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Read: The Indie Band Survival Guide

October 23, 2008

I’m not a musician. I’m just a fan. So I’m kind of amazed (and grateful) that the bands I like are willing to put up with smelly vans, sleeping in a different place every night, and what I’m sure is pretty marginal pay to keep making new music and coming out to entertain me. I’m acutely aware that it wouldn’t take much for most of them to pack it in, go get a day job, and maybe play gigs with their friends in their hometowns occasionally. I therefore have a strong vested interest in seeing the bands I like succeed, at least to the point where putting on the green apron doesn’t seem like a better alternative. So listen up, new bands – please go read Beatnik Turtle’s Indie Music Survival Guide.

Beatnik Turtle, themselves an independent band, have collated everything they’ve learned into this guide, which is available either as a PDF [PDF link, duh] or as a paperback – something you can read during those quiet stretches in the tour van. The guide is a pretty enlightening read even – maybe especially – for a non-musician. It starts by busting the myth of ‘getting a record contract, getting heard on the radio, and being a rock star,’ and then goes into the tools a band can use for a DIY approach. Topics include promotion, putting on shows, filesharing, the basics of recording an album, and a nice primer on copyright and alternatives (like Creative Commons licenses) for independent bands. Speaking of which, for their own music and other work, they decided to improve on Creative Commons licensing by starting with Sampling, Attribution and Noncommercial and adding a proviso: “Don’t make it suck.”

Read more about the Indie Music Survival Guide and join the online forums here, or purchase a dead-tree edition here.

MP3 link: Beatnik Turtle – Mason Rocket (Spy Extraordinaire) [more song info]

[via Boing Boing]

2 comments

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