Six Music Promotion Mistakes to Avoid

Bobby Borg, author of Music Marketing for the DIY Musicianlists six promotion mistakes which can derail a music career in his latest article from Disc Makers Echoes!

Six music promotion mistakes to avoid

Are you having trouble getting the word out about your products and services and getting to that next level of your music career? Are you making mistakes that are costing you time, money, and even your own fans? What follows are six career killing mistakes that every musician should avoid.

1. Failure to communicate a consistent brand. Many artists fail to understand that literally everything – their name, logo, slogan, mascot, attitude, and sponsorships – affects the image that fans will form in their minds about them. If there is any confusion that is created (e.g., the title of the record or song doesn’t match the overall vibe of the band, the colors and fonts of the website don’t convey a consistent attitude, and your videos and photos make you look like a pop artist when you’re really into metal), the fans might get confused and not know what to think. Just remember that it is difficult for your fans to believe in something that is not clearly defined. Confusion equals disengaged fans, which equals lost sales. Be sure your marketing is consistent.

2. Failure to utilize a marketing mix of strategies (offline and online). Many musicians believe that promotion is all about the Internet and fail to understand that there are nine other strategies they can add to their music marketing mix: publicity, advertising, word-of-mouth, radio promotion, sponsorships, sales promotions, direct marketing, face-to-face selling, and guerrilla street marketing. As a result of this oversight, they don’t adequately reach their customers, increase awareness, and make sales. While it is true that many of your fans and potential buyers spend a lot of their time online, they also spend their time offline and respond well to a variety of other media. Just remember that the more places that you can deliver your message, the better.

3. Failure to be social on social media. Many artists forget to practice the same etiquette that exists offline, online. They invite fans who live in Los Angeles to gigs in New York. They send impersonal messages to people they don’t know and say, “Yo, check out my song!” They send friend requests without having a profile picture (they use that creepy default head). Careless promotion equals lost awareness and sales. Remember, to succeed in the music business, you must be more personal with your fans. After all, it’s called “social” networking for a reason.

Click here to view the rest of the article!
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Listen: Lisa S. Johnson talks with Pat Francis

Rock Solid host Pat Francis chats with Lisa S. Johnson about her new book, 108 Rock Star Guitars!

>>Listen Here<<

00127925Armed with a macro lens, an incredible eye for detail, and a truly groundbreaking vision, Lisa Johnson’s guitar art is taking the world of fine art photography on a rock-and-roll ride. A compilation of Johnson’s stunningly personal and intimate portraits, 108 Rock Star Guitars features the guitars of rock-and-roll luminaries, including Les Paul, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, Nancy Wilson, Bonnie Raitt, Chrissie Hynde, and many others.

Far from still life, Johnson’s work conjures the abstract yet also possesses a very sensual and ethereal feel that intentionally illustrates intimate wear-and-tear details. Her unique presentation personifies and captures a musician’s true spirit in these musical extensions of the artist’s body. This ultra-deluxe, coffee-table photo book reveals through Johnson’s signature macrophotography style the etchings, totems, and personal touches of each featured guitar. It is a rare perspective that few people outside of the musicians’ stage crew have seen.

Alongside these images, Johnson provides personal anecdotes describing her 17-year journey to photograph these iconic instruments, documenting her travels from the backstage hallways of some the world’s most famous concert venues to the artists’ private homes. 108 Rock Star Guitars is a music and fine-art photography aficionado’s private backstage pass to witness up-close these six-stringed works of art.

5 Mistakes Keeping You From Becoming a Great Musician

Bobby Borg, author of Music Marketing for the DIY Musiciandetails several common mistakes that hinder greatness in the music industry in his latest article from Sabian Cymbals!

5 MISTAKES KEEPING YOU FROM BECOMING A GREAT MUSICIAN

Becoming a great musician is certainly not an easy proposition. But after reading the five common mistakes that musicians make, you just might increase your odds for success.

  1. Failure To Practice: As Malcolm Gladwell eloquently states in his book “The Outliers,” anyone wanting to be good at their craft must put in their 10,000 hours of practice. While this is a no brainer for most people, you’d be surprised at the number of musicians that do not adhere to a regular practice schedule each day as if their life depended on it. No matter if my family was on vacation or if it was Christmas day, I never missed a practice day. I literally practiced up to 18 hours a day at one point, and I can honestly say that it is one of the biggest reasons why I was able to get to the level of playing that I had achieved.
  1. Failure To Take Lessons: While there are many examples of musicians who got good at playing their instruments without a teacher, there are countless more examples of musicians who never reached their full potential. A skilled music teacher can prevent young musicians from forming bad habits, train them to perform well in real-world situations, and so much more. Drummer Kenwood Dennard, who played with Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, and Sting, helped me to identify my musical strengths and excel at them. Kenwood even served as a mentor and inspired me to push forward when I was feeling low. Even better, he took me to jam sessions and introduced me to a variety of different pro musicians in New York City. Needless to say, studying with him was priceless.

Click here to view the rest of the article!

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Audiofanzine Interview with Alan Parsons

In a recent interview, Audiofanzine spoke with Alan Parsons about his book The Art & Science of Sound Recording:

00333735Audiofanzine: Great book.  It’s really comprehensive, but doesn’t go into ridiculous detail. Were you trying to make a desktop reference for recording musicians?

Basically, both the DVD series and the book were really intended to have a wide audience, not only existing engineers, budding engineers, but basically just laymen who had an interest in recording, because the recording studio has an air of mystery to most people. Everybody loves music, but very few people actually know how people achieve recording. It’s just an attempt to lift the lid on that, and at the same time get the views of other artists and engineers.

Audiofanzine: It’s cool that you included quotes in the book from a number of other well-known engineers, producers and musicians. An example is this one you got from Jack Joseph Puig about click tracks: “A real experienced musician understands the click track is his friend, and he knows how to play around it, and he knows how to play ball with it. The inexperienced musician hears a click track and goes, ‘Oh my gosh. That’s Hitler, and if I make a mistake I’ll be shot in the head,’ and so they’re focused just on making sure that they’re nailing the click, nailing the click, which means the creative part of the brain is turned off.” Great quote. I always find a click to be helpful, but I’ve run into a lot of musicians who feel uncomfortable tracking to one. Do you prefer playing to a click?

I generally feel more comfortable with a click. I don’t think the music necessarily suffers.

Audiofanzine: Do you think it hinders the push and pull of the tempo that happens naturally?

You’ve got a point there. If I feel that is happening, then I’ll take the click away. It’s often so useful later for sequencing and referring to bar numbers and all that kind of stuff.

Audiofanzine: You offer a good tip in the book, to use a drum loop instead of a click, because it might be more comfortable to work with for a lot of people, since click sounds are often harsh.

I find the cowbell is always a nice click sound, rather than something that sounds like a click. It just feels more real that maybe somebody was actually playing it, than a click.

Audiofanzine: How did you decide what to include and what not to include in the book. You could have written it five times as long, if you wanted to.

It was designed to be a companion to the video series, so we didn’t want to deviate too far from the content of the DVD, perhaps because of the fear that one product might be considered as a superior product to the other.

Audiofanzine: How is the video version available? 00631668

It’s available as a complete series. It’s a physical 3-DVD set. You can also download the whole thing. You can download individual chapters. There’s another way of doing it where you get it on a USB stick, which currently is limited to educational licenses, but we’re contemplating putting that as being available to the public as well. It’s on an 8GB stick. It becomes a lot more interactive that way. You can jump to a particular subject and find all the references to a particular subject that you’re interested in.

Check out the rest of Audiofanzine’s interview with Alan Parsons about his book The Art & Science of Sound Recording here: http://en.audiofanzine.com/recording-mixing/editorial/articles/alan-parsons-talks-recording.html

14 Ways to Make Money From One Song

Bobby Borg, author of Music Marketing for the DIY Musicianprovides more music career advice in his latest article from SonicBids Blog!

As with any business, your products and services (whether they be your recordings, tours, merch, or anything else) are the stars of the show. They generate revenue and keep your music career afloat. This is why it’s so important to push the boundaries of innovation and creativity and find a variety of ways to satisfy your audience and make sales.

Take a song, for instance. It can be recorded and simply released as a single, but that’s not all.

Here’s how to turn a single song into 14 different money-making revenue streams:

  1. If you remix it and take the lyrics away, it’s now an instrumental version that can be licensed to film and TV.
  2. If you re-record it live, you can release that version as a live single.
  3. If you re-record it acoustically, it can now be sold as the unplugged version.
  4. If you sing it in another language, it is now a translation suitable for new markets.
  5. If you remix it with a guest DJ, it can now be the electronic dance
  6. If you compile it with six or 10 other songs, it can become part of an album or compilation.
  7. If you offer the recorded stems to your individual track, it can be an “interactive product” where fans can create new mixes and share them with each other.
  8. If you allow the song to be experienced (heard, critiqued) in real-time during the writing and production phase, it can be an exclusive content perk to paying fan club members.
  9. If you take the words from the song’s chorus and place them on T-shirts and hats, it becomes a cool piece of merch.
  10. If you create a video of the song being performed and/or acted out, it can be part of a DVD collection of video singles with other songs and/or used as a tool to generate advertising revenue on video sites.
  11. If you film yourself while writing and recording the song, it can be part of your “making of” video.
  12. If you transcribe the music into printed form, it can be a piece of sheet music.
  13. If you keep the broken drumsticks, skins, picks, and other tools that were used during the recording of the song, they can be sold as collectors’ items.
  14. If you pile a number of the items discussed above into a classy box, it can be a cool limited box set that your fans might find as a great value and must-have item.

The same concept can be applied to your music lesson business (offered at home, on DVD, in an instructional book, in a master class clinic, streaming live online, etc.) or to any other product or service. The point is that with a little creativity, one product can be turned into a variety of extensions. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the more products you offer, the better – in fact, that could actually create confusion for your fans. Rather, if you can keep the juices of creativity and innovation always flowing by being open-minded and observing what’s around you at all times, you can better satisfy the needs of your fans and serve others you may not be reaching currently with quality offerings. That’s how you can generate even more income for your music career.

Just remember that if you take your music career seriously, it’s a business – and the purpose of a business is to make a healthy profit. If it’s not profitable, it’s not a business – it’s just a hobby.

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The Fender Archives: A Scrapbook of Artifacts, Treasures, and Inside Information

Hal Leonard Books is proud to announce The Fender Archives by Tom Wheeler.  In his introduction, Tom describes this unique book which looks at the company from the inside out.  Featuring handwritten letters, production totals, personal logbooks, in-house memos, and much more, The Fender Archives tells the Fender story like never before.

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At the Heart of American Music

Welcome to The Fender Archives. You are invited along on a research expedition, a sort of archeological dig through several sites: well-organized file folders in Fender’s Scottsdale, Arizona, headquarters; the family archives of Don Randall; author/curator Richard Smith’s extensive collections at the Fullerton Museum Center and Fullerton Public Library; the photo galleries of John Peden and Fretted Americana; jammed-to-the-brim metal cabinets in a sweltering Fender warehouse near the Corona factory; and the sunny, art-filled home of the late Bob Perine in Cardiff-by-the-Sea, just blocks from the beach where he and Ned Jacoby took now-iconic photos of clean-cut high-school kids, surfboards, palm trees, and chrome-clad rocketship guitars in Shoreline Gold and Daphne Blue and Candy Apple Red.

This book is part history, part archive, part scrapbook, and for some of us, part treasure chest. In a few cases I offer reconsiderations of familiar topics—the origin of the Telecaster, the iconic imagery of Fender’s mid-’60s promo literature, the dark age of CBS, etc.—but for the most part I resisted the temptation to launch into explanations of facts and perceptions I’ve already shared, and others have shared, in numerous books and magazines. I wrote many articles about Fender during my fourteen years at Guitar Player (the Stratocaster alone received a three-installment series and a mult-part cover story, as well as columns by Robb Lawrence, George Gruhn, and others). I had already written extensively about the Fullerton company in The Guitar Book and American Guitars before tackling lengthy hardcover books devoted exclusively to Fender: The Stratocaster Chronicles (280 pages, 225 photos); The Soul of Tone: Celebrating 60 Years of Fender Amps (512 pages, 430 photos), and The Dream Factory: Fender Custom Shop (592 pages, 600 photos).

So the aim here is not to introduce Fender but rather to revisit it, to go behind now-familiar facts, images, and assumptions and shed new light on the inspirations for these revolutionary instruments and amplifiers, their sometimes difficult births and growing pains, the environment into which they were unleashed upon the world, and the motivations and personalities of key players.

Aside from celebrating the amps and guitars that separated the company from its rivals, The Fender Archives looks at the company from the inside out. Leo Fender’s drawing-board sketches and his penciled notations analyzing the costs of his guitars’ every screw and string ferrule, Don Randall’s revealing handwritten letters imploring Leo to evolve prototypes into production models, Freddie Tavares’ hyper-detailed personal logbooks, in-house memos, and financial reports—such documents are freed here from long confinement in steel-gray filing cabinets and nearly forgotten cardboard boxes, dusted off, and promoted from background to spotlight.

Other items include historic patents, memos debating marketing strategies and product design, a 1946 contract setting up Leo Fender’s first distributorship, and a 1964 report from investment consultants to CBS recommending that while the famed guitar company would be a promising acquisition, Leo Fender himself should be nudged aside in favor of a new breed of buttoned-down corporate managers. Never intended to see the light of day, these documents provide new frames of reference. Several are supplemented with excerpts from my interviews with past and current Fender employees and also with Doc Kauffman, Merle Travis, Ted McCarty, and others.

As Fender CEO Larry Thomas says in these pages: “Fender, it’s not about the guitar. It’s about the music. The guitar helps you to get there; it’s about the emotional connection. Fender is at the heart of American music.” Indeed, Fender is more than a brand. The name conjures an edgy, fuel-injected attitude toward creating and performing music that was born in the late 1940s in small-town Fullerton, California, a place of orange groves and oil wells where Hawaiian music met country, and Western met swing.

In the surrounding metro community, America’s post-war economy was being invigorated by the roll-up-your-sleeves, can-do attitudes of returning World War II G.I.s; the mechanical intuition of suburban toolshed tinkerers; and the brainy enthusiasm of aerospace engineers in horn-rims and short- sleeved shirts communing with their slide rules and looking toward the moon. It was the site of America’s first commercial drag strip, and a place where Detroit auto designers came to tap into the hotrod/speedway esthetic when dreaming up what came to be called muscle cars. Like other American cities, Fullerton felt the comfort of “I Like Ike” and Father Knows Best morphing into the zing and zest of Camelot and Carnaby Street; it felt the rock-ribbed red, white, and blue traditions of thrift and economy merging with the fashion and futurism of a Jet Age rapidly

evolving into a Space Age. It was Southern California, a state of mind as much as a geographical location, home to Hollywood, West Coast Cool, the Magic Kingdom, and Tomorrowland. The sun, surf, and tire-smoking hotrod vibe fueled its own twist on a nationwide phenomenon, as pop met a feisty blend of roadhouse blues and hillbilly bop soon to be dubbed “rock and roll.”

Thrown together by the fates, aspects of these seemingly random, combustible elements would tangle and mingle at the Fender flashpoint, ultimately igniting new musical styles, new attitudes, and new cultures across Orange County, across America, across the world. It all happened in ways no one could have predicted.

History, chronicle, scrapbook—perhaps in some way The Fender Archives is also part memoir. While readers of any of my books will get a hint of my perspectives and tastes, this one is more intimate. It reflects more of my personal experience with Fender instruments, a reimagining of musical possibilities during my own formative years, and my scores of conversations with the people who founded the company, resurrected it, and carry it forward.

Many of my tastes and viewpoints are shared by the global guitar community, of course—we revere our Telecasters and Deluxe Reverbs—but the emphasis here on, say, early and mid-’60s Fender lore admittedly reflects one impressionable teenager’s fascination with a world of gleaming, swoop-body guitars and a distant Southern California as evoked by visionary marketers and an arty photographer with photogenic daughters, a bitchin’ T-Bird convertible, and ready access to the beach.

I approached my previous books the way any historian works, sifting and prioritizing facts and attempting to provide context. I’ve done the same here, while also acting as a sort of museum curator—selecting and arranging artifacts so as to let them speak for themselves, sometimes emphatically. In addition to text and photos, dozens of artifacts are embraced here in envelopes and sleeves, some chosen for historical value, others for dazzle, nostalgia, or sheer fun. A note on organization: the Table of Contents is merely a listing of major topics; dozens of subtopics are scattered throughout in scrapbook fashion.

I believe that taken together, these bits and pieces reveal new insights into what Leo Fender and his colleagues and descendants contributed and continue to contribute to guitar, to music, and to world culture. Putting this book together revealed many new insights for me while evoking a flood of memories. Perhaps it will do the same for you.

—Tom Wheeler

The Borg DIY Marketing Method

In this interview on DIY Convention, Bobby Borg gives some insights into the marketing methods he’s written about in Music Marketing for the DIY Musician.

Read the rest of the interview here!

Tell us about Music Marketing For the DIY Musician.

Essentially, the book is a step-by-step guide to producing a fully integrated, customized, low-budget plan of attack 00124611for artists marketing their own music. The goal is to help artists take control of their own destinies, save money and time, and eventually draw the full attention of top music industry professionals. It’s ultimately about making music that matters—and music that gets heard!

How is Music Marketing For The DIY Musician different from other books in the genre?

The biggest difference is that it is written specifically for DIY musicians by a musician with DIY, indie, and major label success, making it a more credible, focused, practical, and relatable resource for artists. Also, It covers the complete marketing process—from vision through execution—with handy templates and samples in each chapter to help artists create fully-customized marketing plans. And finally, it introduces sophisticated business and research tools (SWOT, SMART, AIDA, and PFB Charts) not found in most music marketing books, enabling artists to choose more confidently and even scientifically the right strategies for their own career path.

Provide one crucial tip from the book?

Do not create music in a vacuum with the intention of just throwing it out there and hoping for success. Hope is not a strategy! Instead, have a clear sense of what you stand for, while also trying to uncover where the world is going. Look for ways where you can be unique and do something that has never been done before. As hockey legend Wayne Gretzky said, “The key to success is to skate where the puck’s going, not where it’s been.”