Well, I play piano, that's one thing.
But, music isn't all about composing. It couldn't be less true than that. There is this sort of joke running through the net, which are in fact pretty accurate to what, we, musicians, spend most of our time. Well, it's actually pretty accurate about what I SPEND MOST OF MY TIME. Up to this day.
Truth is, I spent more time on my computer than playing piano, or performing all together. Doing what ? Well, the necessary boring stuff to get yourself a website running, online sales, facebook hits. Overall, join in the digital world.
Pain in ... the rain.
Soooo, I thought I would save you guys the trouble, gather 5 min of my time (more like two hours really) and throw some elements that might spare you a couple of weeks researching and nightmaring around the 'huganormous web'.
Here it goes:
I started with a facebook page. Basic, free. You should do it. Can't harm ya!
Than, after weeks of comparing and researching, I opened a bandcamp account: it allows musicians to upload their albums and sell them at a chosen price, give perks, discounts, free albums, etc. It's a pretty neat plateform, but I was actually pulling all the people to it myself, not them. So I thought I could actually save the 15% commission they were taking on each sale. So I did... a couple of years later, I opened my own website, which is by far the best. I can put it together the way I want, and pay a flat fee per year (nothing like a 15% commission). That's a no-brainer. If you can justify it, do it! I went with Wix, as it pleased my creativity, allowing me to make my website the very way I want it to be, down the god dam detail! Cheap enough, allowing to sell music online and whatnot. Check.
Then I thought I would like to get my music on Itunes, Spotify, Deezer, etc. And I signed up, after much research and computer time, with Reverbnation (using the Reverbnation Bot, a tool that helps you maximize the hits, sales, plays of your uploaded songs). Reverbnation is an 'agglomerate' that distributes your music to all online digital distributors such as Itunes, Deezer, Spotify, etc.
That did it for me for a while. Best deal I had found to that day: around USD$35 per year per album, to get it distributed "everywhere". Until I researched it again some time later, and found out about Distrokid. It took 5 minutes to figure out it was MUCH BETTER!! Simply put: it's much easier, troublefree and CHEAPER. Hell yeah, it's USD$20 per year for an INFINITE amount of albums and tracks, uploaded to all online digital distributors. To me, it was a no-brainer again given I had already 6 albums selling online, I could save USD$190 per year simply by changing service provider.
Here is my plays on Spotify (if you are wondering whether or not to invest USD$20 per year by signing up for online distribution with Distrokid, here is your answer).
So, in conclusion (that must be the shortest and most efficient putting musician on a fast-track post ever!!), if you are a musician and wish to get a little freedom in expressing your art (and all you can mumble about it):
1. Open a Facebook page, it's worth it!
2. Open a Youtube Channel, and talk to your fans! (I don't actually do it, talk to my fans, although I do have a Youtube Channel which is slowly growing a community of fans.. Might be of good use in the future?).
3. Get yourself a flash good-looking Website - check out Wix, it might do the trick for you too ? (and link it to your Facebook page and Youtube channel for God's sake!).
4. Go with Distrokid to distribute it to the all-around-invisible-wavy online digital music stores for pretty much peanuts.
And keep composing, playing, having fun, which is what being a musician is actually mostly about (never mind the thousands of hours spent on the screen).
I hope this little bit helped a handful of you, and wish you all a great-er musician experience and a Happy New Year ;)
Mathias, former Queenstown's piano man.