Posts

12 Steps For Buying Martian Milk

12 Steps For Buying Martian Milk feature

By Johnny Dwinell

My favorite question to ask aspiring artists and songwriters is: “Do You Really Have a Plan?” and what EXACTLY is it? How EXACTLY are you going to make a living as an artist? This question is always good at separating the wheat from the chaff or in this case the real musicians from the people who just want to be famous. I have come to understand that people don’t have enough common sense in this world; however, there seems to be an epic famine of it in the music business. The weight and importance that comes with any individual’s dreams and aspirations of “making in the music biz” seems to be proportionately offset by their most ridiculous and bizarre battle plans/fantasies to achieve this noble goal. I am constantly AMAZED at how most artist’s/songwriter’s success strategies have some component that requires “winning the lottery” as a key action item necessary for success. Winning the lottery!!!

Huh?

Yes, like 22 planets HAVE to align at a precise time, all the rivers have to turn purple, and monkeys have to fly out of my butt for their plan to actually work. I don’t depend on that for my existence and neither do you! I’m certainly NOT going to depend on that for my future; especially the future of something as important to me as my music/business aspirations and dreams.

I have found that sometimes it is quite beneficial to compare the most complex far-reaching plans of action to the simplest ones that we take for granted every day to maintain a good perspective with regards to process and simple steps. So let me know what y’all think of this one!

12 Steps For Buying Martian Milk

12 Steps For Buying Martian Milk

Some of you are already thinking this is ridiculous, but hear me out. Imagine we meet a Martian, who has a BIG DREAM of buying milk. Regularly purchasing milk is his dream because with continued access to milk our Martian friend can actually build a spaceship to get home where his soul will be saved on Mars. So you need to explain to your Martian the exact process that he would have to take to not only successfully purchase milk, but also make the task repeatable. Remember, as remedial as this sounds, there was a time when you didn’t know exactly how to buy milk, either. Now it is so habitual you don’t even think about it. I stand by the mental exercise because for professional musicians, the methods they use to make a living are so habitual that they don’t even think about it.

I would break it down like this:

  1. First, the Martian would have to consistently work a day job so they can afford to purchase milk. Working consistently every day, means he can afford to purchase a gallon of milk. Remember, if he works one week, and gets that gallon of milk, then takes off the next week, he won’t have money to buy milk next week. Consistent work is paramount here. Who we are and who we become will ALWAYS be based on what we do consistently, NOT random events or luck.
  2. Next, the Martian would then have to actually BELIEVE that they could acquire this gallon of milk or he would just go through the motions and quit at every little speed bump. I would have to assure him that the dream is TOTALLY doable as long as he has a solid, intelligent, executable plan to make it happen.
  3. Next the Martian would need to stop talking about buying milk and get off the couch (exert some energy and forward progress) and somehow travel to a place where they actually sell milk.
    1. They don’t sell milk at Tiffany’s
    2. They don’t sell milk at Jiffy Lubes
    3. They don’t sell milk at Levi’s Outlet Stores
    4. They don’t sell milk at Home Depots, etc.
    5. They don’t sell milk at the Wells Fargo Bank
    6. He shouldn’t bother with these places. It IS POSSIBLE that he may find somebody randomly selling milk at these places but HIGHLY unlikely, so why base his return home on such a “low percentage shot.” I would recommend that the Martian stick to the grocery stores even if all his Martian friends are telling him they heard from a friend who heard from a friend who abducted a milk expert back in the 70s who said that you could go to these places. We need to focus on what’s happening NOW and where file9411272063260you find milk TODAY.
  4. I would tell him that you then have to walk into the grocery store and go all the way to the back, because that’s where they always stock the milk. This is a tall order for a Martian.
  5. I would encourage him to hold his head high and persevere through the anxiety and temptation while navigating through the chaos of people with their carts (who are undoubtedly STARING at my Martian friend causing self-esteem issues because he’s noticeably green), the terrorists on the motorized scooters who are out-to-get-you, the super hot honey-babies who could melt all the frozen stuff, the peanut butter, the Oreo cookies, the smelly people. He MUST forge through to physically grab the gallon of milk.
  6. I might have to restore confidence with my Martian if he went to the store during some kind FEMA-grade national disaster and there was no milk on the shelves! He would undoubtedly incur a faith crisis of some sort seeing as how I had PROMISED him that he could find milk at the grocery store!
  7. Then assuming the milk is in stock one day, he would need to also plot a course back through the same gauntlet of people and temptation towards the front where the checkout line is to complete the task of buying his first gallon of milk.
  8. I would explain that the checkout is where his 1st victory will occur, thus, the anticipation and excitement will certainly begin to settle in. I would further counsel him on how to contain himself because he is not done yet (as the milk is NOT quite purchased yet…or as my mother always says “It’s not soup yet”). After all, there may be a line, especially if he shows up on Friday after 5pm. So patience and a will to complete the task will be necessary here.
  9. I would also have to comfort him after getting right up in the line, the 1st one behind the person currently checking out (everybody is still staring at him like he’s a Martian or something), he’s breathing heavily, his excitement is growing only half as much as his nervousness only to get delayed even more. PRICE CHECK!!! (So close, yet so far away…) I would tell my Martian friend that he needs to wait and NOT bail out (when he is so close to purchasing the milk that his dreams depend on) solely because some lady makes him wait FOREVER so she can price check every item in her dangerously overflowing shopping cart by deploying all the store employees on search and rescue missions. I would have to talk him off the ledge again while this crazy woman is still making him wait longer by writing a check in 2014 that takes forever to process, then while she conscientiously enters every digit into her checkbook transaction log, puts her pen carefully back into its proper place, and then puts the checkbook itself back into its appropriate pocket in her purse (which of course she will have trouble finding).

10. Now!! It’s here! HIS TURN IS FINALLY UP! But wait, he would absolutely need to bring something to the cashier in exchange for the milk; his money. “You see, the grocery store is in the business of selling milk,” I would say to my Martian friend. “They don’t care that you’re the REAL Martian that America would surely love if they put one million dollars into marketing him, and they don’t care that you need this milk to get home. It still costs money if you want to purchase the milk, no matter how real or how amazing your circumstances.”

11. I would tell him that if he wants to create lasting relationships with people and companies that are important to his dream he would need to provide some VALUE for them, something more than a back-end performance-based deal. Their company consistently performs in this space and he has yet to prove that he can perform, much less perform consistently; AND he has yet to prove that his performances have value in the marketplace!

12. Next I would tell my Martian friend, after all the work and anxiety that he had to go through to get his milk, that he will have to do that EVERY WEEK if he really wants to get home.

So where do you have to go to buy your milk?

What are YOUR exact steps needed to execute your plan?

What are you doing on a consistent basis to move your agenda forward?

If you like this post, please SHARE it and/or LEAVE A COMMENT thank you!

[ois skin=”Bottom Post”]

 

 

 

Percentages and Branding

By Johnny Dwinell

I hate to say it but even though it is easier than ever before to make a living as an artist these days, artists are starving more and more in large part because they suck at business.  The most iconic Percentages and Branding team building imageartists we cherish today are literal business titans as well musical geniuses; they understand percentages and branding.  Artists like Madonna, Bono, Sting, Bon Jovi, Kenny Chesney, Tim McGraw, Daft Punk, Deadmau5, etc. truly understand how to operate as a business and what percentage is required to give away in exchange for an opportunity to grow the brand.  They also have a talent for team building which is a requirement to any success story.  Even with a huge record deal, do NOT underestimate the vital business necessity of team building.

 

Percentages and Branding

Think about Levi Strauss for a second.  Everybody is aware of Levi’s.  Hell, back in the cold war days one could make a fortune selling boat loads of Levi’s to the sheltered, ravenous-for-Western-culture residents of the U.S.S.R.  Levi Strauss & Co Percentages and Branding Levi imagedelivered the first pair of blue jeans in 1873 after Jacob Davis (not from the Levi Strauss family), a tailor who regularly purchased bolts of denim cloth from the Levi’s wholesale house, came up with the idea of using copper rivets to reinforce the main stress points of pants (such as the pocket corners and the base of the buttonfly) after one of his customers constantly came in to reinforce torn pants with the cloth.  Jacob Davis couldn’t afford a patent for his idea so he wrote Levi suggesting that they go into business together and they obviously came up with a plan to split the percentages.  I’ll bet this plan was heavily weighted in favor of Levi Strauss as they were taking all the risk by putting up all the capital to pay for the patent.

Here we have a symbiotic relationship where 2 separate entities work together to create something great and have to somehow split the profits.  Next, we need to remember that there was no internet so how on earth would you expose your brand to the masses across the United States in 1873?

 

Distribution

Think about this using your business brain for a second in today’s world.  If you can graph-backgroundpurchase a set of Levi’s from Wal-Mart for $38, and we know that Wal-Mart requires a profit to be made, how much do you think Levi’s sells the jeans to Wal-Mart for?  Back at the beginning of the 1900’s the biggie distributor was Penney’s (A.K.A. J.C. Penney)  Levi’s HAD to sell to J.C. Penny to get their product exposed and out into the market place.  It was much later AFTER the brand was solidly constructed that Levi Strauss began opening “Outlet Stores” where consumers felt they got a discount and Levi’s not only took 100% of the money (saving on distribution percentages) but also ONLY sold Levi’s.

You see, if you get a record deal the major label is going to try to take about 91% of the revenue created from record sales; this was standard back in the glamor days of the music business.  The sad reality is that Kelly and I have many friends who are/were famous stars selling millions of records and they never made a dime selling records, they only made money touring.  So why on earth does everyone always feel they have “made it” once they get the deal?  Why would you want a major label deal when you could make far more revenue selling 50,000 units yourself that you could selling 700,000 with major label??

Worry About What You Are Getting Paid

I was thinking of this after remembering a couple separate business deals that never came to fruition because the artists got hung up on percentages of possible future revenue.  They were laser focused on what they were going to be paying out vs. what they were going to make.  I created these deals to deliver DSC03525-Brevenue only on the back end (mostly because the artists were broke) so anytime the artist was making money, we were making money.  In other words, if we generated $10 of gross revenue, and we each got $5 a piece, then the artist had $5 that he didn’t have before, right?  The common response to this proposal was “I have my heart and soul into this project, I can’t give you 50% to market it, man.  It’s not you; it’s the principle of the matter”.  Currently each of these artist’s principles, along with $2.54 is good for a coffee at Starbucks and nothing else; they have each sold ZERO copies but thankfully retain 100% of absolutely NO pie.  It was funny, one of the artists argued that all his friends, none of whom had ever had a record deal (thus no frame of reference on how that all works), told him the 50% back end percentage was too much (WTF, if I was Warner Bros offering to take 90% they would have all said YOU MADE IT MAN!).  Another artist argued that if he hired me to sell light bulbs he wouldn’t be paying 50% on the back end, which is true.  But then again everyone is familiar with a light bulb and nobody is familiar with this artist.

There is a difference between branding and simple sales, exposure and distribution.  Most artists don’t get this.

Do you?

My advice to y’all is that if you can hook up with anyone willing to work at exposing and selling your CD’s for a percentage on the back-end; that makes your deal “performance based”.  This means that everyone makes money together or you don’t make money together.  Performance based contracts ensure that the entity providing the service is “putting their money where their mouth is” by basing their compensation on their ability to create revenue as very few people will put the time and energy into a project without realizing some kind of compensation.

If you like this post, please SHARE it and/or LEAVE A COMMENT thank you!

[ois skin=”Bottom Post”]

 

How Do You Want To Be Perceived?

how do you want to be perceived feature

By Johnny Dwinell

 

How do you want to be perceived?

 

IMG_1672Do you want people to see you as a great artist?  A great writer?  Innovative?  Intelligent?  On the way up?  A survivor?  A maverick?  An icon?  Maybe an outlaw?  We artists always think about how we want to be perceived in the very best way; with huge dreams and aspirations.  We imagine ourselves at the top with all the trappings that come with huge success, like money, influence, adoration, etc.

 

 

How ARE you actually being perceived?  What do people think of you right now?  Do they perceive you as you want to be perceived or are you experiencing frustration, friction, doubt, condescension, how do you want to be perceived Bang Head Here Poster imagealienation, and overall lackluster and underwhelming feedback?  Wow, those are heavy thoughts, man, but as artists we are always hardest on ourselves and react to the negative inner voices which are a constant hurdle.  Ugh, it’s a daily battle for me at least, I promise you!

You see it’s the thoughts we focus on consistently and the work we do consistently that determines what exactly we achieve, which in turn dictates how people REALLY perceive us.  We can’t get a reputation based on future possibilities; on what we want to be.  We can only get a reputation based on the work we have accomplished; which is where we are right now.

To accomplish any artistic work we have to be courageous enough to be imperfect and anal (crazy?) enough to constantly search for perfection; quite the dichotomy, no?  We all have to take that first step of faith even though we can’t see the whole staircase; because I 20hISzX7promise you that you will NEVER see the whole staircase!  Think about this, the reality of your existence is never what you planned it would be; any well thought out, intensely prepared effort towards some goal never goes according to the plan.  David Lee Roth accurately described the “Law of Rock & Roll” by saying Murphy completely underestimated the problem!  To be effective at managing the constant change in life (especially the online music business which is a constantly moving target) you have to be smart enough to know that you don’t know (or at least smart enough to know that you did know yesterday, but today the game has completely changed).  You have to be secure enough to admit that you don’t know (to yourself as well as others).  Finally, you have to be smart enough and secure enough to seek and accept help where a change is required to get one step closer to greatness.  Those that don’t, simply get lost in the din and never really rise to a level where they can make a living at the art they enjoy so much.

That’s really sad, but totally preventable!

You have to work harder than anyone else, and truly understand that while creating great art is paramount to your highest dreams, ensuring people are exposed to it is also mission critical too.  After all, it is only after people are exposed to your art that they will develop a perception of you and your art, right?

Re-evaluate your process for creating great art; constantly tweak this.  Then, realize that exposure is the next MISSION CRITICAL step to influencing perceptions.

If you like this post, please SHARE it and/or LEAVE A COMMENT thank you!

[ois skin=”Bottom Post”]

 

10 Music Marketing Facts

Music Marketing feature

By Johnny Dwinell

Here are 10 facts for your consideration with regards to the music business, marketing your music, and overall perspective on what some of your favorite stars had to go through to “make it.” Even back in the heyday of the record business, it still required hard work, y’all. You would also be surprised to learn how many of your favorite history-changing iconic records wouldn’t, and almost didn’t, happen because of marketing snafus. Bottom line is that you need more than just an epic record to make it.

10 Music Marketing Facts For Your Consideration

 

  1. Guns & Roses Appetite For Destruction – was released and available to the public in 1987; the firstMusic Marketing American single was Welcome to the Jungle released in October, 1987. The record didn’t “break” until 1 full year later. After 1 year of hard work, the Geffen Records marketing machine wasn’t getting the traction that it wanted partly because MTV refused to play the 1st single video Welcome to the Jungle. This record was just about to be considered “Dead on Arrival” when A&R executive Tom Zutaut pled with label owner David Geffen to throw some weight around and somehow get MTV to play Welcome to the Jungle. David finally acquiesced and got MTV to add the video to their after-hours rotation. It was played once on a Sunday morning at 3am; the phones LIT UP at MTV and the rest is history. If it hadn’t been for the one phone call David Geffen made, that record never would have broken through. This is proof positive that it takes far more than simply recording one of the best records ever made to reach an audience. If you build it you have to TELL THEM ABOUT it before they will come!
  2. Van Halen – recorded a demo that was passed on by every record label –  TWICE!!! Gene Simmons from Music MarketingKiss produced and shopped a demo (with On Fire and Runnin with the Devil from the first record on it) and then bowed out after Kiss’s management told Simmons that they had “No Chance” of making it. Then Warner Bros. label head Mo Ostin and Ted Templeman (who would become their producer) saw them live and decided to take the risk and sign the band. Proof that relationships are just as important as good music when it comes to creating momentum (this would have been the third time Warner Bros. took a serious “look” at Van Halen). This proves that Van Halen’s lane was not in the studio as much as it was a “live” phenomenon. Once they were able to get some execs to see them live, they got it.
  3. KISS – was signed to Neil Bogart’s Casablanca Records in 1973 and released their first effort Kiss in 1974. Music MarketingWhen that record failed to gain traction in the marketplace, they quickly came off the road to record Hotter than Hell also released in 1974. When that record failed to sell well, Kiss was pulled off the road immediately to record their third release Dressed to Kill which contained Rock and Roll All Night and fared a bit better than Hotter Than Hell but still didn’t sell well. At this point Kiss and Casablanca Records were almost bankrupt. The band’s records sold poorly but they were definitely developing a reputation as an amazing live show. So, in a “Hail Mary” fashion the band released Alive! (their pseudo live record) with the intent of capturing the live show on tape. It did just that and not only saved the band but also saved Casablanca Records. Proof that hard work, perseverance, and grit was mission critical to Kiss’ success.
  4. George Michael George was a HUGE multi-platinum (25 million records) international star with the early 80s duo called WHAM! before he shot to superstardom as a solo act with his amazing first solo effort called Faith which sold 25 million copies worldwide. In between George’s first record, Faith, and his second solo record Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1, CBS records was purchased by Sony. As a result, his trusted friend and artist, beloved label executive, Walter Yetnikoff, was let go. George had a “Key-man Clause” in his contract with CBS stating that if Walter left for any reason, George’s contract was null and void. Also during this time, George wanted his audience to focus on the artistic quality of this latest effort as opposed to his ass in a pair of jeans. He refused to appear in any videos to promote the record. The new label head, Tommy Mattola, was miffed not only that George wouldn’t appear in any videos to promote the record but also because he felt slighted that George had no interest in even giving Tommy and Sony a chance to work with him. As far as George was concerned, the Japanese and specifically Sony had no clue about “art” and he didn’t want to participate in any business arrangement with them. The result was arguably George’s masterpiece. Listen Without Prejudice, Vol. 1 sold half as much as the predecessor Faith simply because Sony sat on it and refused to market it. HE WAS FAMOUS ALREADY AND FANS LIKE ME DIDN’T EVEN KNOW THE NEW RECORD WAS RELEASED. Again, the lesson is that you need to create great art, and then someone has to tell people about it; which means…it has to be marketed! Gasp!!!
  5. Winger If you listened to our podcast interview with Paul Taylor, you would know that Paul met Kip Winger when they toured together in Alice Cooper’s band. Their demos were passed on by every record label multiple times before Alice’s producer, Beau Hill, agreed to produce the band. BOOM! Atlantic signed them. Proof that it takes more than good music to get that elusive record deal! Work on your relationships!
  6. Bruce Springsteen Bruce recorded Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J., his first major label release, for Columbia in 1973. After he slaved over that record and handed in the masters, Clive Davis told Bruce that he didn’t hear any singles they could use on the radio to promote the record and told Bruce to write some more before he would release the record. Consequently, Bruce quickly wrote Blinded by the Light and Spirit in the Night both of which were released as singles (and didn’t do that well, FYI). Manfred Mann’s Earth Band covered Blinded by the Light and it went to #1 in 1977. This proves to me that Bruce, who was young and real smart, knew enough that he didn’t know and went back to the drawing board to give the label what they requested to promote the first record. While it didn’t do much to help the first record, it certainly paid off in the end. You can never go wrong doing a little more work. Ultimately Billboard Magazine named Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J. #398 of the top 500 records ever recorded in large part due to the last songs he wrote and recorded for that record.
  7. Sony Purchase of Columbia Pictures Entertainment and CBS Records Wanna know why Sony purchased these 2 hugely expensive assets back in the late 80s? The Betamax video tape format. Sony ignored the first of the 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing, The Law of Leadership; it’s better to be first than to be better. Sony believed that because their Betamax format was (arguably) better than VHS, consumers would naturally pick Betamax over Phillips’ VHS format. Subsequently Sony was not so quick to license and release uncut movies in their original format on the Betamax platform, and Phillips was. For the first time, people could own their own copies of movies but mostly on VHS, so consumers chose the VHS. Sony spent $1 billion dollars developing the Betamax and lost. Buy purchasing CPE and CBS Records, they ensured that whatever new “widget” they come up with next would have plenty of entertainment titles to flood the market and ensure that time-to-market was expedient.
  8. In 1991 Columbia Re-Signs Aerosmith to a $30 Million Dollar Deal ($8 Million Signing Bonus) While the Band Still Owed Geffen Records 3 Releases Wha? That’s right, why would a label exec with common sense make a deal like that? Who knew if Aerosmith would be relevant or even alive after 3 more releases and tours? Answer: the Aerosmith Catalog. Remember Aerosmith’s Truckville commercials for Dodge with Just Push Play? The band received $1.8 million + 1 car for each of the band members in exchange for 1 year of licensing. I don’t even want to know what they got for this Nissan Commercial with Dream On. Cha-CHING!! These are the publishing cash registers. Are you taking advantage of this on YouTube?
  9. Def Leppard’s Hysteria Def Leppard got their deal and released On Through the Night then got some Music Marketingtraction with High & Dry which sold about 250,000 copies on the strength of Bringing on the Heartbreak. Deeply in debt to their record label, they went into the studio to record Pyromania which was a history maker and history changer. They made enough money to satisfy the debt to the label for all three records and make a nice profit. Wanting to move away from Mutt Lange’s lengthy and arduous production methods and Mutt citing exhaustion, the band signed Bat Out of Hell co-writer, Jim Steinman, to produce Hysteria. Then, they changed their mind when they realized that Steinman’s different production methods would alienate their audience and went back to Mutt Lange. Def Leppard still had to PAY Steinman AND Mutt Lange. All this on top of the fact that the drummer lost his arm when he lost control of his Corvette. Bottom line; the band was so in debt just for Hysteria that they needed to sell 5 million copies to break even. Talk about GRIT!!! Hysteria went on to sell more than 20 million copies worldwide and is still their best-selling record to date. BTW, Pour Some Sugar On Me was a last minute addition; it almost didn’t make it on the record. I submit this is as proof that you need to get off the couch and get to work. Even after you get the deal, the “dice are still tumbling”. Could you handle adversity in your artistic career like that?
  10. Zac Brown Band Did you know that Zac Brown had been playing more than 200 dates a year since 2002Music Marketing LONG before he was ever signed? He opened a music club/restaurant with his father called Zac’s Place in 2004 (Zac was the chef so enter 90 hour work weeks plus the band duties). A developer purchased the restaurant; and the band used the profits to purchase a tour bus and get back on the road. The band couldn’t get any attention from the labels who told Zac that he was “too county for pop” or “too pop for country” until they sold a TRUCKLOAD of self-released CDs on their own. Consequently, when the majors started to pay attention, Zac Brown came to the negotiating table with a HEAVY HAMMER and has one of the best record deals in town which includes his own label imprint called Southern Ground. This is how you need to do it today people. HARD WORK is required to make yourself a success. Nobody is going to press the “EZ Button” and do it for you!

 

If you like this post please SHARE it and/or LEAVE A COMMENT thank you!

[ois skin=”Bottom Post”]

 

5 Ways To Find Artistic Courage

Artistic Courage feature

By Johnny Dwinell

 

cour·age

[kur-ij, kuhr-] Show IPA

noun

1.   the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear; bravery.

I wholeheartedly disagree with this definition of courage that I pulled from Dictionary.com.  I know I am quite courageous; however I have never been without fear.  I have never taken a huge risk in any aspect of my life, whether it be business-wise or artistically, without some level of fear.  What I chose to rely on was my gut instinct, some intelligence on the risk factor (aka a plan of some sort), and my ability to execute job requirements needed to move forward; but never fearlessness.  I also know for a fact that every brave act, if articulated honestly by the doer, was not without fear, there was some greater cause or duty that had to be done that overrode the “Fight or Flight” mechanism of the Reptilian part of our brain.  Therefore, I would redefine courage (and artistic courage) as the bravery or ability to move forward and experience difficulty, danger, pain, etc., in the face of fear.

Artistic Courage

Courage is simply mission-critical for any artist; I just don’t see how any art can be created and ultimately shared without some level of artistic courage.  The first sign of artistic courage presents itself when we first get onstage in front of people; we are absolutely vulnerable at that moment.  We are courageous when we let anyone listen to our songs as they are our thoughts, feelings, secrets, our TRUTH; again we are vulnerable.  We are quite vulnerable in the face of some kind of perceived judgment on our songs and/or lyrics by critics, or industry professionals.  Some artists deal with this necessity for courage well, and some suffer incredibly every time they need to be courageous, but they still show up.  The artists we know and admire must be courageous otherwise we simply wouldn’t know about them, right?

I think, to a degree, we are all capable of artistic courage but some of us need a little support and momentum to begin really believing; in ourselves, which will ultimately be interpreted in our art.  I truly believe that winners, to be successful, MUST read because knowledge is power; so empower yourself.

Here are 5 ways to jump-start your artistic journey and build up a little more courage, by reading them and then considering some different perspectives on life, work, and the huge undertaking of our artistic efforts.  If you ask around your inner circles, you will probably be able to get your hands on most of these.  If you can’t, I have included links to Amazon so you can get started right away.

 

“The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Guide To Higher Creativity” by Julia Cameron–

Artistic Courage Artists way imageThis is a book, actually a program of sorts, and when you purchase it you must also get a blank journal; all total about a $25 investment.  When it was presented to me, I was told, “Don’t start this until you can commit to the whole program of 12-weeks”.  It was one of the most amazing journeys of my life.  It requires about 1 hour a day where you write your “morning pages”.  This exercise of writing 3 pages per day essentially teaches you to “get out of your own way” artistically and shut off the censorship component that we all have inside of us.  I LOVE this book and require every one of our artists to read/participate in it.  Every writer here in town has gone through this program and they all speak highly of the experience.  You can purchase this book in any big retailer like Barnes & Noble as they usually have them in stock; it’s pretty popular.  I have provided a link HERE to get it online.  Remember, get the blank journal too!

 

“The Craft of Lyric Writing” by Sheila Davis –

This book was recommended to me by a Artistic Courage The craft of lyric writing imagefriend back in 1995 who is now a serious hit songwriter.  Again, this book is revered by so many top writers it should be issued to any aspiring songwriter/artist; and YES Kelly and I require all our artists to read it.  I remember finishing this book and completing about 20 or so songs that had been “on the shelf” so-to-speak.  I had been shoving “10 pounds of sand into 5 pound bags” because I was trying to add sections to these songs where the structure didn’t require these sections.  Once I learned about all the different kinds of song structures, it was like an epiphany of sorts.  BOOM!  They all got finished.  I hope you have a similar experience.  This book isn’t as popular as The Artist’s Way so it typically isn’t stocked in the bookstores.  I recommend purchasing it online.  You can get it HERE total investment is about $18.00

 

“The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change” by Steven R. Covey –

This book has been a best seller for decades.  It was published originally in 1989 and has sold over 15 million copies; because it will change your life!  Think of this book as a tool box for learning how to take care of business and stop procrastinating; then apply these lessons to your artistic endeavors.  HERE is the Amazon.com link.  Investment ranging from $3-$7.  Book retailers will almost always have a copy in stock as well.

 

“Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill –

This is NOT a book about getting “rich” per se.  Artistic Courage Think and Grow Rich imageNapoleon Hill was commissioned to write this book by steel tycoon Andrew Carnegie back in 1908; it was subsequently published in 1937; that was a 29-year research and writing project.  Andrew Carnegie granted Napoleon Hill access to hugely successful business men like himself, Henry Ford, J.P. Morgan, John D. Rockefeller, etc. to find out if there were similar traits that made these people more successful than others; and as it turns out there were.  This book is about eliminating negative energy, honoring your imagination, positive thinking, persistence, and several other common traits that contribute to success no matter what your line of work is.  This was an amazing read that is just as relevant today as it was when it was originally published 76 years ago.  You should probably be able to pick this up just about anywhere.  HERE is the Amazon.com link.  Total investment $9.67

 

“The Power of Positive Thinking” – by Norman Vincent Peale

Best quote: “Action is a great restorer and builder of confidence. Inaction is not only the result, but the cause, of fear. Artistic Courage The Power of Positive Thinking imagePerhaps the action you take will be successful; perhaps different action or adjustments will have to follow. But any action is better than no action at all.”  I think that about sums this book up, don’t you?  My translation you may recognize, creativity is like cooking pasta, throw the spaghetti against the wall, if it don’t stick, KEEP COOKING!  HERE is the Amazon.com link brand new paperback for $7.47

 

If you like this post please SHARE it and/or LEAVE A COMMENT thank you!

[ois skin=”Bottom Post”]

 

5 Strategies That Guarantee Success

Strategies That Guarantee Success feature

By Johnny Dwinell

Artists are mostly brooders; we are, let’s face it.  We worry too much.  We are constantly tripping about where we should be and therefore look down on ourselves about where our careers currently are and as a result, we get depressed, crotchety, upset, and some of us get downright mean.

I got news for you, this mental process is breaking the 10th commandment; THOU DSC_0059SHALT NOT COVET.  This isn’t a religion thing; it’s a great piece of 2000 year old advice.  Somebody already articulated the damage and ruin that Coveting creates ages ago!

Coveting is a killer of artists, creativity, and careers; oh, and a completely nonproductive exercise.  Yeah, yeah, I know, most of us can’t help ourselves; it’s what makes us artists!  However, mastering the art of avoiding nonproductive thinking and behavior is what makes us successful in whatever endeavors we choose to pursue.

It’s what makes us mature.

It’s what makes us true professionals

It’s what puts food on our table

It’s what makes us ready!

Here are five Strategies that Guarantee Success

  1. Don’t Look In The Rear View Mirror: David Lee Roth summed it up best by saying “If you Strategies That Guarantee Success rearview imagekeep on looking in the rear view mirror, man, you will drive off the road and keep on going.”  We can grasp a simple calming perspective by internalizing the fact that our past is EXACTLY that; the past.  There is literally NOTHING you can do about the past, so spending 1 second of energy on it is an EPIC fail and a colossal waste of time.  The past is what got us here; our successes and failures are part of who we are so we have to embrace them.  I mean, WTF else can you do with them that will help your future?  When I was a pro artist and depressed, my manager, Barbara Strauss, used to make me sit down and think about how far I have come and everything I accomplished to get where I was.  I highly recommend this mental exercise as it always helped me kick the blues.
  2. Focus on What You HAVE Instead of What You Don’t Have: I promise the answers to all our future career questions and successes lies within the blessings we currently have, NOT in what we don’t have.  Think about that for a second, it logically HAS TO; every artist that we know did not break and become the icons we love by getting something they didn’t have.  Simple math really.  Any thoughts we entertain about what we don’t have is a cop out and quite damaging as it only sets up excuses to quit; negative thinking will never help us succeed, so STOP IT.
  3. You Can Only Control RIGHT NOW: Strategies That Guarantee Success Let's do the work imageThe past is the past, the future is the future the ONLY thing you ever have control over in your life is RIGHT NOW.  So worrying about the past is a waste of time.  Worrying about the future a fruitless search.  We have to take action and work TODAY…RIGHT NOW!!  Think about that, it’s the ONLY way we can possibly succeed and realize our dreams.  Huge selling artists like Motley Crue, Brantley Gilbert, Florida Georgia Line, Ratt, and the Zac Brown Band thought this way.  They all had success and record sales LONG before they had record deals, y’all.  They went to the negotiating table with the majors that ultimately signed them with a ton of leverage.  How could they have achieved all the record sales and success they did BEFORE they got signed if they were sitting around saying, “if we just had a record deal so we could get paid, then we could be stars.”  They didn’t wait for anything.
  4. Work: Work creates momentum.  We have to work.  When we are feeling really down about where you are there is literally no better remedy for the artistic blues than redoubling our efforts towards our careers.  I get it, you don’t want to get out of bed when you’re depressed, but often times the simplest task of working on SOMETHING that advances your career will create the feeling of momentum in your head and make you feel better; the depression starts to subside.  Motion creates emotion!  Working out doesn’t hurt either!  Physical exercise is a GREAT remedy for depression
  5. Ignore the Haters: Especially the most powerful hater which is our own internal negative Strategies That Guarantee Success Haters make us famous imagevoice!  Again, listening to that voice or any other hater only leads to one result; an excuse to quit.  Hollywood will tell you that if you are an actress, you need to be beautiful, perfect and really young to break.  Try telling that to Sharon Stone who didn’t “break” until she was 35 and went on to an amazing career including an Oscar for her role in “Casino”.  Try telling that to Rodney Dangerfield who had a family and sold aluminum siding up until he broke in comedy at age 45.  How about Joaquin Phoenix who overcame a hair-lip and a hump back (which he still has btw) to become a star.  How about Melissa McCarthy who is obese but still a brilliant successful Hollywood comedic actress.  Every label in town passed on Van Halen TWICE before they finally got signed to Warner Bros.  Nobody wanted to sign Winger until their producer went to bat for them.  Etc, etc, etc.  I promise you for every reason you and your haters can create to predict your failure, I can find 10 people that overcame the same hardships and succeeded.  It’s all up to you; nobody else.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this post y’all!

If you like this post please SHARE it and/or LEAVE A COMMENT thank you!

[ois skin=”Bottom Post”]

 

Are You Failing or Conceited?

failure Is not an option SIZED

A reporter came and asked Thomas Edison, “How many times are you going to fail at creating the light bulb?” Mr. Edison replied, “Son, I haven’t failed! I’ve simply discovered another way not to invent the light bulb!”

Are You Failing or Conceited?

“Failure is really a matter of conceit. People don’t work hard because, in their conceit, they imagine they’ll succeed without ever making an effort. Most people believe that they’ll wake up some day and find themselves rich. Actually, they’ve got it half right, because eventually they do wake up.”
Thomas A. Edison

Genius!Are You Failing or Conceited? Thomas Edison image

Thomas Edison was an artist

He was an artist because he had more grit than anyone else; thus, he remains an icon in our history even though he didn’t invent the first light bulb.  (He did, however, invent the first incandescent light that would last and was practical)

Edison had enough grit to contradict society when they laughed at him, chastised him, tried to embarrass him, and publicly accused him of failure with regards to his creativity/inventions.

Do you have this kind of grit?

Edison had enough grit to push back on thousand-year-old beliefs like religion and government; he cared not what anyone thought of him, he only kept creating and making sense.

This grit, this unshakable attitude, is what I feel must be at the core of all TRUE artists.  You must have this outlook to keep creating and ultimately succeed or you will certainly fail at it.  The world needs your art!

At Daredevil Production, I like to instruct our artists that creating is just like food-pasta-bolognesecooking spaghetti; you throw it against the wall…if it don’t stick…KEEP COOKING!  In other words, we EXPECT a certain level of failure to achieve success!  We EXPECT pot holes, pitfalls, challenges, and huge hurdles, and we RELY on them to get us one step closer to greatness!

 

All great achievers in our world will admit that they have failed more than they’ve succeeded.  It was all the lessons they learned from the failures when applied to their famous achievement, that guided them down the correct and most productive path; thus producing the triumph.

Whoa, think about that!

Here’s another thought to ponder, “The ability to make good decisions come from experience, and all experience comes from making bad decisions”.

I freaking love that one!

In plain English, let me save you the suspense, you are going to fall off your horse in front of everyone.  You are going to make mistakes.  You are going to fail along the way; people you know and people you don’t know will be MORE THAN edited IMG_8002HAPPY to point out these failures!  Knowing this, we need to shift our energy away from WORRYING about failing to LEARNING from the INEVITABLE mistakes and moving forward!

Belief and execution of this thought process absolutely gets us artists one step closer to greatness!

Here are some AWESOME Thomas Edison quotes that I thoroughly enjoyed reading and consuming to write this post.

How do they specifically apply to the thought process of your music career and your art?

Have they or will they change the way you approach your art?

I would LOVE to hear your thoughts so leave a comment!

“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”
Thomas A. Edison

“Five percent of the people think;
ten percent of the people think they think;
and the other eighty-five percent would rather die than think.”
Thomas A. Edison

Are You Failing or Conceited? miss opportunity“We often miss opportunity because it’s dressed in overalls and looks like work”
Thomas A. Edison

“Genius is 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration.”
Thomas A. Edison

“The three great essentials to achieve anything worthwhile are, first, hard work; second, stick-to-itiveness; third, common sense.”
Thomas A. Edison

“When you have exhausted all possibilities, remember this – you haven’t.”
Thomas A. Edison

“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is to try just one more time.”
Thomas A. Edison

“Vision without execution is hallucination.”
Thomas A. Edison

“Negative results are just what I want. They’re just as valuable to me as positive results. I can never find the thing that does the job best until I find the ones that don’t.”
Thomas A. Edison

“What you are will show in what you do.”
Thomas A. Edison

“Just because something doesn’t do what you planned it to do doesn’t mean it’s useless.”
Thomas A. Edison

“i never did a day’s work in my life. it was all fun.”
Thomas A. Edison

“There is no substitute for hard work.”
Thomas A. Edison

“Your worth consists in what you are and not in what you have.”
Thomas A. Edison

“Discontent is the first necessity of progress.”
Thomas A. Edison

“To do much clear thinking a person must arrange for regular periods of solitude when they can concentrate and indulge the imagination without distraction.”
Thomas A. Edison

“There is time for everything.”
Thomas A. Edison

“This problem, once solved, will be simple.”Are You Failing or Conceited? The problem
Thomas A. Edison

“Unfortunately, there seems to be far more opportunity out there than ability…. We should remember that good fortune often happens when opportunity meets with preparation.”
Thomas A. Edison

“Everything comes to him who hustles while he waits.”
Thomas A. Edison

“There’s a way to do it better – find it.”
Thomas A. Edison

“I never did anything worth doing by accident, nor did any of my inventions come by accident; they came by work.”
Thomas A. Edison

“Being busy does not always mean real work. The object of all work is production or accomplishment and to either of these ends there must be forethought, system, planning, intelligence, and honest purpose, as well as perspiration. Seeming to do is not doing”
Thomas A. Edison

“Nearly every person who develops an idea works at it up to the point where it looks impossible, and then gets discouraged. That’s not the place to become discouraged.”
Thomas A. Edison

“There is no expedient to which a man will not go to avoid the real labor of thinking.”
Thomas A. Edison

Are You Failing or Conceited? hell there aint no rules“Hell! there ain’t no rules around here! We are tryin’ to accomplish somep’n!”
Thomas A. Edison

 

 

 

If you like this post please SHARE it and/or LEAVE A COMMENT thank you!

Are You A Sellout?

Sellout feature

By Johnny Dwinell

What is the tribal dynamic that we encounter when other artists and purists admire a great artist (and for that matter great art) upon discovery and reject them (or at least get sour) after the work ascends into the stratosphere of pop culture and begins making pant-loads of money?

Should You Sellout?

Why is there an implication that this kind of popularity somehow degrades the quality of the art and artist? How exactly does this kind of regard or esteem for a certain piece of work really make the artist less of an artist?

Sellout Neon sign imageIs this because a mass audience cannot truly experience the same art in the same way with the equal intensity as a fellow artist and/or original fan would?

Who cares? Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. As an enthusiast, I only need to be concerned with the fact that I LIKE the art, not how or why other people like the same art and certainly not how many other people like the same art. I would also need to consider the fact that If I was an artist with my finger on the pulse of the community, or if I was an original fan, I was simply EXPOSED to the brilliant work earlier than everyone else; after all, if its REALLY good its REALLY good, why wouldnt I expect everyone else to react in a similar fashion?

Is there some kind of grief, sorrow, or sense of loss that arrives when too many people join a group or tribal experience that we like to associate with? Is there a psychological dilution of perceived value (or ownership) in this artwork to the (early) beholder when mass quantities of people are exposed to it and hop on the bandwagon?

I know that I feel the closest to God when Im creating, so as an artist, I would define Heaven as the ability to create whenever the muse arrives unencumbered by monetary responsibility. In plain English, man, I wanna create when I wanna create and not have to worry about paying the bills.

But wait

Make a Living Creating

The only way to really accomplish this (my) idea of Heaven is to actually make a living creating; otherwise the production has to wait until Im done with my crappy job and any other hurdles, challenges, and/or speed bumps that life is going to throw my way today.

An artists job is to create, emote, and continually improve the quality of the works, right? By this definition then, an artist is truly improving everyday they are making a living at it. My artist experience was GREATLY improved and elevated the very first time I went on the road. Up until this point we had lots of rehearsals and maybe 1 or 2 gigs a week at the most. Then, BOOM, we did 28 shows in 28 days. WOW, we were a different band after that run, truly professional because we had the luxury of applying any knowledge, mistakes, epiphanies, and creativity to the very next performance which was happening today! That was an artistically amazing growth experience.

I would argue then, that If the ultimate purpose of art is communication, and artistic communication is derived from the sharing of said art, then isnt an artist becoming more of an artist the more people are exposed to the art?

More exposure means more communication is happening, right?Sellout exposure image

More exposure means more people are being moved by a brilliant piece of work, right?

How then is someone who wants to make money as an artist, presumably constructing an environment allowing them to grow into a better artist, to be considered a sellout?

Is it jealousy amongst the have-nots?

Thou Shalt Not Covet!

On the inside here in Nashville, I can tell you the true artists understand the ups and downs of an entertainment career. They understand that there are fluctuations in success AFTER they begin having hits, AFTER their mainstream career has diminished and thus, appreciate any successes of any artist because they know its special when it happens. I also feel this is good karma, man.

I get that some artists get to that elite top-tier status and begin creating art to satisfy the pressure from the suits (and ultimately their own spending habits); thus, making art for the purpose of making money. I agree this degrades the quality and intent of the art. But thats their trip, not ours. As artists, we alone are responsible for, and therefore must control the quality of our art.

Extraordinary art is a gift!

I propose we all take a breath and just experience the art in front of you. Open up to it. Learn from it. Feel it. Grow from it. And keep the negativity to yourself.

Id love to hear your thoughts on this!

If you like this post please SHARE it and/or LEAVE A COMMENT thank you!

[ois skin=”Bottom Post”]

 

What Is The Best Predictor Of Success?

Success feature

By Johnny Dwinell

 

Answer:  True Grit

Success True GritFor months now I have been telling y’all that you should be reading the Lefsetz Letter.  Bottom line, if you’re in the music business, Bob Lefsetz always provides and intelligent perspective for indie artists backed up by real data.  I REALLY want to share this blog that Lefsetz posted in September (I just got around to reading it last night as I caught up on all my blog subscriptions via a nasty bout of insomnia) regarding a study about how grit trumps talent.  I’m gonna offer up a few comments and strongly suggest you read the Lefsetz post and subscribe if you already haven’t.

Success Study Shows Grit Is The Best Predictor of Success

The headline here is a study done by University of Pennsylvania psychology professor Angela Duckworth where 100% of the 2,800 subjects studied showed that grit, which is defined as passion and perseverance over long-term goals, is the best predictor of success.  Wow, read that again because it’s so important!  Grit is the best predictor of success even when negatively offset with poor/mediocre talent!  (I proved this my damn self, LOL)

I can tell you with absolute certainty that my experiences as an artist, songwriter, and a producer constantly confirm that in the entertainment world, sticking around longer than everyone else is willing to, will pay off eventually.  Frankly, the longer you have to wait for the “big break” the more prepared you will be to handle it emotionally and business wise.  .

Truthfully, in my artist career, I wasn’t going to EVER win a vocal talent contest; I was a very mediocre singer.  I was really pitchy and I took tons of lessons to get my voice to a point where I could pull it off live without driving people out of the club; I literally clawed my way to “middle management” as I like to say.  Since my voice was mediocre, that meant I had to write good songs with lush background harmonies in the choruses, have a KILLER band around me (all of whom were better musicians than me), and be fascinating on stage to offset my ho-hum vocal ability.  It was time and perseverance that allowed me to learn my lane (i.e. my strengths and weaknesses) and adapt to formulate my portion of our act that was going to keep people coming back.  We were 4 kids from small towns in Southeastern Wisconsin who somehow managed to make a living touring for the better part of 6 years; all because we had grit.

We took risks.

We weren’t afraid to fail.  Did we fail?  HELL YES!  FYI, our first Midwest tour in 1988 lasted about a year and grossed around $120,000 (about $240,000 today)…it cost $128,000!!!  After that, we KNEW how to be profitable; we LEARNED from our mistakes and continued on.

Admittedly, back then, speed bumps pissed me off.  I was so damn negative in my head (like mostSuccess True Grit artists) but we still moved forward.  We all learned to EXPECT challenges on a daily basis and eat them for breakfast.  We learned that negativity was nonproductive; focusing on exploiting what we had instead of bitching about what we thought we needed turned out to be far more productive.

Ya know something else that comes to mind?  Grit spawns at least 1 immediate tangible benefit; respect.  When we moved to Florida to be developed by Bud Snyder with the Allman Brothers, we were blessed to be the recipients of constant good will from every angle simply because people respected that we had the balls to move down to Florida to follow our dream.  Many mission critical favors were handed to us simply because people knew or felt that we had grit.

Winston Churchill said “Responsibility is the price of greatness”.  The longer you continue to pursue excellence in the music business, the more you learn about how much responsibility is required to make it happen; the closer you get to greatness.

I hope you take a few minutes and read this post from Lefsetz.  I hope you realize that despite the negative voices in your head, which we ALL have, you can make a living in the music business.  Job requirement #1 is grit.

How bad do you want it?

Get to the Lefsetz post HERE.

If you like this post please SHARE it and/or LEAVE A COMMENT thank you!

[ois skin=”Bottom Post”]

 

How To Successfully Produce Yourself

produce yourself Producer Wanted image

By Johnny Dwinell

Ok, ready for the answer??

YOU DON’T.

At least most of you don’t and shouldn’t.

Why would you produce yourself?

Money?file000819242154

Huh?

I mean would you home school yourself for college to save money and claim you’re an economics major? Then go forth unto the economics world with a “home spun” degree and try to impress people and try to get a job with it?

No?

Does that sound preposterous?

Why, EXACTLY, does that sound preposterous?

Are you afraid a professional might see you for what you really are…A home schooled novice with a lot of heart? But they see a novice nonetheless.

Why is everyone so misguided in thinking that they can produce themselves musically?

I think of the lines from John Mayer’s “No Such Thing”

Produce Yourself John Mayer image“So the good boys and girls take the so called right track
Faded white hats
Grabbing credits
Maybe transfers
They read all the books but they can’t find the answers”

This is so important because the answers aren’t in a ProTools book or at a recording school, or at your best friend’s home studio.

The answers are in the doing – the experience. The answers are in the journey. The answers are in 10,000 hours of experience to be exact (reference Malcolm Gladwell’s “The Outliers”).

Would you trust your brain surgery to someone whose third cousin’s dog-walker has a best friend who knows a guy who owns some surgical equipment? (Insert clip of Jeff Spicoli HERE. “Relax, my old man is a television repair man. He has this ultimate set of tools!! I CAN FIX IT!”)

It still baffles me how so many artists and writers I speak to every week behave like total SERIOUS artists with regard to the care and sensitivity they put into their creative process only to trust their future career to some local hack button-monkey with a crappy home studio to render the project in the form of a final mix. Yes, that hack may be you if you have the home studio. THEN, inevitably, they take the substandard recordings and put them up for all to see in the world while they suffer (like every artist does when it’s time to reveal their art) because they are always concerned about what the world will think. All of us artists suffer during the reveal stage. Personally, I always took comfort in knowing I worked with some stellar cats so if someone didn’t like the music it was a taste thing, it wasn’t because they were turned off by the inadequate recording.

I know some of you are very green and simply can’t hear the subtle differences between a great track and a crappy track. That’s my point! Making records is not taught at engineering school. That knowledge comes in only one form: on the job training. You HAVE to be able to hear the difference, man. You HAVE to be able to hear if the bass player is playing behind the kick drum. You HAVE to be able to hear if the drummer is keeping a pocket of some kind. You have to understand SPACE. You have to HEAR these things first before you even start making decisions on the arrangements.

“You’re playing exactly 15 milliseconds behind the kick drum”

This reminds me of a hilarious and famous industry story of an intern engineer working at a world class recording studio here in Nashville. This engineer went to school for ProTools and still hadn’t mastered the art of LISTENING (or keeping his mouth shut for that matter) which is what you had to do with analog tape before we had ProTools. This engineer makes a comment to one of the most famous and well-respected bass players in the business. The engineer says, “Hey man, I’m looking closely at your bass track here (referring to the ProTools clipboard) and I noticed that you are actually playing exactly 15 milliseconds behind the kick drum hit. I’ll be happy to ‘clean’ that up for you, dude.” Everyone in the session gasps; there is a huge awkward silence.

The bass player responds, “Hey, MAN, it took me my whole f**king life to learn how to play EXACTLY 15 milliseconds behind the kick drum, but if you feel you need to ‘clean it up’ and scoot that track forward, be my guest!” and he walked out. Of course, the session broke out in laughter and the engineer felt like a moron, mostly because he was.

Do you see the dichotomy here? How can you possibly be so sensitive towards what the world thinks about the final rendering of your project when you know you TOTALLY cut corners on the production just to save money? You treated your musical project budget like a third-world surgery effectively getting a surgical procedure in a back alley at midnight in the ghetto because it saved you money.

Now you don’t know. You don’t know if they didn’t like the music because of the amateur recording or because they didn’t like the music. YIKES! At least with a pro recording you can eliminate some things for people to turn their nose up at!

Here’s some TRUTH to ponder on.

Engineering is an ART FORM in and of itself.Produce Yourself Artform image

Producing is an ART FORM in and of itself.

Mixing is an ART FORM in and of itself.

Mastering is an ART FORM in and of itself.

Quite often a professional project will have separate people responsible for each of these art forms because it is rare to have someone who effectively and professionally handles two or more; there are many people who make good livings just performing one of these tasks. Think about that for a second.

A good engineer does not guarantee a good producer or mixer.

A good producer does not guarantee a good engineer or mixer.

A good mix engineer does not guarantee a good producer or tracking engineer.

All these professional recording engineers, producers, and mix engineers were MENTORED at some point. They learned from constantly being around other people who did it for a living and then applied their own unique spirit, creativity, and work ethic to that knowledge to become who they are today

Why wouldn’t you wanna learn? Why wouldn’t you be excited to get around some professionals just for the education of it all? Why don’t you wanna know just as bad as you wanna make it? Even if that education means you can afford two songs instead of ten. Thinking like this will only improve your art, ya know? Watch how many people take you more seriously with a KILLER product.

Look, maybe it’s just me, but I remember getting my first shot at becoming a professional musician with the opportunity to sign with a HUGE regional booking agency that would put my band on tour. The FIRST question I asked was, “Who’s your best band?” I HAD to know what the competition looked like! Who we gotta beat, man? I just wouldn’t ever settle when it came to my music; I wanted it to be GREAT!

Always shoot for the stars!! If you miss them you’ll hit the moon!

The other part of the brilliance of this approach is connections. Every single industry in the world is built on connections. Your current occupation is built on connections. Hell, half of y’all reading this probably got your current job through a friend or family member; think about that. People get ahead because of who they know. Life is not fair in ANY industry so why pretend it is here in the music industry? The money you spend on a pro producer is going to pay off ten-fold. You will develop friendships, connections, information resources, mentorships, and you’ll get a KILLER sounding product with which to go forth as a sheep amongst the wolves.

You’ve got to LIVE, LIVE, LIVE! Life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death!

Produce Yourself Auntie Mame image

If you like this post please SHARE it and/or LEAVE A COMMENT thank you!

[ois skin=”Bottom Post”]