Industry Roundup: If John Lennon Auditioned for 'The Voice'

We also look at a great new way to crowdfund t-shirt printing so you don't have to pay a penny to get fans wearing your band name.

Ultimate Guitar

Welcome to our weekly roundup of music industry tips and observations.

We'll start with an impressive cultural collision spotted on YouTube; footage of a John Lennon performance is interspersed with footage of judges from The Voice. Would a hero like Lennon get noticed in today's industry? Maybe, maybe not. But there's nothing funnier than John's fictional family in the clip urging the judges to his their button. There's a special guest at the end too...

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12 Promo Lessons from Bands on the Warped Tour

The Warped Tour is full of bands and artists promoting their wares to thousands of young music fans, and the battle to win their attention is hard.

With only one day to win the love of new music fans, bands on the tour have come up with some fantastic ways to get noticed. Indie rapper Kosha Dillz has shared twelve lessons on Hypebot which could teach you a thing or two about promoting your band in a flash - here's three of his best tips.

1. Sell your music for $1. It's harder to part with $5 or $10, especially when they're short on change to buy food later in the day. But $1? That's impulse buy territory, and a good way to make a lasting impression on someone while making a profit.

2. Shock value works. One company at the Warped tour sells shirts that say "F--k Hipsters," and it seems plenty of people agree with the sentiment because they sold like hot cakes.

3. Make yourself look popular. Kosha noticed a friend's band making an effort to form a line in front of its autograph sessions, which was apparently a bit of a fake - but it caught the attention of passers by, which in turn made the queue even bigger. This is a concept called 'social proof' which really works. It's like having 10,000 Facebook followers compared to 100, where people see the fan support as proof that you're a good artist.

What are your best guerrilla marketing tips? Share them in the comments below.

How to crowd fund T-shirt designs with Teespring

You want to print a t-shirt for your band, but it costs a lot to make that first order. And before that, you've got to figure out how many people would buy your shirt, because you don't want to be stuck with unsold product - or to sell out and lose money from lost sales.

The solution? Teespring, which uses crowdfunding to solve all these issues. Much like Kickstarter, you post a project with a target (say, 50 t-shirts) and if you get enough people to make a pre-order, the shirt is produced. There's no risk to you, though of course, you'll want the project to succeed.

Having said that, t-shirt printing isn't too expensive, and there's usually a good independent printer in most cities. Make an effort to get to know them, and they might be able to cut you a deal which helps you earn more profit compared to online services like Teespring.

What are your best merchandise tips? Share them and your own promo advice in the comments.

17 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I think the lesson to gather here is, despite being in a huge band and being a talented musician/writer, John wasn't that strong of a singer. I don't think I would have hit my button either.
    If it was called "The songwriter" they would've hit the button yeah, but like Roger Waters and David Gilmour they're just not that great singers.
    If not for the David Gilmour-comment, you wouldv've been golden. You blew it, man!
    Hahaha, I'll never sleep again. But it looks like everybody agrees with me that Roger Waters isn't a great singer and I was never impressed with Gilmours vocal work with Pink Floyd but I looked up some other stuff (since everybody completely disagreed) and I still don't think he's great (by great I mean Chris Cornell, Michael Jackson etc.) but he's a fair singer.
    I thought I was being critical with my comment, but Gilmour? Like the others say, he's great. EDIT: Derp double post, sorry
    I always hated the Voice and this isn't doing wonders to change that opinion
    If it makes you feel better, he wasn't really on The Voice, it's just the top notch editing that fooled you.
    I think the better lesson is that being a good singer isn't all you need to be a good musician. Having something important to say is more important than having a traditionally good singing voice.
    its 2013, we are so socially programmed that you don't have to say anything or even write it, you just have to look good and let computers do the rest.
    New generations don't know what a great singer/songwriter is . . . unless it's auto tuned, or easily digestibale
    Talent cannot be distilled. Look at terrible singers like Hendrix, Dylan, Harrison, Robbie Robertson, or Leonard Cohen. Entertainment =/= appreciating talent.
    Yeah, Hendrix is not a terrible singer. Overshadowed somewhat by his playing perhaps, but not terrible.