Sunday, November 25, 2012

How to leverage your youtube music channel

YouTube is the most popular video outlet in the world, and as such, the free service is an integral part of any serious artist’s music marketing strategy. Ignore it at your own peril! Among all the categories of videos found on YouTube, music is far and away the most popular, accounting for nearly 31% of all videos played through the website.So how do you begin to leverage its potential into a plus for your career? Here are six key tips to keep in mind as you go about building your YouTube presence.

1. Provide your viewers with information
The people who discover your videos could already be fans, but they could also have absolutely no idea who you are. The proper information needs to be available to users so that they can become more familiar with your act.Providing relevant links, video descriptions, and additional detailed information provides your viewers with easy access to important data such as the location where they can buy your album or download or share your content with their own personal networks.

2. Talk to your viewers, because they care (or might want to)
Engage with your viewers! Social media is a two way street, so if someone sends you a message or comments on your video, do your best to answer their questions, stir up a conversation, or thank them for the time they spent watching your videos.Ultimately, the more closely connected a fan feels to you as an artist, the more likely they are to watch that video again, post it to Facebook, tweet it, or share it in some other way.

3. Keep the content flowing!
The more engaging content you can post on your channel the better. This includes song videos, behind the scenes footage, tour diaries, etc. Give your fans a reason to stay involved in what you’re doing on your YouTube channel. Film a quick video of your band doing vocal warm ups before a gig, or saying hi to a crowd before you go out on stage.

4. Put yourself behind the eyes of a viewer
Be mindful of how fans and YouTubers are seeing your band’s presence on your channel. DIY bands
hurrying to shovel more content onto their channel often overlook the basics. In addition to
ensuring that your video and audio content is worth broadcasting, be sure the titles of your videos make sense and are informative (Band name/song title/ live performance venue/ etc.). Do your Tags make sense for each video? Are viewers able to get more info about this video if they need it?

5. Promote your YouTube content on your other Social Channels
It may sound obvious to interlink your various digital media channels, but some bands forget to do
this. Use your YouTube videos as content for blog and Facebook posts, tweets, and fodder on your
other social channels. It gives you timely content to broadcast, and it drives views and traffic to your YouTube channel. Engage with fans by sending them a new song they’ve never heard before. If you decide to debut a new song on YouTube, decide on a release date and start promoting the release via all the forms of digital media you use. You can also try a video teaser on your other channels by excerpting a scene or two from a new YouTube release.

6. Customize you YouTube channel
Remember to always:
- Add performer info.
- Add links to descriptions where appropriate.
- Upload your three Album images with buy links to your purchase page. This can be used for anything, so be creative! Don’t forget that you can link to your merch.

Set your channel type to “Musician.” By changing this status within your “Settings,” you can add things like band member info and add “Events” for things like shows or new releases.

Making the most of your YouTube channel requires you to spend some time learning what is working for other bands and what works best for your audience. Be sure you speak with and listen to your fans using social media and YouTube, as they will help guide you to build a channel that is engaging and effective.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Musicians and Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSI) — How to Practice Hard and Stay Healthy

Have you ever heard serious musicians likened to competitive athletes? It’s a worthy comparison in many ways. Just like world-class swimmers or football players, dedicated musicians spend years training, honing their technique, and practicing hours a week so when the time comes, their skills are sharp and their focus is tight. And, just like athletes, musicians can get injured doing what they love.

For many musicians, physical problems come in the form of repetitive stress injuries (RSIs). Resulting from improper technique, over-exertion, or just bad luck, RSIs can often start as a stray ache or pain, and if not dealt with correctly, can get worse and become debilitating. If you come to this article already experiencing discomfort while playing your instrument, though, fear not. A great majority of music-related injuries can be treated with proper care.

Here is how you can keep yourself playing music in a healthy way for years to come.These tips are from David S. Weiss MD is a Clinical Associate Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at New York University School of Medicine.

Pay attention to your body and Take break
The major mistake musicians make is that they don’t listen to their bodies and their arms," says Dr. Weiss. "Even if you’re not feeling pain, if your arms feel tired and heavy, take note, and take a break. It’s the same as walking – if I walk for four hours on cobblestone streets, my calves might not exactly hurt, but they’d likely feel tight and overused. That’s when it’s time to stop and take a rest – before the pain starts."

Take a lesson
Even if you’re a completely self-taught musician, if you start feeling symptoms of overuse, consider investing in a lesson or two with an experienced, trained teacher.

Treat yourself like an athlete
Just like athletes, musicians use their bodies for their livelihood. Musicians should understand that their sound isn’t coming just out of their instruments," says Dr. Weiss. "The sound comes from the neck, shoulders, and arms, and then from the instrument. Often, musicians will divorce themselves from the physical aspect of playing and ignore the fact there’s a body between their creativity and their instruments."

Exercise away from your instrument
Keeping your entire body strong and flexible can go a long way towards ensuring that you’ll be able to play music for decades, says Dr. Weiss. "Cross-training and aerobic exercises are good. Even walking briskly – with good posture, and not slouching – can be great. Using an elliptical machine, swimming, jogging, and biking are good, too. You want to work up a sweat and use your muscles, but not in the fine-tuning way that you use them when you play an instrument."

Know when to see a doctor
"If there’s actual pain that interferes with your playing, seek medical attention," advises Dr.Weiss. Simple advice – but also remember to be diligent, even once you enter the examination room. "Be aware that a lot of physicians don’t know a lot about musicians and may want to tell you to keep playing, but just take anti-inflammatory medicine."

While such treatments can help in the short term, if there’s a greater issue with your technique or lifestyle that’s causing you problems with your instrument, no number of pills will fix what’s wrong. "You have to think about what a doctor’s advice means," he says. "You don’t just want to be covering up the pain. Painkillers can mask symptoms."