by J.P. Kallio
In my nearly two decades as a full time musician I have learned a thing or two about this business. I also have become very fast at assessing what works and what does not when it comes to promoting, recording and performing your music.
These quick tips are simple actions that you can put to use straight away. From all the advice over the years these are the kind of things I got handed down from those who walked the path before me, and now I would like to share some of them with you. Some are things that have been tried and tested over time, some are the most up to date info on the ever changing world of online music marketing and some are just practical stuff I tried and tested my self. Hope you put them to a good use
Warming up your voice is the best way to make sure your vocal performs at its best in a concert or in the studio. But there are times when the life gets in the way and warming up just isn’t an option.
So here is a quick tip that will get your voice opened up in a matter of minutes. Fresh ginger. This stuff is like a magic potion for the voice. Grate a teaspoon full of fresh ginger and mix it into a cup of hot water or tea and let it brew for a few minutes. Drink it while it is still warm and your voice will be open and ready to perform. Happy singing.
As a musician it is paramount that you have active presence on Twitter. It still amazes me how many musicians completely ignore Twitter.
Here’s a quick tip of something that definitely helped me along the way. Spend some time working on you Twitter bio. I know it’s tough due to the character limit, but at the same time if you come up with something witty that at the same time describes you.
I get comments about my bio every week. It definitely has woken people’s curiosity time and time again. So don’t just stick to the obvious, but spend some time coming up with something original.
Todays quick tip is something that was sparked by a few different conversations I had with a few people about performing live. For some people performing live seems so natural and some people really struggle with it. I have performed thousands of shows at this point, but still there are occasions when the nerves creep in.
So how do we battle it? In my experience I get nervous when I have not prepared myself enough. So if you are thinking of doing your first live show, don’t just think, practice. Practice everything! Make sure your songs are in your backbone and you know exactly how you start and finish them. That guitar solo? I know you think it should be improvised in the moment… No! For even the best guitar players the improvisation is a mixture of well rehearsed patterns. Until you are extremely confident, prepare and practice your solos. Practice even the introductions between the songs. And this is not just a band practice, first you need to practice alone. Perform your set at home and film it with the camera on your phone. Look back and iron out anything that does not look natural.
When you are well prepared, almost a machine, that’s when you are ready, ooze of confidence. Sure the nerves will still be there, but your body knows what to do. Happy practising
When you start (or try to) your career in music, it is natural to believe you need to be discovered. You think you need to make a kick ass demo and submit it to the record labels, then hope one of them will take you and make you rich and famous. Most of us get disheartened by the constant rejection and eventually give up. Let’s put things into perspective. In 1962 Decca Records turned down the Beatles and instead signed Brian Poole and the Tremeloes. Now let that sink in for a little while…
Ok, so how do we deal with the constant rejection? How about minimising it, or get rid of it completely? In 2015 if you want to be a successful artist, you need to adapt an entrepreneur mind. Think of your music career as a business. Learn the business and do it all yourself. The information to get started is widely available online. Be smart, keep your startup lean. This does not mean you should not invest in your career, but you need to be smart with your money., it is going to be a long ride.
Once you churn out several albums, tour a lot, build a strong mailing list and make a name for yourself, then if the major label comes knocking you are in a completely different position to negotiate a deal.
I don’t really believe regret is very beneficial emotion to dwell in. but if you had to ask me if I have any regrets in my music career, it would be not starting a mailing list earlier. In fact if you ask any successful independent musician, blogger, startup company, they would all say the same.
So here’s my quick tip action you can go and do today. Go to www.mailchimp.com create an account and start collecting Emails. They have great forms you can design and they will host them for you (You can check out mine HERE ) or you can get the HTML code and drop it in to your website and you can integrate it with Facebook. Facebook is rolling out an action button at the moment and I’d assume this will be pretty seamlessly integrated with Mailchimp.
Also you should use your first recording to give away for free in exchange for people signing up to our Email list. I am giving away eight tracks at the moment
Go and get your Email list started today, you’ll thank me later.
J.P. Kallio is a singer-songwriter