July 17, 2010 in Uncategorized
Photo by James Wheare, Flickr.com
Depending on who you ask, this day and age is either the best time in history to be a musician or the worst time in history to be a musician. Crazy? Let’s examine the facts:
- According to some, it has become increasingly difficult to find gigs. Many musicians could work 7 nights a week 30 or 40 years ago. That’s rare now.
- CDs and mp3s have made music a constant soundtrack to our lives. People are CONSTANTLY listening to perfect recordings. In this environment, people are sometimes less likely to go listen to live music, since music is so readily accessible.
- The record industry is dying (or is it just changing?)
It is important to realize that the rules have changed. Since record companies don’t really make money from recordings anymore, it is about concerts and “events” these days. People will maybe not show up to a “gig,” but if you can create excitement and an “angle,” it is easier to get people excited to come. Being creative and understanding the game are the new keys to success!
Photo by Stereogab at Flickr.com
- If you can figure out how to get people in the door to spend money, club owners will bend over backwards for you. Facebook, Twitter, posters, word-of-mouth, craigslist etc. are your friends! Tell owners how you plan on bringing people in the door. Being a professional musician is, unfortunately, not just about practicing (though that is necessary as well!) We’ve got to play the game by today’s rules, since whining isn’t going to help!
- It is easier than ever to market yourself because of the internet. Anyone can do it if they try. Some people who probably shouldn’t be succeeding are finding success now, so why shouldn’t someone succeed who actually has talent?
- Recordings are so easy to make now. We don’t need to rely on “getting signed” anymore.
- Websites have made it easy to have a “business card” that anyone in the world can access if they have internet access!
- You can easily publish your own books, cds, press kits, etc.
Basically, pessimists who believe that “you can’t make a living in music anymore” see all the negatives, and fail to see that there are positives in our favor as well. The game has changed. By working hard, any talented (or untalented…), motivated musician can promote his or her own career! Full-time music is exactly that; full-time work.