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Touring Abroad: Tips for Indie Musicians

I’m a professional French singer-songwriter, originally from Paris, France, now based in Portland, Oregon. I tour in the US, Canada, and France. I’ve also been fortunate to play in Ireland, and a little bit in Australia. I’ve always played solo gigs in those countries and know the French market best. So I’ll mainly focus on that in this article. Here are a few tips I’ve learned from touring abroad that Chris from CD Baby asked me to share with you. I hope it helps...

What You Really Need to Know About Releasing Music on Vinyl

Vinyl’s making a comeback (just ask Stanton). Whether it’s about turntablists and DJs, sound, nostalgia, artwork, or all of the above, vinyl is a medium that refuses to just lie down and roll over in a bar fight with digital audio. However, because many musicians who want to release their music on vinyl weren’t even born when the CD became popular and shoved vinyl aside in record stores (yes, there used to be stores dedicated to selling...

Vid O’ The Week: Jonathan Boulet – Hold It Down

Chances are you’ve heard this song before (a million times before if you listen to FBi Radio), so you’re gonna need a pretty good excuse to hit play again on Jonathan Boulet‘s Hold It Down. Here is that good, nay, amazing excuse – the amazing video clip that accompanies the amazing song. The latest album, Gubba, sees Jono move towards a much harder, rock and roll sound. Seeing as this has come from the dude who...

Pulse, Tempo & Feel

One of the first choices we might make in the process of writing or recording a song is the tempo – how fast or slow the song is. Once you've determined the basic tempo category – slow ballad, midtempo, uptempo – then your other creative decisions will be affected by that choice. Lyric, melody, and chords are all impacted by the pace of the song and the overall rhythmic “feel”. When making these musical choices, though, it's good to be aware of one...

Andrew Ehrenzeller Shares "A Child of Promise”

Change happens. It’s inevitable. Some people embrace change better than others. Though it seems most of us prefer to keep the status quo and not disrupt the comfortable routine of familiarity. Not if, but when change happens we prefer it to be in smaller doses. Little did we know that everything would change for me and my wife that Friday morning. Walking out the door we didn’t have a clue what was ahead. We were the ones about to be changed.

Martina McBride in Concert in New York

It has been said that Martina McBride would draw well singing the phone book. Fans proved that on last year’s sold out “Joy Of Christmas” tour that featured 120 minutes of public domain songs. On this year’s “Everlasting” circuit, she takes on some of the best songs ever written. The album is a collection of R&B and soul covers originally performed by legends like Aretha Franklin, Etta James and...

Planning Your Album: Get Permission for Art, Text, and Cover Songs

If you’re sitting down to tackle making an album, there’s a lot to think about; from clearing the rights for your cover songs to converting the cover art to the right format. These issues can trip you up, or cause the album to take a lot longer than you’d expect. Randy Chertkow and Jason Feehan, authors of The Indie Band Survival Guide, have revised our popular Planning Your Album From Beginning To End guide. The...

Prepare Yourself and Your Music for Music Licensing

Music licensing can be a great way to make money with your music, but you have to be organized, flexible, patient, and educated. Here are five things to help you prepare. Music licensing is a very lucrative business with no shortage of placement opportunities. Everywhere you turn there’s a company or product that utilizes music to some extent. As an independent music creator, you have the ability capitalize, but you have to be organized, flexible, patient...
Keith Urban

Keith Urban, Jerrod Niemann and Brett Eldredge in Concert in Alpharetta, GA

Country music came to the Atlanta area with a bang as Keith Urban, Jerrod Niemann and Brett Eldredge made a stop on the Raise 'Em Up Tour at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Alpharetta, GA. Performing for a sold-out crowd, the three entertainers raised the roof with their high-energy show and played the hits for everything to sing along. Up first, rising star Brett Eldredge...

Four Reasons Songwriting Talent Isn't Enough

I’d like to begin this article by saying that I’m not a cynic. On the contrary, I’m a big believer that if your dream is to have success with your music, then, in time, you will find that success. However, I am a realist. There are rarely shortcuts in our line of work and being a talented songwriter, in my experience, simply isn’t enough to guarantee success. It takes a combination of factors including patience, perseverance and ...
Steve Lukather, Joseph Williams, Michael McDonald

Michael McDonald and Toto in Concert in Atlanta

A night of good classic rock always makes for an enjoyable experience, and last night with Toto and former Doobie Brother Michael McDonald was no exception to the rule. The two acts are co-headlining their tour and made a stop at the historic Fox Theatre in downtown Atlanta, where they brought their hits to the sold-out crowd in the southern capital. Alternating as openers throughout the tour, it was Toto's turn...

Social Media for Artists: Post. Love. Hate. Repeat.

I have a love / hate relationship with social media, and I’ve learned to embrace the cyclical frustration along the way. My mood swings back and forth when I interface online. I have come to accept these ups and downs as part of the daily game. When it brings me down, I just pick myself up, and post, post, post again. For example, it goes something like this: “WOW, look HOW MANY hits that post generated! This exposure is great for my art business. I feel ...

9 Ways to Increase Your Follower Base This Summer

Don’t let summer get in the way of follower growth! – I know you want to hit the beach and the back porch with your friends, but it’s important to keep building your follower base. It’s always surprising to me when clients I work for at Cyber PR® tell me how they’re frantically attempting to amass more and more potential followers and/or supporters while not focusing on the followers and supporters that they already have. Followers aren’t things you collect...

Why Email Newsletters Are Still a Vital Marketing Tool for Musicians

“Email newsletters, an old-school artifact of the web that was supposed to die along with dial-up connections, are not only still around, but very much on the march.” That quote is from a recent New York Times article “For Email Newsletters, a Death Greatly Exaggerated”. We thought it was a good time to reiterate why we think email newsletters are still one of the most effective promotional tools for musicians today, which is also why we continue to...

Vid O The Week: Black Angels – Clear Lake Forest

If you haven’t heard of The Black Angels, then you’re coming in at the right time. A band named for The Black Angel’s Death Song and undoubted bearers of the latest wave of droneadelica, these dudes have left their mark in the sounds of every band from Melbourne to Malacca who aspire to be on the next Bond soundtrack. In my humble opinion, last April’s Indigo Meadow was not only the best Black Angels release, but also one of the best of the...
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