Helpful Info for Artists/Singers
- How to Build a Music Ministry
- Recording a CD the right way
- The Nashville scene
- How to promote and sell your CD
- Coming to record from out of town
- Need original material?
- Christian Live Engagement Database
The way most people start out is by performing in their local church. Once they build up a following, people start asking for CD’s. It’s wise to record a CD at that point to capitalize on the present interest. If the funds aren’t there, then let people around you (especially people asking for CD’s) know what your hopes, dreams, and aspirations are and most importantly pray daily so that your hopes, dreams, and aspirations may materialize by the workings of our Creator.
I’ve recorded many CD or demo projects that were funded by people being inspired by the Holy Spirit “wanting to help this worthy person start a ministry.” In Christianity we are encouraged to give, but it is also important to learn how to receive God’s blessings graciously and with thanksgiving. The Lord works through human beings to accomplish a lot of the good on this planet and to help bring about the kingdom (Jesus spoke of) when we pray the Lord’s Prayer. Pray and allow miracles to happen.
As a Nashville session player I’ve played on many gospel albums as a pianist, synthesist, and an arranger. Many projects are recorded very quickly for a cut rate with only minimal attention to detail and spending very little time on capturing really good vocal performances. Typically the singers are intimidated and rushed and only perform the song once or twice and rarely feel like they’ve done their songs justice. As a hired player there’s little I can do to help, but I many times I vowed that I would never treat any of my clients that way if I were in charge of the production.
Instead when I’m producing a project, I allow as much time as needed to capture the vocals at their very best and make sure that everyone is convinced that we’ve done our best before moving on. A great vocal can really move people and inspire them and that’s really why we make Christian music. I like to take the time to really do things right, not being satisfied with something that just sounds reasonably good, but taking the time to find the pearls and the real magic in the music and the vocals. Considering this is the Lord’s music, I want to feel like we’ve done our best.
The attention to detail and fine points gives the CD a world class professional quality that can get radio air-play and may possibly be picked up by a major label which would really further the career of the artist.
Alleluia Christian Music Productions is located in Nashville. In the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s the Nashville music business was mostly country and southern gospel. But mass exoduses to Nashville from all over the country during the 80’s and 90’s have diversified the climate very much. Many L.A. and N.Y. people and companies have relocated here and many people predict that in a few more years, Nashville will be clearly the largest recording center in the world, surpassing L.A. and N.Y.
Not only is Nashville the country music capital of the world, but it is also the contemporary christian and gospel music capital of the world. Also there is much pop and rock recorded, a thriving jingle community, and quite a lot of music videos and some TV shows and movies.
With the increase in activity there is an incredible talent pool of excellent vocalists and musicians of every style that can be used on your CD productions or songwriter demos. I’m very particular of the Vocalists and musicians i use in Alleluia Christian Music Productions, because they can make an incredible difference on the outcome of the project.
Time after time I’ve been surprised at how good a song can sound using the best talent. After I arrange it, produce it, and polish it, many times it doesn’t even sound like the same song to me anymore. We’ve all heard weak songs on the radio, and wondered why it’s playing. Well I think many times it’s the arrangement, the production, and the performance that makes it appealing and popular. I’ve certainly seen this transformation take place in my studio.
Most Christian artists sell their CD’s through live performances at churches, concerts, fairs, etc. It’s wise to get mailing addresses and/or email addresses of fans so that you can notify them when you have a new CD released or are performing live. There are many Artists traveling around the country performing as special guests during church services and sometimes following the church service with a live performance, of course offering CD’s, tapes, books, or any else available for sale after the service or live performance.
It’s best for the live performances to be free admission, but it’s customary to pass the hat at some point for love-offerings and usually the artist will actually make more money from love-offerings than an admission, which very nice from two perspectives. people that can’t afford a love offering can still be inspired by the music and those that feel led to donate to the ministry are blessed by their Christian generosity.
Another wise move is to put together a website for internet sales and for organizing fans with concert and album information and also emailing fans and those interested in having you perform. It’s very important to browse the internet in search of Christian music sites, Christian music search engines, and Christian music directories to either cross-link web pages with or be listed. This will attract people to your website. It’s very good to put samples of your CD on your website in the form of mp3 or similar PC audio files.
Many small radio stations are happy to play cuts off your CD and be sure to give them contact information on you and preferably announce that over the air so they can purchase your CD or visit your website or hear you performing locally. It’s very difficult to get large radio stations to play your songs, but occasionally they do. That’s why it’s so important to have the standard of quality high for your CD production, because if it’s not up to snuff, they certainly won’t play it.
It’s very difficult to
get signed by a major Christian music label and usually it’s better to start small and build up to that. They are much more likely to sign someone who has proven themselves with their own CD Production and success and will almost never sign someone who’s green. Always keep a major label deal in the back of your mind, following every lead that comes your way, but put most of your energy into building a music ministry.
For people coming in from out of town, there’s a Hampton Inn and a Micro-tel about a mile away. My facility is ideal for country or pop artists, gospel groups, and Christian artists. Feel free to get in touch with people that have traveled to Nashville and recorded at my Studio. There are email addresses included with the testimonials. I don’t mind also giving you phone numbers, especially if you’re planning on flying to Nashville to work with me in my studio. Phone conversations with people who’ve done it may help alleviate any stress or apprehension you may have making such an adventurous journey.
If you need original material for a recording project and haven’t had any luck with publishers or songwriters, I can provide you with original songs. I have over 3000’s songs recorded in my studio over the years on CD, HD, or DAT tapes. I can go through those and pick out material for you.
Many times, if you’re an unknown, publishers and songwriters aren’t very interested in sending you original material because they feel it’s a long shot if you’re not signed with major label. I know it’s a catch 22 kind of thing, so that’s where I come in handy, even though I have to charge a little for my time at least I’ll deliver. I’ll send 2 CD’s full of the best songs I have recorded (2 hours).
This database is designed to assist traveling Christian artists who want to expand their music ministry either in their own city or in nearby communities or throughout the USA. Everyone is invited to contribute to our Christian live engagement database of churches that are open to Christian artists being featured guests during Sunday services and/or welcoming Christian artists who do live concerts in their church and a list of leads for setting up Christian concerts in cities throughout the USA live music. Everyone benefits when we contribute. If you find other websites that have live engagement leads, please email their link and it will be added to the database.
How Live Engagements expand your Ministry
Many churches like to keep their congregations interested and entertained by allowing traveling Christian artists to be a part of their Sunday service. The artist will typically play 1-3 songs as part of the service and will invite people to purchase CD’s, books, or anything that’s available after the service. Many times they will perform a live concert either right after the last Sunday service or that evening. Typically concert admission is free with the understanding that the artist will be allowed to pass the hat at some point for love offerings.
Anyone that feels inspired to give to support the ministry will give and those that cannot are never obligated. In all reality most artists end up receiving more than if they had an admission price, so everyone benefits. After the concert, of course, the artist will be able to sell any products available. It’s advisable to also have a website and email address set up, and give this info out at the door so fans can keep up with the artist and purchase new CD’s, etc when they become available or be notified when the artist is again in the area performing. Also have postcards that can be filled out then or later to get postal addresses and/or email addresses of fans interested in keeping up with the Artist. It’s advisable to get both email and postal addresses whenever possible, since people do change these from time to time.
How to Contribute to the Database:
Copy and paste the form below into your email, fill it out and email it to me. I will add your info to the database so everyone can benefit.
Church, hospital, concert hall, booking agent, or other Lead ______________________
City, State, Zip ________________________
Contact Person _______________________
Welcome to “For Churches at the Christian Music Place”. We have free e-mail newsletters for Pastors and Worship Leaders.
Connect with other people who organize, host and promote concerts featuring Christian and Gospel music. Share your ideas and experiences. Learn how to make your events more effective. Christian & Gospel Concert Organizers.
Lead – Sonny Flaharty
Denomination – Unity – Christian
10313 Redbridge Rd
Richmond, VA 23236
Contact Person – Kathy James
First Church Unity
5125 Franklin Rd
Booking Contact – Daryll Nettles
Every other week a Christian Artist is the special guest. There are 2 slots during the service where they perform a song. Sometimes they can also perform a 3rd slot. After the service they are invited to sell their CD’s and wares in Fellowship Hall. A sound system is provided and a very receptive audience. They can also set up a concert after the 11 am service. Usually at 1PM.
His Own Gospel Singers
Denomination – Christian
160 Ridgedale Dr
Martinsville, VA, 24112
Phone – 276-632-7062
Contact Person – Audrey Ratcliff or Doug Lawrence – 276-957-7034