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

7 Hard-Working Musicians Who Should Be Your Role Models

Sometimes when we're in a rut and not feeling motivated, it helps to remind ourselves of those musicians who have truly dedicated themselves to their passions. Whether they clawed their way out of poverty, overcame huge physical setbacks, or put their energy toward causes they believe in, these musicians should not be forgotten for the passion and perseverance they've poured into their work. You don't need to adopt all their values and politics, but use them as a source of inspiration for when you've lost your drive.

How to Command the Room's Attention at Your Next Gig

British rockers the Kooks know how to make a crowd go wild. (Image via feveravenue.com)

As a performing musician, we know you don’t want to play to just any random group of people. You want to put on a show for an enthusiastic, shouting, dancing, head-bobbing (or whatever behavior your kind of music calls for) crowd. You're not guaranteed to play to a crowd that already knows and loves who you are, so they might need some convincing that your act is worth paying serious attention to.

Unsure how to make the crowd totally enraptured by your presence? It may seem daunting, but it's far from impossible. Read on for some tips on how to command the attention of any room, so you can make some diehard fans.

The Music Industry by the Numbers: These Stats for the First Half of 2015 Will Blow Your Mind

Image via techspot.com

We've all but literally shoved it down your throats: if you want to stay relevant, you simply have to stay on top of social media and music streaming. The young musician in the 21st century can no longer be ignorant about how his or her rapid growth may happen, the infinite lines of communication available, and the vice-like hold that digitization has on the music industry. But maybe you've gone years not paying attention to specific data and analytics, and you've just accepted that you need to be on Facebook and Twitter and YouTube (and so on) to get somewhere, without specifically considering how each service is growing in its own way. There's no need to stay in the dark, though.

Next Big Sound, which provides online music analytics, recently came out with a comprehensive report on the massive growth music has seen in social media and streaming services in just the past six months. Compared to growth last year, the numbers are earth-shattering (and continue to skyrocket). But what's even more interesting is how the various services are growing in unique ways, benefiting different kinds of artists and genres to different degrees.

It's time for you to have even more information at your disposal, so you can make better informed decisions about which online avenues are the best to focus on. While we provide the breakdown of the key takeaway points below, we strongly recommend you check out the complete report here.

Where Are They Now? 5 Hip-Hop Artists Who Are Doing Big Things After Playing A3C

As the summer starts to wind down, one of the biggest hip-hop festivals you don't want to miss, the A3C Hip Hop Festival, is now just around the corner. The five days in October in Atlanta are really a festival and conference rolled into one, as there will be both hundreds of live performers and industry vets using the event as a platform to talk about developments in the hip-hop community, speaking on topics such as brands, the media, film, and its place in our culture as a whole. A3C has featured huge hip-hop artists like J. Cole and B.o.B., and this year will bring headliners De La Soul and Rakim to the stage. If you'd like to share the bill and take advantage of an amazing networking and learning opportunity, apply now for free before the application fee increases to $50 on September 1, 2015.

Since 2005, A3C has featured over 130 Sonicbids artists, and a lot of them have gone on to do even more great things after performing at the fest. Check out a handful of the success stories below. They'll be sure to inspire you.

5 Ways Being a Musician Helps in Other Areas of Life

Image via beckysullivanphoto.tumblr.com

Songwriting, strumming on your guitar, and sending so many follow-up emails to venue bookers and A&R guys that your "sent" folder frightens you all seem pretty specific to being a musician. However, you may not have ever stopped to think about it, but being a musician and all it entails is actually bound to improve other areas of your life. This is because at its core, being a musician can be boiled down to a few fundamental skills you're flexing and strengthening all throughout the week and all throughout your career. If you've ever wondered how being a musician affects you "behind the scenes," read on.