Enter to WIN a Red Special Guitar SIGNED by Brian May!!

Guitar Player magazine is hosting a contest to win a Brian May Red Special Guitar!!

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Prize Details:
First Prize: A Red Special Guitar signed by Brian May. This Brian May guitar is faithful to the spirit of Brian’s original ‘Red Special’, an instrument that has achieved iconic status and a unique place in rock history, and designed by Brian May himself. Retail value $2000

Second Prize: A copy of the book, “Brian May’s Red Special” Retail value: $30

Click here to enter the contest!

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6 Tips to Crisis Management That Could Save Your Musical Brand

Bobby Borg, author of Music Marketing for the DIY Musicianprovides tips on crisis management in his latest article from Hypebot!

6 Tips to Crisis Management That Could Save Your Musical Brand

The saying “all publicity is good publicity” is not always true. A band must be prepared to deal immediately with certain rumors and unfortunate mistakes that may unfold and tarnish its brand image. Good news travels fast, but bad news travels faster. Inspired by business consultant and USC Professor Ira Kalb, here are six tips to crisis management that can help save your brand.

Unflattering Rumors

A rumor is information (usually unflattering) that is passed from person to person, but has not yet proven to be true. When an unflattering rumor circulates, you might consider the following:

1. Do not publicize the rumor by repeating it. Repeating it, of course, only helps to spread it.

2. Promote the exact opposite of the rumor by reminding people of all the good you do, but again, without mentioning the rumor.

3. Deal with the person(s) who started the rumor by letting them know you are upset and that you will even take legal action if necessary.

Click here to view the rest of the article!

Also, check out these other articles recently written by Bobby Borg:

Five Common Reasons Musicians Fail and What You Can Do About It

Damage Control: Effective Strategies for Handling Mistakes or Rumors About Your Band

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Listen: The DIY Roadmap with Bobby Borg

Bobby Borg, author of Music Marketing for the DIY Musician from Hal Leonard, sat down with Chris Aballo from C.A.P.E. for a great discussion about the business side of music!

>>LISTEN HERE<<

00124611There has never been a greater need for practical DIY marketing advice from a musician who has been there and succeeded than now – at a time when new technologies make it more possible than ever for musicians to attract attention independently and leverage their own careers, and record industry professionals look exclusively for developed artists who are already successful.

Written by a professional musician for other musicians, Music Marketing for the DIY Musician is a proactive, practical, step-by-step guide to producing a fully integrated, customized, low-budget plan of attack for artists marketing their own music. In a conversational tone, it reveals a systematic business approach employing the same tools and techniques used by innovative top companies, while always encouraging musicians to stay true to their artistic integrity. It’s the perfect blend of left-brain and right-brain marketing.

This book is the culmination of the author’s 25 years in the trenches as a musician and entrepreneur, and over a decade in academic and practical research involving thousands of independent artists and marketing experts from around the world. The goal is to help musical artists take control of their own destiny, 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 to Deal With Negative Feedback on Your Songs

Bobby Borg, author of Music Marketing for the DIY Musiciandescribes how to deal with negative feedback in his latest article from SonicBids!

How to Deal With Negative Feedback on Your Songs

Getting feedback on your music from a representative sample of your target audience or a seasoned music professional is a great way to measure the progress you’re making. Everyone loves that extra boost of confidence, especially when it applies to something you created yourself. But what happens when you get feedback that’s the opposite of what you want to hear? Here are five tips that will help minimize the sting and turn it around into something productive.

1. Don’t get discouraged, get motivated

Remember that finding your true creative voice and sound –  not to mention an audience – requires a significant amount of time, patience, dedication, motivation, and work flow. It also requires that you do a great deal of experimenting, practicing, training, and creative thinking. Bottom line: it requires that you roll up your sleeves and work hard until you find the path that’s right for you. This isn’t meant to intimidate you, but rather to stimulate you. As AC/DC said in their famous song, “It’s a long way to the top if you want to rock ‘n’ roll.”

2. Use constructive criticism wisely

According to John Braheny, author of The Craft and Business of Songwriting, when the legendary songwriter Diane Warren (Whitney Houston, Faith Hill, Celine Dion) was still honing her craft and sorting out her style, she attended songwriting groups in Los Angeles. Every week following the critique sessions in which she received feedback, she returned with complete revisions of her songs with the utmost enthusiasm. She wrote hundreds of songs during this process. That commitment to continuous self-improvement, in addition to pure talent, luck, timing, and planning, was undoubtedly what led to her write over 50 Top 10 hits and achieve the feat of being the first songwriter in the history to have seven hits on the Billboard singles chart at the same time. Now that’s pretty impressive.

Click here to view the rest of the article!

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Rock Cellar Magazine Interview with Lisa S. Johnson

Lisa S. Johnson, author of 108 Rock Star Guitars, recently sat down for an awesome interview with Rock Cellar Magazine. Read the rest of the interview here!

Rock Cellar Magazine: Discuss your background and what led to the 108 Rock Star Guitars project. It definitely seems like something was quite a process to put together. 

Lisa S. Johnson: Well, I started 17 years ago. It took me 15 years of shooting, because I always had a job – I worked for Eastman Kodak for ten years and owned two yoga studios – so I was always doing this project on the side. What led to it was…I was working for Eastman Kodak and I had a territory in Memphis, Tennessee. I started dating the guitar player at church, and my dad, a musician, told me I was never allowed to date musicians.

So I called him and said “Dad, I’m dating a musician – however, he IS the guitar player at church, and he owns a vintage guitar shop!”

So my dad goes “Oh, well that’s different. He’s not a touring musician…let’s get back to the ‘vintage guitar shop’ part…I’ve always wanted a Gibson mandolin. If he ever gets one in, let me know!”

So literally two weeks later he gets in a 1917, mint condition Gibson mandolin which is now worth about $3,500. I said “I want to buy it for my dad, how much?” and he said “you can’t afford it, so why don’t you photograph some guitars for me instead?”

Shortly after, Kodak transferred me to New York. I thought ” you know, I really want to keep photographing guitars!” – since it was really the first time that I’d fallen in love with my imagery.

So I bee-lined it for the Iridium Jazz Club, where Les Paul played every Monday night. I figured if I’m going to photograph guitars, I might as well photograph famous ones.

Les Paul was such a sweetheart, he let me shoot his guitar, and twelve years later he ended up writing the forward for my book because I sat with him after a show one night and said “Les, do you remember when I photographed your guitar twelve  years ago?” and he said “yep!”, so I said “Well here’s Slash’s guitar, here’s Robby Krieger’s guitar, here’s Zakk Wylde’s guitar. I need somebody to write the forward for my book. You’re their hero and you’ve been with me on this project since Day 1. Would you consider it?”

And he said “yeah, I see what you’re saying…let’s do it!” So he did, and I’ll treasure that forever and ever.

Rock Cellar Magazine: Being that close with someone like Les Paul must have been a thrill, especially with how involved he became with your project. 

Lisa S. Johnson: It was really cool because back when I photographed Les’ guitars and those guitars back in Memphis I was shooting in black and white. And then I’d take the prints and hand color them, hand-tint them. So when I photographed Les’ guitars I brought him prints and he used to say “oh, here comes that girl that does that guitar art!” before he really got to know who I was.

I knew his standup bass player, Paul Lewinsky, and Lou Pallo, his rhythm player for 45 years, Thomas Doyle, his guitar tech, they all knew me so when I’d go to the shows they’d make sure I got back to the green room, so I’d always go back there and say hi to Les.

It was so special. I never spent time with him outside the Iridium Room, since he lived in New Jersey, but the time I did spend with him was a treasure. He was like my grandfather. As a result of his support of my work, 10% of the proceeds from sales go to the Les Paul Foundation, which helps get grants for children for music education and the hearing impaired.

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7 Useful Tips To “Earning” People’s Help

Bobby Borg, author of Music Marketing for the DIY Musicianprovides tips on how to earn people’s help in the music industry with his latest article from Hypebot!

7 Useful Tips To “Earning” People’s Help

Let’s face it, every young and developing artist could use some help with getting to that next level of their career – whether it’s getting a producer excited about recording your music at a discount price, or getting a well-connected consultant interested in recommending you for that audition. But to get people’s help, you must first earn their help. Remember these 7 useful tips.

1. Be Able to Show You’ve Got The Skills: If you want people to take you seriously and offer a helping hand, it pays to have some real talent. No one respects a wannabe, poser, or a dreamer.

2. Build Some Accomplishments: Everyone likes a doer! Whether getting first prize in a local battle of the bands, or attracting large crowds in local clubs, earn some stripes first. Show people that you’re not just looking for a shortcut to success. Instead, show them you can work for it.

3. Form Professional Relationships: People in positions of power are more likely to offer their help to those that they know, like, and respect. Thus, put yourself in situations where you can build important relationships. Perhaps an influential manager speaks at popular music business conferences where you can network and become engaged in an intellectual dialogue; a well-connected music supervisor teaches a university course that you can take and ace; or a savvy entrepreneur runs a PR firm where you can intern and kick total ass. Just don’t expect people you don’t know to respond to your unsolicited emails. Start building professional relationships now.

4. Don’t Flirt or Mislead: While on the general topic of networking and getting to know people, never resort to using your powers of flirtation with hopes of getting what you want (unless, of course, you are genuinely interested in having a romantic encounter). Sex sells, but if you push the tease too far, you could easily mislead people, cause yourself drama you won’t know how to handle, and gain nothing. So, always be a true professional! On the other hand, should a “person of power” make romantic gestures to you, let him or her know immediately that you are all about business first (unless, once again, you are interested romantically). Sure, doing this might lose that person’s attention and scare him or her off for good, but that’s probably for the better in the long run. To be sure, if it’s business you’re really interested in, then be businesslike at all times.

Click here to view the rest of the article!

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Sound on Sound Review of Electronics Concepts, Labs, and Projects

Check out this awesome review of Electronics Concepts, Labs, and Projects from Sound on Sound, written by Hugh Robjohns!

This book provides a great introduction to audio electronics

Back when I first became interested in the world of audio, most people built much of their own equipment. Commercial recording equipment was quite rare back then, and what there was wasn’t affordable to hobbyists, so there was little option for most: we had to build our own mixers, compressors and other equipment.

Thankfully, the audio electronic technology of the day – valves, discrete transistors and, later, the early chip op amps – was relatively understandable and quite practical for home enthusiasts to embrace, and there were plenty of monthly electronics magazines back then providing countless DIY projects and guidance. In the ’70s and ’80s I built a great many guitar effects pedals, mic preamps, power amplifiers, compressors, spring reverbs, and even an entire stereo mixer. I also rebuilt a few tape recorders and guitar amps, as well as a valve-based electronic organ (the last of those tried to kill me several times!).

Today, there’s so much commercial studio equipment available at such extraordinarily low prices that only hardcore electronics enthusiasts entertain the idea of making things themselves, which I think is a great shame. Having some understanding and practical experience of electronics is a massive asset for anyone working with audio. Knowing your way around a soldering iron makes it easy to build and repair all manner of cables, saving a small fortune and solving non-standard connection issues with ease. A grasp of electronics allows basic equipment fault-finding and simple repairs, while building your own equipment (or modifying commercial products) can be hugely rewarding, and is an important skill for anyone seeking a career in the engineering side of the music industry.

If my arguments are whetting your appetite but you’re unsure where to start, then Alden Hackmann’s new book, Electronic Concepts, Labs and Projects (ISBN 9781480342439) could be just the inspiration you need. This is a book for absolute raw beginners, with no assumed prior knowledge or understanding, and it explains and illustrates the key theoretical concepts with very practical hands-on projects. To that end, the book’s introduction provides various lists of recommended tools and the components required for the many practical exercises, experiments and projects included in the book, all with Digi-Key (a well-known international supplier of electronics components) part code numbers to make it as easy as possible to get started.

To read the rest of the review, click here!

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