Preview Of Week 2: What Product To Make

what product to make

This is a preview of week two’s lesson in this online music business course. You can see previews of other lessons here.

Ok, we’re back! This week we’ll be looking at one of the most important things you’ll need to consider before setting off on your journey: Which type of product you should be releasing.

I’ve briefly touched on this in the advice section of the Independent Music Website (Post entitled Single, Album Or Mixtape), but today instead of just looking at the options, I’ll be showing you which is the best path to take and why.

For those that haven’t already read that post, the main products you can release are a single, a mixtape, and an album (The post title kind of gives it away right). All have pros and cons, but there is only one we will be using initially during this course: The single!

The reason you should base this stage of your music career around single releases is this:

  • They’re Cheap To Produce.
    Where as creating a album or mixtape will require hours upon hours of studio time to produce, a single will require just one studio session to get complete from start to finish (Providing you done all the planning prior to taking your studio session). The less studio time you have to use, the less money you’ll have to spend. Remember, in this business time is money! This leads on nicely to our second point…
  • You Can Turn Over Your Projects Quicker.
    As you only have to record one song for a single (Instead of say a minimum of say 8 for a album or 10 for a mixtape) projects can be finished and put out a lot quicker. Not only will you save time on recording in the studio, but you will also save time not having to write lots of songs and putting an album or mixtape together. Albums and mixtapes usually also have features, and anyone that’s tried to get more then three features on any of their projects will know they can dramatically slow the process down. Not only do you have to find a time you can both write and record the song, but features won’t always be as dedicated to the project as you. Because of this, they may turn up late, reschedule recording sessions, or simply not turn up at all. This can be frustrating, but believe it or not it does happen.
    If you’re only relying on yourself for the recording of your singles (Or maximum one feature at a time) you should be able to get things done a lot quicker and with less hassle.
  • You Can Be More Adaptive To The Times.
    The music industry is always changing, with new genres coming out all the time. As I’m sure you may have noticed, there’s always a new craze where you can make a semi standard tune and get your name known. This is because there won’t be many songs in this genre already out. Djs will be competing to become the pioneer of this new scene, meaning they’d do anything to get as many songs as they can in that genre. Make a decent tune that matches, and you should get exposure.
    Now I’m not saying you should make sub standard songs, or even that you should follow a new music craze just to get known. IF you wanted to however (Follow the crazes that is, not make sub standard songs) a single release would allow you to quickly and efficiently adapt with the times. There’s nothing worse then recording a album of material, then realising it’s not what people want anymore. With a single you won’t have that problem, and can ‘roll with the punches’.
  • You Receive Instant Feedback.
    As a musician, you should always be analysing how things are going. You want to look at what fans like and dislike about you and your music, which DJs have played which songs, which of your song types have been received the best (Fast songs, slow songs, songs made for events / club, relaxing music etc), and anything else that can help shape your next move. With singles you can test what your audience wants, and get instant feedback off the back of one tune. If you have a new idea you can easily record it, put it out not too long after, and see the crowd’s reaction. If the reaction’s good, you can carry on down that road (If it seems there’s a long term market for that type of music). Alternatively, if the feedback you received wasn’t that good, you can try something else until you get it right.

To Be Continued.

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