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brandonstrings last won the day on March 4 2016

brandonstrings had the most liked content!

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About brandonstrings

  • Rank
    Tuning Up

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
    United States of America
  • Interests
    I love extreme sports to cycling to jumping out of airplanes (with a parachute). Music is more than a hobby...its a career of 15 years to date.

Music Background

  • Band / Artist Name
    Independent contract guitar slinger
  • Musical / Songwriting / Music Biz Skills
    music management, agent, writer, entrepreneur, utility player, session player,
  • Musical Influences
    New wave (new and old), Classic Rock (The Eagles/Led Zeppelin), Classical (Augustine Barrios, Fransico Tarrega'), Nirvana, Metallica, Pantera,


  • Songwriting Collaboration
    Not Interested

Critique Preferences

  • Getting Critique
    Any and All

Recent Profile Visitors

607 profile views
  1. The Value of Knowing Your Worth

    "Hey, can you come play my party for free beer?!" "If you come play guitar for me for $50 this time there will be more gigs to follow!" "Do you have some unlicensed or royalty free music I can use for my video?" "I can pay you in (insert social media platform) more followers if you do this for me." Knowing one's value or worth is the best advice I could ever give anybody wanting to jump in this crazy music industry...OK, the end!! Whew, thank goodness you don't have to read anymore! Seems so simple, right? Monetarily speaking, knowing your worth can be an incredible advantage to your career, or not knowing what your "product's" value is can be a horrible disservice to you and your fellow colleagues. This is what I mean. What we do in the music industry whether it be a song writer, jingle composer, player, artist, manager, booking agent, etc. is entirely different than any corporate structure set in any other genre of business. There is no infrastructure to evaluate how much you should be making on a global scale. There isn't a chart on the internet to tell you how much you should be making. That certainly would make it a lot easier. From what I've learned, culture and the city you live in seem to set a standard. Granted I can only speak as an American understanding the evaluation process in music. Los Angles, New York, and Nashville are what I call the big 3. From there I would say the next tier cities could be an Austin, Texas or a New Orleans, Louisiana for example. But the big three usually set the trends in the largest commercialized music markets (Pop, Rock, and Country). They also have more opportunities in all areas of music as well. How much should I charge for my services? It all depends on your culture, city, and what will you gain out of it. In Nashville, a guitar player hired to play some songs have a pretty standard base rate of a local show getting paid $150 and if there is travel involved no less than $200. But I've excepted gigs for a lot less. Even $50! In corporate business suit and tie world they would ridicule you for taking a 75% cut. I don't blame them. Let that percentage sink in. I didn't know what I was doing was undermining a system that would devalue and under appreciate a player that would be well deserved of a base pay of $150. Integrity in the market place is a concept that , in monetary terms, people will know what to expect. Consistency if you will and it even sets a bar predicated to a system that can establish tiers. For example, do those local shows for $150 and when you have the street credit eventually you can make the jump up to $200, then $225, and then so on, and so on!!! Your culture may have something set in place. Maybe? Maybe not? Isn't it funny? Do you ever wonder if somebody slapped a sign on your back that says "will work for free" instead of "kick me!" Know your worth. Set a standard. Educate yourself from other musicians/writers/engineers/blah/blah/ bah. Let those that have walked that path mentor you. Help your community by establishing that your vocation as a creative is important to be worth given money. I had a coffee with a friend when I first started traveling to Nashville. I expressed that I didn't know my value or even when should I take a gig. I still use this rule to this day and I absolutely love it, and I think it applies here. After he mentioned base rates in Nashville he ended the subject by saying, "Two out of three ain't bad." 1. Is the money good? 2. Do you like the music? 3. Are they good people or are they fun to hang out with? "If you can say yes to at least two of those...two out of three ain't bad."
  2. Nashvillian Making New Friends & Wanting To Help

    Thanks Tom! Happy to get to know people like yourself on here!
  3. Nashvillian Making New Friends & Wanting To Help

    Hello and thank you, I am interested in all of the above. I would love some guidance or even where I could be used more. I'm sure you wanna see more works to pursue avenues like a Songstuff author, right? I'm afraid I don't have anything...but I am happy to contribute. It's nice to know someone on the inside Thanks and happy to be led in the right direction(s)!
  4. How Are Singles Chosen?

    Nashville is the single capital of the world! Exaggeration, but the professional community has it down by the numbers. If your a writer with a Pub deal- Congrats! You walked 3% of your journey to getting a huge cut. Most contracts state that you are obligated to write at least 15 songs a year and in return they pay you. Usually around $2,000 a month. Not hard, right?! Well, you literally have to write 100's of songs a year to even compete with all the other hit factories in town. So you're not doing yourself any favors by just writing 15. It's like winning the lottery, your chance of winning is greatly improved by the more tickets you buy. Get it? Ok! Every week you sit at a round table with other writers, their publishers, and your A&R publisher. As well as anybody higher up to make the big decision. Everybody listens to their songs they wrote for the week that the writers deem worthy to be cast into a pile to be pitched. Hopefully, your publisher hustles for you and you get a "Hold". Meaning an artist wants to record it. Lets say they do, and he/she is a big artist. They'll "cut it" (record it). Just when you think you can celebrate there is a good chance to be placed on the album, but it can still go in the trash. Out of the year the big artist could have recorded 25-100 songs to filter down to the 10-12 songs that are gonna be on the record. Let's say you make the cut. The artist, A&R, label, management, and producers will then elect what they think will serve as the best single. Then, they test it. Focus groups/radio stations can be a decent indicator of the song if it is gonna do well (monetarily speaking). They give their feedback and then the decision is made for the single to be chosen. Now is this the case for everybody...nope. Is there more to it...Yes. In broad strokes this is my experience. For a lot of the bigger labels yes this is a route that many go down. Others go with their gut and say 'This is the next big thing,' and go for it! Also, not just country uses the above model. I know LA uses this too. Again, not everybody. Hope that was enlightening!
  5. Hey GUYS & GIRLS, My name is Brandon. I'm from Nashville, TN. I wanted to try a forum out to offer any advice that I might have to help you guys and maybe learn a thing or two. I've been all over the world touring professionally for 15 years now. So, whatever you guys want to know or I can help just let me know! I'm a musician first and learning the ways of being an entrepreneur at the same time. My first A-list band I played for was a band called Evanescence. Before you get to excited, I was never a member. I was the funny dude that got to hang with the band in 2003-04 that got to play guitar every once in awhile. From there I've played with Frank Sinatra Jr., Kris Allen (American Idol), and even my own project for Fox's America's Next Greatest Band...It Sucked! Then moved to Nashville! Since then I've been the Christian music genre playing for Sidewalk Prophets, City Harbor, Royal Tailor, Wavorly, to name a few. Then a couple of years ago I wanted to try country. I played with Brandon Lay (Universal Recording Group) and currently playing with Olivia Lane (Big Spark). I own Tour Solutions & Agency. We are a head-hunting agency that seeks musicians and tour personnel for touring commercial artists and managements. Basically, Kelly Clarkson needs a guitar player and a Front of House guy they call us! New adventure and it has been amazing. We are also in the works for a weekly podcast as a free resource for anybody interested in the music industry. It's called Surviving the Music Industry (SMI). My co-host, business partner, and I have a total of 58+ years in this crazy industry. So we want to be a resource that is useful. We invite guests in all aspects of the industry (Stylists, Models, Guitarists, Artists, Techs, Crew, etc.) and get them to share their crazy stories and give you some insight on how they are surviving working in the industry. We are gearing up to release our first episodes in May of 2016. Below is some more info if your tired of me rambling!! Love to help in any advice that I can offer. Talk to you guys soon! 1. Do you sing, play an instrument or instruments? What instruments?Guitar, Banjo, Bass, Keyboards, Accordion, Bazooki, Violin...anything with strings When did you start playing?I studied violin at 6 then picked up a guitar at 16/17. I then studied classical guitar i loved it so much. Did you teach yourself?violin...no. Guitar...the early years...yes 2. Are you in a band or bands? What is the name of the band? I currently play for Nashville country/pop artist Olivia Lane What do you play? Lead Guitar What other instruments are in the band? Rhythm guitar, Mando, Bass, Drums, and a ton of Tracks Do you have a band website?....She has one somewhere, eh? 3. Do you write songs? Do you write lyrics, music or both? I love writing. I don't get to do it much these days and i decided to shift my focus on other things. I do have a couple of cuts but nothing lucrative what so ever. Do you have a writing partner? This town is built on co-writes 4. Do you record your music? Do you use a home studio? If so what gear do you use? I do have a very basic home set up. My gear is mostly used for live playing than the studio. So much gear, so little space. Do you use a recording studio?I do session work from time to time. I get hired a lot to look and play the parts. Do you have music available on the web? if so where? I decided to support other artists a long time ago and it has been very lucrative for me. Their maybe something out there in the abyss. 5. What other roles do you perform in the music business? Management? Label owner? Publishing? Promotion? Other? I own Tour Solutions & Agency and soon Surviving the Music Industry Podcast. 6. Are you a tech head? eh, yes and no. It has to work for me and what i'm currently doing. 7. What country do you live in? USA 8. What are your ambitions? To be a resource for the Music community and to be the best musician entrepreneur i can be! 9. Do you draw/paint/write stories/computer art/dance or other creative pursuit? No, not really. I work FULL-TIME What are your pastimes?Sports. I like watching just about any sport. But more than anything I love music and people. 10. What would you like to get out of Songstuff? I'd like to meet like minded individuals. Also, I really just want to help anybody that is interested in the music industry. I definitely don't have all the answers. I just have my stories, but I'm happy to share.