Musician bios can help you get gigs, publicity, etc!

On Sunday I went to a 2-hour workshop “Communications for Independent Musicians” taught by Lisa Mezzacappa, Bay Area bassist/bandleader and arts organizer. This was on the first day of the Outsound New Music Summit.

It was the best marketing workshop I have ever attended. I have written about, and taught, business marketing classes for over 20 years. Also, I have attended many workshops on business topics.

Most marketing workshops go over way too much material, not all of it relevant to attendees. Lisa selected two specific topics: musician and band/group bios. It was for improv/experimental musicians, which also really helped focus the workship.

She focused on the basis of any business – what are you about? Why would someone book you? Why would anyone contact you to perform with their group? Describe yourself and your group in 100 words or less.

First Lisa went over sample bios for local musicans, then one person volunteered to have his bio done. Lisa and the attendees contributed ideas. Then, she did the same for a band/group bio.

She kept the workshop on track and ended on time. No attendee “speeches” about their life stories, etc. I like that.

On Sunday, August 4 from 2-4 p.m., she will have a Free workship for Independent Musican at the Center for New Music in San Francisco. Info at

When writing up this story, where did I get her bio? From the Outsound Music Festival’s page at ! I am a business writer and really hate it when I can’t find a bio, or have to rewrite it. Where did I get her foto? From the same place.

If I wanted to write about your group, where would I find your bio that is ready to go and needs no editing, and a good foto?

Several attendees mentioned that no one went to their web sites. Another mentioned keywords, meta tags, etc. One of the best ways to get listed near the top of a google search is to regularly have new content. I set up my band page a few weeks ago, using wordpress. I set it up as a band page, but I could also blog. I realized that I could write about any topic. Blogs are very “loose” as compared with traditional writing.

Instead of posting only on Facebook, I  first wrote this post on my blog at and then “shared” it on Facebook. Instead of subscribing to an email mailing list, a real hassle to manage, I can encourage readers to “follow” my band blog.

If you go to my blog, you can see my old bios. If you subscribe to my blog, you can see my greatly improved bios when they are posted!!

Some music topics you could write about: performances you’ve attended, a new music “toy” you just got, a youtube video, a soundcloud song, what you’re doing in your music, etc. I’m working on adding video to our performances. My first post was about that. Or, you could post more personal info, such as what is usually posted on Facebook.

I made a commitment to post something at least once a week.

Just Do It!!!

Obsessed with video!!

Back in the “stone age” of video in the 1980s I took classes and worked on documentary videos. I came from black and white still photography and did not like the relatively poor image quality, although I loved video production – recording, editing, etc. Also the equipment was very expensive to rent and the video tape stretched when played. Fortunately, editing is really, really easy now due to the software. I started taking videos of other musicians performing about two years ago, using my iphone camera. When I got an iphone 5 I recorded everything in HD. I also recorded almost all of Ear Spray’s gigs. It was ok, but not very creative.I put all the videos on youtube and used iMovie for the Mac, an very, very easy program to use. Since I was posting to youtube “quality” was not a big deal as the videos are compressed.

A few months ago I decided to use videos projected behind Ear Spray while we perform. Recording and editing is very easy. But, wow, the projectors have really changed!! My iphone records in HD, so, of course, I had to have an HD projector. I had not used a video projector for a long time, so  it took me awhile to figure out what I wanted, since I am very picky about quality of the projected images – must be HD. One of my first projects is to have live video of Carlos playing. Mark and I move around but Carlos is trapped to his table of electronics. I will have a video camera focused on his table to show what he is doing.See the foto below.

carlos 10-10 buttonsI studied science in high school and college and am working on videos using science-related footage. Hopefully by this fall I will have some video ready to go. Carlos and I attended a performance at Davis Hall in San Francisco of Phillip Glass’ live music accompanying the film Koyaanisqatsi. I got so many ideas!!

Good thing we have Mark to play percussion in Ear Spray while I am fiddling with the video stuff!!

Finally got this darn band web site up!!

Three years ago I set up a myspace page for Ear Spray, when we first started performing together. Of course, soon later myspace went kids thumbs updefunct for musicians :<  Last fall I started a business wordpress blog that is now almost 60 postings plus lots of comments. After months of working on my business wordpress blog, it didn’t take long to set this one up. It was hard going from html to learning wordpress, which is much less flexible (I had never used templates before), but it worked out well for a band page as it takes little time to manage. Of course, knowing some HTML really helps with WordPress.For setting up this blog, most of my time was spent deciding on a template.