Tag Archives: local music

Three Ways For New Musicians To Get More Exposure

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Three Ways For New Musicians To Get More Exposure

When you tell people that you want to be a professional musician, a lot of them will probably say that it’s never going to happen. The music industry is so competitive and only a tiny fraction of people that dream of being musicians actually make it, but why shouldn’t you be one of them? You could be, as long as you’re willing to put the work in.

There are a lot of different things that you need to do if you want to break into the music industry but one of the first, and most important steps, is exposure. If you’re going to make it, you need people to hear your music (and love it) so you can start building a bit of a following, that’s how you’re going to get yourself noticed by a record label. Getting that exposure is tough, especially when you’re up against a lot of competition, but there are ways to do it. These are the best ways for new musicians to get exposure for their music:

Focus On Gigging:

There are now more ways than ever to get your music out there and we’ll come onto those later, but for now, you need to focus on the old fashioned way; get out there and play for people. When you’re first starting out and you’ve got a few songs, you need to start playing as many gigs as possible. You’ll get people to hear your music and hopefully, start to build a bit of a fan base in the local area. You’re not likely to get booked for gigs if nobody has heard of you so open mic nights are the best place to start. They’re always running so do a quick search for open mic near me and start playing. You’ll get to play one or two songs and hopefully, if people like you, then you might be able to start booking more regular gigs.

The next step, is to get some support slots playing with more popular local bands. This is a great way to get your music heard by fans of your genre and if you play well, they’ll become fans of yours too.

Soundcloud:

Soundcloud is one of the best places to put your recordings so people can discover them. It’s also important that you have music online so if people come to your gigs and like you, they can download some of your songs to listen to and share with their friends. There’s a lot of stuff on Soundcloud so you need to do things to make yourself stand out. Obviously writing good songs is the most important thing but you should also ensure that you have good production values, as well.

Social Media:

Social media is the best way to promote pretty much anything these days and music is no exception. Start a dedicated musician page where you can post links to all of your new tracks when they go up on Soundcloud. You can also promote any gigs that you’re doing so you can get a bigger crowd to the venue.

These are the three best ways to promote your music when you’re first starting out and they should help you to build a following in your local area!

Featured Image By: Pixabay

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Chardon Polka Band

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Chardon Polka Band

Hiii everyone! This past Thursday, my client and I were truly living our best lives because we got to see the Chardon Polka Band perform at one of our local libraries. I try to take this client out to concerts and anything music related whenever I can because that’s his favorite and he plays the piano so beautifully. We have seen the CPB play twice before and they are so much fun that we had to see them again.

Now, I know what you’re thinking “a polka concert sounds like a nightmare”. And, initially, I thought so too. But, they are the most endearing, talented group of people that I’ve ever met and it’s impossible to not love them. They are so kind to everyone in their audience from little kids, the elderly, and people with special needs and that type of selfless attitude makes me a fan of them no matter what style of music they play.

I had no idea that the Chardon Polka Band was kind of a big deal in Ohio until now, but these guys go around all over the country playing polka everywhere from funerals, and christenings, to elementary schools, and senior centers. And, of course, any beer related festival that you can think of! I never thought I’d find myself as a polka fan until seeing these whacky guys perform and it’s so nice to consider them as my friends now, too!

^^^ And, as always, I have no rights to these songs or videos.

Both my client and myself purchased a CPB T-shirt that we wear with pride and we are so excited to see our friends with an unexpected cult following perform again soon!

Who are the local celebrities in your neck of the woods? What are your thoughts on polka music? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Featured Image By: Docplayer

Must Read Tips For Musicians In 2019

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Must Read Tips For Musicians In 2019

For every musician, a main goal at the beginning of every year is to get better at your music and make a greater impression in the industry. No matter what level you’re at, we hope these tips will help you:

Online mastering:

To ignore the process of audio mastering is to make a massive mistake. A lot of people confuse mixing and mastering with one another. However, they are two completely different processes. Mastering is the final stage in the music production process. It tightens, defines, and polishes the piece of music without altering the sound excessively. It can bring a clarity and a punch which no amount of mixing can achieve. To release a piece of music without it would essentially mean you were bringing out an incomplete track.

Nonetheless, the reason why people still overlook mastering is because they see it as a hassle and an expense. Not everybody has the capability of getting down to the studio in question nor do they have the money available to pay the extortionate hourly rates charged by many mastering professionals today. However, you need not worry about any of this anymore. There are online mastering services available, which are cheaper and much easier too.

SEO:

Both SEO and website design affect the success of any musician today. Since your campaigns will be tailored to bringing more people to your website and converting them from visitors into actual fans, you need to pay great attention to the overall feel and look of your site. Similarly, you must work to ensure your website is visible, hence the need for professional SEO.

For online marketing success, you need professional SEO services. The service should provide you with quality content to post on your website, for example, information about you, your gigs, and so on. Ensure that you also add videos and images (where required) on top of your text. After that, you can focus on marketing your website to the target market. Search engine optimization is important to your overall online marketing plan. Stay away from easy options and ‘quick tricks’. Search engines are smarter than ever before. They know all the tricks you will try to pull, including poor quality content that is stuffed with keywords. So, focus on quality content using tested SEO strategies.

It is also worth looking for marketing packages that have been specifically tailored to the music industry. Targeting potential fans and record companies is a lot different than trying to drum up customers for a retail business, for example. You can find Soundcloud promotion packages, which are great for any musician. These packages are designed to ensure your music gets heard by the right people. While packages differ from supplier to supplier, you will generally find that these companies will post your music across different platforms, from blogs to social media pages.

Alexander Technique:

Another tip for musicians in 2019 is to try the Alexander Technique. You may have heard about this before. It is a method that was developed in the 1980s by Matthias Alexander. It is designed to promote overall well-being through increasing your awareness of posture so that your body experiences minimal effort and strain.

Instead of maintaining ease and using the fluid techniques required, musicians restrain themselves with muscular tension during a soft passage, for instance. This is just one example of a common overreaction. Over time, such action can result into regular misuse, which can cause injuries. This is where the Alexander Technique comes in. It will help you to find the right balance so that you can play an instrument with greater ease, while protecting your body and improving your music in the process.

There are lots of different ways that you can improve your efforts in 2019. If you are a musician, whether you have much experience or not, use the tips that have been provided in this guide so that you can achieve more throughout the year!

Featured Image By: Pixabay

How To Set Up A Band

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How To Set Up A Band

When you want to play some awesome tunes but don’t have anyone to jam with, there is but one solution: set up your own band. Though this might sound a bit nerve-wracking if you’ve never done it before, it is just the same as making new friends. The first thing you need to do is figure out the answers to the questions below and then you should go Online at Vampr to find the best people for your new group:

What kind of music do you like?

You probably already have a good idea of the kind of music you like, but you also need to think about what you want to play. Musical people often have wide tastes that can lead in all kinds of directions, so settling on one sound can be really difficult. Think back to what you like to play when you are on your own. Do you have a more folksy vibe? Is rock your thing? Do you like to write your own music or are you strictly covers only? Answering these questions will help to decide the kind of people that you want to attract.

Put together a track list of the things you like most and the styles you want to base your own music on to give potential band members an idea of what you are about. This can be any and all music so don’t be afraid to do the obvious stuff as well as the more off the wall things you enjoy.

Which Instruments Do You Need?

Next up: instruments. There are plenty of 2 guitars, 1 bass, drums types of bands but there is a lot to be said for branching out a little. How about adding a horn section? What about switching between instruments or experimenting with electronics? If you are looking to develop a unique sound, you might really be after musicians who can play multiple instruments so that you can all switch about to create something never heard before. This is the way that lots of famous bands work and create something new and different.

Where are You Based?

The final question might not be musical but is very important, nonetheless. If you are based in a garage somewhere, you need to think about how many people can realistically get in to practice. Plus, you need to make sure that you aren’t recruiting people who will have to drive for ages to get to each rehearsal. However enthusiastic they are now, they might not be after a long week of work in the depths of winter!

Similarly, if you want to gig at a cool underground nightclub with a tiny stage, a group of nine might sound great but just won’t fit. It’s not very rock and roll, but thinking about the logistics now will save you a lot of bother in the future when you start playing together.

Featured Image By: Unsplash

In A Band? Here’s How To Get Some Attention

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In A Band? Here’s How To Get Some Attention

So, you’ve started a band, wrote what you think are some pretty good songs, and practiced until you’re all really tight. You’ve been playing lots of local venues, and it’s gone down well, but you want more; you want a real music career. The first thing you’re going to have to do is get more attention for yourselves. Here are a few sensible steps you should take if you want to propel your band into the spotlight:

Create Your Own Website:

If you have a band, then you should have your own standalone website and you should absolutely take the time to update its content regularly. If you don’t do this, not only will new people not find you, but anyone who has been following you will probably start to lose interest. Your website really does need to stay fresh if you’re to attract as big an audience as possible.

Upload Your Music in New Places:

Chances are, you’ve already uploaded your band’s music somewhere, but if you really want to get more attention, you’re going to have to keep uploading it to as many new platforms as you can, so that it can reach as many people as possible. For example, you could upload indie music on indiesound.com or feature your band on Dozmia.com. You should also be trying to get your music onto more popular platforms such as iTunes so that you can piggyback off recommendations and perhaps pick up more listeners.

Give Radio Stations a Go:

If you’ve recorded your music to a high standard (A professionally recorded promo CD rather than a raw demo, ideally.), then sending it out to various radio stations, both local and national is a good way of potentially getting more exposure. Obviously, just sending your music is no guarantee that your band will be featured, but if it is, you could see more opportunities to play in more places open up for you and that can only be a good thing, so give it a try.

Create a YouTube Channel:

It should go without saying that if you’re looking to promote your band in 2018, you need to have your own YouTube channel because so many now famous musicians have been discovered there. While we’re on the subject of YouTube, you might also want to take the time to comment on other people’s music videos, whether they’re indie like you or major names. Don’t be spammy, but where appropriate mention your own band (perhaps on the videos of bands you sound like), and you will probably get a lot more hits.

Network with Event Organizers:

A good way to get more attention is by playing more high profile gigs, rather than just playing in local clubs and bars where everyone probably knows you already. So, take the time to reach out to event organizers and let them know you’re available. If you stay in touch and build a strong relationship with them, it could pay off big time.

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Partayyyy

 

Talk to Playlist Curators:

Playlist curators on platforms like Youtube can get millions of views, so if you come across one who you think might dig your band’s style, don’t be afraid to reach out to them and ask them if they would like to include one of your songs. You lose absolutely nothing by asking, and you could gain a lot of attention if they agree.

Start Your Own Podcast/YouTube Channel Review Site:

A strategy that can really pay off if you’re dedicated to it is to move away from relentlessly promoting your band using the hard sell and, instead, set up another platform, whether that be a podcast, YouTube channel, review blog, or anything else, where you talk about music in general. By doing this, you can make a name for yourself as someone who’s passionate/knowledgeable about music and people will start to naturally look to your band. Of course, you’ll be able to slip in the occasional plug, too!

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Flickr Image

 

Send Your CD Somewhere Unexpected:

Although you should send your CD out to various music blogs, magazines, and reviewers, you should also consider sending your disc out to more unexpected places, which are somehow related. For example, if you’ve written your album on the theme of Paris, then sending it out to someone who blogs about the city might get you more exposure than you expected. Or sending a CD on the theme of Buddhism to a publication like Tricycle could prove fruitful. Whatever it is you can think of that will give you an extra and unexpected opportunity to sell your music, do it and you might be pleasantly surprised by the results.

Spend Some Money:

If you’re a bunch of struggling musicians, it’s understandable that you might not want to spend any money on advertising, but considering the fact that you can advertise on platforms like Facebook and Dozmia for as little as ten dollars, it makes sense to give it a go. The increased exposure you’ll get from it might actually make you some money in the long-term.

Take Promo Photos:

Another area where you might want to spend a bit more money is in the promo photo department. A few great shots of your band in various poses can make all of the difference between someone giving you a chance and listening to your music, and them ignoring you completely. Now, which is your best side?

Whether you’re looking to boost your fan base by enough that you can make a little money doing what you love or you want to make it big, doing any and all of the above is a great place to start. At the very least, you will gain more attention, which is what you will need to do if you want to convince more people to give you a shot. Good luck!

Featured Image By: Flickr

Making It In Music: From Covering Songs To Writing Them

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Making It In Music: From Covering Songs To Writing Them

If you love to play music, you probably started out playing covers of songs, whether you took part in lessons or got into the world of musicianship on a self-taught basis. Of course, if you find yourself wanting something more and you’re ready to start creating original tracks, then it can be hard to take the plunge in terms of putting pen to paper. While there are no ‘rules’ in terms of writing music, as creativity can’t be forced, there are ways in which you can hone in on your talents and start to create something original. Here are some pieces of advice to help you make a mark in the music world as a songwriter rather than a cover artist:

Understand the recording and production process:

When it comes to creating your own songs, writing something with a catchy melody and meaningful lyrics is only one part of the equation. In fact, being a musician with a beautiful singing voice and instrumental talent who performs well is also only a small part of the equation. You need to understand the recording and production process involved with creating music if you want your original tracks to really make their mark on listeners, and this involves more than simply turning on a mic and pressing ‘record’.

You need to ensure that the quality of the instruments being used and everything involved with the song has been honed to perfection, as it’s easy to capture every sound in a live environment, but not quite so much in a recorded environment. You might want to look into sites such as Box Tiger Music for help with choosing guitars or pianos based on reviews. It’s important that you strive to sound as good, if not better, than the top musicians in the industry before you’re anywhere near that status. That’s how you make it.

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He’s a babe! Shwing!

Jam:

Perhaps you understand the technicalities of music, but you just don’t feel creative or professional. While many big labels in the industry are full of songwriters and producers who have spent years learning how to create hit songs through observing what works, many musicians with a deep passion for the art of creating music want to ‘make it’ in a more organic way. If you’re much the same, then writing a catchy song which starts to turn heads and brings you attention in the music industry shouldn’t ever become a mechanical process. Instead of thinking about the simplistic chord progressions behind the biggest hits in history, you should just start jamming and see what happens.

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We all have the power to be creative. Whether you’re in a band or operating on a solo basis, just hit ‘record’, start messing around with your guitar, piano, voice, or whichever instrument you play, and see what happens. When you listen back to your five or ten minute jamming session later, you’ll likely hate a lot of it. However, there’s every chance that you’ll hear a gem in the form of a musical nugget which will really inspire you to form a fully-fledged song out of what was originally nothing more than a small riff or chord progression. Play around and see what happens, super star!

Featured Image By: Pexels

John Patrick Halling

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John Patrick Halling

Hellooo everyone and welcome to a very special article on lifewithlilred about an extremely talented artist that I had the pleasure of getting to know, Kent, Ohio blues musician, John Patrick Halling. I was lucky enough to sit down for a chat with John Patrick about his most recent tour, his performance style, and some of the corniest jokes you’ll ever hear in your life.

Those who frequent my page will know that I have literally no talent for music. I can’t sing, I can’t play any instruments other than three songs on the guitar, and I also have cried during every concert I’ve ever attended – but that’s neither here nor there. What I’m getting at is that I LOVE talking with musicians because they are skilled at something that I wish I could do. John Patrick was no exception. He was humble and genuine with the quick wit of a seasoned performer. Take a look at part of the interview conducted by yours truly and listen along to the songs we discuss on his website.

Our chat began with some rapid fire questions about John’s most recent two month musical excursion, his Boy in the Water US tour, so let’s get to it:

  • Lil Red: What was your favorite place you traveled to?
  • John Patrick Halling: Well I’m from Kansas City, so playing there was a lot of fun. I loved Asheville, North Carolina which was a cool little hippie city, and Boulder, Colorado too.
  • LR: What was your favorite tourist activity you did?
  • JPH: I liked trying all of the different foods and craft beers, sight seeing, and hiking! I hiked ten to twelve national parks. For two weeks of my travels I hiked from Yellowstone to the Grand Canyon.
  • LR: Favorite restaurant?
  • JPH: Oh, what was it’s name? The Mellow Mushroom. It was in the south. It was wood fired pizzas, there was a lot of vegan and vegetarian options, and a bunch of stuff on the walls…Not in the TGIFridays or Applebee’s way, in the cool way. The Mexican food in New Mexico and Arizona was also out of this world. (So jealous, mama loves Mexican food!)
  • LR: Favorite venue?
  • JPH: It was called the Purple Fiddle in Thomas, West Virginia. This place was cool because it had a hostel built into the venue where the performers could stay as well as a crowd that was pretty much built in too from all of the tourists and locals.
  • LR: Where would you like to go again?
  • JPH: Everywhere! Wyoming was beautiful and it was filled with the nicest people – they were exactly how you would picture people from Wyoming to be, in the best way possible. I am bummed that I didn’t make it out west, though.
  • LR: How many shows did you play?
  • JPH: Around thirty…I played to a few empty coffee shops. I also performed at open mics and found a few good places on the streets where I would set up shop and play. Pearl Street in Boulder was great for that and so was San Antonio and Asheville.
  • LR: How many miles did you travel?
  • JPH: I traveled 12,000 miles in two months. But 2,000 of those miles was probably me driving around not knowing where I was going. My GPS system broke down halfway through the trip so I had to buy a road map, which was actually hard to find. I had to map out my routes and rough it and if all else failed, I still had my phone! Being on the road is a glamorous thing.

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^^^ Pictured above: John striking a pose in the Grand Tetons National Park in Wyoming as well as a scenic pic he snapped while driving into Kansas City.

After having a spitfire session about the Boy in the Water tour, John and I moved on to discussing his music, his style, and his future plans for his career. Please don’t think that I use the word spitfire lightly, either. All of the questions above were asked and answered in a little over five minutes. Everyone tells me that I’m a very fast talker and I met my match with John Patrick! Turn his music up and let’s move on:

  • LR: Where did the title for your album Boy in the Water come from? Are you part merman?
  • JPH: Well now the secrets out! I tried a lot of different titles but they were all basic and boring. My cousins and I are big fans of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies and in one of the opening scenes Elizabeth is standing on a boat and she sees Will Turner flailing in the ocean and she says “there’s a boy in the water”. So the album title is a tip of my cap to my family as well as whatever metaphorical symbolism it might mean.
  • LR: What was the first song you learned on the guitar?
  • JPH: “Sunshine of Your Love” by Cream and some Lynyrd Skynyrd songs. Since we’re sitting in a Starbucks, I like my coffee how I like my Eric Clapton greatest hits albums, with a little bit of Cream in it!
  • LR: I was a fan of your Hawthorne Heights reference in “If I Would’ve Known”, who are some of your musical influences?
  • JPH: Everything. Zeppelin, Bob Dylan, Hendrix. I grew up on 90’s country. I had a Rasta phase in high school where I listened to a lot of Bob Marley. I had my punk phase where I played a bunch of Blink, Simple Plan, and Green Day.
  • LR: Your lyrics are very poetic, have you always liked to write or was that a talent you didn’t know you had?
  • JPH: A little bit of both. I loved history and English classes which involved a lot of writing. I was also always a performer because I’m the middle child who was always striving for attention! I was very into theater in high school and played in quite a few different bands so I think all of these things helped develop my writing style.
  • LR: I thought it was interesting how in “Siren Song” you portrayed the devil as a woman. Is that based on a particular situation?
  • JPH: Kind of, but it also goes back to mythology in general when mermaids would sing their siren songs to tempt men. Women have always been men’s number one vice, asides from beer and cigarettes. But I also feel like I lose myself in relationships very easily. I try to change myself for the person and make myself into what they want me to be instead of finding someone who accepts me for my vices…If that makes sense.
  • LR: It makes perfect sense. Because I have a lot of fashion bloggers tuning in, how would you describe your look when you’re playing a show?
  • JPH: I wear whatever doesn’t smell. No, I’m a big hat guy, I have three or four wide brimmed Brixtons and Stetsons that I love. I also wear a lot of boots. You’ll never see me in shorts though, I’m always in jeans…I woke up like this.
  • LR: You should be a comedian if your music career falls through.
  • JPH: I actually love telling jokes on stage. Why does Peter Pan always fly? Because he never lands. That joke never gets old. It’s got a good hook to it.
  • LR: So where do you see John Patrick Halling one year from now?
  • JPH: Hopefully on the road again. I’d like to start recording a new album in January or February and be out on another tour by August. I have about ten to fifteen songs to narrow down so I’m still deciding on if it will be an album or an EP.
  • LR: And finally, does the drinking ever end in downtown Kent?
  • JPH: Not when you’re drinking with your friends!

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^^^ Pictured above: Sporting a signature hat in Asheville, North Carolina and a view of the picturesque Arches National Park in Utah. (Can we just talk about how the sky in both pictures looks like something out of a story book? So amazing.)

Are you a fan of John Patrick Halling? You can reach out to him by:

  • Liking his page on Facebook
  • Following him on Twitter
  • Following him on Instagram
  • Emailing him at: johnpatrickhalling@yahoo.com

You can also listen to the album Boy in the Water on all of the following mediums:

I really can’t begin to tell you guys how much I enjoyed my time with the fantastic John Patrick Halling. The pleasure was truly all mine and I can’t wait to see him perform in the near future! Do you have any questions for John Patrick? What is your favorite song off of his album Boy in the Water? I wanna hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah