Do you love or do you hate kickstarter?

It's pretty interesting doing a Kickstarter Campaign. It's interesting partly because of the feedback from other musicians. Some like it, some are indifferent and some are very negative about it. Our lead singer was on a gig recently and a musician was yelling at him about our Kickstarter campaign.

If you want to see a Kickstarter campaign done right. Check out ours. There’s actually a social media team involved. They’re based in Amsterdam. They’re monitoring the account and posting on Twitter and Facebook. The most important thing about doing a Kickstarter campaign is getting the word out, and out again and out again.

Here is also something to remember. I didn’t know this. MOST of the money comes at the end of the campaign. When the pressure is on. Remember that if you do yours. It’s our second week as I write this and we %25 of the money and our social media team is saying that we’re right on track.

You have to repeatedly remind people that you’re doing this campaign. Just like a telethon, just like anyone who is basically begging for money.

I remember going to these conventions where schools would coming looking to hire artists to perform at their school. That felt like Kickstarter. You had to play videos at your booth, meet people, go to all the parties and presentations during the week. You had to let people see you over and over again so that they would go home and then remember you and hire you.

Remember, and this is the thing students forget. Jazz musicians also have to pay mortgages and loans and buy food. I always ask students, ‘Where are you going to get the money to pay for these things?’. I ask this mainly to get them thinking.

Anyway enough of that, the thing about a Campaign like this, is it's simple. If you want to support the cause give, if you don't, you just don't. What's all the complaining about? Someone is trying to raise money for something they want to do and they're appealing to friends and fans and family for support. That's not so unique, is it? I've been asking for money from family for projects for years. In fact my dad gave me the $$$ thousands I needed to start

I have given to about 6 projects. I felt and feel great doing it. I like the artists I supported and gave what I could. Now I've received some projects that I didn't dig, or didn't dig the person doing it. Or I felt the person would never support something like this for me. And I didn't give anything.

That's the thing about something like this. You can just not give anything.

Look at all the great people on this site. Who doesn't love Dimitri? If he was doing a kickstarter campaign for a musical project. You wouldn't feel good about helping him out? I think Kickstarter is a great thing for people who aren't famous, or aren't rich. Kickstarter is for people who need financial help getting things done. For people who have developed friends and fans on the Internet. If you’re presence on the Internet is not great then it will be hard for you to raise money.

I am learning about promotion with this latest Kickstarter campaign. People who raise money can get things done, make cds and have a career in music. The days of sitting back and waiting for the phone to ring are over. Aren't they?

What about a grant? Who has filled out a grant? If you get the grant, the government gives you money to do a project, play a concert or whatever you're trying to do. Where does the government get the money from to do this? From the people.

This is something for us to talk about because, many of you guys are young musicians and you're going to go out there and form bands and make cds and build a fan base. How are you going to pay for the cds? For the promo for the cds?

Promo for a CD runs between 1000 and 3000 a month. Add cd costs, etc., and the prices go up and up. Watch this video. All though it gets a little cheezy, this is a woman who knows how to market and promote.

I mean if your goal is only to play music and nothing else is important (money, gigs), then none of this is of interest to you, I'm sure. But if you are going to ask clubs and restaurants to hire you, you better bring in fans and make this place money. In a way you are maybe the restaurants Kickstarter person. You bring people in and they give the restaurant money, in the end he gives you some of that money.

I took the money but I always felt a little weird getting paid in a club when NO ONE came in to see us. Is it the restuarant's fault? Partly, but I ALWAYS considered it my fault. It was my fault that no one wanted to here my music. Did I suck? OR, did no one no I was playing in this restaurant?

Since I'm involved in this campaign and I'm getting a lot of feedback from musicians about this, I thought it would be interesting to talk about it.

What do you think about Kickstarter?
How are you going to record, print and promo a cd?
How will you pay for a music project of any kind?

Young musicians and even old musicians are going to have to decide how they will handle all this. No way is right and no way is wrong. You go your way and I go mine right? But we're all faced with the same challenges if we want to make money at playing music. We need cds to get gigs and exposure. We have to pay money to make the cd and pay for the exposure in order to get the gigs. We have to pay musicians for rehearsals and for gigs, we have to buy equipment. We want to get endorsements from companies because we think we play great and will help promote the endorsements. But that means we better fill clubs and that goes back to making CDs and promoting ourselves.

I've come across a couple negative musicians about Kickstarter and My reply was 'Don't give anything if you don't like it. What's the big deal'.

Whether we succeed at this or not, I have learned a ton about social media and reaching fans on the Internet. If none of this matters to you, then I would guess that you have another job, are already a very successful musician or are teaching full time some where. If you’re trying to make part of your living through playing the vibes, then I hope you really check all this out!!!

Give me your 2 cents. My experience trying to do this is something I think I should pass on to you guys, and think it wold be great to have a discussion about this. And money. Money is an uncomfortable thing to talk about, isn't it. But artists have to pay mortgages and rent and insurance, just like everyone else.

Your turn. What do you think?

Access: Anonymous


First of all, internet promotion (facebook, youtube etc.) is a great thing because people from all around the world get to know your work. As an artist and as a vibeplayer I always consider myself of 2 parts of personality.

1.the one who plays the music and try to express him/herself in order to put his own voice in the world bandstand
2. A seller, like working on a company seling telephones (for example). Sometimes I hate BUT most of the times I feel like through promotion of my work I rpomote my iwn personality because the music I am going to play/sell is ME. I prefer that than working 8 hours in the office!

Ofcorse things are very difficult since no one has extra money. So in order to give you money, gigs, anything... you have to deserve it. That is the reason I always think promotion of something that is totally connected to our music. To be honest, many of the times musicians prefer to hire a piano player or a guitar player, maby because they are more familiar to this sound. As far as my future plans, I already have 12 pieces to get start my own kickstarter promotion or anything similar to this. I just want to make the vibes sound serious to the band stand. In fact I want to bring Matthias in Greece to do some stuff. Ofcorse the date of the concert changed so we have to wait to see what will happen but this is a great way to promote ourselves and also malletinstitue or anything similar to music.

To sum up, I totally support kickstarter and other similar ways of promoting your work both emotioanly and economically. The people should know our work because WE have fun playing and we should make our audience feel the same or at least something!

Hope I am clear with my English ahahahaha

Good luck Tony and everyone who does this kind of work!


la portaaaa!!!!

i agree. i bet though there are some people who have a different opinion. I'm curious to see what they have to say!

first i have to say thanks to tonys dad that he helped you with money to start this great site. i did not knew that and it´s a nice detail to know.

about the kickstarter thing for musicians i think different. i don´t hate them but i wouldn´t spent money on it no matter how much i like the musician or the music he plays. there are several reasons for this and i bet many people who don´t spent money for projects like this have some of this reasons too.

one of the main reason is: i struggle too much with earning money for myself as a musician. if i wouldn´t be a musician and have a job which would earn me more money i wouldn´t have a problem with spending money on music i like. i know that the deal about the thing is to support each other and that´s fine for me but not with money for a project to start. i spread the word, try to find gigs or locations for other people to play and i buy cd´s or pay for concerts.that´s a way to support too i think. the main difference is that i don´t like the idea to spent money on something which is the biggest struggle for anyone. the beginning of taking a risk. many musicians like to record a cd and sell them but the big question is (for them and the record lable too) will it pay out? i think many musicians just to do it because they want to hear how they will sound but not because they are convinced it will sell enough to earn money

another question is how much money do i need to record a cd. to record a cd in a quality that isn´t top of the notch but sounding ok you don´t need 15000€.

i think if you are a good musician and the people like your music you don´t need to record at the best sounding studios. todays project studio offer you good sounding recordings for less than 3000€ for a cd production you can sell at concerts etc. to get more gigs and support and get more money to record in a better quality next time.

i think the music and your playing should convince the people to like what you do and not the recording quality. of course it´s great if your cd sounds like gary burtons cd´s but that´s the last important thing why people like garys playing and music.

i love dimitris playing and i would support him with everything i could do but the risk to spent money to fullfill a project he wants to run is not my job. i guess it´s the price everyone has to pay to be successful or not. that starting motivation to spent money in something he believes in has to come by him not by me.

i support you tony, by subscribing to your site or comming to the workshops. that´s also money i spent you could say but for me there´s a huge difference. i spent the money because your idea is great and i benifit directly from it. i subscribe because you took the risk to built the site and you put so much work,money and energy in it. but i decided to spent the money when i saw the site finished...the result of your hard work,time and money and not before. i see the endproduct and say to myself: wow that´s great i support this and i also get something for me out of this.

i also think the kickstarter projects for musicians addresses the wrong people, because you ask the people who don´t usually have money...musicians. sure mainly musicians would listen to a vibes cd you described above but that´s also the main problem. we must get the attention of the "normal" listners with our music than it will be succesfull and you can earn money. so if you want money for a kickstarter project it would be much better to ask people who aren´t musicians but like music, although i don´t know how to do this in reality.

i also think in the future we don´t need big and expensive cd productions. the people download and listen to music in mp3 quality most of the time. why waste money on a great cd production then?

i also wonder if people like joe locke do a kickstarter project. i mean he is famous he already recorded great cd´s. kickstarter for me would be for people who are not famous and who start their career.

if you got a great idea and want to run a project no matter if it´s music or something else, you can go to a bank and ask for can ask big companys who have money to support you.
2000-5000€ for a cd production you really think that pays off for you isn´t much money. most of us paid more for our instrument. you wouldn´t ask any musician to give you money to buy a new vibraphone just because you think you may become a great player.

this site is great for promo. if i take all the solo vibes recording tony already posted on the site and tells me i got a solo cd ready, you want buy it i would say yes for sure.
if he would say: would you buy my solo vibes cd if it´s ready? i would promise:yes
but i wouldn´t pay in advance for something i don´t know if i get it.

all this may sound hard but i hope you get me right.

well a couple things here tarik.

first it's fine your feelings for kickstarter. and you are a great and generous person so if kickstarter ain't your thing, that's cool.

i disagree about the quality of the cd. you need to make a good cd if you're going to sell it. and 15,000 is NOTHING to spend on a cd. just promotion alone is 1 to 3000 a month. i don't want to record a cd that is not great quality.

i don't think anyone is targeting the wrong market with kickstarter. it's simple right? yes or no. if you want to give, you give. if you don't you don't.

well like i said i know you're a great guy, and i know your heart is in the right place. so I'm cool with how you feel. actually I'm cool with how anyone feels.

i know i feel that this cd is one of the best things I've done and i want to get it out there. so i want to get support from anyone who believe's in me or the cd and is ok with kickstarter. you know we got great donations for 3 recording engineers that actually worked with these groups! that is aerosmith and some of the other rock bands we cover.

i do think one other thing, I'm not religious, I'm not superstitious, but i like to give, and i give for selfish reasons. i think it does come back to you. not from another force or god. i think you help people and they help you.

and you've helped me and vibesworkshop a ton! you're the best!

the price of a cd is depending on your level and quality. you are a pro player and of course you don´t want to record a cd in a quality that i might say is ok.that´s fine. the price i mentioned above was meant for people like me, who never recorded a real cd. that would be a promo cd to give as a gift to get more gigs or maybe to sell at concerts.

if the price for a cd on your level is 15,000 or more i believe you but then it´s still up to you to find a record lable contract that will pay the money for you. you have to convince them and the people who HAVE money. i still think it´s a different thing if you say you think this cd you want to do is the best thing you ever did and to sell it.

i trust your musical skills that the cd will be great and that the band is great you already proofed on the site. i also think in this special case of your cd on covering rock songs the chance is very good that many people are intrested in, because it covers a genre that´s not strictly jazz. but in general i think being convinced that someone is doing a cd that has good music on it and to sell it are 2 different things.

Well jazz record companies today don't do these things. Things are really different it seems.

I disagree with the part about people HAVING the money. Lots of my friends and people who like the group have the money to contribute, including me. I'm not rich by far but I like helping out fiends projects. That woman in the video here raised over one million dollars. Nobody held a gun to those peoples heads. They wanted to help her.

I'd rather help out a friend or a band I like rather than them having to get the money from the record label.

And at the very least you are buying an advanced copy of the CD.

Finally, we are just discussing this right? You're a buddy so I want to make sure I am not pissing you off. Is always hard to tell when you are not face to face.

I did think Kickstarter would be a good thing to discuss. Back in the eighties and nineties I would apply for grants from the government for projects. This feels a little the same. Just trying to get some help. I think before that you would beg the king or queen!!!

you are not pissing me you said it´s just a discussion. i get your points. and i´m fine with that. i hope you and people who do kickstarters get enough money to do their projects. that´s my sincere hope.

beside the kickstarter discussion, don´t you think that the cd (with booklet etc.)in future will be less important? i mean people spent so much money on good recordings but the quality is reduced to mp3 most of the time. if i hear people´s post on the site i can hear if he´s good or if his playing touches me even if the recording quality is not good. i think the run for better recording quality is exaggerated in a way today.

if you listen to jazz records from the 60´s you don´t mind about the sound quality.they still fascinate us but every recording engineer today would say it sounds awful. it´s the music and sound and atmosphere the player produces not the recording quality.


I think doing it without a company, makes you also able to make it how you really want it, without a record companies marketing/promo/producing team asking for some changes which you actually don't want to make. But they pay the bill, so you'll just go along, and maybe in the contract is defined who decides what,....

In finding your own funds (kickstarter or other) you can really make your own thing, and that makes it even more personal. Something I would choose I think.

Nice discusion actually, thanks Tony. I should toss a coin like this having drinks among friends.


I don't have any projects, but I like to support the ones I do.

For a couple of reasons :

The once I support are from people/artists I know and respect. I really want them to succeed
You really get the feeling you helped making it happen.
And if it worked, those artists can spread their music, and they deserve it. But like Tony said. It ain't for free, so this way you can help.
And also you get something out of it when the goal was made. Like a 'thank you for your support'.

It's a yes for me.


that's what i think. i was amazed to do this and hear from musicians and they were PISSED off. they didn't like it.

i love supporting people who's music i dig. and usually it's about the price of the cd.

you know i try NOT to take a cd a musician gives me. i tell him i'll bye. either take money now, or if you won't, then i'll go home and get it.

supporting each other is a good thing, it helps us get the music out there.

i think some musicians are a little offended by the bombardment of emails about the kickstarter campaign. i think it's going to get much much worse. a lot more musicians are doing this it.

BUT THEY DON'T KNOW HOW TO DO IT. a musician i know did one recently and he failed. most of the musicians in philly don't dig him to start with. he hasn't made many friends and he doesn't support others. and he failed. and i didn't give to him either. no way. he's not a nice guy. so why should i do it. i have to like the music and like the person.

btw - i want to get good at this and make vibe cds like this. wouldn't it be great if we all funded vibe CDs. not normal vibe CDs, but what if we picked ideas like a cd where all great vibe players from around the world put up a solo track. just vibes. nothing else.

what about a cool vibe duo cd. or just bass and vibes. you know? something where the vibes are front and center the whole time. imho

i did a kickstarter campaign with matthias for the cd i did with david. we didn't need so much money for that. but i knew nothing about kickstarter. now i know more. we let that one go. i couldn't figure out what to do.

but i really want to do a cd where it's solo vibes the whole way. and we pick about 10 great players from all over the world and they contribute a solo track! but it's got to be recorded well, you dig? we need $$$.

but ideas like this i believe would really help the instrument and it's exposure. mainly because all the contributors would ALSO help promote the cd, wouldn't they? i would love to one cd a year that featured great players from around the world. NAKED (MUSICALLY or VIBRAPHONISTICALLY THAT IS).

I totally porta! Avibes solo cd from different players would be awesome!

we would need a LOT of support from the vibe world. we'd probably need to raise 10 or 15,000 dollars. it's something to think about and talk about. i like the idea!

I don't have nothing against kickstarter, but I do not forget that all has a price. In this case it's the DIY (do it yourself) price. There's the same "problem" with home studio recordings. Studio recording, mastering etc are full time jobs when done really well, and with kickstarter it's the promotional and advertising you are doing by yourself, when thoses jobs require full time work to be done properly. In 45 years I've seen hundreds of "home-made" recordings (inclusive me), but what was always missing was the diffusion (and the selling as a result) that only a professional organisation can provide. "Home-made" CDs are good for ego but bad for wallets.
What's bad with the actual crisis is that the music business environment needed by musicians tends to disappear. Now we have to do all by ourselves, knowing it's a quite impossible task if we want to maintain high quality. And assuming all theses jobs is time consuming, time we don't put in practising .... but in many circumstances we don't have the choice and kickstarter seems to be a valid (but imperfect)solution. Good luck to kickstarter people !!