Since you’ve been reading my blog and know how I roll, you can probably figure this one out. (Read this fantastic post by Eric Barker for the science.)
The most visible are consistently more rewarded than their performance merits.
That’s why Nickleback has sold over 6 million albums. They’re everywhere, whether you like it or not. Magazines, blogs, radio, tv, etc. Pretty much everyone knows about them. Yuck.
So what’s going on here? Why is this? Is this a giant troll that the world is going to unveil in a few years? (a la Andy Kaufman’s style).
Nope. Once again the peculiar human brain is at work.
Cognitive Fluency: The ease with which an idea is recalled directly relates to how the brain processes it. Information that’s easy to recall is treated as more true and important than other information.
Long before our band was in their current incarnation, one of the names we went through was The Cask of Amontillado (based off that AMAZINGLY metal story by Edgar Allen Poe where a guy is buried alive.) I still love the story, but whenever we’d mention our name to someone they’d get confused. Even worse, no one in the band could actually spell Amontillado without looking it up. (haha, I know, I know!). So we changed our name, and people remember. Lesson learned.
Flip on youtube and you’ll find fifty million people who can play their instrument better than you ever will. They’re 12 and they play years ahead of many professional players.
Who do we think of when we think guitar gods? It’s not jUssGTR33, it’s Dimebag Darrell.
Talent can only do so much. If people have to strain to remember anything about you, you’re selling yourself and all your hard work short.
Be visible. Be easily memorable. Promote.
Derek is an MBA student and bassist for Onward We March, a Dallas-based Progressive Metal band. Their first EP The Golden Vine will be released Q3 2010.