20 Worst Indie Artists Mistakes

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A guest post by Johnny Dwinell of Daredevil Production

 

1.    Your Songs Suck – Consumers will instantly click past a crappy song to thousands of online radio stations till they find a good song that really moves them in the first 10-20 seconds.  You better have GREAT songs.  It’s a CRAFT; it always has been.  Treat is as such.  You need to seek out a few mentors to teach you what they know about their CRAFT and apply your unique vision and perspective to that knowledge.  Easy to do with all the online writing societies.

 

2.    You’re Producing Yourself – Have you ever wondered why a record label would NEVER let you or your friends produce your own record?  Have you ever wondered why most of the iconic Superstars STILL use producers?  Why aren’t they saving money by producing themselves?  Surely a producer at that level is pretty damn expensive!  Get it?  Just because you can work Pro-Tools or Logic doesn’t mean you can or should make a record.  The label would put you with someone who is not only experienced at the entire process of making records, but a way better musician than you.  The smart artist always thrives being around true pros that are better than them to soak in the education and grow to a new artistic level; fearless of the journey.  Most artists will tell people why they can’t or won’t afford a producer and spend their money on their 25th guitar and new plug-ins for the home studio; avoiding the journey.  Do you want to make great records or collect gear?

 

3.    You’re Not Marketing…At ALL – Putting your music on iTunes, Spotify, CD Baby, ReverbNation, etc. is digital distribution NOT marketing.  Marketing is the art of influencing buying decisions.  Having your CD available for purchase “wherever it’s sold” isn’t influencing buying decisions.  Twitter, Vine, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Live Shows, Music Blogs, Indie Radio, Internet Radio, and PR are the marketing tools you need to master.  These tools create awareness and drive traffic to your squeeze page where you get the consumer’s email address.  It’s through their email that you will influence their buying decisions.

 

4.    You’re Operating With An Out-Of-Date Business Model- You are still trying to cut cheap demos to shop to a record label to try to get a deal.  You still think radio is the key to marketing your music.  You still think that radio will be a powerful marketing tool when you do get your deal.  You still think the labels make money selling records.  You still think that if you get a deal that’s when you’ve made it.  Wake up, that ship sailed a decade ago; you have to develop yourself, today.

 

5.    You’re Not Thinking Like A Record Label – If you got signed today, the label would surround you with people that make a living writing songs, engineering, producing, doing public relations, marketing, promotion, booking bands, image consulting, Photographing, etc.  All these people would be highly professional and much more dialed in to the market and process than you and your friends.  If you’re thinking like a label, you are looking for a team of people to help you with at least some of these important items.

 

6.    You’re Not Selling Your Music On Your Website – .  If you were truly DRIVING traffic anywhere to purchase your music, you would drive them to YOUR site and take all the money.  Everyone needs a presence on iTunes, CD Baby, Reverbnation, etc., but why on earth would u pay someone 30% of your record sales to do what you can do with a free plug in on your WordPress site?  If it don’t make dollars, it don’t make sense.

 

7.    You’re Not Posting Regular Videos To YouTube – YouTube is your new Radio with an amazing potential for reaching millions, no wait…now BILLIONS of people and you don’t need to spend 1 million dollars to bribe a freaking Program Director for a CHANCE at getting a few spins.  The “shelf space” is unlimited (Unlike radio) and they pay royalties and advertising revenue.  “I don’t get it because I just want to make music” is a cop out.  why aren’t you learning everything you need to learn about this amazing opportunity?

 

8.    You Suck At Project Management – If Steve Jobs approached the first products from Apple the way most of you approach managing your musical projects he would have died homeless.  Jobs was a true artist, the first computers he and Wozniak made looked good, worked good, were packaged well, and were made in his garage.  Instead of making 500 crappy computers with the limited budget they had, he made 50 AWESOME computers and the market place responded; the opportunities that came from the first run of AWESOME computers provided the momentum they needed to reach the next level.  If you want to find someone to cut your songs for $300/song, I PROMISE you will find them.  Record your 3 BEST songs for the same price as what you have to spend on 12 and do it RIGHT with a TALENTED TEAM.  It’s gonna cost money, so think of it as an education.   Then watch the market respond!

 

9.    You’re Waiting For Your “Big Break” – Deep down you wish it was the old music business because, on the outside (from the cheap seats) it seemed easier when the labels took care of everything.  Well they did and you would have paid dearly for that “EZ Button”.  I got news for you, the Superstar Artists that are still around today, never let the labels take care of everything.  They worked smarter and harder than that in a sea of sharks.  You have to create your own opportunities, your own momentum.  There’s no way around it.  Nobody gets “discovered” anymore so get off the couch, put the bong down next to your baggage and get to work!

 

10. You Still Think Record Labels Develop Talent – Record labels don’t develop talent like Coca-Cola doesn’t repair cars; they don’t care about your music, they care about your current cash flow, and how many fans you have a measurable connection with.  They care about what kind of market you created for yourself and if they can make money by adding fuel to the fire you already started.  Think YouTube and Google.  Google didn’t develop YouTube, they purchased them.  So those smart guys at YouTube had to PROVE their idea had value in the market place; so do you.

 

11. You Don’t Think Of Your Music As Product – Until you do, nobody is going to hear your art.

 

12. You’re Self Sabotaging – This is the most common and most destructive mistake of them all.  Let me save you the suspense, you’re gonna make mistakes.  You’re gonna hit speed bumps.  You’re gonna be rejected.  You’re gonna have to get over it!  You have to get out of your own way and just move forward.  Stop making excuses.  If you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’ll keep getting what you’ve always got.  PERIOD.  So make a change and watch massive amounts of energy quickly flow your way.

 

13. You Are Too Sensitive To Take Constructive Criticism – You would be amazed how many of your favorite Superstars were brutally schooled by the label on their first record.  They were green just like you!  “Go back and write us a single we can promote on the radio or we’re gonna drop you”.  If you’re too dumb to know that you don’t know, you’ll never make it.  Be professional and LEARN.  It’s always better to stay quiet in a room and appear stupid than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.

 

14. You’re Listening To Haters – When you do start to get momentum, people you don’t know and sadly, many that you do will spit poison into every part of your life.  Get used to it.  You are doing what they can’t.

 

15. You Haven’t Defined Your Lane – You are afraid to pick a genre because you write in many.  Consumers need ONE lane to connect with you in.  Just because you pick one doesn’t mean you are ignoring the others.  Get some traction in 1 lane first, that will help expose a project in a different lane to more people.  Think John Mayer with his first few pop records and then he did a blues project.  That blues project got a TON of exposure because he was now John Mayer the pop star.

 

16. You’re Live Performance Sucks – Nothing is more disappointing than seeing a decent band with great songs and nobody sings background vocals; except for a crappy band with crappy songs, and everyone singing background vocals.

 

17. You’re Not Capitalizing On Your Live Performances – Today’s music market is about endless content and email addresses.  You should have constant video footage to market on social media.  You should have boatloads of email addresses after every show.  You should be moving product from the stage at every show.  You should be gaining twitter followers at every show…THEN you can get laid.  J

 

18. You’re Putting Too Much Stock Into Your ReverbNation Ranking – A #1 ranking for your small town or big city on ReverbNation + $2.54 will get you a cup of coffee at Starbucks.  How are you getting paid for your songs?

 

19. You Don’t Know What You’re Doing On Twitter – Twitter is a simply amazing surgical marketing tool that allows you to SERIOUSLY target your specific market.  When done correctly, your following will constantly grow.  1 year from now you could have well over 10k followers and now you have the means to drive tons of traffic to a squeeze page, or a YouTube video, or to….Get my point?  Your fans are out there, go find them.

 

20. You Think It’s All About Music, Not Marketing – The truth is that it sure is nice when they expertly market a killer record, but if it was only about the music, there wouldn’t be any crappy songs on the radio.  Think about that for a second.  Without marketing, nobody cares about your music because they haven’t heard it.

Original Article 

 

 

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The Trevor Sewell Interview Part II

( See footer for link to Part I )

Before concluding Part II of the interview with Trevor Sewell I want to thank Trevor again for his time he gave to us his fans in sharing for this post and for his music he brings to our lives. It enriches our lives.  Please take some time and visit Trevor’s web site and also look for his new album “Independence” at the retail outlets lined below. I am fortunate to have acquired Independence and his album Calling Your Name (another personal favorite) in my own collection which adds nicely to my blues collection. I don’t think one should be without

Both Trevor and I want to thank his loyal fans for your attention. Trevor’s wishes to also welcome and thank  his newest fans.

Trevor Sewell Band at The Cluny –   ” 100 Years”

Part II


BM:  You are a brilliant composer & storyteller. What is your process for creating your lyrics and music?

 
Trevor: Thank you Toni that’s very kind of you – my process changes all the time I tend to write all the time -sometimes it may be just picking up my guitar and starting to sing something – anything. I usually stick my phone on to record the rough ideas and sometimes I might even be watching TV while its happening I just open my mouth and make grunting noises while I’m experimenting with some chords – it sounds awful but if I get something that I like it sort of means something to me when I play it back. Sometimes I go into the studio and maybe stick a drum loop on and just jam – I try not to think about structure at that time or in fact anything really. The words usually just come in their most basic form at the same time. I have no idea where the words come from I have a theory that there is a little bloke inside my head with a desk and a pen and paper and he sort of just does that – I never think about them as he always delivers something that I like – very occasionally there might be a line which I think may sound like a very strong line but if it just doesn’t’ sit well with me, I throw it out but that’s pretty much the only times I disagree with the little bloke in my head.
 

BM:  With all that you have experienced as a musician what has success come to mean for you?

Trevor:  Success is just such a movable concept as the goal posts are always changing. I tend not to think about it and I definitely don’t measure it in any financial terms. I like being able to do what I like and I am generally a happy sort of person with a lovely family around me who put up with having to hear the same song blasting out of my recording studio over and over again while I’m writing stuff. I’m happier now than I have ever been musically because I just do what I like and its really great when other people seem to like it. The other major thing is that everyone from my area and on Facebook have been so incredibly supportive sharing things and generally giving me the encouragement that perhaps you don’t always get on a label who tend to be more interested in the financial side. Once you remove the money side all together it gets to be much more fun and I feel that I am more or less back in the same mindset as I was when I started at thirteen years of age with my first guitar- In other words I’m back to playing just because I want to!– I guess that is sort of a success in its self. I feel very lucky that I discovered playing music all of those years ago and that I still really like doing it today.    

 

BM:    As an award wining bluesman, performer, & recording artist, can you share some of your best tips for an aspiring artist?

Trevor:  This might sound like a ‘I’ve heard all this before’ scenario but (and I had this said to me many times over the years but chose to ignore it –DOH!) – Just do something that you want to do and stop trying to please everybody – if you like it then the chances are that someone else somewhere will too – its more a question of finding like minded people and growing your own audience and in this day and age with social networks etc. its all possible – in fact that’s how I met you Toni   – like I say I wish I had taken that on board a lot of years ago but I suppose I had to discover it for myself –I think hindsight would have come in very handy at times.

BM: A little gear speak, can you please tell us about your favorite guitars
Trevor:  I have a selection of guitars which I use for different purposes. I have two vintage Gibson Les Pauls  a 1969 Goldtop and a 1973 re-issue. Also A contemporary series Fender Telecaster which date to 1984. The one I use the most live at the moment is an artist series Fender Stratocaster which has been very heavily modified. The body has been grouted out to make room for the electrics I imported from America which gives it midi capabilities when couple with an Axon Fast Response system. One of my other favourites is my Cigar Box which I use on songs like the Train. It was made by an English guitar maker called Chickenbone John – all of his guitars are one offs and I have a 6 string resonator made from an oil canon order from him but you can’t hurry Chicken-bone John, so I may have to wait a while yet.
Trevor:   I don’t have a playlist as such as my phone is usually just on Random and it contains such a wide variety – Freddie King and Robert Johnson are both in there as are Kate Bush, Green Day Black Keys The Byrds The Clash Funkadelic Imelda May, Patto. Paloma Faith, Mumfords The Pogues Brooke Nickerson and loads of others actually way too many to mention – I’m always open to new ideas (and old ones) 
 
Thank you once again Trevor Sewell for your always outstanding musicianship. 
 

if you you’re in the UK Newscastle area and you get the chance go out to see Trevor and his band.  Live at The Cluny, last time around catch us back at The Cluny on Friday December 27th – tickets online from www.thecluny.com or if you see me just ask 🙂

http://www.trevorsewell.com/

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/artist/trevor-sewell/id302293430

http://www.cdbaby.com/Artist/trevorsewell

©ttaylor2013

Sunday Love Songs w/ Independent Artist Lyrical Princess ~ Linda Fry

Lyrical Princess

Barefoot Music is proud to introduce to you the amazing talents of Independent artist‘s; lyricist Linda Fry, and musicians The TrueVulgarians. 
Sunday Love Song 
Lyrical Princess Linda Fry  & The TrueVulgarians. 

http://www.mixposure.com/lyrical-princess/audio/15125/the-keeper-of-my-heart-lyrical-princess-the-truevulgarians

From Linda’s artist page;

My name is Linda Fry . I’ve been a Member/Artist here at Mixposure since 2008. Music has always been my best friend. Although I don’t sing or play, It’s always there for me. I came here as just a listener, which in time.. I’ve learned is a very big deal here. Because without the listeners.. There’s really no use for a music site..

I had no idea how much my life was about to change when I joined Mixposure. The people here seemed to me, overly friendly.. I naturally thought the worst, And tried to keep to myself. That is nearly impossible. Especially if you post something here. I had posted what I considered to be just a silly poem I had written (writing is my outlet), Titled “Here In The Dark”.  After going through a few weeks of thinking I was just being ridiculed with people asking if they could use my lyrics (as I only saw them as words), I finally caved & said Yes. It became my first  Co- Written Collaboration with David Lunbeck… I was on top of the world.. I had words put into a song that others could relate to.. What a feeling that was.. Somewhere during all of this, I was told I should become an Artist.. I kept saying I don’t think so.. And by the next morning.. I was a member .. Someone had made me one..LoL

I finally started joining in the mixposure radio chat room.. I was told I could hear my music be played in there. Well, if that wasn’t a night to remember.. Completely computer illeterate . I couldn’t figure out how to make the player work for the music to play..The chat was going so fast with hellos & people trying to help.. I was litterally terrified.. And wanted to dissappear forever. But a very nice man popped up in a P.M. and calmly walked me through everything step by step & helped calm me down.. What a relief! Thank You so much kind man (You know who you are) ! Finally, I could enjoy myself… Got to hear music & talk to the people that created it.. Didn’t talk a lot.. Was very shy back then.. lol

It didn’t take long and I felt I’d known everyone like they were family.. This had become my home, away from home.. The rest is history.. I’ve been writing Poetry (The people at Mixposure, like to call lyrics) ever since..

I like to collaborate.. I don’t have any specific Genre that I prefer.. But I like to be able to understand the words (without screaming vocals & music).. My words almost always come from the heart & are very meaningful to me (sometimes I’ll throw in something silly). I think I’m pretty easy to work with.. I post most everything I write up in The blog area on the Front Mix page & it stays in my Blogs until someone decides to use them. If you see something you think you might like to work with, just message me .. But Please keep me informed on How it’s coming along..

I have very few Co-written songs. Most everyone I’ve had the opportunity to work with, have for the most part only had to change a couple words if any. I’ve been very fortunate. But I am always willing to work with any situation that may arise.

Below is the link for Linda’s artist page and on it you can find also a list of the collaborations she has done and Linda hopes you’ll listen & enjoy ~

http://www.mixposure.com/lyrical-princess/

Please Meet Independent Artist Kit Mann

Kit Mann

Introducing Independent Artist 
Kit Mann
Kit Mann is an independent artist I learned about on a live streaming radio broadcast I have become a fan of. (That’s a post for another day)
Kit writes and plays music that touches the soul because I believe he truly creates from his own. 
It can be his sultry blues tune like his “Cajun Queen” which will get you dancing in your chair and let you feel that southern New Orleans‘ vibe, which Kit shared with was written before Katrina when all the places he sings about were still standing. 
Or it can be his cathartic expression of what it is like to feel trapped by pain in his “Cry For Help” that first grabbed my heart-strings as he expressed what I felt, but could never find the adequate words.
Kit Mann’s music will touch something inside, and it will ignite strong emotions.
I have a strong belief that is what music should do. 

I have had the distinct pleasure of chatting with Kit; he is a humble & incredibly generous artist. I want to note and say thank you to Kit for sharing his music with free downloads for his fans. I find this quite an honor to have his music in my collection. 

Kit’s music indeed touches me. 
And isn’t that what music should do? 
Please visit Kit Mann & his music. And say hello to him & that you were there.

 http://www.reverbnation.com/kitmann 

&

http://www.mixposure.com/kitmann/audio

From Kit’s artist page:

I am a former Police Officer, Sheriff’s Deputy, EMT and Soldier.  I learned everything I could so when someone was at the worst moment of their life, they could look up, see me and know they are safe.  I have 10 songs on my first CD, “A Cry For Help”, and I have 12 recorded for my next CD “Guitar Mann”.

My motto with music is:  If I can touch one person with one song my job is done and I’m happy, then I try and do it again.  Thank You

You can visit my music page at www.reverbnation.com/kitmann  All songs are free to download and listen to.  Soft acoustic music, Blues Music, Mild Rock, Country, instrumentals and a Christmas song.

Kit Mann

http://www.reverbnation.com/kitmann/song/10386954-cajun-queen

Sunday Love Songs w/ Magazine Gap’s Senorita.

Magazine Gap 

JAMES KEEN  ::  vocals & guitar
ALEX HO  ::  piano & Hammond organ
BRIAN “Cookie” MCCOOK  ::  drums & percussion

In the final analysis, people will always love real music of the highest quality – passionately created, beautifully crafted, carefully constructed, artfully produced and powerfully performed.  Magazine Gap are one of the most musically intoxicating bands emerging on the scene today.
For more Magazine Gap music visit http://www.reverbnation.com/magazinegap

Magazine Gap & Slipstream~ Expression Through Song

I was delighted to find a message from an amazing vocalist who introduced me to his band’s music; Magazine Gap who hails from the United kingdom
Every once in a while a song will take my breath the first time I hear it because the lyrics or the music or both express something maybe we have been deeply feeling. But there are feelings or circumstances even as a writer I struggle to find the accurate words to express it. 
 Magazine Gap has an empowering piece of music in this song: lyrically & musically.
James so wisely expresses with his lyrics.“caught in the slipstream of life” just exactly what I knew to be my own experience. Only now through James & Magazine Gap’ I have a word that so adequately expresses that Slipstream
 
mag+gap 4bio
Please enjoy Magazine Gap’s signature style and sound. 
See below links to learn more about the band and their music.
 I thank you James.
 

 

a brief bio  about the band Magazine Gap

” Cookie is a veteran session player and music producer who I (James) was introduced to when looking for someone to produce my debut album, “No Coincidence” (available on iTunes etc…!!). An amazing musician and producer, he did such an incredible job and we became very close friends. up. Alex was a classically trained but highly versatile pianist who was making a name for himself on the jazz scene in London; Cookie had previously met him on a session they did together and kept his details for a future project – he thought he’d be perfect for us. How right he was! Alex made such a significant contribution to the sound that it became apparent very quickly that we were morphing into a band with a distinct sound (as opposed to that of a singer/songwriter with a backing group).

We therefore created Magazine Gap, and haven’t looked back!  ~ James

http://www.youtube.com/user/magazinegapmusic?feature=watch&hd=1

https://www.facebook.com/MagazineGap

http://www.reverbnation.com/magazinegap

~
 

What Blues Really Mean by John H. ( Original )

blueskiesjem’s avatar


“What Blues Really Mean”
        by John H.
John is a vocal extraordinaire with just the right balance of range for singing the blues.
It s Barefoot Music’s pleasure to feature this independent artist & his original tune today.

Introducing: Independent Artist Nigel Brown

I ran across Nigel Brown’s music last year while browsing music video‘s and have become an ardent fan of his music. Lyrically he always leaves me impressed with how he puts together thoughts we might all have into song.

Adding his signature lead guitar solos and riffs to his voice is the melodic tone that creates such a sweet sound.

Please meet Nigel Brown from the UK.

A Comparison: One Tune – Three Versions – “One” (U2 & two covers)

” One ” ( U2 w/Bono

ONE

Songwriters
PAUL HEWSON, DAVE EVANS, ADAM CLAYTON, LARRY MULLEN, U2

 

Is it getting better?
Or do you feel the same?
Will it make it easier on you now?
You got someone to blame

You say, one love, one life
When it’s one need in the night
One love, we get to share it
Leaves you baby if you don’t care for it

Did I disappoint you?
Or leave a bad taste in your mouth?
You act like you never had love
And you want me to go without

Well it’s too late tonight
To drag the past out into the light
We’re one but we’re not the same
We get to carry each other, carry each other
One!

Have you come here for forgiveness?
Have you come to raise the dead?
Have you come here to play Jesus?
To the lepers in your head

Did I ask too much? More than a lot
You gave me nothin’ now it’s all I got
We’re one but we’re not the same
Well we hurt each other then we do it again

You say love is a temple, love a higher law
Love is a temple, love the higher law
You ask me to enter but then you make me crawl
And I can’t be holdin’ on to what you got
When all you got is hurt

One love, one blood
One life, you got to do what you should
One life, with each other
Sisters, brothers

One life but we’re not the same
We get to carry each other, carry each other
One
One

By Mike Masse & Jeff Hall 

ONE ~ The Original

By Bono & U2

Sunday Love Sngs ~ “All I Want Is You” by Mike Masse & Jeff Hall

All I Want Is You 
 by Mike Masse & Jeff Hall 

From Mike Masse’s FB page

Mike performs acoustic rock covers (vocals and acoustic guitar) in Salt Lake City, UT. He usually performs with Jeff Hall (bass, backing vocals). Mike and Jeff have gained a following thanks to their performances posted on Mike’s YouTube channel. Mike and Jeff both have full-time jobs as attorneys, Mike a public defender, Jeff a prosecutor. They’ve been performing together for 20 years, since their days in a cover band (called “Twice Daily”) in college at BYU. They still perform the first Monday of every month at the Pie in SLC,

Mike’s YouTube Channel

UT.http://www.youtube.com/user/mikemassedotcom?feature=watch&hd=1