DIY (Do It Yourself)

DIY (Do It Yourself)

DIY is an acronym for the phrase Do It Yourself. It explains not only the tactics used by indie bands to get their music out there, but also the attitude that many of them embody.

While the Internet has made DIY tactics easier to do, it has also made it harder to use them to stand out from the pack. Anyone can get on iTunes, have a video on Youtube and invite all of their friends to a facebook page. True DIY bands use all of their tools to their advantage and get creative.

The DIY approach to gigs could involve calling venue after venue to try to book your own band and walking up and down Haight street placing flyers to promote that hard won gig. To release an album, a DIYer could set up an on-the-cheap recording studio with a ProTools rig in his garage and sign up for CD Baby to sell the album. Not to mention all the stuff on the business side of things that’s got to get done. The important thing is the attitude of doing whatever it takes to get your music out there in the way you want it.

Photo & Post by Jeff Watkins



Previously employed by Universal Music Publishing Group currently studying at USC Gould School of Law and will be the graduating Class of 2014.
  • Mike G.

    another site you should mention is CDs are quickly becoming obsolete, but it’s still probably a good idea to use an on-demand CD service like CD Baby. but it’s even more important to have downloadable tracks (and it’s more environmentally friendly too). BandCamp is awesome cuz it lets you upload your tracks and then set a price, require an email for download, or let the user name the price they want to pay, a la Radiohead. it also lets you generate discount and free download codes. basically, it gives you pretty much all the e-commerce tools you could need.

  • jeff_watkins

    I completely agree with you about the importance of services like BandCamp. I really only mention CD Baby as an illustration of the essence of the term DIY because of its size, longevity and the fact it covers the big players like iTunes, Rhapsody and the physical CD. I think services like BandCamp that have popped up lately have proven to be incredibly useful to the independent artist by offering better ways to sell direct to fans in ways that make sense to their audience. Every band’s audience is different, and the more customization allowed to a band when selling to their audience, the better. Thanks for bringing up BandCamp. I’d be interested to know of any other online services geared to help independent artists make their music profitable that you’ve tried and liked.

Opened loads of new CD's played tons of indie bands from the bay and far away.


Notice all the plastic? I was hella breaking out CD's and playing new tracks. In the last month I have received a lot of new music. Some of the CD's were dropped off at the station, others were acquired while at SxSW, and a coup via my PO Box. It was a show of discovery for me and hopefully you.
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