Latest Articles


Pickup Joint: Magnets Decoded

When you really get down to it, a pickup is simply a magnet with a bunch of wire wrapped around it. The magnet creates its own magnetic field (obviously) and the guitar string interacts with that field, and this is translated by the coil of wire, and then some stuff happens in an amp, and then an audience gets rocked. Ah, but it’s more complicated than that. The size and type of magnet you use in your pickup has a big influence on the sound that the pickup produces, as does the type of wire...

Factors to Consider When Buying a Turntable

In today’s high-tech world, when thousands of songs can be stored on a palm-sized device, why would anyone opt to buy a turntable? Turns out there are plenty of reasons. Opinions will always vary regarding sound quality, but there’s no question vinyl sounds different—warmer—than music in a digital format. Audiophiles often say analog music feels immediate, as if it’s being performed in the room. Moreover, many recording engineers today create two different mixes—one for vinyl and...

Happy Birthday Duane Allman: The Sideman Recordings of a Gibson Legend

Gibson SG and Les Paul legend Duane Allman is among the more mysterious of the profoundly influential six-stringers from the electric guitar’s most sonically formative decade. Allman died young and until this year his recorded legacy had remained scattered; not repacked, unearthed and repeatedly rediscovered via reissues and compilations of nuggets panned from record label, studio and live recording vaults, like the still growing Jimi Hendrix catalog. If not for his accidental death...
Jennifer Nettles

Jennifer Nettles Goes It Alone

They say it begins with a song. For Jennifer Nettles, it began with a phone call. Rick Rubin had long been at the top of the singer’s wish list of producers, but it wasn’t until her manager, Gail Gellman, suggested she make the call that Nettles picked up the phone. Best known for her front-and-center work with the duo Sugarland, Nettles had been quietly preparing for three years to cut her own album, writing songs she believed took her to a whole new level of artistry. “I approached it like...

Drive Time

Most of us drive! Those who do not drive, ride. Music is an integral part of our commuting and has been since even before the first car radios were installed, when teenagers used to sing their favorite songs while driving down the roads of the past, in horse drawn carriages and model T Fords. (I know this from pictures and black and white movies--not because I was there!) The majority of songs in the top 40 on the music charts at any given time are "drive...

Running Your Own Indie Record Label

It’s no secret that an independent musician can release his or her own music today through numerous online music platforms without starting an indie record label. Simply want to share your latest opus with the world? Set up a free SoundCloud account and send the link to everyone you know. For some artists, the simpler the better, as their motivations may be as straightforward as sharing what they’re most passionate about without any inclinations to support themselves through...

How Do I Find Media Outlets For Press Coverage?

So you’ve just booked a show at venue XYZ in Nowhere, Virginia. The first think you want to do is ask your booking contact at the venue if they can recommend a few local media outlets for you to reach out to. In most cases they’ll be able to give you both the name of the paper and the direct contact of the music editor. It’ll save you some time and you won’t need to go searching around on the website for the editor’s email address. That can be a pain…especially since many outlets like...

YouTube Launches Fan Finder

Behind every great channel are great fans. A few months ago we announced Top Fans, a tool to help you interact with your most engaged viewers. Today we're launching Fan Finder, a new initiative designed to help you introduce and connect your channel to new fans, at no cost to you. To get started with Fan Finder, just create and upload a video introducing new fans to your channel (more on that below) and then submit it here to Fan Finder.

What Exactly Happens on a Music Video Shoot?

Music video shoots are one of the most exciting collaborative projects imaginable, usually seeing a convergence of numerous skills from across a variety of industries just to make the magic happen. As such, few other places provide so many opportunities to meet and mingle with musicians, film directors, producers and other important people. If you're interning at a label or studying at somewhere like the NYFA, you have plenty of reasons...

The Independent Musician’s Black Friday Checklist

30% of CD Baby’s annual music sales take place during the last 6 weeks of the year. That’s a whole lot of CDs, vinyl, and downloads being purchased by fans of independent artists around the world. Black Friday (that crazy shopping day after Thanksgiving) is only a week and a half away, and we want to make sure your sales go up throughout the holidays too. Are you ready to capture the most music sales this season? You don’t have to spend hours...

How Selling Out Saved Indie Rock

Not long ago, the idea of selling a song for a commercial would have been seen as career suicide. Now, thanks to the music industry’s implosion and the rise of a new generation of artist-friendly ad execs, bands can barely survive without doing so. But has the bubble already burst? It’s 2 p.m., the Friday before Christmas 2012, on the 21st floor of the Leo Burnett building in downtown Chicago. Young executives, creatives, admins, and interns are all packed into a large meeting room, giddy...

5 PopsterX Artists You Should Know

PopsterX has only been live in beta for a few weeks, but some brilliant artists from Sydney, Australia to Los Angeles, CA and across all genres have discovered what it can do for indie artists. One artist is an 8-time Grammy nominee jazz master and another has already been offered a deal in Hollywood. PopsterX gives big rewards to weekly number 1 artists including a non-exclusive agreement enabling their A&R team to personally pitch artists for corporate sponsorships, song placements...

The 10 Artist-Music Commandments

Finding the right answers often comes from asking the right questions. As an artist you must always be aware of yourself and your brand as a whole. The more you know about yourself, the easier it will be to promote and build your brand and gain the exposure needed to have a successful career in music. Artists often overlook these questions and continue to shoot aimlessly in their careers, which leads to failed marketing campaigns, bad reputations and a whole lot of running in place...

Indie Artist Spotlight: November Artist Reviews Online At

This month, Indie-Music is proud to feature an eclectic group of artist reviews that cover a wide range of musical ground. November’s new crop of reviews feature the experimental and exciting return of Son Lux, the throwback grunge-infused rock of Red House Glory, the smooth jazz collective SKETCHES, orchestral folk pop courtesy of Harker, and the fresh but familiar French jazz pop of Clara Bellino. November’s artist reviews feature Son Lux’s ...

The Future of Music Is Standardized Metadata

I’ve participated, either in person or online, in several music industry events in the past two years. The speakers and panelists have opined on the sorry state of the industry and the plight of independent muscians, and have pointed a forest of fingers: It’s the labels’ fault. Technology (Napster) killed the music industry. Music piracy is the problem. Now that everyone can buy ProTools and become a musician, there’s just too much free [not always good] music. It’s just too hard to...
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