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Should I Be Spontaneous – or Plan My Show?

Will McFarlane of Blues Counsel

It’s a question we get a lot. And the answer is yes. “Don’t confuse me, Tom!” Sorry! But the real answer depends on multiple things. I can count on one hand (maybe two) the artists I’ve worked with over 20 years who don’t think they are great with spontaneity. I admit, I really don’t understand […]

Share a Bit of Yourself Next Time You Perform

People come to see people

We listen to music through ear buds and stereo systems, on our laptops and iPhones, and in restaurants and elevators. We buy downloads, CDs, and albums. The majority of music we experience on a day-to-day basis comes through recorded music. But there is nothing that compares to seeing your favorite artist live! Being in the […]

A 12-Letter Word: 1 Secret to a Great Live Show

Demonstrating a trade off

It was years ago, but I remember it like it was yesterday. My experience that night gave me the best illustration of how a simple 12-letter word can be one of the secrets to a great live show! CeCe Winans, best selling Gospel artist of all time and friend of Whitney Houston, was singing at […]

5 Ways to Make More Money as a Musician

5 Streams of Revenue

In the traditional music industry, you toured to sell your recording. In the new music industry, you record and distribute a CD so you can get out in front of the public and play. In either model, 90% or more of an artist’s revenue comes from their live show. But for most bands, CD sales […]

I Could Have Sold Guitars

Pile of guitars

Years ago I had to make a decision. I’d been playing in a band for quite a while. I’d helped build a studio and done some producing, engineering, and mixing. But I was on the verge of getting married, was a little tired of life on the road… I had to make a career decision. […]

Timing is Everything (When it Comes to Moments)

Tom and Amy working with a band

It was a torturously slow rehearsal. Imagine your movie downloading on Netflix, seeing the little spinning wheel, waiting for the streaming speed to work its way up from 0.2 — that’s the way this rehearsal felt! I was working alongside Tom with a major artist, and the pace of the day was so much slower than […]

Making it in the Music Industry: 3 Things that Must Happen

Singer Charity Vance at microphone

Are you trying to “make it” in the music industry? You have the talent, you feel like your songs are good, and you’ve got a passion to do this thing called “music.” You’re special. You are confident that what you have to share with your music is unique. Now you need to get someone to […]

Summer Sweat (for Success!)

Sweat and hard work

Vacation from the drudgery of work & stale daily routines… sunny beaches and sounds of surf & seagulls… boating with the feel of wind & salt spray in your face… Summer means ‘play time,’ right? Ever since Kindergarten, we were conditioned to know summer meant no school and a lot of goofing off. We still […]

Bonding Lessons and “Let It Go”

Let It Go

You have been living under the proverbial rock if you haven’t heard “Let It Go” from Disney’s Frozen recently (or one of its 1000’s of parodies). YouTube views of almost a quarter of a billion! And that’s not counting the covers and parodies, which are as diverse as a mom and dad duo in the […]

One Product that Always Sells!

Merch Table at Event

Many artists — whether singer, songwriter, band, instrumentalist — have a product of some kind to sell to fans. Most have a CD. Or (in this day and age) at least some downloads available online. Maybe an EP. Even some of the youngest artists I work with have a few tracks recorded and available for […]