Written by DaCheat at RaGezone.com
So you're in a band and want to make it big huh?
Congratulations, you are now in a pool with millions of people. If you want to make it big, there are a few things you need to know. I'll try to help you out as much as I can by giving you some very important information about the Record Industry.
First and foremost you NEED to get your material copyrighted. There is a great nonprofit organization called ASCAP (The American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers) their goal is to get you the artist, your money. Once you become a member of their site, and pay the federal copyright charge you're good to go.
And their sister site:
Great your material is copyrighted, now what?
Now you need to get your music out there as much as possible. You need to talk to booking agents, news papers, and radio stations just to name a few. A great way to get your band to stand out is using a professional press kit. Why use a press kit? Think about it, these guys are getting 50-100 different bands asking them to listen to their stuff. Half of the time they get thrown out instantly, but if you stand out you have a chance of being booked.
A Press Kit Includes:
- One Sheet
- Picture (8” x 10” Only!)
- Demo = 3 songs (Best song first)
- A few things about a press kit that you should know. The most important part of a press kit is the One Sheet. Why? Because that’s the first thing someone will look at. That split second glance could mean booking a gig, or being dumped in the trash. The One sheet needs to look as professional as possible. Booking agents don’t want to deal with some half ass attempt. A One Sheet should include the following: Band Name/Logo, Picture, Hype/Press, and Contact Info. Here is a good example.
Your big picture also needs to look professional. It HAS to be black and white, 8” x 10”, and most importantly glossy. Why? Because this picture needs to be able to be printed everywhere; magazines, news papers, or to be used on the internet. A black and white glossy 8” x 10” fits those needs, and fits them well. As far as press goes, remember, “Any press is good press.” Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan didn’t get famous for being cute and cuddly.
- Here is a little trick to get press. Call your local or school news paper. Ask to speak to the media journalist, let him know when and where you'll be playing, and invite him to come free of admission. Why do that? Simple, it's his job to write about media. What is apart of media? Music. So if he shows up and writes about your show, you can take his insert in whatever paper/mag. it was and put it in your press kit.
It's as simple as that.
- A great way to get noticed is to use independent A&R companies. A&R stands for Artists and Repertoire. One of the main jobs of a record label is to find new material to produce. The person who finds that material is an A&R person. A great independent A&R company is Taxi. They're job is to get your material noticed, and they're one of the best companies at getting it done.
Time to step up your game.
Alright so you've done a few things, have a press kit maybe a manager, now what? Now would be the perfect time to signup with CDBaby.com. What is CDBaby? CDBaby is the largest online distributor of independent music on the planet. You sign up for FREE and they push your material as much as possible to such sites as itunes, yahoo, hulu, or any other music site out there.
Now that you're finally getting played on a global scale how are you going to make money? Well that's were a little company called Sound Exchange comes in. It's their job to watch the web and pay you every single time your song gets played. Here's an example: With itunes alone. As of right now the average album on itunes is selling 10 copies a month. So doing the math if your one album sells at $10 a copy, selling 10 albums a month totaling in $100. Well times that by 12 for each month of the year and you end up with $1200. As that sits that's not that much money, but expand that for 40 years, and you've just made close to $50,000! Not bad for one album you made 40 years ago...
It is SoundExchange's job to pay you! The only thing is, nobody knows about them at all. As of right now Sound Exchange is sitting on more then 800 Million dollars in unpaid royalties because artists are not signing up and claiming their money!
Your stuff is out there, now get people to find it!
Now that your stuff is out there, it's time for people to find out about it. You can do this a number of ways. One good way is to find radio stations that play your style of music and send them a copy! Never ask them to play it. Just tell them you like what they play, and you hope they enjoy your songs. If they like it, they'll play it.
Another good way is by blogs. People completely underestimate the power of the internet and how powerful blogs can be. A good place to go is The Hype Machine. The Hype Machine is just a collection of blogs for music lovers alike. All these guys do is review music! So sign up upload your best single, and send away. Sure you might get turned down by a few of them, but it only takes one blog to get the attention of a few people, to pass the word about how good you really are. Once the train starts moving, it wont stop.
Just keep in mind, that some of these "bloggers" will upload your single and have people download it for free. You never know who the blogger is. They could be a 12 year old that doesn't know it's illegal to upload it. So just be careful, and watch your material.
You’re playing gigs, everyone knows and loves you, and the time has finally come where you’ve been noticed by a record label.
Your first record deal! Awesome right!? Maybe, here is an article written by the legendary producer Steve Albini called, “The Problem with Music.” In this article Steve used exact figures with a real band he produced. The figures are a little upsetting to say the least. It is a long read, but worth every second of your time.
Websites you should be familiar with:
People you should be familiar with:
• Clive Davis
• Tommy Tallarico
• Rick Rubin
• Frank Zappa
• Brian Epstein
• Andrew Loog Oldham
• Steve Albini
The most important piece of information to remember is that the best place to start is right now. By reading this you’ve already started your journey, now it’s time to see how far you can take it.
”Amateurs wait for inspiration, the rest of us go to work.”
- Pablo Picasso