Category: Getting Reviews

Embrace Struggle

Embrace Struggle: Music Industry Success

By NationWide Source Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

When you first getting going down any road, there are going to be some stumbles along the way. When that road is as subjective, competitive, and lean as being a professional musician, you can count on stumbling, if not falling down completely. If the potholes and ruts in the road to music famedom have let the air out of your dreams, don’t despair. Rather than fight or flee from these challenges, embrace the struggle.

Embrace “No”

Most who hear “no” enough times will simply take that as the final word on the matter. But for musicians who are trying to break into the business, get record contract, get gigs, and find fans, “no” has to be their “modified yes.” Question the person who said it; ask why you were told “no”, find out what they found  off-putting, ask for advice or feedback, and see if you can change their mind.

Wrong Information

If you have sent your query to a music blog, artist rep, or agency ten times and you have never heard back from them, you might wonder if you have the right information. Maybe you are a hip hop group sending out your queries to a classical music reviewer, or maybe you used someone’s Hotmail address when they’ve switched to Gmail. Double check that your sources are a good fit for you and accurate.


Again, one of the biggest challenges for a new artist trying to get gigs, get representation, or get reviews is that they didn’t follow the submission guidelines. If a venue sees that its submission guidelines have not been followed, why should they look at your submissions at all? If you can’t find the submission guidelines, send along a query and ask.

Stay Humble

We all think that what we’re doing is amazing. But compare yourself to the work of one of your favorite musicians, objectively, and see what you think. How good are you, really? How much more practice do you need? Even if your performance is solid, try changing things up to see if you can be even better. That missing spark might be a missing member, or a member too many.

As you can see, this flipped-around attitude can lead to growth, to maturity as an artist, to increased opportunity, and—hopefully—to “yes”.

Have you faced rejection in your music career? Were you able to turn that “no” into a “yes”? What did you learn from rejection?

See also: 4 Steps to Getting Better Gigs.

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Get Reviewed

Getting Bloggers and Magazines to Review Your Music

By NationWide Source Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

As an up-and-coming musician, you may have no idea where to begin when it comes to how to market your music. Anyone who has been successful in creative endeavors can tell you it’s no longer enough to put out a quality product and wait for attention. Your audience has to hear about that product, and they have to hear about it from a trusted, established source. While this source can be someone they know and trust, it can also be professional writers and bloggers in the music industry.

Here are some tips for reaching that group:

Do your homework

Find out which outlets fit your niche, who the contact people are, and whether or not they accept submissions. Subscribe to those magazines, read those blogs, or follow those writers.

Make contact

Send out copies of your music, press packets, and so forth. Tailor each submission to the recipient, too.

Check their submission guidelines… Twice

The press or person might require certain formats or pieces of information, or they might only communicate with managers and record labels. Don’t let a procedural mistake cost you this opportunity.

Focus on quality

Be sure that what you’re sending is as polished and professional as your budget allows, both in sound and appearance. If you want to be taken seriously as an artist, make sure your product reflects that.

Be relevant

Only send your product to appropriate people. Asking a magazine that focuses on heavy metal to review your jazz flute album probably won’t be an effective use of anyone’s time or money.

Follow up

If you haven’t heard back within a couple weeks, a polite letter, email, or (perhaps most impressively) phone call or two is acceptable. However, do NOT let this turn into nagging or begging.

Be thankful

If the press does feature you, by all means, do a happy dance. Then, send a thank you note. Be sure to share the feature on your website and social media platforms. Even if you’re not featured, thank them for their time and ask if they know of anyone in the industry who may be interested.

If you’re not sure where to start, try the music blog scene. Read and interact with music blogs like Hypebot, Digital Music News, and Ditto Music. They might answer questions you didn’t know you had, or they could simply point you on to the next link.

Have you been featured? If so, where, and how did you make this happen?

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