7 Benefits For Musicians, Performing Artists or Entertainers To Have Their Own App

If you are a musician or a recording artist or entertainer who has your own music or recordings in the apple iTunes store or available on-line then you should be thinking about having your own app or “application” as a useful tool to help promote your music. So what is an app you ask? It is simply a software programme that is designed to specifically operate on a particular device (e.g. smartphone, iPhone, template computer, iPod, iPad, etc). Each app is usually represented by an icon on the devices menu screen.

So how can an app help you find potential customers? Well currently there are 5.3 billion mobile subscribers in the world, in 2009 half a billion mobile subscribers accessed the internet worldwide. Android is expected to become the top operating system for new smartphones in 2011 and top the Apple iPhone. These stats can be seen at the “mobiThinking” website.

In February 2010 the 10 billionth song was downloaded from the iTunes store. So there is plenty of demand for those artists that make it into the iTunes store. An app can provide a vehicle to assist a musician gain exposure. While I am relatively new to the app building industry I can identify the big advantages for the musician in having their own app and the shortage of affordable app producers that can meet the rapidly expanding demand for good, basic affordable apps.

Advantages for a musician in having their own app: –

1. Presence in the market place where your customers go to find music, yet not many musicians so far have an app, (there are reports of 306K iPhone apps and between 150 – 250,000 Android apps),

2. Add credibility to your existing PR portfolio (blog, fan page, social network pages) as your fans want to be able to access your music, videos, etc, anywhere on their mobile phone that goes everywhere with them,

3. Increase sales of your music, promo products, etc, once you connect with more potential fans,

4. Build your fan base, have old fans reconnect with you as well as have new fans find you,

5. Update your fans of your new releases, new products, albums, singles, etc,

6. Have a free app so anyone can afford to have it to use and it can potentially have a viral spread amongst the music community.

7. Be one of the first musicians to have an app in the app market and take advantage of the leverage it can give you.

So as you can see from the above list of advantages there are some valid reasons why musicians and recording artists should have their own app promoting their music. The cost of having an app doesn’t have to be prohibitive and nowadays can be affordable to musicians and recording artists on a modest budget.

Successful Performing Artist – The 20 Things you Need to Know

As a “performing artist”, you want to come across to your audience and other music business professionals as being reliable, and professional in your work.

To do this, it is important to maintain a business ATTITUDE throughout all your stage shows, and when communicating with venue owners and staff.

1. Where possible, issue written contracts or letters of agreement in advance. Check with your employer or agent the week before the show, to make sure no details have changed.

2. If you are booked to play at a venue that you’ve not been to before, try and visit on another band night before your gig. This will enable you to check access for the equipment; where the stage or playing area is located; where to position your mixing desk and speakers; whether your cables need to be flown over fire exits; what volume levels are tolerated, and what kinds of music the regulars enjoy most.

3. Always arrive at the venue in plenty of time to complete a full soundcheck BEFORE the public arrive.

4. Always carry spares of things like fuses, cables, backing tracks, strings, or any other small item that could mean the difference between doing the gig or not.

5. Always take along an extra long mains cable in case the nearest socket is broken.

6. Safety first! – Buy yourself a mains power polarity checker (such as a “Martindale” Ring main tester) and a set of circuit breakers for all your backline amps. No matter how badly your guitarist played tonight, he didn’t deserve to die!

7. Always create a “set list” for every show. This can be tailored to the type of audience that you now know frequent this venue (See tip no. 2). If you have rehearsed well, you will know exactly how long your set will last. Don’t go on stage late and overrun your contracted time. The venue owner’s license will depend on all music ceasing at a certain time. You don’t want to be the one who gets the venue closed down!

8. Play your set without long gaps between songs. Only communicate to the audience what REALLY needs to be said. A slick presentation and tight performance shows how well rehearsed you are, and keeps your audience on the dance floor.

9. Rehearse a polished entrance and exit. There is nothing more unprofessional than a bunch of musicians meandering onto a stage carrying the remains of a sandwich or pint, then spending several minutes chatting to each other, tuning up, playing along with the record on the disco, jamming, smoking, adjusting their clothing, answering a call on their mobile…. The list goes on! Believe me, I’ve seen it all!
Use the dressing room to apply your stage clothes and make-up. Wait for your performance to be announced, then march briskly onto the stage and launch straight into your first number. At the end of your performance, the reverse should be observed. Don’t hang around trying to encourage the audience to shout for an encore. Leave the stage as quickly as possible and wait in your dressing room to hear whether the audience want more.

10. Never be seen on stage in the same clothes as you were wearing in the soundcheck, or whilst mingling with the crowd.

11. If you are hiring a PA system, take your own can of telephone cleaner/sanitizer. Rented microphones are rarely cleaned!

12. Rehearse in your own time, not in the soundcheck!

13. Practice, the show thoroughly, but always leave a “breathing space” of a few days between the last rehearsal and the gig. Over-familiarity can make you complacent.

14. Always be pleasant and business-like when dealing with staff at the venue. Especially with the person who is paying you! Don’t automatically expect gratuities such as free food and drink. These are bonuses unless stipulated in your contract, where they then become part of your “fee”.

15. Respect the venue’s fixtures and fittings. Don’t damage their furniture or wall coverings with your speakers and gaffa tape. Ask permission first! They will often be glad to fetch you some beer crates to stack your speakers on, rather than using their tables.

16. Don’t get drunk, or high on illegal substances before, or during, the show.

17. Don’t hang around the venue for longer than is necessary after the show.

18. Don’t stop playing a number whenever a small problem occurs. Never re-start a number if someone in your band makes a mistake. You should be sufficiently well rehearsed for these mistakes to go unnoticed by your audience.

19. Don’t play any louder than you absolutely need to. Not everyone in an average venue will be there to listen to you. Don’t try to fill the whole venue with loud music. Just the area or dancefloor immediately in front of the stage will do! People will want to be able to hold a conversation in other areas, such as at the bar.

20. If you know you have a good mix and a member of the audience wants you to turn down. Pretend to turn a knob in order to please. The chances are, he just doesn’t like that particular song. On the other hand, if the venue owner or bar staff tell you to turn down … DO IT!! They know when it is too loud, after all, they are there every night!

Finally… Your bonus tip No. 21. If you have released CDs. Make sure they are on sale at every gig you do. Employ a friend, or one of your fans to set up a table with your merchandise. It is also a good excuse to get new people to sign up to your mailing list. After the show, you can even go out front and sign a few autographs!

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The Unique Forms and Functions of Indigenous Ghanaian Performing and Verbal Arts

Performing arts are the arts that are played or performed which exists only in a stream of time. This form of arts is evident in every activity that the indigenous Ghanaian performs, from the washing of the face right from bed, through undertakings of his/her daily activities, to the time he/she retires to bed. Examples of the performing art forms practiced and used by the indigenous Ghanaians in their everyday life activities include music, dance, and drama.

On the other hand, verbal arts are those that are performed with the mouth with or without body gestures. They are usually spoken with the mouth. Indigenous Ghanaian verbal arts include folklores, tales, appellations, dirges, poetry etc.

Music

Music permeates and accompanies all the activities undertaken by the indigenous Ghanaians such as hunting, fishing, farming, trading etc. Music is played during festivals, rituals, marriage ceremonies, funeral ceremonies, puberty rites, naming and outdooring ceremonies, funeral rites etc. They played various roles such as entertainment, worship of deities, veneration and inviting of the ancestors, etc. Various musical instruments were used for the composing and playing of the music. They included stringed instruments (hites, lyres), wind instruments (flutes, horns), self-sounding instruments (drums, rattle) etc. Music was specially performed in the royal palaces, town squares, courtyards, parks, and streets. The lyrics of the music embody the religious and cultural beliefs of the indigenous Ghanaians, as well as their ideologies, norms, and values. They were purely educative and were used as a channel for moral instruction.

Dance

Dance, like music, plays a vibrant role in the lives of the indigenous Ghanaians. They ranged from graceful movements to very vigorous movements depending on the style of dance and the occasion and context within which the dance is performed. A dance was performing at naming ceremonies, funeral rites, festivals, religious activities, storytelling sessions etc. Some of the dance movements were symbolic and carried important messages. For instance, the dance performed at durbars, festivals, ritualistic performances and ceremonies of the ancestors by a traditional priest and his attendance were interpreted as messages from the ancestors to the people especially the king. Others were purely for entertainment to relieve stress and enjoy oneself.

Drama

Indigenous Ghanaian drama was evident at virtually all places such as the market and public squares, farms, chop bars, meeting places etc. It was performed at storytelling, initiation rites, and ceremonies of the ancestors to instruct the people concerning the laws, norms, taboos and beliefs of the people. They usually illustrated themes regarding the repercussions of not heeding to the laws and traditions handed down by the ancestors. Moral lessons on how to live a good life were enshrined in the drama performances.

Folklores

They are the unwritten or oral stories that portray the culture of a group or community. Indigenous Ghanaian folklores narrate the activities and events of our forefathers and the origin of our societal laws, values, and norms. They are mediums through which the young ones in the society familiarize themselves with their own cultural heritage. These stories are viewed as true and are taken with all seriousness.

Tales

They are stories narrated to entertain and educate people. They are usually fictitious with unreal characters. They are sometimes full of exaggerations and lies though they are used in highlighting the woes in breaking the laid down rules, customs and taboos of the ancestors in the indigenous Ghanaian communities.

Appellations

These are praises shouted on a god, ancestor, king or important personality recounting his achievements, character, and ego. They are shouted on kings and important personalities during important occasions such as durbars, festivals, and ceremonies before they take their seat at a function. During ceremonies where the ancestors ought to be invited, their appellations are sounded. It was believed by the indigenous Ghanaians that doing this would attract favor, goodwill, blessing and help from the ancestors.

Proverbs

They are short wise sayings that illustrate the bravery of the ancestors. They explain the laws, norms, and ideas of the indigenous Ghanaians. They were narrated at festivals, ceremonies and at storytelling times as a form of moral, cultural and social education for the people.

Dirges

They are words composed for the deceased. They are narrated to console and comfort the bereaved family and sympathizers during funeral ceremonies of their loved ones in the indigenous Ghanaian communities. They educate us on the brevity of our life and the wickedness attributed to death, and the hope that we have to live again. In most occasions, musical instruments accompany these dirges.