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Anyone can join the discussion and contribute relevant articles to Music Think Tank.  Begin by signing up and then logging in to publish your posts directly to MTT Open. Please make sure that your posts are in the proper format before posting (see previous posts) and that there are minimal errors such as grammar or spelling. Popular articles are occasionally moved to the front of the site. Contributors own and operate this blog (more info).

Entries in music career (64)

Wednesday
Sep262012

The Last Chance Saloon - Where Dreams Go to Die

“This is my last chance, my last kick at the can.”

i heard those words today… and it stung.
don’t say that.
ever.

The Last Chance Saloon,
a funeral parlor 
for ambitions not achieved.


saying these fateful words means:

…you’ve already created a conscious limitation for yourself.

…you’ve already thrown up a barricade you won’t maneuver past.

…you’ve already signed a death warrant on your future potential.

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Sep182012

How to avoid serious mistakes when choosing an agent

Role of an Agent

If you want to succeed as a live act in the music industry, you will likely need an agent. Agents strive to find great gigs for their clients at good venues and earn a nice commission in the process. Although they are also often involved in commercials, television events, tour sponsorship and other areas, music agents don’t generally have quite the same status or influence as those in the film business. This article contains some useful information on selecting the right agent for you.

 

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Sep122012

How To Make Your Music Career Highly Profitable And Sustainable

If you hold the belief that it is ‘wrong’ to try to make money with your musical talents, do not read any further…simply close this page now.

For those of you who have decided to continue reading….welcome. Fact is, the majority of musicians want to have a career in music. However, these musicians also doubt their abilities to make good money in music, and fear that they will not be able to support themselves. Unfortunately, these people end up pursuing non-music jobs where they work full time and despise every time they go to clock in. This is all done out of the idea that a ‘normal job’ is safe and secure, while a music related career is highly risky with little security. This is one of the very most common misconceptions that I see ALL THE TIME while training musicians to succeed in their careers!

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Thursday
Aug232012

My Ever-Changing Career as a Musician

When I was in college, I held several part time jobs to make ends meet. One of those part time jobs was playing guitar at a few restaurants every month. Nothing glamorous, but I was happy to be playing guitar. I started keeping track of how much money I made on those gigs to see if I could justify quitting one of the other part time jobs.

It turns out keeping a detailed list of my music income has served me well over the last 10 years. I was eventually able to justify quitting all of my day jobs and become a full time musician, and since being a full time musician, I’m able to keep a finger on the pulse of my various streams of musician income. Just as a shop owner keeps track of her inventory and carries whatever products are in demand, I’ve been able to assess and adjust my inventory of music jobs that keep me in business.

Over the last 10 years the way I make a living has changed dramatically. I’ve never made a lot of money, but I’ve been able to make more each year despite the changes in the music industry and economy in general. Here’s my method and what I’ve learned along the way.

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Friday
Aug172012

I'm With the Band: Tips for Traveling Success

Whether you’re a part of the band, a helpful roadie or just a follow-you-anywhere fan, traveling with a musical group can be equal parts invigorating and exhausting. If you’re preparing to hit the road with a band, keep some basic travel principles in mind to ensure your musical adventure is as stress-free as you can make it, despite the hectic schedule and nights of activity you’ll surely face on the road.

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Tuesday
Aug142012

Cures for writer's block

Curing writer’s block is a common theme for musicians, authors, artists and creative people in general. I am going to provide some unusual means of getting some inspiration back for musicians specifically.

 
As a creative individual from time to time there will be difficulties in keeping the creative juices flowing from a music perspective. In many instances, music is inspired from feelings and the conveyance of that emotion. This is not just restricted to vocal music as instrumental pieces are also often born of a musicians’ head space with the intended goal of evoking similar sensations in the listener.


It makes sense to ensure you have means of refreshing your existential experience in order to have a ground for the expression of new ideas, sounds, arrangements and melody which are capable of proliferating your feelings through the music you compose.


Here are some ideas on how to refresh your musical head space.

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Jul242012

Why Copyright Is Evil

Copyright is dying – that is obvious to everyone. What isn’t obvious to everyone, especially in the music industry, is what a glorious and just outcome this is.

International copyright only came into being in 1891 – very recent considering the long history of music and the arts. And it was publishers – not artists – who convinced governments to foist the system on us. Prior to that, during monarchical times “copyright” was permission granted to writers by the king to print what was politically correct. It was government that introduced the entire concept of “idea ownership” – the basis of copyrights and patents – precisely so it could crush the ideas it didn’t like. Copyright has rotten origins.

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Thursday
Jul052012

How I’m Building a Career as a Songwriter

You know what I would have loved? I would have loved to have been part of the Brill Building history between the 1940s and the 1960s – where some of America’s most popular songs were written. If you don’t know the history, check it out on Wikipedia. Just a taste:

By 1962 the Brill Building contained 165 music businesses: A musician could find a publisher and printer, cut a demo, promote the record and cut a deal with radio promoters, all within this one building.
Or you know what also would be have great? Jingle writing between the 1940s and 1980s. What a sweet time to be a songwriter or a studio musician. Writing songs, recording them, hearing yourself on the radio, collecting big royalty checks – man, that would have been cool. But, alas, that era was very short-lived and we were not lucky enough to be a part of it. So what do we do? I’m not satisfied to just throw my hat in and say that it’s too hard to work as a songwriter. There are people out there doing it, and if they can do it so can I. I’m going for it.

Click to read more ...

Monday
Jul022012

What Do You Enjoy the Most About Being a Musician?

Last month, as a part of a competition I asked 400+ musicians what they loved the most about being a musician. Whilst looking through the responses I realised I had accidentally curated some insanely inspiratinal perspectives. I decided to put them into this poster, which I hope inspires you as much as it did me, enjoy!

 

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Monday
May282012

10 Reasons You Shouldn't Wish For Overnight Success

1. You won’t be mentally prepared to deal with all of the fame, fortune, and international attention. You will crash and burn. Remember what happened to Susan Boyle?

 

2. You won’t be well-rehearsed or experienced enough and your performance won’t be ready for overnight global attention. Remember what happened to Ashlee Simpson on Saturday Night Live?

 

3. Critics and fans will eat you alive for every little misstep you do, crushing your soul and spirit in the process. Whether it be a misconstrued comment to reporter, a silly tweet, a questionable photo, or even what you’re eating or wearing… you will have a target firmly painted on your forehead for all to take aim at.

 

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Tuesday
May082012

Making A Living Is The New Success

For more and more musicians, the idea of stardom seems to be further and further away. While some still see stars in their eyes, a great number have come to the realization that the goal is now a lot different, since just making a living in music can now be considered a success.

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Tuesday
May012012

How to Begin a Career in the Music Industry: Advice to the graduating class of 2012

So the big day is fast approaching. You are leaving the ivory tower of college in a few weeks and are about to enter the work force. Most likely the only thought on your mind is how to get a job.

The ideal is to have a job locked up and waiting for you before you graduate, so you can enjoy your last month at college. This is what all your friends in other majors are doing. The computer scientists are getting flown across the country and eating lobster. The engineers are meeting with on campus recruiters. The management and business students have already found a good position at the bank where they interned.

The music industry does not work this way. Very few companies hire in advance. Music companies are not structured to wait several months for an entry-level candidate to graduate college.  They hire when they need a body, not because there is an influx of new talent every spring, like some other industries. While this is frustrating, it actually creates a new opportunity.

Your goal as you enter the music industry should not be to find a job, but rather to develop a career. Getting your first job will be a byproduct of this process, but jobs are temporary and a career lasts a lifetime.

Think of your career development in four levels

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Tuesday
Apr242012

When ‘If Anyone Else Likes It, It’s A Bonus’ Isn’t Enough

What would be the worst-case scenario for you as a musician? You might think it’d be having precisely zero fans, or having people actively hate your music. But unless the hatred reaches Rebecca Black levels, at least it’s feedback you can use to improve what you do. In truth, the most damaging situation is having a small, gradually growing fanbase, getting decent feedback, but not seeing how it’ll ever take off enough to generate a decent income any time soon. Is this you? And what can you do about it?

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Friday
Apr062012

How to Handle Problems in the Band

Problems: they happen sooner or later.

Every group will go through some kind of major disagreement that could possibly dismantle the band. Huge levels of success won’t solve those issues; in fact, they tend to sharpen those differences even if you are bound my family (just look at the Kings of Leon or Oasis). So how do you handle those problems or minimize the damage?

Here are some tips to reduce the heat of the situation in your band:

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