Starting a Successful Record Label

Posted by Gary on 7th November 2011 in Music

The biggest requirement in owning and operating a successful record label is having an ear for talent. If you can find the next big star and produce that first mega record, your name will be put on the map and possibly a few Grammys as well. You think you’ve got the ear, you know you’ve got the knack and you might even think you’ve got the cash flow. So what comes next? The lawyer of course.

Before you can break into the record label business you should probably meet with an attorney to let the state know about your new business by filing it as a corporation of Limited Liability Corporation (LLC). This will cost you a couple of hundred dollars in most states, but ensures you many benefits including cost saving tax write offs. For more information on what sort of tax write off is legal for your LLC, go and visit the IRS website. Make sure to find the proper income tax forms when you file your taxes. For the proper forms, click here to find several different types of forms. Another major benefit to becoming your own business is that you are now legally able to keep a separate bank account to manage all operating expenses as well as income. The separation between personal and business money will allow you to more clearly see what your profit margins are and where you can afford to begin taking the big risks.

Once you’re done with the lawyer, talk to a librarian. Up next you’ll need to do a lot of research into types of record labels to determine who you want to be and what your brand is. This will help you to focus your talent search and identify a target audience. Pitching your label to the right artist and in turn the right audience will save you time and thousands of dollars. Look into hiring a market manager to help you with this task if you don’t understand the concepts. This could be the most important decision you make.

From lawyer to librarian and onto the lender. If you can not afford to finance the label start up out of pocket, taking on a loan will be a necessity. While advances in technology have made disc creation and marketing more affordable than ever, you’ll want to make sure you have the funds to launch your dream properly. Working with that market manager previously mentioned can help you determine your start up costs and find the right lender to make your dreams a reality.

Lawyer, Librarian, Lender now Lover.
That’s you. You love this world and your last task to launching that label is to hold onto that love and have patience that your dream is now within your reach.


Fundraising for Music Business 101

Posted by Gary on 19th October 2011 in Music

When fundraising for any type of business or event there are numerous things that need to be taken into consideration. You need to decide what type of person you are going to target, and the selling points you will use to secure these funds. Fundraising in the music business is no different. There are 5 key points in making sure you can get the money you require for your business.

First off, you need to ‘think like a business.’ One of the ways you can do this is by recognizing that anybody with a business is first and foremost in it for the money, to make a profit. If you understand this, you should have no problem.

Second, you need to build a relationship with whoever is requesting your business. Nobody is going to give money to someone they do not trust or do not have some sort of relationship with.

Third, you must understand that YOU are the only person who can get what you want. You can not expect others to give it to you. You make your own success!

Next, you need to make sure that the people you are requesting funds from know what you’re all about. Give them a look into your life, your vision. Make them believe and feel the way you do about music.

And Lastly, you must show people that your idea will work. Prove to them that they will not be wasting their time and/or money to help you succeed. Be versatile, show them live performances, cd sales. If they do not believe you can make it, you will most likely not get the funds.

If you follow these steps, I can not promise 100% that you will succeed. (See Number 3 – you make your own success) But I can tell you that you will have a better chance at securing your funds and making your music business come to life.


Music Travel and Tourism

Posted by Gary on 28th September 2011 in Music, Travel

If you love to perform music, you might like to know about the way music travel and tourism are involved with your interests. This article will aim to give you insight on where music tourism is really popular, and what styles you can expect to hear if you happen to visit places like them.

What is a music tourist?

The tourism industry and the United Nations Tourism Organization don’t have a clear definition for it just yet, but you can bet this is a big business that will only get more revenue friendly in the coming years. People who love to perform music and tour to support their albums would be defined as a music tourist generally.

What states base their whole tourist draw from music touring?

Great question. As you can imagine, there are so many forms of music that satisfy tourists from all over, but the American south is very popular in the music that comes from there. Artists like Bubba Sparxxx and Yelawolf have brough credence to the Hip-Hop styles that can come from the south, as well as the Mid-west bringing artists like Nelly. Along with the attention and fame the music brings to these places, people all over the world now know some of the things natives from these places do thanks to the semantics shared through music. It’s a win-win situation that brings people from all over to their iPods and TV screens. If you live in Europe, you might be familiar with the Glastonbury festival that annually hosts musicians from all over the world and is in every major news outlet for the luminous stars that come out and play free music for the people. No matter what your taste in music is, there is a place and a venue where you can celebrate it with others.


How to Market Your Music

Posted by Gary on 3rd August 2011 in Music

When it comes to creating a name in the music business, marketing is actually just as important than the actual music that is put together by the artist. The best known artist aren’t necessarily always the most talented artist in the world, but the best known artist are certainly marketed and promoted well to the public.

There are a few inexpensive methods that a person can use to market their music, which can help to start building a buzz and an interest in their music. A person can use social media sites to market themselves using facebook, twitter, youtube and myspace, or an individual can also use tangible marketing materials including promotional products such as business cards, flyers or even a cheap personalized pen.

A person can market their music and generate a lot of attention for themselves by using social media sites. Social media sites have really made things a lot easier for the artist to connect with fans and made things much easier by people now being able to interact with one another no matter where they are located at in the world. Another way to generate buzz as an artist is to set up free ringtones for fans to download. Ringtones are a huge it in this technological day in age and can be great word of mouth marketing.

An artist should keep fresh content on their pages and update people about what they are doing, where they are going to be, and hold different contests to gain more interest with fans by maybe giving away a t-shirt, a poster, or a download of their music. Being creative and engaging with people online using social media sites can be very beneficial for an artist to start building a career in music.

Musicians should understand how to burn their music onto disks to hand out to their audiences. The most important thing is to be able to scale your items so that you’ll always have them on hand. A great way to do this is to attain a cd burning program and download burning software that will allow you to transfer data from your computer to a disk.

Even, though people are using a lot more digital products tangible products are still effective, and can still make a difference for an artist that is promoting. A person or group that is out promoting themselves can do themselves a great benefit if they have flyers and business cards, because they can physically get their message out by meeting people personally and handing them the materials.

Places like seminars and conventions are great ways to pass out tangible products to people. A cheap personalized pen is also an effective and a great way to make an impact in marketing or promoting. A pen is an awesome marketing tool, because most people will hold on to their pens and use them in the office, at home or at school. A person can really brand themselves, by just having a pen that is personalized with their brand or message.

The most crucial aspect to marketing is following through and doing it. Marketing can be fun and should be used as an opportunity to meet people either it be online or in person. Spreading the word doesn’t have to be expensive it just takes some work and consistency on the artist part. The artist who decides to take marketing seriously are the one’s that end up having staying power and successful careers doing what they enjoy best which is making music.

How to Create a Music Website

Posted by Gary on 19th July 2011 in Music

Whether you are a new artist with a fresh new sound, or you have been around and are ready to reach out to a whole new audience and get more exposure, there are endless benefits to setting up your own music website.

Web Hosting

The first thing to consider when creating your own music website is web hosting. You will want to put clips of your music onto your website, you will want to make sure there is enough space and bandwidth to cover how much you will want to put up. There are several free hosting sites that can get you started, but once you are set up you may want to consider a paid service to provide better quality. Do not worry though, your hard work on the free hosting site can often be kept by simply upgrading through the same provider.

Style and Feel

A music website is often the first interaction many fans will have with you when they stumble upon it. They have never heard your music before and really don’t know what to expect. The style and feel of your music website is what will first queue in your fan that this may be their type of music and will encourage them to click the play button on your tracks. A country artist will generally not want a website that feels more like death metal. So customize your site with a javascript slideshow plugin to make it feel like you and your music, draw in your fans with a style and feel that will make them comfortable.

Within the world wide web, it is often stated that “content is king”. This is very true for any website on the internet. If your first web page does not have what the reader is looking for, they will not stay and browse through your website. Your front page has to catch their attention, but your website must be easy to navigate so they can find all of your other information. Things you will want to consider including in a music website includes music samples, photos, news, biography and most importantly, a contact page. Should a recording company stumble upon your talent, you want to make sure that they are able to quickly and easily get a hold of you or your agent.

Getting Visitors

There are a lot of different ways to get visitors to your music website. First, you want to make sure that there are a lot of key words specific to your music within the pages. Don’t overdo it, but using important words like ‘Country Music’ or ‘Rock n Roll’ two or three times is easy to do and it will help bring your page a little higher in search engines. Your next step is to turn to social media, places like Facebook, Myspace, Twitter and many others will help you link with your friends and fans. Social media sites can spread your name like wildfire and help turn people toward your music website where they can get a much better feel for who you are and what your music is like.

Creating a music website can be exciting and at times, overwhelming. Don’t give up though, you will find that once the effort is put into creating your music website, the rewards are well worth it as you spread your name and your music to an endless number of new potential fans.


How Technology Changed Music

Posted by Gary on 11th June 2011 in Music, Technology

A scant few decades ago, people were listening to music on the radio. The family would crowd around the radio and listen to whatever was being played. People who could afford it would buy music-playing machines. There were machines that played tubular shaped recordings, and those that played records.

Turntables Were Turning

The first really marketable records turned on the turntable at a speed of 78 RPM (revolutions per minute). They were heavy, thick, and very breakable. Later, a 33 1/3 RPM version was invented and music really took off. The more accessible 33s were less expensive, easier to use, and less fragile. Soon, 45 RPM records were developed and the world of popular music exploded into a huge industry. Even teenagers and younger children were able to handle and play 45s.

Carry Your Music With You

In the 60′s, the transistor radio was developed. Teenagers everywhere were thrilled to be able to carry their music with them. True, there were portable record players, but the transistor radios were cordless and the advent of the popular disc jockey, talking in a language the kids could relate to, added to the listening experience.

In the 1970s, the prerecorded cassette tape was introduced. It revolutionized the accessibility and portability of music. Music fans could now take their music on cassette tapes with them wherever they went, to the beach, a picnic, or to a friend’s house to share their newest purchase. With blank tapes, they could even record their own choice selections from the radio. The portable cassette player was king.

Eventually the cassette player became yet more portable and versatile when the Sony Walkman and other pocket-sized versions were marketed. You could walk or jog with your favorite tunes. Some models were produced that could even be used in the rain or in the shower.

The Short-Lived 8-Track

In the 60s and 70s, the 8-track cassette was created. It was an enclosed version of the cassette tape that didn’t really take off in popularity. It was bulkier, required a special player, and the original music on it could not be recorded over.

Introducing the CD

In the early 80s, the CD was developed as a media for music. Its ease of use, portability, and extreme versatility has made it one of the most successful mediums for music since the record. A music CD can be played in a CD player, a computer, some DVD players, and even game boxes. There were mini-discs created with the same principle, but they didn’t become very popular and soon died out.

Beyond the Physical

Nowadays, you can acquire music without the necessity of a physical record, cassette, or CD. You can download music electronically from the Internet and transfer your music to a computer, a CD, your telephone, or one of many other electronic devices available.

Technology has not only changed the way we listen to music; it’s also changed what music we listen to. No longer are we limited to purchased music; we can also listen to music created by individuals who’ve never sold a CD. Simply by uploading their music to the Internet, a musician or singer can expose his or her music to the world. A prospective fan can listen to the music and transfer it to their computer, phone, or other device. The new fan can also purchase music from the performer’s catalog.

It’s a very music-friendly generation we live in, indeed. Technology has not only radically changed the way we listen to music, but how and where we get it and store it.


Brief History of Country Music

Posted by Gary on 8th May 2011 in Music

Country music can be traced all the way back to 1920s although there are numerous of contemporary country artists known throughout the world today (Carrie Underwood, Garth Brooks, etc.). Being one of the most popular genres of music today in America, and famous even outside the country (Australia, England, Canada).

The sub-genre of country music “honky tonk” emerged around the 1930s and 1940s; usually can be recognized with heavy usage of guitar, steel guitar, drums, and bass. Back then, Al Dexter was considered to be one of the best American country musician and song write, and he is also the one who came up with the name honky tonk. Dexter’s first hit, being the “Honky Tonk Blues”, then “Pistol Packin’ Mama” may be recognized as the marching chorus that was used for the New York Yankees back in 1943). Ernest Tubb, who has the nickname the “Texas Troubadour”, was also well-known and popularized the honky tonk; many consider the rise of honky tonk is due to his biggest hit, “Walking the Floor Over You”.

Western music was another popular sub-genre during this time and were about the ups and downs about the life of the everyday cowboy and what he faced. The Sons of Pioneers and Gene Autry popularized the style greatly, and can be recognized with the use of harmonica and variety of string instruments.

As the decades passed and more and more country music has been produced, there are all sorts of sub-genres such as rockabilly, alternative country, and country soul, pop-country, and so much more that have been created. Country music today sounds nothing, or very little, as it used to. The idea behind the song has broadened to subjects such as falling in love, cheating, breakups, and such. Just by listening to and studying the brief history of country music, one can truly appreciate the genre and understand how it has inspired numerous of other great musical artists to produce the music that they do, and why it it is enjoyed, loved, and cherished.

Whether it is the contemporary country music or the old country music you love, everything had to start from something. Country music all spurted from the idea of what the everyday man goes through (from hardships even to successes). However one looks at it, we would not have the music we do today if it were not for the old country music.