How to enter:

It's simple! After you have joined Ampslam for free and uploaded your tunes, simply e-mail the Ampslam contest judges at with your member and artist name and the name of the song that you uploaded that you want considered for the monthly contest. Winners will be notified by e-mail and featured on the Ampslam home page! See Contest Rules below for more information. ORIGINAL SONGS ONLY!

Official contest rules

  1. Enter only one song per monthly song contest. You must be an Amplsam Member to enter.
  2. Entered songs cannot be cover versions and cannot sample another artist’s work.
  3. All songs must be original. Ampslam takes NO financial or ownership interest in ANY song.
  4. Prizes will be delivered via PayPal.
  5. Contestants must be at least 13 years of age. Entrants retain all publishing rights to their song(s).
  6. Additions or deletions to these rules may be made at the discretion of Ampslam LLC, and may be enacted at any time.
  7. The selection of contest winners by Ampslam, and its judges is final. Arrangements for receiving all prizes, unless otherwise specified, must be made within thirty days of announcing the winners. It is the responsibility of the winners to claim prizes within the thirty days provided. All unclaimed prizes will be forfeited, and Ampslam may award any unclaimed prize at the end of the thirty-day grace period to a contest runner-up. All prizes are nontransferable and void where prohibited by law. No cash substitution of prizes is allowed.
Why You Need Merchandise At Your Show
Reprinted with permission by Duane Sherman
Got your equipment? Check. Instruments? Check. Set list ready to go? Check. Merchandise? Whaaaa?

Merchandise is almost as critical for getting your artist or band name out there to the public, as your music is. It can help to propel you to the next level. You can write great songs and the crowd goes crazy when you perform them, but what about when you are not on stage? How do you keep your name fresh to the music lovers that give you support and help your fan base to keep growing? Chances are the answer is in your home, maybe even on your chest. It's the power of advertising. It worked for Coca-Cola, Budweiser and Chevrolet and it can work for you as well.

Most likely, you have t-shirts or possibly a hat that carries a brand name/band name of some type. You bought that because it appealed to you on several levels. You like the band/product so much that you want others to know about it. You also think that the band/product is cool. Therefore, being seen in the shirt or hat solidifies your coolness to the crowd around you. Just as Michael Jordan sold millions of dollars in revenue for Nike, your personalized shirts, hats, caps and other promotional items will help to generate a second level of income for your band. You may not have MJ's proven track record off the court, but you have to start somewhere. You think it's uber-cool for you yourself to wear your band's name on a t-shirt, imagine what the thrill would be like to see someone else, not associated with you, wearing one. A real fan of yours. Just by fluke, you pass them on the street. A magic moment if ever there was one.

There are many, many promotional items to invest in these days. Hats and shirts are the main stay, but key chains, buttons, coffee mugs, travel mugs, scarves and even jackets all have great popularity as well. Some of the smaller priced items can be given away as promotional fodder at your gigs, in-store appearances and release parties. Try 'packaging' some items together to give the fan a better incentive to wear your logo or name. Let's say you sell your CD for $12.00 each and the T-shirts for $10.00 ea. and $2.00 for a button. Sold separately, the total is $24.00. Can I get an Amen and a $20.00 package price? Amen. Look at that, you sold them all!

Another idea that helps to move your merchandise is specialty issues. Say that you are playing an outdoor local festival. Let's call this one, "The Doo-Dah Fest". Print up some special t-shirts that say "I saw (insert band name here) at Doo-Dah Fest 7/4/13" Now, these become synonymous with the event itself and help you to stand out a little more than the remaining line up. Because it's a special show and a special shirt, you can ask $12.00 for that one....and get it. Hats are no longer just the one dimensional trucker cap. Beanies, pull overs and visor sales pull in a large share of the market. All can be customized to work to your advantage.

Of course, you are welcome to run with the idea and make promotional items that reflect your band's culture and heritage. Shot glasses, sun glasses and wristbands also show great promise as items that help to get your name out there to the public. You may not be able to afford a Super Bowl commercial just yet, but that does not mean that you can't reach your audience.

Check our website, for promotional items that really work and can help take you and your band to the next level. The right items can connect with your fan base. We currently offer more items than what is on the website, plus we'll be adding new things over the next few months, so contact us for more information on available items. Then, be sure to place your order early enough so that you have everything ready for your next gig!

About the Author:
Duane Sherman is Social Media Director at www.CD\, one of the first companies to have offered disc duplicating services.  CD\Works is a leader in SACD (Super Audio CD) production services, producing these for customers worldwide.
Also known as Duane Bruce, Duane is a former WFNX and WBCN on-air personality in Boston. He currently resides in Salem, MA. He the voice of Santa in the web series a movie version of the series is due out this Xmas 2013.