Wednesday, January 1, 2014

The Daily Riff: My Music Career Is Tanking And I Don't Know What The F*@# To Do

What a shame to see so many young musicians all pumped up about their music, practicing their proverbial asses off, getting their first live show under their belt, having friends all loving it, etc, etc, ONLY to see it all dry up in a matter of months when the hard brick wall of reality hits them in the face: YOU'RE NEVER GOING TO MAKE MONEY DOING THIS.

So much life, so much hope, so much fun and friendship. So little tangible reward.

"GET A REAL JOB!" they say.

So bands come, and bands go.

Artists show up, then disappear.

Live music venues open, then close.

Some dabble in this, commit to that, and then two years later it all dries up.

Everyone wants music, but no one wants to pay for it. Sometimes it seems like not even the musicians want to pay for it.

May I suggest one thing? Go back to the beginning. Learn your craft. Learn it right. Be a consummate musician. Get organized. Get involved. Participate. But always fall back on the one thing: BE VERY, VERY GOOD on your instrument/voice.

There's always someone listening, and watching.

No auto-pilot. Performance time means you are entirely in the moment, totally committed to the song and to the other performers.

But when it comes down to it BE VERY, VERY GOOD at what you do.


Glen Brown said...

Yes it seems too simple to be true.

Ivan Sorensen said...

For the past 2+years I have been involved with a mentoring group dedicated to both the business and the craft of being a creative, an artist if you will. We are completely international with group members ranging from Taiwan to Europe to North America. Our individual talents have been built up over many years of practice as hobbyists or journeymen who now have the desire to take that next step into the world of professionalism.

I will share with you here, because of the commonality of purpose, the first "secret" of making money from your passion. YOU MUST HAVE ABSOLUTE MASTERY OF YOUR ART OR CRAFT. Do not think for one tiny second that a few weeks or months of practice in a garage will make you even close to being able to offer a product from the stage. It takes years of being exposed to an audience to learn how to react to that audience and give them the product they came to see/hear.

Now you must learn the second secret, and that is how to be a consummate business person within your chosen field/genre. Kiss another few years goodbye while you acquire this education.

In short, it takes years of dedicated and tightly focused practice before you can expect to make any kind of profit from your creative endeavours. If you love your art/craft then be patient. Be very patient while you learn all the nuances. The rewards will be immense.

Glen Brown said...

Great thoughts Ivan. Being a true professional means being a better man, all around. Thanks for your input.