Monthly Archives: December 2010

Have a Safe and Happy New Year!

Just wanted to wish all of you a Happy New Year!  Please remember to drive carefully to and from those New Year’s Eve gigs…we want you to make lots of music in the coming year (yeah, and some money, too) and you can’t do that from the hospital or the pokey.

If you’re hungry after the gig and you’re in the Metairie area you can get some great food at City Diner.  They’re open 24/7 and have all kinds of good stuff…great prices and good portion sizes.  I’ve been eating there with my friend, Al, in the mornings.  It’s good, I’m not kidding.

I’ll be putting together more articles and resources for y’all in 2011 …and more books, too, so stay tuned.

You Tube Musicians Wanted

Yes, I’m sure everyone knows about the You Tube by now, but I want to tell all you indie musicians and bands out there something you may not know about.  You Tube Musicians Wanted: a (relatively) new way to promote and monetize your music videos.

One of the panel discussions at the Sync Up Conference this year had to do with promoting your music using the internet and various social media.  Ms. Ali Sandler, who works for You Tube, was on the panel and explained this new program.  Basically, what they’ve done is expanded their existing partner program to include original indie artists and bands and not just the big (and not so big) record companies and publishers.  Those accepted into the program earn a portion of the advertising revenue from ads displayed on their page.  Notice I said, “those accepted…”.  Yes, you must apply and be accepted into the program in order to reap the benefits.

According to Ms. Sandler the most successful participants aren’t the ones with the most music videos on their page.  The musicians and bands who post more intimate videos where they are just sitting in front of the camera speaking to their fans or playing/singing a bit from a new song seem to get the most hits.  Those who allow comments and respond to them often also seem to get a real boost in popularity.  Why?  The same reason following a favorite celebrity on Twitter has become so popular: people want to feel connected to the artists and bands they like.  When they feel like they know you (even though they don’t, actually), they’re even more likely to spread the word about you and your sound.

So, check it out and apply to see if you qualify.  It can’t hurt to try.  Just make sure you’ll be able to put in the time needed to maintain your online presence if you do get accepted.  So much social media…so little time.

Protect Your Hearing, For Crying Out Loud

Plugs made just for can barely see them...and you'll hear so much better.

Did you know that inside of every Sears department store is a hearing center?  I didn’t know it, either, but it’s true.  They employ licensed audiologists to help people get a handle on their hearing.  Yes, they do hearing aids, but they also do preventive care…I’m talkin’ Musicians Earplugs, people!  The beautiful thing about the Sears Hearing Centers is that it’s always free to have your hearing checked.  They also have a super cool video otoscope (the otoscope is the thing the doctor uses to see inside your ear) so you’ll get to look at the inside of your own ear.

Getting a quality set of earplugs is essential for musicians.  Good earplugs don’t muffle sound (like foam earplugs) they simply reduce the volume.  All the sound is still clear, just quieter, so your ears don’t get damaged.  The prices vary from $120-$200 depending on where you get them, but it’s a really important investment that could save your hearing.  Each set of plugs comes with three different filter buttons, which allows you to adjust the noise reduction to the situation AND the plugs are custom molded to your ears so you get a perfect fit and better acoustics.

If you live in Southeast Louisiana, you can go to All American Hearing to get a list of all the Sears Hearing Centers in the area.  If you don’t live here, check out the Sears website and find a center near you (you can search by zip code).  Remember, the hearing test is FREE.  I thought my hearing was a lot worse, but I’m still in the “normal” range.  Don’t let fear keep you from taking control of your hearing…go get it checked, especially if you’re a working musician.

To learn more about the Musicians Earplugs themselves, check out Etymotic Research, Inc. They have a great brochure and more info about how the earplugs actually work.