I was at a gig last night and I saw three amazing bands rocking out the stage and making people dance very hard. Note: it’s London, normally people don’t dance that hard.The sad realization I made is that none of these bands actually makes money. Isn’t it sad? The band entertains you, makes you feel great, you pay the bar for drinks, but the musician gets nothing of monetary nature. That brought an avalanche of thoughts and I started jotting them down! I quickly came down to 6 main reasons of failure, which you’ll definitely relate with (if you’re a musician).
This is part two of my series on how to make more money from your music career. If you missed it, you can see part one here. That looks at the different ways in which you can earn money from gigging.
Today though, I want to look quickly at the power of recordings songs for holiday events such as Christmas, Thanksgiving and the like.
MusicThinkTank.com Weekly Recap: “Pay For It, Or Lose Us” – The Challenge Facing Independent Musicians
- Mackenzie Carlin | Production and Marketing Essentials for Aspiring Music Producers
- Joshua Macrae | Can’t Buy Me ‘Likes’
I’ve become very fond of Craigslist.
Searching for players, gigs, and gear, somewhere between my first cup of coffee and a cleaner pair of underwear, I feel like I’m going to need a pair of bunny slippers and a robe this winter in order to fully realize my out of work potential.
I stay in the musician section for the most part, but even those ads are littered with nerds, real-estate agents and date rape enthusiasts. It’s a great place to be if you’re a “serious”, “drug free”, 22 year old female vocalist with your own equipment. And it’s as close as I’m ever going to get to Reality TV.
The searching, however, has paid off.
The mobile age has only made the production industry a more promising land for music enthusiasts, with IBISWorld’s Independent Label Music Production report pointing to an impressive industry revenue of $354 million between 2008 and 2013. Unfortunately, not every music lover has what it takes to make it as a producer. As with the rest of the entertainment industry, music production is, by nature, a cutthroat endeavor. Only the most passionate, most talented, most clever and most willing to sacrifice are able to make it big. But if you do make a name for yourself, the payoff could be incredible, both in terms of finances and personal satisfaction. A successful launch is an absolute necessity, so make the appropriate equipment investments and networking decisions before you venture into this competitive arena.
“Pay For It Or Lose Us” The Microdance’s Alex Keevill highlights the challenge facing independent artists.
Let’s face it: when it comes to sell whatever we do, most of us feel uncomfortable. That is very true for musicians, too. Virtuoso jazz violinist Christian Hows address this problem in this interview with Jonathan Fields at 25:40 as “fear of self-promotion”.
What do we do to overcome this fear?
If you’ve been making music for a while by now, you probably already know how to write a song. If not, you’ll want to check this beginners guide to songwriting before you go any further.
Now I’ve a question for you: Does the kind of songs you’ve been writing match the aims you have for your music career?
Music Gorilla regularly hosts showcases. At many of these events, we have an A&R rep from a major label that is there solely to watch the performances and take notes on everything they’re seeing and hearing. The performers are introduced to the rep and the networking commences. A few weeks later they receive written feedback on their performances for better or worse. What they do with it is up to them of course, but information is priceless.
Since we’ve been doing these shows since 2004 we figured it was time to put some of that experience on paper. So here we go,
10. Show Up – Obvious, but crucial – in order to perform you have to show up. We can expand on this by saying show up on time, or even early. We have bands come in from all over when we do these shows and when you’re on the road, things can happen. Just try to leave yourself plenty of time so that if (or rather, when) they happen, it doesn’t force you to cancel the gig or become a no-show.
I sometimes get approached by aspiring recording artists looking for help, and I’ve broadened my skill set from a songwriter to music producer. One of my long-term goals with Leet Music is to be serve as a music / label and publisher for artists within the anime, video game and “otaku” music genre. This article outlines my plans and how I hope to benefit from it.
What is artist development?
Recording artist development is how an publisher (record label, etc.) partners with an emerging artist to create a music product for the first time. Often the artist will provide creative assets like vocals, sometimes the music and lyrics, and the publisher invests in the business of music production, assets like graphic design and music video, as well as promotion and distribution of the record. In exchange for assuming financial risk in the project, the publisher often takes the lion’s share of the earnings from the music.
It’s been a minute since the first batch of fierce, fabulous, female music business entrepreneurs showed up on my blog, and as you can see it was worth the wait. I’m thrilled to be showcasing now over 100 women. Please share this, retweet this and feel free to repost on your own blogs. With Love, Ariel
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(Updated January 13, 2016)