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Author Topic: Gettin The Word Out About Your Band  (Read 2017 times)

hargerst

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Gettin The Word Out About Your Band
« on: June 09, 2004, 08:46:16 PM »

From January, 2003:

OK, so you have the world's greatest band.  So what?  If nobody hears about your band, you're gonna be in the toilet in six months to a year.  So how do you get the word out to people and clubs that you have a great band?  Here are some of the steps you need to take:

1. If a tree falls in the forest...
That's an old philosophical question as to whether a tree falling in the forest makes a sound if there's nobody around to hear it.  The same question applies to your band.  If you don't have a CD of your band, how can anybody listen to you? Once your band is good enough, make the best CD you can of your group.  That's gonna be people's first impression of your band, and it better be damned impressive.  

If you hafta apologize for the sound or make excuses (we ran out of money, or the engineer was stoned, or we did this ourself), you're better off not even showing the CD.  No impression is better than a bad first impression.  You don't need to record a whole album, either. Three to five songs is enough to get gigs and sell at clubs.

2. Giving out CDs...
Do NOT give your CDs to your friends and family.  This is your core base of support.  Your families are the one single group that you know where everyone can afford to buy the CD.  You don't need to impress them with how cool you are and give out CDs for free.  Your family knows EXACTLY how cool you are.  If they insist on a free CD, tell them you'll give them a free one out of the first batch of pressed CD; these hafta get you jobs and money.

3. So who should get free CDs?
Anyone that can do the band some good, either by getting jobs or more publicity.  That means reviewers, club owners, radio stations, record companies, managers, and booking agents get free CDs.  EVERYBODY ELSE PAYS.

4. How much should I charge for my CD?
That's a little tricky to calculate, but the going rate is roughly around $1.00 to $1.50 per song.  For a 3 or 4 song CD, around 4 to 5 bucks won't kill anyone; a 5 or 6 song CD would go from $5 to around $8, and 10 to 12 songs is considered a full album and charging $13 to $15 is the norm.

5. How important are the graphics and the rest of the CD package?
It's all part of that "first impression", so it's very important, but that doesn't mean you hafta spend an arm and a leg on the graphics. If it's done well, you can produce a great CD package using CD-Rs, paper labels, and printing the traycards and booklets at home, using a good computer graphics program and a goodinkjet printer.  This is the most economical way for groups to go if they don't have a big following yet.

6. What do we do with the money from CD sales?
If you're starting off with a 3 to 5 song demo, the money from those sales should go into a fund to finish the album, and the money from album sales should go into a fund to produce professionally pressed CDs.  Finally, the money from pressed CD sales should go into a fund to produce a second album, and anything left over should be divided by the group, or used for group purchases (like a PA or T-shirts or bumper stickers).
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Harvey "Is that the right note?" Gerst
Indian Trail Recording Studio
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