Author Archives: Eric
I’ll be starting at 8 pm. Come out and say hello. http://www.precinctbar.com/music/
I’ll be playing some East Coast dates this week.
I’ve got a quick tip for independent musicians who are marketing/promoting their commercially produced CDs.
On Wednesday, May 26th, I was at an Austin Music Foundation event called “Tips for Success from Inside the Music Biz” at the legendary Stubb’s Bar-B-Que. The discussion was moderated by Paige Maguire, music editor of Austinist.com. She rocks.
The panelists were:
- Mike Locke – Director, Independent Label Liaison, Rhino Independent, Warner Music Group
- Maggie Martin – EMI Music Publishing
- John Nicholson – Regional Director of Promotions and Marketing for Hollywood Records
The panelists were very interesting and the group held a wide-ranging discussion. One tip I picked from the panel relates to the Gracenote Media Recognition Service, which according to Gracenote’s website, is:
“…an Internet-based service that we license to software and hardware developers for use in their CD players, CD burners, MP3 players and encoders, catalogers, jukeboxes, cell phones, car audio systems, and home media center applications (among others). The service allows these developers to display artist, title, tracklists, and other music-related information automatically and instantly in their applications.
For example, when you insert a music CD into your CD ROM on your computer, the software player application on your computer uses our service to first identify the CD, and then display the artist, title, tracklist, and other information. Most commercial music CDs do not contain any of this information on the CD itself.”
The sense among the panel was that if you send off your CD to a music reviewer, radio station, publishing company, etc., without entering the information into Gracenote, your CD is less likely to receive any attention. It might even get tossed in the trash. I’m pretty sure that industry folks receive tons of CDs and this is one easy fix that might help you get noticed.
I went home after the panel and entered my band’s CD “The Sunday Best” in Gracenote. Here’s how I did it.
NOTE: The following steps assume that your computer is connected to the Internet.
1. Insert your CD into your computer and fire up iTunes. If you don’t have iTunes, you can get it here.
On the left side, click on your CD under Devices. In the list view, you should see Track 01, Track 02, etc.
2. Edit your track information
Select all the songs on the disc, then either choose File, Get Info or right-click and choose Get Info from the context menu. Make as many changes as possible for all of the songs (Artist, Album, Composer, Genre, Year as applicable to your situation). Next, follow the same process for each individual track so that you can enter the Name of each song. Make sure everything is spelled correctly. Click OK when you’re done. Confirm that the fields are all updated to reflect your changes.
3. Submit CD track names/songs to Gracenote via iTunes
Choose Advanced, Submit CD Track Names. iTunes will connect to Gracenote, check the available categories, and submit your information. A few days later (typically) your information will be available to everyone in the world that is using Gracenote (including that important music industry contact that you just sent your CD).
Till next time.
Welcome to SongWrite. This article will help you set up your songwriting space.
First, I have a few questions for you. This blog is new and I have no idea who is reading it. Please share your responses or questions in the comments section. That will help me tailor future articles.
- Are you new to songwriting?
- Did you write a song this week?
- Have you written a song or songs in the past?
- Did you come here looking for a few tips to improve your practice?
Whatever your situation, you are going to be writing more songs soon.
Set Up Your Songwriting Space
Setting up your songwriting space is an important act. It’s a signal to yourself that you are ready to write–at any time. It’s a signal to yourself that you will be prepared when inspiration strikes. Follow these steps and you will be able to focus on songwriting without distraction. Set up your songwriting space so that you are ready when your song moment comes.
Pick the Right Spot
As you ask yourself the following questions (touchy-feely disclaimer):
- Is there a place in my home/workspace where I feel energized, creative, happy? Go and stand in that area. Think about how you feel.
- Ask yourself, “Can I dedicate this place (or a portion of this space) to songwriting?” If your answer is yes, proceed to the next section (Pick the Right Tools). If not, think of another area in your home, rinse and repeat.
Pick the Right Tools
Now think about the following questions, grab what ever comes to mind, and place it in your songwriting area:
- What instrument(s) do I use or want to use to write music?
- How can I easily capture songs as they come to me? Do I prefer to write using sheet music, a pen and paper, a handheld recorder, a 4-Track, ProTools, etc.?
- Where’s my tuner?
- Do I want to sit or stand?
Depending on your responses to the questions above, set up your space so that you have all of the tools you will likely need. Think about the basics that come to mind. Don’t worry if you can’t have everything you want.
Pick Your Inspiration
Consider using a peg board for inspirational quotes, photos, goals, and random thoughts you may have. Who inspires you? What’s your favorite band?
Set up a basic filing system with separate spaces for song bits or fragments, mostly completed songs, and completed songs. A basic notebook will do if you are just getting started. Keep your song ideas organized and you will spend less time being frustrated.
Pat Your Self on the Back
Congratulations. You’ve set up your songwriting space. Next time, I’ll discuss the importance of showing up. In the mean time, if you feel ready to write, go for it. Until then, thanks for dropping in.