Posted on | December 27, 2012 | No Comments
Being in a band can be a difficult bond to break, you spend a lot of time together, work hard together collectively and may even make some money together. Leaving a band can be a difficult thing to do both for yourself and for the other members. Whatever your reasons for leaving a band, whether you’re moving away or you’d just like to move on to something else, there are certain ways that you should go about it, and believe it or not a certain etiquette is involved when it comes to working out how to leave a band.
Tip # 1 – Don’t Make Any Rash Decisions
You don’t want to be going back to your band a week later with your tail between your legs asking them to let you back in. Quitting on a whim or when you don’t mean it is just a hassle for everyone, make sure that you really want to part before going to the stress of actually taking the plunge and leaving your band. Sleep on it, take a few days, weeks or even months to make a thorough and well thought out decision.
Tip # 2 – Resolve Issues If You Can
Tying in nicely with my first tip, you might not even have to leave the band if your issues aren’t too serious or can be resolved. Lost your love of the style of music you’re playing? Confront the rest of your band members and see if you can do something different to keep it interesting. Involved in a dispute? Be honest and see if it can be sorted out before just leaving. Make sure you have made efforts to stay in the band if you really want to deep down.
Tip # 3 – Be Honest and Do It In Person
I know it sounds a lot like tips for breaking up from a relationship, but in a lot of ways that is the closest experience you might get to leaving a band, and some of the same rules apply. Don’t make up crappy excuses or sugar coat the truth, be honest and up front and make sure the rest of the people you have shared the experience of starting a band with know what is going on in your head, they will have a lot more respect for you. Hopefully the people you will be discussing this with are friends who already respect you, and though a conversation in person can be quite a frightening or daunting prospect, it is definitely the right way to go about it. There is no reason for arguments and the handover to new band member can be quite amicable.
Tip # 4 – Don’t See Yourself as The Bad Guy
A lot of people struggle to leave bands as they see themselves as breaking up something good, and if you follow the steps outlined above you will have made every effort not to do so. If you simply have to leave then it is fair enough, you are not obligated to do otherwise and sad as it may be, you shouldn’t feel bad.
Posted on | December 20, 2012 | No Comments
How to get started as a Singer
Making a living as a singer can be tough and it requires a lot of hard work and determination. I have been a full-time professional singer performing in function, party and tribute bands for the last 7 years and based on my experiences – I’ve put together some tips to help newcomers figure out what they need to get started.
Record a great demo CD
First things first, you need to make a demo that really showcases just how fantastic you are. This is the most important weapon in your promotional arsenal so it’s worth spending a bit of time and money on this.
If you are part of a band, then you can share the cost of a few days studio time by pooling your resources together. Expect to pay between £150 – £350 a day for reasonable studios.
If you are just starting out as a solo singer and don’t have a collective of musicians to help you put your demo together – then here are a couple ideas on how to approach recording a demo CD:
i) Many studios offer a service where you can perform to pre-recorded instrumental backing tracks. You can pick the songs in advance, and then they will record your vocal over the top and mix the two together. This method is very quick and easy but the recordings can run the risk of sounding a bit plastic and generic.
ii) If you want something a little more authentic – but still quick and easy to produce – consider recording with a solo pianist or guitarist. Many studios will have an in-house engineer or producer who is also a musician and who might be able to help with this as part of the studio hire fee. Although you won’t get a ‘band’ sound – it could be a better way to showcase your vocals as they’ll be the main focus of the mix.
iii) You don’t necessarily need to go into a professional studio to create a demo. If you already have a reasonable quality PC or Mac, then with a decent microphone, an audio interface and some recording software – you can record your own demos at home. If you plan to records lots of your own music – a home studio is a worth while investment, though it’s worth remembering that for a top quality job – you’ll still need to go into a professional studio at some point. Check out the ‘Dummies guide’ book to get started: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/111810689X
Get promotional photographs taken
A great set of promotional photographs are just as important as a great demo recording and its definitely worth investing a bit of money in this if you can afford it. Have a look online for a local photographer, and have a look through their portfolio to see if you like their style. You should also ask your fellow musician friends for recommendations, or check local artists websites whose photos you like, to see who took them (it will often say on the photographs themselves).
Make sure you spend some time thinking about the image you want to create and pull together some strong outfits. Girls, its definitely worth paying someone to do your hair and makeup for that really professional look, and many photographers work with hair and makeup artists on shoots and can offer a complete package at a reduced cost.
Try to think about who your target audience are and what they’ll want to see (or what preconceived idea they might have in their heads about what an artist like you should look like). If you hope to getting work singing at private events it’s really important that you look the part as this will influence the customers decision as to how suitable you are. If you sing jazz for example, but your photos make you look like a pop singer, then customers will have a harder time identifying with you and you might well lose the gig to a lesser singer who’s nailed the ‘look’.
Get a web site
Having a web presence is vital as it’s the easiest way for people to find out about you and for you to showcase yourself. This doesn’t have to cost you a lot of money. There are the social media sites such as Myspace and Facebook which are easy to set up, as well as sites like Wix or Moonfruit where you can design and host your own website for free. If you would like someone to design a more professional looking website for you, then there is a fantastic site called PeoplePerHour where you can post a project and then have designers compete to win your business – often offering unbelievably competitive rates. You could also get someone from a site like that to design you a logo.
Once you’ve got a web presence, make sure you keep it up to date with all your most recent recordings, photos, repertoire lists, testimonials and news.
Once you have your own web presence it’s easy for you to advertise yourself as a singer. Look out for web sites that list auditions and apply for everything that catches your eye. For starters, try Starnow, UK Music Jobs, Singers Pro and Bandmix. You might need to create your own profile listing on these web sites – but make sure your profile page is kept up to date and log in regularly as this helps to keep your profile at the top of the listings and you’ll get more interest that way. You should also keep an eye on Gumtree, which often lists ads for bands looking for singers.
Your next best friend is ‘open mic’ nights. This kills two birds with one stone. Firstly, you gain much needed experience performing with a band in front of a live audience (you cannot get enough of this experience when you are starting out!), and secondly you get the chance to network with other musicians. Make sure you talk to everyone there, find out if they are looking for any singers or even deps for their current singer, and hand out your details. It would be worth getting a few business cards printed to help with this. Don’t always expect to get paid initially – it’s more about networking and getting yourself some experience.
Joining a band
Being part of a function band is an excellent way to make a regular income, and again provides you with invaluable experience performing on stage and working with a live band. If you haven’t been able to join an existing band, why not set up your own? Simply advertise on the audition sites I mentioned above and see who responds. There are always musicians out there looking to join new bands. Once you have picked your musicians, start choosing and rehearsing a repertoire together, then get out there and gig wherever you can! A tip – there are an incredible number of function bands out there, so use your initiative and come up with a fresh approach, something unique that will grab people’s attention and make them choose you!
Join an agency
If you are an experienced performer, whether you perform as a soloist or in a band, you should start to approach agencies such as Alive Network, and for this you need a great promotional pack. Agencies only want to work with the best bands and artists so you need to make sure you have a high quality promo pack that competes against the best other musicians out there. You’ll need decent photos, audio, possibly a video and a biography. Anything else you have such as testimonials, press clippings etc, add it in too. Agencies get hundreds of applications – so make sure yours stands out by packaging it up nicely, writing a good covering letter – and generally making sure what you’re sending looks good enough to be taken seriously. Follow up with a polite phone call and make the effort to ask the agency what they’re looking for in an act like you. Not all agencies have the same kind of client base or working methods – so you need to figure out if you’re well matched to work together. Sometimes generating a good relationship with one good agency is far more beneficial than getting listed on 20 who can’t even remember your name.
The less you have to travel the better as fuel is expensive – and to compete for gigs out of your area – you need to be the same price as other musicians who are based in that area who therefore have no travel to cover. You should take your demo CD to local restaurants, wedding venues, bars and clubs and see if anyone is looking for live music. A local residency is a great source of regular income, and gives you the chance to be seen by the general public, some of whom might be looking for a band for their event.
Keep your options open and find multiple income sources
One last piece of advice I would offer is keep your options open, and try to have a few musical projects available to you. As a singer you can accept solo gigs, band gigs, dep gigs, maybe duo work – what ever you can find to increase your chances of having regular work. Never rely on one thing to keep you afloat, because if that falls apart, you need to know you have something else to turn to.
Posted on | December 6, 2012 | No Comments
I’ve already written about whether musicians should blog here on Zedara before. You can check out my should musicians blog post if you’re in the process of deciding. If you’ve decided you are going to blog, or have already started, then this is the post for you, my guide to blogging for musicians.
The amount of businesses with blogs is growing. Blogging continues to prove itself a valuable way to reach an audience, drive traffic and expand any sort of project. You should see your music as a business or as a separate entity with at least some business interests if you’re going to blog in order to benefit your music.
- Be relevant and blog about the interesting things you’re doing. The chances are people visiting your blog or signed up to follow you on social networks will want to hear about your day to day activities, but the ones that set you apart as a musician, not just any old thing. If you’re going to a recording studio, buying a new guitar or playing a gig somewhere exciting, people might well be interested, and it is relevant to the blog you will be creating. Your brand new puppy might be really exciting too, but it has no baring on your music, and thus should be left for a personal blog.
- Post regularly, but not too much. Nobody wants to follow a blog that bombards them every few minutes, but to get the most out of your blog and make sure people are following, sharing and most importantly reading your blog, you should post on a regular basis. Its no use going 5 months without a post then putting 20 new ones on in a week. Space them out for the best results.
- Take advantage of every type of media. You’re a musician, so you’re lucky in that you’re able to take exciting photos of music venues, instruments, band practices and more, as well as creating new videos and audio files. Loads of bloggers would kill to have all of this media ready to share with their audience. Treat your fans to an audio preview, make a fun video of your band practices and take every opportunity to create and output new media. This can also drive people from other outlets such as Soundcloud and Youtube.
- Make a personal connection. Musicians should always try to connect with as many of their fans as possible, and your blog gives you a chance to mention people or to respond to comments. Reaching out like this can make the difference between casual interest and fanaticism.
- Make it shareable. We’ve all heard of going viral, and its important that you at least try to do so. Making fun videos or clever photos for example can be a really cool way of getting people to share via social networks and hope that the traffic starts to flood to your site.
- Express yourself. Be creative, post about your opinions on the music industry or a new artist. A lot of people don’t have the luxury of doing this on their blog, they have to be objective and write in a certain way. You’re in a creative industry so you have a bit more license to explore with this one.
- Have fun. This is the last and possibly most important tip. Not only will having fun with your blog make it easier to do, your positive outlook will shine through and help your blog become a success.
Posted on | November 29, 2012 | No Comments
Anybody who has ever been in a band will know that one of the most important aspects of making music and playing it live is practice. A group of people playing music together isn’t always a straight forward activity, and no band can expect to be at their best without regular practice, but undoubtedly there are some methods better than others when it comes to your band practice, and thinks you can do to ensure the best practice session possible. Here are my tips:
Practice On Your Own First
There’s nothing worse than going into a session with the rest of your band and being the rusty one. Play scales or other people’s songs, and then play your own songs on your own so that you’re ready when it comes to the time to play together. The rest of the band members wont want you to be messing up every minute or so. Be the best you can be before you start.
Don’t Make it All About The Music
It sounds like a strange thing to say, but bands aren’t just about music. You’re not robots, and it is important that you all get along well and first and foremost are friends (aw, how cute). Don’t just make it a case of getting together to play tunes, but make it a great way to hang out and catch up with your friends as well as getting in all the practice you can at the same time. Why not go for a beer afterwards just to cement your chemistry?
Don’t just play easy songs, and don’t just compose songs because you know that you’ll find them simple to play live, try to expand your musicianship and stretch yourself, which will keep you challenged and interested as well as moving you forward as a band.
Just like anything, you can’t do it non stop for hours and still be at your best, you will eventually start to tire, whether mentally or physically (drummers especially will tire physically). It’s important to take regular breaks and give yourself a bit of a rest.
Mix it Up
Don’t just play the same songs in the same order practice after practice, you need to include some variation so that things stay interesting. Play an old track that you’ve not dug out for a while or learn a new cover version, you could even swap instruments or introduce a new instrument, this helps not only to keep your enthusiasm in tact but will improve your skills as a musician too.
Have a Laugh
That’s what it’s all about at the end of the day, having fun and having a laugh. Nobody joins or starts a band to be miserable, and if they do it won’t last long. It’s really important to have fun and make sure everyone is smiling at your band practices.
Different methods will work for different bands and different people, but in general, if you stick to the above tips you won’t go too far wrong on your band practices.
Posted on | November 22, 2012 | No Comments
You wont need me to tell you that music can be a really expensive hobby at times, and if you’re into recording, microphones will be one of the many expenses you’ll incur. The good news is that the market is more competitive than ever now, which means mics are getting more affordable, and you can get a good microphone under 100 pounds or dollars (sorry to put it in two currencies, you can tell I’m from the UK).
We’ve had the luxury of using many microphones in the past, you’ll be pleased to find out that some of these relatively affordable models actually deliver an amazing, professional sound, and are more than good enough for home recording, gigging or rehearsals. Check out our list of the best affordable mics on the market.
Hama Dynamic Microphone DM-65 – Hama aren’t well known for their microphones, and manufacture a wide range of electronic products, but this cheap as chips mic has been very well received. It might not be up to scratch for a professional recording studio, but great for home demos. It’s dynamic and seems pretty durable (I don’t have the luxury of putting it on “will it blend”) but this is a great mic for hobbyists, rehearsals and playing live. Expect to pay around £25 or $40.
Samson CO1U – This will be pretty much smack on your budget if you have 100 bucks to spend (£65-70 UK pounds). It’s one of a new range of plug and play USB mics, and it’s a condenser, so it’s great for recording at home, but wont do you much good playing live. That said, the sound is surprisingly clean, Samson do a decent range of lower end microphones, and this is no exception. Again, nothing that you’re going to find used at abbey road any time soon but for home recordings this is a super mic, great value for money.
AKG D5 – This is a dynamic vocal microphone, but it can be used on certain instruments to good effect (though not recommended for kick drums!) As a brand, I trust AKG a lot more than I trust some other brands, and this mic continues their consistency and ability to deliver good quality at a reasonable price. Good for vocals, interviews and podcasting and live performance, but not as easy to plug and record as some of the others mentioned in this list. For home recordings there are maybe better mics out there, but for live vocals this is the pick of the bunch.
Blue Microphones Snowball – Okay, I’ll start by saying these manufacturers don’t sponsor me, but they probably should! The quality this microphone delivers considering its price is nothing short of unbelievable. No use for live performance, but for recordings at home or in the studio, this microphone is absolutely the one. Used by professional musicians, this is probably the only mic on my list to have crept into CDs you can buy at your local store, and with good reason, for £60/$90 you really won’t go wrong with this. Check out my full review of the Blue Microphone Yeti, another affordable mic by the same brand.
And a little added bonus:
This microphone stand is really cheap and great for recording at your desk, regardless of whether you’re a podcaster, voiceover artist or singer. Foldable and amazing value. Check it out.
Posted on | November 15, 2012 | No Comments
Vinyl is awesome. You wont find many muso’s who disagree, whether your iPod is always in your pocket, or you rarely listen to digital music, you can still love vinyl either way, and some people are truly crazy about one of the oldest forms of listening to music. Call it nostalgia, call it snobbery, but I love vinyl, and have a load of reasons to back it up.
Vinyl is the only music format that has actually grown in the last 10 years, other than digital of course. A growing community are celebrating a love of these musical artifacts, and bands and artists are still putting them out, so there must be some appeal still left in records, even in the 21st century.
Here are my reasons for loving vinyl.
- The crackle. This is not an argument that vinyl is any better than CD or digital, and some might consider the crackle nothing but a nuisance, but I certainly don’t. Something about the crackle of a record adds to the experience of listening to an album, and takes me back to the days of The Beatles and The Stones rather than the Nicki Minaj’s.
- No skipping tracks. It’s really tough to skip tracks on vinyl, and most tend to listen to an album or EP in its full form, this is how it was designed, and the greatest bands and artists have, over the years, honed their skills at constructing an album as a whole piece of work, not something that should be played on shuffle. Sit and listen to OK Computer or Sgt Peppers in its true form, from start to finish, and appreciate the genius properly. No skipping tracks here.
- The aesthetics. Music and art have always gone hand in hand, and of course they still do. Though listening to music on an iPod and seeing the artwork in a 2 inch square is one thing, physically having to pick up the sleeve and observe the beautiful artwork in all its glory adds to the whole experience.
- No piracy. I’m not against this (check out my post on music piracy), but it can be hard when illegally downloading tracks to get them at their highest quality. Somewhere along the line they will have been fiddled with, compressed, file formats changed and data lost. On vinyl, you get to hear the song as it was intended, without losing all of that detail along the way.
- It’s an artifact. Vinyl can be passed down through the ages, it can be kept and loved and cared for, and it can become a family heirloom. They’re collectible, and they’re beautiful, and why would anybody get rid of these beautiful inventions?
Something about the whole feel of vinyl makes me feel great about music. Like I’m being taken to the very place where the song was written or recorded, and like this is how the artist wants me to hear it. Digital is great, and the fact that we can access almost every song ever released via the internet in seconds is truly amazing and liberating for the industry, but, like cinema to the movie industry, vinyl will never die.
Posted on | November 14, 2012 | No Comments
We’ve already discussed how music lessons can be a brilliant way for musicians to make a bit of extra cash while they make their way towards their goals. Teaching aspiring music makers how to play guitar, piano or whatever your instrument of choice is can be surprisingly profitable and really rewarding, as well as making sure you brush up on your own skills along the way.
It is one thing deciding you’re going to offer music lessons to people in your area, and a different thing entirely to build up a base of students who will use you as their tutor. It requires some planning and promotion to build up a reputation and make sure people know that you even exist. It’s time for the businessperson in you to rear their head, by treating your new venture as a small business and following our tips for promoting music lessons, you can make sure you bring in the money you’re looking for.
Get some promotional material printed
If you can get this professionally designed, even better. This is absolutely key to your marketing, especially because you’re aiming for local people. Postcards, posters, business cards and fliers are certainly among the best and most effective promotional materials out there, and will form a large part of your new marketing campaign (sorry to use the jargon, but that’s how you need to look at it).
Promote in Musical Places Wherever Possible
The communities in which you’re trying to promote yourself will probably have a few musical epicenters. Musical instrument stores, rehearsal rooms and independent CD stores will be the most effective places to leave your promotional materials for obvious reasons. You may well have some success in coffee shops or other less relevant places, but marketing is all about reaching your target audience, and musical places will of course be where your audience hangs out.
Embrace The Internet
Even though you’re aiming local with your promotional techniques, you can still use the internet to great effect. Consider a website and a blog as a promotional method, along with using social media to reach out to people. Don’t be too forceful, but get involved with local music groups, websites and young people. Instead of begging them to pay attention, why not try and offer your assistance in order to get them to notice you, and respect you as well. You can use your website to publish details of how people can find you, how much you’re going to charge them (based on your local competitors) and try to rank highly on Google to gain traffic.
Consider Special Offers
Deal sites, vouchers and special offers are all the rage these days, consider putting your music lessons on Groupon or a local equivalent to try and drum up some initial business. You might not make a fortune to start with, but the idea is that you can upsell and turn your new customers into regulars.
Consider Paid Advertising
Whether you advertise in a local newspaper or magazine, a regional website or a classified directory, you need to make some calculations and consider how many new students it would have to gain you to be profitable. There is always an element of risk involved, but with a bit of experimentation you can make a bit of investment work for your lessons. Direct your paid ads to your phone number, website or social networks and give people an incentive (such as an offer) to connect with you.
Perform Well and Rely on Word of Mouth
It should always be your priority to treat your existing customers well, and hope that they tell their friends about you. As many of your students may well be younger people with a large circle of friends, this can be hugely effective. This is the business model most driving instructors rely on for gaining new customers and keeping their business going.
Following the above tips will set you on the right track to turning your new small business into a success that can support your other musical aspirations, or even become a full time job if that’s what you’re looking for. The only other ingredient is musical ability and a bit of passion. Get started today and watch the pennies roll in.
Posted on | October 23, 2012 | No Comments
Shure are one of the best known Microphone manufacturers out there. Their mics have graced studios and stages all over the world since the dawn of the music industry as we know it. In spite of so many technological advances, the guys at Shure have made sure their mics stay desirable and right at the forefront in the world of mics, and recently launched their ‘PG’ series. Famous for their ‘SM’ series including the SM57 (the mic you see on almost every instrument ever…) and the SM58 (the mic you see used by almost every vocalist ever), and though by the standard set by other musical equipment these are not extortionately expensive, the PG range is something of a budget alternative, allowing bedroom musicians and rehearsal rooms everywhere get a slice of the pie for a fraction of the price.
The technical Specs
As you may have gathered from the above, the PG57, much like the SM57, is primarily used for instruments, though its versatility lends itself to vocals also if you need it to. This model is a dynamic cardioid microphone (it doesn’t need power, and records in almost a full circle), it has a frequency response of 50hz to 15,000hz (slightly less than its superior) and mine even came with an awesome pouch and an XLR lead to get you started.
So how good is the PG57 Microphone?
Surprisingly good, actually. General consensus in the world of music tech nerds is that this mic doesn’t fall too far short of the other models of a similar ilk, which you’ll pay double the price for. Shure have been producing quality mics for many a long year now, and as they say, the apple never falls far from the tree.
Something that I have been warned of, though, is the fact that the new series of PG mics are easy to accidentally turn off while holding them. Not a problem if, like me, you’re just going to mic up a guitar or snare and leave it, but if you’re using it for vocals this could be a big problem.
In general, though, these well designed mics will do a great job on all the instruments you associate with the ’57′ models, and delivers a particularly good sound on guitar amps, both distorted and clean, and on snare drums, and with a bit of friendly EQ’ing your recordings can sound up to industry standard, even on this pocket money mic.
Apart from the slight switch problem, and perhaps being a little less sturdy than their counterparts, the PG57 is a brilliant choice for bedroom musicians, beginners, and those needing a budget mic for things like your first home studio or a rehearsal room with a semi decent PA system. This mic will handle recording demos and rough mixes no problem, and if properly cleaned up might even make your final cut. It may not be an all in one supermic for those of us on a budget, but it sure does try its damnedest.
Of course, the SM57 will always be superior. Shure are the experts and they know that they can command a higher fee for the more elite mics, but that doesn’t mean that the PG wont do you a decent job, as these manufacturers try to cater for all spectrum of the market.
Buy the PG57 on Amazon UK – Amazon US
Posted on | October 7, 2012 | No Comments
Whether your type is a tender and soulful singer, an intricate and delicate guitarist or a hunky man-beast of a drummer, there’s something about talented musicians that just makes a woman swoon, and over the years we’ve been treated in the world of hot male musicians. Get ready for our ultimate list of musicians who make women go weak at the knees.
Lets start off nice and early in the world of music, with a superhero who might make you weak at the knees just like he made your grannies weak at the knees all those years ago. Elvis, with his puppy dog eyes, swagger and charm is a real early sex symbol, you just might have to forget about the years when he got so hooked on burgers…
Everyone had a favourite Beatle, right? However, whether your favourite was John or George (sorry Ringo, I dont think you were in many peoples’ thoughts), everyone is pretty much in agreement that Paul, on paper, was the hottest of the foursome that took the world by storm in the 1960s. Of course, to look at him now might not make you tingle, but in his day Paul was up there with the best.
Those blonde-ish locks were the object of millions of angst ridden teens desires back in the early 90s, Kurt is a real icon in so many ways, not least for being one of the hottest “outcast rockers” there ever was. At least that’s what the girls in high school used to tell me.
You either love him or hate him, right? Well I love him and I think he’s hot stuff! Rocking the geek chic look way before it came into fashion, Morrissey has matured with age and become the object of 80s indie kids everywhere’s desires. Just make sure you don’t eat meat if you want to score with the Mozmeister.
Oh yeah, the ultimate Crooner with a voice to make the female hormones bubble over and melt. Frank had class and didn’t he just know it, with a voice like that he could’ve looked like a pug who’d been in a motorcycle accident and still became a pin up.
Was it the voice? Was it the mystery? Was it the chiseled face and beautiful jaw structure, or maybe the voice? Or maybe…okay, Jeff had style, class and that air of the unknown that seems to make women faint.
Yes, Britpop DID have somebody attractive leading the movement, and his name was Damon. The Blur and Gorillaz man was one of the hotties of the 90s music scene and is turning into something of a silver fox as he enters his 40s.
A bit of a strange one, this, but there’s no doubting his pin-up status. Bowie is scrawny, has the typical “English” teeth, and on paper perhaps isn’t the hottest of guys, but there’s just a certain charm about David that women find simply irresistible.
He had moves…well, rather like Jagger, but again in spite of his seemingly ordinary books, Jagger’s charm made him an object of 60s and 70s desire. In spite of keeping his dinner in his upper lip.
Posted on | October 5, 2012 | No Comments
In case you’ve been hiding under a rock for the last 4 or 5 years, you’ll probably know that Youtube is pretty huge! It is owned by Google now (they’re a pretty big company too) and as well as being the largest video hosting and sharing site on the internet, it is also one of the largest search engines out there, and is a great way for people to discover new things and new people, whether its product reviews, movie trailers or in the case that will interest Zedara readers the most, musicians.
Now before I talk about the ways you can achieve fame on Youtube, I’d like to qualify the article a bit by saying that I will always suggest using Youtube to promote your music, whether you’re trying to become an international rockstar or whether you just want a few followers of your obscure electronica. The idea of putting music out there to share with fans can be a far cry from going for out and out fame, and I’d never suggest going into music purely to get famous, that’s where we end up with all the awful manufactured pop I’m sick to death of. That said, we all want our slice of recognition, and it fame is a side effect of being awesome then I don’t see a problem with that (I don’t see Paul McCartney complaining).
So, what are the rules to becoming really effing famous on Youtube?
Rule # 1 – Be Awesome. If it ain’t awesome, don’t publish it. Made a crappy video on your eight year old camera phone? Don’t present yourself like that, you deserve better, get yourself recorded if not professionally then at least respectably, if you go the DIY route put all the effort you can into getting as good as you can before just throwing any old rubbish out there. If you can’t play a song well yet, don’t put it out there, hold off until it is brilliant.
Rule # 2 – Be Unique. There’s a million angsty teenage bands wanting to sound like Green Day out there, and that’s fine, but don’t make the same old cover versions and think you’re going to get famous. What are some of the best viral videos out there? Unusual cover versions, incredible methods of playing music, new interpretations on old songs and shear, unbelievable talent. Any Gotye cover versions spring to mind? Check it out.
Rule # 3 – Be Novel. I wouldn’t necessarily advise this to every musician trying to promote on Youtube, but novelty can get you a long way when it comes to getting people to share your music. Examples are probably springing to mind already, the most famous of all being the kings of the viral music video, OK Go, whose infamous Treadmill video projected them from underground indie band to almost household names in the space of days.
Rule #4 – Use all the resources you have to spread the word. It isn’t enough to simply put a video online and expect a million views, unfortunately the world doesn’t work like that, so even having worked hard to make your video awesome, your work isn’t over, and getting the first few hundred or even thousand views might take a lot of hustling. Blog, Tweet and be social in order to try and project your video.
Rule #5 – Manage your Youtube Channel Properly. Got a band page? Well make it look like one! Get a proper band name on there, branded videos and try and make it look as professional as you possibly can. It isn’t all about looks, though, it’s about subscribers, encourage people to subscribe and develop a following so that the next time you publish a video you will have a platform. Unfortunately it’s probably not going to happen overnight for you, and your channel will allow you to gradually build up a following, who may one day make you look like an overnight success.
Rule #6 – Tag and categorize your videos properly. This is really important to appear in the results of people’s searches and in the related video sections, tag yourself with the things that describe you best (NOT the artists you wish you were).
Rule #7 – Direct your viewers somewhere. It is all very well having an awesome video with a load of hits, but you have to then send this traffic somewhere constructive. Ideally, this will be your own website, which again will look as pro as you can make it, and will have information on how people can subscribe to you, follow you and contact you. If you’re looking for fame, it is no use being invisible!
So what do you guys think? Are there any other ways you have used to leverage Youtube and get one step closer to fame? Leave us a comment or drop me an email.
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