Wednesday, August 31, 2005 

Quote for today...

"Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure." -- Oprah Winfrey

Sometimes we move so quickly in our lives that we forget to slow down. It's so easy to hold on too tight and suffocate ourselves. Every once in a while we need a reminder to slow down and take some deep breaths. We only live this life once so make it all you can but take time to smell the roses too!

A good friend of mine passed away two weeks ago. It's really hard to understand how someone so vibrant and full of life could drop dead of a heart attack. Boom! Gone. I saw him the day before. He was one year younger than me. As we get older we start realizing that life is much shorter than we originally thought. We need to make the most of our life but remember also to breathe and enjoy what we have in front of us.

And while you are slowing down for a minute, let me ask you... how is your music career going? Are you meeting your goals for the year? We are well into the third quarter and before you know it we'll be at year-end. Think about where you are and where you want to be.

Rock on,
Madalyn Sklar
~providing one-on-one indie music consulting & coaching~

Monday, August 29, 2005 

Resource to check out... Acoustic Live

Developed by TLAMS Entertainment Services, Acoustic Live has become known for its unique combination of songwriting competition and "acoustic" battle of the bands style event. Focusing on songwriting, originality, performance and musicianship, Acoustic Live puts the focus on the music and its presentation.

The Acoustic Live Philosophy: "Over the years Acoustic Live has changed, or goals have become more defined. Our philosophy is centered on finding up and coming talent of all genres and connecting that talent to industry professionals that are looking for music. The talent series is a vehicle, a means to an end, and a lot of fun." ~ Seth Schwartz, founder.

Annual Talent Series: Once a year Acoustic Live holds its annual talent series, a songwriting competition / acoustic battle of the bands style event. Through a comprehensive submission process 42 artists are chosen by industry professionals to compete live at Acoustic Live showcases. Each night of the Acoustic Live showcases 5+ industry professional judges advance artists to the Acoustic Live finals, for a chance to win prizes provided by Acoustic Live sponsors.

The Acoustic Environment: The acoustic environment presents songwriting in its purest form, putting the focus on the music and performance. The intimate setting makes the smallest nuances significant, and levels the playing field between the solo artist and band.

CD Compilations: The first Acoustic Live compilation CD was produced for promotional use at the 2004 Acoustic Live. The compilation was well received and distributed to fans and industry at Acoustic Live. In 2005 Acoustic Live compilations will be presented by Notable Tracks and will expand to reach more industry and have a great presence at Acoustic Live events.

The Showcase Series: In late 2002 Acoustic Live extended its brand to a series of live "acoustic" showcases featuring artists that have participated or submitted to Acoustic Live. The live shows have become a popular series, featuring some of the best up and coming talent, both unsigned and signed. In the tradition of Acoustic Live, these shows remain free and all ages.

Acoustic Live Drop Boxes: Artists and bands can submit press kits/music to a variety of music industry professionals throughout the year at Acoustic Live events. Each drop box is accompanied with a 1-page description of the company along with pertinent information pertaining to their interests and needs. Submissions are delivered by Acoustic Live, &or A&R'd by Acoustic Live at the request of the respective company. Drop boxes are announced prior to Acoustic Live showcases.

More info at

Rock on,
Madalyn Sklar
~providing one-on-one indie music consulting & coaching~

Wednesday, August 24, 2005 

"Do I Suck?"

Well let me re-phrase that. Are you asking yourself, "does my music suck?" I know, you apply to festivals, events, conference showcases, compilation CDs with little or no luck. It's hard. I know. But keep this in mind... there are tens of thousands of others doing EXACTLY what you are doing!

So think about this... what are you doing to set yourself apart?

Is your package - web site, EPK, press kit - up to par?
Is your music great or mediocre? How is your live performance? What is the quality of your CD production?

It pays to get industry advice on these items. It's smart to get advice from people who are in the know. Build a team of professionals who can coach you.

At I can guide you on package do's and don'ts. It's only $25 for a 30 minute consult. I can review your web site, EPK and press kit and provide you with valuable advice.

Eugene Foley at Foley Entertainment, who has worked with Grammy winners and platinum record selling artists, provides musicians with a free music evaluation. He will email you his thoughts and feedback on your CD. You can get more info at Let Eugene know you were referred by Madalyn Sklar of!

So what is on your to-do list for today?

Rock on,
Madalyn Sklar
~providing one-on-one indie music consulting & coaching~

Tuesday, August 23, 2005 

Fundraising - How To Do It Right - Part ll

In my last article about Fundraising, I covered some very important issues regarding fundraising as a musician and how to properly account for your "self-less"work in the name of charities. What I want to cover is how to promote a fundraising event to help you get maximum exposure and attendance.

A big mistake people make when organizing fundraising events, is assuming that just because you are doing something for a good cause...that people will come. That's simply not true. If the truth is to be known, fundraising events must work harder to attract attendee's than a regular event. Why? Because everyone wants money, and everyone needs money. And people get tired of giving money. Plain and simple. Not only that, it's difficult to tell anymore who is honest and really out for the cause and who is out for themselves in the name of a cause. So instead of worrying about it...most people don't give anything...or they give to the known and familiar efforts. So, your goal should be to become one of those known and familiar events. How do you do that? Well, it doesn't happen overnight. Here are just a few ideas to help you, help your cause more productively.

1. Think of ways your event can stand out...and promote those ways. Your event needs to be different. Like a song. Find a new way to do the same thing. Invent a gimmick for your event and make it stick. Avoid "cheesy", but come up with something that sets you apart and pleases the crowd.

2. Find out what other type of events for charity go on in your hometown. If there are events too similar to with someone. Most organizations can't have enough volunteers. And you could add something different to their current calendar of events rather than start your own thing. Don't step on the toes of another organizer for the same type of cause. It's worth your while to attend area club meetings and get to know the commuity leaders. It's always better to work with someone than as a separate entity. After's about the cause right?

3. Remember that the more you do it, the more it will grow. The more events you have and the more press you get, the more legitimate you become to the public. Don't get discouraged if the first one or two events flop. The most important thing to do is stay consistant. People just respond to things that are consistant much more.

4. Find out what businesses other charities use as sponsors, and stay away from their sponsors. It's never good politics to try and tap in on what someone else already has or do what someone else already does. Don't copy other people. Be unique. Even if you come up with good ideas on your own - people will still accuse you of stealing them, so make sure you don't :)

5. Immediately after the event - send a thank you note in the form of a press release to your community. Mention all sponsors, and let the public know how much money was raised and how much will be going to the charity for each event.

6. Always remember that your fundraising event is about the cause you are raising money for. Not you. Don't be a ham. And avoid the "I" syndrome. Never forget to thank people that help you and don't take anyone for granted that offers their assistance.

In closing, my favorite quote from Jerry Springer comes to mind - "Take care of yourself....and each other"

Rock On!
Annette Warner

Monday, August 22, 2005 

College Radio Promotion by Eugene Foley

Although radio’s influence in the music business has been diminished in the past decade, the ultimate importance of radio airplay is quite clear: if consumers hear music on the radio, many will eventually purchase the CD.

With so many changes occurring in the radio industry – the sale and syndication of radio stations, the fragmentation of formats, the comparative value of video – radio promoters have been forced to be very numbers oriented. For example, they know that a record is much more likely to be picked up in the bigger markets if it is already having positive results on smaller stations. They also know that having impressive retail sales is another factor that may sway a station to give your record a few test spins. If they grant you a few of those spins and the listeners respond with favorable calls and e-mails, it may lead to more airplay.

To go from a few test spins to actually getting on a station’s formal playlist is not easy. A playlist is a station’s chart, which features the 25-40 records that are receiving the most airplay that week. Since most stations receive hundreds of CDs each month, it’s not easy to crack the top twenty. Even securing airplay at college radio is more difficult than in the past, with the major labels and top indie labels all servicing the college stations with their product.

That said, college radio may be your only outlet as an indie, and it can be a powerful medium. College students are traditionally big music fans, and if they embrace your record, the sky is the limit. But even at college radio, “who you know” is very important. Personal relationships with radio station program and music directors are the main reason unsigned, independent artists hire radio promoters. For that reason, whenever financially possible, I recommend hiring a professional and reputable radio promotion company.

click here to read the rest of this article!

This article was reprinted from Disc Makers' Fast Forward e-Newsletter

Eugene Foley is the founder & President of Foley Entertainment, Inc., a music industry consulting firm, and author of the new book, Artist Development, A Distinctive Guide To The Music Industry’s Lost Art. Armed with a law degree (with an emphasis on entertainment law & intellectual property) and a golden ear, Foley represents artists, labels, managers, executives, producers, engineers, and songwriters. Foley’s services include career guidance and direction, marketing, radio promotion, publicity, label shopping, and artist development, and his clients have earned a combined 40 Gold & Platinum Records & three Grammy® Awards. Foley has been a frequent contributor to music related features on MTV, VH1 & Fox, among many others.

Rock on,
Madalyn Sklar
~providing one-on-one indie music consulting & coaching~

Tuesday, August 16, 2005 

Quote for today...

"Pay any price to stay in the presence of extraordinary people." -- Mike Murdock

Think about this for a minute. We become like the people we spend the most time with. Are you surrounded by positive forces in your life or are you spending too much time with people in the "ain't it awful club"?

Side Note: If you are in the Austin area this Saturday, August 20th, I'll be the guest speaker at the Songsalive! Workshop & Showcase. I'm going to speak about community, networking and promotions for the indie artist. It starts at 2pm at El Mercado on S. 1st Street. Click here for more info.

Rock on,
Madalyn Sklar
~providing one-on-one indie music consulting & coaching~

Tuesday, August 09, 2005 

Need consulting/coaching? I'm here for ya...

Do you need help reaching your goals? Reaching your potential? Do you want someone who will really listen to you, to your frustrations, your dreams? That is what I do. I'm Madalyn Sklar and I'm a music consultant and coach who is here to help you. I have ten years experience in the music industry, helping indie musicians like you achieve your goals. I can work with you to develop a plan to get you from point A to point B in your music career.

My rates are very affordable. If you are serious about your music career, you can't afford NOT to take advantage of what I can do for you!

Learn more about my services at

Here are what some of my clients say:

"It's comforting and encouraging to be able to talk with someone that understands." -Rebekah Jordan

"Madalyn knows what works and what doesn’t because she has done it first-hand. This saves us tons of time and money." -Denise from The Googe

"The help with other coaches usually ends when I hang up the phone but not with your call. You go beyond your call of duty!!!!" -Jeska from Showin' Tell

I hope to work together with you real soon!

Rock on,
Madalyn Sklar
~providing one-on-one indie music consulting & coaching~

Friday, August 05, 2005 

KindWeb search engine & directory

Check out this cool web site... KindWeb. It's a great music resource!

KindWeb - Music Resources, Band Links, Events Calendar, Venues Finder, Activism, Natural Health Information, a Great Search Engine, and much more...

Rock on,
Madalyn Sklar
~providing one-on-one indie music consulting & coaching~

Wednesday, August 03, 2005 

Would you know opportunity if it slapped you in the face?

Okay so there are a million opportunities out there to help you in your music career. Are you taking advantage of any? Maybe one or two? The really smart ones take advantage of EVERY opportunity that comes their way.

Smart Rule of Thumb: Check your email at least once a day.

It's even better to check more often than that. Many people I work with miss out on great opportunities because they don't check their email regularly. Here is an example. Last year while producing a monthly GoGirls showcase series here in Houston, I got a call from the local newspaper wanting a 300 dpi photo from one of the bands who would be performing. They needed it by the next day. Keep in mind that Houston is the 4th largest city in the U.S. Getting into our newspaper is huge! So I emailed all of the bands who were playing the show and none of them got back to me in time. Not one could get me a 300 dpi photo within one day! We missed the paper's deadline and these bands lost a great opportunity to get their picture in the newspaper. Our show still got mentioned. I was happy with that. But just think about this for a moment. One of these bands could have been seen by millions! Would you give up free advertising like that? Didn't think so.

Now I know some of you are saying "I can't check my email daily". Well I have solutions for you. Most of you have a cell phone. Did you know all the carriers offer web and email services on them? I've had email access on my cell phone for years! Now I have to say it's not very easy to reply to messages on a cell phone but at minimum you can at least read them and know what is going on. You can be connected. Trust me, it's worth the price. Another alternative is using web-based email like Yahoo or Hotmail so you can check it from any computer that is connected to the Internet. You don't have to be at YOUR computer to stay in touch.

Okay back to the 300 dpi band photo. How many of you have one on your web site? Yeah, I thought so. When I couldn't reach the bands for that photo, I went to their web sites hoping they would have one on there. Not one did. As a matter of fact, most bands I know don't. And no, you cannot use a regular photo off your web site. It's only 72 dpi and will not suffice for print. I have an important mission for you right now. If you choose to accept this mission, you will be rewarded one day for doing so. Trust me! Go get a 300 dpi photo of your band and place it on your web site. If you don't have it in a digital format you can just scan it. Be sure to save it as a .tif or .jpg. For the best example of this, go to The Locals "press room" page at This band is smart by making it easy for the press/media to access their information. If you need any assistance, let me know. I can help you at affordable rates. After all, I also do web design in addition to everything else.

I hope this information is helpful to you in your quest to be the best you can be in the biz side of the music business.

Rock on,
Madalyn Sklar
~providing one-on-one indie music consulting & coaching~

Monday, August 01, 2005 

Resource to check out...

Foley Entertainment, Inc. is a music industry consulting firm and licensed Entertainment Agency representing artists, songwriters, labels, managers, executives, producers and other industry participants. Services include: career guidance & direction, marketing, artist & song shopping, promotion, publicity, media buying and artist development programs.

Check out their web site for details on their services and free music evaluation.

Rock on,
Madalyn Sklar
~providing one-on-one indie music consulting & coaching~



    Madalyn Sklar is a music business coach & consultant, blogger, social networks expert and author. She has spent over 15 years helping independent musicians and music business professionals achieve greater success. Her motto is: working smarter not harder. She also founded, the oldest + largest online community of indie women musicians.

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