Bands are small businesses -- name your brand carefully!

Bands are small businesses -- name your brand carefully!

Look, Fair Trade Music is about helping musicians make better music by getting them at least a minimum wage. We're not here to save these miserable turds!  Raising the minimum to something above zero minus expenses does not preclude a meritocracy --  It's still up to venues to hire acts they think will make good business partners. Bands still have to do half of the promotion and entertain the crowd, keeping them there dancing, drinking, and wanting to come back.  If the band's good enough to hire, they're good enough to get a minmium wage. If they do their job well, they're worth more. 

Music = Trabalho / Music is work?!

Music = Trabalho / Music is work?!

OK, for those non-lusophones: Panel 1: "Rock  show today! Half off with this flyer!"Panel 3: ("amp comes back broken") Panel 4: "And they say music isn't work?!"  

For The Love, Brau!

For The Love, Brau!

There's nothing wrong with 'Doing it for the Love..."  when conditions are right.   If  absolutely everybody's donating their time, play your heart out.Otherwise, if you're doing it for the love and someone else is doing it for the money, that's not love.  You are getting screwed. Moreover, we're all in this same bathtub and it's not very big. So, like it or not, that gets us screwed, too! Stop it! Get a guarantee or say "no."

Money for New Instruments

Money for New Instruments

Fans tend to forget how expensive gear is, and musicians apparently like buying it so much that they forget to figure the cost of amps, strings, cables, repairs, drums, heads, cymbals, mics, cases, effects, stands, etc. etc. into their overhead costs.  

Eating Music

Eating Music

Since this isn't actually possible, make sure you are getting paid enough to put real food on your table. You - and the other musicians in your market - will be better off for it.  

Musicians:

Musicians:

What do you think you're doing? 

HOBBY?!

HOBBY?!

from 'four things every musician's gotta know' #1: Hobby vs. Service.  A hobby is noncommercial. You can start and stop whenever you want, you don't have to work continuously to hone it, spend time and money advertising it, or carry equipment. However, when the time, place, duration, and high quality are all specified, that's not a hobby any more-- It's a service, especially in a business BASED on (making money from) that service.

Yeah Brah, come and "Jam."

Yeah Brah, come and "Jam."

Ironically, it tends to only work on drummers. I'm sure this fits in to the "Should I Quit My Band" flow chart somewhere. 

Art and Music Require Preparation

Art and Music Require Preparation

"Music is a day job."  According to a poll we did a few years back, musicians spend about three hours in preparation (not to mention travel, load-in, load-out, setup, teardown, promotion, and marketing) for every hour they spend on stage.  Performing is a service that involves preparation and expensesThere's no reason that service should be free. 

Show in News Feed

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In order to create advertising sales, Facebook recently started using fancy language and fancy programming to ensure that only about 15% of posts are actually seen by the people that 'like' that page.  That's a bummer, becuase we think our posts are pretty great!

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Thanks! 

Should you quit your band?

Should you quit your band?

I have a different set of rules: 1) Are the other musicians similarly committed? 2) Does the band have a coherent vision and goals? 3) Do the other musicians insist on playing crappy, no-pay gigs?  if 1 or 2 are 'no' or 3 is yes, I leave.  Maybe that's 'cause I'm a decent drummer!  

"Supporting" Music

"Supporting" Music

Almost anyone you talk to will say they "support" music. To them, that usually means to go to a show, clap, and smile.However,   we live in an age where music is instantly produced by white plastic electronic devices for free. Why would any one pay for that? Musicans are just hobbysts who appear out of nowhere and 'have fun,' right?  It's getting more and more difficult to remind people that what musicians do is a service that has value, and they have bills to pay just like everybody else. Part of the campaign's goals is to educate the general public that music takes preparation: a poll we did a few years back indicated that on average, musicians spend four hours preparing for every hour that they're on stage.  Many do much, much more. 

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