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6 Dirty Secrets About Music Journalists

Can you keep a secret? (Photo by Kim Boek via Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 2.0)Music journalists: we’re a unique bunch. We’ll take entire weekends to debate the best alt-pop songs of the ‘90s, consider the jeans that didn’t get alcohol spilled on them the previous night our “good” pants, and have no idea why some people think it’s weird to be out until 2:00 a.m. on a Wednesday.

While those are things you may have already known about us, they really only scratch the surface. Want to know more? Here are six dirty secrets about music journalists you might not be aware of.

How to Avoid Landing on the 'Why I Deleted Your Band's Promo Email' Tumblr

Screenshot of whyideletedyourpromoemail.tumblr.com

Every time a music writer reads one email in the massive pile-up of unopened inquiries, five new ones roll in. Okay, to be honest, I have no real quantifiable proof to back that ratio. It's probably more.

I don't mean to complain about the press emails – I'm thankful for them – but, rather, I'm attempting to relate how overwhelming the backlog can sometimes feel. That's not to say a writer's time is more important than a publicist's or a DIY band working to earn press, either. But considering the amount music writers need to sort through, you can imagine why someone has compiled the worst of those press requests on a Tumblr called Why I Deleted Your Promo Email. (To laugh through the tears, I'm guessing.)

9 Things All Music Journalists Hate to See in Pitch Emails More Than Anything

Comparing your band to legends like Jimi Hendrix isn’t doing you any favors. (Image via Wikimedia Commons)

Although some may like to claim otherwise, music journalists and publicists need each other. Without publicists, a lot of great music would go unheard, and without journalists, publicists would be shouting about their clients into a great void.

That said, while we welcome the pitches of publicists, sometimes those pitches can be more harmful than helpful. Pitch emails that contain any of these nine things make all music journalists grit their teeth – and quickly hit delete.

5 Tips to Increase Your Chances of Getting Press

Image via pixabay.com; used under Creative Commons

Most music writers will agree: we get way too many press emails to actually read every single one. In fact, some are never opened. What can you do to make sure yours is seen? How can your band stand out in so thick a swarm?

Honestly, there are tons upon overwhelming tons of unread emails from publicists in my inbox. My freelancing schedule falls somewhere between part- and full-time, and I always say I'll make time to read every one – but there are days when the best I can do is skim the subject lines. It's unfortunate; a lot of music I'd probably love is overlooked entirely or discovered too late to for a story to make sense.

Why Your Next Album Needs a Story if You Want It to Get Heard

Image via Shutterstock

It’s 2016, and I hate to be the one to tell you this, but if you're just starting out and you want to make a living in this business and grow your fanbase, it’s not enough to simply create great music anymore. Your next project also needs a story that people can consume and get behind.