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How To Get Your Music Going Without Major Label Support
Be wary - The music industry is full of unqualified people in temporary positions making permanent decisions about your career...
Posted By Les Vogt
While only a handful of newcomers ever get a taste of rock-star life, the internet is providing a new route to the big prize for those willing to battle the computer learning curve. Many new artists today are using the internet and its new technological advances to build a world-wide audience for their music without the help of any record label support.
Portland, Oregon musician Geoff Byrd is getting screams from the young women in his audiences when he comes on stage... and they know the lyrics to his songs when he sings. He's even had his picture on the cover of Billboard magazine (the Bible in recording industry).
Geoff got his first break on the web which, in turn, led to more exposure on Live 365 internet radio stations and MSN Music. Other supportive web sites were CD Baby (www.cdbaby.com) and My Space (www.myspace.com) Now, with independent label interest, Geoff Byrd is well on the way to becoming a successful recording artist.
Byrd is only one of many tech-savvy musicians using computers and inexpensive software to record their own music in makeshift home studios. Today's performers are burning their own CD's and DVD's and packaging them with original artwork to sell at their performances and local record stores... it's an excellent source of supplementive revenues for fledgling performers on the rise.
While the above noted web sites have resulted in record contracts for more than just a few new recording artists, it is by no means a simple task. You'll need to get on the internet and place your best song on every site you can find, and then stay with the sites that are working. That is, continue placing subsequent songs with them. Don't stay with a song too long. You may have to go back to the drawing board and write a better song or make a better record. The proof will be in the pudding, if it isn't working... move on. Sometimes your song will have a personal attachment that will emotionally move you but nobody else. If you believe it is good, you can always go back to it in the future and rework it. But for the moment, don't try and shove it down everyone's throat... start fresh with a different song.
Be sure your song and recording is good before you start your marketing campaign. A poor start can sometimes set you back a very long time because the recipients of your next record will often send it directly to the garbage bin without listening to it. Always test your recordings out on your family, friends and neighbors. If that proves 100% positive, take it to your local radio station DJ or Program Director for an opinion. Make sure they are aware that you are not expecting them to play it, but rather give you an honest opinion of your work. If they do not suggest that they would play it if the decision was theirs to make (most radio station programming policies do not allow air-play for unsigned artists or unrecognized record labels) I would recommend you make another record... and keep making them until you get a positive radio station response.
There's another good reason for trying the internet process. A lot of young music entrepreneurs and publicists are continually trolling the internet looking for good, undiscovered talent that they can work with and hopefully develop a business relationship with. If your music is successful on the internet, there is a good chance that you'll be contacted directly by the independent support person you'll need to team up with in order to move forward with your dream. Therefore, it is very important that your first effort be the very best that it can possibly be.
Even if your song and recording is good, it won't be enough to just put it online and wait for the phone to ring. You'll need to push very hard to develop a grass-roots following on your own. Impressing an audience always provides that "word of mouth" buzz that can get a career rolling. It is this "live market" success that will attract the attention of those that can help you the most. After all, if you can manage to find fan support from these limited mediums, your music is likely to appeal to the masses... a simple strategy, yes, but not always that easy to accomplish.
The combination of live performances, together with internet exposure, can often provide significant CD sales which, in turn, will provide the necessary resources to continue making better music... which will one day attract the interest of those that can take you all the way to the top.
Computer technology is giving life to a lot of good music that may have otherwise gone unrecorded. But, it will be your talent, determination and persistence that will produce the "nugget" that sets you apart from the rest. A poor recording of a good song will always sound much better than a great recording of a poor song. There isn't any technology that'll make a poor song sound good.
Author's site: http://www.members.shaw.ca/lesvogt
Les Vogt is an independent producer, promoter and entertainment consultant.