The Music Business

For discussion of all general music topics, Favored Nations artists, Vai-related musicians and all other artists and bands.
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worldabomination
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The Music Business

#1 Post by worldabomination » Fri Apr 18, 2003 5:05 pm

So how many people here have a career in the music business?

How old are you and what do you do? How long did it take to get there?

Also, do you think it is hard getting a job in the music business?

Chris Brooks
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#2 Post by Chris Brooks » Fri Apr 18, 2003 7:18 pm

I have a (growing) career in the business. I'm a guitarist, but the money comes in from not only playing guitar, but sales of my CD, licensing the use of my songs for video background music, the occasional jingle, and guitar teaching.

I think when you're on a small level like me, putting your eggs in lots of baskets is the way to go to keep the money coming in.

I'm in my late 20s and "how long did it take to get there" is not an easy one to answer because you're never "there". "There" keeps moving as you get closer to it. What I mean is that if you plan your career and set short term and long term achievable results, the prize also moves along forward to keep you reaching for it.

I think in this day in age rather waiting for the industry to discover you or give you a hand, you have to make your own opportunities and be your own industry until the other one takes notice. I could write a book reply to this (!) but if you have something a little more specific I'd be happy to answer it if I can.

Chris

777
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The Music Business

#3 Post by 777 » Fri Apr 18, 2003 8:10 pm

Hey Chris,

I'm in my late 20s and "how long did it take to get there" is not an easy one to answer because
you're never "there". "There" keeps moving as you get closer to it.


Wow, "there" is an interesting question.

"There" can be fleeting for example:

Take Steve Lynch from the pretty cool 80's band Autograph, they sold lots and lots of records, toured
all over including supporting Dave era Van Halen and most reports have the guy is teaching for a living
in Washington.
And he was a great, and innovative guitarist who helped the two-hand rock thing with his book. (which
may have been the first on the subject)
He was 'there'! Poor guy deserves a lot more, though!

"There" can be a long road:

Next take Jennifer Batten, who is better than most guitarists alive, male or female.
She has released 2 incredible solo albums independently, and toured for years with MJ to pay the bills
and promote on the road.
Playing with Jeff Beck, it was a treat to hear her playing against the almighty and similarly initialed JB
8)
Her next solo release is likely to have major distribution and she has been hard at it for more than 15
years to get there, and she is one of the best.
She is 'There'.

We all might get there one day:)
Maybe not all, I guess but here's hoping.

Your on your way Chris, with an independent solo release and more coming. Best of Luck and I hope the road is not too bumpy :P

Regards,

Chris. :P
Last edited by 777 on Fri Apr 18, 2003 9:47 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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#4 Post by Chris Brooks » Fri Apr 18, 2003 8:30 pm

[removed after 777 revised his post and we took it to email where it probably belonged :) ]
Last edited by Chris Brooks on Fri Apr 18, 2003 9:38 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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The Music Business

#5 Post by 777 » Fri Apr 18, 2003 8:46 pm

[removed after 777 revised his post and we took it to email where it probably belonged :) ]

Ditto :) :)
Last edited by 777 on Fri Apr 18, 2003 9:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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#6 Post by Dave Swift » Fri Apr 18, 2003 8:59 pm

Mr. Brooks is right on here. He is making his living through music. He doing what many have failed to do. Of course he needs to promote his music and create new music to continue to increase his fan base, or he may end up fading away, but even if he does fade away, right now he's doing what many people dream of and that's what gives him the credentials to answer this question.

I completely angree that an artist needs to act ndependently in this day and age. Let the labels come to you if they want a peice of your music. A successful independent career could provide the leverage to get a record deal that would actually be worth while for an artist to pursue.

Congrats on the success of your record so far Chris.

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#7 Post by worldabomination » Sat Apr 19, 2003 5:10 am

Thanks for the reply's.

Well the reason i asked is i would like to make a living from it.

If i can't play in front of 20,000 people a night i want to do music for TV/film. If i cant do music for TV/Film i want to privately teach. If i can't do that....you get the point?

So i have lots of things i would love to do, some more so than the other.

How does one go about building there own empire? I know steve released his first album all by himself? Do you think it is easy?

Is it expensive?

Say in 5 years time i wanted to record and distribute a record i would have to have a stable job with a steady income before i get a loan to pay for it all, no one give money away :(

The bottom line is, i want a career in the music business and i won't stop at nothing. I love music and nothing will stop me from learning/playing/creating/working with it.

Phil.

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The Music Business

#8 Post by 777 » Sat Apr 19, 2003 7:34 am

How does one go about building there own empire? I know steve released his first album all by himself? Do you think it is easy?

Is it expensive?



Hey Phil,

Chris Brooks, who replied earlier has the goods on that question!
He has very sucessfully released his own solo record, and people around the world really dig it, Chris B, please spread the good word !!

As to your many ideas, my advice is two fold.
You can do all of them, but to be wary of spreading yourself too thin.
You want to achieve excellence in at least one endeavour, right?!!
It may seem obvious, but damn, if it didn't take me forever to work that out. :D :D

Regards,

Chris.

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#9 Post by Ricky Garcia » Sat Apr 19, 2003 9:29 am

I am making a living on beeing a guitarist. I am in my mid 20s and mainly teach and doing session work and playing as much as I can.

Its a really hard job for sure and you have to be carefull to also think about what happens when you get older and thinks havent worked out as you wished... you have to invest in your retirernment early enough as well.

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#10 Post by worldabomination » Sat Apr 19, 2003 10:21 am

So i suppose you need good savings just in case or another hobby that you like?

Well i like computers and can fix/build them and will have a qualification in that soon before i totally move over music college next year.

So if all goes bad i have something to fall back on.

Phil.

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#11 Post by Ricky Garcia » Sat Apr 19, 2003 11:05 am

worldabomination wrote:So i suppose you need good savings just in case or another hobby that you like?

Well i like computers and can fix/build them and will have a qualification in that soon before i totally move over music college next year.

So if all goes bad i have something to fall back on.

Phil.


Well its up to you if you wan to gor for a security or not... I have met people who put eversthing on one card and failed at the end with no security. A second leg on that you can stand is a good idea in my opinion or at least a job in the music buiz that is save... I will try to get a job at local high schools here as well since the have a high need on music instructors here in germany now... usally you need a special college degree for this but the need is that big that they take over regular prof. musicians.... this job will not termintae my abitions as becoming a "rockstar" though of course :-)

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#12 Post by worldabomination » Sat Apr 19, 2003 12:03 pm

I will probably end up with a job in a school. I would rather teach primary school then high school. It's better to teach them and get them interested when there younger i think.

I know the trick of the music business ;) You gotta have new to offer right? If you just do the same old thing no one will notice. You have to be original.

Phil.

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#13 Post by Reaper » Sat Apr 19, 2003 12:07 pm

worldabomination wrote:I will probably end up with a job in a school. I would rather teach primary school then high school. It's better to teach them and get them interested when there younger i think.


On the other hand, by the time you get to high school, a lot of the not-so-serious types have already been weeded out of the system (theoretically). If you wind up teaching the advanced courses (along the lines of AP music theory, advanced Jazz Band, etc.), you may wind up with some dedicated students. It all depends. You'd probably also want to take a good hard look at the school district.

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#14 Post by JCM » Sat Apr 19, 2003 12:08 pm

It's all about being original... the clones remain clones...

SEARCH WITHIN YOURSELVES!!! The answer is there!

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#15 Post by bobsbus » Thu Apr 24, 2003 7:13 am

Though there is a lot of money in the music biz, there are a lot more aspiring musicians than there is money to go around… by far. I think you have to stand out as being marketable and/or know somebody with resources in the business.

It’s rather a shame that so many really talented people can never make a living as a musician. It’s a hard road to take in life and there are many disappointments along the way. However, I think that, success or not, music is a high calling and I feel honored to be involved in the business at any level.

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