How do you tell when your music is good enough to start asking for money for it?
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Old 18-03-2012, 10:06 AM   #1
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How do you tell when your music is good enough to start asking for money for it?

Was thinking about starting a bandcamp, but very few listen to my stuff on soundcloud already so I doubt any would even bother downloading for free off a bandcamp...

When did you guys start your bandcamps? How are they going? Discuss!

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Old 18-03-2012, 10:58 AM   #2
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Re: How do you tell when your music is good enough to start asking for money for it?

good question. I think it depends on:
1) Your popularity (how many fans you have)
2) The demand for your music
3) The quality of your music
4) The amount of time your are able to spend making and marketing your music

This is really my opinion. I don't think anyone needs any qualification to make money off of their music, as you can see from many new entries on Beatport recently

But if you want people to actually WANT to buy your music or go to your shows, you gotta produce quality music. Yes, marketing is important, but with good music, everything will fall into place.

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Old 18-03-2012, 01:11 PM   #3
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Re: How do you tell when your music is good enough to start asking for money for it?

When you're satisfied with it.

I do have a bandcamp but barely even pay attention to it because i don't release a lot of finished stuff. Most of the music we sold through the bandcamp was p42's.

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Old 18-03-2012, 01:19 PM   #4
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Re: How do you tell when your music is good enough to start asking for money for it?

I make money scoring indie films and I think the music is good enough when the buyer thinks so. I think most musicians never find their stuff good enough.
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Old 18-03-2012, 01:57 PM   #5
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Re: How do you tell when your music is good enough to start asking for money for it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mischjok View Post
I make money scoring indie films and I think the music is good enough when the buyer thinks so. I think most musicians never find their stuff good enough.
That's pretty awesome! How did you start doing this?
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Old 18-03-2012, 02:03 PM   #6
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Re: How do you tell when your music is good enough to start asking for money for it?

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That's pretty awesome! How did you start doing this?
By offering my services on forums for filmmakers and having lots of patience.
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Old 18-03-2012, 02:18 PM   #7
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Re: How do you tell when your music is good enough to start asking for money for it?

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Originally Posted by YoMyEX View Post
1) Your popularity (how many fans you have)
2) The demand for your music
Agreed. These are definitely the most critical points. I don't see the point in limiting the availability of your music, just earning scraps. Giving the listener the option to pay or not is a good deal.

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Old 18-03-2012, 04:59 PM   #8
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Re: How do you tell when your music is good enough to start asking for money for it?

I don't think I will ever make a dime off of anything I produce because my shits just not good enough...yet. I just do it because I love it and have a passion for the art form. But if I was ever, at some point in time, try and market anything I would go this route:

Quote:
Originally Posted by mischjok View Post
I make money scoring indie films and I think the music is good enough when the buyer thinks so.
+1

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Old 18-03-2012, 07:02 PM   #9
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Re: How do you tell when your music is good enough to start asking for money for it?

I've been contemplating this as well. I've done a remix trade with someone here who liked one of my tunes in the listening booth (good things can come from the listening booth!).

We decided we were going to try and get our four tunes as polished as possible and go ahead and pay to have them mastered and are going to try and promote the tunes independently.

We will see how that goes...hoping it goes well as the cost of mastering my two tunes on the EP would buy me any number of plug ins I've been lusting over...or you know...pay a bill! LOL

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Old 18-03-2012, 07:21 PM   #10
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Re: How do you tell when your music is good enough to start asking for money for it?

While I never sell any of my music, and probably never will, in my case it was a matter of time. It wasn't until two years into making music that I thought my stuff was strong enough to post on a forum, and it wasn't until the end of 2010 that I thought my music was good enough that people could really like as "real" music, if that makes sense.

If somebody was starting out making music, I would give them the advice to just keep making it for a year before they start posting it around and trying to get people really into it (showing to friends is okay). You're only going to get better with experience.

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Old 18-03-2012, 09:25 PM   #11
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Re: How do you tell when your music is good enough to start asking for money for it?

Nothing wrong with doing some online busking, just throw down a hat and hope.
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Old 19-03-2012, 01:36 AM   #12
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Re: How do you tell when your music is good enough to start asking for money for it?

About the indie films: I might have a very slight lead on making some stuff for this guy. This is irl, not on the internet, so that could make things a lot easier. But I don't think he would be paying me, at least not at first.

@lolirl: Yeah, that's the great thing about bandcamp I guess. Let the listener choose if it's worth it. But I feel I could be coming off as sort of narcissistic if I start asking for money for stuff if it's actually crap. I guess I'll just keep throwing stuff in the LB for a little while longer, just to be safe.

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Old 19-03-2012, 03:19 AM   #13
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Re: How do you tell when your music is good enough to start asking for money for it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by fimpson View Post
About the indie films: I might have a very slight lead on making some stuff for this guy. This is irl, not on the internet, so that could make things a lot easier. But I don't think he would be paying me, at least not at first.

@lolirl: Yeah, that's the great thing about bandcamp I guess. Let the listener choose if it's worth it. But I feel I could be coming off as sort of narcissistic if I start asking for money for stuff if it's actually crap. I guess I'll just keep throwing stuff in the LB for a little while longer, just to be safe.
sometimes putting up the front that something is worth it makes it worth it in a LOT of peoples eyes

then more people jump on the bandwagon... when really it shite

true story

yeah i said it

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Old 19-03-2012, 04:54 AM   #14
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Re: How do you tell when your music is good enough to start asking for money for it?

^Good point. That explains Skrillex and a lot others

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Old 19-03-2012, 05:09 PM   #15
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Re: How do you tell when your music is good enough to start asking for money for it?

My answer:
when you have the skill to translate the ideas in your head into your daw.

and when you can take a step back and point out the shit parts but still be able to feel something even when you brutally analyze your own work

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Old 19-03-2012, 05:53 PM   #16
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Re: How do you tell when your music is good enough to start asking for money for it?

Your music is good enough to start charging for it when people think it's good enough to pay for it. It's really that simple. If you always give music away free then people have no reason to pay. Once you assign value to it you'll find out if it's worth that much to your listeners too.
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Old 19-03-2012, 06:56 PM   #17
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Re: How do you tell when your music is good enough to start asking for money for it?

It's not up to you. It's up to the universe!
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Old 19-03-2012, 11:32 PM   #18
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Re: How do you tell when your music is good enough to start asking for money for it?

I was performing a google search for something else when your OP caught my attention in a list of results.

I am not a musician. I listen to (and purchase) a lot of music. I very much enjoy the bandcamp retail model. I wander the halls at bandcamp to listen to random stuff all the time.

There is nothing wrong with an artist putting their music up on bandcamp as NYOP or with a dollar amount. That the music ain't up to snuff is a valid concern. While it is up to the listener whether it's worth anything, the artist shouldn't ignore that voice in their head (or their gut) regarding the quality of their music in its current form. While all artists of all mediums tend to be their harshest critics, there's always gonna be some truth to the matter. What you don't want to do is put unfinished or crap music up there... even if you put Free on it.

There's so much music out there and it can take so much time sorting through it all, that an artist can earn some serious bad will by cluttering up a site and wasting a listener's time with music that clearly isn't ready for public consumption.

HOWEVER...

That doesn't mean an artist has to be 100% sure that a particular recording is ready to get put up for retail. Hell, doesn't even have to be 50% sure. But the less sure that an artist is about his/her music, this is my advice to them:

1. Don't be obnoxious with your tagging. Bandcamp is a great site, but it absolutely sucks to search through it. The best way to search through bandcamp is by using an advanced google search, and the best search terms feed off of the tags. Don't put "Aphex Twin" as a tag unless your music is up to that quality. Don't put "Jazz" as a tag just because you sample a saxophone. The less confident an artist is about their music, the more succinct and sure they need to be about how they describe their music through bandcamp tags. In the instance of the OP, less is more.

2. Exposition and description. Bandcamp gives plenty of space for an artist to talk about their music on the album page. If an artist feels like they're at the start of their creative development or have an "unfinished" product that may not be a complete creative idea but has elements that the artist would like to share with potential fans... then say that. I react 100% differently for "beginner" music that tells me "Hey, I'm a beginner," and then maybe journals some of their inspiration or work process on the bandcamp album page vs. someone who just sticks some unpolished music up there as a hail mary why-not money grab. Being honest with the listener, forewarning them about what they're about to hear, and giving some insight into why that particular music is posted up there... that can earn the artist some serious goodwill.

There is nothing inherently wrong with a beginner putting a price tag on their music even though they might not think it's at the level they wish it to be. What matters is if they care about the music. One way to display that care is in the way its presented to the listener; in this instance, through the presentation of a bandcamp page. The stronger an artist is able to connect with the listener through music and words, the better the odds that the listener shows some appreciation by directing some cash the musician's way.

Okay, I think that's all I got. My advice was well meant. I hope it's taken that way.

Cheers.
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Old 20-03-2012, 12:04 AM   #19
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Re: How do you tell when your music is good enough to start asking for money for it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BirdIsTheWorm View Post
I was performing a google search for something else when your OP caught my attention in a list of results.
What was it you were searching for that led you here.

Welcome to IDMf and nice first post by the way.

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Old 20-03-2012, 12:04 AM   #20
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Re: How do you tell when your music is good enough to start asking for money for it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BirdIsTheWorm View Post
I am not a musician. I listen to (and purchase) a lot of music. I very much enjoy the bandcamp retail model. I wander the halls at bandcamp to listen to random stuff all the time.

There is nothing wrong with an artist putting their music up on bandcamp as NYOP or with a dollar amount. That the music ain't up to snuff is a valid concern. While it is up to the listener whether it's worth anything, the artist shouldn't ignore that voice in their head (or their gut) regarding the quality of their music in its current form. While all artists of all mediums tend to be their harshest critics, there's always gonna be some truth to the matter. What you don't want to do is put unfinished or crap music up there... even if you put Free on it.

There's so much music out there and it can take so much time sorting through it all, that an artist can earn some serious bad will by cluttering up a site and wasting a listener's time with music that clearly isn't ready for public consumption.

HOWEVER...

That doesn't mean an artist has to be 100% sure that a particular recording is ready to get put up for retail. Hell, doesn't even have to be 50% sure. But the less sure that an artist is about his/her music, this is my advice to them:

1. Don't be obnoxious with your tagging. Bandcamp is a great site, but it absolutely sucks to search through it. The best way to search through bandcamp is by using an advanced google search, and the best search terms feed off of the tags. Don't put "Aphex Twin" as a tag unless your music is up to that quality. Don't put "Jazz" as a tag just because you sample a saxophone. The less confident an artist is about their music, the more succinct and sure they need to be about how they describe their music through bandcamp tags. In the instance of the OP, less is more.

2. Exposition and description. Bandcamp gives plenty of space for an artist to talk about their music on the album page. If an artist feels like they're at the start of their creative development or have an "unfinished" product that may not be a complete creative idea but has elements that the artist would like to share with potential fans... then say that. I react 100% differently for "beginner" music that tells me "Hey, I'm a beginner," and then maybe journals some of their inspiration or work process on the bandcamp album page vs. someone who just sticks some unpolished music up there as a hail mary why-not money grab. Being honest with the listener, forewarning them about what they're about to hear, and giving some insight into why that particular music is posted up there... that can earn the artist some serious goodwill.

There is nothing inherently wrong with a beginner putting a price tag on their music even though they might not think it's at the level they wish it to be. What matters is if they care about the music. One way to display that care is in the way its presented to the listener; in this instance, through the presentation of a bandcamp page. The stronger an artist is able to connect with the listener through music and words, the better the odds that the listener shows some appreciation by directing some cash the musician's way.
you pretty much nailed it

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