<iframe src="//www.googletagmanager.com/ns.html?id=GTM-TMFBBP" height="0" width="0" style="display:none;visibility:hidden"> Sonicbids Blog - Music Career Advice and Gigs | James Shotwell
Expert Music Career Advice For DIY Musicians
4 Times You Shouldn't Take the Gig
The Number One Mistake Bands Make Right After Booking a Gig
The Ultimate EQ Cheat Sheet for Every Common Instrument
15 Reality Checks Young Artists Need to Hear

There Really Is No Excuse to Steal Music Anymore (Not That There Ever Was)

Image via haulixdaily.com

This article originally appeared on Haulix Daily.


Confession: I work for a company that specializes in fighting music piracy, but I have definitely illegally downloaded my fair share of music from torrents and file-sharing sites over the last decade. I've never been busted by the police, nor have I ever had my internet service canceled, but I will admit to my parents having received one or 12 letters from Comcast threatening to throttle our connection speed if said piracy should persist. Thankfully, things never came to that, but looking back now, they easily could have, and I would have almost certainly been at fault. Something changed, however, and it wasn’t my income or my parents' willingness to support my addiction to new music. It was my understanding of entertainment not only as an art form, but also as a business, and it was at that moment I understood the true impact piracy has on the industry at large.

What Makes a Band Worth Signing? (According to an Indie Label Owner)

Father Mountain. (Image via facebook.com)

This article originally appeared on haulixdaily.com.


I've been involved in running a small record label based out of Boston for the better part of four years at this point, and I'll be the first to admit I don't know everything. I probably don't know half of everything there is to know about running a record label, but I do think I know a thing or two about music. I've been working in the industry in one way or another since I was 16, and I even have one of those fancy music business degrees you see promoted in the back of rock magazines. In just a few months, I will be 28, and I like to tell myself I have something to show for 12 years of long days that almost always turned into late nights, even if it is just an understanding of how the industry works.

This post could go in depth on how big labels operate, as well as the many factors that are considered before signing an artist that lie beyond the quality of their music, but that isn't the reality I know. The world I know is small and mid-size labels, often started out of bedrooms or dorms, that are run by people who are making records for no reason other than the desire to help further expose the artists they know and love. You can call these labels passion projects if you must, but if you understood the work involved, it probably wouldn't sound quite so glamorous. The financial return for running a label is honestly smaller than any other project I have been a part of, even though most our albums have sold incredibly well. People don't start a label to make money, though – or at least I didn't.

Here Comes Halloween: Tips on Selling Limited-Edition Band Merch

Image via haulixdaily.com

This article originally appeared on Haulix Daily.


I'm not ashamed to admit that at 28, there are times I get jealous of today's young music fans. As someone who lived the majority of his teens and 20s wearing band, record label, and/or music-related shirts almost everywhere I went, it's hard to realize such behavior is frowned upon the older you get. Once you leave college and begin waking most days out of the week with the purpose of working to pay off the enormous debt you accrued becoming an adult, the world demands you put a little more effort into your wardrobe than promoting whatever music you're currently enjoying at that moment in time. It's a hard realization, but one that must be faced nine times out of 10 if you hope to get ahead in life. You don't see many executives rocking T-shirts these days, and if they are, they probably started their company at a young age and used their drive to become so successful no one would dare complain about how they dress on any particular day. That's not the case for my life, and I'm willing to bet it's not the case for many of you reading this, so please remember everything that follows is intended for those hoping to target younger demographics of music fans.

Musicians: What It Really Means to Practice

Image via guitar.about.com

This article originally appeared on Haulix.


Every aspiring professional knows they need to practice in order to improve their skills, but those destined for a lasting career recognize early on that the journey towards perfection with your art is one that never truly comes to an end. There's always room for improvement, whether you're trying to be the best artist or the best publicist, and practicing your art on a regular basis is key to further developing your skills.

But what does that mean exactly?