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The New Recording Paradigm

On May 31st 2012, a music conference focused on the future of the recording industry will take place in Maastricht, Netherlands. In preparation for this event, they interviewed a variety of musicians, bands, and thought leaders. To view all the responses, click here. Below are my thoughts about this quickly and ever evolving business. First of...

9 Reasons Most Websites Fail

It goes without saying. If you’re an independent artist with career aspirations, having a website is non-negotiable. A professional without substantial web presence is an invisible one. Of course, merely putting up a domain isn’t enough.  Not by a long shot. Browsing through an assortment of typical artist websites immediately highlights...

2011 Best Reads from the Savvy Musician

Successful artists, leaders, entrepreneurs, and innovators have the most interesting ideas. Not just because they’re somehow magically smarter or more creative. Part of the formula is that these individuals are voracious readers, impacted dramatically by the perspectives of thought leaders. They’re also experts at synthesizing...

Powerhouse Website Suggestions

As part of a May 21, 2011 Facebook event hosted by the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy, I invited music teachers to submit their websites for observation and critique.  Thanks to all who participated. No matter what kind of art you make, I hope these comments provide inspiration and direction for your own...

How to Sell $200 Concert Tickets at the Last Minute

Recently, I was contacted by a friend in a predicament. She would be hosting a fantastic benefit concert in downtown New York City with a cast of virtuosi including two who were WORLD FAMOUS musicians.  Tickets were *just* $200 apiece, a small price to pay for such a glamorous, epic, and meaningful event.  A once in a lifetime opportunity,...

How the Arts Can Stay Relevant and Adapt to our Changing Culture

The presentation below, by Diane Ragsdale, is one of the most powerful talks I’ve heard on the state of the arts in a long time.  After arguing that the arts have lost their way in today’s quickly changing society, she makes a series of concrete suggestions that can help get us adapt to the culture change and regain our...

Cover Letter Mistakes to Avoid At All Costs

Music employers often receive 50, 100, or even 300+ applications for each job opening, making outstanding cover letters critical. With this kind of intense competition, search committees seek any excuse to purge a file and narrow the pool. Yet hopeful applicants make all kinds of mistakes that get their materials immediately thrown into the...

How To Sell 15,000 CDs in 18 Months

This video features pianist/singer/songwriter Terry Prince discussing how he sold 15,000 CDs in a year and a half.  Here’s a hint: he regularly performs for large amounts of people.  Yet he spends just 30 hours per month doing this.  True, if you want to sell recordings, you should have a strong website, wide distribution, and a...

The Most Viable Instrumentation

The combination of instruments that make up an ensemble influences everything from timbral palette to literature available.  But from a business point of view, which instrumentations possess the highest potential of appealing to presenters and audiences?  Is it more viable to stick with standard combinations, or go out on a limb with a novel...

Why YOU Need a Website

Perhaps you’ve been toying with the possibility of a website, but haven’t gotten around to it yet. After all, there’s a lot going on in your life, and carving out the time necessary isn’t easy.  In the hierarchy of things, how important is this, exactly? For those hoping to thrive as a professional musician, the question is easily...

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