OnlineRock: Empowering Musicians  
OnlineRock Guest Column  

OnlineRock is pleased to offer the following columns and articles from our friends and partners in the music world.  If you're interested in submitting an article, please email

What’s a Working Band to Do? - A practical 15 part series of how-to articles. It is not about describing the unified field theory or exploring the outer reaches of human philosophy; it’s about working in the music business in the real world, so it’s not even about being a star, okay? It’s practical, do-able advice from Erik Jay.

South by Southwest 2010 - OnlineRock's March update features artists who will be playing at SXSW, panels that we'll be involved with and information on a day party that we will be sponsoring.

How to Command A Higher Fee For Your Live Show - Whether you are booking your own band or have an agent, it is important to establish your value within your particular market. Jeri Goldstein gives us some tips onincreasing income from gigs.

Set List for the Sound Man or Women - Do you ever find yourself wishing the soundman knew your songs or your music a little better? Telling yourself if he only knew about this dynamic or that change, or that you mean to make this horrible screeching sound that should not be compressed. Loren Weisman has some thoughts.

South by Southwest 2009 - Features and information about the annual SXSW music conference Austin, TX.

Top 10 Music PR Tips By Mona Loring - Publicity is a huge driving force when you’re looking at success in the music industry. Although it’s definitely beneficial to retain a publicist once you have your music career in gear, you can still manage to create a little buzz on your own in the meantime.

True Fans - Attempting to capitalize on the long tail slowly dooms creatives to small sales and little profit. However, focusing on hits doesn’t help, either. There’s no formula for an intensely popular work. So, what are artists to do?

SXSW 2008 - Features and information about the annual Austin, TX music conference.

Zambia Report: Music as a Business - OnlineRock Founder Steve Beck visits Zambia to talk to musicians and media about treating music as a business.

20 Steps to Creating a Successful Blog for Your Band (Part 1 of 2) - Blogs prove to be a tricky field to conquer, especially when it comes to gaining an initial reader-base. However, once you get that reader base, great potential for increasing your online reputation is created.

20 Steps to Creating a Successful Blog for Your Band (Part 2 of 2) - Your blog will only see success if you follow all these steps and promote it as often as possible.  Blogging takes a lot of dedication but pays off in the end with increased music sales. 

OnlineRock Founder Steven Beck Visits Sierra Leone - About three months ago I was asked to travel to Sierra Leone to speak and participate in a conference entitled “Moving the Music Industry Forward”. 

Three Methods to Getting Openers and Support Act Slots - One method to expand your audience is to serve as a support act for a known main act on multiple tour dates or to open a show for a larger act. These are choice slots and many acts are vying for them. If you are more interested in process rather than chance, here are a few suggestions on how to go about landing some of these choice performance slots. By Jeri Goldstein

Ace In The Hole/Fallback Day Jobs - Prior to my graduating high school and, particularly, when my family and friends realized that I was going to attend college as a Music Education major and, subsequently, make music my career, the eternal words of "be sure you have a real job to fall back on" were forever etched in my mind. By Kenny Love

2006 Year In Review - A stunning visual reflection of music in 2006 by photographer Hali McGrath.

SXSW 2006 - The indie music and media conference turns 20 years old and we celebrate by featuring artists and discussing the conference.

Jennifer Yeko's Mission Statement - From my perspective, many artists these days are forgoing the major label route and doing it themselves. Many superstars are unhappy with their label and wish they could get out of their deal.

Intellectual Property Rights in Montenegro - OnlineRock's founder, Steven Beck travels to Montenegro to discuss IPR with musicians, club owners, media, law enforcement and government officials.

What is a Guitar Set-Up? - Every guitar needs to play in tune all over the neck, and to have a string height that allows for comfortable playability. Most guitars, both new and old, are lacking one or both of these traits.

Building Your Fanbase and The Power Of Personal Persuasion - There is NOTHING more useful to you than a fan's contact data. Build your list slowly and your career will blossom. You can use that e-list to notify fans of your upcoming releases, offer special discounts and let them know when you are in their town on tour.

The Next Big Thing? - The audience is more fragmented... There is no "mainstream" in pop anymore, just scores of little tributaries.

On the Road with OnlineRock - Late last fall, OnlineRock Records released Spirit and Decibels from the Gregory Paul Group. This July they will embark on their first tour to the West Coast.

What Is Success? - Success means different things to different people, and being a successful musician depends on how you look at it.

Baby Steps and the Road to Success - Musicians and actors are similar in that we like the highs that our performances give us. We thrive on the exhilaration. It's like a drug. When it goes away we want it again.

The Austin Diaries: Four Days at South by Southwest - Here I am, on the plane about to land in Austin, Texas for my first South by Southwest festival and convention

What's fair in a record deal? - A personal opinion on what changes might be made in order to exercise a more fair record contract situation by Chris Standring.

First Blood is Spilled at Record Industry Hearings - The War is On!!! - Major Label lawyers testified to a panel of senators in Los Angles that most artists are happy with their recording contracts.

Why 'Johnny' Record Label (Can't Come Out to Play) - Major record labels are truly out of options because the Internet and its vast amount of "how-to" information is now exposed to the masses and there for the taking.

The Paradigm Shift - The values of Rock music are dead, the airwaves are ruled by music so lightweight it could be aural styrofoam, and the music industry powers-that-be have a grip on the business so tight that not even light can escape.

Beauty and the Beast - Does being physically attractive get you more attention than you would get from just the music itself?

Our Music, Ourselves Part III, Solidarity - Now is the time to blaze trails through the wilderness of online music.

Our Music, Ourselves Part II, Our Rights - When it comes to composing, recording and selling music, do you know your rights? Most of us don’t.

Our Music, Ourselves - If we are waiting around for someone else to come along and fix it for us, then we are doomed to the status quo forever

The Venice Beach Drum Circle - The drum circle phenomenon is playing out across America, but nowhere is the scene as riveting as it is on L.A.'s Venice Beach, where drummers, dancers and spectators have been gathering on weekends for some 50 years.

Suffering For Their Art - Those brave souls who devote their full time to their art often suffer greatly as a result - lacking health care, proper nutrition and live meagerly or in poverty.

If Labels are Loan Sharks, What Do You Call the Signees? - Imagine if all the top sellers walked out on the majors and started up their own label By Lauran Gangl.

Co-Writing - Panacea or Paranoia; The Choice is Yours - Are you ready to begin your search for your musical "other half"?

Rock for America - The recent world events have affected almost everyone in some way. Members of OnlineRock asked for a place to post their music relating to the tragedy.

Should I Stay or Should I Go? - If your heart is set on moving to a big city and living the life that brings, then don't let me talk you out of it by Ken Klar of Must Have Music.

A Timely Gimmick - May Go A Long Way Toward Advancing Your Musical Vision. The FBI from Bruce Shutan.

The Business of Music: Music Attorneys - That's what you will be, DUST IN THE WIND, unless you have an excellent music attorney by Charles Katz reprinted from The Muse's Muse.

OnlineRock is Back! - A letter from the founder of OnlineRock, Steven Beck.

Digital Submissions to Record Labels: It's Music to Every Garage Band's Ears by Bruce Shutan.

Developing Your Own Style - The ultimate goal is to develop your own sound or "voice" by Harry Jacobson.

Excellence and Songwriting by Mary Dawson, reprinted from The Muse's Muse.

Drummers in Tights: Tap Dancing Can Add Grace and Endurance to Your Footwork by Bruce Shutan.

A Muse Zing - So why haven't I been able to create anything of note all month? by Danny McBride, reprinted from The Muse's Muse.

15 Minutes of Fame May Be Just A Web Site Away a handy strategy for musicians to get noticed by Bruce Shutan.

Make Your Songs Stand Out - Lyrical & Musical Contrast by Danny Arena & Sara Light, reprinted from The Muse's Muse.

Why Do We Do This? - And for all of us who play and sing, at whatever level we’re at, music is the water of life!

OnlineRock's Writing Contest Winner - A tale about an experience with the man behind Mad Dogs and Englishman – and his missing bag of pot!

OnlineRock's Writing Contest Runner-Up - A native West Virginian finds the "perfect" rehearsal space.

Inspiration - By Matthew Collins, reprinted from The Muse's Muse.

Adrian Belew - Few people in the music industry are as busy or accomplished as Adrian Belew. The list of people he has worked with is literally a whose-who of the music world. King Crimson, Talking Heads, Frank Zappa, David Bowie, Trent Reznor and Paul Simon are only just a few.

Interview with Daniel Lanois -Silence, nighttime and the mysteries of the South is what drives Daniel Lanois – guitarist, pedal steel artist and producer. His latest album, ‘‘Belladonna’’ is a travel log from Mexico, where Miles Davis got to join in on the nightly studio adventures by Nikki O’Neill.

Songwriter Interview - Master Session Vocalist Kim Parent Speaks To Songwriters About Working With Professional Vocalists For Your Songwriter Demos

Rhonda Kelley: The Q & A - We introduced you to the Virtual Publicist a few months ago and since then artists around the country have been using it with great success.  We decided it was time to sit down with Rhonda Kelly, the creator of the Virtual Publicist and ask her how she came up with the idea and how it could help some of our readers.

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