the techniques in our book and so we decided to talk to them about what they’ve been up to and get some insight on the world of music today.
There’s an endless debate as to whether being a band from Brooklyn is the worst thing ever because you are in the most over saturated market for music in the world or if it is the land of opportunity because every single blogger, A&R person, music licensing boob etc. all lives here. How do you see it?

It’s definitely a little bit of both. It’s certainly way more expensive to make a living and simultaneously attempt to build a following here. But I get more motivated when I am surrounded by a whole horde of hardworking, interesting artists who will gladly take my spot at any venue or promotion opportunity if I get too complacent. I try to do as much of my own A&R and promotion as possible while being aware, given the concentration of music people in the city, there is always the slight chance that a useful connection will show up at one of our shows.

Knowing that, we rehearse and play as if it isn’t just our friends and the other bands’ friends at the majority of shows we play. We wrote and recorded privately for about a year until we were certain we could put on a smoothly-run show for whoever happened to be listening. Also, people underestimate how useful it is to network with other bands—they’re not our competition, they’re vital to our survival. They’re also everywhere in this city. Without befriending other local musicians, we’d never have booked out-of-town shows or learned useful lessons about staying afloat.


Check Out Jesse’s Course On DIY Mastering

Basic RGBHey Everyone, I’m really excited to announce that I will be doing a course on how to master your own material with a great company called CreativeLive. You can check it out on 12/11/13 @ 12PM EST. I will go through all the mastering tools, techniques and theories I have used to master records for the past 15 years. Even if mastering isn’t for you, check out some of the great music business courses and recording courses that CreativeLive has been doing.

The Uninsured Musician’s Guide To Obamacare

Musicians being able to have affordable insurance will be a big deal, when it comes to keeping bands on the road and able to fund their musical dreams. Sadly, there’s been tons of bad information put out into the world about what Obamacare will mean for everyone. Thankfully, Sonicscoop has a great article that can begin to lift the haze on the complicated subject. Check it out, and get educated instead of listening to your angry Uncle who listens to lies on Fox News all day. 

Distrokid Offers Unlimited Song Uploads To iTunes, Spotify and Amazon

22525a4c674257b9c7153afc4251fdbcIf you’re a musician who is putting out tons of music every year, the cost of uploading all of it every time can put you in a serious hole. Not the case with Distrokid‘s yearly $19.99 fee to upload as much music as you would like per year. This means you can upload singles, B-sides, to iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, and Amazon, enabling your fans more content to get addicted to and you to profit from their listening. While Distrokid doesn’t aggregate to all the outlets we’d love to see, you can’t beat this price for getting your music to fans.

Recognizing The Cluelessness Of The Music Industry To Help Yourself


The following is an excerpt from our book Get More Fans: The DIY Guide To The New Music Business. 

I am constantly saddened by the mistakes I see young musicians make. Many musicians don’t realize that most of the music business is guessing at what they do. When they aren’t guessing, they’re making very uneducated decisions. Unfortunately, success (often through the luck of riding someone else’s coattails) and admiration can cloud musicians’ views. A musician can be left thinking that everyone in the industry who has seen moderate success is a genius and is making decisions based on concrete theories and ideas.

One of the prime examples of this point are the choices A&R people make when signing musicians. This part of the business is riddled with guessing. Many musicians think that in order to get signed, some wizard is going to find them after they work hard for a while and scoop them up because they fit into a formula some A&R person has sitting on their desk.

So if many people in the music business are clueless, what do you do about it?

Trust, But Verify - Walking around doubting everything that comes out of someone’s mouth is no fun. Most of us have the instinct to tell when advice seems shady. Do research and make sure the advice you’re getting is accurate.

Use Others’ Ignorance To Your Advantage - If you’re trying to get someone in the music business to notice you, spell it out for them–leaving very little to the imagination. I know so many musicians with a lot going for them, but they don’t let anyone know about it. Since much of this industry makes uneducated decisions, if you educate them about why you’re so great, they have less work to do themselves. Memorize your best attributes. If you have 20 fans who followed you up and down the east coast on tour, make sure there’s a video of it. Don’t assume that any potential team member can see your merits. Like you, the people who you want to be on your team are waiting for good opportunities–be sure to make yourself an obvious opportunity.

Pick A Bragging Right - Find something you have going for yourself and figure out a great way to brag about it. If you get 100 YouTube comments a day, that is worth telling someone about. If every larger act you open for ends up DJing your latest single, make it known. If a famous guitarist says your guitarist is inspirational, that’s pretty notable. Figure out some way to tell others you’re remarkable.

Make Your Music Speak For Itself - Having demos, rough mixes or unmastered tracks gives these clueless guessers room to think and you don’t want them using their limited imagination. Many musicians get excited and want their dreams to come true tomorrow. They then play their music for potential team members when it isn’t finished. This leaves the listener room to imagine. Many listeners can’t hear how much better the final product will sound, walking away unimpressed instead of blown away. The team member you’re trying to impress feels like the song sounds “off.” Instead of immediately grabbing them the way a finished song does, they think “this isn’t right” and they turn you down.

Don’t play demos, rough mixes or unmastered tracks for people you want to impress, since they rarely can hear how much better they will be when you finish them.

How Can We Help? 10/4/13

Wanna get your DIY music promotions questions answered and promote your music? Do you have questions about promoting your music or building a fanbase? Leave it in the comments and we promise to get back to you or even write a post featuring you that answers your question. If we think your question would benefit our readers we’ll post a YouTube video of your song on top of a post that answers your question. No matter what, you will get an answer this week as long as you leave an email address (so we can let you know when we answer your question) and a YouTube URL for your video. All we ask in return is that if we answer your question, please help us spread the word about our book, Get More Fans: The DIY Guide To The New Music Business.

BandPosters Will Print And Mail Your Gig Posters To Venues/Streeteamers

Screen Shot 2013-10-02 at 12.48.48 PMOne of the easiest ways you can get free advertising, increase show turn out and get potential fans familiar with your name is to send flyers to every venue you are going to play as well as fans in far away tons to hang up wherever your fans may hang out. For years this has been a long, time-consuming process where you print, stuff, address and mail these posters wherever you’re playing. BandPosters is a service that can help make this way easier. Now you can simply upload your poster to their server and pay $15 for 5 flyers mailed to the venue you are playing or your streeteamers.