At one point in time, young John Lennon asked young Paul McCartney after hearing him play the guitar, “Hey, join me band, we’ll become the most popular group in the world.”
That moment marks the serendipitous beginnings of The Beatles; it was history in the making. And taking into account all the possibilities, this day could be also be yours.
In an almost infinite queue of bands waiting for the biggest breaks of their lives however, it can be difficult to rise on top. Fortunately, there is a number of substantial resources which you can use as a starting platform. One of these is through EP or Extended Play.
In a while, we’ll get you through the purpose of making an EP album, some tips on recording an EP in a live streaming studio, and how to successfully release EP albums. So without wasting any time, let’s begin…
What is an E.P.?
EP basically stands for ‘extended play record’ or simply ‘extended play’. An album which is too long to be considered a single and too short to be regarded as a full-length album, this type of release only covers around 4 or 5 (original) compositions.
There are a lot of reasons why musicians release an EP. But perhaps the most prominent is its capability as an effective promotional tool. Especially if you’re in a new band, EPs help register your music to your listeners. While singles are quick and easy to create, they’re not enough to give people a generalized idea of what your band is capable of doing. Albums, on the other hand, apparently would be expensive to produce. EPs can also be used to promote a tour, to serve as a teaser for an upcoming comeback, and more…
Before the releasing stage, one vital step in the overall production of EPs is to make sure the recording quality is in the first place…of quality. This is basically what recording studios are for. Here are some tips your band will find useful in maximizing the use of recording studios:
- Plan – while this already goes without saying, you’d be surprised to find yourself stuttering/hesitating for the next song or next instrument to play. All these meticulous itineraries is for your recording time to not go beyond bounds of schedule, unless you’d be delighted to pay for an added rate.
- Show up fresh and rested – much like preparing for a dreaded exam, rest is an important ingredient to get satisfactory results, be it your exam or your band performance within the recording studio.
- Check the quality of your instruments – while your music skills are important, it’s your instruments that realize them. So for guitarists, bassists, and drummers, it’s always advisable to bring new strings and sticks of good quality. And one more thing – always, always bring spares.
- Be prompt – every minute you’re late you’ll be losing a precious dime. Recording studios are strict with schedule adherence. So in order to maximize your time with them, be sure to show up at least 30 minutes earlier with the allowance set for setup.
EPs have been used for many years for the aim of creating a buzz or for to make some extra cash. Regardless of your reason, it wouldn’t be successful if you don’t have any winning release strategy at all. Here are some tips (and ideas) to successfully get your band’s EP out to the audience.
Record all the songs in the same day. One clear characteristic of a good album is its ability to create unity for each song included. The same is true for EPs. Your audience will always feel if you lose the connection somewhere in your album. It is therefore advised to record your songs simultaneously and start with your strongest song down to your weakest.
Be creative with your EP packaging. There is in fact a rule with regards to designing CDs or DVDs. While you can always outsource the job to skillful graphic designers, you still have the first and final say since this cover design will visually reflect what your music is all about.
Pick the best EP release options. As EPs rarely end up in shops, some bands only release exclusive EPs for fans. You also have the option to:
- Release it online via social media platforms or via your band’s official website; or
- Conduct live performances via live streaming studios
You should by now have the full grasp of the power of social media marketing. Facebook, Twitter, and especially Youtube are effective sites to promote your band’s EP. You can encourage your fans to share something about the release of your EP and let the word of mouth do its job in spreading the news. Or you can organize competitions with exciting prizes e.g. photo contest encouraging fans to take photo with your EP for the prize of getting a signed copy or one-on-one fan meet.
Releasing via Live Stream
Another option is through live streaming your EPs online. This will attract the audience since first and foremost, it’s free. All you need to do is to set a recording schedule from many live streaming studios for rent (Salt Lake City Studio comes in mind) and create a buzz online of when exactly this live streaming is going to happen.
On the Summary, EPs are an effective medium to let people know about your music. But in order for it to work, you must know all the basic knowledge from the recording stage to the releasing stage. More than that, what’s important about music is the compassion one has for it. People hear more than see, what you’re trying to express. This is the basically the main difference between successful and unsuccessful musicians.
In the end, The Beatles was just a band which skyrocketed to fame – just like any band could.