Monthly Archives: November 2016

Consider These Before Hiring a Professional Music Producer

Published / by mimin

Hiring a professional music producer or a TV music producer can be a bit of a legal minefield, so you will need to do your research or get advice before you put pen to paper on a contract. Here are just some of the main terms and types of contracts and licensing agreements that you will need to know about when you start negotiating a record production deal.

How Music Producers get paid

Music producers are usually paid on a flat fee basis or through royalties. A producer’s flat fee is usually calculated based an hourly rate and the number of tracks to be recorded. The up-front fee can be anything from $250 to $10,000 per track, depending on the producer’s own experience, the level of success to date of the artist, and on whether the recording is being made for a local independent label, or a major international record company.

Producers can also be paid royalties from the sales of a recording, in which case they will be paid a percentage of the revenue generated from sales of records, CD’s or downloads. As a general guide, a producer can expect to be paid in the region of 3-4% of the sales value of a recording, or 20-25% of the artist’s royalties. Where you see a track that is labelled as “produced by” that will usually mean that the producer had a major creative input into the work and is receiving 50% of the mechanical royalties, the other 50% going to the songwriters or the lyric writers. The mechanical royalties are a the royalties that are paid to a songwriter every time a copy, for example a CD, is made of their song.

The difference between major label producer deals and indie producer deals

If you are a musician and you sign up to a major label, you will have the advantages of the funding that a major label can provide as well as the networking connections and the reputation and influence that a major label can supply. However, with an indie producer deal, you will have a far closer relationship with your producer and your producer is likely to be far more committed to you and your product. It is likely, though, that an independent producer will ask for a higher percentage of the royalties, based on the high level of artistic input that they will have in the making of the recording.

The fees that a professional record producer will charge will depend on their experience and the level of input that they have into a recording. The split between upfront fee, flat fee and royalties will be negotiated separately for each recording production deal. At the higher end of the market, a record producer will expect to earn $2,500 to $12,500 per master, at the lower end of the scale it could be between $400 and $1,500 per track. A producer who is well-known for making hits will be able to command much higher rates.

When an artist hires a producer independently, the upfront fees are usually much less than they would be for a major record company. The producer’s royalty fees will also often be based on the value of net sales, rather than on a share of the artist’s royalties.

When you are considering hiring a producer, you will also need to be aware of the various copyright issues, which can be quite complicated. There is a difference, for example, between a musical composition and a sound recording. A musical composition usually consists of the music and the accompanying words and the work of the author is registered as a work of the performing arts. A sound recording, on the other hand, is the combination of a series of musical, spoken, and other sounds, the author of which can be the artist, the producer, or both. The difference between the two types of copyright will play a part in the negotiations of a record producer’s contract.

The licensing of beats

A producer may also provide you with the beat of a song and that may be provided under an exclusive license, or non-exclusive license. The beat can be best described as the skeleton of a song. It will typically include a drum loop, some bass, synth, and sometimes a hook, or a chorus.

Under a non-exclusive beat license, the producer retains the right to the underlying beat, even though you will own the rights to the finished work. The producer also retains the right to license the same beat to other artists. You may also be restricted on how many derivatives you can create using that beat. An exclusive beat license will usually allow you to gain full ownership of the sound recording and use the beat in as many derivative recordings as you like. The terms of an exclusive beat license can vary though, if you wanted to use the beat in an audio/visual recording, for example, you may have to negotiate a synchronization license as well.

There is also an important distinction between a work for hire agreements and a non-exclusive license. In a work for hire arrangement, you are paying for the producer’s time to write a beat for you and that beat becomes your property. In a nonexclusive license agreement, the producer retains the copyright of the beat and the right to license it to other people.

In many cases, a producer will prefer to retain the rights to their beat, but when they do sell a beat on work for hire basis, they may ask for both an upfront fee and a “back-end royalty, which will be a percentage of the revenue generated from the future sales of the finished sound recording.


Hiring the right record producer can make all the difference to the success of a recording and a good professional producer will be able to take you in new creative directions you have never even thought of before. It is important, however, that you understand the terms of a record producer’s contract before you sign it and that the producer is a person that you feel comfortable that you will be able to work with.

Tips To Starting a Music Business

Published / by mimin

For many reasons, the music industry isn’t the easiest sector to start a business in.

If your target audience consists of musicians, many of them don’t have much by way of expendable income.

If you’re an independent studio or record label, it may not be as easy for you to profit from streaming royalties and other revenue sources as it is for major labels.

And because it’s such a fun and creative industry – at least from the outside looking in – it’s also competitive on just about every level.

Here are some things you need to know about starting a music business.

Fundamentally, It’s Just Like Starting Any Other Business

It’s good to be aware of the unique industry challenges and how they might affect your ability to create a successful business.

But fundamentally, building a music business is not that different from building a business in any other sector. You need to find a need, create a product or service that alleviates the problem, and then market your offer to the people who need it.

Information can be a bit of a hard sell in today’s information-rich environment. But if you can curate the best of the best and put it together in a compelling eBook or course at a price your audience can afford, you may find your footing.

That’s a key point worth remembering – you must tailor your offer to the unique needs of your audience.

Every Business Needs To Be A Publisher

This is a bit of a blanket statement and may not apply to every business case. But most businesses would do well to become a publisher in their industry and share ongoing updates, news items, curated content, and tutorials or how-to guides to serve their audience.

First of all, this keeps your followers engaged. It gives them a reason to keep coming back to your website, and it gives you something worth sharing on social media.

Second of all, content helps you attract more leads. You can grow your email list on an ongoing basis by matching compelling opt-in offers to your content.

Third of all, publishing helps you sell more. This does not mean that every blog post of yours should be a sales letter. Rather, by building trust with your audience on an ongoing basis, you’ll develop enough rapport with them to move them down your sales funnel to where they’ll want to buy from you.

You can achieve good results with advertising and other marketing endeavors too, but publishing has many benefits (such as authority), that are hard to ignore.

Things You Need To Know About Music Business

Published / by mimin

Building a business is not easy, and it can take time to gain traction within your niche.

Unless you have prior experience, there’s going to be a lot for you to learn. You’ll have to wear many hats and work long hours.

But if you are committed to your long-term success, here are two important pieces of music business advice that will help you succeed in your music industry endeavor.

1. Don’t Reinvent the Wheel

So, you have a revolutionary business idea. Awesome!

The problem is that, as creative people, we tend to think that our approach to marketing, product development, and setting up systems also needs to be 100% unique.

Esteemed author Steven Pressfield was recently interviewed by entrepreneur and investor James Altucher, and he went on record saying that he’d “copied” and “stole” ideas from other sources. If you’ve listened to Altucher’s podcast, you know that he himself often says to his guests, “that’s great, I’m stealing that.”

Now, outright plagiarism is never good. But at base, business is a system that generates money – nothing more, nothing less. You can inject personality into your branding and marketing, but reinventing the wheel is time-consuming and generally ineffective. You can spend a lot of time spinning your wheels.

Look into what successful businesses are doing. How are they promoting their offer? What seems to be working, and what isn’t? What are they doing to connect with their target audience?

Take what works, and leave the rest. Don’t try to come up with your own strategy from the ground up!

2. Establish Your Authority

Here in the internet age, many entrepreneurs and business owners rely on product launches to sustain their business. And this might bring in a bit of money in the short-term, but it takes significant effort to maintain, because you have to keep making and launching more products to generate revenue.

A true entrepreneur is someone who passively earns money from their assets. Their constant involvement in the business is not required!

So, constantly launching new products is a shortsighted approach. It can also burn out your audience, who might get tired of hearing from you after buying one or two of your offers.

Instead, you should take a long-term approach to building your authority in the industry. Ongoing publishing (blog posts, articles, eBooks, reports, whitepapers, etc.), guest appearances, speaking engagements, past successes in business, industry connections, and other factors can help you gain more authority.

When you have authority, starting new projects gets easier, and more people will want to work with you. You’ll be able to charge more for your products and sell more besides.

In business, long-term thinking often leads to better results.

Tips For Jazz Players

Published / by mimin

Get in a Routine That Works

The only way to be successful is to get yourself set up on a routine that works. Guitar practice will be the key to getting you to where you want to be as a musician. Jazz guitar is not a for the faint of heart, and requires hours of practice to be “good” at it. Here are a few ways you can set up a routine that produces real results.

Warm Up

Before you embark on your very first practice session, and the ones to follow, you’ll want to make sure you’re good and warmed up. You can do this by warming up your fingers by playing up and down your fretboard. When your fingers are warmed up, you’ll be better able to make the somewhat difficult finger movements requires when you play guitar.

Even a basic chord will require you to put your fingers in positions they aren’t accustomed to. So just like a singer, you need to warm up your tools (fingers and hands) before you get started. If you already know how to play a tune or two, start with what you know to launch your practice session.

Get Technical

Next, you’ll want to explore your technical side. You should spend approximately 10 percent of your time in guitar practice studying technical guitar scales. Learn the basic chord and scales for at least two octaves to shape the way you approach your practice.

Learn the Language

Another part of your routine should be spent learning the language of music, particularly jazz guitar. After all, the most important part of jazz is improvisation, without understanding the language of this genre you won’t be able to do solos. If you want to sound like a professional, study like a professional. Learn to speak the language to be successful.

Transcription is an important part of this. When you learn it correctly, you will begin to internalize the music which helps you kill it once you start playing it. Practice your jazz phrases first harmonically and then rhythmically to get the best use out of your time spent doing so.

Strive to learn a new lick every single week during your practice, if you’re serious about developing your understanding and jazz language. A good rule of thumb is to limit yourself to 8 or fewer bars. Guitar practice has to be somewhat entertaining for you to keep it up, so don’t press yourself to complete more than that in a given 7-day span.

Gain Access to the Best Resources

Clearly, when you’re learning anything you need access to the best resources and tools available. Otherwise, you could fall short of your dream of being a killer jazz musician one day. Even when it comes to your basic chord structure, you do need to have the foundation of information under your belt to get you started on the right path.

Have friends who play jazz guitar? If so, ask them for advice on where to find the best resources. Ask what they used to become the players they are today and follow through with what they tell you. Definitely don’t hesitate from investing in resources that are proven to work. Be open to ideas and don’t shrink away from courses if you’re truly serious about becoming a successful musician.

Alternatively, the internet is chalk full of free resources for you to take advantage of. Try YouTube for tutorials, or even scour Google for free e-Books and transcriptions to explore. Don’t give up, but also be sure to follow through with the advice you’re supplied with or your research will be useless. Remember, it’s practice that makes perfect, not reading…

Be sure to improve your cord dictionary and immerse yourself in all things jazz to get yourself in the right frame of mind to begin playing.

Begin with Open Chords

Another tool is to use basic open chords as your foundation. All aspiring jazz guitar players had to start with these chords, so don’t feel bad about it when you start with them. Each of these basic chords can be played without being fretted for the most part. Translation: they’re easier to play. Also, you can be confident they sound clearer.

Learn and Study Music Theory

Music theory is equally important. No guitar practice is complete without learning or investing time in studying music theory. When you learn music theory, you empower yourself to be a full-blown musician, and that is priceless.

Get a Teacher!

Of course, one of the best ways to be a killer musician is to have the right teacher on your side. Customizing your learning experience will put you on the path to success.

Use these tips to ramp up your guitar practice. By putting them into practice, you’ll be well on your way to becoming the jazz musician you always dreamed of being.