MUSIC BUSINESS: Five New Year's Resolutions


These New Year's Resolutions are great for any year. Now that the music industry has changed so much we, as independent musicians, have to take matters into our own hands. You could start implementing them right now.

These five New Year's Resolutions will help you create a new exciting, performing experience for this happy new year and all the years to come. You might want to add to our suggestions. We hope you do. Right now is the perfect time to discover just how good you can be. If you are a single independent musician please just adapt these for your use. They work for everybody.

Here they are:

  • #1 ~ Make sure you have all the Press Kit material you need. Here is a list of must-have items: a recent demo or your latest CD, a small brochure with band member bios, band photos. There is a lot of help on the Internet to help complete these issues. We recommend starting with Disc Makers.
  • #2 ~ Find and approach three new venues every week. It doesn't matter whether you get a gig with them or not. What does matter is that they will have met you, possibly listened to your demo or at least you have left your brochure with them. By the end of this year, there will be about 144 venues who will know you exist.
  • #3 ~ Have a Development Meeting every quarter with the members of your band.* Make decisions about such things as increasing rehearsals for a particular reason, i.e. learning new music, tightening up existing music, tweaking your style. Brainstorm about what is unique about your band and what you can do to capitalize on it, etc. etc. You can use this meeting to hash-out any problems that anyone is having too. Discussing sensitive issues with all the members is a better solution to most problems than simply complaining or going around angry.
  • *For those of you who are very new to the business approach; each three month time span is called a Quarter, in the business world, which is what you would be entering now.

  • #4 ~ Use Indie Rider and Press Release Templates to get used to doing things in a business-like manner.
  • #5 ~ Make friendly, short, in-person follow-up calls with recent venues where you have performed. Probably just one or two band members can do this. Tell them what you enjoyed about doing the gig and ask them if they have any feedback for you. You are not necessarily asking for suggestions so you can make you performance better, although they may make suggestions. You can give the ones that sound right some consideration. However, the main point of the follow-up is to re-enforce your connection with them for the future.

  • If you are dead serious and want to become more involved is the music business this is what the Berklee School of Music has to say about their business courses.

    "The business and creative sides of the music business are inextricably linked – no matter how proficient you are creatively, you need to think and operate like a business in order to remain successful. Music-related legal matters on a regular basis affect careers: from artist contracts, recording and music publishing agreements to copyright law, name protection and business organization. Legal Aspects of the Music Business examines all the legal issues artists, musicians, engineers, and producers encounter when building their careers, and presents a focused look at the important legal changes that have evolved as a result of the shift in the music business landscape."

    The Berklee School of Music is considered to be one of the top music schools around. They are located in Boston, MA. But, you don't have to go to Boston. They have online classes if you are interested in getting an education from an accredited music school. Berklee is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. Here's another quote from their website that will tell you how great they are, "With a diverse and talented student body representing 96 countries, and alumni who have collectively won more than 250 Grammys and Latin Grammys, Berklee is the world's premier learning lab for the music of today and tomorrow."