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

This Infographic Explains Everything Songwriters Need to Know About How the Consent Decree Revision Impacts Them

Image via

This infographic originally appeared on Soundstr.


If you follow the news in the music industry, you might have been hearing about the consent decree lately. Even if you aren't exactly sure what it means, you may have been able to gather that the revisions made on the consent decree will greatly impact songwriters. There are some songwriters who are starting to sweat, and you may be as well.

If you're wondering what exactly the consent decree is... well, there's a lot to it. Its purpose is essentially to regulate how ASCAP and BMI operate and prevent the development of a monopoly in the industry. ASCAP and BMI are nonprofit companies, and the consent decree binds them to this agreement. However, there are other for-profit companies, SESAC and GMR, that aren't bound. 

Performing Rights Organizations: A Quick Crash Course for Songwriters

Image via

If you've gotten serious about your music, you may have heard someone mention performing rights organizations in passing (PROs, for short) – possibly even by name. Maybe you've always wondered what they were and have been embarrassed to ask. Fortunately, this article is here to help!

How Do Dry Music Venues Make Money? (And 10 Other Things You Should Know)

Photo by Austin Bauman via

You’re looking to play in a new city and you find an awesome music venue… but there's no booze. What does that mean for your band? How do you get paid? Will your fans still come? Are there perks to playing an alcohol-free spot?

We got three expert talent buyers and venue owners from across the US to weigh in on the subject of booze-free music venues:

5 Things You’re Overpaying for as a Musician

Photo by Steven Depolo via Flickr / CC BY 2.0

At some point, you’ve probably heard a financial expert on TV say that it’s better to save money than to earn more. If you earn more money, the government taxes the amount, but a dollar saved stays in your pocket.

As musicians, we’re in a field with a low profit margin as it is – especially when we consider how long we practiced for free to get good enough to be heard. Every dollar helps, and you’ve almost certainly been paying too much for the following five things.

Here's Exactly What to Say to Get IRS Tax Penalties Waived for Your Band

Image via iStockphoto

You open your mailbox, and there's a letter, from the I... R... S! Questions start racing in your mind. How did they find me? What does this letter mean? Am I going to be able to afford this? When do I have to pay them? Who can help me fix this?

Over the past three years, I’ve negotiated musicians out of $863 to $1,595 of penalties from the IRS for not paying their taxes by the due date or filing their tax returns late.

You'd be surprised how many musicians can’t pay their taxes when they're due. Each year, seven million taxpayers don’t file their returns on time or don’t pay by the due date. Of those, nearly two million qualify for penalty relief.

Some of the most painful and expensive fees from the IRS are usually failure-to-pay penalties, which can be up to 25 percent of the tax you owed. Of course, the best way to avoid IRS penalties is to not let them happen in the first place. But can you get IRS fees waived if you didn't have the money to pay your band’s taxes? Yep – here's how.