1. Careers
Send to a Friend via Email
Heather McDonald

Heather's Music Careers Blog

By

Follow me on:

5 More Music Industry Home Truths

Monday March 31, 2014

When it comes to launching your music career, are you playing by the right rule book? It's easy to talk in lofty, theoretical terms about the changes in today's music industry, but those ideas don't always really match the reality on the ground. The truth is that up and coming musicians are looking for ways to grind out a living - and a fanbase - and that is hardly a first in history. The methods might be different, the stakes may be changeable, but a few basics tend to always hold true. Let's call these Music Industry Home Truths. Volume one had some hard realities and necessary truths - now find out 5 More Music Industry Home Truths, designed to help you make smart decisions about building your music career.

Related Articles

5 Ways to Get Music Press

Monday March 31, 2014

Getting press for your music release is an uphill battle when you're working with a small budget, but there are simple things you can do to boost your odds of actually landing those precious column inches. For instance, did you know that having a clear, publish-ready, color photo could make the difference between getting a review and not getting one? Don't sabotage your own music promotion efforts. Put these five strategies for getting music press into action. Here is even more helpful information:

Does It Matter Where You Live for Your Music Career?

Monday March 31, 2014

Location, location, location...it matter when you're buying a house, but does it matter when you're launching your music career? It definitely matters a lot less than it used to, thanks to the beauty of the internet and social media....but does that really mean it doesn't matter at all? There are some big advantages to living in a place with a big music industry presence - namely that you still stand the (however small) chance of having that moment where someone walks into your gig and changes your life. There may be something to say for living in a place where your genre of music is popular, since fans of that music will look to that city for the next big thing. There are definitely good things about living someplace that has some kind of local music infrastructure - venues, media, etc - that can help you get your footing.

But you can do it from other places. You'll need to be willing to travel more, stay online more, and work a little harder. However, sometimes, the savings you get from living in small town wherever over paying NYC rent is a good investment in your overall music career. What is the best solution for you? Check out these articles for advice:

5 Ways to Blow Your Music Career

Sunday March 30, 2014

So you want to make it in music? Great. Don't believe the hype about no one being able to make a living in music anymore or blah blah blah. You can do this. However, don't buy into the myth that making it music  just involves taking part in one long party. It takes a ton of hard work, dedication, and yes, responsibility. A lot of talented musicians get left in the dust simply by not taking their craft seriously. Hey, if you commit to doing something - do it. It's that simple. Don't let a few avoidable missteps sour your musical ambitions. Avoid these 5 music career killers so you can build the audience and team you need.

Related Articles

Which Music Industry Job Is Right for You?

Sunday March 30, 2014

Graduation is just around the corner for many college students - and that means the job hunt is under way. Many of my arts management students at College of Charleston are trying to figure out where exactly they fit into the music industry. With internships and other experience under their belts, some have a clear direction in mind -but most are still figuring out. The best advice for a new graduate is to grab any music opportunity that comes your way. Even if it isn't your perfect fit, you'll gain experience and contacts that will help you get there. But what exactly IS that fit? Check out these pros and cons of music business jobs to see what feels right to you.

Related Articles

Paying Your Music Producer

Sunday March 30, 2014

It's hard to overstate the impact your producer has on your sound. Whether you go for a producer who is more a set of safe hands than an active contributor or a producer who is the driving force behind your sound, his or her stamp is always prominent. Now, you know the work your producer does is important, but you may not know how to pay them - and how much. The real answer is that it can vary pretty widely. All sorts of factors can come into play, from the producer's level of experience to how involved you want them to be. How should your structure your payments to your producer? These articles will help:

How to Network in the Music Industry

Wednesday March 12, 2014

Heading to SXSW? Then networking is what it's all about. In fact, in a it's-who-you-know industry like music, networking is a big deal.

That is music (ha!) to some of your ears, but to others, that has you re-considering your career choice. I know, networking can be uncomfortable. It can be intimidating. It can feel stiff and awkward. But it doesn't have to be. Before you start networking at SXSW or anywhere else, try these tips for making networking in the music business a lot easier. Above all else, relax. Develop your own style for approaching people and be yourself. Making a few powerful connections matters much more than gathering a 100 business cards, so go forth and mingle.

Related Articles

Music Industry Blast-From-The-Past Interview: Sarah Records

Friday February 28, 2014

Sarah Records quietly and unassumingly started a revolution. Make that two, actually. The music they released launched a new sound that defined a generation of musicians and labels, especially in the UK. The way they did business also opened doors for a new generation of music business folks who are miles from the flashy major-label types but still very much the masters of their empires. If you're feeling discouraged that your music dreams won't ever come to fruition, then Sarah's story is a reminder that anything is possible. Tap into more than a little bit of inspiration in this interview with Sarah Records' founders.

Related Articles

What Does a Music Publishing Company Do?

Friday February 28, 2014

If you write music, understanding publishing is as important as understanding record deals and show contracts. In fact, maybe more so. As a songwriter, publishing may be your central - and longest lasting - revenue stream. Too often, however, songwriters, especially those who perform their own music, don't take the time to understand this aspect of their music careers. Don't make that costly mistake. This guide to music publishing will help you understand the basics and decide which direction is the right one for you.

Related Articles

Should You Play Music Full Time?

Friday February 28, 2014

One of the most exciting - and scary - transitions for a musician to make is moving from day job land to being a full-time musician. How do you know that it is time to make that leap? If you've recently won the lottery, by all means, please proceed to giving yourself a full-time job as a musician. Everyone else is going to need to weigh up a few factors, from being sure you actually have enough music, fans, gigs, and such to keep you busy to being sure you're actually going to be able to make yourself stay busy when things like TV and drinking coffee are so tempting. Are you ready to play music full-time? Here are some things to consider before you become a career musician.

Related Articles

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.