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Expert Music Career Advice For DIY Musicians
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Musicians, Please Stop Giving Out CDs (And What to Do Instead)

She may be smiling, but this girl's really thinking, "Thanks, but no thanks." (Image via Shutterstock)

As someone who writes about music, I get a lot of CDs. Sometimes they're mailed to me, but the majority of physical albums I receive come when I'm out at a concert, at a meeting, or at a conference. People walk up and hand them to me in the hopes that I’ll listen and perhaps feature the artist in some way.

This isn’t a “bad” idea in that it makes a lot of sense to give someone music if you want them to hear it, right? Sure, but I have something I need to admit to you: I never, ever listen to your CD. I really don’t. I’m sorry you wasted a copy of it, but that’s why I’m coming clean now.

5 Things You Need to Consider When Selling Gear So That You Don't Regret It Later

Photo by Ronald Saunders via Flickr / CC BY 2.0

You saved up for months to buy this beautiful instrument. Or, alternatively, you splurged on a credit card and then lived on beans and rice for months to make the payments. Either way, you put the work in to get pro-quality tools to advance your music. Now, for whatever reason, you’re thinking about moving on – you’re thinking about selling your gear. Whether it’s because you’re trading up, changing priorities, or just feeling like you need cash, there are a few things to watch out for so you don’t walk away with regrets.

Should Musicians Have a Backup Plan? 5 Reasons Why You Should Just Go for It

Photo by Ray_LAC via flickr.com; used under Creative Commons

How much do you hate your day job? Maybe you don’t hate it at all. There are lucky folks out there who are psychologists or attorneys by day and play in a band at night, and they’re completely happy. They feel well-balanced and fulfilled doing what they do. Then there are the rest of us: workers, strivers, many of us feeling blocked or drained by whatever we do to pay the bills.

Nobody needs a rehash of the reasons not to become a professional musician; you’re probably the one recounting them whenever a friend suggests that you just do what makes you happy. "But this, but that," you respond, thinking about rent payments and credit card bills. What about all the reasons to do it? What follows is a completely biased list of five reasons you should just go for it and become a pro.

Why Your Lust for Analog Gear Is Pointless

Image via Wikimedia Commons; used under Creative Commons

Most musicians these days would jump at the opportunity to add pieces of vintage analog gear to their home studio. And why not? After all, what could be better than running your vocals through a real 1176 compressor, or mixing on a real Neve console? But what if using this equipment could actually work against you? What if it actually made your music sound worse, not better? If you’re set on buying some nice vintage equipment to complement your digital studio setup, here are a few points to take into consideration before you hand over the cash.

Have We Lost the Meaning of Community Within the Music Industry?

A Balanced Breakfast meeting in San Francisco. (Photo by Theodore Maider)

There’s something alarming about the way that we sometimes treat one another in the music industry. The way we can use each other as means to an end, only interested in how something benefits us in that moment. Never investing in the long term, and rarely seeing one another as friends, but rather, as enemies, competition, or a stepping stone to something greater. We've forgotten to treat one another as people, and we've forgotten the importance of community. That we need each other to reach our goals, and that in the end, we’re all just trying to live out our passion.