Expert Music Career Advice For DIY Musicians
4 Ways You Might Be Unintentionally Damaging Your Band's Reputation
5 Underground Music Scenes That Might Explode in 2015
The Best Way to Approach a Venue for a Gig
6 Tricks to Look and Feel Like a More Confident Musician

5 Signs You're Ready to Play Outside Your Hometown

Image via agiletransparency.com

As an independent band, it's important to get out on the road and play in places that aren't your hometown. Even if you aren't ready to tour yet, it's a good idea to start branching out and doing weekend runs in nearby towns, so you can start building a regional market that will make touring much easier in the future.

It can, however, be a big endeavor to set up a non-local gig, promote it, and travel there with the band and gear. It's not something that you can just do on a daily basis, and so when you're on the road, you want to make sure that you make the most out of every gig. In order to do so, there are a few key things that you should have together so that you don't waste gas money on a gig that did nothing for your band. If you can check "yes" on everything below, chances are good that your band is ready to venture out into new territory!

Just the Essentials: A Quick Guide to Marketing Your Music on Instagram

Image via digitaltrends.com

While dozens of social outlets exist for artists today, Instagram is quickly becoming one of the most useful tools for an artist's career. This is certainly not old news, and Instagram has reigned supreme for artists and brands since its inception in 2010, though it's also a sign of a trend in social media use and social media marketing. The trend is that folks are now more apt to use tools that are short-form, easy, and give a glimpse into the more casual side of brands and artists. While tools like Facebook serve as great channels for promotion, outlets such as Instagram and Snapchat have allowed users to see the more personal side of artists that they enjoy (while still allowing them to promote their work).

Top 5 Boston Venues for Independent Artists (And How to Book Them!)

The Sinclair in Cambridge. (Image via sinclaircambridge.com)

Navigating any city you're unfamiliar with can be difficult. Now imagine booking a show without knowing the music landscape – its venues, big local bands, booking agents, and so forth. Even if you've visited the town you hope to play, learning about the local scene specifically – and not just where to get the best burger – can be supremely beneficial.

A solid knowledge of the go-to venues is especially helpful. As an independent artist working to grow your fanbase, playing to the right crowd at an appropriately sized spot is crucial. And for anyone coming through a particular city for the first time, familiarizing yourself with the city's options will narrow down who you reach out to so that you're contacting clubs that might actually be interested.

Ask a Music Journalist: How We Review an Album

Legendary music critic Lester Bangs. (Image via skirmishblog.net)

Reviewing an album is an art form in and of itself. With less print and more digital media in the music space, the review itself has changed. Some reviewers are music critics, people who review the music, well, critically and analytically. Others are music writers, who write about what they like and effectively describe what it sounds like while documenting a scene, style, or niche.

All music journalists have different methods for writing reviews. Some scribble notes on a pad. Others make notes on their smartphones while listening. Some have resorted to writing something positive so it gets shared on the artist's social media pages to increase traffic. Sad, but true, and also indicative of the world in which we live. But generally, here's how music journalists review albums.

9 Alternative Tour Vehicles You Should Highly Consider

Getting to gigs can be a pain, that's for sure. The van breaks down (again), traffic is totally gridlocked, and your drummer is snoring in your ear. Don't you wish you could revamp your transportation into something more functional, nay, glamorous? Well, here are nine options that are sure to change your touring life!