|We’ve all heard that “You have to spend money to make money”. But just what (and how much) should an unsigned band be paying for services and products needed to support your success? Music Advice101.com has done a little research to help answer some of these questions.|
1. Band Manager:
A band manager is typically paid 20% of performance and commercial income. http://musicians.about.com/od/BuilingYourTeam/f/How-Much-Do-Band-Managers-Get-Paid.htm.
Sarge Tip The band should always have a contract with the manager – just be sure there is a trial or grace period within the agreement allowing for cancellation if things do not work out with the manager you’ve hired.
2. Rehearsal Space:
Since most neighbors and communities don’t have an overall appreciation for loud music, it’s unlikely that a band can successfully practice at a band member’s house for very long. (If you’re real lucky, you know somebody that lives out in the sticks with a good space where nobody cares about the volume). Otherwise, it’s going to be necessary to rent a place for rehearsal. Across the country… from Seattle to Austin, New York City to Central Florida; rental prices range from $15.00 to $30.00 per hour or $300.00 to $400.00 for a monthly agreement. As with everything else…. you get what you pay for. You may find a cheaper hourly rate, but it could be a filthy backroom somewhere barely big enough for the drum kit… much less the entire band. Or, you may find a place that’s “fully equipped” and charging an arm and a leg renting you equipment, you don’t need because you already have your own.
3. Artwork-(Logo / CD covers:
The average going rate for a (graphic) artist is $73.00 per hour. However, this can vary wildly depending on the design you are going for and how intense the work is for the artist. And if you choose an artist whose talents are in high demand, expect to pay more for their time, talent and experience.
Or, maybe the band has the artistic ability to design the logo and artwork. More often, flyers and promotional materials for shows are created by the promoter or their in house team. With skillful use of any one of the available graphics programs the manager or band can create their own. Even so, you need good artwork and/or photography to begin with. If you do hire a professional artist (which is recommended) ensure that a contract for services is in place, and that the band has exclusive rights to the art work they have paid for. This brings us to the average cost of trademarking your logo. Fees currently range from about $275.00-$375.00 per design. DIYmusician.cdbaby.com/2009/12/making-an-impressive
Sarge Tip Whenever you are doing anything for a website, images should be at 72 dpi. For images that will be printed or reproduced, a resolution of 300 dpi or higher is best. And remember, resolution can be reduced, but never increased from its original size. Also, you want to trademark your logo, just as much as you want to copyright your music. The trademark alleviates the possibility that someone else can use your logo to misrepresent your band and your music or to bootleg your merchandise.
4. Promotional / Live Photos:
The manager usually secures a photographer to capture the band’s images for promotional use, CD covers, websites, etc. A basic high quality photo shoot can cost between $500.00 and $1,000.00 – depending on the number of shots, the location, and the look that the band wants to achieve. Like graphic artists, you should expect to pay a bit more for a photographer who is in high demand. Again, be sure there is a contract with the photographer up front, and that it includes the band’s right to use the photos as they choose.
5. Website Production:
A band can create their own website for little or no cost at any one of the website builders available. If you have your logo and artwork ready to go and a band member willing and able to invest the time to do it, this could be the way to go. However, it may be best to let the band focus on the music and hire a web guru to build and maintain your site. Websites typically cost $500.00 to $1,500.00 average for basic home page. Anticipate additional costs for website updates as well.
6. Recording EP / CD:
Recording your music requires not only budgeting your money, but also your time. Time is money as they say, so it is obviously wise to ensure that all components are ready and everything is well rehearsed before you lay out the money for the recording facility. Recording and mixing costs typically range in the neighborhood of $3,000.00 – $6,000.00. http://www.musicianwages.com/creating-a-budget-for-your-new-album/
With the rise of YouTube, Facebook, and the like, video has become more and more influential and an essential part of your success. The cost can range from FREE to thousands of dollars depending on how professional you want the video to be. Planning is the key to a great video to promote your music. Once the concept, location, wardrobe are determined to fit the song, you need to decide on the budget you have to hire a video team to capture your idea. In general, a performance video shot live at a local venue may cost as little as $500.00 (or maybe FREE if you have a friend with a good camera). But, if you are looking for a professional concept video there is much more to consider, like the cost of the crew and location rental. This is where you get into the thousands of dollars. Just to give you an idea, most MTV type videos cost upwards of $100,000.00 or more. Keep in mind that editing the video may also add to the overall cost.
The quality of the merchandise you want to represent your band has a lot to do with the cost of the merchandise. For example, with good graphics already in place you can get guitar picks, stickers, band necklaces produced for less than $1.00 a piece at the quality you’d expect them to be. You can get t-shirts printed from $2.00 to $10.00 each depending on the quality and detail you want.
Sarge Tip Do you really want to put your logo on a cheaply printed low quality shirt? In the t-shirt world, it is better to provide a higher quality well printed shirt in a variety of styles that your fans will be able to wear longer. Each fan that buys a shirt is like a walking billboard and you want them to advertise for you as long as possible. You can get 1,000 CD’s printed for about $300.00 – $500.00, plus shipping and handling. http://duplication.cdbaby.com/Quoter/default.aspx
The need to register for a copyright comes in to play when you’re in the process of recording… costs range from $35.00 per song to $200.00 for the entire recording. Costs can vary depending on whether it’s filed for electronically or through a third party source such as a lawyer or band manager.
See Music Advice 101’s article on Copyrights http://musicadvice101.com/copyrights/.
Compiled by Rose’s DamnedOpinion