Thumb position is the final frontier for cellists when it comes to learning how to play in all possible positions. The purpose of this post isn’t to go into the specifics of how to play correctly in thumb position with the proper form, but rather to highlight some good exercises to help you perfect your technique. Consistently practicing these exercises will make you more confident when playing in thumb position.
I recommend purchasing Thumb Position For Cello by Rick Mooney. I purchase and teach from Rick’s lesson books, and his systematic approach to learning positions is very easy to follow. Since his material is copyrighted, I’m only displaying the excerpts that are available on Amazon.com. Just click on the images below to enlarge.
There are quite a few options when it comes to music distribution services to assist you in selling your music. In this post, I’m only going to talk about SongCast, CD Baby and TuneCore since these are the 3 companies that I have personal experience with.
SongCast allows you to advertise and sell your music on their site as well as handling the distribution to iTunes, AmazonMP3, Google Play, Spotify, Rhapsody, Emusic and MediaNet. When signing up, you can choose either a monthly payment plan($5.99) or a yearly payment plan($59.90). You can also sign up to have your music played on SongCast Radio. If your music is selected, then you will be charged an additional monthly fee per track. You will have to agree to a one time set up fee that varies depending on if you’re uploading a single ($9.99) or an album ($19.99). With SongCast, you do get to keep 100% or your royalties and they provide you with free UPC and ISRC codes.
CD Baby is also a worldwide music distribution service that will allow you to sell your music on their site as well as get your music onto iTunes, Amazon, Google, Spotify, Rhapsody, eMusic, MOG, Verizon and other retailers. You won’t have to pay any annual fees. It will cost you $12.95 per single or $49 per album that you want to submit. You won’t get to keep all of the profits made from sales, but you will get paid a substantial 91% of the income that CD Baby collects on your behalf for music sales. You don’t get free UPC codes here, but ISRC codes will be provided for you if you don’t have your own.
TuneCore advertises that their music distribution service will send your music to over 74 digital music stores including the very popular iTunes, Amazon, Google Play and Spotify. You can visit their Music Store page to get more information on the top stores that they distribute to. With TuneCore, you get to keep 100% of your revenue from sales while paying either a yearly fee of $9.99 for singles or $29.99 for the first year for an album. You will also have access to daily iTunes trend reports and monthly detailed sales reports.
All 3 of these companies are reputable and have really good reviews. Below are two charts comparing first and second year costs that I created for myself to help me determine which one of these companies to start with. I also look at the other features that each company offers such as licensing, publishing and royalty collection assistance to get an overall picture of which one would best serve my needs as my music career changes and grows. Please note that the values below were calculated based on a $1 per single and $10 per album purchase price. Just click on the images below to enlarge the charts.
Having a website is a great 24/7 marketing tool for the independent artist. When I first started trying to carve out my path in the music world as an adult, I never thought about having a website until I became a member of a quartet. Event planners started asking for our website information so that they could pass it along to their clients. That’s when the light bulb finally went off for me, and I realized the power of having a presence on the internet. It’s amazing that you can connect with an unlimited number of people who can potentially create a following of new fans for you amongst their friends if they like your work.
After deciding that I needed a website, I was at a complete loss on how to make one happen. A friend of mine had a small site on Register.com, so that’s where I decided to start. I hosted and built my first website using there servers and tools. What I liked about Register.com is that the templates and design tools were very user-friendly. All I had to do was drag-and-drop most of the features that I wanted to use.
I switched my domain to Homestead.com some time later after discovering that they offered the same hosting and site building services for half the price. This particular web company served its purpose well for me until I wanted to make my website more interactive with fans and to have less of a static feel. I also wanted to be able to add more web pages, submenus and e-mail addresses without incurring extra charges.
I came across an article on the IndependentMusicAdvice.com website that showed me a better and cost-effective way to achieve the look and feel that I wanted for my website. I’m currently using JustHost.com to host my domain name. From within my account, I can install and access WordPress so that I can build and arrange the pages that I want to appear on my website. All that I’m paying is a very reasonable hosting fee to JustHost while the WordPress installation is free. I really love that I can make my site as interactive for fans as I want by including like buttons wherever I want, comment posting on each page and a live Twitter or Facebook feed on each page that looks uniform. In my opinion, WordPress’ development tools aren’t as user friendly as Homestead and Register, but it’s not impossible to figure things out on your own. If you like web development, then you should have no problem figuring out how to create pages, menus and links to plugins in WordPress.