Tips for an Unsigned Musician Plan

Tips For Music Plan of Action
If you an unsigned musician at any stage of your career, its really going to help you to plan things out, so here I have out together a crash course for a music plan, getting started as a soloist or a band, it can be pretty blinding to know what to do next, I think its really important to have a plan, and keep in mind the bigger picture ..

So you're main objective, it could be record deal, it could be get a gig, it depends where you're at. The Idea is read this, and it will hopefully give you a crash course to write youre own music plan.

Initial steps
(things you should think about first)

o Write a plan

o List out all possible music opportunities ie Addresses and companies in the local area, Record all Name, Address Contact and Phone Numbers

o Research internet resources

o Build a Proper Website please see for tips

o Advertise

o Get a recording

o Plan Covering Letter

o Write a band biog

Your going to need a really well written Email or cover letter, ready for when you approach venues, radio stations and record companies,

Here is an example of the type of email I have used in the past:


My name is Andy, i am contacting you because i am looking to see if you can help me bring my music to a wider audience,
I am a soloist, guitar and vocals, if you like the sound of Tom Waits, Nick Drake, and the Beatles, mixed with Nirvana unplugged, then you'll more than likely enjoy my tunes.

Please if you could find some time, maybe ten to fifteen minute to see what i am all about, i have some Music hosted on my website “Promise Land”, “Some Day” and “Katie “are possibly the best examples of what i can do, any feedback on the site or the music is always appreciated.

I was hoping you may be able to provide me with ideas, or with any potential opportunities to be heard? i have already made a large amount of progress, playing live on Silk FM and soon ALLFM, I've been reviewed numerous times, including by the BBC Manchester, and my gig history speaks volumes of my ability, including playing some of Manchester's most prestigious venues including, Night and Day Cafe and Dry Bar, I've played in Nottingham, London and Liverpool, and around the UK, last year i had a mini tour of Poland. All of which i have organized myself.

Please could you let me know if it is possible for you to assist me in someway, your professional opinion is extremely valuable, and if you could tell me the best way to get in touch, or if possible recommend anyone that may be able to help me? and possibly forward this email to them instead?

Many thanks and i hope to hear from you soon ….



Some Basic things to think about

Forming A band (for none solo artists)

Create a Posters advertising for band members
Think about the Initial meeting, Where, and what do you need to find out about them
1) What Music they are currently into.
What bands have they been in before
Who are they?
What they want to do, ambitions, how often the can practice?

For solo artists and Bands

It's a good idea to consider your approach, who are your influences, etc, you'll get asked this a lot, here are some initial things to think about:

o Visual image ie Wearing Sunglasses ?? Or no shoes

o Define your approach, Blues Folk Approach – Think Beth Orton, Tim Buckley, Dylan, Bragg

o Asses you strengths

o These could include, Cord Patterns, Blues licks, Short riffs, Lyrical content, Stage presence, Friendly attitude, not up myself, real, Audience communication

Next consider the things that will make you different from your competition?

This could include things like, Style Pop / Rock songs, Honesty, Own songs / covers, Lyrics, Chord Sequences

Then break down you act, you need 3 words to describe you act eg Blues, Smiths, Ashcroft maybe. Stylish, Melodic, simple

Writing Songs

Here are some pointers you might wish to consider when thinking about writing or composing songs, this will help you to become more dynamic.
o Rhythm

o Slow- Fast – Movement with power of song

o Mood

o Movement Dynamic

Overall just be your self, don't try to emulate, but empathise, music is a personal experience, if you want to get more out of it, put more in.

Why become a musician?
Here are some starter reasons

o Artistic acclaim

o Spread Vibe

o Because I can

Think about what restrictions you may have and how to overcome these challenges. Budget is usually the main one.

How to choose and effective Set lists –

Practice and record various set lists once you have decided on / written your songs
Record Various Sets at 30 60 90 mins, and listen back, see how they sound, which songs work together, (these don't yet need to be studio recordings)

One way to test how well songs go is to use media player, make up play lists including the different songs you have recorded
At any point you may be usually asked to play, 30 minutes, 60 Minutes, or 2 * 45 minutes
Prepare and rehearse before accepting work
Always ask about expected playtime !!

An Effective set should include some of the following elements

o Contrast + Shape

o Loud- Quiet

o Fast – Slow

o Rhythmic – Melodic

o Dense – Sparse

o Relaxed – Tense

o Serious – Humorous

1st song Impact + confident about playing

Build up set to a climax point ¾ of the way through then final number can be more intimate or sing along save quieter numbers for later.
If not enough of own songs do covers.
Always have an encore in mind can repeat first number repeat what audience enjoys


Things to think about

o Press releases

o Forth-coming engagements – gigs

o Recording sessions

o Record releases

o General news and gossip about the act

o Brief band biography

o Economic clear and entertaining

Sending your Demo

o CD is cheapest
o 3 best songs (possibly your favorites)
o Display contrast + Professionalism
o Opening first song must make impact style and character

Before recording in a studio meet the engineer, play him rehearsal tape of song to help set up …

Think about designing an eye catching CD cover
Name and number on both !!!

Reasons your demo may be rejected:

1. No Contact Information (name, address, email, and phone number on both CD and Case)

2. Lack of Originality

3. The Music Is Good, But The Artist Doesn't Play Live

4. Poorly Recorded Material (if the world is going to hear your music, make sure it's a decent recording)

5. Best songs are not identified (send only 3 or 4 songs and highlight the best ones)

6. Sending Videos – Keep it simple!

7. Sending Unsolicited Recordings – Check first before you waste money sending CDs that people don't ask for!

8. Sending The Wrong Music To The Wrong Label – do your research to find out what the venue / label you approach is interested in

9. Musicians Can't Play – Practice harder !!!

10. The Music Shite

How to write your Bio

Before you begin to write the bio, be sure you have “taken an inventory” of your background, accomplishments, goals, and objectives as a musician, and remember who you are writing the Bio for: A&R Reps at Record Labels, Media Contacts, Booking Agents, and Management Contacts. These professionals in the music business are busy individuals, who may deal with dozens of “want to-be's” every week, so make your bio informative, upbeat, and filled with useful comments, descriptions, quotes, and motivational language that can make them want to listen to your music, and help you on your musical way. When you are ready to rock n'roll, writing the Bio using this outline can keep you focused and organized.

1st Paragraph:
Start with an introductory sentence that clearly defines the essential band / artist name, your specific genre of music, where you are from, and perhaps a positive quote about your music from a contact you have made in the music business.

2nd Paragraph:
This section should address the immediate purpose of the Bio. What are you doing at this time? Mention a current activity you are involved with. If a new CD or Tape is coming out, that should be the main topic of the first sentence of the second paragraph. In other word, a reason why the Bio has been written should be clearly stated early on. Hints about any promotional activities that will be occurring to support the CD / Tape is also useful in this paragraph.

3rd and 4th Paragraph:
At this point, information on any other band members can be introduced, and background information on the forming of the group, past experience, accomplishments, and recognition issues can be addressed. If you have developed a plan for your career path, additional paragraphs elaborating on this type of can be written, that demonstrate how your current project is part of a larger career development plan.

As stated earlier, the Bio should not waste words. For a new artist 1 page is sufficient to get the job done. For more experienced artists, a page and a half to two pages should be the maximum length. So, ending the Bio in an efficient way should be the aim; use another quote from a gatekeeper who supports the artist, or summarize the 2nd paragraph information, reminding the reader of current activities.

Misc things to remember

o Need a roadie to help set up gigs

o Must be familiar with material and control on stage sound levels

o Location – Time

o Access – when to arrive and set up

o Address – type of music expected

o Merchandising supplement gigs by selling T-Shirts Badges or cassettes

o PA is there a house PA small venue 100-200

 Large 500 – 2000K

o Wardrobe – Simple but striking additions to normal clothes

Finding Work

o Approach friends and contacts

o Beg to play

o Mail shot Marketing pack to all local venues

o Mention if have lots of friends

o Follow up with a phone call or personal visit

o Take note of names to target and build up a rapport

o Accept any criticisms constructively

o Invest a great deal of effort with little reward

o Patience and Perseverance will reap rewards eventually

o Undertake early work for little or no reward – training

o Pay to play – Avoid like the plague!

Publicity packs should include

o Demo Tape

o CV

o Reviews

o Flyers

o Posters

o Introductory letter

o Badges? Key Fobs? Beer mats?

Create a database of possible venues within reasonable traveling distance
Address, Telephone and contact if possible.

A Final Reminder!

o Record sets and listen back.

o Keep all information for your website / bandspace

o Get Some good Art Sorted

o Proper Gigs

o Try to Re-gig Place !!

o Keep On Recording all the time ..

o Keep applying to radio, Record Labels Etc Post three best songs ,, spread web address as much as possible.

o Get your own Equipment !!

o Reasons? – Personal Communication popularity artistic endeavor rebelliousness Restrictions? Budget / Equipment

o Impact on Audience? Climax / Variety / Relevance

o Stimulus? Every Day Events, Personal Experience Trends Literature

o Politics Philosophy Humor Advice Fun

o Set Standards be Ambitious but realistic

o Start with idea rehearse and develop further

The main point is work hard, the internet is full of useful resources, for writing band bios, etc etc

Keep at it an you'll get there in the end!

Source by Andy Hughes