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FISHINABOX: Taiji Cove an Environmental Documentary performed in DUBSTEP

TAIJI COVE coverThis month has seen a massive amount of political music hitting the subculture scene across the pond. The most attention grabbing being TAIJI COVE due for release in February by Fishinabox Records.

This album blows the lid off the Japanese Dolphin and Whale-hunting scams and has become a hot ticket in a number of London protests against Japan. We got hold of a spokesman at FISHINABOX who admitted the Album had been leaked early to demonstrators and organisations working to bring an end to the Japanese Dolphin and Whale business.

The Album was heard in the very heart of London Oxford Street, China Town, Trafalgar Square being played by protesters on portable speakers by our MusicBiz reporter.

A large number of supporters on the Jan 17th Demonstration were seen wearing the Album logo’s, Maisie Williams who plays Arya Stark in the hit TV series Game of Thrones was spotted holding a FISHINABOX T Shirt in Trafalgar Square among other up and coming environmentalists and protesters.

TAIJI COVE VALANTINES DISC black CMYKWe caught up with Andie Handei Kumafaro, Horn and Keyboard player for the underground label in Trafalgar Square. He declined a full interview with the Music Biz over the Album Project but commented “The most part of what we do is really just about spreading the message. As a music collective we try to stay anonymous and in the shadows where we belong when compared to the issues at hand. let the album speak for itself, if you are looking for speakers then real credit on this should lie with those representing the organizing Charities and Ric O’Barry’s work, Will Travers for the Born Free Foundation and Dominic Dyer for Care for the Wild who have really clarified the issues here today”.

FISHINABOX had held up release of the Album commercially for over a month to allow it for unlimited download, sharing and use in Demonstration actions by protesters. The protests, from the FISHINABOX Website schedule, should complete within the next couple of weeks.

Look out for this mind blowing release from FISHINABOX Mid February, raw but definitely worth a look, The Music Biz rate’s this Album rating 8/10

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Why do musicians always feel disappointed about their career?

By Tommy Darker. The essay was originally published in The Musicpreneur on Medium.

I was at a gig last night and I saw three amazing bands rocking out the stage and making people dance very hard. Note: it’s London, normally people don’t dance that hard.

The sad realization I made is that none of these bands actually makes money. Isn’t it sad? The band entertains you, makes you feel great, you pay the bar for drinks, but the musician gets nothing of monetary nature.

That brought an avalanche of thoughts and I started jotting them down! I quickly came down to 6 main reasons of failure, which you’ll definitely relate with (if you’re a musician).


Note: this order IS hierarchical. In other words, if you haven’t solved issue #1, don’t try to solve #3.

Let’s go.

1. Lack of focus on a specific goal and vision.

“If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there.” Lewis Carroll

Instead of blaming the system, musicians should blame themselves for not knowing where they’re going and having ambivalent goals.

A solo artist needs a long-term goal to focus on and a grander vision to accomplish. A band—to make matters more complicated—needs to maintain a mutual and clear route for all the 3-4-5 members that constitute it. Everybody needs to agree.

If you don’t, don’t blame the audience when you hear the phrase:

“You’re good, but you sound/look like (name other—probably well-known—artist)”

That is, you don’t stand out. Because you haven’t spend any time to refine what art means to you, who you are and why you’re different from the others.

And I don’t mean you need to be enormously ambitious to have focus on a goal. It’s good enough to say: “I will be the busker that all the people of Camden (neighbourhood of London) will talk about.”

2. They suck at communication.

Ok, let’s not hide behind our fingers. If you do have a vision, I guarantee that nobody will know about it if you haven’t communicated it properly to the world.

You can communicate a message in two ways: with words and with actions.

Speaking about actions, let me just drop some food for thought (and the hungry Musicpreneurs will get it):

The quality and nature of one’s vision is appraised according to the perception created by the context, the consistency and the progress of the visible bit of the vision.

All three must be present. In humanese: how do you expect someone to be convinced of your grand vision when you keep playing in bars and open mic nights all the time? Nobody says you don’t have a great plan behind it, but if people don’t see the signs to keep up with it, you’ve lost them forever. And that’s because of the bad communication on your part.

Actions speak loud, however copywriting is a forgotten but essential art for artists. As about verbal communication, I stated:

“Always try to build a bond and relationships that go through YOU, not through your band’s name or profile.

Everyone might be able to ignore a band’s music, but nobody can ignore the fiery passion and vision of a PERSONALITY. This is what you should sell them. Everybody’s got good music.

In other words, if you’re a charismatic communicator, this quality will rub off on your artistic profile as well. If you don’t have this inclination, work on it and become a great verbal communicator.

3. Has anyone heard of persistence?

The vision is there, you feel confident and you got some great people supporting you. But you are on the verge of giving up.

Persistence is the key. Which part of this sentence don’t you understand?

You constantly consider giving up because you haven’t tasted the corn yet after months of harvesting. It’s alright, keep harvesting. Adding value is not a race. It’s a life-long process.

The rewards will come sooner or later. It seems you still have steps to do, you’re not there yet. How can you expect to reach the goal if you haven’t executed all the steps? That’s unnatural, dude!

An example (for you to face reality):

What would the value of Ferrari be without years of persistence to build a luxury brand, which is valued according to its durability in time? Wouldn’t it be stupid (and funny) for Enzo Ferrari to say ‘it’s too hard, I quit’, while building something that exceptional?

An advice (for you to feel better):

Do you want to feel better and quit less often? Keep following the vision you have in mind, but slice it in small, measurable and attainable sub-goals, which will help you be accountable to yourself, boost your confidence and will give you shots of gratification to keep going.

And do you want to hear the harsh truth?

Nobody owes you a living and you need to go after it. With persistence.


4. Tools are there. Know-how isnt.

Yes, I’m saying that most musicians don’t know how to use the vast majority of tools available to them. That’s sad, so much potential goes to waste.

I’m not implying that all tools out there are relevant and useful to every musician. But when you combine strategically and skillfully some of them, you can effortlessly and cheaply create a system that will vigorously work on your behalf. Think beyond Bandcamp and Soundcloud, this is not all there is.

This is the power of the web, it shouldn’t go wasted. Especially if you have laid a coherent plan, talent and persistence on the table, the next step is the investment in knowledge. Knowing how and why.

You won’t get far without having a clear overview of the media world and the related industries that comprise it. You need to be sure where you stand in this map, and that only comes with knowledge. Some of the tools that I found most useful have nothing to do with musicians. And this is where the treasure is hidden, you cannot spot it unless you’ve build a media world map in your head. Oh Lord, how creative can this process be! You can’t imagine.

Investing in bodies of knowledge indirectly connected with the music industry is the way to go.

What kind of knowledge? A few examples: how startups work, psychology of copywriting, neuromarketing, design, how perception is formed and so on. A musician in the future will need to know about all these topics why not invest in the future today?


5. Business model: whats yours?

Here’s where most heads will get scratched. But this is where the root of all evil lies.

Most musicians have no business model at all or just—badly—clone existing ones. (Because this is what others do)

What a business model is NOT, to begin with:

A business model is not how you make people spend more money on what you do.

What a business model is (my favorite definition):

A business model describes how you create, deliver and capture value (economic, social, cultural or other).

In other words, you might not sell anything, but you need to have a business model! Even non-profits, whose purpose is to deliver value, need a business model. This way, they organize how they deliver that value to the world and survive in an economic environment (because everybody needs some money to sustain what they do).

What happened here? Did the hateful attitude towards the word ‘business’ reverse? Yes it did.

Business is any operation that requires some form of transaction to progress. As a musician, you’re transacting (a lot): emotions, music, experiences, products, money.

Read the Business Model Generation (a book worth buying) to get a full idea of how you can organize your assets and activities, offer more value, balance costs and revenue to make a profit. Organize, offer value, make profit. Splendid!

Having a solid vision, knowing how to translate it in words for the real world, knowing how not to quit and arming with knowledge. Assemble all that under the umbrella of a business model.

This is your part. Lots of things to sort out. You’re alone up to that point. But soon you’ll need external help. #6 it is.

6. Everyone needs some budget to get things done.

This is the #1 excuse of a musician, but in reality it’s the least important factor when it comes to building strong foundations as a band-business.

Money will be used to scale up, not to build something exceptional. I’m a big fan of bootstrapping and experimenting, just like the lean startup framework suggests. The more you experiment and play small, the more chances that you’ll create something truly exceptional.

Money is not a part of this equation. Despite the fact that most musicians think it is. Money will bring money (aka it will be used to scale up something that already makes money).

So, stop thinking about how you can fund something, start building something minimal that stands out instead. Cliché? Hell, can’t be truer.

Money is a multiplier, not a foundation.

What will you need money for?

To create a team around your project and compensate them for their time, to develop some concepts that require a budget, to use publicity services.

Where will you find that money?

1. Kickstart the well-defined project you’ve planned. You must have created some traction and gained some fans, right?

2. Find an angel investor to fund you. You’ll be accountable to them and that’s an extra motivation force. Your ‘product’ needs to be investable and scalable for Angels to be attracted. Keep in mind Bruce Warila’s articles.

3. Borrow that money. You believe much in your project, don’t you? That means you won’t be afraid to get in debt to pursue it.

What do I do next, Tommy?

Alright, hopefully you’ve read the whole article. What do you do now? How does this translate in the real music world?

Re-evaluate who you are and why you create art. What is the outcome you want: legacy, money, fame, freedom? Prioritize things and mainly focus on the number one. You can’t have it all (or at least focus on all of them on simultaneously). I focus on freedom and then legacy.

Arm yourself with knowledge. It has never been so fun and easy to learn and pursue what you want. But the good resources of knowledge are floating in a vast web. Some free, high quality knowledge sources can be found in Coursera, Udacity, edX, KhanAcademy, ArtistHouseMusic, while great paid courses can be found on Udemy and Skillshare.

Start transforming from a hobbyist to a Musicpreneur. Start with this course on how to build a Band as a Business and a more advanced on How to Build a Startup (both are free). Follow my updates on Think Beyond The Band and read my extended report about the Musicpreneur. Watch the videos of Darker Music Talks.

Stop thinking about money. Release yourself from those thoughts. Money for scaling up comes last.

“The best way to maximize profits over the long term is not to make them the primary goal of the business” John Mackey

Go lean and experiment to find the perfect business model! The reality is I cannot give you specific advice on how to become successful and make money, because there is no universal solution yet. That’s good, only the serious Musicpreneurs will make a living, nobody owes you one! Start learning about the lean thinking and create a business model that suits your integrity. Again, this book is a must and a foundation.

For more essays like this as soon as they’re published, how should I contact you to stay in touch?

I love starting conversations. If you share the same mindset, find me on Facebook and Twitter and let’s talk!

I’m Tommy Darker, the writing alter ego of an imaginative independent musician. I started ‘Think Beyond The Band because I feel proud of what I’ve accomplished so far and I like helping other fellow musicians that struggle with the same problems.


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25 notable musicians who died in 2013

By Andre Calilhanna

Echoes pays tribute to 25 of the music icons, music industry contributors, and legendary musicians who died in 2013

  • Leroy “Sugarfoot” Bonner
    Lead singer and guitarist with the Ohio Players – died 1/26/13 of cancer
    The Ohio Players fused rock, soul, funk, and R&B and scored numerous hits in the 1970s after Leroy Bonner assumed vocal duties, including “Love Rollercoaster,” “Fire,” “Skin Tight,” and “Funky Worm.”
  • 02 Patty AndrewsPatty Andrews
    Singer in The Andrews Sisters – died 1/30/13 of natural causes at the age of 94
    The last of the three sisters to pass, Patty Andrews sang lead on a number of the group’s hits. The Andrews Sisters are largely identified as boosters of World War II (and their single “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy”). The group was the most successful female vocal group in the first half of the 20th century, boasting as many as 113 charting singles between 1938-1951.
  • 03 Reg PresleyReg Presley
    Singer with The Troggs – died 2/4/13 of lung cancer
    Best remembered for 1966’s classic “Wild Thing,” The Troggs enjoyed more success in their native England than they did in the US. Reg Presley was a key to the band’s success, and other notable songs include “Love Is All Around,” “With a Girl Like You,” “Night of the Long Grass,” and “I Can’t Control Myself,” which garnered opposition from conservative radio at the time.
  • 04 Rick HuxleyRick Huxley
    Bassist for the Dave Clark Five – died 2/11/13 after suffering from emphysema
    At the forefront of the British Invasion, the Dave Clark Five’s “Glad All Over” was the single to knock the Beatles’ “I Want To Hold Your Hand” off the top of the British charts. Other hits featuring Rick Huxley on bass included “Glad All Over,” “Bits And Pieces,” and “Everybody Knows.”
  • 05 Cleotha StaplesCleotha Staples
    Singer with The Staple Singers – died 2/21/13 following a prolonged battle with Alzheimer’s
    From blues, gospel, folk, to funk, The Staple Singers traveled through styles in their career, landing numerous hits between 1967 and 1981 from songs that include “I’ll Take You There,” and “Do it Again.” Cleotha Staples sang along with her father (Pops), brother Pervis, and sisters Mavis and Yvonne.
  • 06 Alvin LeeAlvin Lee
    Solo artist and leader of Ten Years After – died 3/6/13 of complications from surgery
    Formed in 1967, Ten Years After and Alvin Lee‘s blues guitar playing came to prominence in the US after their performance at Woodstock. The British blues/rock quartet’s signature songs include 1969’s “Love Like A Man” and 1971’s “I’d Love To Change The World.”
  • 07 Clive BurrClive Burr
    Drummer for Iron Maiden – died in his sleep 3/12/13
    Clive Burr played drums on the first three Iron Maiden albums, Iron Maiden, Killers, and Number of the Beast – the latter often cited among the greatest metal albums of all time.
  • 08 Bobbie SmithBobbie Smith
    Singer in The Spinners – died 3/16/13 from complications of pneumonia and influenza
    The Spinners, who formed as a doo wop group in the ’50s, reached their height as the biggest soul group of the ’70s. Bobbie Smith, an original member, sang lead on The Spinners’ first single, “That’s What Girls Are Made For” in 1961. He also sang lead on several of the Spinners’ ’70s hits, including “I’ll Be Around” and “Could It Be I’m Falling in Love.”
  • 09 Robert ZildjianRobert Zildjian
    Founder of the Sabian cymbal company – died 3/28 after a battle with cancer
    Robert Zildjian, son of Avedis Zildjian (founder of the Avedis Zildjian Company), learned the secrets of cymbal making from his father. After he and his brother Armand feuded over the company’s management, Robert founded the Sabian cymbal company in 1981.
  • 10 Phil RamonePhil Ramone
    Record producer and music industry maverick – died 3/30 after suffering an aortic aneurysm
    Phil Ramone won eight Grammy awards as a record producer, emerging from trusted engineer to a major pop producer in the ’80s working with Billy Joel. He opened his A&R Recording studio in 1961, and his list of credits is long, working with artists such as Joel, Paul McCartney, Paul Simon, Kenny Loggins, Barbara Streisand, Barry Manilow, and Frank Sinatra (to name only a few). He won his Producer of the Year Grammy in 1980.
  • 11 Andy JohnsAndy Johns
    Engineer and record producer – died 4/7 of a bleeding ulcer
    Andy Johns‘ list of credits as an engineer and/or producer begins in the late ’60s, working with Free, Led Zeppelin, and the Rolling Stones, and continues through to this decade, having worked with the likes of Eric Johnson and Joe Satriani.
  • 12 Cordell MossonCordell “Boogie” Mosson
    Bassist for Parliament and Funkadelic – died 4/18 of liver failure
    A prominent contributor to albums by both Funkadelic and Parliament from 1972-1980, Cordell “Boogie” Mosson was the bassist for Parliament-Funkadelic after Bootsy Collins went solo. Mosson was among the fifteen members of Parliament-Funkadelic inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997.
  • 13 Richie HavensRichie Havens
    Folk singer, guitarist – died 4/22 of a heart attack
    Richie Havens’ career as a folk singer started in Greenwich Village in 1965, and his career took off after he opened the Woodstock festival in 1969. He maintained a rigorous international touring schedule and released over 25 records in a career that spanned over 30 years.
  • 14 George JonesGeorge Jones
    Country music star – died 4/26 of hypoxic respiratory failure
    George Jones is heralded for having one of the finest voices in the history of country music, and his long and storied musical and personal history is filled with hits, misses, addiction, and multiple marriages. Notable among his hits are “He Stopped Loving Her Today,” “Choices,” and “Golden Ring,” one of the many songs he recorded with his third wife, country star Tammy Wynette.
  • 15 Jeff HannemanJeff Hanneman
    Guitarist, co-founder, and songwriter for Slayer – died 5/2 of liver failure
    Jeff Hanneman formed Slayer with fellow guitarist Kerry King in 1982, and the band went on to garner a huge and hard-core fan base with the release of 1986’s Reign In Blood. The band’s blend of speed and aggression never faltered, with new releases spanning 1982-2010.
  • 16 Cedric BrooksCedric Brooks
    Jamaican saxophonist and flautist – died 5/3 of cardiac arrest
    Cedric “Im” Brooks was a Jamaican saxophonist and flautist known for his solo recordings and as a member of The Mystic Revelation of Rastafari, The Sound Dimensions, The Light of Saba, and The Skatalites.
  • 17 Mack EmermanMack Emerman
    Founder of Criteria Recording Studios – died 5/17 of complications from pneumonia
    Mack Emerman opened Criteria Recording Studios in 1959. As many as 250 gold and platinum singles and albums were recorded at Criteria, including “Layla” (Derek and the Dominos), “I Feel Good” (James Brown), Eat a Peach (The Allman Brothers) and parts of Saturday Night Fever (Bee Gees), Rumours (Fleetwood Mac), and Hotel California (The Eagles).
  • 18 Ray ManzarekRay Manzarek
    Founding keyboardist of The Doors, solo artist, producer – died 5/20 after battling bile duct cancer
    Forming The Doors in 1965 with Jim Morrison, Ray Manzarek was the band’s musical bandleader as well as a keyboarding pioneer. After Morrison’s death in 1971, Manzarek embarked on a solo career that spanned blues, classical, rock, and punk – particularly in the LA punk scene as producer for X.
  • 19 Marvin JuniorMarvin Junior
    Singer in The Dells – died 5/29 after suffering heart and kidney problems
    Formed in 1953, the Dells started as a doo wop sextet, and spent some of their early years touring with acts such as Dinah Washington and Ray Charles. As a quintet in 1967, they were doing R&B and landed numerous hits, including “Stay in My Corner,” “Oh What a Nite,” “The Love We Had (Stays on My Mind),” and “Give Your Baby a Standing Ovation.” Marvin Junior was an original member and was with the group through their later years and releases into the 2000’s.
  • 20 Bobby BlandBobby “Blue” Bland
    Blues and soul singer – died 6/23 of natural causes
    Bobby Bland is credited as “one of the most powerful and distinctive voices in blues and R&B.” With releases that span the ’50s to the ‘00s, Bland’s highlights include “Is It Real,” “I’m Not Ashamed,” “Little Boy Blue,” and “Farther Up The Road.”
  • 21 Alan MyersAlan Myers
    Drummer for Devo – died 6/24 of stomach cancer
    The metronomic drummer behind Devo’s biggest hit, “Whip It,” Alan Myers performed with the band for a decade and recorded on its first six albums before departing in 1986.
  • 22 Jim FoglesongJim Foglesong
    Music producer and record executive – died 7/9 at the age of 90 after a brief illness
    Starting his career at Columbia Records in 1951, Jim Foglesong became president of Dot Records in Nashville in 1973, and was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2004.
  • 23 Allen LanierAllen Lanier
    Keyboardist and guitarist for Blue Oyster Cult – died 8/14 of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
    In addition to playing in Blue Oyster Cult from their debut album in 1972 through his retirement in 2006 (minus a short hiatus in the mid-’80s), Allen Lanier can be heard on notable singles including “(Don’t Fear) the Reaper,” “Godzilla,” and “Burnin’ for You.” He also contributed to landmark albums by Patti Smith (Horses, Easter, and Radio Ethiopia) and uncredited piano part on The Clash’s Give ‘Em Enough Rope.
  • 24 Phil ChevronPhil Chevron
    Singer, songwriter, guitarist from The Pogues – died 10/8 of esophageal cancer
    Irish folk punk artist Phil Chevron left a substantial body of work that includes albums with the Radiators from Space (AKA the Radiators), solo work, collaborations, and his catalog with the Pogues. Notable songs from Chevron include “Faithful Departed,” and “Thousands Are Sailing.”
  • 25 Lou ReedLou Reed
    Singer and guitarist in the Velvet Underground and solo artist – died 10/27 from liver failure
    With a career that spanned six decades, Lou Reed led the iconic Velvet Underground (“Sweet Jane,” “Rock and Roll”), had a prolific solo career (“Walk on the Wild Side,” “Satellite of Love”), and never stopped taking chances – from 1975’s double album noise fest of Metal Machine Music to Lulu, his 2011 collaboration with Metallica and last recorded work. Laurie Anderson’s farewell in Rolling Stone is a beautiful recap of their time together.

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How do I stay productive as a music composer?

By Greg Savage 

The first step toward being productive as a music composer is creating an environment and a mindset that keeps you focused and motivated

This post originally appeared on DIY Music Biz. Reposted with permission.

As a music composer, musician, or artist today, you’re equipped with everything needed for creating music: Pro Tools (or whatever DAW), tons of plug-ins, instruments, MIDI controllers, records, laptops, apps, time, etc. Heck, there’s even video tutorials that show you how to use what you have.

With all this high-end technology and “Johnny-on-the-spot” training at our finger tips, how do you avoid information overload? How can you stay productive, achieve your music career goals, and actually get some work done?

In my opinion, it all starts with preparation and lots of discipline. Here’s how I stay productive – use it, modify it, take it with a grain of salt… Do whatever you like except ignore it!

1. A Nice Hot Beverage: Tea

This is my drug of choice. For many a music composer, it’s coffee, alcohol, comfort food, or maybe even some sort of recreational drug(s). With me, it’s tea, and I drink several cups throughout my sessions.

I like tea because It doesn’t get me all hopped up or make me feel lethargic. Tea balances and relaxes me and overall, helps set the mood. I’m not sure if this all in my head, but it sure does the trick. My grandmother rattled on for years about the health benefits tea offers, she was all about herbal beverages and what not. I won’t go into that here – unless you’re interested of course…

2. Clean Work Environment (Workstation)

I’ve always found it hard to create when my music workspace was a mess. I think this stems back to my childhood. I never got over the “me, my, and mine” phase. “Greg this house is MESS!” … “Em, uh, my room is clean.” Even in relationships, I’m the same way. The whole place could be a mess, but my workspace, gaming area, and other areas where I create are clean.

The same goes for my computer’s desktop: if it’s cluttered, I wont be getting any work done.

3. No Internet Connection

First off, I love the Internet – I don’t know what I’d do without it. Right now, roughly 95% of my business is conducted via the interwebs. All the negotiating, contracts, file delivery and payment processing, all of that happens online.

When it comes to creating music, it’s a different story: the Internet becomes my worst enemy. Instead of working as a music composer, I could easily spend hours checking emails, studying analytics on my websites, doing research, and all sorts of unnecessary business work. It’s madness, so the only way for me to be productive is to stay clear of the Internet when I’m trying to work.

4. Comfortable Clothing

Really? Yea, gotta dress appropriately for my environment and I have to be comfortable at the same time. If I’m working from home, it’s pjs, and if I’m heading off to a recording studio, it’s jeans (or khakis), a short sleeved shirt, and Chuck Taylors. I’m very simple.

I’ve tried the whole business look, it doesn’t work for me. In fact, it’s hard for me to connect with music industry professionals who wear business suits and ties. I don’t know what it is, just feels like I’m conversing with a facade.

I expect this attire at a record label, law firm, etc., but c’mon, you don’t need to go out in the field or recording studio like that. Just my opinion: short rant over.

5. Mind Mapping, Plans, Ideas, and Goals

I’m a firm believer in goal setting and, I don’t mean just writing them down, I mean breaking the goal(s) down systematically.

Anyone can voice or write down a goal, but without the proper layout/plan of action, nothing gets done. I normally start out with sticky notes, one idea per note, and onto my computer monitor it goes (around the edges). Once my monitor gets cluttered (usually eight sticky notes or so), I take the notes one by one, and start building my mind map. One idea per note, one note per map. Once the mind mapping is complete, I take action, one section at a time until the project or idea is complete, and then I move onto the next one.

6. Setting Deadlines

I thought about adding this under “Goal Setting,” but decided not to because it needs special attention.

Studies show that people without deadlines get the least amount of work done vs. people who do. Where is study? I have no idea, just sounds cool to say. Truth is most people are procrastinators and they generally don’t get anything done unless there’s a deadline attached to it. I’m one of these people and it’s the reason why I give myself 30 minutes to complete a track. It’s not because I pride myself in it or think it’s better to push tracks quickly. It’s because it keeps me disciplined and I know if I give myself 5 hours I wont actually start working until an hour or two before the deadline.

That’s three or four hours wasted! When a company gives me a project, I always short the deadline. Give me two weeks, I’ll send the project back in 10 days, one week, four days, etc. I chart everything on my spreadsheet with an earlier deadline. I’ve been me for damn near 30 years and, I know how I operate best.

Not to mention, it’s a lot easier to commit 30 minutes vs. “X” amount of hours. Call it a mind hack, self manipulation, a kick starter, whatever – it works.

When I’m done with my 30 minute idea dumps, I’m full of creative juices as well as more music and ideas to pull from when push comes to shove and a project is due.

What are some things you do to stay organized and productive?

Music workspace image via

Greg Savage is an entrepreneur from California who makes a living producing music and sound designing for various companies without the use of a record label or manager. He started DIY Music Biz because he wanted to create a reliable resource for musicians, producers, composers, and artists that would be useful regardless of their success or skill level. Topics covered on DIY Music Biz include: Marketing Music, Music Licensing, Sound Design, Gear Reviews, Personal Experiences, Income Generation, Case Studies, and much more.

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When is the right time to register with a Performance Rights Organization?

Making it in the music businessLet’s say you’ve just recorded an album and you’re ready to release it. Should you sign up with a PRO immediately? Well, you should definitely copyright your work before you do anything else. Get that out of the way so your songs are protected.

Once you’ve got the copyright stuff out of the way, you should think about what your goals are for your release. Personally, I think that if you’re releasing an album you should sign up with a PRO, even if your intention isn’t necessarily to pursue radio play or opportunities where royalties would apply. You never know what opportunities might arise and it’s, in my opinion, a good call to go ahead and have that set up before you release an album so you’re ready to go if you find yourself in a situation where a PRO is necessary. Also, the great thing abo ut a PRO is that most of them offer a lot of great member benefits and opportunities for artists and songwriters to showcase their material, so PRO membership can open up a lot of possibilities for an independent artist.

ASCAP and BMI are the two major PROs, but are not your only options. SESAC is another excellent PRO. ASCAP, SESAC, and BMI are all fantastic in terms of their reputations, and are certainly worth the membership fees. I would highly suggest signing up with a PRO and submitting music as soon as you have it ready to go. It’ll go a long way!

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