Latest Articles


Co-Writing: The No Free Zone

The best advice I ever got on co-writing was from Stan Webb, my first professional co-writer. When Tom Casey, a VP at SESAC in Nashville, set the appointment up for me, he asked Stan to talk to me a bit about the Nashville co-writing process, a process that dominates the songwriting culture there. I was waiting in the SESAC writer's room with my notes and titles, some complete lyrics, song ideas, and I was feeling nervous. I, after all, am a big-time Professor...

Six Things To Do When Your Song Is Finished

Knowing when a song is finished is an entire article in and of itself so I’m going to predicate these comments on the understanding that your song is, indeed, done. While having a finished song is its own victory, there’s more work to do if you’re hoping to keep your records straight, stay organized and possibly generate income with your song. By treating your songwriting like the profit-making business you’re hoping it will become, you’ll be in a position to capitalize on your opportunities...

Smarter in Sixty Seconds: Make Your (Musical) Mission Statement

It’s that once in a lifetime crossroads of being a kid and starting to grow up. Ahh…to be 13 again. Volkswagen introduced the Golf in 1975 -- but that's not important right now. Never again will you care about anything so passionately as you did when you were 13. Your heroes are very real and bigger than life and you would fight to the death to defend them. A child of the Sixties, I became totally obsessed with rock and roll early on so my childhood heroes were ...

Frustration, Jealousy and the Oft-Forgotten Trait: Consistency

You’re in music. You are frustrated with the Industry, and on days where you are honest enough to admit it, you are jealous of several of the seemingly-talentless hacks that sit atop the pop charts. Here are some of the conclusions I have come to about my career path in and out of music. Sometime in the last year or so I was aimlessly flipping through 400 channels of nothing when I noticed a familiar face on TV. My old band mate from college Gabe Roth was playing...

New Legislation Seeks to Modernize Copyright Act to Benefit Songwriters

A member of Congress has introduced legislation this morning aimed at ensuring that the Copyright Royalty Board also consider fair market value when setting songwriter mechanical royalty rates for digital services. The legislation was introduced by Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA), a member of the House Committee on the Judiciary, carrying the name the Songwriter Equity Act. Its purpose is to update provisions in the Copyright Act to level the playing field for...

Hall & Oates In Concert in Indio, CA

What wasn't to love about Hall & Oates' terrific concert at Fantasy Springs Resort in Indio, CA on March 7? Over the course of 90 wonderful and fast-moving minutes, Daryl Hall andJohn Oates –backed by a solid 6-man band – offered up rousing takes on not only most of their most beloved and essential hits from the 1970s and '80s but a few rarely-heard gems too. With Hall & Oates set to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame next month, the...

25 Music Crowdfunding Mistakes Bands Make

Asking for money sucks. Maybe you fear rejection or maybe you worry that you’ll look desperate, greedy, incompetent or rude. It’s a lot like being a middle schooler trying to hold hands or put an arm around your date while at the movies. Asking for money often raises internal doubts like: Will I seem greedy? Will it negatively affect our relationship? Do they trust me? Will they understand why or buy into my vision? Will I look like an a—hole? These are legitimate...

Create a Music Business Filing Cabinet

Are you collecting valuable articles and information about the music business? Do you keep a record of every press mention or post about your band? Maybe there are just interesting articles about art, marketing, social media, current events, books, or other content that can help fuel inspiration for a new song or teach you how to do something. When I see this kind of material, I put it in my “music filing cabinet.” Too often, we see something of interest but then forget about...

Music Community Pays Tribute To Nashville Songwriter Lorna Flowers

Nashville songwriter Lorna Flowers passed away yesterday during what should have been a routine medical procedure. While specifics are still coming in, it is believed the possible cause of death was heart failure during the procedure. We will try to keep you up to date as the information becomes available. The Nashville music community are paying tribute to one of their own. Read the tributes below. (More will be added as they come in.)

ToneDen Is A Clean Content Hub For Artists

The music discovery experience often involves hopping around the multitude of outlets for new music—social media sites, music streaming engines, blogs, and websites. For an artist, the challenge is threading their brand and identity between these bases, and providing ample links between them to give fans easy access to pertinent information and music. The newly launched hopes to clean up this process by consolidating artists music, social...

Musicians, Venues, & Taxes

If you have ever played in a band that is not a registered business, somewhere along the line a venue has probably asked you who checks should be made out to, and whose contact information should appear on the 1099 form issued by the venue. If the band is not registered, this will usually generate a frustrating conversation between band members, until one members graciously steps forward to accept this responsibility. But when does a venue really need to give a...
Wayne "Wing" Sermon, Dan Reynolds

Imagine Dragons, Naked & Famous and Nico Vega in Atlanta

I've said it before and I'll say it again: I'm not a big fan of many of the newer bands that are onstage these days. Perhaps I'm stuck in the '70's and '80's when music had meaning and there were fewer genres than there were bands. (Okay, that is complaint about what appears to be the new music model of getting labeled something like "alt-indie-post-punk-rock-and-roll jazz band", or some such nonsense.) Nevertheless, I'm always pleasantly surprised when I get...

5 Time Management Tactics Every Musician Must Know

The discussion of the intersection between independent musician and entrepreneur is not a new one. Both are responsible for shaping their own careers, building their own teams, setting their own goals and working towards the proper milestones that will turn dreams into reality. Musicians and entrepreneurs also suffer from a similar issue: time management. And rightfully so… whether you are a solo artist working on your own, or have a band that you...

Home Recording vs A Pro Studio: Does It Really Matter?

As technology has advanced in the last decade, the world of digital recording has evolved at an exhausting pace. I recorded my first project in 2003 on an Akai DPS16. It had a HUGE 10 gig hard drive and some cool effects. It was an entirely self-contained unit. I would use loops in Acid on my pc and line them out into the Akai. I was thrilled. My friends and I had some good fun with it. We had no idea how digitally ignorant we were. We just knew...

Tax Tips For The Working Musician

As April 15th rolls around, thousands of working musicians will be scrambling to get their receipts organized as they prepare last year’s tax returns. For most anyone making money with music, the onus is on you to make the most of the various deductions that can be taken on your federal and state income taxes. To answer some questions and help you prepare for the inevitable, I spoke with veteran CPA and tax guru Alan Friedman to get some tax tips for musicians.
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