So you dropped in the Big
Apple from who knows what exoteric village/city/country, determined
to realize your dream of becoming a rock star, huh? Well, if
you don't belong to that category of musicians who already know
everybody and happen to be friends with all the best producers,
managers, promoters, CD
manufacturers etc., you might find some help here...
CHOOSE YOUR ROUTE TO SUCCESS!
or just start looking for help through our NYC music
PROMISING INDIE BAND's
MAJOR LABEL CONTENDER's
Buy the Musical
Equipment you need: Some prefer to try the stuff before they buy (i.e
they go to standard music
stores), while others are happy with reviews
and prefer to buy online.
Find a Rehearsal
Space: The three most popular options are:
A. The garage you don't have (hey, we live in NYC!).
B. A space rented by the hour.
C. A studio rented by the month and shared with other
Are you ready for the NYC
Venues? Getting a gig is easy, unless you really suck. First
impressions count, so put a friggin' decent cover on that
CD you are handling out.After you have dropped
off the CD at the club, don't be afraid to email
the promoter to schedule a gig. MOST IMPORTANTLY: make
sure you always bring at least 20 paying fans to your
gigs, or that venue won't book you again.
You might need a Recording
Studio now: We all know you don't have money, but before you
go for the cheapest option, make sure you're dealing with
people who know what they are doing and - in particular
- find somebody who seems compatible with (and hopefully
digs) your music. Before you enter the studio, read this
Or maybe just a Sound
Engineer to Help with Home Recordings: Same as above. If you own some basic audio equipment,
you can record many things at home- but beware,
studios sound better and it's not just about sticking
a mic in front of your guitar... sound engineers can improve
your recordings a lot.
can help shape your musical creations: If your music is REALLY great, you might be able to
find a producer available to produce on spec and only
charge you for sound engineering. Producers can be very
helpful but... do you really need one? More about it here.
You obviously need to visit one of the many NYC Computer
Stores... Ah, the Mac vs PC war! Trust the Deli: they are both
good, but cheap PCs don't work well for music.
And Music Stores
for your home studio DIY guy. You choose a route that is a curse. You are
now a slave to audio software and hardware. You will spend
the rest of your life craving a new piece of equipment
you can't afford. Music stores and online shops love you...
so go visit them!
You might want to find
Musicians who play what you tell them to play...
We know you can't afford the paid pros
(also called mercenaries by some craigslist-addicted naive
idealists). Just look for people who dig your music on
craigslist! - advice: be VERY selective: forming
a band is like getting married!
When you are ready, get out and play in the NYC
Venues Playing shows under the radar in smaller venuesaround town might be a good idea. Booking 200 people
venues when you know you won't bring more than 15 friends
can always help... But DIYsts like to have control, so we might be wrong
here... If you want more advice on this subject, go here.
Or maybe a Sound Engineer
who can make your record sound better. Definitely a good idea. Are you sure you can handle
every single aspect of your music? A set of well-trained
and impartial ears can only help you improve your recordings.
Interesting advice here.
We suggest you start with some kind of Music Training:
To grab the attention of Major Labels you need to work
on your instrumental skills and/or vocal performance,
presence on stage, songwriting skills, posture and whatnot.
Rock stars are rarely borne; they are more often made
- the earlier you start learning the better.
Look for a Producer:
You want to record the perfect pop record, right? You
need a producer then, no question. You need to work on
songs, song structure, and arrangements. A producer can
refine your tunes and give it the edge and character that's
And some Pro Musicians
who dig your songs:
Producers can find musicians who will play with you (for
a fee). Or you can find them yourself. The trick is that
while pro and paid musicians can nail a studio performance
in a few takes, free or cheap musicians can take the whole
studio time for just one song. So: what is cheaper in
Mics are a good training and can be a shortcut to
success... If you are very very very lucky and very very very
And obviously the classic NYC
Venues Not every venue is available to get your embarassingly
commercial crap (hey, you are trying to get a deal with
a major label afterall...) played on their venerable and
legendary indie rock stage. Do some research before you
submit your material.
7. Your Masterpiece is done... Don't forget that
your tracks need Mastering: Mastering improves the quality of your recordings
through EQ and Compression. It's the main reason
why your recordings never sound even remotely as
loud as the ones from commercial CD's.
8. The visual component is important:
be friends with Graphic Designers, Photographers,
Artists, Stylists... The guys can be very helpful. You know it, don't
9. Without a Website, you don't exist:
Do we really need to tell you this? Stream your
songs, show your sexy pictures, get people involved!
Manufacturers are waiting: Most of the time, 500 copies are MORE than enough
for starters. Don't use slim jewel cases or paper
cases without a spine: considering the way CDs are
stored, one without a proper spine is bound to be
lost in the shuffle (even by DJs who might dig your
often sell more than CDs. Ask the guys from point 8 for advice. They MUST
look kewl. The places that manufacture them go under
the name "Screen
11. Internet Services are there
to lure you:
Some are useful, some are useless - the choice is
12. You might be interested
in finding one of those Band
Managers: These guys open doors and chase opportunities.
Finding a good one is as hard as finding a great
rock band so... don't complain If you need advice
in this regard, go here.
13. Booking Agents can help with touring: By the way, you should organize you east/west
coast tours before you find one. Of course, it's
almost impossible to find one if you are not an
established artist (managers deal with that in the
14. Radio Promotion can spread
the word beyond NYC: You should really consider this man. I mean:
do you REALLY think the buzz your music will create
will take it beyond your neighborhood?
15. Yes, man. It's time to shoot
a Video! Lucky you!
16. Oh No! You need one or two
Enterteinment Lawyers!!! That's no fun!