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How to Get Band T-Shirts Made

Photo courtesy of Mannequin Pussy

One artistically rewarding task new bands face is designing T-shirts. But with all of the options online and the abundance of printing companies in many cities, picking a printer can be a stressful decision. A simple place to start is estimating your audience's willingness to buy and wear your shirts. For example, if you're in a metal or hardcore band, and you often peer from stage at a sea of band shirts, then you have potential consumers. An indie, garage, or folk group with an audience filled with cowboy shirts and flannel might face a harder sell outside of their core audience. Having shirts made would be no less rewarding for the latter, but perhaps those groups should consider ordering or making just a few shirts, freeing up money for recording or transportation. Once you've assessed your needs and double-checked how much you can spend, consider these three cost-effective routes for adding new threads to your merch repertoire.

Out-of-the-Box PR: Why You Need to Look Beyond Music Publications

Rufus Wainwright went out-of-the-box by appearing on Dinner With the Band in 2010. (Image via popwatch.ew.com)

Music publicity isn't just about being featured in music magazines or doing music-specific press pieces and features. Yes, those are major parts of it, but there are other out-of-the-box media outlets and publications that can help spread the word about your band to a fresh, new, and different audience. Essentially, it's preaching to the non-converted.

4 Creative, Unique Music Videos to Inspire Your Own

New York duo The Sea The Sea commissioned artist Zachary Johnson to paint 3,454 oil paintings for their latest video, which he also directed. (Photo via theseathesea.com)

We're all tired of the stereotypical video where a band simply plays and the camera gets close-ups of each member, right? Even with a cool backdrop or interesting perspectives, the standard can be a little bland. All four of these Sonicbids artists have tossed tradition aside, opting for risk-taking creativity instead –  be it the style of the video, choosing a meaningful concept, or giving campy comedy a try. We hope their unique ideas inspire you to shuck the norms for your next video and take a risk with something new instead!

4 Jobs You Unknowingly Take On When You Become a Band Manager

The Beatles with their manager, Brian Epstein. (Image via express.co.uk)

Great managers are hard to find – especially when you consider that it's one of the few professions where no experience or license is required to negotiate contracts and collect money on behalf of someone who is not under their guardianship. While there's a body that governs managers on the film side of entertainment, there are no such organizations in the music business to set standards for best practices among managers, which is why so many artists and bands are likely to experience a bad management situation at some point in their careers.

The good news is that there are some good managers who really care about their artists, and are willing to wear a number of different hats to ensure success is attained. As a former manager/damage control agent, I can tell you that it's not a glamorous job to juggle the various personalities of creative artists. Here are some of the tough, but necessary, intangible roles that a music manager may have to fill. Hopefully by the time you finish reading this piece, you'll understand a little more why great managers are hard to find.

5 Grassroots Ways to Create Collective Hype on Social Media

Photo courtesy of Brooklyn Doran

Let's face it: We all know the hustle. Sometimes we find ourselves trying to market our music more than we actually have the opportunity to play it. If a tree falls in a forest, does it make a sound? If we shout into the Twitter void, does anyone see it if we don’t have followers?

We're in the age of "me" in which news feeds are saturated by bands all doing the same things. So, how do we fight Facebook algorithms and trending hashtags to be seen?