Category Archives: Music Production

30 Proven Psychological Prefixes for Producing Your 1st (or 1001st) Band

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EntreMusician’s Note: These Tips Apply ONLY to Producing Bands Other than You Own (which are fraught with their own set of zany fortuities!) Equally, This Advice May Not Work on Singers who happen to Be Solo Artists. Countless Articles have been written on Producing Up & Coming Divas; None of Which are in Agreement…These have been written to Prepare Yourself Adequately Before the Project Begins!

  1. Pray or Drink Heavily Beforehand (According to Your System of Faith)
  2. Only Talk to The Leader(s) of The Band to Decipher & Determine Goals 
  3. Do a Thorough Inventory of The Band’s Gear
  4. Know Your Own Gear Inside and Out
  5. Prepare a Flowchart of Microphones You’ll Need for the Sessions
  6. Own / Upgrade to The Most Quality Pre Amp You Can Afford
  7. Get a Non-Refundable Deposit
  8. Spend Several Days Listening to The Band’s Demos (If They Exist)
  9. See Them Perform Live
  10. Look For The Real Leader of The Band as You Witness Power Struggles
  11. Spend a Pre-Production Day Getting Great, Natural Drum Sounds
  12. Go Do Likewise with the Bassist
  13. Prepare Comprehensive Track Sheets for the Entire Session
  14. Determine the Emotional / Mental Stability of the Lead Singer and Massage It
  15. Review Your Written Production Agreement. Keep It Handy
  16. Never, Ever Use Cheap Chords
  17. Discover The Weakest Players (They’ll Be Easy To Spot Even Before Picking Up Their Axe) And Loudly Encourage Them in Front of the Others
  18. Rehearse The Band for Three Days to Get Sketch Recordings. Keep Them, You May Need to Use Them Later for Almost Anything…
  19. Help The Guitarist Decide Which Four (4) of the 27 Guitars Brought to the Session will Actually Be Necessary
  20. Create EQ & Compression Presets for Each Instrument & Vocalist
  21. Talk With The Real Band Leader and the Person You Originally Talked To and Make Sure The $$$ is Secure
  22. Learn Several Techniques that Keep Bass Players Calm and Apply Them Accordingly
  23. Vacuum Your Studio Before & After Each Session
  24. Do More Praying (or Drinking), but Not In Front of The Band
  25. Keep Your Harmonizer / Auto Tuner Ready and Active At All Times
  26. Discuss Music Theory Often with The Keyboardist in Front of the Drummer (It Makes Them Hyper Sensitive and they Play Better) 
  27. Make Sure Your Fire Extinguisher(s) Work
  28. Keep Your Hard Drives De-fragged and Uncluttered
  29. Hone Your Mediation Skills between the Real Leader and the Person You Originally Talked To When They Begin to Argue Over Absolutely Everything, Including Who Will Pay You
  30. Make Plenty of Back Ups

I was listening to “Underneath The Colours” by INXS on Vinyl while posting this 

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5 Mechanisms Which Make Mountains Out of Molehills

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Producers are Often Tasked with The Challenge of Sculpting Masterpieces Out of Minimal Talent. It’s Just the Truth. 

Often, Clients Approach You with Visions of Grandeur and Projects of Epic Proportions, but What they Actually Bring to The Table in Terms of Creativity, Skill and Experience Usually Pales in Comparison. The Contention is Amplified When the Blessed Souls Possess The Monies to Pay. In Cash. You Definitely Want to Pay The Bills, But Your Name & Rep are On The Line If You Don’t Provide Them the Record They Already Hear in Their Heads.

Sure, there is a Plethora of Technology that will Smash a Vocal into the Right Notes and Nudge the Drums into a Perfect Time Signature, but No Amount of Convolution Reverb, Compression or Wacky, Bounced Delay is Going to Compensate for a Lackluster Performance.

And it’s ALWAYS Going to Be YOUR Fault when You Playback the Take. Many Singers have Only Heard their Vocals in the Shower, Car or Garage with the Rest of their Band through Loud, Over Equalized PA Systems that Have Not Told Them the Truth. So When Your U-87 Unmercifully Reveals the Flaws and Cankers in their Nasally Throat, Prepare For War!

Many a Producer Friends I Know Cram Psychiatry on the Side, Ready to Soothe the Savages, but a Few of Us have Learned a Five Principles to Employ Prior to Pressing Record.

1. Find the Gold in the Dirt

Believe Me, It’s in There and Not So Hard to Locate, if You Know Where to Look. The Way a Word is Enunciated or a String is Unscrupulously Plucked or the Way the Drummer Smacks Her Hi-Hat Every Fifth Beat Can be Transformed into Some Interesting Accents.

2. Strip It Down

Help Your Artist Dial Down the Notions of a 72 Piece Orchestra Until They’ve Tapped into the Techniques that Make their Tunes Tick. Spend Three Days Alone with the Main Instrumentalist / Vocalist Recording & Re-Recording Their Arrangements so You Can:

a) Allow Them to Get Used to Focusing on Their Own Playing & Parts and to

b) Begin Building the Song Around Their Foundation.
3. Refuse to Baby Them

Holding a Guitarist’s hand through a Take is One Thing. Nursing them is Quite Another.

Don’t Take Attitude or Temper Tantrums Lightly. There is No Amount of Money You Can Pay Me to Eat Someone’s Crap.

Their Deposit, Minus Time Spent is Always at the Ready to Return. The Producer has been Hired to Lead the Process and Often Lives It Well After the Session is Finished. If You are in a Business where You are Recording Two or More Different Clients / Bands in One Day, You Don’t Need One Prima Dona’s Debilitated Dysfunction to leak into Your Next Session.

Worse is when You return to Mix, you’ll often find that the Messy Mood was Recorded and Can’t be Edited Out… My Ace Engineer & Friend Jerry Thompson Once Encountered a Beautiful Songbird who Sang Exquisitely, Destined to be a Future Star, but Displayed such Snotty, Condescending Behavior, We Promised God and Each Other We’d Never Work with Her Again and Haven’t.
4. Pull Out All The Stops 

It’s Highly Probable that This Session Reveals that the Challenge is Focused as Much on You As it is On Your Client. This is the Zone where You, Yourself Must Stand and Deliver. How Creative Are You? Are You Able to Massage that Subpar Bass line into a Grooving Pocket or Nudge those Nervous Sax Noodles into Ferocious Roars!

You Have The Power, Mr. & Mrs. Producer, of Patience, Persuasion & Perseverance. Remember, You’re Always Beginning with a Blank Canvas. Your Unique, Steadfast Ability to Build upon the Blocks Given You is the Real Magic that Turns Songs into Standards.

5. Always Tell The Truth 

Sometimes, The Musicians, Singers or the Song Just Does Not Cut It and there is Nothing You Can Do. Recognize It and Bow Out on the Front End. If Asked, Provide Your Expertise with Grace & Truth as to Why The Project Won’t Work. Unless You Like Making Enemies, Don’t Recommend Them to the Producer Across Town. Give Them a Timeline in which They May Be Able to Return and Try Again and Then Shake Hands and Walk Away. They Will Grow to Respect You For Your Honesty and in many cases will become Better at their Craft If Only to Prove You Wrong, which is Still a Very Good Thing!

I Was Not Listening to Any Music as I Composed This Blog. I Wish to Dedicate It to The Memory of My Dear First Cousin, Lori Jean White, who Passed Away Peacefully Last Night…Sleep on Sis!

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Get Outta Da Way!

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In My Worldview, I Truly Believe That God Downloads SongsRight Into Our Spirits, Complete with Melody, Harmonies, Rhythm, Time Signature and Counterpoint and we have the Privilege of Labeling this Process Songwriting. I’m of the Philosophy that in Every Composition, the Piece Itself Dictates what It Needs. Music & Lyrics Guide Us through their Verses, Chorus and Bridge to its Conclusion. Beats & Notes Fall from the Sky while sitting at My Keyboard, Bass or Drum Kit and Sometimes while racing around 680 South enroute to the bakery, forcing me to hum & grunt into my phone to preserve the concept.

The Most Important Lesson I’ve Learned as a Composer/Producer/Musician is to Shut Up and Get Out of The Way. In Many Ways I’m Only an Observer; in others, a Mere Participant – Never Demanding or Micromanaging the Moment. There’s an Art to Waiting for the Score to Let You In on its Desires and sometimes it could make you wait for months. Patience is a Virtue.

In Every Session I Produce, I Invite Each Musician & Vocalist to Perform their Own Narrative for Takes at a Time, without providing a single instruction. It’s Their Interpretation I’m Most Interested in Capturing. Their Voice, Their Heart, Their Imagination. I’m In the Room Foremost as an Eyewitness and Secondly to Facilitate the Best Possible Outcome of Their Expressions. The Song Always Alerts Us as to What Does & Does Not Work.

The Best Producers, In My Opinion, are those who as Quincy Jones once stated, “Always leave space for God to walk through the room…”      There are far too many tunes (again, in my opinion) that bear the Fingerprint of the Producer, while Ignoring the Original Intent of the Composer and the Purity of the Artist – unless, of course, they are one and the same. Ahmet Ertegun, Stewart Levine, Nile RodgersArif Mardin and the legendary Norman Whitfield all are/were Patriarchs rather than Dictators. This Approach Allowed Them to Auspiciously Produce Artists Across Multiple Genres, without Dogging the Groove. Of course there are many Producers who Thrive on a “Signature Sound” that made their records work Beyond Various Platforms, but when the ‘sound’ faded, so did their opportunities.

Creatively, The Producer’s Ultimate Role is to Allow the Session to Simmer; Creating an Atmosphere of Freedom & Collaborative Communication, where Each Member becomes Adept at Paying Complete Homage to the Every Aspect of the Song.

Get Out of The Way! 

I Was Listening to Jeff Lorber Fusion’s “Water Sign” on Vinyl while Writing this Blog.

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EMOTIONAL PRODUCTION

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The Approach to Music Production is just as Multidimensional as the stars in the heavens.

As I leaf through Rick Clark‘s over sized Mixing, Recording and Producing Techniques of the Pros,” it’s fascinating to explore the psyche of these Masterminds and Gauge their Approach. Obviously as One Not Yet Included in such a Stellar Institution of Greatness, albeit hopeful, I am Grateful for Every Opportunity to Produce Outstanding Songs by Serious Artists of Various Genre.

At the Genesis of Every Session, the Fundamental Framework I Build Upon is the Emotional Journey the Listener will traverse as the Song is Played. My Goal is ALWAYS to Reproduce the Exact Feelings of Joy, Anger, Sadness, Betrayal, Devotion, Militancy, Encouragement, Strength, Remorse, Warmth or Flavor the Songwriter(s) Intended to Convey. One Million Repeated Listenings of the Recording Must Evoke these Same Emotions, or I Have Failed, whether the song Sells One or One Hundred Thousand Copies.

I Perceive My Position in the Studio as Tour Guide, Ushering the Musicians, Arrangers, Vocalists & Engineers through an Expedition of Finding Moments. Every Chosen Person, Instrument, Sound, Note, Effect & Ambience will lend itself to the Nuance of Multiple Moments, Creating Symbiotic Memories that Outlast Lifetimes. Those are the Snapshots that Take Your Breath Away and Force You to Immediately Rewind the Song or a Section of the Tune to Allow Your Brain to Process What Your Heart Just Heard and then Begin Again.

Perhaps I am being melodramatic in My Interpretation, but I Offer No Apologies. Often Before Discussing DAWs, Plug Ins, Mic Techniques, Mixing & Mastering and the Usual Banter with Various Producers, I am Always Most Interested in the Range of Emotion sought after and how they wished to reveal them, even (especially) if they’ve chosen some Non Traditional or Outdated Means to Do So. In Berry Gordy‘s autobiography “To Be Loved,” he talks about how the Classic Motown Producers used to sit around the table and Vote On the Upcoming Release. Mr. Gordy stated the Main Question asked would be ‘If You Were Starving and Only Had Enough Money to By a Sandwich or This Record, What Would You Do? If the Vote was for the Song, They’d Release It! Hence the Company’s Enduring Legacy.

David Byrne confesses in his book “How Music Works” what most Producers already know. A “Tight” Recording or Performance has Nothing to do with Meter. It has Everything to do with The Groove! Singing or Playing in Front of or Behind the Beat or Harnessing a Vibe as Sloppy as Gravy Foaming Down a Mountain of Mashed Potatoes Feels as Wondrous as Classically Trained Precision if You’ve Channeled the Proper Emotions.

God Bless the Sacredness of Music Production and the Solace of a 3AM Session where the Sweat is Soaking Through the Walls…

Here are a Few Examples of Moments I’m Blessed to Have Captured:

Hermeneutics (SounDoctrine feat. Keith McKelley, Cliff Barnes, Derek Dixie & Paul Douds)

Meant2B (SounDoctrine feat. Keith McKelley, Stefano and Jazmine)

Source (SounDoctrine feat. Michaela Write)

Maranatha (SounDoctrine feat. John Thomas)

Stop On By (SounDoctrine feat. Eric Tyus)

I was Listening to “Elegant Gypsy” by Al Di Meola on Vinyl while composing this blog…full of Multiple Moments!

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The ONE Thing…

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Much Love and Many Prayers to the Victims and Families who Lost Loved Ones in the Senseless Las Vegas Tragedy. My Heart Goes Out to All.

During September, we discussed Four Avenues EntreMusicians are able to Journey and Advance through simply by Applying Ourselves and Owning the Occasion. Just BE!

My Focus Today is to Zero In on the Truth that the Most Successful EMs, once Defining & Honing their Niche, Strengthen their Artistry by Building a Brand on One Singular Component. Just because we possess the capacity to perform 20 tasks simultaneously does not mean we should. Nor should we attempt to be known for more than One Great Consistency (think Michael Jordan in Pro Baseball), unless our Multifarious Talent IS The Brand (Think Prince).

Develop & Grow Your Specific with Eagle Eye Precision & Dedication as It will be that One Thing that People will Remember You for after you’ve left Our Planet. If for some reason folk should Remember You for Two or More Qualities, it’s most likely because they are corresponding, like “Husband & Father,” “Scientist & Researcher” or…”Multi-Instrumentalist.”

I Constantly Ask Myself if I Am a Composer // Music Producer // Drummer // Booking Agent // Manager // Actor // Event Coordinator // Publisher,  all the while maintaining my identity as Jesus Follower // Lori’s Husband // Father of Three Daughters // Pastor // Bible Teacher.

My Personal Identity aside, I Am Foremost a Music Producer. As an EntreMusician, this is the One Area I Continue to Maturate. Constantly Working with Extremely Talented Songwriters, Arrangers, Vocalists, Musicians, Artists, DJs, Engineers and Technicians Provide Me Exceptional Outlets to Experiment & Improve My Game. Interestingly, I Live & Think as a Music Producer in Every Area of My Life, especially as a Pastor – but that’s another blog…

What About You? What’s the ONE THING You Work At Harder than Any Other and Wouldn’t Mind Being Remembered For?

I was listening to Dave Grusin & Lee Ritenour‘s Exceptional “Harlequin” on Vinyl while composing this post.    

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BE The Publisher

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To Finalize Our Month of “BEING,” in which EntreMusicians can take advantage of a few of the Wonderful Opportunities which await those with Initiative, we’ll end September in a space that I cherish the most .

I have been passionate about Music Publishing since the eighth grade. I was the kid who read all of the liner notes on the album. I learned the Record Label Names, Executives, A&R Personnel, Where the Album was Recorded, Mixed, Mastered – Who the Engineers were, Producers, Arrangers, Session Players – Who the Songwriters were and then… Publishing? ASCAP, BMI, SESAC? What does this all mean?

I started reading. I went to the library and borrowed “Making It With Music” by Kenny Rogers and Len Epand. I didn’t return it. For the first time I heard and realized that the Song is the Most Important Instrument in Music and the Person(s) who Owned/Controlled the Song’s Publishing will be the Most Important Instrumentalist(s) overtime.

Upon further investigation, I found that the Term (Lifespan) of the Copyright lasts 70 years after the Death of the Composer(s) – or up to 120 years in certain situations.

Further along, I heard the incredible Horror Stories of the Thousands or more Songwriters who were completely skewered out of their Publishing Ownership, Royalties or Both, ignorantly traded for the Price of Fame, a Shiny Cadillac or even a House, while the Publisher went on to earn Millions. To add greater injury, I learned that although Tin Pan Alley may have started as a true collaboration between Songwriters & Publishers, many of the Corporate Conglomerates who Took Over Music and Earn The Most, by far, are Attorneys – some who can’t even whistle in key or snap their fingers on beat. Remember Paul McCartney of All People only recently began owning the rights to his music, having to BUY It Back!

I determined early on that more important than practicing my drums (which I do regret to some extent) that I would become a Student of Publishing, Start My Own Companies and Keep All that I could. I would Never, Ever sign away ALL of it, no matter how much moola I was offered, unless it was purchased outright. Overtime I saw how Technology alters the Art & Nuance of Publishing and that I Need to Pay Attention Often. It’s like being married!

Before I recommend that You BE Your Own Publisher (and I strongly suggest you do), I must admit that there are some very reputable publishers out there. All of them are Not Snakes, but You Need to Do Your Homework and Triple Check It Before Signing. Publishing is Extremely Difficult Work and since Your Territory IS The World, having a Strong Sub-Publisher Looking Out for Your International Affairs is Vital. Since Publishing can easily become a full time job, provided You’ve Got a few Songs shaking on Radio, TV and/or Film, You should Employ a Loyal, Committed Team who can Advise and Monitor the Very Best Deals for Your Career.

Remember, Your Number One Goal is to Help Your Song Continue Earning Money for You, Even Years After You Write/Release It. You Want Your Songs to Reap Royalties for Your Family and Your Estate when You Can No Longer Pick Up Your Drum Sticks. Publishing is a Space where “Exploitation” of Your Work is a Very Good Thing – So Having Multiple Artists in Multiple Genres Record Your Songs is a the Lifeblood of Your Team. Think PrinceStevie and for crying out loud, Think Diane Warren!

I’m blessed to be entrusted with publishing songs for several songwriters in my area. It’s a Trust that I Hold Sacred and Dear. I Preach Publishing and Make Sure They Know As Much as I Do about this Business and the Activity of their Music. Our Terms and Conditions are Beyond Fair, meant to Lease and Not Own, so that All Ownership and Control is safely reverted back to them. I haven’t made nearly as much in publishing as I’d like to – YET! But there’s always that Next Project, TV Commercial, Indie Film or Up & Coming Artist that keeps us Alert and Hustling!

Go and Do Likewise!

By The Way, If You Happen to be reading this Today, Thursday 9/28, Join Me with Trish Hennessey on Hybrid Jazz, where we will be discussing our Entire September “BE” Series and Celebrating the Humanitarian efforts of EntreMusicians in light of the recent Hurricanes! You can also Listen to the Archives!

I’ve been in an intense Azymuth mode lately. I’m listening to their “Outubro” on vinyl as I post this.

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BE The Actor

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Continuing our September trek down the Avenue of Opportunities EntreMusicians are free to follow, we pause to consider an oft overlooked jewel that could help Build an Enduring Brand while providing Additional Income for years to come. Have You Considered the Wide World of Acting?

I Have and have Enjoyed Occasions to Stretch My Capacity. I’ve included a few clips below. You may or may not find them absolutely incredible and Academy Award worthy, but the Lessons I’ve learned, Experience I’ve gained and Connections I’ve Secured as a result of taking these risks have endured to my advantage.

Here’s several reasons You too should consider Acting as a Key Instrument in your EntreMusician’s Briefcase.

1) Acting naturally yields Electrifying Outlets of Creativity which can be Channeled into Wonderful Songwriting. 

2) Entering the Acting Arena aids you in Sharpening Your Stage Persona, Audience Engagement, Video Production Skills and in many ways can become a Second Career.

3) Acting Appropriately Positions You to in a space to Present Your Songs to the Soundtrack or Contribute to the Score. 

4) Acting Propels You into a Zone of Discipline that involuntarily Spills Over onto Your Musical Approach, Practice and  overall Study of Your Craft 

5) The Preoccupations of Acting Heightens Your Sensitivity to Everything Going Around You While Demanding an Exacting Performance Every Single Take.     (Every EntreMusician Reading This Can Relate…Especially if You’ve had to play drums with a pounding headache!!)

With sincere respect to the True Art & Profession of Acting, I have found within my tiny experiences that the most the Director expects of you aside from professionalism is to Relax and Be Yourself (especially while ‘In Character’)

Haven’t You Noticed that ALL of the Actors & Actresses You Know and Love are actually only playing Themselves on Stage & Screen?

In Almost Every Movie Denzel, Duvall, De Niro, Depp & Downey, Jr. retain their distinct personalities! Different Script, Different Character (supposedly), but the same basic disposition, emotions and approach. The reason we love their movies, is because we love THEM!

So Memorize Your Lines, Dive into The Script and Develop a Magnetic Persona that will Increase Your Email List and Strengthen Your Fan Base.

I have been blessed to act in three independent movies, having contributed to the scores of two and playing the lead role on stage in the off roadway adaption of David Lee Talbert’s “The Fabric of a Man”. In fact, I was so completely naïve that I didn’t know I was the lead!!

Thank You to Art Byrd, Johnny Herbert and Ray O’Neil for trusting my muse!

Greater Threat Clip (Ray O’Neil)

Magnify (Art Byrd)

Film Ruiner – A Spoof while out in LA (Art Byrd)

I Was Listening to Bob James’ “H” on Vinyl while writing this blog…

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BE The Producer!

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Throughout this month, I’m sharing A Few of The Ways I’ve Honed My EntreMusicianal Skills by “Being” All The Things I’ve Needed to “Be” to Advance My Artistry & Career, while making a few bucks along the way. Last Week, I detailed the opportunities awaiting EMs who donned the Booking Agent Hat to represent other Singers/Bands/Artists in their areas. Today, we look into Being The Producer.

In a Tiny Region like Youngstown Ohio, there are very few outlets for Jazz Musicians. Many of Us Frequently Perform in Akron, Cleveland, Pittsburgh and further away, as my band SounDoctrine began to do early on to make a name for ourselves.

Around 2005 the City hired an Event Coordinator, Claire Maluso, to open up the Downtown Entertainment Corridor to other Genres which were traditionally dominated by Rock and College Bar Bands. Claire, an avid jazz lover, reached out to me as SounDoctrine was starting to build momentum due to our music airing on the Weather Channel during their famous jazz filled breaks.

We began to put together weekends in various downtown restaurants which quickly spilled into the annual Youngstown Jazz Fest. When Claire left her position, I began to work with the new hire and representatives from YSU and the Visitors Bureau to broaden the show’s scope. I was Blessed to Oversee Production from 2010-13. This provided two wonderful advantages for which I remain grateful.

1)  Through Corporate and Community Sponsorship, we were able to secure a better rate for All of the Performers. Previously, the “Baby Bands” received $0.00 “for exposure,” which I always thought was a crock after doing my fair share of them. The more notable bands were paid between $250-$400 for a 45 minute set. But with 5 to 6 members…?

What I was blessed to do was raise that rate to $850 per band and then create a “Pre Fest Night” at a Downtown Venue the night before where the “Baby Bands” were paid for their exposure and one of the notables headlined the evening! This created Synergy and Excitement for the Entire Weekend. It also created greater degrees of acknowledgement from the local artists, who all recognized that our team was committed to paying them more respectfully.

2)  As Producer, I Was Able to Strategically place SounDoctrine Immediately Before the Headliner. This meant:

a) More Time on Stage

b) Our Set Would Be Seen by those who may have arrived late

c) The Prime Opportunity to be Associated With (and often acknowledged by) The Headliner who usually arrived during the first portion of our set

Our resume now includes us opening for jazz legends, Spyro Gyra, Pieces Of A Dream and Grammy Winner Kirk Whalum among others, many of which we are blessed to remain in close contact with.

To ensure our momentum, we also created a monthly “Second Sundays” event to keep the jazz vibe alive Downtown, which ran until 2015, which featured regional artists and also gave our band another outlet for presenting new material. We were blessed to partner with our local Chick fil-A franchise to make this a spectacular event.

This past March, I was blessed to produce the very successful “Meet Me At The Cross” Good Friday Event at the Covelli Center in Downtown Youngstown, which by God’s grace was my largest feat to date. We are currently making plans for 2018.

Through this process, I have learned all of the consociate aspects of “Putting On a Show” faster than if I had just remained in the Drum Chair, showing up for Sound Check. Needing to simultaneously wear the multifaceted hats of Technician, Promoter, Marketer, Fund Raiser, Corporate Solicitor, Stage Direction and grasping what it means to dialogue about City Ordinances, Liability Insurance, Unions and how to navigate the various insecure/angry/weird personalities you often encounter in a 20 hour day without losing your cool – while retaining the stamina to play your set, has wholly strengthened me and has helped me to make better decisions in my career.

Production is extremely hard work. “Game Day” will Make You or Crush You!! There are No Gray Areas. One Day I will tell you about the time I almost went to jail hours before I was to go on stage…

I’m forever grateful for an amazing team I can call at a moment’s notice when it’s time to do it again! Michaela Write, Orlando & Dana Watson, Lori B, Phil The Beat & Rosalyn Moore, Felicia (FiFi) Fuller, Jerry & Bea Thjompson, Demetrius Allen, Isaiah Rowe, Dan Glass, Shaun Shaulis and the silent Nia Brown. Y’all Know None of this could’ve been done without you!

BE The Producer!

 

I was listening to Herbie Hancock‘s “Mr. Hands” on Vinyl while composing this.

 

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BE The Booking Agent!

concert audienceSince September is a Traditional Educational Month, I Will Spend it with You by Sharing A Few of The Ways I’ve Honed My EntreMusicianal Skills by “Being” All The Things I’ve Needed to “Be” to Advance My Artistry & Career, while making a few bucks along the way. 

Being an EntreMusician comprises being adept at all of the functions of an Artist’s Career. Managing all the aspects of your own career can be its own unsettling balancing act. However, when you’ve become adept at walking atop your own tightrope, you might find it profitable to help someone else gain stability. 

It’s Common Practice for any Musician to refer another band for a gig they aren’t able to do. The second step is becoming noted for intentionally hooking up other talent for an event or venue and receiving a reasonable fee for doing so. 

For a few years now, since my days as producer of the event formally known as the Youngstown Jazz Fest, I have been able to align various artists with a variety of regional events. Both parties are aware that I represent the Band/Singer/Musician as an agent exclusive to that performance.  

I charge an extremely affordable rate, based upon the amount of work I need to do – and I keep it very basic. This fee is ALWAYS Collected from the Venue and Never from the Artist. I am doing them both a favor, but the advantage is Always Towards My Fellow EntreMusician. 

I Only Recommend bands I KNOW are completely dependable with a Killer Show to Event Promoters that I KNOW will Treat Them Right and Will Pay. If I am Not Confident of Either of these Attributes, I don’t get involved.  

I Send an Agreement on Behalf of the Performer, Collect the Non-Refundable Deposit and Secure the Date. I don’t get mired into the tiny details letting the bandleader and venue owner customize the event. I Am Not the Band’s Manager and I Never Insert Myself into that Role. 

I’ve had only 100% Satisfaction Rate so far for these “Favors.” The best thing is I Don’t have to be there on the night of the event, unless I want to. I Invest My Time in Concentrating on My Own Production and/or Performance! 

Please Note: Some of the Larger Music Business Capitals have State Laws which govern and license the activities of Booking Agents. Make Certain You Are Knowledgeable of and In Compliance with any applicable situation!

Be The Booking Agent!

I was Listening to Chuck Mangione‘s “Live AT The Hollywood Bowl” on Vinyl while posting this…

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50 FAT WAYS TO TURN YOUR FANS INTO FAMILY!

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There Are Millions of Ways to Think Beyond the Box and Create a Culture of Fans who take ownership of Your Vision and become True Family! Your Imagination is the Limit!

Here Are A Few Successful Methods I have Utilized Multiple Times with My Band SounDoctrine, Within My Own Career, or when Consulting Other Artists. Twist These Up! Have Fun with Them and Contact Me with Further Questions or to Share Your Results!

Tonight (Thursday 8/31 @ 6PM EST) I will be on Hybrid Jazz from Trish Hennessey. We will be unpacking several of these strategies and talking with Many Varied EntreMusicians who will share their Own Tips & Tactics that Keep Their Artistry Intact. Feel Free to Listen & Call In  – Your Voice is IMPORTANT! The Number to Call In is 323.843.6172.  Check Out Trish’s Facebook!

50 FAT WAYS TO TURN YOUR FANS INTO FAMILY!
1. Write a Song With Your Fan.
SounDoctrine Once Held a Lyric Contest on Facebook. JeAnnette Singleton’s Words Worked Well & Won and We Signed a Co-writing deal, recorded and released “(That’s Why) It’s Called Love” on our ‘Inspire’ CD.
2. Feature Fans Frequently on Your Website
3. Feature Fan’s Favorite Quotes in Your Newsletter
4. Honor a Charity Your Fans Support at Your Next Show
5. Feature a Few Fans In Your Next Video.
SounDoctrine asked fans to send in their wedding pics to be featured in our video for the song “Marriage.” The Response was Overwhelming and made for a Great Way to Celebrate the Sacredness of Marriage.
6. Invite Two Fans to A Rehearsal. Have them Stream it on their Pages.
7. Invite Three Fans to A Recording Session. Upload it to Your Website.
8. Have a Fan Host an Old Fashioned House Party. Sell Tickets for $4.99. Stream It!
9. Use Your Song As a Bundle with a Book Release.
SounDoctrine partnered with author Gregory S. Trent who wrote the book “Selah,” which was the exact title of our single “Selah” from the ‘Source’ CD. For 30 Days after the initial release, anyone who bought his book got the single as a ‘Freemium’ (our $$ agreement was with him).
10. Do A Music Marketing Workshop in Your City teaching what You’ve Learned and invite Another Band to Perform. This move builds Solid Relationships with other musicians and also shows Your Fans whom You Are Fans of.
11. Hold a Can Food Drive for the Less Fortunate at your next show.
Early on SounDoctrine experienced the Value of Partnering with Our Fans to Help Out the Community, providing them a Discount on Admission Fee, Helping Out The Local Rescue Mission and Garnering Some Great Press in the Process. We began doing that in other cities as well.
12. Adopt a Color, Create a Symbol, Logo, Style or Phrase and Never, Ever Leave It!
Enhance It, But Never Abandon It! (Think P-Funk!!) SounDoctrine frequently refers to our music as “Originalternativefunkjazzfusion!
13. Create a Blog Specific to Your Fans Demographics & Interests

(This is Different from Your Newsletter which informs them about YOU – The Blog is about THEM)
14. Write & Market a Song Tied to a Personal Event.

(Think Tony, Toni, Tone’s “Anniversary.”)
SounDoctrine’sMeant 2B” doubled as a means to link to marriage & wedding blogs and sites. We also created an extended instrumental remix for bridal parties to use in the actual wedding.
15. Lead and/or Rally A Cause! Show Support for an Issue Bigger than Your Artistry. Draw Attention to It, Speak at a Rally and Let Your Voice be Heard!
16. Endorse a Candidate.
Yeah, I Know, but sometimes you have to draw a line in the sand. This move turns Fans into Family – or Enemies! It doesn’t have to be a Presidential Race, but Someone Your Band Strongly Believes will Make a Difference in Your Community or Country.
17. Throw a Private Party Twice a Year with Invitations Only for the First 25 or 50 Fans who Must Show Up by a Certain Time!

Hold it in a Very Public Place, Ensuring Liability Insurance, Security, etc and Make It Very Special!
18. Produce a Live Event that promotes Other Named Acts and make it a Regular Event!
We were blessed to produce the Youngstown Jazz Fest for three consecutive years, which we spun off into a monthly “Second Sundays” Event which garnered corporate sponsorship and featured artists of much higher caliber than SounDoctrine, which kept our name associated with Quality.
19. Interview Famous Artists. Post The Interviews.
20. Get Interviewed. Ditto
21. Interview the Interviewer. Ditto, Ditto
22. Answer Every Single Social Media Correspondence Sent to You ASAP or Create a Clone to Do It For You.
23. Get Barbershops, Beauty Salons & Boutiques to Play Your Music in their shops.
You Do Have Your Event Posters & Placards in There Too, Right?
24. Perform Live on Local Community TV and Yes, I Mean Schedule Them in Whatever’s City You Perform in Next!
25. Help A Community Center/Adopt A Block or Become A Big Brother/Sister
26. Proudly Promote Your Faith / Lifestyle / Values & Principles
27. Heavily Endorse an Equipment and/or Software Manufacturer.

Keep Track of Your Events & Projects that Utilize their Stuff and Contact them Repeatedly about being featured on their site(s).
28. Bring 15 Unsuspecting Fans In to Your Sound Check.

Ask them how well they are able to hear from various seating/spaces in the venue and thank them. Once back outside in line, they’ll call everyone they know, recount the experience and invite them to come down immediately.
29. Create a Cover Contest for One of Your Songs. Have Fans Upload to Your FB Page.

30. Share the Back Story Of Every Song

(what you were feeling/thinking when you wrote it – what was going on in your life. Share the recording process and how you came up with “that” sound.
31. Become an Actor in an Indie Film.
32. Stay to Meet Your Fans As Soon As the Gig Ends! Talk!
Take Pictures! Sign The CD! Laugh!!!…As Often as Appropriate!
33. Thank Your Fans Publicly as Often As You Can!
Especially Online Right After The Gig!
34. Host An Online“Ask Us Anything Event”
35. Chat Often. Skype a Favorite Fan. Make Them All Feel Like They’re Your Favorite. Dude, it’s possible, I have three daughters.
36. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask…
37. Share Your Mistakes
38. Be Genuine or Quit
39. Be Generous or…
40. Practice Excellence Daily
41. Compliment a Woman Personally (that’s a great color on you / Your Home/Office is Beautiful) Compliment a Man on His Items or Achievements (Dude! How Much Did that Set You Back / Hey, Great Job on That!)before you call me sexist, try it!
42. Call Out Your Fans Name from the Stage, During the Show!
43. Mentor Talent whenever You Find It.
I’ve Never Missed an Opportunity to Give a Person a Chance. Sometimes it’s set me back, Sometimes I’ve been bitten, but Often I’ve gained so much more in wonderful collaborations.
44. Remain Humble. Be Polite. Don’t be a Jerk.
45. Give Music Lessons
46. Visit Elementary Schools in Every City You Tour.
Perform an Assembly with an Educational / Anti-Drug Theme.
And Don’t be a Hypocrite. (Ask Me About This One).
47. Keep Your Email List Current
48. Purge Your FB Friends/Followers as often as Necessary.
49. Populate Your Linked In/Instagram Posts Meticulously.
50. Tweet Thrice A Day

TheEntreMusician.com

Engage, Encourage, Empower!
© 2017 Gerald H. Beulah, Jr. / © 2017 Tejai, LLC

 

I was Listening to War’s “The World is a Ghetto” on Vinyl while Composing this Blog

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