30: Create Amazing Music – Recorded and Live
Creating amazing songs/music and putting on a killer live show. That is the number one thing an artist needs to do. 🙂
– Emily White
31: Record and Release (LOTS OF) Music
No excuse exists with today’s technology to wait for a label, manager, sugar daddy, etc. Write Write Write! Record Record Record! Release Release Release! Plan to release 20-30 songs PER YEAR for the first 3-5 years without any lulls. If you cannot write enough material, find co-writers (Plenty of musicians will not do #1 or #2, but still have great creativity to share with the world). Buy the basic recording gear and learn how to use it (take classes or just experiment!!). Use CD Baby, Tunecore, etc. to release your songs digitally. DO NOT even consider physical retail to start. If you manufacture your CDs, keep them simple. Stick with inexpensive packaging (great artwork is a plus). Use the money you save to buy some more gear or do some marketing. Way too many artists tell me that they spent all their money just getting an album recorded and manufactured. Spend no more than 30-40% of your available cash making / manufacturing music. If you cannot afford to manufacture, then wait. It is far more important that you record, release and play shows
– Rob Gordon
32: Experiment In Public
Speaking of being on my toes, I try to push my comfort level in plain sight. Sometimes I’ll produce a song in a style I’ve never really attempted before and release it to my subscribers at http://matthewebel.net -sometimes it flies, sometimes it doesn’t. My first attempt at Trance, a song called “Night Train”, has become one of the most requested songs I play at live shows now. It’s the first one people have openly talked about pirating. For something I originally downplayed as “just an experiment”, it’s now one of my biggest hits. I experiment onstage as well, trying new arrangements or even lyrics. My fans love knowing that they’re part of something spontaneous, that they’ve got a hand in shaping the very future of my music. Happy fans are vocal fans.
– Matthew Ebel
33: Don’t Be Afraid of Cover Songs And Legally Record Them
Tap into the popularity of better-known artists. Are you known for an awesome rendition of a popular song in your live shows? Great. Record a video of you doing it and post it on YouTube. Better yet, buy a license to record your own version and sell it on iTunes. Then use the video to send people to iTunes to buy the download.
– Bob Baker
Singer/songwriter Steve Acho realized that fans who love a particular song will often collect other versions of the favorites. After getting the proper publishing licenses, he would record new arrangements of songs popular by various artists, and release them on iTunes via TuneCore. When a song-collecting fan enjoyed one of his tunes, they would often also buy his originals.
– Carla Lynne Hall
34: Record Purposeful Specific Music: Appeal to Niches
Record an album to be used by a particular type of person for a very specific purpose. Like Steven Halpern’s “Music for Healing” or Richard Lawrence’s “Music for Concentration” of Bradley Joseph’s “Music Cats Love While You Are Gone.”
– Bob Baker
35: Create Solidly Crafted, Well-Produced, Mastered Broadcast-Quality Songs
Well-produced music will attract more listeners and media makers. People want to be associated with quality. So even if you are ridiculously talented, if you didn’t spend the time or money have your album properly produced, mixed and mastered it will be stopped at the door. You have to be willing to go into debt or come up with a creative way to raise funds to have your music fine-tuned in post production. It’s a step that should not be overlooked.
– Derek Nicoletto
36: Make Instrumental Mixes
Make mixes of your album without the lead and background vocals and throw your instrumental tracks into the licensing ring. It doubles your available catalog and opens up opps for shows that do not use vocal music. If your w/vocal mixes are already copy written (if they’re not, seriously, I will beat you senseless when I see you on the street), you don’t need to register these instrumental mixes separately because the music on them has already been registered. An instrumental placement won’t get your voice out there in TV land, but it could pay for your next EP.
– Phil Putnam
37: Think About Fan Financed Recordings / Projects
As the fan base grows, so does their desire to see an artist succeed. Last year, Shane wanted to record and went out to the fans for support. See www.teamtrance.com. This effort raised just over $34,000 in just 60 days.
– Michele Samuel
Telling on Trixie also leveraged Social Media and their fan base to raise $50,000 and record an entire album that was 100% fan funded www.tellingontrixie.com/news
– Ariel Hyatt