Everyone wants to be signed and spend their time touring and recording records to make a living instead of working some lame 9-5 job. It's a dream that so many chase and it's definitely an option...but it just won't happen for most people, and IMO, those who do well as an indie act are better off in my opinion. There's a link at the bottom of this post to go to a web site that will give you tons of information on how to do everything yourself: booking, promoting, recording, etc., but first I hope to get your attention with a few points about the music industry:


When you get signed to a label, especially major labels, you give up the rights to your music. If you record an album...any songs that appear on that album belong to that label. You can't choose what is or what isn't done with that music. It's your creation yet you have no ownership.


The cash advance that artists get from a major label is, oftentimes, the only real money a band/act sees because they spend most of their career paying that money back. In reality, many musicians who have signed with major labels make only a modest amount of money each year....as little as $4000


This is by far the most important to me. Ten or fifteen years ago, record sales ruled how you got your music. Radio was a very important crutch for the music industry and it allowed labels to project what THEY wanted the audience to hear, whether it was what the public wanted to hear or not. Even though payola is illegal, there are middlemen called radio promoters who do all the dirty work for labels. But now...with music on the internet gaining so much popularity (and with no sight in end), more and more people are turning to lesser-known artists they come across online and are buying their music from online venues like CDBaby, etc., and due to that, conventional record sales have suffered. The internet is going to be the cause of the downfall of the music industry in my opinion. Labels aren't worth it these days, unless you're a superstar or you don't mind having no rights and don't mind the risk of not being paid enough to live (Yes, if you're signed you'll usually be taken well care of by promotion, etc., but there's always that risk of an album not doing well enough to pay back the advance, then you owe the label money).

I could go on for a loooong time about my own experiences and experiences from family members and friends in the industry. My opinion is that you can do it all yourself if you have the drive to. And you'll be much better off that way.


I really hope some of you will take the time to peruse this site...it really is a lot of help. Their insights started helping me a few years ago when I was in high school and trying to get noticed in my area. Best of luck.
this is really helpful. Thanks for the tips. One question this sparked for me; would putting your songs on itunes effect the rights/ownership of your music?
No it doesn't. Actually, if you sell your albums through CDBaby, your music is available at iTunes and is even in catalogues at places like FYE, all without you losing any rights. Also, sales sold through venues like that are tracked with SoundScan and can, if they sell enough copies, enter BillBoard charts because they're based off of SoundScan reports.

The only thing about being tracked by SoundScan is that you have to purchase a UPC for your album. Fortunately, it's not that expensive. And, if you're serious and promote yourself well, it could very well pay off in the end.
Last edited by As Bridges Burn at Jul 4, 2009,
sick! thanks a lot. im thinking of checking out itunes as an option for my band
Quote by t.ev
sick! thanks a lot. im thinking of checking out itunes as an option for my band

Check out watunes.com I put it in the promotion sticky, it is free digital distribution.