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Understanding Artist Endorsements

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So you’re in a band and looking to step your game up as an artist and dip your feet into the world of endorsements to work with your favorite companies and establish some credibility to your name, but how do you start?

This article is going to cover everything you need to know about what you should do as an artist to secure that deal.

To understand endorsements and their purpose, the first question we must ask ourselves is “Who endorses who?” While endorsements are a mutually beneficial two way street, it is the artist who endorses the product. When you boil it down, the ultimate purpose of an endorsement is to help grow a brand. If the artist doesn’t qualify to help grow the brand, then the manufacturer wants that non-qualifying musician to purchase his or her gear from a local dealer or favorite Internet dealer. What they do want is to have an endorser promote their brand in order to influence their fans and/or peers to purchase that product or something else they make.

What a Company Looks for in an Artist

From a company’s point of view, they want artists that have influence, which means someone that gigs/records constantly and has a strong social media presence. Are you out there grinding it out playing shows and building a buzz around yourself as a musician? Are you getting out of your own local scene and growing your following in other cities? How’s your social media following? Do you have a solid number of followers and do you constantly engage with them and in turn, do they engage with you? These are questions you need to ask yourself because this is what companies look at when deciding to take on a new endorsee. Companies also value artists that are loyal. They want to work with artists that want to work with them, not artists that send generic endorsement inquiries that were most likely sent out to them and ten of their competitors.

What to Send in to a Company

Now that you’ve established that you as an artist have enough of a career to contact a company and get a deal, what do you send in to them? Introduce yourself, give them your 15 second elevator pitch explaining who you are as an artist and what you do.

Next, talk about the gear of theirs you use and why you like it. Again, loyalty is key and letting them know you are already using their product is a sign to them that not only you are knowledgeable about their company but that with or without an endorsement, you will be using their gear. If a company is on the fence about whether or not to take you on as an artist, that type of loyalty could tip the odds in your favor.

Speaking of gear, if there is additional products they make that you’re interested in, this is the time to mention it. In your submission to the company, you should also attach your Electronic Press Kit (EPK) for them to understand who you are as an artist, what you bring to the table, and ultimately why they should care about you. If you don’t have an EPK, the folks over at Sonicbids have a great breakdown of what you need to do here. Lastly, you should include any existing endorsements you have in your submission if you have any. A great way to increase your chances of landing a deal is by showing that other companies are investing in you and see value in bringing you on board as one of their artists to influence customers to purchase their products.

What Type of Endorsements are Available

So a company has offered you a deal. Awesome! But what did they offer you? There are three different tiers available for artists.

  • Class C is cost plus a percentage, usually 10-15%. This is the lowest deal which offers the least amount of risk to a company.
  • Class B is a cost deal; whatever it costs them to make the product is the price you pay.
  • Lastly, Class A is a full ride deal, everything is on the house. This is the deal most artists want but not everyone gets. It is important to note here that some companies strictly do not offer class A deals because they feel if the artist really wants their product, getting a discount from them is better than paying full price at a retailer either in-store or online.

There is also the difference between an exclusive deal and non-exclusive deal. An exclusive deal means you are tied to that company and can’t endorse any of their competitors. If you have a non-exclusive deal, you are free to do as you please.

In my experience, I think it’s in your best interest as an artist to treat any deal you have as if it’s an exclusive deal. Let’s create a hypothetical scenario to show you why. A non-exclusive company is working with two artists: one who treats his deal like it’s an exclusive deal and is loyal to the company, the other endorses two of their competitors. The company is put in a position to highlight one of their artists for an upcoming social media takeover they want to do. Guess which one of those artists is most likely to receive that extra love from the company?

What is Expected From the Artist?

As an artist, you have expectations you must fulfill when you are on a company’s roster.

First, you must obviously use the gear in studio and on stage.

You are also required to make social media posts about the company using tags and hashtags. We live in a digital age where social media is king and companies rely on social media heavily to keep people updated and informed on product releases and any other news that is relevant to them so your posts on your pages about them are valued just as heavily.

If you’re in the studio laying down drum tracks for your new album and have a stick sponsor, take a picture from behind the kit of your sticks and talk about how tracking is going, making sure to tag and promote your company as well.

Same goes for anything you’re doing in a live setting, whether it’s a tour announcement, an onstage photo or acandid shot on the road. Giving the companies visibility while you’re out there working is exactly what the companies want to see.

In the same way, make sure to make posts on social media and your website when a new deal has been made to get that news out there and establish your relationship in the public space.

Also, anytime you are doing interviews, make sure the interviewer knows you have companies backing you so you can have that brought into the conversation. When those interviews are posted, circle back to your artist rep and send that over so that they can keep it on file, and maybe even share it to all of their followers too.

As an artist, you also need to do photoshoots so the company has images of you with their gear so that they in turn can promote you via social media and official websites. You can also use those pictures to fulfill your promotional obligations to the company.

As an endorsed artist, you also need to link the companies you work with from your official website. In the early stages, including the handful of companies at the bottom of your homepage with hyperlinked logos is more than fine. Once you start growing and have more companies supporting you, having a tab on your site dedicated to them is recommended.

Lastly, you need to include your endorsement companies in the liner notes of any physical copies of your music. You used their products to create this group of songs, it only makes complete sense to thank them for their products and support.

What is Expected From the Company?

In the same way you have to hold up your end of the endorsement deal, so does the company.

The first thing a company will do is put you up on the artist page of their website. I’m sure many of us have spent a minute or two browsing the artist section of our favorite companies seeing who is playing what gear. As an endorsed artist, you now get to join those ranks and have your name listed on their website. Depending on the layout of the page, it could simply be your name hyperlinking to your website or a full artist profile with your picture, bio and links to your music. Either way, that’s extra exposure to the company’s core audience.

Speaking of exposure, social media promotion is another way the company can give additional visibility to their artists so whenever you have an album release, music video release, tour dates or anything cool coming up in your career, send that information over to your artist rep ASAP so they can work it into their social media calendar.

If they end up doing a big media push around a product model you happen to use, there might be opportunities for them to use your likeness as well.

Additional exposure outlets come from trade shows like the NAMM Show. With so many artists wandering the convention center floor, companies like to use them to drive extra traffic to their booths so you could end up doing a signing for them alongside some of their other artists.

Another way companies give exposure to their artists through trade shows is social media interviews. While companies usually take to social media during NAMM to showcase and highlight the new products they will be rolling out for the year, they also like to take the opportunity to bring their artists to the booth to either perform or do interviews with them and talk about what’s going on in their careers, what products of theirs are currently in their rig and why they love using it. Especially with the live components of Instagram and Facebook, companies have been keeping with the times and getting on board with that to promote their artists.

A curveball in the artist-to company relationship is the potential for creative partnerships. This could be as simple as giving away company swag through social media contests to a full on takeover of the company social media pages to give their audience a look into a day in the life on the road with your band.

While it may not sound like a huge perk, having direct-to-artist shipping is extremely convenient and helpful, especially if you’re in the middle of nowhere on tour and you need a company to dropship you some products on the fly.

Lastly, what you can expect from a company is credibility. Having a company supporting you and backing you goes a long way, especially for a low to mid-level band. When other people in the industry (promoters, booking agents, management) see a company has taken a chance on you and believes you have the ability to influence people to buy their product, it makes everyone else take you that much more seriously and makes them take a bit more interest in you.

In closing sponsorships are a great way to up your game as an artist while cultivating new relationships within your industry and create new networking opportunities.

I hope this article shed some light on sponsorships and gave you some useful tips that you can put into practice in your own careers. Good luck!

Gear News

Behind the Strings: D’Addario’s Story Comes to Life in “Jim’s Corner” YouTube Series

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Behind the Strings: D'Addario's Story Comes to Life in "Jim's Corner" YouTube Series

Behind the Strings – Jim’s Corner…

D’Addario & Co. proudly announces the launch of “Jim’s Corner,” a captivating new YouTube series telling the 400-year-old story of the D’Addario family creating the world’s largest music accessories company. This series features Jim D’Addario, Founder and Director of Innovation at D’Addario and Co., sharing his family’s remarkable journey from 17th century Italy to a 21st century global enterprise. 

In the first four episodes now available, Jim D’Addario takes viewers back to the beginning, making strings from animal guts and knotting ukulele wire as a family around the television. Countless generations carried the passion forward until the 1970s when the company made it official and never looked back. Jim recounts the creation of strings that inspired legendary riffs, including one by The Who, the launch of Darco strings, the merger with Martin Guitars and the company’s humble beginnings with his wife, Janet and brother, John. Jim D’Addario’s firsthand accounts provide an intimate and personal perspective on the milestones and challenges that shaped D’Addario into the revered brand it is today.

Episode Highlights:

  • Episode 1: The Early Days in Italy and the Move to America
  • Episode 2: Inspiring Iconic Riffs and Legendary Partnerships
  • Episode 3: Launching Darco Strings and Merging with Martin Guitars
  • Episode 4: Building the D’Addario and Co. Legacy

Watch & Subscribe Now:

Join us in celebrating this incredible legacy by watching the first four episodes of “Jim’s Corner” on YouTube. New episodes will drop every month so please subscribe to our channel to ensure you don’t miss any future episodes and exclusive content from D’Addario & Co.: www.youtube.com/@daddarioandco

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Gear News: Aguilar Amplification Unveils Limited Edition NYC Gold Skyline Tone Hammer Preamp

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Gear News: Aguilar Amplification Unveils Limited Edition NYC Gold Skyline Tone Hammer Preamp

Aguilar Amplification announces the release of the Limited Edition NYC Gold Skyline Tone Hammer Preamp pedal. Hand serialized 1-100, this exclusive edition celebrates Aguilar’s deep roots in New York City with a tribute to its iconic landmarks and vibrant spirit.

Born in the heart of NYC and raised on the road, the Tone Hammer Preamp DI has been an indispensable tool for bassists seeking inspiring tone and versatility. The new Limited Edition Gold NYC builds on this legacy with striking custom graphics encapsulating the essence of New York City. Featuring iconic landmarks from the Statue of Liberty to the Empire State Building, this pedal is not just a tool, but a piece of art embodying the soul of the city. Each unit features a sharp platinum silkscreen over a stunning matte gold sparkle finish, that is as visually captivating as it is sonically powerful.

The Tone Hammer is an essential preamp/direct box for every bassist’s toolbox. The Tone Hammer features fully sweepable midrange frequencies in addition to bass and treble controls. With the Tone Hammer’s pristine D.I. players are set for either studio or stage. To give this tone shaping unit the ultimate flexibility we introduce our proprietary Adaptive Gain Shaping circuitry (AGS). AGS allows the player to kick in an additional gain structure and EQ with the “stomp” of a button. You can go from modern slap sounds to vintage or overdriven. 18-volt operation gives the Tone Hammer plenty of headroom to reproduce the most dynamic playing styles. Separate gain and master controls allow players to dial in just the right gain structure for any instrument.

Aguilar Amplification’s Jordan Cortese adds, “With only 100 hand-numbered units available, this third iteration of our NYC edition Tone Hammer is a collector’s dream. “It’s a homage to our city’s monumental influence on music and culture and celebrates the craftsmanship and the story of Aguilar”. 

Street price: $299.99 For more information, please visit www.aguilaramp.com

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Bass Videos

Gear News: Spector Launches Euro CST and Euro LX Basses

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Gear News: Spector Launches Euro CST and Euro LX Basses

Spector, a leading authority in bass guitar design, unveils new additions to its product line: Euro CST, Euro LX and Euro LX Bolt On basses.

Euro CST:
The Euro CST introduces all-new tonewoods, electronics, and finish combinations never seen in the Euro Series, drawing inspiration from Spector’s Woodstock, NY-based Custom Shop. Each Euro CST instrument is meticulously crafted using premium materials, featuring a striking, highly figured Poplar Burl top, a resonant European Ash body, and a 3-piece North American Maple neck paired with an Ebony fingerboard adorned with laminated Abalone Crown inlays.

Euro CST basses are equipped with a lightweight aluminum bridge for precise and reliable intonation. Premium active EMG X Series pickups deliver the exceptional clarity, attack, and silent operation that defines the Spector sound. These basses also feature the all-new Spector Legacy preamp. Developed in collaboration with Darkglass Electronics, this preamp captures the classic “Spector growl,” heard on countless iconic recordings, with added versatility.

Euro CST basses are available in 4- and 5-string models in four distinct high gloss finishes: Natural, Natural Black Burst, Natural Red Burst, and Natural Violet Burst.

Euro LX and Euro LX Bolt-On:
The Euro LX offers all the features that have made the Spector name famous around the globe. Inspired by the iconic NS-2, Euro LX basses feature a fully carved and contoured body, high-grade tonewoods, and professional-grade electronics and hardware. For the first time ever, players can now choose between neck-thru and bolt-on construction in the Euro LX range.  

Each Euro LX bass, regardless of construction, is crafted using premium materials, including a European Alder body, figured European Maple top, and a 3-piece North American Maple neck combined with a Rosewood fingerboard for strength, stability, and sustain. Euro LX basses are then outfitted with a lightweight, aluminum bridge for spot-on, reliable intonation. Premium active pickups from EMG provide the exceptional clarity, attack, and silent operation that Spector is known for. Like the Euro CST basses, these instruments also feature the all-new Spector Legacy preamp.

The newly revised Euro LX range is available in four distinct, hand-rubbed stains, including Transparent Black, Natural Sunburst, Haunted Moss, and Nightshade. Each of these colors features a durable and comfortable matte finish.  

John Stippell, Director, Korg Bass Division, remarks, “I’m thrilled to announce the latest additions to the renowned Euro Range. The CST Series, our new premium offering, features new and unique wood combinations and unprecedented features. The beloved LX Series is now better than ever with the introduction of Bolt-On models, vibrant new color options, and the all-new Spector Legacy Preamp, delivering the classic Spector tone with unmatched precision.”

For more information, visit spectorbass.com.

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Luthier Spotlight: Garry Beers, GGB Basses

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Luthier Spotlight - Garry Beers, GGB Basses

Meet Garry Beers, Luthier and owner of GGB Basses…

Bass Musician Magazine: How did you get your start in music?

Garry Beers: I played acoustic guitar as a kid with my mates at school. We decided that one of us should play bass, so we had a contest where the one who knew the least guitar chords would buy a bass – so I lost the contest, bought my first bass, and became the only bass player in the neighborhood. Soon after, I met Andrew Farriss, who had heard that I had a bass, and a few days later, I was jamming with Andrew and Jon Farriss.

Are you still an active player?

Yes, I am still actively writing music and playing bass sessions. I also have an LA-based original band called Ashenmoon.

How did you get started as a Luthier? When did you build your first bass? 

I did woodwork in High School and always enjoyed making all sorts of things out of wood.

After finishing high school, I took a course in electronics for a year or so and learned enough to understand basic circuits in guitars, amplifiers, and effects. The best way to learn is to deconstruct and study, so my dad’s garage was littered with old junked radios and any instrument parts I could find. 

My first guitars were more like Frankenstein-type creations made out of parts I found here and there. I didn’t really try to build a bass from scratch until I perfected my Quad pickup design and got my patent.

How do you select the woods you choose to build with?

I only use woods that were used at Fender in the 50s, which are my favorite basses and guitars of all time. All my GGB basses are modeled in some way from my INXS bass- a 1958 Fender Precision bass I bought in 1985 in Chicago. I call her “Old Faithful,” and she has an Alder wood body with a maple neck. All of my GGB basses are select Alder wood bodies that I have had extra dried, so they match the resonance of “Old Faithful,” as she has had 66 years to lose all her moisture and become more resonant and alive-sounding. I use plain old Maple necks that I carefully select, and again, I dry the necks to make them sing a little more.

Tell us about your pickups.

I started working on my Quad coil design back in Australia in the ‘90s and then put it to bed, so to speak, until I found an old pickup winding machine at a swap meet here in LA. I taught myself enough about pickup winding to build my first prototype design and worked towards my patented Quad coil design by trial and error. Nordstrand Audio builds the pickups for me here in SOCAL.

What is the reaction of players who pick up your basses?

I build the basses to feel like an old friend. They look and feel vintage, and when you plug them in, you discover the array of vintage sounds available to you from just one pickup. Most of the players I have contact with are established professional players, and they all love the basses. Freddie Washington and Nick Seymour from Crowded House are a couple of players with GGB Basses in their hands.

What are a few things that you are proud of in your instruments and would consider unique?

I would say I am most proud of the patented Quad pickup design. I own the patent from 4 through to 10-string. So far, I have only built 4 and 5-string pickups, but the design is a winner. Split Humbucker / Reverse Split Humbucker / Full Humbucker / Single coil Neck / Single coil bridge. All these sounds come from one passive pickup. I am very proud that my perseverance and desire to have this pickup have made it a reality. Being able to have these sounds in one bass enables the player to have one bass in the studio and on the stage. The only place you can have the GGB Quad pickup is in one of my GGB Basses.

Which one of the basses that you build is your favorite one?

I offer three body shapes and about ten different color options – all based on the ‘50s and early ‘60s custom guitar and car paint styles. I have always been a lover of P basses, but my favorite bass I build is now my XS-1 model- which is a custom Jazz bass body style. It is pretty sexy and is a light, well-balanced, and great-feeling body shape. The other body styles are the XS-2, which is a custom Jazzmaster body and has been the most popular so far- and the XS-3, which is the standard P bass body style. I also offer an XS-58, which is a replica of my “Old Faithful” ‘58 P bass. They are currently available to order now and should be available soon.

Can you give us a word of advice to young Luthiers who are just starting out?

I don’t really consider myself a Luthier in the traditional sense. I just love to build things and tinker. I was always looking to improve things, whether it was a guitar, an amp, a pedal board, or a car. So my advice is to always be curious and learn the basics of what you want to build, and the rest should follow once you decide what you want to say as a designer/builder. People are lucky these days that you can learn pretty much anything from talented people on the internet, but nothing replaces working with and learning from real people in real situations. Seek out like-minded builders and start a discussion.

What advice would you give a young musician trying to find his perfect bass?

Have a good hard think about what you want to say as a player. What is your style, both musically and as a player? There are so many instruments available. Do the research, play the instruments that fit your criteria, and make a decision. But make sure you try a GGB Bass!   With all the sound choices my basses offer, with a simple turn of a knob, you may find it easier to find “your” sound.

What is the biggest success for you and for your company?

Well, the company is brand new, and at this point, it is just me, so getting this far in the manufacturing process and now having these amazing basses in my hands is a great achievement, but now comes all the business stuff!! 

What are your future plans?

It’s a work in progress. Right now, it’s all about getting the word out and getting the basses into the hands of interested players. I believe in the basses – and the Quad pickup, so hopefully, GGB Basses can become a go-to bass for demanding studio and live players who want sound choices in a gorgeous vintage-style instrument.

Visit online at www.ggbbasses.com

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Gear Reviews

Gear Review: Joyo Monomyth – A Versatile Modern Bass Preamp

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Gear Revieww: Joyo Monomyth - A Versatile Modern Bass Preamp

Disclaimer: This pedal was kindly provided by Joyo for the purpose of this review. However, this does not influence our opinions or the content of our reviews. We strive to provide honest, unbiased, and accurate assessments to ensure that our readers receive truthful and helpful information.

Introduction:

The Joyo Monomyth bass preamp pedal is designed to offer bassists a comprehensive range of tonal options, combining modern features with practical functionality. With independent channels for EQ and overdrive, as well as useful additions like a cab sim and DI output, the Monomyth aims to be a versatile tool for both live performances and studio sessions. This review will delve into the pedal’s specifications, controls, and overall performance to determine if it lives up to its promise of delivering quality and flexibility at an affordable price.

Specifications:

– Dimensions: 130 * 110 * 50 mm

– Weight: 442g

– Working Voltage: DC 9V

Controls:

The Joyo Monomyth is equipped with a comprehensive set of controls designed to provide maximum tonal flexibility:

– Voice: Adjusts the character of the overdrive, from distortion to fuzz.

– Blend: Balances the dry and effected signals, crucial for maintaining low-end presence.

– Level: Sets the overall output volume.

– Drive: Controls the amount of gain in the overdrive channel.

– Treble Boost: Enhances high and mid frequencies for clarity in complex passages.

– Gain Boost: Adds extra gain, particularly effective at low gain settings to enhance the low e.

– EQ Function Controls: Features a 6-band graphic EQ plus a master control for precise nal shaping.

– Ground Lift Switch: Helps eliminate ground loop noise.

– Cab Sim Switch: Activates a simulated 8×10″ cab sound.

– LED Light Control: Customizes the pedal’s ambient lighting.

Performance:

The Joyo Monomyth shines in its dual-channel design, offering both a transparent EQ channel and a versatile overdrive channel. The 6-band EQ allows for detailed tonal adjustments, preserving the natural character of your bass while providing ample flexibility. The voice control mimics the functionality of the Darkglass Alpha Omega, shifting from distortion to fuzz, with a sweet spot around the middle for balanced tones.

The blend control is essential for retaining the low end when using distortion, ensuring your bass remains powerful and clear. The treble and gain boosts, available on the overdrive channel, further enhance the pedal’s versatility, making it suitable for everything from subtle drive to full-blown fuzz.

Outputs are plentiful, with a DI and XLR out for direct recording or ampless setups, and a headphone out for convenient practice sessions. The cab sim switch adds a realistic 8×10″ cab sound, enhancing the Monomyth’s utility in live and studio environments.

Pros:

– Versatile Control Set: Offers a wide range of tones, from clean to fuzz.

– Blend Control: Maintains low-end presence.

– Robust Outputs: DI, XLR, and headphone outs make it adaptable for various setups.

– Affordable: Provides high-end functionality at a budget-friendly price.

– Sturdy Construction: Durable build quality ensures reliability.

Cons:

– Plastic Knobs: May feel less premium compared to metal controls.

– Boosts Limited to Overdrive Channel: Treble and gain boosts do not affect the EQ channel.

– Cab Sim only on the XLR out: how cool would it be to also have it on the headphone out?

Conclusion:

In conclusion, the Joyo Monomyth stands out as a versatile and powerful bass preamp pedal, offering a range of features that cater to both traditional and modern bassists. Its dual-channel design, comprehensive control set, and robust output options make it a valuable tool for achieving a wide spectrum of tones, from clean and warm to heavily distorted. For bassists seeking flexibility, reliability, and excellent value, the Joyo Monomyth is a top contender.

For more information, visit online at joyoaudio.com/product/267.html

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