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Everybody is a Music Producer – the LA thing

Record ProducerIf you’re familiar with Los Angeles – whether you’ve lived there, traveled there or simply dealt with people from there – you are probably aware that there is an infinite amount of musical resources to be explored over there. There are thousands of musicians, thousands of bands and just as many engineers, singers, conductors, promoters and producers. It can be very confusing when you’re trying to find the one person that can help you with one particular project. There are so many pianists, so many singers, so many studios, so many everything! However, since I’ve had to deal with a lot of people in the LA music bubble lately, I’ve realized one thing: everybody is a “producer”. And I mean everybody. It’s almost an honorary title at this point. But really, what is a producer? And what isn’t?

Just for laughs and giggles, go on the LA Craigslist page and browse the Musicians section. Chances are, within the first 10 postings, one of them will say something like:

Hey, I’m a producer looking to collaborate with other like-minded individuals. If you’re a talented singer looking for a producer to take you to the next level, hit me up! I have tons of beats and I work with all the best computer gear.”

What do the Great Music Producers have in common? The producer profile.

music producer musicianMusic Producer; it sounds that nowadays, everybody is reinventing themselves music producers. The danger for indie artists is that they may start working with a producer who is just starting out and doesn’t know much, or again a rip-off simply trying to steal your money. The fact that many music producers also operate online and offer ‘professionally produced tracks’ if you send them your demos via email and pay them through PayPal is also not helping the wealth of indie musicians trying desperately to get the greatest sounding demo they can. The truth is, if you take a good look at many of the most renowned past and present music producers, they all seem to have some of the same characteristics and skills; let’s profile a few of the best in the industry to figure out what you should look for in a good music producer.

George Martin

Let’s face it, everybody knows George Martin. Perhaps one of the most famed and acclaimed producer of Rock n’ Roll history, George Martin is responsible for many successful Beatles albums. Born in the mid-1920s, Martin learned how to play the piano and the oboe, eventually studying at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. He started out his career recording classical music for Parlophone Records before being introduced to the Beatles by Brian Epstein – the rest is history.

FoolsFest Annual Spring Arts & Music Festival in Texas: Support the Vision

A new type of arts and music festival

Foolsfest Arts and Music FestivalMusic festivals are popular events all around the world; music and art usually manage to bring people together in a very unique way, no matter what the economic or politic situation is. In Canada, music lovers can choose amongst a variety of festivals including various Jazz Festivals, the Canadian Music Week and more. Americans can enjoy Coachella and SXSW amongst others. Europeans put together such a wide variety of music festivals each year that it’s impossible to count them. However, in the last few years many music enthusiasts have started to realize that many of those festivals are more of a marketing machine put together by big corporations rather than an event bringing people together. One of those music enthusiasts is Mark Levine, of Zeitgeist Enterprises in Houston, Texas. Levine has worked in the entertainment industry for over 15 years and his resume includes some of the biggest names in rock and roll.

Tips to using and posting on Craigslist and the Musicians section

craigslist-musicians tipsI’ve been on Craigslist to sell my stuff, to buy some more stuff, to hire people, to get odd jobs, etc. I’ve also been on Craigslist to network with musicians and get hired as a pianist. Is the ratio of time spent browsing ads to money made through gigs on Craigslist worth it? That’s highly debatable. We all know what Craigslist is all about and we also know that anybody can post an ad or reply to an ad, which makes it a less than desirable marketplace more often than not. Is the “Musicians” section really worth your time as an indie musician? Should you really browse through it or post in it or should you just concentrate your efforts somewhere else? It depends on your perspective of things.

From my original point of view, I thought Craigslist was a complete waste of time for serious musicians. I had the firm belief that everyone that was on there was your friend’s cousin’s little brother who wanted to start a garage band. Needless to say, I stayed away from anything music related on Craigslist for the longest time. I have a degree, after all! As time went by, I started finding a few more opportunities; I got hired as a musical director, accompanist and restaurant pianist through ads placed on Craigslist. However, these opportunities never really came from the so-called “Musicians” section, but more from anything in gigs and jobs. So what about the “Musicians” section? What’s on there?

Why Artists and Musicians should hire a Music Public Relations Professional or Agent

Music Public RelationsAs an independent artist, you thrive at doing it all yourself; you write your own music, created your own blog or website and love working on all aspects of your ‘business’. However, it can sometimes be more than beneficial to work with experts in their field. When it comes to Public Relations, working with a professional can certainly serve you well. Why? Because while you may think that public relations is merely serving a marketing purpose, something you try to do on your own, it is so much more than that. Read below to find out more about what PR really is and how you can use it to your advantage by hiring an expert.

An Overview of Public Relations

By definition, PR is used to enhance the reputation of a company or individual and better make the connection between the company or individual and the public. For example in the music industry, PR experts are often asked to organize events, such as a CD release party, showcases or any other event that could lead to more visibility for an artist or band. So, in short, PR does look like a marketing machine at first. But have you ever heard of a PR professional’s Rolodex? The Rolodex is a prized possession (or at least it used to be before everything switched to digital!) for any PR professional and includes the contact info for all their connections in various industries. This means that while PR seems to be only a boost in marketing, your PR firm or expert can get in touch with reputable individuals or companies that you otherwise wouldn’t be able to approach on your own.

Tips to Surviving as an Independent or Private Music Teacher

Guitar Music teacherThe reality of choosing a career in music is not for the faint of hearts; unlike traditional career path starting with a 4-year undergraduate degree and resulting in a cozy 9 to 5 office job, being a musician offers a different reality. While there certainly are many work opportunities for skilled musicians, it can sometimes become puzzling to find gigs or contracts that will keep a roof over your head for more than a month at a time. Let’s face it; being a musician is incredibly rewarding but most of us end up turning to teaching lessons in order to supplement our income. Some of us may choose a safer path and apply for teaching jobs through music schools and extra-curricular elementary school programs, but a big majority of musicians go down the independent route, teaching out of their own studio or home – some teachers even opt to drive around to their students’ home.

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Music Photography History Came to Life with Rock & Roll

music photography history rock n roll

When you flip through the pages of your favorite music magazine, you expect to see professional shots of your favorite bands. In the 80’s, magazines such as Kerrang and Rolling Stone used to have entire pages dedicated to live shots and promo pictures of the biggest bands. These shots were taken by music photographers. While some may argue that the career of music photographer is not as alive as it used to be, due to the more ‘indie’ approach of many bands (we need to remember here that music photographers were usually associated with major labels), there are still many individuals out there who offer their services to bands and artists; photographers can capture your raw energy at a concert or get you professional shots for your press kit. Whether you are interested in music photography or in need of shots for your upcoming album and promo kit, read below to learn more about the history of music photography.

Do you have what it takes to become an indie music blogger?

indie music bloggerBlogging is taking a whole new level these days; everyone has a blog and everyone is a bonafide blogger. However, there are many people actually making a living out of blogging and dedicating their entire time to maintaining various blogs. Music bloggers, for example, are a breed of individuals who do not hesitate to spend hours writing blogs and articles related to various genres of music, artists and aspects of the music industry. Music blogging is time-consuming for various reasons: you can’t blog about something you don’t know, so you need to do your research, know what’s going on in your local scene and learn more about all the new indie artists coming out everyday. So, do you have what it takes to become a indie music blogger?