Archive for Do-It-Yourself

The living room sessions

guitar living room music session independent

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Until recently, the best place to hear live original music might have been at a local open mic at a café or other commercial venue.

 

But musicians at such events still had no easy way of sharing their music with a larger audience.

 

With the advent of mp3 files and now YouTube all that may soon change and a social change to match the new technological possibilities seems in order.

 

Imagine, for example, the emergence of living room sessions with original music beamed right out of people’s homes via audio or video onto the Net.

 

Imagine hosting an open mic party at your house instead of a Super Bowl Party packed with friends and invited musicians.

 

Podcasters could even be invited to capture the event live and disseminate it to the Web, so there’d be no reason to even worry about providing your own gear. Just the space.

 

Sites like MeetUp.com could even be used to gather the right mix of folks and musicians though, of course, great care would need to be exercised to overcome the inherent danger of such an endeavor.

 

Those interested, for example, might gather first in a public place to check everyone out and make sure there are no causes for concern.

 

For those who think this sounds strange remember that early blues singers and hip hop DJ’s played rent and house parties before larger venues were ever open to them.

 

And for a better understanding of how the underground club scene in New York City got started out of a guy’s oversized apartment read about David Mancuso and The Loft here and in “Last Night A DJ Saved My Life: The History of the Disc Jocky” by Bill Brewster and Frank Broughton.

 

If you decide to host a living room open mic, we’d like to know about it.

 

Drop me an e-mail and some audio or video files if available so I can share them with the network. N10ah will also be working toward having some of its own similar sessions in the future.

   

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Inexpensively create T-shirts for your band (Part 11)

Create your own promotional T-shirts and other merchandise

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For the last step of my customized promotional T-shirt project, I uploaded the images I had created to CafePress.com, a site which helps clients create the type of online boutique you have already seen and T-shirts and other merchandise quickly and easily.

 

 

Here’s more about how I completed my online boutique project for the n10ah Online Music Network.

 

 

CafePress.com and other similar sites provide a simple service free with paid upgrades available. CafePress.com also offers an affiliate program, to which this website now belongs, offering another option to help monetize that band or music project website.

 

 

For more on the process of creating an online boutique to promote your band or music project check out the entire series “Fill your boutique in about a week” at BootStrapMe.

 

 

READ PREVIOUS SERIES OF ARTICLES STARTING HERE

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Inexpensively create T-shirts for your band (Part 10)

Free info on how to design a T-shirt for your band at no cost

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Sometimes the simplest solutions are the best when dealing with any creative problem as I found when putting together promotional T-shirts for our online store.

 

For example, the scratched up top of an old coffee table and the embroidered surface of a bench for an old vanity provided great textures for the straightforward designs of these T-shirt and tote bag images.

 

They give, in my opinion, a great do-it-yourself look that is exactly in step with the ethic of our online music network. My eight-year-old came to the rescue again with a couple of holiday props.

 

That’s his hand in one of the photos we didn’t use on the T-shirts. Read more about the project here at BootStrapMe.

 

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Inexpensively create T-shirts for your band (Part 9)

Create your own T-shirt designs

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And just as you and your band do whe n trying to figure out the best presentation for a song, remember you’ll have to improvise.

 

I had a situation very much like this as I tried to put together the final design for the T-shirts and tote created for the n10ah Online Music Network’s brand new Internet store.

 

Read about how my simple plan to create customized merchandise using printed out art and cut out lettering from periodicals went awry and how I improvised to finish the project in this post at BootStrapMe.

 

 

I hope it will provide inspiration for your own promotional projects for your band or latest musical project.  

 

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Inexpensively create T-shirts for your band (Part 8)

Design a T-shirt using your own artwork!

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So, how do you go about creating customized merchandise for an online boutique to promote your band or musical project?

 

Well, the way I got started was by using two preexisting pieces of visual art.

  1. A cropped photo of a television antenna we had used as the photo for the first post on this site (seen here)
  2. A drawing I had made on an old Microsoft art program that had been originally planned as part of a design for a vintage t-shirt

 

What you use when you begin your project is really up to you and depends on your talent, creativity and ingenuity.

 

You might, for example, take some great photos of the band, or photos of some interesting scene or event.

 

You might just sit down with a graphic design program on your PC and whip up something completely incredible.

 

Here are the details of what I did and how. Your own project may, and probably will, differ substantially.

 

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Inexpensively create T-shirts for your band (Part 7)

Your own T-shirts totes and other promotional merchandise

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Another reason you shouldn’t noodle with perfection is that that down and dirty do-it-yourself look may be just what you’re looking for.

 

That’s the decision I came to when creating the n10ah Online Music Network’s new online boutique. In this case less is definitely more.

 

In many cases, you’ll be in the same situation starting out with an unknown band and trying to make a name for yourself.

 

Why not use that quality to your advantage. If fans like the rough hewn alternative sound your band produces, why not give them promotional materials that create the same impact.

 

Today’s music listeners are sophisticated and aren’t always won over with a glitzy presentation. It’s the substance that counts.

Here are some other thoughts…

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Inexpensively create T-shirts for your band (Part 6)

Making T-shirts for your band free online

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How are creating cutting edge software and creating T-shirts inexpensively for your band related?

 

Er…um…give me a second on this, O.K.?

 

Oh, yeah! The answer is that a quote from start-up guru Guy Kawasaki can apply to both endeavors.

 

In his post “The Art of Bootstrapping”, Kawasaki makes the argument that:

“Perfect” is the enemy of “good enough”…Besides perfection doesn’t necessarily come with time–more unwanted features do… It’s definitely a tradeoff: your reputation versus cash flow, so you can’t ship pure crap. But you can’t wait for perfection either. 

So, when you’re working on your T-shirt project try not to get bogged down with perfection and remember the objective here, promoting the music…and maybe making a couple bucks on the side. 

Read the rest of Guy’s comments at my BootStrapMe post here or on his very popular and thought provoking post at the above link. 

Then read the next blog post for more on our project. 

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