Will Podcasting Replace Your Radio?

radioHave you tried podcasting yet? Maybe you are one of the ones that has still not found out about it. Perhaps you have heard of it but you still don’t really understand what it is all about. Since I even asked about whether or not you knew of podcasting, that should give you some type of clue how likely it might be too replace radio.

The new format of today happens to be podcasting which basically means distributing video and audio content across the Internet. Technically, it really amounts to nothing necessarily new nowadays. It basically means that you are embedding some multimedia content into some type of feed. (more…)

How to Write for Travel

travelWho wants to create their own travel website? Perhaps not many people reading this want to go as far as creating their own website to discuss traveling destinations tips. However, I have seen many posts that show a person being very capable of doing just that.

Almost on a weekly basis I will see someone on Facebook post about what destination they had recently visited. I also have seen many take the opportunity to write reviews on websites like Trip Advisor and others. Many of those are some really great posts. Therefore, you don’t necessarily have to create your own blog website to write about travel experiences. (more…)

Looking your best on the road

Everyone knows traveling on the road is a tough gig. Busy nights, long days in a car, bad food, however, even with all of these setbacks, there is no reason to look like a slob.

With a few simple staples to your wardrobe you can continue looking like the bad ass musician you are, and less like a hobo.

cool dude

To get the best look on the road it is important to stick with simple items that can be tossed in a bag but still look like you put some effort into your wardrobe. These are my suggestions:

  1. Jeans – Everyone loves jeans. They’re easy and comfortable but staying stylish comes down to fit. Bring a pair of jeans that are well fitted. Not skin tight, not overly baggy.
  2. Dress Shirts – Don’t get me wrong. I don’t mean the stuffy things that lawyers wear. I mean casual but fitted. Think fun colors and prints. As a musician it’s ok and accepted if it is a bit wrinkled. Even with the wrinkles it fits in with your style but you’ll look a million times better than the other guys wearing their holey band shirts from 1970.
  3. Scarves – Depending on the time of year the type of scarf will vary. No one wants to wear a heavy wool scarf in the middle of summer, so pick something light and airy during these months. Perhaps patterned linen. Everyone knows Sherlock is en vogue so why not take a cue from his wardrobe.
  4. Decent shoes – Yes your regular tennis shoes might be comfortable, and your Tevas can be worn everywhere, ditch them when you’re going to be around other people. They aren’t fashionable, they aren’t cool, and while they may be comfortable there are plenty of comfortable shoes that don’t look completely awful. Converse are still ok, they tend to never go out of style, but going with something a little more refined is suggested. Think a little more out of the box and go with something a little fancier. Old style wing-tips have been updated and come in many different styles with interesting and unique designs. Pick one that you like best and you’re good to go.

Besides dressing the part it is important to keep up with general hygiene. I know, I know, partying all night is much more fun than bathing and sleeping but trust me, these things matter.

Being unshaved (unless you rock the trendy beard look) can make you look like you don’t care about your appearance.

No one looks worse than when they haven’t slept well in a month, arent clean shaven and stink like a mule. If nothing else, make sure to get plenty of sleep in the car between gigs and bring anti-bacterial wipes. Yes, I said it. Bring baby wipes.

Stick them in the middle of the console and share with all of your band mate friends. They’re convenient and they clean, with a bonus of feeling nice and cool in the summer.

No one will think any worse of you for running one of these babies under your pits after a long sweaty car ride. In fact everyone will thank you for not making them suffer from your stink and all of you will benefit from the clean aroma of baby powder wafting through the van.

8 Types Of Insurance Plans Musicians Should Consider

The music profession involves a lot of travelling. During all these trips and touring events, musicians, their band members, and stage crew, will be prone to risks both on and off the stage. Also, their property or belongings may be at risk. In order to avoid the costs that come with losses or damages, musicians should think of the following insurance plans:

1. Health Insurance

Many vocalists or singers rely on their voice. They will perform well if their vocal cords are in good shape. Also, dancers will need to be healthy and fit. However, during the performance, a vocalist may lose her voice or a dancer may get injured. It is advisable to think about health insurance.

2. Commercial Van Insurance

Lots of musicians use vans to move around as well as carry their music instruments. And like in any other vocation, the van may be involved in an accident; it may get damaged, or stolen. To minimize the high costs of repair or compensating somebody else, it’s vital for musicians to take a commercial van insurance as it is different than regular car insurance policy.

3. Instrument Insurance

Vehicle insurance only covers the vehicle, the occupants or third party. It never insures the instruments which can at times be quite costly. The best way to insure the instruments is through instrument insurance. You will be compensated in case of loss or damage to the equipment.

4. Funeral Insurance

Although many don’t anticipate this, deaths will take place during a tour or concert. It may be caused by a road accident, stage collapse, health issues and more. The last thing you want to do is decide the music to be performed at at a funeral, Funeral insurance helps offset the cost of arranging for the funeral without breaking the bank account.

5. Trauma Insurance

Musicians can also be affected by traumatic ailments. The most common ailment is cancer which is becoming rampant. The best way to manage the condition without having to cancel tours or concerts is by taking on a basic trauma insurance. Never heard of trauma cover? don’t fret, people in Australia have been getting trauma coverage for years now, with it while any member of the band is recovering from a critical illness, neither the band member nor their family member will be financially affected.

6. Standard Home Insurance

Besides the musical instruments, musicians also own other property which includes their home. While away, the home may be broken into, razed by fire, or damaged by natural catastrophes such as hurricanes and earthquakes. A musician should therefore take home insurance as a precautionary measure.

7. Vacant Insurance

Musicians leave behind some valuable instruments when they go for shows or tours. They may be away for many months and their absence will be noticed by neighbors and other people. Due to the vulnerability of the home, the instrument can get stolen. This risk can be combated by taking a special kind of home insurance known as vacant insurance.

8. Public Liability Insurance

During a performance, a microphone, speaker, or the musician can trip and fall on a spectator. This may lead to the spectator getting injured and later suing the performer. To handle the situation amicably, it is best to make certain you have public liability insurance.

Many musicians see insurance as an after thought and an unnecessary expense. In fact, many will go on tours without any form of insurance at all. Sadly, many live to tell of horror experiences after an incident or accident that they had to pay out of pocket or borrow from their agency.

The best way to enjoy the tour or concert while remaining healthy and safe is by taking up insurance.

How To Support Yourself As A Musician. Drive Forklifts

I’m a musician and I always will be a musician. From my very earliest recollection I remember wanting to play and write music and being a musician was all I ever wanted to do. Even if I was to choose a new career now it would still be something to do with writing or playing music, or both.

In fact being a musician has been incredibly rewarding for me. It has brought all sorts of things into my life that probably would never have been there if I had not learned to write and play music.

But there is one thing that being a musician has not brought into my life, sadly. It’s money. The reality is that whilst being a musician is a wonderful career for a whole host of reasons it doesn’t pay very well.

Of course there’s your high paid musicians just as there are actors who make a fortune but for the vast majority of musicians there is no money to be made either writing or playing music.

I recently spent six months in Australia at the invitation of a small band. They wanted me to play with them and I did so for quite some time, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. However it didn’t pay.

In fact to support myself in Australia I eventually had to find work. I researched carefully to find work which I could do without any particular qualifications, as there were no jobs available for me in music.

I discovered that if I did a short course to qualify for a forklift licence then I could get reasonable paying work, working as a forklift driver. The forklift licence course was only a few days. And so it was very easy for me to qualify as a forklift driver.

In fact, I thoroughly enjoyed the forklift training course from http://www.forklifttrainingaustralia.com/ and would recommend it to anyone who was looking for a job in Australia, forklift driving is actually quite a lot of fun.

And whilst I drove forklifts in Australia, and enjoyed it, I also discovered that there are some benefits to working at an independent job away from music. Obviously I enjoyed the extra income, but I also enjoyed taking my mind off writing songs.

And so now I’ve got back home I’m planning on investigating about getting a forklift licence locally and looking for local forklift training courses. I’ll have to spend a little time researching about whether there is work available for forklift drivers.

In the interim I’m taking out a small installment loan, which I should be able to pay back relatively soon. It’s short-term finance and it’s not a lot, but an installment loan is all I qualify for now because I have no assets.

So it’s becoming reasonably pressing now for me. I’ve been online this morning looking for forklift training courses and I’m signing up for one today. I need the money urgently to keep myself alive and to pay off my installment loan.

But I’ll never give up writing and playing music, that’s my passion.

What it’s Really Like to be a Roadie!!!

Ever since I was a kid, I dreamt of having a job in the music industry. As my musical tastes matured to punk rock in my teenage years, I discovered, in myself, a knack for becoming a part of the punk rock culture by attending local shows and helping to promote and support my friends’ gigs. Being a part of the punk rock scene was what brought on the idea of combining my love for music with my passion for travelling and possibly turning it into a serious career.

After graduating from college, I decided to gain some more firsthand experience in the music industry by working for friends who produced concerts – I learnt loads about the inner workings of the live music industry. This ‘internship’, so to speak, allowed me to get comfortable with many different jobs inside the music industry and led me to becoming a crew member for several bands as they hit the road.

The biggest misconception about being a ‘roadie’ is the assumption of outsiders that all we do is party with the band, chase after female fans and get high on drugs. The truth is that it is a lot more complex and not nearly as attractive as it is made out to be.

People often overlook the day to day living and travelling conditions of those who are in this line of work. Contrary to the picture that Hollywood paints, there isn’t an abundance of business class flights or rides in shiny black limousines. Most of the bands I have worked with travelled in a passenger van with a trailer to carry the luggage and gear. There wasn’t a luxurious bus with personal mini-televisions and reclining seats and there were certainly no frequent stops for R & R. We had to pee in empty water bottles on the road because the entourage couldn’t stop so that a few of us could take care of our business. At the end of the day, we would cram into a single hotel room – and most of us would be sleeping on the floor. Thankfully, this particular problem I was able to solve thanks to a recommendation from a friend about www.mysleepresource.com, a website that listed excellent portable air mattresses that even a roadie could afford as well as other sleep aid products! The concept of privacy was thrown out of the window (along with a television a couple of times!) and arguments could turn sour pretty fast. I managed to stay out of the worst kind of trouble by being considerate towards the people around me and staying mindful of my surroundings.

I know that many of the people in my line of work don’t like being referred to as ‘roadies’ but I have no qualms, especially since when I tell people about my job, it sounds a lot cooler than it really is and some of them even buy me a drink so they can inquire whether I know about their favorite band!

Life on the road accompanying a band definitely has its crazy upsides that most music fans would envy – but it isn’t the cakewalk it’s portrayed to be.

Music Is the Great Motivator

headsetMusic is, perhaps more than ever in history, an integral part of our lives. It is absolutely everywhere. Just by taking a casual glance around yourself, you will be able to see people walking around with headphones on their heads, or ear buds in their ears. It’s almost like we need a soundtrack for just about everything we do. And music is readily accessible, too.

YouTube, MySpace, Last.fm, iTunes and hundreds of other media outlets and websites are there to provide you with your favorite tunes, some for free, some for a fee. People also have a great deal of choice on how they are going to blast out their favorite music. Some prefer mp3 players, such as iPod and the likes of it. Some simply upload music on their cell phones. Others tune into radio stations while they’re at work, in their car, or at home. Records are making a comeback, as well, with each new release being issued on iTunes, CD, and vinyl simultaneously.

It may sound like a cliché, but music makes things better. Even the most boring, mundane chores are made more bearable once music is involved into the equation. Speaking of boring stuff people would like to avoid doing, exercising makes the top of the list for most. Many people don’t really like working out, not just because it requires a lot of effort, but because it’s so repetitive. Doing the same moves over and over again simply kills any kind of motivation, which is why most of us quit after a short while. Music might be one of the solutions!

Getting in Shape with Music

Take a look at the latest home fitness equipment – things like rowing machines, exercise bikes, treadmills and elliptical machines. The manufacturers have jumped on the fact that so many people use music to relieve boredom whilst working out. In fact it has been proven that people will exercise more vigorously and for longer periods of time if they are listening to music – this article explains it in detail. Elliptical machines nearly all have music “built in” – either by providing MP3 docks or including speaker systems. They were one of the first to embrace the technology but the others have followed.

Not convinced about the effects of music on your ability to workout longer and harder? If you don’t believe us, try working out while blasting Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger”. Imagine Rocky running up that long flight of stairs. Whether you want to admit it or not, you will be provided with a small jolt of instant motivation, pumped to carry on a bit more. And if that particular tune doesn’t do it for you, find another one that will. Try putting together a playlist containing songs that will get you psyched. Also, the quality of the workout will be much better, because you will attempt to stick to the beat. If you don’t believe us, try it.

There you go, yet another area of life that has been improved with music. But, we would also like to point out one thing. While music can be used as pleasant distraction or a means of spicing things up, it should still be appreciated for what it is. That means finding the time every once in a while to relax, sit in your favorite chair and truly listen to music just for the sake of music, and not just consume it like some sort of product. It is so much more than that.

Foundation For A Blossoming Music Career

A lot of us who wish to have a career playing the instrument we love don’t really know how to go about starting. If you can afford a manager you won’t need any of this advice. If you’re like the rest of us, these basics are very helpful in creating your repath. I will go over some of my best suggestions here.

Have an Identity:
There are a lot of people who know how to sing, compose a song and know how to play different musical instruments all at the same time. This means that knowing how to play the guitar or sing well won’t necessarily give you an edge when starting out in the music business industry. People forget easily. You might be a household name for a few months due to a popular music contest TV show or you might have trending YouTube videos for a week, but that does not mean that you will still be able to sell concert tickets or make a best-selling album in the coming years.

The music industry is tough, but there is a way to work around it. In order to have staying power in your music career, you need to know the kind of music you like to provide, you need to establish yourself first. Having an identity means having an image people can identify or with. Know if you are a punk rock singer, a balladeer, or if you want to be known in the world of pop music or classical music.

As an example, Celine Dion is viewed as one of the top paid divas in the world. People have really identified with her music. She has become a brand in her own right, and has signature songs that people are reminded of. After establishing her identity, she went on to explore other genres of songs maintained an image that people are able to associate with.

Know who your fans are:
Fan loyalty, is what will keep a musician on top. You don’t necessarily have to gain the attention of the entire world. All that it takes is to know what type of individuals are loyal to your concept and how will you be able to grow with them as an artist over time. A lot of musicians commit the mistake of not taking care of their loyal fans. They tend to reduce the time researching on how to best inspire the people who supported them first. If you know how to take care of your fans, your career is set for life.

Invest in a good Public Relations team to boost your career:
Anyone who wants to remain in the limelight and have their career secured must have a good PR team handling their career. This must be a person or a group of individuals that you trust. These people can boost your public image and can make sure that you will remain in the music scene. A lot of musicians get destroyed by bad publicity. A bad public image can ruin your entire career. Work closely with the PR team, and be clear on the image you want to project to the world and why, and ask them how you can best achieve that.

Know there is more to life:
It can be difficult to get back to reality, but unless you have no real responsibilities there is going to have to be some time you put things on hold. Being able to perfect this art is the most difficult and most crucial, in my opinion. If you can’t fund your efforts somehow, they stand no chance. You could try to find a job that is flexible in terms of hours. I know a singer who earns a great salary as a medical biller and coder. He makes his living from home, and can make himself available for any gig. Sometimes even on short notice.

Another thing of high importance is being able to decompress. It’s easy to find yourself in the studio for any spare moment you can find, but you should also have a great way to clear your head completely. One of the things that I like to do is spend time alone in the woods. Being that close to nature really helps my creativity too! I have even started to take pictures of the scenery out there since I discovered game cameras. I hope the photos they take will one day be on an album cover!

Remember that a lot of musicians started out great, but have ended up failing in the end for not having clear goals. You need to be willing to take the time to learn, as the years go by.
Always make time to improve your craft and who you are as a person and as an artist.

« Previous Entries