Web directories Web Analytics Learning Guitar-Making Your Own Music Learning Guitar-Making Your Own Music: 05/01/2011 - 06/01/2011Learning Guitar-Making Your Own Music

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Making Your Own Music-Record Deals

Today I will provide informative information on record deals

In the past several posts I have covered what every band or solo artist needs when making your own music. Keep in mind that in the music industry there is what is called industry structure. These are several designer methods to choose from:

Major Record Companies

This is one of the ways that most of the records are made. An artist signs a recording contract with a major label like (Warner Bros., Columbia, etc). You record your material and hand it off to the label. The company then turns these into records, but it is not that easy. This procedure is not as easy as it sounds and takes many steps and people involved in making this happen. After songs are recorded and shaped into a record it is then shipped to a distributor. The distributor is the whole-saler that sells your records to the music retail stores and distributes your music digitally as well. The company them gears up its advertising, promotion, marketing, etc., and hopefully with the hard work and effort makes you a star. Every major label has major divisions within there company and play a vital role in the entire process.

Record Companies major divisions and departments

A&R. These are the people and individuals that are the people with "ears" who find and nurture new artists and new bands, and who work creatively with the artists.

Sales. These people get your records into the stores

Marketing. They handle advertising, publicity, album cover design and artwork, promotional videos, in-store displays, promotional merchandise, etc.

Promotion. These folks live solely for the purpose of getting your records played on the radio. They spend their day what we call "jamming" the radio stations and telling the stations play the songs from this band. It is a method of kissing up to the stations so you get played on the air.

Product Management. Product managers are in charge of motivating all the other departments and divisions and getting them to work together as a team and push those records you have produced.

New Media. They are responsible for delivering the music electronically.

Production. They are in charge of manufacturing, cover printing, assembling, and shipping to the distributors.

Finance. This department computes and pays out your royalties and keeps track of the labels income and expenses.

Business Affairs/Legal. These are executives are responsible for the company's contracts, not only with the artists, but with record clubs, foreign licensees, etc. These business affairs people negotiate the deals with other executives, make decisions as to what to get. The legal department gives legal advice and drafts certain contracts.

International. They coordinate the release of your records around the entire world and oversee all functions to foreign territories.

Making your own music and the distribution of your record

All of the major record labels are all distributed by major distributors, which are gigantic networks that move the record from the manufacturing plants into the stores and onto the shelves. After years of consolidation, there are only four major distributors left , and they are owned by the major labels. They are EMI, they distribute to Capital and Virgin Records; Sony BMG to Cloumbia, J, Geffen, MCA, Island, Def Jam and Motown; and WEA to Warner Bros., Elektra and Atlantic.

Independent Record Labels

Independents are not owned by major labels and they are divided into two flavors. One is what is called Major-Distributed Independent. They usually have little or no staff. They sign an artist with a major label to perform all function except recording the records. These companies look for talent but are not seasoned for stardom right away.

True Independent

They are not owned by a major label, but are financed by its owners and investors. A few names are: Ryko, Sub Pop, Epitaph, Rounder Records, Flying Fish, and Victory.

In making your own music this is the rundown of record companies and how they operate. Next post, I will discuss what a record actually is? If you want to record from home click here.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Making Your Own Music-Agents Role

Making Your Own Music And The Role Of Your Bands Agent

Agents in the music business  are very different from agents in the film or sports business. While agents i sports and fil are the major power broker in the industry, controlling many imprtant aspects of it, agents in the music industry are involved exclusively in booking live shows, gigs and personal appearances. Music agents are sometimes involved in commercials, tour sponsorship, television specials, and other areas, but they don't participate in records and songwriting and thus are not big players in the way a film agents is. They are still viatally important.

Making Your Own Music Agent Fees

Because agents aren't involved in your recording or songwriting process with the exception of music in film, you or your band should never ever give the agent a piece of the income from these areas. The agents don't usually ask for a cut on film music.

Making Your Own Music Agent Unions

All agents are or should be regulated by unions like AFM (American Federation of Musicians) for musicians;
AFTRA (American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) for vocalists and taped or live television actors and actresses; SAG (Screen Actors Guild) for film; and Actors Equity for live stage actors. These unions put a cap on how much the agents can charge, namely 10% for personal appearences inder AFM. The unions regulation of agencies is called franchising, and unions only allow their members to be represented by "franchised" agents, meaning those who agree to the union's restrictions. One of these restrictions is that the agency can only use contracts approved by the union, which results in any union having its own pet form, spelling out the union's particular requirements. So your bands agents contract is a big one with lots of clauses and is what is called a "stack contract", which are specific content for the three federations mentioned earlier. Some agents will take 5% for artists and bands generating major revenues. This only applies to concerts. They stay at 10% for fim, TV, etc. Keep in mind that there can be a sliding scale, so that your income goes up, the percentage goes down.Born This Way (Special Edition).

Friday, May 27, 2011

Making Your Own Music-Lawyer Fees

Making Your Own Music-Lawyer Fees

Today I will discuss how much a music lawyer can charge your band. It will vary and fees can jump all over the place when searching for the right fit for your band. When making your own music, you will find that you will have to pay a bit for your team members. Most of the lawyers in the music business will and should not charge you for hourly rates. The very few that do exist, they can charge you anywhere from around $150 to $650 dollars per hour. The few that charge on the higher range, these are usually the big boys in the business with big named commercial artists or bands. Some charge %5 percent of what they negotiate in your contract containing to everything and anything that you and your band make. The most standard fee is called value billing. Value billing is when a contract is done and the lawyers gets a fee based on the size of the deal. If the lawyer had not much to do in the way of the structure set up or clauses that you requested, than the lawyer should only get %5.

Making Your Own Music And Conflicts Of Interest With Your Lawyer

A lawyer has a conflict  of interest when hos or her clients get into a situation where their interest are adverse. Lawyers are ethically required to disclose their conflicts of interests with you and your band members. Your choice is to hire another lawyer, or you may waive the conflict, and continue to use the same lawyer. When you seek a lawyer make sure that during the interview process, make sure that they mention the conflict of interest clause. Why? The lawyer might represent your label or manager.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Make Your Own Music-Picking A Lawyer

Over the past few posts I have covered the roles of your team members. Today I cover the lawyers clout. Attorneys in the music industry do much more than just look over contracts and advise clients about the law of music. Your lawyers should be very involved in structuring deals and shaping the band or artists business lives. Music lawyers have evolved into one of the most powerful groups in the industry, as strange as this may sound. Remember when making your own music your team members are key!


A music lawyer with clout can get through to people much faster than a lawyer without any clout. Record companies screen phone calls unless you are an important lawyer. They will  treat the lawyer like a god to keep a good re pore. Reason being is because a lawyer with a big name will usually get the big name bands, so the record companies will kiss the rears of the important lawyers. So a lawyer with a good relationship
will get your deals done much quicker and can get you the maximum that legitimately be had. Your band should also know what clout doesn't do. There is only so much you and your band can get from a particular deal, regardless of who is asking. If a record company doesn't like your music, they're not going to sign you
because of your lawyer that represents you. If they're hot for you, you'll get a deal even if you lawyer is a joke.

Tomorrow I will get into the fees. Good bye for now.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Role Of Business Manager

Business Manager

The business manager is the one person on your team who handles all your money and earnings. This person collects it, keeps track of it, pays your bills, invests it if you want and makes sure you file tax returns. This team member you must make sure this person is legit and has experience because it is your money. The state of California has no rules and you need no creditials whatsoever to be or become a business manager. You also don't need to be a certified accountant either. You are probably thinking that you didn't go into the music business to become this big time investment wizard. This means you are turning your money that your band has earned over to someone who has no more finachial training than yourself. However, you should be focused on your music and winning millions of fans and keeping them happy with your material. Numbers and money can and are intimidating and this makes anyone nervous. This is why you hire a team to deal with the daily issue of the business. This is why I urge everyone to put the effort into hiring the  correct team members. Remember that everyone you choose for your team is a major investment and hiring the correct people can effect how successful your band becomes. Just be careful when it comes to business managers!
 When picking a business manager it is vital that you check this person out and make sure they have references and don't choose someone brand new. Make sure that they have a successful track record. Make sure that they have some sort of certification. When making your own music, your manager is vital!

Business Manager Checklist

1. Make sure that you request and get finacial reports often. I would highly recommend monthly reports form the business manager. Make sure that you and your band members can understand the reports and they track every single penny that your band earns.

2. Make sure what the business managers philosophy is? Are they conservative or wreckless.

3. If he or she is a CPA(certified public accountant)? I would advise you that they are.

4. How much do they charge and fees? They can be paid two ways. They can get %5 of everything you make or hourly. This will have to be agreed upon by both parties. One or the other but never both of them.

5. Make sure you find out exactly what this person is going to do for you besides just pating the bills. Make sure that they do your tax returns. Some will charge you extra for this. I would make sure that this is included in the contract and this is included in the %5 or the hourly rate, not an extra fee. This can be pricey.

6. Does the business manager want a written agreement? Yes, have one to cover your butt.

7. Do they represent music clients? Make sure that they do. This shows you that they are specialized.

8. Make sure they have what is called E and O insurance. This stands for errors and omissions insurance. Get a copy.

9. Hire someone in the United States. To many loopholes and different rules and regulations.

10. Will this person object being audited? You should be able to audit this person to see if everything is fine with your money and there are no issues.

These are some of the major factors to connsider when hiring a business manager. This is all for today. To record your own music at home click here.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Contractual Terms


All this means is the period of time that the manager works for your band. If you are the band you want to make it as short a term as possible, if your the manager you want it as long as possible. The trend over the last few years is for the managers to have terms geared specifically for what we call album cycles, as opposed to a specific number of years like say a professional athletes contract. Am album cycle just means
a period of time from the commencement of recording an album until the end of the promotional activities surrounding the album. This includes a tour, as well as promotion of all singles from the album. When making your own music, a management term geared to album cycles is fairer  to the manager that you have hired. If the term is simply a period of years, it could get locked out of commissions after he or she has done most of the work. You as a band must be careful in negotiating the term of a management deal. Many artists and bands have lived toe regret being wrapped up in long-term contracts with simply lousy managers. If both parties are happy with how things have worked out then extending the term contractually is fine.

     The most common compromise is to say that if the band or artist doesn't earn a minimum amount of money, he or she can terminate the agreement if stated in the contract. As a band, you need to be realistic when you are a fresh band and are just starting out. You just don't blow up over night. This is a very rare occurrence. If you are a heavy touring band playing big venues, the numbers will be much higher than if you write folk songs and sing in coffeehouses. Coffeehouses don't pay the bills. I have here an example from a beginning rock artist's contract: The deal is for one album cycle, and the manager could renew for an additional cycle if the artist earned say $200,000 over the first album cycle. The manager has the power to renew on a third cycle if during the second cycle the band has earned more than the $200,00 from the first cycle. This theory is that you can't refuse to work and then get out of the deal because you didn't earn enough. This is just protection. Another approach is to use the albums sales figures, instead of overall dollars, as the factor. For example, you could terminate the deal if you haven't sold x number of albums by the end of the second album cycle. The sales level varies with the type of artis involved in the deal. If you are a commercial artist(mainstream), you want a fairly high figure. But if you are more off center and want to build slowly, the figure would be much lower. This does not usually occur until the second or third term as the manager can argue that the very first album is just the beginning of the building process. Some recent deals I have seen figures for 100,000  albums for a alternative band, and a figure for 250,000 albums for a
straight-ahead, commercial artist. Termination for failing on number agreed by both parties can be done two ways. One is a letter from the artist or band members to the manager containing legal terminology saying that "you are fired." The other is a shorter deal that continues if that artist or band achieves certain earnings in a specific cycle.  If the manager has satisfied the criteria, the deal continues. It's to your advantage to keep the continuation period as short as possible-say one more cycle with a sales criteria, the deal then continues.

Earnings After The Term

One of the most crucial points you have to negotiate is what your manager gets paid after the end of your deal. This means even after he or she is terminated if necessary. Even though the term may end after a few years, virtually every management says the manager gets paid on earnings after the term that are generated.
Contracts entered into or substantially negotiated during the term. This means two things:

1. As to the record made during the term of the management deal, the manager gets a commission from sales of these records occurring after the end of the management deal.

2. The manager is paid on records made after the term of your management deal. Records that are recorded under contract signed during the term but after the manager has gone.

This is a lot of information that bands should be aware of. This is my post for today and I will be back for more. Click here for recording at home and making your own music.


Monday, May 23, 2011

Make My Own Music-Your Team Members Roles! Part Four

Today is part four and will discuss a bit about money, commission costs and negotiating with the manager's deal. For the manager they typically get anywhere from 15% to 20% of the bands gross earnings. A majority of the music managers get 15 % as these percentages are applied to the gross earnings, before deducting any
expenses. So, this is what this means:

1. If your a solo artist/act, the fee is pretty much what is sounds like for publishing , songwriting, records, etc. There are some finer points that I will mention in a later post. In a nutshell the manager makes 15% of everything that your band brings in right down to the penny. When you are touring, a manager can make a good chunk out of your net. An example here: If the band earns $100,000 and you net say $40,000, your manager's 15% gross at $15,000 which is almost 40% of your $40,000 net income from your tour.

2. So if you are a group and you have more than five members, 15% of gross equals almost the same, or more than. any one of you earns if money is divided equally. Let say you have seven band members everybody gets one-seventh, that's 14.28%, which is actually less per band member than the manager's 15%. Keep in mind that the manager's cut comes "off the top" before you divide up monies.

Very important when hiring a manager is only offer 15% and not a penny more. Despite the powerful impact that a manager should and will have, it is possible to negotiate with your manager. Some managers will try to negotiate 20% stating that if you are a new band it is a risk for the time invested. The 15% to your manager is not going to stay this way for ever. Once your act reaches a certain dollar amount, let's say one million dollars. Anything after the negotiating certain dollar amount usually the percentage for the manager then goes to 20%.

So i need to mentioned what we call deductions that pertain to the business. Certain monies are customarily deducted before computing the manager's percent, even when he/she is paid on gross. Most manager don't take a commission on these deductions. Here is a list that don't involve payment to your manager.

1. Recording Costs.
If your label pays you monies specifically for recording a single release or album release you should not have to pay a commission. This is because the funds only pass through your hands and is not income.

2. Monies paid to a producer
This is the same as recording costs. This does also include advances to the producer, and also royalties.

3. Co-writers
When a song or songs are written with another party, the manager shouldn't get paid on the other person's share of the song's earnings.

4. Tour support
This is money paid by the record company to offset your losses from touring.

5. Cost of collection
Let say that you have to sue someone to get paid, the cost of suing them to collect your earnings should be deducted before applying the manager's percentage. Let's say that a promoter takes you for $50,000, and it costs the band $10,000 in legal fees, collection and court costs the manager should only commission on $40,000.

6. Sound and lighting
It is very common in personal appearances contracts for the band or artist to supply there own sound and lighting. The promoter then rents the sound and lights from their  artist or band for a specific dollar amount. This rent money is  considered an expense reimbursement. The manager is not paid on the amount allocated to sound and lights.

7. Opening acts
When you blow up and become superstar status, your deal for a personal appearance may also include monies paid to an opening act. Once again this is money that passes through your hands and shouldn't be commissionable.

This is all for today. I will post tomorrow and continue more on what to expect in the music industry. To make your own music click here.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Record Your Own Music-Your Team Roles Part Two

This is day three of a series on how to make your own music and the process and proper steps to make it in the recording world. The last post, I mentioned who your team members should be when pursuing a career in music. I primarily focused on the manager's role. Today's post I will cover the roles of other team members briefly. It seems that band's and solo artists find it a bit more difficult to find a manager than a lawyer. So why is it easier to get a music lawyer than a manager? The big factor that I have experienced in this crazy industry is the time factor. The required by a lawyer is very minimal compared to the time a manager has to devote to all the duties twenty four seven. The manager focuses on songs, image, bookings and overseeing the daily operations.  Remember is is the lawyer's relationship and clout-not their time-that count. A key component that most bands don't realize is that the lawyer you hire can shop your CD(demo) around to the recording companies.A word of caution about hiring a lawyer to shop your CD. Most of the lawyers in the business consider the importance to maintain their credibility with the record companies, and thus will only shop the CD that they personally really believe in. Yes unfortunately, there are a few music lawyers who will shop anything that comes flying through the door as long as they get paid a fee. I would take caution to this method. Stick to your manager submitting your material unless the lawyer thinks your the best thing since sliced bread and feels that your band is one phone call of getting signed if this is your bands intention. Always ask before hiring a lawyer if they shop a lot of Cd's. If they say yes just to get you excited, run. This situation is no better than submitting yourself, and maybe worse, because the record companies know these lawyers and how they operate. Always check out references before hiring a music lawyer. Ask them for names of solo artists and acts that they have shopped both successfully or not. See who is legit. When hiring your team members make it a collective effort with all band members. If you are a solo artist, than it is not a collective choice but always include your manager in the process. make sure you look beyond the big sales pitch of anyone that you interview. Everyone looks great when they are selling their assets to you. Make sure that you and your band is not lulled by promises that sound a bit far fetched. Many people say and promise things which they can not deliver just to get the job with your band. You and your band mates should be able to sift through these nuts. This is all for today. I will continue this series tomorrow. We are always trying to save money on recording costs. Click here to record your own music.

Author: Arian Collin is a manager in the music business.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Record Your Own Music-Your Team Members Roles!

So, I have decided to post a series of the process of the business side on making your own music for your band or solo artist. Yesterday I posted information on team members and the people you need to succeed in the industry of music making. This post I will explain the roles of your team members. The personal manager is the single most important person in your professional life. A good or great personal manager can and should expand your career to its maximum potential. When the job is done properly, a personal manager is basically the general manager and chef operating officer of your enterprise. Yes, a enterprise, a business. There are some artists without managers, but they are very much the exception, and they usually have one or more others on the team filling this role. The most important aspects of the manager's job are:

1. Helping you with major business decisions, such as deciding which record company to sign with, whether to make a publishing deal, how much front money to ask for, this kind of thing.

2. Helping you with the creative process, such as selecting a producer, deciding which songs to record, hiring band members, selecting photographers, publicist, etc.

3. Promoting your career by hyping you to everyone the manager meets, helping you coordinate a publicity campaign, etc.

4. Assembling and heading your professional team by introducing you to lawyers, business managers, and agents, and overseeing these people's work.

5. Coordinating your concert tours by working with your agent to make the best deals with promoters, routing your tour, working with your business manager to develop a budget, assembling your road crew, supervising the road and tour managers to make sure that everything runs a smooth as butter.

6. Pounding your record company to maximize the advertising and marketing campaigns for your records, making sure your records are treated as priorities, screaming at them when they are wrong and praising them when they do right.

7. Generally, being a buffer between you and the outside world, such as fielding inquires for commercial endorsements, personal appearances, charitable requests, taking the rap for the tough decisions that you make but don't want anyone to think you did, etc.

This is just a fraction of the managers role. On my next post I will discuss how to negotiate a contract deal with your manager. This is my second post of a major series I am posting daily on life in the music making business. Click here to record your own music.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Getting Your Team Together!

In the music business bands and solo artist's tend to miss a vital component in the process of there music career. Getting your team together is very very important. You need professionals to maximize your career an your net worth. You need to hire a staff. Here are your members you must include:

1. Personal Manager
2. Attorney
3. Business Manager
4. Agency

You and your band need to realize that you are a business. The music business is a money making machine and you must think of yourself as a business. Most artist don't like business. Not saying that you are not good at it but it is part of the music making and creating. Even if you are capable let others handle this. You should focus primarily on the music aspect. Keep in mind that you career is going to be a very limited run. Don't take offense to this point. There are very few Rolling Stones out there. The first choice is always a manager. Someone who will give there left arm for you and had big plans for you and your band. This individual needs to be filled with energy and enthusiasm. A manager should be a major part and considered and treated as a band member. It is easier to find a lawyer. They are a dime a dozen and are waiting for you call to construct a deal with the record labels. Lawyers are the last team member. Just before you are ready to commit to a label. Where do you find these people? The heavy hitters are in New York, Los Angeles and Nashville if you are in the country genre. There is a wesite called http://www.allaccess.com/. Here you can find an online directory of the top professionals you need. Hits magazine has information on contacts of bands team members. Also, Billboard is a great source. Go to, http://www.billboard.com/. By no means are these an a exhausting list of sources. Stay away from the sharks that are just looking to make money and do little or no work for you. Use your other team members to add to the team. A manager is partial responsible for recomending other team members. Never hesitate to ask what someone is going to charge you for his or her services. Remember that your manager should earn more money than the others. Managers are entitled to you royalties as well. Managers get anywhere from 8-15 percent. That is a good deal. They handle a big chunk of the work load. Remember you are hiring people to guide your professional life, not to hang out and party in the tour vans or buses. I will be posting several steps in succeeding in the music business. I hope this helps some of you inspiring musicians. Here is a great way to save money on studio recoring costs. Click here.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Everything About The Music Business!

I have to mentioned a great source of information that is written by Donald Passman who is a music lawyer for some of the biggest recording stars in music history. He has written a difinitive and essential book called "All You Need To Know About The Music Business". The Sixth edition is very comprehensive, revised and updated version of all the legal and financial aspects of the music world. Passman covers everything from how to form a team for your band to royalties. His keys to success in the music industry is how to protect yourself from recording labels. This book is a indispensable tool that is vital to anyone getting into the business. Drawing on Passmans's own unique professional experience as one of the most trusted advisors in the industry. In the latest edition the Los Angeles Times calls it "the industry bible". This book is a must for bands and solo artist seeking a career as a music artist. This book is the best piece of material you will find. A great reference for your music making process.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Music Making Software's!

A few online music making software's make it very easy to produce your own music at home at just the fraction of the cost of the professional studios which usually charge upwards of $200 per hour or even more. These software's will provide all the tools that are needed to succeed in the sphere of music production.
Most of the artists that are famous now started out with meager resources. But the evolution of the computers and the Internet has changed everything as today's budding artists have access to great music recording tools in  their own homes. I have found that these software's give you total say over your music has they have hundreds of virtual instruments and beats. You can't get any instrument that you can think of. From keyboards to drum beats, if you ever need them. All the sounds are crystal clear, mastered and the finished product is as good as that created in a professional studio.They offer multiple tracks which can be mixed at will with just a simple click of your mouse. Sequencers are well-designed and let you choose the tempo that you want along with the beats per minute that sounds good to you. Edit each track individually and apply equalizers to them either individually or to the finished track as a whole. You can also use stereo field individually for each track you create. Either choose the left channel or right or keep it in the center, you have the full authority over your beats and the independence to do whatever you want. These are just some of the basic things that you can do with these software's. They offer dozens of other complex features that can be used to produce sounds that you want. Look into a few of these music making software's. You won't be dissapointed.

Click here!

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/4808554

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Music Making Software Easy To Use!

     Musicians these days are finding easier and more effective way to express their creative talents. I have found a great download for creating beats and sounds that are comparable to a recorded studio. Dub Turbo is the answer for any artist seeking to record his or her own original material. Once you have used Dub Turbo you will forget all about the recording studio and there sky rocketing prices. The neat thing about Dub Turbo is that it is already in a finished product once you have completed recording. No additional costs on mastering or mixing. The product is great for bands and solo artists creating a demo.

Check it out!