Category Archives: Music Industry

Bobby Borg talks Business Basics for Musicians

Bobby Borg, author of Business Basics for Musicians, has complied another interview series where he talks about some of the tips you will find in his book. In this episode he talks about pursuing a career in the new music business. Watch the video below to see what he had to say!

To see more of this interview series visit the books page HERE. Let us know your thoughts on the videos in the comment section below!

Confessions of a Serial Songwriter

Shelly Peiken is a multi-platinum Grammy nominated songwriter who is best known for her #1 hits “What a Girl Wants” and “Come On Over Baby”. She earned a Grammy nomination for the song “Bitch” recorded by Meredith Brooks. She’s had hundreds of songs placed on albums, and in TV and film. And, she is the author of Confessions of a Serial Songwriter, to be published in March by Backbeat Books.  You can read about the book below or, better yet, listen to Shelly talk about her life and her book in the video!

COASS-Final_CVR_152159Confessions of a Serial Songwriter is an amusing and poignant memoir about songwriter Shelly Peiken’s journey from young girl falling under the spell of magical songs to working professional songwriter writing hits of her own. It’s about growing up, the creative process – the highs and the lows, the conflicts that arise between motherhood and career success, the divas and schemers, but also the talented and remarkable people she’s found along the way. It’s filled with stories and step-by-step advice about the songwriting process, especially collaboration. And it’s about the challenge of staying relevant in a rapidly changing and youth-driven world.

As Shelly so eloquently states in Confessions of a Serial Songwriter: “If I had to come up with one X factor that I could cite as a characteristic most hit songs have in common (and this excludes hit songs that are put forth by an already well-oiled machine…that is, a recording artist who has so much notoriety and momentum that just about anything he or she releases, as long as it’s ‘pretty good,’ will have a decent shot at succeeding), I would say it would be: A universal sentiment in a unique frame.” Peiken has tapped the universal sentiment again and again; her songs have been recorded by such artists as Christina Aguilera, Natalie Cole, Selena Gomez, Celine Dion, the Pretenders, and others. In Confessions of a Serial Songwriter, she pulls the curtain back on the music business from the perspective of a behind-the-scenes hit creator and shares invaluable insight into the craft of songwriting. Shelley Peiken_author photo

Don’t forget to visit Shelly’s website over at

Bobby Borg Interview Series!

Bobby Borg, author of Music Marketing for the DIY Musician, has an interview series where he talks about his tips for the DIY musician. In this episode he talks about one of the key points: Vision. Watch the video below to see what he had to say!

To watch more episodes click here!

New from Backbeat: The SG Guitar Book!

The SG Guitar Book is the perfect book for guitar enthusiasts! Tony Bacon, author of the most thorough and readable guitar books out there, tells the story of how the SG came to be.  Do you own an SG? Tell us your story in the comments section!

Gretsch, Sg coverTo many vintage guitar fans, it seems inconceivable that Gibson dumped the Sunburst Les Paul in 1960 and, during the following year, introduced a completely new design, the one that we know now as the SG (“solid guitar”). Back at the start of the 60s, this made perfectly good business sense to the managers at Gibson. Sales of Les Paul models were faltering, and the company decided to blow a breath of fresh air through its solid body electric guitar line.
The company described the result as an “ultra-thin, hand-contoured, double-cutaway body.” The modernistic amalgam of bevels and points and angles was a radical departure, and this new book tells the story of all the SG models that followed: the Junior, Special, Standard, Custom, and more.
All the stories are here of the classic Standards, Specials, Juniors, double-necks, Customs, and TVs, and also the lesser-known SGs, such as the Tributes, the Deluxe, the Supreme, and the Diablo, as well as related guitars like the Melody Maker and signature models for guitarists from Robby Krieger to Jimmy Page.
There are interviews with and stories about Gibson personnel through the years, and all the major SG players, including Pete Townshend, Frank Zappa, Eric Clapton, Angus Young, George Harrison, Gary Rossington, Tony Iommi, and Derek Trucks.
In the tradition of Tony Bacon’s bestselling series of guitar books, The SG Guitar Book is three great volumes in one package: a collection of drool-worthy pictures of the coolest guitars; a gripping story from the earliest prototypes to the latest exploits; and a detailed collector’s database of every production SG model ever made.

Josh Bess shows us “How Drum Grooves Control the Genre of Music”

Percussionist and electronic performing artist Josh Bess is the author of Electronic Dance Music Grooves: Techno, Trance, Hip-Hop, Dubstep, and More! , just published by Hal Leonard Books. In the video, Bess takes us behind the scenes as he creates drum grooves!

00128989Electronic Dance Music Grooves provides creative insights to help you understand how to build exciting, powerful, and compelling EDM grooves. Whether you’re into techno, trance, dub-step, drum ‘n’ bass, garage, trap, or hip-hop, author, Ableton Live Certified Trainer, and noted EDM performer Josh Bess helps you take your skills to the next level with an extremely efficient and intelligent groove-making system. And, as an added bonus–providing a valuable basis for your own creations–this book describes the history behind the development of multiple electronic music styles.

A MIDI map, designed to make it simple to use the included grooves and samples with virtually any modern DAW, accompanies each styles. Whether your preferred DAW is Ableton Live, Reason, Pro Tools, Logic, or almost any of the other popular music production and performance software applications, you’ll quickly be equipped to incorporate these grooves and samples into your own creative workflow.

Electronic Dance Music Grooves includes over 300 professional-quality drum and FX samples, more than 300 drum grooves and MIDI files, 17 Ableton Live Drum Racks, and much more, all provided to support your creativity and electronic dance music production. Samples and sessions are delivered online to ensure access to all content, whether you’re using a desktop, laptop, or mobile device.

The 5 Biggest Things You Really Need to Make It as a Band

Bobby Borg, author of Music Marketing for the DIY Musician is always ready to help out a fellow musician. This time he’s letting you know what you really need to make it as band. Check out his top 5 below.

With so many blog posts and books about “how to succeed in the music business,” it’s easy to get confused about what and what not to do. So let’s take it back to the essentials: make sure your band’s got the following five things covered before you move on to anything else!

1. Have amazing songs that convey your unique sound and style

Nothing will be more important to the success and longevity of your career than having well-crafted, original songs that stand out from the rest of the pack. No matter if you’re self-writing or co-writing songs with other professionals, your career might be short-lived or nonexistent if you sound exactly like everyone else in the flooded marketplace.

00124611While exploiting your inner strengths and staying true to your artistic integrity, strive to be both unique and relevant. Pay attention to where music is today, as well as to where it may be heading (or needs to be heading) in the future. In the best case scenario, strive to find a market need or void that aligns with what you do as an artist, and an opportunity to fill that need or void better than anyone else.

To sum things up, hockey legend Wayne Gretzsky once commented on the key to success: “A good hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be.” Believe that!

2. Deliver unforgettable, standout live performances

There is a live performance element that is a crucial part of selling your songs. Not gimmickry, but a complete auditory and visual live experience that’s aligned with your brand and is positioned uniquely among the competition. The idea is to deliver a live performance that your fans will remember.

Consider hiring a professional sound and light man, having dancers joining you up on stage, using interesting instruments, projecting a film on a screen, or engaging with your fans by allowing them to text in requests real-time while you’re performing. And don’t forget about throwing those amazing afterparties, too. Whatever you do, just be amazing!

Read the rest over at Sonicbids Blog!

Sponsorship and Endorsement deal tips with Bobby Borg

In Music Marketing for the DIY Musician, Bobby Borg provides tons of tips on how to promote and distribute your work as a musician. But that isn’t all there is to the music business, endorsements and sponsorships are an important part of getting your music out there. Bobby wrote an article for Disc Makers Echoes Blog explaining how to properly and correctly choose your endorsement deal or sponsorship. Read more here.

How to align with local and national sponsors

00124611A sponsorship or artist endorsement is a symbiotic relationship between artists and product-based companies. You can receive free merchandise, cash awards, recording time, promotional items, assistance with promoting local shows, distribution through CD samplers, and exposure from company advertisements. You can appear more credible in the eyes of the public, as well as the eyes of club bookers who might be interested in having you perform at their event.

Through artist endorsement deals, companies can creatively expose their brand name and products to their target demographic audience and increase public awareness and sales. Everybody wins! Though sponsorships are usually reserved for artists already creating a small buzz in their community, everyone can benefit by checking out the following tips

Know the products and brands associated with your fans
The first step toward getting local and national sponsorships is to understand what products and brands your target audience is attracted to. Survey your fanbase – as well as the fans of groups you sound like to get ideas. Pay attention to your fans’ clothing, footwear, headgear, sunglasses, and what they drink. They might be drawn to Quicksilver clothing, Vans shoes, Ray-Ban sunglasses, Gold Coast skateboards, Harley Davidson motorcycles, and Rockstar energy drinks. Whatever the products and brands your fans enjoy, this information is essential in helping you home in on which businesses and companies are worth approaching.

Put together a local target sponsor list
Research local businesses that sell the products associated with your target fans and compile a local target sponsor list. Gather each business’s name, owner, address, phone number, and even store hours. Don’t be afraid to include small mom and pop stores on your target list in fear that they won’t have the money or interest in sponsorships. One Los Angeles band approached a hip and fashionable clothing boutique on Melrose Avenue and got free merchandise to parade onstage and give out to fans. Furthermore, the band’s CD was made available for sale in the boutique while select tracks blasted over the sound system daily. It’s not too difficult to find interested businesses willing to form alliances with you. Artists right in your very own city may already have relationships with local stores and they’d be willing to share contact information with you.

Compile a national sponsor list
Research the companies that manufacture the products associated with your target fans and compile a national sponsor list. Gather each company’s name, marketing director, address, phone number, and also its submission policies. If alcohol is a product associated with your fans, add companies like Jagermeister and Jim Beam to your target list. These companies have long reputations for supporting up-and-coming bands with rewards of cash, recording time, and musical gear.

Read the rest over at Disc Makers Blog.

Explore Electronic Dance Music Grooves with Josh Bess!

Hal Leonard Books has published Electronic Dance Music Grooves: House, Techno, Hip-Hip, Dubstep, and More!, Josh Bess’s guide to building exciting, powerful, and compelling EDM grooves.  Josh introduces his book below, and provides audio content examples at his website,  Check it out!!


00128989Electronic Dance Music Grooves is a book designed to help anybody and everybody learn to program a wide variety of electronic dance music drum grooves with the use of MIDI programming. It will help somebody starting out from the most basic levels all the way to advanced producers, musicians, and programmers.

Electronic Dance Music Grooves teaches you more than mapping out beats and grooves; it will hopefully become a stepping-stone to a new way of thinking and creating. The main purpose behind Electronic Dance Music Grooves is to introduce new styles of music and grooves that you have possibly never played, programmed, or even heard of before, along with tips and tricks to create something new for yourself.

Throughout the book, you will easily see how powerful and important a drum groove is to music styleidentity. Understanding what creates a specific genre’s groove, from the rhythm and dynamics to the choices of individual sounds, plays a huge role in identifying a tune’s style and genre. As there are currently thousands of electronic music subgenres, rather than covering each and every style there is, we’ll cover the main foundational styles of Electronic Dance Music, which have stemmed to create new styles, subgenres, and categories. With the grooves learned throughout this book, you will gain the necessary understanding, techniques, and knowledge to create the rhythmic structure and patterns for any of your favorite electronic music styles.

Four Smart Ways To Use Your Press Materials Better

Bobby Borg, author of Music Marketing for the DIY Musiciandescribes ways to improve usage of press materials in his latest article from Hypebot!

Most musicians know that songs, biographies, one-sheets, photographs, videos, press releases and interviews can all be used to help get gigs, blog reviews, radio play, endorsements, and so much more. But in what formats should these materials be submitted? Let’s review 4 possible options together with feedback from a few industry pros.

1. Physical Press Kit

This involves gathering your bio, press release, cover letter, business card, and CDs into an attractive two-pocket folder (such as one you customize using services like Vista Print), stuffing these items into a padded mailing envelope, and shipping them off via services like FedEX or The United States Postal Service.

Says Jeff Weber (Music Producer, Label Owner, and Author), “While I don’t care to receive anything other than the CD and a contact number, physical materials are the preferred method of delivery for me. A high quality CD allows me to evaluate the artist’s songs and performances in their purest form.”

Says Fred Croshal, former general Manager at Maverick Records and current Vice President and founder of Croshal Entertainment Group, “When I’m considering a band for management, I much more prefer to review and listen to materials that I can hold in my hands. It’s a more personal experience. “

2. Personal Website Link

This involves creating a customized destination on the web that includes music, videos, pictures, and bios, and then emailing a link (or links to different pages on your site) to your professional contacts.

Says Christian Stankee (Artist Relations for Sabian Cymbals), “I prefer an external link to the artist’s personal website. I want to see what the public sees. An artist’s site is a true tell of an artist’s ability to market their brand and to potentially market ours.”

Says Attorney Sindee (who helps license copyrights), “I also like an email with an external link to the band’s personal website. There’s no clutter on my desk or floor, it’s simple and easy to view, and I get a sense of what the fans and general public see of the band.”

Click here to read the rest!


Michael Beinhorn Featured at

Record producer Michael Beinhorn, author of the new book from Hal Leonard, Unlocking Creativity: A Producer’s Guide to Making Music and Art, is the subject of a three-part interview at  Here’s Part One 1!

00122314Shell Rock, IA – JUNE 2015 … It’s been just over three decades since a young keyboard player in Bill Laswell’s group, Material, made the jump to production as co-producer for Herbie Hancock’s Grammy® award-winning album, Future Shock. Many of the tracks on Future Shock including the hit “Rockit” were co-composed by Michael Beinhorn.

Future Shock was hailed as groundbreaking, and it’s only fitting that Michael Beinhorn’s production aesthetic and career have continued on an exciting arc of energetic, boundary-pushing records.

Michael’s artistic journey has seen him play many roles: producer, engineer, composer, arranger, performer, technical innovator, and shepherd to some incredibly rocking recordings of the modern era. A review of Beinhron’s discography is eye-popping, including, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Soul Asylum, Sound Garden, Aerosmith, Hole, Marilyn Manson, Ozzy Osbourne, Korn, and a host of other artists. With Michael’s place in music production lore firmly in place, he can now add Author to his resume with the release of his book Unlocking Creativity: A Producer’s Guide to Making Music and Art.

Beinhorn’s seasoned audio palate, and strong desire to bring to fruition the sounds only he hears, has led him to not only stretch the limits of pro-audio gear, but literally create a new audio format along the way.

Michael has been a longtime Chandler Limited user, and we were fortunate to catch up with the ever-busy producer when we provided additional gear for his Courtney Love session (Wedding Day EP) at Tommy Lee’s studio, The Atrium, in early 2014.

In this three-part interview, we’ll cover Michael’s thoughts on today’s music industry, his production methods and gear, and a dissection of the Courtney Love ‘Wedding Day EP’ sessions, which used a lot of Chandler Limited gear.

CL: Okay, we’re convinced you’re not only a music producer, but a time traveler too. When we were coordinating with you seemingly across multiple time zones and airports for the Courtney Love session, you were in the middle of another production in Europe, and jetting back and forth. So many records in now, what keeps the creative flame burning for you?

MB: I’ve always believed it was an unquenchable lake of fire located near the Islets of Langerhans. Seriously, the one thing that gets me going is this crazy idea that a recording project can still be an exposition of creative ideas. That all of us together, the artist, engineers, producers, etc can become a team of artists working toward a unified common goal which is potentially so much greater than what would be accomplished by just one artist alone. That fusion, when it’s present, is the most addictive substance and the most potent source of energy I have ever encountered. I suspect it also might be the fountain of youth.

CL: You were stationed in Europe for a lengthy session, and relocated most of your gear there too, including your Chandler Limited Mini Rack Mixer. Can you tell us more about that project?

MB: I was working in Copenhagen with Mew, who I also worked with in 2004. We cut tracks in a recording studio (STC), but all the overdubbing was done at the band’s rehearsal space (which had been an auto repair shop in a previous incarnation) and the singer’s apartment. It was a real undertaking just to get these places acoustically sound for recording and playback. The band’s rehearsal space had plaster walls, a front and back room and, having been a car repair shop, there were two holes cut in the wall which separated the rooms, presumably to accommodate cars being fixed. The band were initially skeptical about improving separation between the two rooms until the guitarist set up an amplifier in one room, ran a cable to the other and began playing, whereupon, he realized that the amplified guitar was nearly as loud in the room he was in as it was in the room where the amplifier sat. Needless to say, a lot of similar adventures took place. Since I knew the singer’s apartment and the band’s rehearsal space were immutable parts of the recording equation, I brought along some gear I knew we’d need. All I can say is, thank goodness for the Chandler Mini Rack Mixer.

Read the rest of Part 1 here!




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