Set up your band for success

Think about branding before you even form the band.

All The best band names are a single word. “Godsmack”, Shinedown, Seether, Torque

When you think you have the band name figured out, Google the word and see what comes up on page 1 for the word.  When people go to your gigs, they will remember your band name if it is just one word.  When they get home, they will google it.  What will come up?  Hopefully you can get the .com for that word.  If so, your website will sell instant merchandise.  When they loved your performance, they want to buy your other music, shirts, bumperstickers, hoodies, belt buckles, stocking caps.  Every one of those items needs your logo on it.

That is the next step in branding, your band LOGO.

The logo goes on everything you sell.  Next each album has a theme cover art picture.  That art picture becomes the merchandise art for that tour.

Many times for me, merchandise sales has been the gas money to get me back home.

If you do a live performance and you don’t have CD’s shirts, bumperstickers etc… you are loosing money big time.  Fans love merchandise.  Buy double the amount of the rest as XXL. This will be your most popular size.

Sell CD’s and thumb drives with Mp3’s.  Pick 1 cover song to add to each CD you create.  May sound strange but it works.  We had two and the fans loved them both.  We covered Down – Bury me in Smoke and Mountains – Mississippi Queen.

With this set up, you should never go home from any live gig without cash in your pocket.

After the initial merch purchase, the sales will always re-stock your merchandise

So many bands begin playing shows without anything to sell.  HUGE mistake.  You are forgotten 2 hours after your gig.

Without following these steps you have a hobby, not a band, and the hobby is expensive.  I am a drummer, one cymbal is $150 -$350.  Sticks are $20. 

Even bar gigs, if you are the headliner, you get the door cover charge.  If y0u have other bands opening for you, give them part of the ticket sales money.  Just $20 bucks will be appreciated.  I know lots of bands that don’t do that.  I always gave some money to opening acts.  Add your .com to all your merch also.  First thing on the website should be an opt in form.  Get name and email.  Every email is an opportunity to sell your next song release and merchandise.

Your next important goal is to get 100 fans to every live gig.  When you accomplish this on a regular basis, Record labels will start to take notice of your band and you have a chance to get signed for the bigger money

Always release your music through Tune Core.  For $30 bucks your album can be in every major store on the internet.  iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, and over 100 more internet stores.  Tune core will track all your plays, download sales.  Remember this fact, 90% of you online album sales will come from iTunes.

I don’t know why, but that is how it works for me.  You have to get all your albums live on iTunes.  Add your iTunes album link to your website.

Piano For All Review

Piano For All is one of the most popular and respected Piano Courses on the Web. Created back in 2006 and still teaching people every day shows its ability to teach anyone to play the piano.

One really unique thing about their website is the testimonials. Each one has a verified e-mail that anyone can contact to ask questions about the course.

The course includes over 600 pages of content in 9 ebooks, 200 videos and 500 audio lessons.

Step by Step

9 ebooks containing over 600 pages of content designed to guide you through the course.  The lessons seamlessly fit together.  One lesson moves right into the next.  The lessons have both an audio to show you how it should sound and a video to see how to play it.  See Below.

Works on any device

Piano For All will work on your Mac, PC, Tablet, iPhone or android phone.

Easy to learn on the go.  Watch the videos from your phone when you have time.  When you get back to the piano, easily play along and practice what you have learned.


Piano For All has stood the test of time for over 14 years simply because it works.  Over 250,000 people have learned to play using this system.  Click this Link to try it for yourself. You will be playing the piano like a pro in no time

Learning the piano is difficult on your own.  Individual piano lessons are very expensive and force you to learn at the teachers pace. With this system you can go through the lessons as fast or slow as you wish and repeat them until you are proficient at it.  Once you have mastered how to play the piano, it make song writing much easier.  The piano is one of the main instruments for song writers.

After you have learned to play your own songs, bring them to Traina Studios and record them.  We would love to hear what you have created.

Chuck Withers

Chuck is outstanding at playing the piano and singing for that matter.  Featured on one of my songs Jack Daniels and Jesus.  He was in the local band Scrapyard with Miles Payday and has written several songs himself.  Here is a track Chuck recorded here at Traina Studios called Walking in Memphis.

Walking in Memphis

Jack Daniels and Jesus – Hells Juke Join by TORQUE featuring Chuck

Why you should record your original music

Why you should record your original music

Why you should record your original music.  Let me show you the top reasons I believe it is important.

Your songs define you as a an artist.

Playing cover songs at the local bar does take tallent, don’t get me wrong, but it does not do much for your career.  You might get paid for the performance, but that is the end of it.

When you play gigs and a fan loves the performance, most will ask if you have a CD they can buy. That is how the big world of fans begin.

Shaun Morgan from the band Seether explains, “with each new album release and tour, comes a new set of fans completly different than the last”.  Shaun should know, he has been at the top of the music industry for 20 years now.  I believe he is one of the best song writers and performers of a generation.

As your fan base grows, so should your original music releases.  Seether tests their newly written songs, while touring the CD just released.

Fans love something new.  Every new song release brings back old fans and makes new ones.  If your fans loved the first one, they will buy the next one guaranteed.

Recording brings you together with your band.

I thought about this for a long time and tried to think of an easy way to explain it.

There is a sense of accomplishment when you record a CD.  When you are finished with it, everyone in the band has added their parts and all are proud of what they have made.

In a live performance, there is room for, what I call slop.  If you don’t play it perfect, no one really notices.  But on a recording, the tracks are laid individually and it stands out like a sore thumb then the notes are wrong.

From this point on, when the band performs, even the solos are defined.  Your fans love your songs just as they are on the CD and that is how they expect to hear them.

Many times in a live performance a fan has come up to me afterword and said, “you missed a note”.  They know the songs as well as you do. I tell them I know, I missed it and we laugh about it.  But that same fan is there every show.  I have had fans that drove over 100 miles to see us play.  That all happens from recording your music.

The band gets a tighter live performance.  Everyone has a defined way to play each song from the point the songs are published.  They are now public record world wide with your name on them.  All the rights to that music are yours.

A moment in time.

For the rest of your life, you have music that you are proud of.  Every time you play it, all the memories from that time in the studio, the live performances, the fans you made all instantly are fresh in your mind.

Every musician I know that has recorded a CD has a story about it.  A time you will remember forever.


My dad was a musician.  From the day I was born, there was a band practicing in our living room.

They performed every weekend at my aunt’s bar, “The Hillside Lounge”.

Their band never recorded their music.  My dad passed away when I was 12 years old.  I wish I had a recording of those songs.

Logo, cover art and Merchandice

When you make an album, you decide on a band logo and you create cover art.  You cannot even upload your songs to internet stores without cover art.  This opens the door for more band income.  Bumper stickers, hats, hoodies, t-shirts.  Fans love them all.

I have made much more money from merch than I ever got paid for performing.  It is also pretty cool to see people wearing the shirts and your logo on their car.

torque logo
Torque Logo
torque hells juke joint cover art
Torque – Hells Juke Joint Cover Art


I hope I have explained a few of the reasons why you should record your original music.

Whether it is because your son or grandson, or mom or dad wants to hear it, or whether you want to make a true music career, recording your music is important.

You will be forever in the library of congress with a published work.  You will own all the musical rights to that music and earn income every time it is streamed or played.  I could go on about it for hours, all the reasons to record.  The main reason is for you.  They are your songs forever from the moment you publish them.

Thanks for spending the time to read this post.  I had something to say and you read it.  I appreciate it.

Record your music, it is an experience you will never forget.

Check out some of our music and purchase it if you like it.  All money goes directly to the musicians that recorded it. Follow the link below.

Traina Studios at Reverbnation

Record your music

What are the 10 universal song writing themes?

top ten universal song writing themes

What are the 10 universal song writing themes?  The most used writing themes are good for thinking of ideas for writing a new song.

These 10 are the most used;

The 10 Universal Songwriting Themes

1) FORGIVENESS: of self or of others

2) LOVE: includes self-love, family love, romantic love

3) ACCEPTANCE: of self, of circumstances, of reality

4) FAITH: in oneself, in others, in the world, in God

5) FEAR: overcoming it, conquering it, finding courage

6) TRUST: in oneself, in others, in the unknown

7) SURVIVAL: including the will to live

8) SELFLESSNESS: including sacrifice, altruism, heroism, and overcoming greed

9) RESPONSIBILITY: including duty, standing up for a cause, accepting one’s destiny

10) REDEMPTION: including atonement, accepting blame, remorse, and salvation

All 10 of these themes are emotional.

LOVE is the most used.  Love is complicated, losing love hurts, finding love is exciting, loving someone that does not love you is full of emotions.

Maybe you can now see why these 10 are the most popular.

FORGIVENESS: Maybe you said something you shouldn’t have.  Or you said you would not ever do something but did it again.  Cheated on your partner and the guilt is eating you up and you must confess, but you don’t want to hurt the one you  love.

the ten universal songwriting themes

Any time you want to write a song, refer back to these 10 universal themes.  Find the emotion that puts you in the mood you want to write about.  Think about how it feels and then put the emotion into the music.

Remember the basics.  Verse Chorus, Bridge.

Chorus is the hook.

Verse tells the story about the hook.

Bridge flips the emotion.

Circle of fifths can give you common chord progression.

Give it a try.  Remember the best way to become a good songwriter is to write lots of songs.

I can’t wait to listen to your next song.

email me any time and set up a recording session.  Don’t forget to bring the emotional state into the music

I hope your whole day is music


Dewight Traina

How about a daily inspiration?

Another one of Larry Spears songs today.

Vocal Webinar Review

vocal webinar review

Vocal Webinar is a bi-weekly webinar by Kimberly Nolan.

This unique program is a live broadcast vocal webinar hosted by Kimberly Nolan.  During the webinar, you sing any song your choose and receive instant feedback and coaching.

The best way to become a better singer is to have a vocal coach.  Kimberly has a great reputation as a vocal coach.  Being she has coached hundreds of others to become better singers.

She also offers to teach you the music business at the same time.  Having over 30 years experience in the music business.

Sign up for Vocal Webinar Here.  It is only 1 dollar for the first 7 days.  Once you have attended two sessions and see the progress Kimberly is having with others, you will want to continue.

Kimberly Nolan is an experienced vocal coach and successful vocalist.  It is well worth the money if you are serious about a music carreer.

Spend a dollar and at least get a great critique of your vocal skills from Kimberly.

No matter if you are a vocalist or play other instruments, working with a teacher or coach will improve your skills.

If you want to make it in the music business, having a professional in your corner that has been in the music business for over 30 years is a bonus.  She has a pretty awesome contact list that might just get your music carreer heading in the right direction.

Join Vocal Webinar and showcase your vocal skills to one of the best coaches in the industry.

Music Distribution


Music Distribution

Music distribution has changed. About 10 years ago, if a band wanted to get their music to the most fans, they needed to be signed by a major record label.  Like Sony or MGM.  Records and CDs were physical products.  Everyone would rush down to their favorite store and pick up a copy. Places like Blockbuster Music are gone.  Best Buy does not have much of a collection of CD’s to choose from.  Most music today is sold online.

A company named Tune Core changed distribution forever. A band or individual musician no longer had to be signed by a record label.  Tune Core would send their music worldwide simply by uploading it and choosing where they wanted the music to go. It was 2008 when I first used Tune Core for Music Distribution.

I still earn money from the songs I uploaded then.  Over 70 percent of the income I recieved was and still is from iTunes.

Today, there are many other distribution networks. Amuse, Distrokid, CD Baby, Reverbnation, Tune Core to name a few.


There are two reasons to publish your music before you distribute it.  Mechanical rights and performance rights.

When a band was picked up by a record label, they demanded the highest percentage of these rights and at least 60 percent of the money made by distribution. Today a band can keep all their rights and make 100 percent of the income.

Another reason to publish your music is to track streams and online plays.  Tune Core not only tracks this for you, they collect the money and put it in your account.

The cost to distribute an album on Tune Core is still less than 50 bucks to all 100 stores.

A couple of sales on iTunes and a few thousand plays on You Tube and a band breaks even.

From that point, all sales and streams are profit.


Once your music goes Live, Tune Core will send you links to all the music stores your music has been distributed to.

The possibilites from there are endless.  Create a fan page on Facebook and include a link to  your music on iTunes.  Fans can click the link and buy your music.  Leave a spotify link for streaming your music.

Host a band website and sell your music there. Tune Core has a web player to add right on your site.

Record Labels

Understand this point;  Record Labels are still where the big money is made and the reason is Advertising.  They have the income to advertise worldwide.  Most bands don’t have that kind of budget.
In todays music, a record label will not sign you unless your band is already capable of getting fans and earning money.
They want to see fans at your live performances.  They want to pull up your online sales and streams.  They want to see you selling merchandise, like shirts hat and stickers with band logos on them.  They want to know you understand the business side of the music industry.
If you get signed, most will require you to re-record your music in their studio.  Reason being, they want those rights and income.
One other point.  If they offer you a any dollar amount in advance, it is not FREE money.  Think of it more like a loan on future sales. Once that money is earned, only then will you receive royalty checks.


Everything I have explained in this post is not possible without a quality recording of your music.

The doors don’t open to earning income without a product to sell.

95 Percent of musicians don’t ever get a recording of their music.  That is why most musicians don’t earn enough money to be full time musicians.

Everything starts with Recording your music.