Why working with a creative career coach can seem intimidating but really isn’t….

Have you ever wanted to work with a coach on your creative career but felt you weren’t ready? That’s exactly ...
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A New Kind of “Family Album”: Winning Combination by The Safes

World-Touring Rock and Roll Band of Brothers Returns to Chicago 11/27/19 at Beat Kitchen paying homage to a broad range ...
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The Importance of Being a Cover-band

In the music scene, there is occasionally a sense of elitism. Many bands look down at cover bands, thinking they ...
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The Beginner’s Set-list

When you go to a local concert, what kind of songs do you expect to hear? Say a couple of ...
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Competition in Your Local Scene

There’s something about competition that brings out the worst in people. That being said, there is something to be gained ...
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Broadening Your Musical Horizons

People talk about college constantly. They say furthering your education is important for getting a job and all that junk ...
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First Show Jitters

The sounds of cheering fans, thumping bass, thunderous riffs, and crashing drums. That’s what we envision our first gig as ...
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Understanding The Band Hierarchy

The Band Hierarchy By: Brett Davidson Every band has its hierarchy, but there has to be one or two members ...
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Chicago Music History – 80’s and 90’s Rock

The 80’s in Chicago came with a lot of monumental moments as well unfortunate losses for the city but the ...
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The Secret to Disturbed’s Success

The secret to Disturbed's success as explained to us in an interview with David Draiman while on the Mayhem Tour ...
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The Ninth Circuit Vacates Jury Verdict Finding “Stairway to Heaven” Did Not Infringe “Tauras”

It has been more than two years since a jury found Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven” was not substantially similar ...
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Dealing with power issues in the creative industries

No one really warns you about the extent of the power dynamics at play in the creative industries - which ...
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What To Do If No One Shows Up

By: Martin Atkins Photo Credit: Kara Hammond, Courtesy of Recording Academy, Atlanta Chapter It's happened to the best of us, ...
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Setting goals is the key to realizing your artist career dreams

Setting goals can help you to realize, not only your creative visions, but also your career dreams. Without goals, you’re ...
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Time Has Come Today

TIME HAS COME TODAY!! By: Mike O'Cull There is no more basic element of music than time. Time is what ...
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DUMPSTER TAPES – Cassettes? Yes, Cassettes!

By Mike O’Cull www.mikeocull.com In case you haven’t heard, cassettes are back. Those happy little bundles of analog coolness have ...
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Complete Your Life With These Chicago Bands

By Mike O’Cull, independent music journalist. www.mikeocull.com Chicago is and has always been a city full of music. Fans here ...
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Inspiration v. Infringement – Blurring the Lines

Unless you have been living under a rock, you are familiar with Williams v. Gaye, the high profile copyright infringement ...
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Hurry Up & Wait….Is the Music Modernization Act in Trouble?

With a 415-0 vote of approval in the House of Representatives, many anticipated the Music Modernization Act (“MMA”) would achieve ...
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The Ins and Outs of Pitchfork

The three-day indie festival officially make its big comeback for its 13th year this Friday through Sunday with 40+ musical ...
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The Music Modernization Act – A Long Overdue Overhaul to the Music Copyright Licensing Infrastructure

CHICAGO MUSIC GUIDE – LEGAL TIPS (By: Michelle M. Wahl, Partner) Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP (330 N. Wabash, Ste ...
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Making Your Mark in the Music Business

Artists often wonder whether they can seek federal trademark protection on their band name and if so, the costs associated ...
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What is the difference between a successful artist and an unsuccessful one?

By: Sheila Chandra What makes the difference between growing a thriving career and not? Here are some of the qualities ...
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Seemingly Simple Ways to Make Money on Your Musical Works

Photo by Lukas from Pexels The DIY era has its pros and cons. Musicians are able to take initiative, protect ...
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A Win for Songwriters – Mechanical Royalties Rise

On January 29, 2018, the Copyright Royalty Board announced the new royalty rates and terms for the use of musical ...
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The Artist’s Emotional Green Room

Image courtesy of nenetus at http://FreeDigitalPhotos.net Article by: Sheila Chandra I want to talk about a secret place. A place ...
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Do artists have the right temperament for social media?

By: Sheila Chandra Many artists find it a huge challenge to ‘shout’ about themselves on social media. And yet, building ...
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Marketing Is Changing – How Can You Get Your Music Out?

Years ago, attempting to make it in music was a fairly straightforward process. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t incredibly difficult ...
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How to Take Care of Your Voice by Sheila Chandra

By: Sheila Chandra Voices are fragile things. And unless you’ve had singing lessons from a really good teacher, you’re unlikely ...
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Songwriters – Grab a Fork and Dig into the Spotify Settlement Pie

In May 2017, individual lawsuits filed against Spotify by David Lowery and Melissa Ferrick (and later joined) reached a settlement ...
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2016 – The Year the Record Business was Reborn?

Over the past few years, reports issued by Barclays reflected a slow and steady decline of the music industry as ...
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U.S. Music Industry’s Open Letter to the U.S. Government – “Support Europe’s Copyright Reform and Reconcile the Royalty Payment Disparities.”

In their open letter, a host of United States music industry organizations, including Asoff MSG Entertainment, BMI, SESAC, SoundExchange, the ...
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Part II of the ASCAP/BMI Challenge to the Consent Decrees – A Big Win for BMI

Hello Chicago Music Fans! I wanted to update you on a recent ruling that follows up on my latest report ...
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The Future of the ASCAP/BMI Consent Decrees – Calm or Chaos??

Hello all – on June 29, 2016, ASCAP and BMI (U.S. performing rights societies) met jointly with the Department of ...
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The Music Business – What’s “Trending” Now?

I. A Needle in a Haystack – Getting Noticed: In the digital millennium, artists have better and greater access to ...
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Chicago Music, Then And Now, Now And Then

Let me tell you a story while the crowd gathers...it was March 4th, 2004, that himself passed away quietly after ...
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That’s Mine! – Why Intraband Agreements are a MUST!

“I started the band, I should own the name”… “He acts like a drunken idiot on stage”… “I wrote those ...
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There’s More Gear than Ever – What Do You Need?

Max Valldeneu photo by: Roman Sobus There's more music industry gear available today than at any other time in history ...
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The Road to Getting Signed

For the most part, today’s local bands share at least one thing in common…..the desire to get signed to a ...
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Songwriting – Turning a Hobby into a Livelihood

Recently a few individuals have contacted me about the art of songwriting and how one can turn a songwriting hobby ...
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The Do’s and Don’ts of the Music Business

By: Michelle M. Wahl, Esq. “What does it take”, they ask me. “How do we make it in this business”, ...
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The Pyramid Concept

By Mike O’Cull THE PYRAMID CONCEPT Song learning is one of the most challenging topics for many new and intermediate ...
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Street Level Guitar – The Real Basics

STREET LEVEL GUITAR PART 2 By Mike O’Cull THE REAL BASICS One of the big questions that new guitar students ...
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It’s all in the delivery

I suppose you are wondering exactly what I am referring to when I say “it’s all in the delivery.”  Well ...
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Trademarks

Before a band can seek registration and protection of either a trademark or servicemark, the band members need to first understand what each ...
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The Art of Artist Management

Although I’m still a quasi-rookie in the realm of artist management, I am fairly certain that nearly all musicians contemplate whether  they ...
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Copyright

Amidst the tedious writing, relentless performing, and unyielding self-promotion, local performers tend to overlook an element of the entertainment industry that can later ...
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Breaking Songwriting Barriers

You have the lyrics, you have developed the hook, and now you need a vehicle to deliver your work to ...
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Assembling Your Team

A huge factor contributing to the success or failure of an artist lies in selecting the members of the artist’s team ...
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Got one? Bring two!!

One of the easiest ways for any gigging guitarist to help prevent any gig from an un-necessary crash and burn is ...
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Singer/Songwriter Tips & Techniques

Written by: Kelli Ali Photo by: Lara Jade There are so many ways to write a song, that it’s impossible ...
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The Artist as Entrepeneur

THE ENTREPRENEURIAL MINDSET: SELF RELIANCE & ACCOUNTABILITY My career coaching business grew out of the realization as a teacher that ...
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