Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Don't Forget to Press The Kits!

No, I'm not talkin' about felines here ... (but I do like that pic, so I threw it in there for fun ...)

Y'see, a few days ago, Chris from Chi-Town (who'd read about my, er, "escapade" there in another blog) weighed in with some info on his new band. They sound good, but he wanted to know what he needs to market his quartet (Silvertune).

Well, Chris, the most important tool you’ll need, outside demo CDs (those that have samples of your music), is the press kit or press pack. Now, these are important because you’re gonna need this to show (or mail to) prospective agents, radio stations, venue managers and A&R reps (those who can get you a record contract!).

WHAT YOU’LL NEED

Actually, the first order of business is to be sure at least 75% of your lineup is permanent. The prospects will need to see your roster as stable.
The second is to have a number of successful gigs (or venues; places you’ve performed) under your belt. Y’see, whoever you mail your press kit'll wanna see your onstage experience. With that, you’ll increase your chances of being hired, played or signed!

Now … that being accomplished, get someone to write up a professional-looking biography of members and band. Adding a small photo beside each member’s profile will allow the recipient to “see” the person it’s written about.
Don’t go into elaborate detail; basically, list name, age, hometown, which instrument(s), if any, he/she plays, when that member joined the band, shoe size and influences.
About the band: Be sure to include formation date and a brief history of the band up to the date you’re sending the kit. Make at least a dozen copies of each, plus one for your file and further copies.
(PS: only kidding about the shoe size ... I ... think ...)

Next, get as many reviews of your performances as you can. If you can get some professionals (such as owners/managers of the venues you’ve played) to write one, all the better! Again, make a dozen copies (plus the one you’re saving for your file and further copies).

Then, have someone take some good photos of your band in performance, and good atmosphere shots (taken at good locations, posed). You’ll wanna make copies (not computer printouts) to include with each kit. Remember: these must be real photos — not computer printouts! Places like Wal-Mart® can do these for you. Initially, get at least a dozen of your favorite two shots printed.

Now … if you’ve recorded any of your songs onto a CD (and they have a good sound quality), burn at least twelve of the discs. By the way, the songs must be in .mp3 format.
Place these in clean, scratch-free CD cases. On the front of the case, place a sticker with the band’s name and date originally recorded. Include the “playlist” of the CD, along with each song’s length.

Okay … we’re gonna continue this within 24 hours, so stay tuned!

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