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Growing and Keeping Loyal Fan Support
Fan support for musicians is a two way street. You make the music, release the CDs, and play the shows. You need fans to show up at the gigs, buy the CDs, or spread the buzz about you or you don't have an audience. When these two elements are out of balance, your musical endeavors can get sidelined.
That's why it's so important to always embrace the positive, well-meaning encouragement you receive from your fans. If I could sum up what fans want most of all from an artist, it's not only to be reached through your work, but to also be able to reach back in return. It's a great privilege for fans to give back something positive that the artists bring to us.
Here are three ways to keep that fan loyalty working for you:
1. Accept your performance compliments graciously. Maybe you had an off night. Maybe you didn't feel you were in the pocket as often as you expected to be. If people come up to you and tell you they thought you were great, that is exactly what it means to them. They are there to be an encouragement for you. Even though you didn't think you reached anyone, they felt you got through to them. So, don't beat yourself up or diffuse it by saying how lousy you thought you were. Remember, the hearts' desire of the fan is to reach you, too. Say thank you and show your appreciation.
Modesty is always an admirable trait--but don't take it to the extreme. The fans who have spent the better part of a year or so communicating to you why they think you're the best singer are going to feel badly if you say in an interview that you don't have much confidence in your vocal abilities or your performance. That tells the fans they have not been successful in getting the message through to you. That can be very disappointing to fans and make them wonder, well, what's the point of saying anything at all. And there you go, letting encouragement slip through your fingers.
2. Acknowledge your fan base. You can show some love to the fans by doing something to demonstrate that you are connecting with them. Think about a regular communication vehicle above and beyond, such as an email or online newsletter where you make direct communication with fans. If you have a message board on your website, try dropping in now and then just to say hi and let folks know you're hearing them.
Here's one "be aware" in this area, though. If you are one of those with a broad or growing popularity base, you have the challenge of keeping a lot of people who want to be noticed by you happy. It's nice to recognize deserving fans on your websites and other communications. But if you mention the same people too often, it might create the impression of favoritism, which could possibly cause jealousy and hurt feelings among fans. If you do something for one, others might want it as well. So be sure it's as much as you can handle. You would be surprised how many fans do know each other and compare notes!
Besides those fans that are particularly visible or diligently make themselves known, there can be others giving solid support for you behind the scenes. You probably are unaware of them because they may be a little more on the shy side, haven't had the contact opportunities others have or just can't seem to stick out enough for you to take notice. But that's not to say they don't want to hear they are appreciated. So do give credit to those who are due--doing that privately is nice, too. But, be sure you give ALL of your fans those "virtual group hugs" from time to time!
3. Keep communications current. If you have a website, keep it regularly updated. If you don't show enough commitment to keep your information up to speed on gigs, recordings, features and all, people will stop coming by after a while. After all, how can fans encourage you when they don't know where, when and how?
With all of the options that exist for communication between artists and fans, when it's done in a positive, uplifting manner it's a win-win situation for your career and for the people who are out there waiting to enjoy your gifts!
Wendy Vickers is a writer, encourager, life coach, speaker and author of two audiobooks: "Treasures In the Tip Jar: the Art of Awesome Fan Support" (from which this article is taken) and "Out of the Jar...And Into the World." Wendy offers resources, encouragement and support for musicians at her websites http://wendyv.com and http://embraceencouragement.com
?Who Else Wants to Get Screwed When Signing a Recording or Songwriting Deal?!?!?
You've got your recording (or songwriting) contract in hand and everything's coming up roses, right? You get your check, finally, but it's not quite what you expected. If you sign not knowing what's owed you then you might be shorted some well-deserved income. So make sure that anything you sign contains a statement to the following areas (preferably in your favor):
Painting with Sound
Whenever I go to a Borders bookstore here in San Diego, I make it a point to look at the art instruction books. I'm not a visual artist, but I've always enjoyed the step-by-step approach authors of the better books take to teach students how to create a finished painting.
Music licensing can be a very confusing subject. My intent with this article is to give you enough details on what music licensing is and what are your rights to use music in advertising and / or video productions. A few months ago I was contacted by a company that was celebrating 20 years in business. They wanted to put together a radio commercial that highlighted their celebration. Their request was to use Kool and the Gangs song Celebration in their radio spot. I explained to them in order to do this they would have to obtain a licensing which would cost them quite a bit of money. This was not an option for them due to their limited budget and ultimately they told me that they "went another direction" with their advertising. If I had agreed to use this song without obtaining a licensing I would have put both of our companies at risk. It was not worth the risk just to make a sale. Beware that there are unscrupulous production companies that will do this type of illegal activity so the best protection you have is knowledge. The copyright law protects writers of music by giving them exclusive right to their music. Once a piece of music is under copyright protection it is illegal to use it without getting permission to the owner of the copyright. There are actually two types of copyrights in the United States. One is the actual copyright which is denoted with the familiar C with a circle around it. This protection is for the actual melody, lyrics and arrangement of the music. The copyright is usually owned by the actual artist that wrote the piece or their publishing company. The second form of copyright is the actual recording itself. This is denoted by a P with a circle around it. This protection covers the performance of the song caught on tape or digital media and released on CD or other media. Many times a record or production company will own this performance right. If you want to use a song in a production, you need obtain a Master Use license from the owner of the copyright and a Synchronization license (often called a sync license) from the owner of the performance of the song. The fees for synchronization licenses vary greatly. Low-end TV usage (music is playing from car radio in a scene) can cost up to $2,000. In a film, the fee may be as high as $10,000. A popular song is worth more, possibly $3,000 for TV and $25,000 for film. A song used as the theme song for a film might get $50,000 to $75,000. Commercials can get even more money. Fees for a popular song can range from $25,000 to $500,000 plus per year. The typical range for a well-known song is $75,000 to $200,000 for a one year national usage in the United States on television and radio. I think you will agree with me that that is allot of money and usually way over budget for many video and radio productions. To get around these outrageous fees, music production companies sell buyout music. When you purchase a buyout CD you do not need to obtain a licensing to use the music. You can use the music hassle free and at a much lower cost. Buyout music or royalty-free, as it applies to my products, means that for your one-time purchase price, you can legally use the music in your productions for life of ownership. All copyrights of the music remain with Zebra Music LLC. My jingle licensing agreement allows a protected area of 200 miles. By doing this no other companies in a local market will have the same jingle. Many other production companies offer a similar buy out music licensing. I would advise you to read the licensing agreements with other production companies and ask questions if you have concerns. Network broadcast and international broadcast of buyout production music is cleared through a performance organization (like BMI or ASCAP). The revenue that these songs produce when they are aired is paid directly from broadcast station licensing, NOT from you as a producer. These performance organizations then in turn pay each artist based on the amount their song or songs were aired on the radio or TV. I hope this article has cleared up any confusion or questions that you have had about copyright and music licensing.
Tips on Performing Your Music for Others
Have you ever dreamed of performing a piece you created for others. Imagining that they are captivated and held spellbound by the music? If you have, you know that it can be a long road from actually coming up with something, practicing it, and then giving it to an audience. In my own case, I had a good opportunity to perform. It was in a coffeehouse that already had a decent piano.
Recording Vocals at Home
Anyone who has recorded vocals to tape knows there is a difference between a heart-felt performance, and something that does not quite cut it! There are certain steps that I take to ensure that my own performances are the best I can muster.
How to Become a Filthy Rich Record Label Mogul
Let me guess, you love music and would do anything to be able to enter into the fabulous life of the music business? Better yet, you would love to become the next record mogul like P.Diddy or Clive Davis.
Free, Legal Music Online
Almost everyone has heard about the massive crack down on Internet music piracy that has been occurring over the past few years. Napster was taken down (although it has now returned as a pay service), other file sharing programs now require users to pay for a license and the RIAA and other similar organizations are doing their best to hunt down copyright offenders and put an end to their crime sprees. The consumers on the other hand argue that their actions hurt nobody, that there is no damage done to anyone by their not buying an album. Furthermore, they claim, MP3s allow them to sample a CD before purchasing it, thus actually helping sales.
6 Tips for Organizing Your Music Files
If you're a digital music fan, you probably have problems organizing your music file collection. For me, I used to have hundreds of MP3 files lumped in one folder in my hard drive. Can you imagine the pain I had to go through to find one specific tune to listen to?
When Does Practice Make Perfect? Not Much Of The Time Unless All The Pieces Fit First
Often people receive a banjo, mandolin, fiddle, guitar or some other musical instrument as a birthday, Christmas or special occasion gift. There's glee and joy everywhere. The giver of the gift knows how much the receiver of the gift wants to learn this instrument and the receiver of the gift is ACTUALLY holding the coveted instrument in his/her hands instead of lusting for it down at the corner store or through the shop window. NOW WHAT?
How To Dress Up Naked Music On The Piano
What in the world is "naked music?"
Creating Your Own Compositions
The idea of actually creating a complete piece of music to play frightens many students. They just don't understand how someone could come up with something, put it down on paper, and call it their own.
Guitar Buying - The Pros and Cons of Vintage vs. Reissue
To most people, owning the "genuine article" is the only thing that will suffice. As a guitar player, and one who appreciates classic "vintage" instruments, I can fully understand this point of view. I can't think of a single guitarist who wouldn't absolutely adore playing a real 50's Les Paul or Stratocaster. However, becoming the proud owner of a true vintage instrument does have its drawbacks.
Review: The Bled - Pass the Flask
Released in 2003, Pass the Flask turned this little quintet from Tucson, into a mainstream success overnight. Classifying this band as 'metalcore' or 'indie' or 'hardcore' is quite futile, because for every genre you pick, someone is going to disagree, and have a solid backing for their view. Everyone however can agree that whatever The Bled are doing, they are doing it well.
New M3 with Competition Package
The new competition package available for the BMW M3 is almost sad as it is wonderful. With everyone knowing of the strong rumors of the M3's power plant changing to a V8, it's almost heart breaking to think about the legendary straight 6 cylinder being laid to rest. The competition package has many pretty neat extras that give the beamer something to beam about.
Oh My Aching Head! Can Music Really Make You Feel Better?
We all know, if only instinctively, that music has a profound effect on us. If we didn't believe that music affects us then singing lullabies to calm children and help them sleep wouldn't be universal. In reality melody, harmony, and rhythm probably impacts the human brain in ways that are far more profound than we realize. We all know that an up tempo melody from our favorite performer stirs and energizes us just as a slower melody can help us relax or even prompt sad emotions from the depths of our soul, but did you know that evidence has been found linking the merging of melody, harmony, and rhythm with pain management?
Guitar Practice - Make It Your Priority!
Every student realizes that guitar practice is important if they wish to become a better musician. Even so, many have trouble establishing a regular practice routine. Other responsibilities have a way of squeezing them into a work-a-holic lifestyle, leaving little room left for personal pursuits. Even teens and children are over-stretched these days with school and other extra-curricular activities. So, what's the secret to creating an effective guitar practicing schedule? The answer: MAKE IT YOUR PRIORITY!
Music as Therapy?
Frustrated in a gridlocked?
Facts about MC Big Proof
Facts about MC Big Proof"If I was you, suicide would be a way of life. If you was me , you'd kill you." (Proof)Before I start talking about D12's gifted Mc Proof, I would like to thank and to give credit to the webmaster of the following Derty Harry website for the rare info I found about Deshaun Holton aka Derty Harry aka Proof:http://angelfire.com/bxc3/dertyharry/main_bio.htmlDeshaun Holton aka Proof was born on October the 2nd 1975 in Detroit.Although they didn't attend the same High School, Eminem and Proof have been friends since 1988. They used to live in the same street in Detroit.Proof used to go to Osbourne High school while Eminem was attending Lincoln High. Both friends used to skip high school in order to rap together: in fact Eminem skipped Lincoln High and used to come to Proof's school very often, because both friends wanted to rap together. This is how they met:"I was skipping school, and he was skipping school also, passing out flyers for his concert he was having in Centerline. That had to be, like, '88 or something." (Proof)Some (white) underground Mcs from Detroit like Backstab the Kingpin are convinced of Proof's racism. But Deshaun's statements seem to prove the contrary. CDNow has asked Proof how he felt about Eminem's skin color at the time they met:CDNow: Did you wonder what this blond, white kid was up to? Proof: "You know, I went to Catholic school and had a great, great friend of mine who happened to be Irish; we were best friends since the sixth grade. So when I saw [Eminem] was white, I didn't even jump off like that; when he rapped, he was dope. What made us get dope and become great friends was we both rhymed "first place" and "birthday," and we've been tight ever since [laughs]."Eminem and Proof have been real friends since the beginning. When Eminem was kicked out of his home, he would sleep at Proof's house.It is well known that Proof is an amazing freestyler.He won the freestyling competition in the Source magazine in 1999. He his a better freestyler than Marshall, but Marshall's force is in the way he handles his words in his lyrics. That's exactly what Proof states about their complementary talent:"We were both impressed with each other. The advantage I've got over Em is freestyling; I'm the kind of guy who freestyles off the head, right? The advantage he had over me was that he knew how to write intricately; he knew how to put a song together and bring feelings about. That's why I journeyed under him, like, "Yo, show me the ropes, homeboy." The idea of the D12 group composed of talented MCs and sick aliases with popped into Proof's mind:"I was in New York; I had this deal with Tommy Boy that didn't work out, unfortunately. But I just had this idea that we could put together a team of dope MCs, put a lot of Detroit on as far as having MCs with skills. Everybody's solo took so we'll make aliases, like Eminem's Slim Shady and I'm Derty Harry, and call it the Dirty Dozen -- and at this time, to be honest with you, we thought The Dirty Dozen was a Western movie; we didn't know it was an army movie [laughs]. That fits us, army rather than Western, 'cause we see ourselves more as gun-slingers, lyric-slingers. Then the idea was to form a pact whereas this team, whoever gets out first comes back and gets the rest of the group."Proof has always been confident in Eminem's loyalty, even if some other members of the group may have been worried:"Not me; I've been there since day one, almost. I think the rest of the group may not have been there, but Proof has been beside Eminem all this time. I play a leadership role in the group, where I talk to everyone else; Em is like the president, and I'm the general. I talk to the rest of the fellas and put 'em in line and show 'em the direction. It's a family, too, so there'll be a lot of fighting and bickering, and some people might have felt it might not be the way it should be. So, yes, there were times when people felt funny about things. But now everybody thinks back to that, and we were tripping out over nothing."Acccording to Proof, Eminem's success was the best thing that could have happened to D12:"Right. Some people look at us like, "You're gonna be Eminem's group. You're gonna be in his shadow." They don't realize how positive and great that is to hear; if you're in the shadow of a guy who can sell almost 10 million records in just the states alone, great. That's not a dis to us. But when they hear the album, they hear the individuality of each person, how everybody holds their own."It is so true that each D12 emcee has his own talent and ability to rap.It is less known that Proof's first stage name was "Maximum". Proof has always been appreciated in Detroit for his raps and his freestyling qualities. He changed his nickname when people started calling him "Living Proof", because in many people's minds, Proof was the "living proof of the living MCs in Detroit".Proof has collaborated and still collaborates with numerous artists such as Dogmatic.Proof's first released Cd was called "From Death" and was co-produced with Da Goon Squad.He has released a CD called "Promatic" with Dogmatic and a six Track solo EP called "The Search For Jerry Garcia".As well as for Eminem, Detroit has been very influencial to Proof who describes his hometown as "the type of place where eye contact can get you killed" and also as " a city where the sun never shines, full of pot holes, snow and con artists ready to jack everything you got".
How Piano Lessons Benefit Young Children
Piano lessons provide a wide range of benefits to young children. Here are my "Top Five."
Modal Theory for Guitar Players - Part 1
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