"A man should stand upright and not be held upright by others." This states the need for us to be able to support ourselves. However, he could be referring to how his friends might of drank to much an that he was tired of helping them back home. The statement is open to interpretation. The role of being a independent musician is open to interpretation as well. You have to be able to hold your liquor and your drive of ambition. The real kick in the pants is that you must always keep striving for progress even without much reward. I am guilty myself of not keeping the ambition needed to stay productive. So in an tempt to better myself and continue in the quest to share what I can with the receptive. This will be a place I will gather my thoughts and share them in the most intelligible way I can muster. When you are starting out you are going to be responsible for all sides and aspects of making things happen. You create the Songs, the Art, the CD's, the performance, and the money. You will have to act as your own booking agent, promoter, Public Relations, Webmaster, Blogger, and Street canvasing email getting smiling billboard for you and your music. Well it takes not only drive and ability but it also takes the right tools to accomplish your goals. I put together something that I have been using for a little while now, I refer to it as a "Mobile Music Factory" business platform.
Sometimes you need to be able to travel at absolute minimum and for this reason comes necessity of light travel and adaptability.
My main components: *Instrument and case *Backpack *Laptop/Flashdrive *Smartphone/Camera
Each one of these will play important roles for me when going on tour if I need to get around using public transportation, or air travel. I have put together a tool kit to allow me to adapt to needs on the road. The smartphone will play very important roles on the bushiness side of things. I will use apps on the smartphone to maintain contacts, emails, navigate and putt out quick content for fans. Having a camera, (especially and HD) is needed to get your YouTube videos out there. You tube itself has made many independent artist serious money by gathering fans on a international level. The flashdrive picks up were the smartphone leaves off. It will contain all the flyers, cd sleaves, or audio for printing and promo. The press kits would be kept here along with full library of original recordings and unreleased demos. Having a laptop that can burn CD's is a powerful advantage because the greater your ability to create product, from Video to Recording to Social Media anytime you want. The main use of the flashdrive beside transporting files to the printer, studio, or who ever will be loading it with portable apps that can be used on other computers. You should always have a back up plan,(or maybe you don't have a laptop) with this you will be able to create new content while on the move but you are limited to finding a computer to use. With the flashdrive you will be able to do everything from updating a website to making custom flyers, handouts and other graphics. Most library's and collage campuses have computers that are free to use, and since you run the programz off the flash drive there is no administrator restrictions. In more dire situations you can also use the display models at a Best Buy or Walmart type store. However, complications can arise so use cation and late hours. You got to work with what you got, so its important to remember keep your best promo saved to your phone to be able to send emails with the files in a place in between city's were cell phone reception is you only link to society. It also gives you the ability for direct bluetooth to any tech savvy fan.
The backpack will have to contain all the things to maintain myself like hygiene, clothing,and important accessories. Minimalism is the key here. I plan on walking a fair amount during my travels. So light weight and multi-functional items will be necessary. Last but not least will be the guitar and hard case. This will be the simplest yet most essential piece of gear. Its the money maker and will hold the guitar and its accessories. The case will be what people throw tips into at a show or in the street. After busking for years now I've used hats, pitchers, vases, beer buckets, you name it. I have come to a belief that people have a physiological preference for the open guitar case. This is the reason I'm electing not to use a gig bag. The complication from this is carrying the guitar. After a mile or two it can become a pain to carry. But I say screw it, a little hardship can grow a lot of character, and a serious amount of strength in your grip.
I will explain more of these items in greater detail. I will add links from this blog to them as they are created and I will also put it in the title of any future post that about using the Mobile Music Factory,
Thanks for reading, I hope this will be as helpful for your as it is for me.
Today's blog brought to you from a library and my backpack (AKA the Mobile Music Factory), as well as this live track from the recorder in my backpack.
Have a good day!