108 Rock Star Guitars: The Lou Reed Story

Lisa S. Johnson has a story about each an every guitar she photographed on her journey to create 108 Rock Star Guitars. Tune in to her Youtube page every week to hear a new story. Here she is talking about her experience in photographing Lou Reed’s blue Bolin.

If you ain’t measuring, you ain’t marketing – Advice from Bobby Borg

In Music Marketing for the DIY Musicianself-made artist and entrepreneur Bobby Borg outlines the best business methods to help up-and-coming musicians effectively achieve their goals. In this article he wrote for Echoes, Bobby emphasizes the importance of “measuring” in the music marketplace. Read more here!

 

Want to increase the effectiveness of your music promotions? The importance of measuring when marketing your music can’t be ignored.

Measure Marketing

A student recently approached me with a complaint that only six people showed up to his live performance. He sent out an email to 1,000 names, posted on a few social networks, and told his friends and family. Feeling like a promotion loser (his words), he was ready to call it quits.

But after using some basic analytical tools, we quickly discovered that fewer than 10 of the 1,000 people on his list were opening his emails. We focused on re-writing his emails with catchier headlines, more benefits, and a specific “call to action.”

At his next gig, not only did 628 people open his email, 66 people showed up and paid. That’s a pretty strong increase!

So make no mistake, marketing your music – in fact, any marketing – is not about “doing things,” it’s about “doing the right things.” This is the essence of marketing measurement and why it is so important to your career.

How to measure

Measuring is the process of creating systems to collect, analyze, and act on information that is relevant to the goals of your marketing plan. These “systems” can include anything from using web analytical tools (like the ones on Facebook and YouTube that tell you the geographic regions in which people are most interested in your music), counting your sales every night and analyzing thoroughly why you experienced an increase or decrease in revenue, or just asking people at your gigs, “How did you hear about us?” In the latter case, if no one responds with, “We saw your ad in the paper,” then you had better stop placing ads in that paper. It’s that simple!

What to measure

You can measure virtually anything you want. For instance, measuring your customers’ awareness of your brand, and whether you’re at the “top of their minds” when discussing a certain category (such as “local bands in L.A.” or “studios in Nashville”) can be helpful in determining the success of your public relations strategies.

Measuring your fans’ attitudes about your products and services can help you determine their level of satisfaction with you and their likelihood to recommend you to friends and family. And paying attention and measuring how well your products and services perform in each of your distribution outlets can help you see where you’re generating the most sales and where you’re wasting the most time.

Read the rest of the article here.

Watch: Pensado Papers Promo

The Pensado Papers takes readers behind the scenes on the journey that Dave Pensado has shared with his manager and best friend, Herb Trawick, all the way from death’s door to platinum records to Internet sensation. It features unique insights into the engineering regime of a recording genius, a creative philosophy that results in achievement and success, examples of Dave and Herb’s powerful and inspirational friendship, amazing teachings from guests on Pensado’s Place, and above all, fun! Here, Herb and Dave discuss the making of the book.

Marketing tips from Bobby Borg: Getting approval from your fans

In Music Marketing for the DIY Musician, Bobby Borg provides tons of tips on how to promote and distribute your work as a musician. Bobby recently wrote an article for Sonicbids Blog on one of the best (and most affordable) resources you can use to prep your music before sending it out to any record labels – fans! Read more here. 

Testing and Feedback: 5 Steps to Getting Approval From Your Fans Before Committing Your Valuable Resources

Testing and feedback is the process of getting your music into presentable form, trying it out on your most likely fans, and making necessary improvements before committing your time and money manufacturing, distributing, and 00124611promoting it. Without market research, you could easily spend thousands of your hard-earned dollars recording music that’s unmarketable to music supervisors, labels, radio stations, and even your own target fans – and that would be tragic! Make no mistake: testing and feedback increases your chances for success. Remember that creating music in a vacuum and simply hoping that people will love it is like shooting in the dark.

1. Develop and demo your products and services

The first step in the testing and feedback process is to get your music (or other products) into presentable form so you can test them on your target audience. This could mean simply putting together a pitch to present your ideas conceptually, or creating an “inexpensive”demo/prototype. Whatever approach you take, just be willing to pay some dues! Don’t rush the process. If needed, you might even enlist the professional advice of consultants, co-writers, and others to set you on track. This is crucial! Great marketing campaigns start with great songs first and foremost.

2. Test your products/services out on your most likely fans

Once you’ve invested the necessary effort to get your products and services into presentable form, it’s time to craft a variety of simple survey questions. Your questions might include: “On a scale from one to five, how unique do you think my style is?” or “On a scale of one to five, do you think this song should be included on my forthcoming debut EP?” Whatever it is you want to test, just make your questions precise so that you collect the most accurate and unbiased results.

Read the rest of the article on Sonicbids.

The Art and Science of Sound Recording – The Book

More than simply the book of the award-winning DVD set,  Art & Science of Sound Recording, the Book takes legendary engineer, producer, and artist Alan Parsons’ approaches to sound recording to the next level. In book form, Parsons has the space to include more technical background information, more detailed diagrams, plus a complete set of course notes on each of the 24 topics, from “The Brief History of Recording” to the now-classic “Dealing with Disasters.” Get a taste for what Parsons is all about in the excerpt below!

Hello there!
 Is this hello for the very first time, or have you got the video series as well? If the former, we also produced a video series entitled Alan Parsons’ Art & Science of Sound Recording, and this book is both based upon and an extension of territory we covered in the videos. We hope you will find one to be a good companion to the other. Alan Parsons’ Art & 00333735Science of Sound Recording—The Book is a complete rewrite and reappraisal of the original video version. Because it is a book and not an audio-visual experience, we’ve been able to examine all of the topics in greater detail. With the videos we strove to keep you visually and aurally entertained. Now, you can be reading this at home, or in a busy Starbucks, or on a plane . . . you can read one page at a sitting, or one chapter, or just dive in here and there using the index or the glossary. Ingest the words, look at the pictures and diagrams, and if something is not clear first time around, well, read it again. It’ll make sense eventually; promise.
 The great thing about a book is that you can go at your own pace. Plus it’s the ultimate in nonlinear formatting. You can flip from here to page 145 in less than a heartbeat. Eat your heart out, modern media! (Readers of the ebook version possibly have the best of all worlds, of course.)

For the book, we have kept the same basic tone as the video. We hope it is both intriguing for the new- comer to recording and interesting to the seasoned professional. We’ve dug a little deeper into all aspects of recording technology. Chapter 1, “A Brief History of Recording,” may still be a relatively brief version, but it’s now not quite so “on a pinhead.”

A question that often cropped up on the video series was, “How do I use the videos? What order should I view them in?” Sensing potential for the same line of enquiry here, here’s what we recommend you do.

This book does have a logical flow of chapters. First we look at how sound is created and how it behaves, before moving onto the different sources, components, and equipment involved in making and reproducing sound recordings. With these pieces of the puzzle in play, we then look at all the processes involved in manipulating sound recordings, such as EQ, reverbs, delays, compression, and so on. Then we look at how the various types of sound sources respond to the various processes and how they are best applied for particular sonic needs.

The rubber truly hits the road when human beings are tossed into the mix and we actually have to record real live musicians sitting there right in front of us. We look at drummers, guitarists, bass players, singers, choirs, keyboard players . . . all of whom can have very different mindsets, roles, temperaments, and functionalities.

Finally, even though the word “mix” is now more of a formality than the “performance” process it used to be in the days of analog technology, the mix is still the point where decisions and choices have to be made. And that, in itself, is an art and a science.

So if you can, read this book from here . . . right through to the end—at least once.

Learning anything—especially something as nuanced as sound recording—is a journey, and that journey is half the fun. You can fly from Paris to Istanbul, or you could take in the delights of Lausanne, Milan, Venice, Belgrade, and Sofia along the way by traveling on the Orient Express—same destination, but a very different experience.

As with the Orient Express, a top-to-toe read of this book will introduce you to topics you may not fully appreciate the first time around. But you can always come back to Venice and look at its sights and virtues. Although we will try not to dazzle you with clever-sounding words and concepts, important messages can be missed if you speed by too quickly.

Finally, a great debt of gratitude is owed to the many engineers, producers, and artists we interviewed for the video series, whose words of wisdom are included here. Music is so often best when it’s a team sport, and although there are actually some incontrovertibly bad ideas (e.g., don’t try recording a kick drum with a ribbon mic), sound recording is definitely NOT a place for closed minds.

Experimentation—within some context of tried and tested sound practices—should always be on the menu.

You’re in good company. So enjoy your journey.

Riff Notes: A New Series

This Fall, Hal Leonard Books will release three new publications as part of the new Riff Notes series. Acoustic Guitar Basics, Electric Guitar Basics and Guitar Strings Basics are designed to teach readers all they need to know about choosing a guitar or guitar strings strings and how to perform proper maintenance on their equipment. Authors Phill Dixon and Chris Jones tell us more!

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Many shoppers can be overwhelmed by the size, selection, and noise level of a guitar shop. New players and even experienced players can sometimes be unsure about which questions to ask, or are hesitant to ask too many.   Just curious about guitar strings? Interested in the acoustic guitar, but maybe just the electric? Riff Notes offers a simple but thorough introduction to each topic, giving the reader enough information to help him or her feel more confident but not over-loaded.

Authors Phill Dixon and Christopher Jones have years of experience at Guitar Center helping thousands of new and continuing musicians explore, play and take home their first, second, and ultimate dream instruments. Riff Notes puts that knowledge into writing giving readers easy, quick-to-read expert advice in a series of short and fun, topical reference guides all about guitar-related musical equipment.

Designed to easily fit in guitar cases or gig bags, these booklets introduce the guitar world with simplified terminology and explanations, practical applications and tips, and are written in an easy and conversational tone to engage the reader. Perfect for both novice and experienced players alike, the series includes shopping advice, fun facts, and trivia to engage readers of any playing level. Coming this November: Riff Notes, published by Hal Leonard.

Listen: Cary Ginell on Inside Art

Cary Ginell spent a half-hour with Dave Drexler on “Inside Art” on KSDS in San Diego talking about The Evolution of Mann. Cary never lets us down with his great interviews. Give it a listen!

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>>LISTEN HERE<<

More than any other musician, Herbie Mann was responsible for establishing the flute as an accepted jazz instrument. Prior to his arrival, the flute was a secondary instrument for saxophonists, but Mann found a unique voice for the flute, presenting it in different musical contexts, beginning with Afro-Cuban, and then continuing with music from Brazil, the Middle East, the Caribbean, Japan, and Eastern Europe. As Mann once said, “People would say to me, ‘I don’t know where you are right now,’ and I would respond, ‘And you’re not going to know where I’m going to be tomorrow.’” A self-described restless spirit, Herbie Mann also was a master at marketing himself. His insatiable curiosity about the world led him to experiment with different kinds of sounds, becoming a virtual Pied Piper of jazz. He attracted thousands to his concerts while alienating purists and critics alike. His career lasted for five decades, from his beginnings in a tiny Brooklyn nightclub to appearances on international stages. “I want to be as synonymous with the flute as Benny Goodman is for the clarinet,” he was fond of saying. By the time he died of prostate cancer in 2003, he had fulfilled his desire.