Music Marketing for the DIY Musician

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Business Basics for Musicians

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Advice > Question Of The Moment

Question Of The Moment




My question to you, is do you know of ay resources that link up lyricist songwriters with musical songwriters? My main strengths are my lyrics, vocals, harmonies, arrangements and the like. While I use to be able to pound out a rough draft of the tune, I lost a good deal of the information stored in my brain on 09/11. I am a survivor who watched-and should have been hit by the fuselage- while my sister (and my soul-mate) was blown up by the second plane. While I have recovered very well, thanks to Jesus, I still lack the short term memory that linked into all of my instrumental skills, as primitive as they had been.







Wow. Tough question. Finding a writing partner is like finding a girlfriend or boyfriend (husband/Wife). Since writing comes from a personal and emotional place, you really have to find someone you vibe with and who is willing to put in the time and passion.


The best way to find someone like this is by getting out there and networking at local music business classes and songwriter evens in your area. Getting to know folks online could work since you could share music files and ideas over the Internet, but be careful about working with just anyone. You don't want to find you've been communicating with some phony who stops emailing after a few songs are done.


Or, you could just flat out pay someone in your area you respect to write with you and then pay them on a work for hire basis.


Last, you could find a local producer who believes in you and is willing to work with you and invest his time. 


Or, you could flat out pay a producer to help you write and record material on a paid work for hire basis.


I admire your courage given your recent tragedy. You sound strong, but I will pray for you in any case.


Smiles for miles.






Sideman Wages For Touring

Hey Bobby, I recently picked up your Musicians Handbook Revised.  I've found it very useful since I'm starting to get a lot of pop/rock sideman work in NYC including the opportunity to tour with a major label hopeful. My question is: What do you think is a good weekly rate to ask for, for touring? 


Hey Daniel, thanks for picking up a copy of The Musician’s Handbook Revised. You’ve taken the first step in treated your career more like a business. Be sure to take it along with you on the road for reference.


Check out Chapter Three in The Musician’s Handbook called "How To Negotiate Your Employment Agreement.


The wages you can expect from employers that have larger budgets will naturally be much greater than the compensation offered from employers with limited budgets.


When negotiating your fee, take notice of the strength of the record company for whom you’re recording, the capacity of the venue in which you are playing, the time of year in which you’re working, and the length of the tour on which you may be embarking.


Consider other factors as well: How much work will you be giving up to take on a new job? What are your personal monthly bills? How much will you net after your basic expenses? How long will you be able to survive financially after the completion of a tour? I also suggest you also contact the appropriate musician’s union, refer to the minimum scale wages, and use these as a starting point to negotiate your fee.


Unions can be found in Chapter of The Musician’s Handbook Revised.


Good luck.



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