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Posts Tagged ‘musician’

Improving Your Skills Without Taking Music Lessons

Wednesday, July 17th, 2013

If you have a passion for music, you probably already know that it can be a very expensive hobby. Professional classes often seem like the only viable option if you really want to excel, but the fees can be unaffordable for many people. Thankfully though, a lack of funds doesn’t have to close the door on your musical ambitions.

Lets take a look at how you can improve your skills without taking music lessons.

Seek out interest groups in your local area

There’s likely to be many people in your locality who are learning the same instrument as you, and seeking them out can be great for your development as a musician. If a group doesn’t already exist, consider starting one. Organise a meeting every week, and spend an hour or two chatting with your contemporaries about what they’ve learned and how their skills have developed over the past seven days. Not only will you learn new tips and tricks, but you could also make some lifelong friends.

Find online tutorials

The internet is a wonderful resource, and if you dig about, you’ll find some high quality tutorials that are absolutely free. Another good thing about this approach is the variety that you’ll find. If you prefer a practical approach, use YouTube to search for video tutorials. If reading instructions is more your thing, use Google to find written guides. Try out a few until you find a tutor who suits your personal style.

Do a skill swap with a musician

If you have a skill that’s in demand, you might be able to do a swap with a music teacher that doesn’t involve money. Are you good at painting and decorating? Could you teach them a new language? Could you fix their car? If you think you have something to offer, don’t be scared to ask. It could be the ideal scenario for both of you.

Make money from your music

As your skills develop, you could find that your interest in music could bring in a supplementary income. You could offer basic lessons yourself, get paid to perform, or even sell beats online. Then, consider using this cash to go towards a few lessons. Even if you can’t raise enough to have them on a regular basis, the occasional session with a professional could do wonders for your development.

Visit your local library

Now that most of us have regular and reliable access to the internet, it’s easy to forget just how useful the library could be. Whilst just about anyone can put an article or tutorial up online, it takes true talent and skill to secure a book deal. This means that you’ll probably have less hunting to do to find some top quality material. And it won’t cost you a penny!

As you can see, there are many ways to improve your music skills without forking out for lessons. If you’re really determined to become an accomplished musician, try putting these tips into action. It may not happen overnight, but if you take an organised and consistent approach, you will start to see results.

Guest post by Ruth Richards of MyFlashStore, music beats resource.

Pro Soul officially launches in Beijing, China

Monday, July 16th, 2012

Chinese flag We’re excited to officially announce something we’ve been working on for over 2 years now, launching Pro Soul Alliance in China.
China is a huge, emerging market for the music industry, but currently in it’s infancy, and immature. Professional assistance is desperately needed due to crippling discouragement for artists attributed to the pervasive downloading of music. There is also a huge lack of ‘official’ presence for foreign artists who are becoming very popular in China. That means huge opportunity for those willing to support, develop and nurture this challenging market.

At the end of 2011, We announced a new world class recording and production studio in Beijing as our first step. Now we are offering promotion, marketing, sales and distribution both within China and outside to our existing artists and Chinese artists through our local office in Beijing. Unlike other companies offering music services in China, we are based within China, and our local office is staffed with bilingual locals who know the market and culture, and have experience working with Chinese and international artists here.
Our company has been legally registered as a Wholly Foreign Owned Enterprise in China under the name ‘敬真堂(北京)文化咨询有限公司’ Which translates to ‘Respect Truth (Beijing) Culture Consultancy Co. Ltd.’ (This was as close as we could get to our english name given the language and cultural differences. We kind of like how depending on the translation of our Chinese name, it can mean ‘Church of Truth’)

Because China is a complex and daunting market for a foreign company, we are starting out with the following basic range of services:

For Chinese artists:

  • Focusing on getting Chinese artists who are ready exposure internationally
  • Getting international distribution and sales for Chinese music (iTunes, Spotify, Nokia)
  • Promotion and marketing for Chinese artists overseas by connecting with interested markets and fans

For International Artists:

  • Digital distribution for international artists in China (including essential mobile stores China Mobile, Unicom, Telecom)
  • Promotion and marketing in China focusing on key social networking sites like Weibo, Douban, Youku
  • Collaboration with Chinese artists and recording traditional Chinese instruments with local professionals

As we continue researching the industry and experimenting with new techniques for promotion and marketing music in China, we will also be offering licensing for Chinese music internationally in Film, TV, and online, expanding their revenue sources. We will also assist Chinese artists who are ready create their own business and develop music career in China to maximize their profit and control. Of course we will also be able to assist international artists book shows and organize tours in China in future.

We have already begun assisting international artists Elika Mahony, and Hart as well as Chinese artist Abominati get exposure in China.

You can sign up right now for promotion, marketing and  distribution in China with the ‘Professional Artist Management and Consulting Asia’ option on our Get Started page.
For artists within China, we have a new website entirely in Chinese with a helpful blog focused on the local market.

For more information, please contact our China artist services manager BeiBei Lei

Watch for our next post with more about why China is an important market backed up by the latest statistics.

Do I really need to blog?

Monday, March 19th, 2012

This is another question we often get asked, especially by new artists.

Here’s our answer with some wisdom from Andrew Dubber of New Music Strategies:

In most instances, the answer to this one is a firm YES. In fact, We struggle to think of an instance in which the online presence of a musician, band or music enterprise would not be enhanced by the addition of a blog.

The most common counter-argument against musicians blogging is the idea of the ‘aloof artist’ – the notion that the mystique of an inaccessible and ineffable artist adds to the value of the work itself. We disagree, though of course, there are exceptions. You pretty much have to go into hiding to make that strategy worthwhile.

But the main reason to blog is not, as you might expect, that it’s a great way to promote your music. It’s more that the blog is now part of the way in which you do what you do.

Let me put it another way. Just as copying simply happens online, so does communication.

Accessibility is the norm online

If I find it difficult to locate you, listen to your music, find out what you’re up to and where you’re at, then it’s far easier for me to find an alternative source for what you do than it is for me to go digging in order to find out what’s going on.

If you’re trying to get work, sell your music, gain clients, gather fans, promote a record or a gig, or connect with the online environment in any way, blogging is the first step towards that. It is, at the very least, evidence that you understand that your online presence should be a conversation and not a brochure.

So what actually is a blog?

Well, actually, allow me to broaden the standard definition a little. Generally speaking, the term comes from an abbreviation of ‘web log’ – a continually updating ‘diary’ of events and occurrences. But it really just needs to be some regular form of communication that can be easily updated by you.

In that respect, I’d put a ‘micro-blogging’ platform like Twitter on the list, and a voice-based message system like Utterz on the pile as well. Mostly though, it’s somewhere you can post the latest news, thoughts, events, and interesting things as they come to mind, so that visitors to your site can see the latest, go back through previous posts – perhaps respond, and spread the word.

And the best reason to blog?

A smart friend of mine once said that the best music in the world is the sound of someone’s insides on the outside (yes, he was an old punk – how did you know?). His point was one about self-expression. That music, at its best, is something we can identify with on a human level. And we tend to like music we can relate to, because it expresses something of ourselves.

And because music is self-expressive, we are more positively inclined towards music by people we know and like – because if we like them, we’re likely to appreciate expressions of their ’self’.

So by logical extension – removing the curtain, engaging with your audience and actually letting them in on your day to day life will allow people to feel that they are getting to know you (in a ‘managed’ way), and will therefore be increasingly inclined to appreciate your music on that basis.

To put it in narrative terms – you become a character they care about. Whether you’re a musician, a label manager, a promoter, a venue owner or a music teacher – starting and (more importantly) maintaining a blog creates a story (remember this idea — we’ll be coming back to it). People love stories — and want to know what happens next — and if it’s a story they like with characters they can identify with, it will start to become meaningful and important to them.

Everybody must blog! Why do you think Twitter is so popular and pretty much any company that matters is on it?

The idea that the world is divided into content creators and consumers is increasingly redundant. What’s important is the quality, frequency and ‘engageability’ of your content – and that’s no longer restricted to your musical output.

The fact that you make music is unremarkable. The quality of your communication — musical content included — is now the measure by which you will be judged. This is not a call to pick over the mundane minutiae of your life. This is a challenge to be interesting.

And really, this is not such a radical or transformative idea. Your music has always been communication. Your music business has always been a communication business. This is about using the online tools to enhance that communication.

Another more technical reason to blog is related to one of the more important but less important ’20 things you must know about music online’ which you should read if you haven’t already and that’s SEO: Search Engine Optimization.

Everything you blog about gets catalogued by the search engines. So that means a lot of ways for people to find you and hear your music. Often things totally unrelated to music which is fine – people love to stumble upon things accidentally and ‘discover’ them for themselves. Some of our artists greatest sources of traffic to their website have been related to playdough, hiking, religious oppression and video games!

So think of blogging as an indirect way for people to find out about your music.

Ok, So what should i write about?

We hear this one a lot from artists, what should I write to my fans and mailing list subscribers?

Well, since it’s essential you send a message out to your list at least once a month (you DO have a mailing list don’t you?) Here are some ideas of what you can write about:

– Details of the creation process of your latest musical works and otherwise

– Upcoming shows

– Recapping recent shows (telling funny stories if there are any)

– New music (either full CD releases or just new songs posted online)

– Info about upcoming releases

– New merchandise

– updates to your website, new blog posts, photos etc.

– great music, books, videos, foods and other things you’ve appreciated lately

– Funny/interesting stories and events that happen during your downtime

– Any other artist news

– Anything really. Fans signed up to YOUR list to hear what YOU want to say!

And you thought you had nothing to say!

It’s important to write something at least once a month, but no more than once a week.

But I really don’t like writing!

Ok, sure there are some of us who will just never get into or want to do this, fine, that doesn’t mean you don’t blog… Here’s a supplementary list for you:

– post photos you’ve taken or that you’ve found that you love [and credit the photographer]

– post your favourite videos you’ve found online

– post videos of your own, embedded from your youtube account [vblog]

– post some artwork you’ve created and mention the inspiration behind it or something

– post your own podcast [let us know if you want help setting one up]

We could go on… there are easy and quick ways to do this now using mobile technology and such, again, let us know if you need help.

 

Disconnect between the music and the musician

Tuesday, July 27th, 2010

“There are plenty of millionaires who would pay millions to hang a Van Gogh painting on the wall, but hardly one that would have ever had the crazy nut over for dinner. I feel like the big companies are like that with musicians. They’ll say, “We love music! It’s all about the music!” — but if a musician shows up at the door, they call security.

The disconnect between the music, as a final product, and the musician, as a person going through an ongoing creative process is the most broken aspect of the music business…”

– Derek Sivers, founder of CDbaby.com, largest independent retailer of CD’s


Happy New Year! Our top blogs of 2009

Thursday, December 31st, 2009

Our first year has been great so far despite the economic times we live in, we’ve been working with a total of 9 fantastic artists!

Here are some of our top blog posts of 2009 in order posted:

Tips from a successful DIY indie musician…

Music and the Mobile Phone

Automatically posting your blog feeds to Facebook etc.

How many ‘active’ fans do you have?

The new music business model – Connect With Fans!

Is Music for free really a good idea?

The 10 Commandments of Music 2.0

A brave new era of music self release…

How to get people to come to shows

DIY takes more time than many think

Thank you to all the artists we work with, you have made this a great year, helping us take the music business into the future!
In return, we hope expanding your career to new heights has made this a great year for you as well.

We’ve got some fantastic new things planned for our artists in 2010, and were looking forward to a great year!
Happy new year to all of you, all the best for the year ahead.

Director Jarome Matthew, and the Pro Soul Alliance Team

Emerging artists use new tools for success

Monday, September 21st, 2009

The growing number of social-networking sites aimed at bringing aspiring musicians and loyal music fans together,  gives way to greater control of an artist’s career, while entertaining music lovers everywhere.

Encouraging the emerging artist to connect with fans, and promoting music is the purpose of sites such as Ourstage.com . Among its many partners,  Ourstage has joined with MTV for the Emerging Artist Program.  Sonicbids.com brings the artist and promoter together, and is a place where any band from any genre anywhere in the world, can come to find and connect with any type of music promoter, licensor or broadcaster — easily, effectively, and quickly.

As technology advances at such a rapid pace, so goes the advancement of innovative ways to meet the challenges of music promotion and the business of making music.  Unlike the new frontiers of days ago big band Radio, and major labels, this new wave of Music Business done better sets out community guidelines that its independent members must agree to:

“We like to think we’re in this together, meaning we provide the platform to showcase your talent, but we need artists’ help too.  Keep your profile updated, keep uploading into our channels, make friends, recruit fans—help us help you.”
Ourstage Community Values

When the “help them to help you” gets overwhelming, there are professionals like Pro Soul Alliance to assist artists while allowing them to keep in control of their career.