Thursday, May 24, 2007 

Madalyn's Music Biz Blog Goes On Vacation

It's been a long time coming...
I'm taking a much needed 2 week vacation to the Mediterranean!

Blogging will resume on June 11th.

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

Wednesday, May 23, 2007 

Leave Your Drama At Home: More Rockin' And Less Squawkin'!

by Sheena Metal

No matter how we, as human beings, live our lives…drama happens. And the average musician has more drama than the crazy cat lady down the block has bags of used litter on her porch. At every turn, your average wannabe rockstar has a crazy squeeze, a crazier ex, a harem of would-be lovers, and a gaggle of insane stalkers. Then there's the band drama, manager drama, club drama, fan drama, gear drama, and let's not even get started on the online drama potential. Before you know it, your band makes "Desperate Housewives" look like 60 Minutes.

Certainly, no one ever said that music was going to be a safe, secure and solid profession to get into. Any industry that pays buckets of money to young, pretty people for jumping around and showing off is bound to inspire zaniness to some degree or another. And the creative process often brings with it a certain amount of tortured genius that fuels the seeds of drama like miracle grow on weeds. Plus, there are more than twenty million musicians around the world that are clamoring for maybe a thousand record deals like contestants on "Survivor" running obstacles courses for a single meager chicken wing. If there was a country built on drama, a musician would be its queen.

However, as much as the music biz is filled with glitz and glamour and the stuff that tabloid headlines are made of, it is also a business. And if there's one thing you don't want in the middle of your business, it's drama. There's a reason why doctors don't fight over dying patients about their golf scores, pilots don't announce to a plane full of passengers that they've been dating the stewardess, and the chef doesn't come to tell you he forgot to wash his hands before he cooked your four-star meal…drama does not belong in business. Whether you're aspiring to get a record deal or searching for a cure for cancer, leave your drama at home!

The following are a few tips that will help you to navigate the gossip and erratic turbulence of life in the music industry without becoming a slave to your own drama:

1.) Don't Let The Internet Suck You In---Every since the invention of the internet, there's been more drama in cyberspace than at a convention for bipolar drag queens. It's easy to gossip and backbite while you can stay anonymous, so the internet has becoming a breeding ground for anyone and everyone with an agenda, an out-of-control jealousy problem, an axe to grind, or an unbelievable ego. Angry, upset, small-minded people with inferiority complexes like size of Shamu will use the internet to poke at your band with a cyber stick. As hard as it may be, you need to learn to let it all roll off your back. As long as they're posting about you, it means they're listening. Removing their inflammatory posts, or replying with similar negativity, feeds the drama until your entire message board is about the trouble-maker on your web site and not your music. What if a potential magazine reviewer or an interested label rep is perusing your page with interest only to find more info about your fight with some internet psycho than about your band? It's not worth risking a loss of opportunity to engage in drama.

2.) Drama Doesn't Belong At Your Gigs---When you're at a show, your goal is to make music, engage the audience, sell CDs, and win the club over so that you can play there again and again. People make room in their schedules, pay for gas, and fork out cash for a cover charge and bar priced drinks, just to hear you play your songs for them. They want to be entertained; to get away from the pressures of their real lives and escape into the safety and excitement of your music and lyrics. What they don't need is more drama at your gigs then they get from their office co-workers, their wacky neighbors, and bully at their kids' school combined. Whatever problems you're having in your personal and professional life, keep it away from your fans and your industry contacts or they'll start to remember your shows more for the drama than for the music.

3.) Your Manager Is Not Your Therapist---Although a manager's professional duties make them almost like the band's parent, don't cry to mommy every time the drummer calls you a name or your girlfriend decides she wants to play the field. There is too much music industry drama that your manager has to deal with every day, to add to his/her troubles by piling a heap of your personal woes on top of his/her already overburdened shoulders. If a club owner stiffs you at the door, tell your manager. If another band records one of your songs without permission, tell your manager. If your wife compulsively flashes her breasts at your shows, send her to a therapist, but leave your manager out of it.

4.) Take The Crazymakers Off Your Mailing List---A lot of damage control can be done simply by eliminating from your mailings the nuts that show up and bring their own boatload of drama. If you know that your ex has never gotten over you, that she's off her meds and that she likes to show up and start swinging at every girl she thinks is catching your eye…why would you invite he to your shows? Comb your address book with a big, black sharpie pen and ink out the stalkers, crazies, attention-getters, and overblown drunkards that will turn each and every one of your gigs into a three-ring circus of drama that you're forced to ringmaster from the stage during your set.

Once you remove the drama from your musical career, you'll find that your gigs go smoother, your website is a more positive place for fans to hang in cyber space, and the industry is less wary about getting behind what you're doing. It may seem silly, but too much drama can often be a warning sign that something is really wrong with a band and you may find that industry types will become gun shy around your band if they're worried that your reputation as drama queen will be more trouble than it's worth. Working in the music business is hard enough. Don't give anybody any reason not to work with you. Be smart. Leave your drama at home and show the industry that your music is what's most important to you and your band.

Sheena Metal is a radio host, producer, promoter, music supervisor, consultant, columnist, journalist and musician. Her syndicated radio program, Music Highway Radio, airs on over 2,400 affiliates to more than 126 million listeners. Her musicians’ assistance program, Music Highway, boasts over 10,000 members. She currently promotes numerous live shows weekly in the Los Angeles Area, where she resides. For more info:

Copyright © 2007 Sheena Metal. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007 

Web site to check out...

Your one-stop shop for the BEST music stuff!

Be sure to check out the GoGirls Music Store where you'll find great music business products such as Eugene Foley's book, Artist Development, as well as MP3 downloads from my past Teleseminar Calls. I also have available three e-Booklets on Myspace Marketing. If you are looking to raise money, check out the Funding Your Next Music Project template.

More products are getting added to the store so keep checking back!

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

Monday, May 21, 2007 

What to do and not do at a music conference

My thoughts after attending this weekend's Hyperfest in Albuquerque, NM

by Madalyn Sklar

I just returned from the second annual Hyperfest Music Conference & Festival. It was a lot of fun but makes me think of plenty of do's and not to do's.

Hanging out with Jodelle

Here is my list.


Have plenty of CDs (with the wrapper removed) and business cards on you. I'm amazed how many people don't do this!

Smile and be approachable. This is a network event so make the most of it!

Meet and mingle with music industry professionals as well as other musicians. You never know who can help you.

Attend workshops & panels. You can never know it all. Take the time to learn something new.

Be professional. Always, always be professional.

Follow up! What is the point of meeting all these new people if you don't take the time when you get home to send a follow-up email, phone call or hand written note.


Think you're better than everyone else. No one likes a diva.

Arrive late for your showcase. It's a great way to not get invited back!

Not be prepared to showcase. Be rehearsed. Be well groomed. Always look your best. Don't look like you just rolled out of bed.

I hope you found this useful! Please feel free to get in touch with me if you have any questions or comments.

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

Friday, May 18, 2007 

Motivation for Musicians - today's text message

“Do one more thing today... sell one more CD, make one more call, find one more resource. Rock on!” -- Madalyn Sklar

I feel stongly that we all need some motivation from time to time. That is why I started Motivation for Musicians. It's a way for me to bring you something to help jump start or boost you to succeed. We can all succeed at whatever it is we set out to do.

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

Thursday, May 17, 2007 

Making It as a Band

Here is a GREAT video of Los Angeles-based music attorney Dina LaPolt discussing "making it as a band." It's from the web site I mentioned yesterday, Artistshouse Music.

Check out the video. It's really good!

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


Wednesday, May 16, 2007 

Web site to check out...

I regularly scour the Internet looking for music related web sites and found this one recently that is worth checking out.

Artistshouse Music

Here is what their "about" page says:

Funding for the development of Artists House Music has been provided by the Herb Alpert Foundation. The foundation devised the idea for an online, non-profit musicians’ Website where all musicians can receive informational support, guidance, and expert resources to help them navigate the challenges and maximize the opportunities available to them within the music industry.

What I like about the web site is the vast amount of music business information that will surely help any indie artist looking to get ahead. There are lots of video interviews that are brief and to the point. I love that! And articles like How can I get people to my gig?, How do I record someone else’s song? and How do I copyright my original music?

Take my advice and check out this site. I'm sure you will learn something new and cool.

Hey if you are not busy tonight, tune in to my FREE music business teleseminar with Mike Jolkovski. We'll be discussing "Helping your band work together and survive its success". Sign up at

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

Tuesday, May 15, 2007 

Industry Giants Join Forces, Launch Groundbreaking Indie Artist Support Tool: The Virtual Publicist

GoGirls Music's Madalyn Sklar, Rainmaker's Rhonda Kelley and Burn In Silence/3000K's Ben Schulkin shatter the cost/time barrier between independent musicians and critically-important media coverage.

Houston, TX and Boston, MA (Billboard Publicity Wire/PRWEB ) May 14, 2007 -- "This is what the new indie looks like," says Jimbo Mathus of Squirrel Nut Zippers.

Finding the right industry media contacts has been the most daunting challenge facing indie musicians: lots of time away from the studio and stage doing research, or lots of money to hire someone to do it.

Today, the indie world has changed dramatically with the launch of The Virtual Publicist (, a Web-based service that enables independent musicians to download a current list of over 400 music magazines, zines, blogs and freelance writers; and ready-to-use labels for mailing press kits along with resources such as: writers, web designers, distributors and music coaches.

Madalyn Sklar, founder and CRC (chief rockin' chick) at; Rhonda Kelley, founder and publicity guru of Rainmaker Public Relations; and Ben Schulkin, web programmer for 3000K and founding member of Burn In Silence (Prosthetic Records); had a first-hand understanding of the need as music business coach, publicist and musician.

"We're all about supporting and empowering everyone to rock out and perform and be wildly successful," said Sklar, whose is the oldest and largest online community devoted to women musicians. "But the harsh reality is that you need to get noticed to create buzz. The Virtual Publicist helps you do that--right down to the mailing labels."

Artists go to the website, purchase the list and get a download of the contacts and labels, which are formatted and ready to use. The Virtual Publicist plans frequent updates to ensure that the list is always current, but at $39.95 per download, the service is affordable even for the artist who wants to update their contacts periodically.

"Anything that empowers musicians to take control of their music careers like The Virtual Publicist does, is always a smart move," says Roy Elkins, founder and CEO of "Created by working musicians and working publicists; it gives new meaning to DIY."

"There's nothing worse than putting your heart and soul into writing, recording and producing a CD and then seeing it go flat because you don't have the right contacts," said Kelley, whose PR agency was one of the first agencies devoted to servicing the unsigned artist; it opened over 12 years ago. "With The Virtual Publicist, you can send your press kits with confidence and have more time to make music."

The founders say that the Virtual Publicist reflects the reality of the indie market today: the number of artists vying for attention is exploding; there's an underlying attitude that indie--once the bastion of do-it-yourself, street-level, down-and-dirty promotion--has become commercialized; and there are so many new media outlets--good and bad--that it is hard to figure out which will work and which are junk.

"It's the double-edged techno-sword," says Schulkin, who knows about the rigors of indie publicity first-hand as a member of Burn In Silence. "The technology delivers a lot of new sites and blogs and online music sites, but you really need to be an industry expert to sort them all out. The Virtual Publicist brings both together."


Monday, May 14, 2007 


High achievement always takes place
in the framework of high expectation.
You'll always hit what you aim for in the long run.
So why not aim high?

If you can dream it, you can do it.
If you don't have a dream,
how are you going to make it come true?

Have the courage to follow your dreams.
It's the first step towards attaining your destiny.

The empire of your future resides in your mind.
Big thinking precedes big achievement.

©2006 by Max Steingart

[Madalyn’s Note: Always, always aim high. Don’t be afraid of winning, succeeding. It’s easy to get held back but think of the fame, fortune, wealth or whatever it is that is waiting for you on the other side of your dreams. Rock on!]

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

Friday, May 11, 2007 

Hyperactive Music Festival & Conference - next week!

Where will I be next weekend? At the 2nd annual Hyperactive Music Festival & Conference in Albuquerque, NM.

I'll be there running the booth plus we'll have a gogirls showcase filled with GREAT music featuring bands from our roster of talent. And if that wasn't enough, I'll be conducting my "Indie Music Success" workshop. Hope to see you there!

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


Thursday, May 10, 2007 

What Is Your Success?

by Madalyn Sklar

Madalyn Sklar The music business is not all that different from other businesses. Some succeed while some fail. Some make money and others lose it. Your drive is what will set you apart from others. There are so many people doing exactly what you are doing! Scary isn’t it. Think about things you are doing right now that others are not doing. Your number one objective is to succeed at your craft. But what is your definition of success? It may be different from the person sitting next to you.

Define your success.

I decided long ago that I would devote myself to promoting and empowering women in music. It has been my passion for over 11 years now. I was surrounded by music at an early age and even started playing guitar at age 11. From that time on I knew that music would always be a big part of my life. Who knew all these years later it would be as a music business consultant, coach, motivator and author as well as the founder of, the oldest and largest online community of indie women musicians!

What have you devoted yourself to? Write it down.
Where would you like to go with it?
Where has it taken you?
Think about these things!

Define success in your terms.

Success to me is the joy in helping others. I get great satisfaction when others tell me that I personally or has helped them and their music career. For some, it’s been the community and having a place where they feel welcome as an indie artist. For others it’s the opportunities to showcase at one of our events. I even have people telling me they enjoy the emails I send out that are filled with information, resources and inspiration.

This is my success!

What is yours?

Copyright © 2007 Madalyn Sklar, IndieMusicCoach

Madalyn Sklar is a music business coach, consultant and author. She founded IndieMusicCoach and has spent over 11 years working with a wide range of independent musicians, helping them get focused and energized. Her goal is to help indie artists achieve greater success in the music business by working smarter not harder. She is also the founder of, the oldest and largest online community of indie women musicians, with a vision of bringing together and empowering musicians from around the world.

Madalyn is available for one-on-one consulting and coaching at affordable prices. Check out for more info.


Wednesday, May 09, 2007 

FREE Teleseminar next week! & IndieMusicCoach presents...

“Helping your band work together and survive its success”

Have you noticed that the personality issues in bands can get in the way of both the music and the business? Are you tired of the stress, the fights, and the drama, or tempted to give up on having a band? Is your band coming apart right as it's becoming successful? Do you want to have a band you truly enjoy working with?

Join us May 16th for this free 60-minute "teleseminar" and listen to Madalyn Sklar, founder of and IndieMusicCoach interview psychologist, consultant, and former pro musician, Mike Jolkovski.

Sign up FREE at


Tuesday, May 08, 2007 

Motivation for Musicians - today's text message

“Remember to live one day at a time. Good things are in store for you!” -- Madalyn Sklar

I feel stongly that we all need some motivation from time to time. That is why I started Motivation for Musicians. It's a way for me to bring you something to help jump start or boost you to succeed. We can all succeed at whatever it is we set out to do.

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


Monday, May 07, 2007 

Music Business Scams

Today on the GoGirls Elite list (that's my other work) we are talking about music business scams. It's crazy how many people are out there wanting to scam YOU! I hate it and you should too.

So I was looking for some articles online about the subject of scamming musicians and found these interesting links. I hope you find it helpful in your pursuit to music biz bliss.

Scams, and how to avoid them

Get a Record Deal for only $100

Music Business Scams

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

Friday, May 04, 2007 

Motivation for Musicians - today's text message

“Visualize your success... starting today!” -- Madalyn Sklar

I feel stongly that we all need some motivation from time to time. That is why I started Motivation for Musicians. It's a way for me to bring you something to help jump start or boost you to succeed. We can all succeed at whatever it is we set out to do.

Join the MobMozes

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

Thursday, May 03, 2007 

Why Artists Get Dropped

Here is a great article by one of my favorite writers in the biz, Chris Standring. Hope you enjoy! -Madalyn Sklar, IndieMusicCoach

Why Artists Get Dropped
by Chris Stranding,

MusicDish Network Sponsor

Question: Why is it that so many albums don't get released once a label signs an act?

Answer: A few things can go wrong. First, it can take a long time for a record company to court an artist or group, and then another good amount of time while attorneys are going back and forth getting the contract right. Once the deal is locked in, the label has to schedule the release and the band has to make the album. From the beginning of courtship to the time an album is slated for release could quite easily be two to four years. During this time several factors can cause a project to go south.

If the A&R person who originally championed this act gets fired or leaves the company, 9 times out of 10, the company will drop that act. Unless the act has had past success, the new A&R guy on board usually has his own vision, or bands he or she is courting, and doesn't get involved.

During the courting/signing and scheduling period, if the project is a band, then it is likely that this band may fall apart for many different reasons. It could be personal, or they decide they can't stand each other. Quite often band members are not good business people and their lack of grounding gets in the way. I do see a trend away from this these days, as labels are more and more reluctant to get in bed with artists who are losers at life, despite their creative talent.

Finally, the band might deliver a rotten album. If the album does not contain any marketable songs, i.e., something radio can strongly get behind (labels can usually do research to see if a song will be a hit before it is released), then the label will either drop the artist or have them re-record as much of the album as needed. This is where hit producers come in to lessen the odds of disaster. If the project is over budget and a crappy record comes through, usually the band get dropped as it doesn't make good business sense to keep them on.

Last but not least, the record company can go bankrupt, causing a band to be stuck in limbo until legal things turn around. This can be the worst scenario of all.

Provided by the MusicDish Network. Copyright © MusicDish LLC 2007 - Republished with Permission

Wednesday, May 02, 2007 

IndieMusicCoach May '07 Special

Thanks for visiting the blog today. I wanted to let you know about the special I'm running this month at IndieMusicCoach. You can take advantage of my "intro consult" call for only $35. It's normally $50 so this is a nice savings!

You can arrange a 30 minute phone call with me to discuss your current needs, help set goals and an action plan to achieve your goals, or just pick my brain. I have over 11 years of experience working with indie artists. What can I do for you?

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


Tuesday, May 01, 2007 

Motivation for Musicians - today's text message

Okay I know not everyone can sign up for text messages. Maybe you don't have a text plan on your cell. Whatever the reason, here's today's message so you won't feel left out.

“To achieve success you must place deadlines on ALL your goals.
Wishful thinking will not make them happen. A plan will.”
-- Madalyn Sklar

I feel stongly that we all need some motivation from time to time. That is why I started Motivation for Musicians. It's a way for me to bring you something to help jump start or boost you to succeed. We can all succeed at whatever it is we set out to do.

Join the MobMozes

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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    contact: madalynsklar(at)


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