All posts by Simone Henry

How to Maximize Your Studio Time

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When you’re finally ready to start recording tracks, and you book studio time, it’s easy to think you’ll have plenty of time to get everything done. However, once you’re in the booth, time starts to slip right out of the window. In order to maximize your studio time, you need to come in prepared and make sure everyone on your team is on the same page.

Be Ready to Record

You should be 100% prepared to lay down whatever tracks you want to record. As part of this, every part of the track should be finalized. What is the bassist playing? What is the guitar part? Do the people singing harmony know what melody you’re singing? You should not plan to rehearse and record on the fly. Instead, you should enter the studio with everything finalized and ready to record.

Be Realistic

If all of your songs are 5 minutes and you’re recording 10 of them, 60 minutes will be enough studio time, right? No way! You should always set realistic goals for your studio time. Choose a track or two at a time for each day. Many bands and artists think that recording songs is easier than it is, so you should frame your expectations realistically and with help from the studio. A single, 3-minute song could take hours to record.

Prepare Your Instruments

Every instrument that you are going to use, including your voice, should be in the best possible shape before you start the recording session. If you need to change your guitar strings, do it a week or two before the studio time so that they stay in tune. You should complete any vocal warm-ups before you enter the studio as well.

Designate a Time Manager

Staying on top of time limits is critical once the studio door shuts. While your sound engineer can help you manage time, you should also have a designated band member who will keep track of how much time has passed and how much is left. Wasting time re-recording the same lines over and over again is easy. Work together to stay on track so that you get the most out of your studio time.

Work with the Professionals at ECHE Music

At ECHE Music, we are dedicated to helping independent Christian recording artists build their fanbase, promote their music effectively and learn the business of music. To join our community, please visit our website.

How to Prepare Your Music for a Great Release

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Whenever you are preparing your new single or album for release, it’s important to first get all of your ducks in a row. Think about it this way—you spent plenty of time ensuring that every song was written to the best of your ability, beautifully recorded and expertly mixed. Why would you want to work so hard on steps 1-4 only to rush through step 5? Preparing your music for a great release involves taking your time to distribute, promote and monetize your creation.

Set Your Release Date At Least 3 Months in the Future

It’s tempting to pull a Beyonce and surprise-release an album (if you’re reading this Beyonce, you can do whatever you want!), but it simply isn’t practical for the average artist. Setting a date 3-6 months in the future gives you and your PR team time to meet media submission deadlines, build awareness and start getting a buzz. It’s tempting to push out the music you made as quickly as you can, but overnight successes are never built overnight. You should also set your date to be a Friday. In 2015, release dates changed from Tuesday to Friday to help prevent music piracy. While you won’t get in trouble for releasing on another day, it’s good to give weight to your album by going along with traditional industry schedules.

Find the Right Music Bloggers and Influencers

You should send your new release to music bloggers, magazines and influencers who are notable names in your industry to increase your fanbase and get more publicity for your music. Spend some time researching the best publications and sites for your music and the right people to send your music to get it heard. If you are working with specific writers, it doesn’t hurt to say why they might be interested in your music in an intro email. For example, “I noticed that you cover a lot of alternative Christian artists who play ukulele and acoustic music. My new album might be right up your alley!”

Set a Single Release Date

While you do need to wait to release your album, you can distribute singles beforehand to build buzz. It’s good to release at least one or two singles before the full EP or LP comes out. If you want to get the most coverage on social media and blogs, consider having one downloadable mp3 on Soundcloud.

Work with the Professionals at ECHE Music

At ECHE Music, we are dedicated to helping independent Christian recording artists build their fanbase, promote their music effectively and learn the business of music. To join our community, please visit our website.

How to Have a Successful Music Crowdfunding Campaign

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Creating a successful crowdfunding campaign is not easy, and it can be even harder when you aren’t marketing a tangible product but a downloadable EP. However, as a small artist, it can be hard to get yourself off the ground without the financial help of a crowdfunding campaign. How can you knock it out of the park the first time with your music crowdfunding campaign?

Be Yourself

As a musician, your backers aren’t just supporting the music that you make, but you! Your launch video should be a reflection of who you are, what inspires you, how you go about creating your music and where you find your inspiration. From watching the first minute or two of the video, the viewer should have a good sense of who you are and why they should love your music.

Plan (And Show Your Work)

Before you ask for money, you should have a concrete plan of how you are going to use the money that you get through your music crowdfunding campaign. Beyond your personal planning, you should also share your work with anyone looking to invest. If you make your stretch goal, will there be more tracks on the album? Or, will you instead host a free concert for your backers? Be clear about what investors are “paying for” so that you don’t let anyone down.

Offer Incentives

At the core of many successful music crowdfunding campaigns is a great incentive. In many cases, the most popular and enticing rewards for music campaigns are simple and straightforward. Things like signed posters, nicely printed art prints, a name listed in the album’s credits or a vinyl copy of the latest album are all awesome incentives. Unrealistic rewards include things that you can’t afford to obtain for the backing price once your actual production costs are subtracted. If you are offering everyone a free hoodie for pledging $15, unless you have someone donating them for free, you either won’t be able to deliver or will dip into your own, already-empty pocket to do so! If you are offering experiences as a reward, you should be clear about where they will take place in advance. Grabbing dinner with your top funder is easy if they travel to you, but if it involves you flying across the country, you might be in for a costly reward!

Work with the Professionals at ECHE Music

At ECHE Music, we are dedicated to helping independent Christian recording artists build their fanbase, promote their music effectively and learn the business of music. To join our community, please visit our website.

Do You Need a Music Mentor?

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Whether you’re an amateur musician looking to play at more weddings or a touring band wanting to take things to the next level, a music mentor is critical to your success. Mentors are invaluable and can help you identify and achieve your goals faster than you could on your own. What are music mentors, and how can you find one for yourself?

What Can a Music Mentor Be?

Music mentors come in a variety of forms, but the two most common are:

  • Teachers, experts or professionals who you pay to offer you expertise. If you have the budget, the lessons you learn from a professional who knows a great deal about the music industry are valuable. This is an especially good choice if you play an instrument or sing and want to hone your chops while learning more about music.
  • Friends who you have a mutually-beneficial relationship with. If you don’t have money to spare, partnering with a friend or acquaintance who has skills that you want to have can be a great way to learn more. Make sure that you also have something to offer in return, since you won’t be paying.

What Do Music Mentors Have to Offer You?

  • Many of the biggest musicians today had music mentors who could help them refine their sound and introduce them to other music they wouldn’t have encountered otherwise. So much of being a musician is getting inspiration from musicians of the past. A mentor can help you in doing this!
  • If you use a teacher to help you improve your sound and gain more traction in the music industry, they can help make sure you are learning in the most efficient and logical way possible. After all, you need to learn how to walk before you can sprint. Learning the more technical side of playing your instrument or using your voice is valuable, and can last for long after your band has moved on to other things.
  • Music mentors also give you access to a much larger network of industry professionals. From other professionals in your neighborhood to recording studio owners across the country, your mentor can help you get to know the people that you want to know.

Work with the Professionals at ECHE Music to Find Your Music Mentor

At ECHE Music, we are dedicated to helping independent Christian recording artists build their fanbase, promote their music effectively and learn the business of music. To join our community, please visit our website.

Marketing Lessons from Top Artists

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On top of all of the other things you need to do as a musician (setting up gigs, practicing new music, coming up with lyrics, lugging your gear from show to show and more), marketing can seem like just one more thing. However, marketing is the backbone of every music career. Everyone from your local metal band to Taylor Swift relies on great marketing to make money and get more fans. What marketing lessons can you take from the hottest artists today? Continue reading Marketing Lessons from Top Artists

You’re Great! No, Really! Overcoming a Lack of Self-Confidence for Musicians

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One of the hardest parts of being any type of artist is dealing with the vulnerability and self-confidence that standing on stage alone requires. In a world that makes millions of people who seem “better than you” more accessible than ever before, drumming up the courage to perform is no easy feat. How can musicians overcome a lack of self-confidence? Continue reading You’re Great! No, Really! Overcoming a Lack of Self-Confidence for Musicians