I think we pretty much all agree that making music is an art. But when it comes to selling music, that’s a different story—and you need to transition more into science than art. All too many times, when I’ve asked someone how they plan to market their music, I’ll get an answer like “Well, I’m going to get 1000 CDs made, store them in my garage, and . . . uh . . . um . . . you know, like, sell them.” Or another option: “I’ll put my stuff up on YouTube, and people will see it, and they’ll like it, and they’ll tell their friends, and so I’ll . . . uh . . . well, you know, something will happen . . . right?”
Cue the buzzer sound effect, because those are the wrong answers. It’s not enough to just create music; you also have to figure out how to market it. But how do you create a marketing plan?
Simple: Think backwards.
By that, I mean think first about the goal you want to attain, then consider how you’re going to attain it. Picture your potential customer browsing online, walking into a store, or stopping by your merch table at a gig: What artwork will grab their attention? What’s the right environment for placing your music? With the decline of the record store, you need to get creative. For example if you’re making “meditation music,” maybe your potential customer is walking into a health food store, and you want your CD sold at the checkout stand . . . and if you're making dance music, the local aerobics classes might want to hear what you've been doing.
What if your music appeals to college students? Create a flyer promoting your music like the “room for rent” flyers with the little tear-off tags on the bottom, and post them on bulletin boards at every college within driving distance. Enlist your fan base (because you have a web site and have been collecting names, right? Right?) to cover the colleges you can’t drive to. And why the tear-off tag? Because it has the URL where people can download one or more of your songs for free (there’s nothing like the word “free” to get people’s attention).
Keep working backward. Will you be selling music at gigs? Then think about how to present your music. In fact, do your customers actually want CDs? Maybe they’d prefer to have their music on a USB stick, so why not duplicate some of those as well?
Before you start uploading your MP3s or videos, or place a call to a CD duplicator, draw up a marketing plan. Define which people are most likely to enjoy your music, figure out where to find them, and decide what marketing “hook” will speak to them. Explore various avenues of distribution. Find out who covers music for your local paper. Talk to musicians who have been successful at getting their music out into world.
Then—and only then—think about getting your music mastered, duplicated, or uploaded.
|This Week on HC|
You won’t find too many high gadgets, or computer goodies. What you will find is guitars, drums, accessories, percussion, guitars, a sprinkling of high-tech, amps, picks, straps, mics, guitars, and . . . did we mention guitars?
Our intrepid Harmony Central team will brave the heat and humidity (but compensate by chowing down at Jack’s Bar-B-Que at night) to bring you the latest and greatest. Again, the dedicated Summer NAMM forum will be the focus of the event, including our ever-popular official photo and video threads—and our Twitter followers can discover cool new gear as we do.
Finally, this year NAMM is again opening the doors to the public on Saturday, July 15. For $15, you can check out the gear, go to workshops, hear music, catch seminars, and more. Oh, and if you see some people running around like crazed hamster with video cameras and Harmony Central badges—say hi!
By Phil O'Keefe
By Jon Chappell
Knowing the circle of 5ths is the first step in learning theory and greatly increases your ability to understand harmony, chords & progresssions
By Craig Anderton
By Jon Chappell
Two solutions—one wet, one dry—for when you have to bring your own juice
|Featured Industry News|
This week's pick hits from our News section
Featuring 168 assignable inputs with 32 fully programmable high-end mic preamps and 16 configurable mix buses, the X32 is an affordable full-function digital mixing console.
Features 7GB content, containing over 2,000 loops. Each of the 20 construction kits offers up to 11 parts, including intro, A-, B- and C-parts as well as breaks and outros. Individual tracks contain acoustic guitars (many double-tracked), electric guitars and basses—all recorded through real, not simulated, amps.
Backstage at Bonnaroo 2012, several of the festival’s acts were asked to lay down tracks in a purpose-built recording studio, outfitted with the help of Guitar Center Professional (GC Pro), the outside sales division of Guitar Center that focuses on the needs of professional users. The recorded tracks were mixed and mastered immediately and transferred to the radio tent next door for broadcast on radio stations nationwide.
New virtual library produces historically accurate organs while adding modern control
7inch nails is a nu-metal/industrial effect that can create futuristic synthetic aural vibrations in combination with a completely mad analog fuzz. Envelophase combines an analog sounding modern phaser with an envelope follower.
Each offers a sleek new design with ergonomic styling, a high-visibility organic electroluminescent (OEL) display, and Korg's well-known X-Y touchpad, all in a compact body with battery operation for shirt-pocket portability.
This state-of-the-art system allows you to hear your monitor mix clearly anywhere on stage (no matter how loud the music is), and offers all the advantages of wireless in-ear monitoring/mobility—clear focused audio, feedback protection, and the elimination of heavy, hard-to-transport floor monitors.
The DelayLab combines a wide array of modeled delay effects with multi-mode stereo looping and complete expressive control of all the delay parameters.
The USBQ is not just an adapter, but a true single channel mic pre amp complete with balanced XLR input mic level, switchable phantom power, Bass and Treble controls and adjustable headphone output level.
Designed based on input from leading contractors and system integrators, the UtiliTek panels are similar in function, performance and design to Auralex’s acclaimed ProPanel series, but at an even more attractive price point that still yields top-notch aesthetics and performance.
A few of this week's top discussions from our Forums
The rumor mill has been jumping, and it's finally been confirmed - Squier is releasing new Vintage Modified Jaguar, Jazzmaster and Mustang models that feature many of the traditional features at prices anyone can afford. This thread has all the details on these highly anticipated new models.
The Studio Trenches discusses the recent announcements by Avid, the company behind Pro Tools, regarding their decision to sell their consumer-related businesses, including M-Audio brand.
It’s the ultimate in unanswerable questions, but that doesn’t stop the Electric Guitar forum from trying. Less than a week old, this thread has garnered 200 responses and shows no signs of slowing down.
The answers range from the choices of legendary bluesmen to “Doesn’t matter as long as it looks like it’s been shot at and missed and sh*t at and hit.” With pictures, of course!
Is mid-side miking still relevant today? You bet—and if you read this thread, you’ll know all you need to know on this useful recording technique.
The iPB-10 reaches that rarified pro review atmosphere of over 100,000 page views—it’s become not just a review, but a resource center, focus for wish list requests, and even a news feed for updates.
The OP wants to know if the Virus is as cool as it seems, whether the interface gets in the way, how it compares to other synths, and more. Well, the Keys, Synths & Samplers community is the place to ask.
Quick question, but a detailed—and helpful—answer from “those in the know” at the DIY forum.
And help shows up, in spades: This thread is a virtual encyclopedia of recording guitar direct.
The OP doesn’t know a thing about Gibson pickups, but wants to know what others think. And since he asked the Amps forum, he finds out.
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Editorial Craig Anderton, Editor in Chief • Jon Chappell, Senior Editor • Phil O’Keefe, Associate Editor • Chris Loeffler, Reviews Editor
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