The Amplifier Blog

Articles and Tips for Musicians on Strategy, Marketing, Revenue Streams, Production and More

The Amplifier Blog2020-11-11T14:15:52-06:00
709, 2021

Musician Ears Reminder: Your Mom Said To Protect Your Ears!

By |September 7th, 2021|Categories: Personal Development, Your Band Your Business|Tags: , |

Did you know that if music creators develop their business skills they are more likely to succeed in music and be happy?  But as we share in today's article, it's hard to engage in continuous learning to improve your music career, practice your instrument, collaborate with other musicians, or really do anything in music without your ears. Protect those musician ears of yours! Musician Ears that Go [...]

308, 2021

Music and Money: How to Have a Profitable Music Career

By |August 3rd, 2021|Categories: Music Income & Finances, Personal Development, Your Band Your Business|Tags: , , |

Did you know that if music creators develop their business skills they are more likely to succeed in music and be happy?  As we share in this article, being profitable and managing your cash flow keeps your music business fueled, healthy, and even more fun to pursue!  Music and money CAN go hand-in-hand, and the only thing that's standing in the way of becoming a thriving artist is you! [...]

2007, 2021

How to Book My Band: Consider the Live Music Venue’s Needs First

By |July 20th, 2021|Categories: Marketing Your Band, Music Industry, Your Band Your Business|

COVID's clearing up! Time to book my band! As things start to return to normal and there is a flurry of bands and venues looking to hook up again to get back to live music, it's a good time to remember (or learn for the first time) to approach how you work with venues in a "venue first" approach, meaning they are not there for you, you are there [...]

607, 2021

Multiple Income Streams for Musicians: How to Become Recession Proof in Music

By |July 6th, 2021|Categories: Music Income & Finances, Personal Development, Your Band Your Business|Tags: , |

Did you know that if music creators develop their business skills they are more likely to succeed in music and be happy? As we share in this article, stacking revenue streams, or having multiple income streams, is a smart business move. Is it possible to live on just one income stream in music? For music creators to build out a sustainable income they typically have to piece [...]

2206, 2021

I’m a New Music Producer: What is a DAW?

By |June 22nd, 2021|Categories: Music Industry, Personal Development, Your Band Your Business|Tags: , , |

The music industry is full of words & terms that might seem frightening to a beginner. One abbreviation that is constantly being thrown around is DAW. What is a DAW? DAW stands for Digital Audio Workstation & is a piece of software that an artist can use to make their music. It can be used for composing, recording & mixing, producing & overall editing audio. There are a TON [...]

806, 2021

How to Stay Productive and Organized for Musicians

By |June 8th, 2021|Categories: Inspiration, Personal Development|

Did you know that if music creators develop their business skills they are more likely to succeed in music and be happy?  As Eleven's Steve Banik discusses today, staying organized is a big part of that. How to Stay Productive and OrganizedIf you’re like me, you might sometimes have trouble getting organized to keep your music business productive and profitable. We’re creatives, so we prefer to create rather than enter receipts, [...]

705, 2021

Know Your Why: Start with a Personal Development Plan

By |May 7th, 2021|Categories: Inspiration, Personal Development|

"Many musicians find it hard to develop their music career professionally because their “real lives” and the complexities of the music industry have gotten in the way. When musicians stop learning and investing in themselves, they hurt their chances of succeeding in their career." Maybe you read that first paragraph and thought "sure, but what does that have to do with Eleven?".  This paragraph is a part of Eleven's [...]

704, 2021

Album vs Singles: What’s Your Music Release Strategy?

By |April 7th, 2021|Categories: Marketing Your Band, Your Band Your Business|

In today’s rapid content, easy-streaming/consumption-from-the-cloud climate, what’s a better music release strategy: albums or singles?   Music Release Strategy #1: The Storytelling Nature of Albums Albums are still important when you have something to say as an artist via a collection of songs that have cohesion. If you’re inspired to create such a collection, and you think it will resonate with your audience, then you should pursue that.   Music Release [...]

1203, 2021

Musician Mental Health Check: Take Time For Yourself Daily

By |March 12th, 2021|Categories: Music Industry, Your Band Your Business|

Digital Workload and Mental Health I recently read an interview in Tape Op about the producer of the band Fugazi.  He spoke about their photographer transitioning from film to digital, allowing for thousands of photos to be captured at each shoot.  That change meant that the new enemy (from the photographer’s point of view) was the difficulty in committing to a change.  With thousands of digital photos to choose [...]

902, 2021

Looking for a Band Manager? Think Again Before You Delegate The Work

By |February 9th, 2021|Categories: Music Industry, Your Band Your Business|

Occasionally we will get asked by a musician or band if we are a management company or where they might be able to find one. We tend to answer their question with another question: What makes you think you need a manager? A good manager will open doors in terms of connections and opportunities that lead to more revenue for you from your musical craft. Doors that you would [...]

601, 2021

Song Royalties for Beginners: Are you Getting Paid what you’re Owed?

By |January 6th, 2021|Categories: Marketing Your Band, Your Band Your Business|

Before we jump in, I have two questions for you: When your song is used by someone else, are you getting paid for it? If you’re not, how would you even know? These are tough questions to answer. Sometimes it’s not clear how your music is being used, even when a contract is signed by both parties. For example, are you retaining 100% of your writer’s share? How much publishing [...]

512, 2020

SMART Goals for Musicians: Where is Your Career Going?

By |December 5th, 2020|Categories: Marketing Your Band, Your Band Your Business|

Recent articles from Eleven and the Amplifier focused on a few basic marketing tactics you should refine. This month, we're going to try something different: Setting the GPS on your music career and setting goals for musicians and bands. Think about this for a minute: Where you currently are is POINT A (Starting Point). Your music career journey is the blue line that your vehicle follows. Your vision of [...]

2011, 2020

Why Are You Still Wondering How to Get Signed to a Label?

By |November 20th, 2020|Categories: Marketing Your Band, Music Industry, Your Band Your Business|

The music industry landscape has changed drastically over the past 15+ years.  It’s pretty much unrecognizable from the music industry that I grew up with through high school.  So why hasn’t the mindset of the musicians Googling “How to Get Signed to a Label?” changed as fast?  For those seeking a musical path to stardom, it sounds to me that the majority of bands still see “getting signed” as Nirvana [...]

311, 2020

Social Media for Musicians: How to Best Use Social Media for your Music Career

By |November 3rd, 2020|Categories: Marketing Your Band, Your Band Your Business|

In our last article we talked about having a digital “home base” that you own, a website and the importance of constantly collecting interested fans to add to your email list. Another communication layer to add is social media. This is important because using social media for musicians' careers offers a method of quick communications that can either be narrowly targeted or widely distributed online, on a regular (daily) [...]

110, 2020

Band Website Required: Why Musicians Should Have a Home Online

By |October 1st, 2020|Categories: Marketing Your Band, Your Band Your Business|

Having a digital “home base” that you own (not borrowed, like your Facebook Page or Instagram) is vital. Your band website is an "always on, always available, always working for you" place for your fans and music industry contacts to easily find you, listen to your music, watch your videos, sign up on your email list, and directly contact you. Social media is necessary too, but your own website [...]

1303, 2020

Ways to Earn Money Beyond Live Performances (during tough times)

By |March 13th, 2020|Categories: Your Band Your Business|

Musicians are primarily gig workers. They string together numerous gigs to create a full-time income. When something like the recent coronavirus outbreak threatens musicians’ livelihood (i.e. live performances being cancelled), it’s wise to have other ways to earn income. […]

1512, 2014

Crowdfunding 101 For Musicians

By |December 15th, 2014|Categories: Marketing Your Band, Your Band Your Business|

You’re in a band, which means you have no money. Ah, the eternal joke…but it’s true, of course. Those expensive instruments you bought certainly weren’t free. The thousand-watt amp that the neighbors constantly complain about was not purchased at a Wal-Mart for a low, low price. And instead of going to law school, or learning to be an investment banker, you spent your formative years learning how to play “Stairway [...]

2011, 2014

DIY: Making a Live DVD (Part 3)

By |November 20th, 2014|Categories: Marketing Your Band, Your Band Your Business|

Today we come to the final article on DIY DVD production. If my first two articles didn’t scare you away – congratulations! You’re an official DIY badass, or perhaps slightly delusional. In either case, you now have excellent video and audio from your event. It went off without a hitch – all your fans have been talking for weeks about the giant rotating drum kit and the chorus of belly [...]

2810, 2014

Making a Live DVD – DIY! Part Two

By |October 28th, 2014|Categories: Marketing Your Band, Your Band Your Business|

In our last article, we talked about the video aspect of creating a live DVD for your band. Now we’re going to talk about something that hopefully all of you musicians out there have experience with – audio! Today we’ll be talking about how to capture the amazing live audio to complement your amazing live video! […]

3009, 2014

Making a Live DVD – DIY! Part One

By |September 30th, 2014|Categories: Marketing Your Band, Your Band Your Business|

All right all you insatiable DIYers out there, I’m about to hit you with the ULTIMATE in DIY projects for your band. No, not a mechanical fire-breathing dragon. No, not an automatic autotune machine for your singer. I am, of course, talking about the ultimate in luxury items for your merch booth – the LIVE DVD. […]

2907, 2014

When Should You Give Up? (Hint: Never?!)

By |July 29th, 2014|Categories: Inspiration|

“We know what you want to accomplish. We may even know how you’d like everything to turn out.  The real question ends up being– what are you willing to push through any dips for– what are you willing to stand up for, bleed for, commit to, and sometimes be unreasonable about because you want it so much?  It is what’s actually going to get done.” […]

807, 2014

Sharing Rehearsal Space: It Is Everyone’s, and It Is No One’s

By |July 8th, 2014|Categories: Music Industry, Your Band Your Business|

The idea of mixing business with pleasure, through the oft-needed shared work space, came up recently during a discussion with two friends in NYC. He currently shares with other like-minded custom furniture builders without a problem. She no longer shares with other musicians due to the multitude of bad situations she kept finding herself in. […]

107, 2014

The Top 10 Music Industry Blogs You Should be Reading

By |July 1st, 2014|Categories: Music Industry|

I’ll be the first one to admit, compiling top lists like this is never easy and subject to author bias and reader criticism.  However, I’m still gonna go for it.  And that’s only because I’m putting this disclaimer here and letting you fantastically awesome people tell me what else I might have overlooked or should not have included in the comments on this article.  We good?  Aight, let’s do this. [...]

306, 2014

The Madison Artist’s Complete Guide to the 2014 MAMAs Red Carpet Experience

By |June 3rd, 2014|Categories: Madison Area Music Awards|

As most of you who live in Madison know, the Madison Area Music Awards, or MAMAs, are held late spring, early summer at the Overture Center.  This year the MAMAs are on Sunday, June 22.  The theater doors open and the Red Carpet Experience kick off at 6:00pm and the curtain rises at 7:00pm. […]

1305, 2014

Springboard to Fame? Why Festivals may still be Worth the Trip

By |May 13th, 2014|Categories: Music Industry, Your Band Your Business|

Dreaming about getting your band on a festival ticket where your music will get heard by those in the industry who may be able to help? Well, read on as we are pleased to share this guest blog from Mike with the hard-working band Sunspot. He explains what keeps luring them back to one of the biggest music gatherings in the country. It may just make you want to go, [...]

605, 2014

The Revenue You May Be Missing Out On

By |May 6th, 2014|Categories: Your Band Your Business|

As a new band starting out, you might immediately think that there are only a couple of ways to earn extra revenue.  Between that and the fact that people around you are telling you to give up the musical dream and get a real job, you might think that music will never be an actual job.  But I have good news for you: music IS a real job, and those [...]

2904, 2014

Google Apps MotherF#@$%, do you speak it? – Part 2

By |April 29th, 2014|Categories: Marketing Your Band, Your Band Your Business|

This week is a continuation of our last post on managing your band using free online resources. If you haven’t read the last post, then go check it out before reading this article, as some of the topics we’ll be discussing this time will be cross-referenced here. […]

2204, 2014

Are Fans Your Band’s Friends or Foes? (Part 1)

By |April 22nd, 2014|Categories: Fan Engagement|

There’s a recent music-related survey (Yes, ask anyone who knows me, I actually enjoy tearing apart the results of almost any type of survey) and it asked hundreds of people linked with the entertainment industry to answer one basic question: what do you believe is the most important thing for any band or artist to do? […]

1804, 2014

Hang Your Stockings! It’s Record Store Day!

By |April 18th, 2014|Categories: Local Music News, Music Industry|

Each year, people in the record store industry have looked forward to that special time in April when the jolly man comes down their chimney and fills their stockings with all sorts of gifts and goodies.  This year, that man is no other than Public Enemy’s very own Chuck D.  And just for the record (pun intended), this has nothing to do with Christmas.  It’s the third Saturday of April: [...]

104, 2014

Google Apps MotherF#@$%, do you speak it? – Part 1

By |April 1st, 2014|Categories: Marketing Your Band, Your Band Your Business|

Unless you’re very rich, or very lucky, as the leader of your band, you’ll also be the manager, secretary, booking agent, and public relations contact. You might also be writing songs, writing lyrics, and communicating with your fans on a regular basis. That’s a lot of jobs, and that’s a lot of work! I get asked all the time – “Fang, how do you do it?” Thankfully, there’s an easy [...]

2503, 2014

Your Music as a Business at Tax Time

By |March 25th, 2014|Categories: Your Band Your Business|

“Apart from death and taxes, the other thing certain in this life is that I’ll never be a fashion icon.”   – Iron Maiden Lead Singer Bruce Dickinson A bit of humor as we dive into the timely topic of taxes. April 15th is looming on the calendar, and since I’m a deadline driven type (for better or worse!) the conversation is just beginning with our own tax consultant. […]

1803, 2014

Why You Should Keep Licensing and Royalty Management In-House

By |March 18th, 2014|Categories: Music Industry, Your Band Your Business|

With all the discussion about tackling the music business on your own and choosing not to get signed by the existing industry, it’s hard to keep the two separate.  There is plenty of overlap in several subjects that pertain to both the mainstream and independent industries.  The one thing that most people say you should leave to the mainstream is your royalties and licensing. I personally would beg to differ [...]

1103, 2014

Do you look like a band?

By |March 11th, 2014|Categories: Marketing Your Band|

Picture your favorite five bands at the heyday of their popularity. Now, for the sake of argument, let’s put them all in a big bowl, cover the bowl, and have the giant robot from Queen’s News of the World album shake them all up. Could you have a friend who knows nothing about any of the bands in question put the bands back together, just based on what they look [...]

2502, 2014

SXSW: The Ultimate Guide to Representing your Band and Brand

By |February 25th, 2014|Categories: Marketing Your Band, Music Industry|

It’s almost March, and if you’re in the music industry, you know what time it is: South by Southwest (SXSW) time!  As many bands make the annual trek to Austin to either perform or promote, we thought it would be a good idea to put together a guide that covers some important things to remember when representing yourself, your band, your business and your music to fans and industry professionals, [...]

402, 2014

9 Essential Tips for Kick Ass Band Posters

By |February 4th, 2014|Categories: Marketing Your Band|

So you’re a newer band on the Madison scene, and you want to start making a name for yourself. You’re going to want to let people know that you exist, and that they should come see you play! So what’s a band leader to do? Spam facebook? Start an email chain (“Send this event invite to 5 friends or you’ll DIE UNHAPPY AND ALONE!!”)? […]




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