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Satchstet
post Nov 16 2011, 02:45 AM
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http://www.metalinjection.net/its-just-bus...s-money-touring

Seems like more and more that music is truly becoming a labor of love...........doesn't seem like there is much money in it anymore. Not even and POTENTIAL money in it. I mean the BIG U2 or Bon Jovi type money........Seems like you can't even just get by. Kind of depressing.......
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Cosmin Lupu
post Nov 16 2011, 09:03 AM
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I totally agree smile.gif and I think that everyone here having a band which has made it to this point (mid-level touring) can state the same. When I spoke to Ivan in Romania, he told me of some incredibly low rates at which bands are payed in Serbia. What about that case? If those guys in the USA make so little money, it means that in other countries musicians should also tour and have other sources of income, otherwise they'd die or worse smile.gif


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Todd Simpson
post Nov 16 2011, 10:32 AM
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I've written extensively about this very top in my instructor forum but to make a long story short, take heart. The days of "value added plastic" (CD's/DVD's) are gone. Big acts can make money touring, but smaller acts struggle to break even doing live shows for the most part. The trick is really to get you or your band across the threshold from being a local, to a regional, to a national act. At that point, tour money can be enough to live on if done wisely. But it's not just about touring.

At this point in the industry, it's about putting together multiple revenue streams.
1.)Touring
2.)Merchandise
3.)Songs for Hire
4.)Appearances/Lessons
5.)Private Gigs
6.)Endorsements
and above all
7.)Licensing.

That last one is the biggy. If you can license your music to a TV show, Movie, Video Game or commercial, You can do really well financially. Once you establish yourself as a business (a few forms in most places) and create some music and go through the copyright process for your band name etc. You are ready to start selling.

It won't come to you, but you there has never been a better time to be a musician. Gear is cheap, you can put together a home studio that would have cost as much as a house about 10 years ago. You can use social media to get yourself out there. Skip the record lable. This is the age of DIY (Do It Yourself)

Start with social media (youtube / facebook) and get ready to spend wads of time pimping yourself/band. In a perfect world, we would just create music, and the rest would take care of itself. Sadly, we live in this world, not the perfect one. But again, the playing field is more level than ever. Go forth!

Todd


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Cosmin Lupu
post Nov 16 2011, 06:17 PM
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QUOTE (Todd Simpson @ Nov 16 2011, 09:32 AM) *
I've written extensively about this very top in my instructor forum but to make a long story short, take heart. The days of "value added plastic" (CD's/DVD's) are gone. Big acts can make money touring, but smaller acts struggle to break even doing live shows for the most part. The trick is really to get you or your band across the threshold from being a local, to a regional, to a national act. At that point, tour money can be enough to live on if done wisely. But it's not just about touring.

At this point in the industry, it's about putting together multiple revenue streams.
1.)Touring
2.)Merchandise
3.)Songs for Hire
4.)Appearances/Lessons
5.)Private Gigs
6.)Endorsements
and above all
7.)Licensing.

That last one is the biggy. If you can license your music to a TV show, Movie, Video Game or commercial, You can do really well financially. Once you establish yourself as a business (a few forms in most places) and create some music and go through the copyright process for your band name etc. You are ready to start selling.

It won't come to you, but you there has never been a better time to be a musician. Gear is cheap, you can put together a home studio that would have cost as much as a house about 10 years ago. You can use social media to get yourself out there. Skip the record lable. This is the age of DIY (Do It Yourself)

Start with social media (youtube / facebook) and get ready to spend wads of time pimping yourself/band. In a perfect world, we would just create music, and the rest would take care of itself. Sadly, we live in this world, not the perfect one. But again, the playing field is more level than ever. Go forth!

Todd


Well said Todd! I am thinking about all these things for my bands and slowly but surely, we'll overcome all the obstacles smile.gif it takes a lot of faith but we'll get there smile.gif


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Nov 16 2011, 06:23 PM
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Yeah, it's hard, and the discussion in the comments is also very interesting as well, people state their own experiences there.

In Serbia, there is really no rock/metal scene, it's gone. Only some scattered bands who are barely making it, and usually playing covers from Thursday-Sunday to make some money from their instruments. Currently we are seeing revival of acoustic bands, there are less members in the band, thus they get more money, so it pays out. Big cover bands are rare, and they keep their positions very very tight, because the market is small, and there is always another cover band waiting in line to get to the couple of clubs that offer some money. So you can make like 50e per person on standard club show, this is for high profile bands, do some wedding here and there, make 50-100 more and go through the month like that, minus expenses, probably around 400-500e if the month is good, which is again not enough if you work such a job.

Musicians prices are not down only because of the low standard. Today, "everyone" can come into the club after several rehearsals and play. They will play for as little as 10e per head, they don't care, it's a side job for students and similar. So, with that "competition" what can real musician do? Unions don't cover musicians, there is no law to say that you cannot play without a paper, so anybody can play. And musician is musician, he has family, has to bring food to the table, has to play, even if it means for 20e per night, better something then nothing. People say there is more money in folk music market, but I wouldn't say that the situation is that much better there as well.

Tommy Tedesco wrote in his book: "If you are in town that is limited musically, leave". Where? What to do? Fortunately, technology is advanced enough so we can earn money online, and play in bands only because we like the music. That is the biggest motivator. I play in two bands on the side, rock&roll/country band and stoner rock band, and I enjoy it, and consider it a hobby, and way to express myself musically, and also to be within the musicians community. I hope, when money is out of the equation, some bands will again make something creative, just for the fun of it, and just for the love of it. one day, and that day may come sooner then I think, I will form a blues band too, and make some cool blues songs, that should be fun, because blues is really really really down on the ladder in terms of making money smile.gif

In addition to that, I agree with Todd, using online services is a must these days, and earning that way is very good way to earn as a musician. One more thing about Serbia, PayPal is not supported, so that is a problem if you want to do some business. Hard to manage, but here we are, doing our best.


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Daniel Realpe
post Nov 16 2011, 11:57 PM
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I agree with Todd, people still love music, they will never stop doing that, they will always try to look for new performers, bands, to take their imagination somewhere further

I find myself sometimes wanting to find that next cool guitar player who is going to blow me away, or that band who is going to really sparks my emotions,

But they do have to be different, yet not so different, it's finding that balance and right image/performance that'll take care of the band growth by itself. People nowadays easily can share something they like through social media, so that's an advantage, before you could only hope to be on TV or radio,

This post has been edited by Daniel Realpe: Nov 16 2011, 11:58 PM


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Satchstet
post Nov 17 2011, 01:02 AM
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I am just sad that the people who are really talented and devoted to being very accomplished on their instrument really seem to have very little chance of making a really good living doing it. Just doesn't seem fair.......but as Todd said......we don't live in a perfect world we live in this one......... sad.gif
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Cosmin Lupu
post Nov 17 2011, 09:31 AM
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For instance, in Romania, bands are not too well acquainted to the idea of sustained online marketing. They are just starting to discover things and it smells like a little chaos still, but hopefully, things will settle into place soon enough. My bass player friend - the one whose album was digitally released on Friday (I posted a thread about him here -> https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/guitar_fo...howtopic=41466) He already won 100 bucks out of sales in 2 days. But the guy understands a lot about online marketing and took the time to document himself and apply stuff.


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Ben Higgins
post Nov 17 2011, 10:42 AM
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In some ways, this is nothing new.. it's just more noticeable now than it was 30 or more years ago because we have the internet and people can spread the news. Bands have always struggled, even back in the 'golden years'.. how many bands from that 'classic' NWOBHM broke up and gave up ?

While we're on the subject, us musos and bands have to get over a little attitude hurdle in order to survive and that is: The thought that we deserve to make it. I've met so many people in the past (many in my own band, and I also used to carry this attitude) who believed that just because they had good material (in their opinion of course) and really wanted to make it bad, that that was enough to get given the sun, moon and stars. Thankfully, I've seen the light since then and in the words of Clint Eastwood in that classic western, Unforgiven ; 'Deserve's got nothin' to do with it' wink.gif 'Talent' or skill isn't enough to be given a golden ticket, you have to work goddamn hard at what you do, and do things that are scary and make you uncomfortable, break out of the comfort zone and learn new skills (internet, business etc). In many ways it's annoying that we have to take on the role of things that we're not good at or not interested in, like business, internet marketing etc, but in reality it's exactly what you have to do. If you're not good at some aspect of the music biz, then teach yourself and get good at it because you'll have to know it.. or pay someone else big bucks to do it for you.

I don't really know what point I'm meandering to but I guess I'm in the middle, I agree with Todd and the rest of you. It is hard, it can and will suck, but it's also there for the taking and only you can do it.

Here's a couple of blogs that gave me a good boost.. I read them again if I need a kick up the a*s biggrin.gif Geoff Thompson is a martial artist, former club doorman and now an author and film maker.

http://www.geoffthompson.com/detailArticles.asp?id=99
http://www.geoffthompson.com/detailArticles.asp?id=57


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Todd Simpson
post Nov 18 2011, 01:11 AM
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QUOTE (Cosmin Lupu @ Nov 16 2011, 12:17 PM) *
Well said Todd! I am thinking about all these things for my bands and slowly but surely, we'll overcome all the obstacles smile.gif it takes a lot of faith but we'll get there smile.gif


Thanks smile.gif Putting together your own "street team" is a great idea as well. essentially, involve your fans in your success. Here is an example, you have a contest on say youtube, where your fans or anyone covers one of your songs and sings/plays, whatever. The winner gets something nice (hopefully some vip tickets to your show and some gear/schwag from one of your sponsors). Once the entries are up (all youtube videos of course) encourage each participant to get as many people as they can to comment on or "like" their entry video. Now you have your fans, pressing their friends, to listen to your music (done by them) and leading them to your youtube channel. So leveraging your fans to create more fans smile.gif

Todd

QUOTE (Satchstet @ Nov 16 2011, 07:02 PM) *
I am just sad that the people who are really talented and devoted to being very accomplished on their instrument really seem to have very little chance of making a really good living doing it. Just doesn't seem fair.......but as Todd said......we don't live in a perfect world we live in this one......... sad.gif


So man up, grab your boot straps and PULLLLL!

smile.gif



QUOTE (Daniel Realpe @ Nov 16 2011, 05:57 PM) *
I agree with Todd, people still love music, they will never stop doing that, they will always try to look for new performers, bands, to take their imagination somewhere further

I find myself sometimes wanting to find that next cool guitar player who is going to blow me away, or that band who is going to really sparks my emotions,

But they do have to be different, yet not so different, it's finding that balance and right image/performance that'll take care of the band growth by itself. People nowadays easily can share something they like through social media, so that's an advantage, before you could only hope to be on TV or radio,



Well said smile.gif "Going Pro" has never been easy. Only now that social media has provided everyone with the potential for an audience does everyone have an actual shot. If your music is good, post it, share it, tweet it. Folks will share it and eventually you will gain an audience. Being able to create an audience for yourself, your music, your whatever, is a critical skill. And just like playing guitar, IT TAKES TIME and PRACTICE smile.gif Not to mention the target is always in motion, social media changes constantly, so does your audience. Embrace it smile.gif

QUOTE (Ben Higgins @ Nov 17 2011, 04:42 AM) *
Here's a couple of blogs that gave me a good boost.. I read them again if I need a kick up the a*s biggrin.gif Geoff Thompson is a martial artist, former club doorman and now an author and film maker.

http://www.geoffthompson.com/detailArticles.asp?id=99
http://www.geoffthompson.com/detailArticles.asp?id=57


That guy is amazing! He is so right it's scary. Here is something from his front page.
---
"There is no invite into the room. (Success in any endeavor)

It is Self invite only.

You are the only one that can get you in and you are the only one that can keep you out.

-----

And my fav quote I think I've ever heard as of now, and I'm gonna make it in to a Tshirt! Same guy..

"you can’t mistake time served for talent gained."


Brilliant. The honesty of self required there is enormous. I've had students who have played for years and not progressed much due to semi coasting instead of defiantly, consistently, practicing their brains out. It leads to a resentment of music and musicianship. And to the mistaken idea that it just "happens" for some folks. As someone born with ZERO musical ability/talent, and termed "unteachable" by several music teachers, I can honestly tell you it won't just "happen" you have to fight it. Wrestle with it, own it, and above all earn it.

That's what is great about learning to play. Anyone you have ever heard really play well, has earned it. You can't fake it. It doesn't come cheap, but You can't buy it. You have to earn it.


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Ben Higgins
post Nov 18 2011, 09:42 AM
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QUOTE (Todd Simpson @ Nov 18 2011, 12:11 AM) *
That guy is amazing! He is so right it's scary. Here is something from his front page.
---
"There is no invite into the room. (Success in any endeavor)

It is Self invite only.

You are the only one that can get you in and you are the only one that can keep you out.

-----

And my fav quote I think I've ever heard as of now, and I'm gonna make it in to a Tshirt! Same guy..

"you can’t mistake time served for talent gained."


Brilliant. The honesty of self required there is enormous. I've had students who have played for years and not progressed much due to semi coasting instead of defiantly, consistently, practicing their brains out. It leads to a resentment of music and musicianship. And to the mistaken idea that it just "happens" for some folks. As someone born with ZERO musical ability/talent, and termed "unteachable" by several music teachers, I can honestly tell you it won't just "happen" you have to fight it. Wrestle with it, own it, and above all earn it.

That's what is great about learning to play. Anyone you have ever heard really play well, has earned it. You can't fake it. It doesn't come cheap, but You can't buy it. You have to earn it.


I'm so pleased you liked it... his use of English slang may be a bit difficult to understand (and he does miss out words and leave in typos occasionally) but I hope any non English GMCers are able to get the message from it.

It really is about application. Know what you want and apply yourself tirelessly to get it. Another thing he said in his book 'Watch My Back' (must read it !) was about people making excuses for not improving theirselves or achieving their dreams. He reminds us that 'It has to be hard, this is the apprenticeship !'

When he said that, everything clicked into place for me. Of course we're going to find it hard. We have to. Just because we've cultivated a skill on an instrument, it doesn't mean we still shouldn't need to work as hard as the next man who's working on the roadworks or in a factory. No matter what your skill or direction, you still have to earn it through sweat, blood, experience and determination. smile.gif

A hard life full of obstacles is our apprenticeship. Do we keep forging ahead with our apprenticeship and reap the rewards of experience and success or do we give up the apprenticeship, run away and start a 'new' one only to be faced by obstacles of a different variety ?


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Todd Simpson
post Nov 19 2011, 02:26 AM
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QUOTE (Ben Higgins @ Nov 18 2011, 03:42 AM) *
I'm so pleased you liked it... his use of English slang may be a bit difficult to understand (and he does miss out words and leave in typos occasionally) but I hope any non English GMCers are able to get the message from it.

A hard life full of obstacles is our apprenticeship. Do we keep forging ahead with our apprenticeship and reap the rewards of experience and success or do we give up the apprenticeship, run away and start a 'new' one only to be faced by obstacles of a different variety ?


Well said Ben smile.gif I've noticed this philosophy to be common among some of the best guitar players I"ve ever heard play the instrument. It seems to be a basic life lesson that can apply to just about anything, but seems to be very unpopular given the state of our "Now Now Now!" western culture. I have great faith in the power of music and the power of desire/drive to play music. Wanting anything bad enough can be it's own form of spiritual discipline. That is to say, the desire to play well can be strong enough to see one through the "hump" years of learning scales/theory/musicianship, etc.

I can't tell you how many people have said to me over the years, "man, I always wanted to play guitar" to which I can only reply "Me Too!" smile.gif


This post has been edited by Todd Simpson: Nov 19 2011, 02:38 AM


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Ben Higgins
post Nov 19 2011, 10:33 AM
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QUOTE (Todd Simpson @ Nov 19 2011, 01:26 AM) *
I can't tell you how many people have said to me over the years, "man, I always wanted to play guitar" to which I can only reply "Me Too!" smile.gif


That is priceless !!! laugh.gif


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Cosmin Lupu
post Nov 19 2011, 11:36 PM
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QUOTE (Ben Higgins @ Nov 19 2011, 09:33 AM) *
That is priceless !!! laugh.gif


+1 biggrin.gif when someone asks me how much time I need to learn how to play guitar, I should answer: 'all your life smile.gif but it doesn't take more than 3 chords to make someone happy' biggrin.gif


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Ben Higgins
post Nov 20 2011, 01:09 PM
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QUOTE (Cosmin Lupu @ Nov 19 2011, 10:36 PM) *
+1 biggrin.gif when someone asks me how much time I need to learn how to play guitar, I should answer: 'all your life smile.gif but it doesn't take more than 3 chords to make someone happy' biggrin.gif


That's right.. learning (anything) is a constant life long process which ends only when our bodies expire. If we can accept that concept then we let go of our attachment to reaching a 'destination' with our learning endeavours and we can just enjoy the journey. smile.gif


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Todd Simpson
post Nov 24 2011, 07:45 AM
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QUOTE (Ben Higgins @ Nov 20 2011, 07:09 AM) *
That's right.. learning (anything) is a constant life long process which ends only when our bodies expire. If we can accept that concept then we let go of our attachment to reaching a 'destination' with our learning endeavours and we can just enjoy the journey. smile.gif


Our Zen Master Ben! Well said smile.gif This thread is one my favorites ever here on GMC. I hope students find it as informative and inspiring as I have smile.gif Learning to "Enjoy the Jounry" is also something that takes practice. At first, it's so hard not to focus on the goal. Western society in general is soooooo goal focused. Many eastern philosophies and theosophies are based more on process and experience (e.g. Zen Buddhism, Shinto, etc.). The "goal focus" is so burned in to us that it sometimes get's in our way. When a goal seems to far out of reach for to long, it's very tempting to simply give up on it and move on. Sadly I"ve seen this in many fellow musicians over the years. I think music benefits when people are playing music as well as enjoying/listening to music. So each player lost, lessens us all just a bit.

Ben was giving some KILLER "Guitar Bushido" in chat the other day. It was along this same line. It was so good I wanted to write it all down actually. Hopefully he will see this thread and share some here in the forum as he often does smile.gif


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Ben Higgins
post Nov 24 2011, 10:38 AM
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QUOTE (Todd Simpson @ Nov 24 2011, 07:45 AM) *
Ben was giving some KILLER "Guitar Bushido" in chat the other day. It was along this same line. It was so good I wanted to write it all down actually. Hopefully he will see this thread and share some here in the forum as he often does smile.gif


Hahaha, I love that.. Guitar Bushido ! I'm going to use that somewhere.. I don't know how or where.. but I will wink.gif

I'll try to make sure that that chat gets published for open viewing..

I think I was talking about becoming better on the instrument (or any chosen art). We see someone who is amazing at their craft and we're struck with how 'difficult' it is to do what they are doing. It is indeed difficult if we were to try and do what they are doing from our novice state. But here is the 'secret'.. you can take any lick and make it easy. You can choose your fave Yngwie, MAB or Rusty Cooley shred lick and break it down to its bare essentials so that it is so easy to play even a relative beginner could play it through without making a mistake.

Of course, to do this you have to bring it down so it's very slow.. slow enough so you have time to think, enough time NOT to put your fingers in the wrong place. Give yourself enough time so you are not making a mistake every time you try to play it. Take something 'difficult' and make it easy. When you make something easy, you give yourself a 9/10 chance of playing it perfectly every time. If you multiply that perfect repetition with as many reps as you want to do that day (let's say 50 or 100) and mutliply that by a week, a month.. imagine how much quality, correct, beneficial practice you could achieve in a month.

That's all you have to do. When you approach it like that, guitar playing is easy. There's no physical struggle really, the practice part is easy. The difficult part is just having the discipline to do it whenever you pick up your guitar.

When you make something easy, you can do it easily and your practice will be effective. If you practice like this all the time you cannot fail to be world class. You absolutely cannot fail unless you consiously decide to scupper your own progress by giving up or deciding it's not happening quick enough.

Remember how diligent you were when you were learning something new for the first time ? All that concentration into getting something right ? Over time, we get better at something and we lose that diligence because we're confident in what we're doing. Now if you were learning a skill for a job then that's ok, it's not meant to evolve.. only to perform a task. But if we want to evolve then we have to maintain what is called the 'Beginner's Mind'.
If we lose our Beginner's Mind, we lose our diligence and attention to detail.

So, practice like a beginner.. every time you pick up the guitar. (For performing, just jamming or recording, it's different.. forget any notion of anything and just play) Our purpose is to get better at something so unless we keep that focus and consistency on practising as effectively and as perfectly as possible, we will struggle to improve.

So remember, it's all easy.. pick any lick on GMC from any video and you can make it easy just by the way you approach it. Do this, and you cannot fail smile.gif


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Saoirse O'Shea
post Nov 24 2011, 11:11 AM
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QUOTE (Ben Higgins @ Nov 17 2011, 09:42 AM) *
...
While we're on the subject, us musos and bands have to get over a little attitude hurdle in order to survive and that is: The thought that we deserve to make it. I've met so many people in the past (many in my own band, and I also used to carry this attitude) who believed that just because they had good material (in their opinion of course) and really wanted to make it bad, that that was enough to get given the sun, moon and stars. Thankfully, I've seen the light since then and in the words of Clint Eastwood in that classic western, Unforgiven ; 'Deserve's got nothin' to do with it' wink.gif 'Talent' or skill isn't enough to be given a golden ticket, you have to work goddamn hard at what you do, and do things that are scary and make you uncomfortable, break out of the comfort zone and learn new skills (internet, business etc). In many ways it's annoying that we have to take on the role of things that we're not good at or not interested in, like business, internet marketing etc, but in reality it's exactly what you have to do. If you're not good at some aspect of the music biz, then teach yourself and get good at it because you'll have to know it.. or pay someone else big bucks to do it for you.

...


+1 that 'deserve' and 'talent' have nothing to do with making it in the music industry. However, hard work may earn you enough to get by on but it also is no guarantee of success.

The bands and musicians that make it tend to be the ones that are very good at publicising themselves and networking. Most of them use professional agents and music industry lawyers, to do this. It goes back to what Todd says about using social networks, that helps in a digital age but it also helps if you (or your agent) has the right contacts and so can get your 'foot in the door'.

BTW just going back to Todd's other point about Eastern philosophy - yes they are more processual. There are some Western philosophers though who also are based in processual understandings - Bergson, Whitehead, Deleuze, one can also find it in Augustine and others... Nonetheless much of Western philosophy - and from this Science - tends to have a very monochronic view of time and space (and theology). Thus we tend to preference readings of, for instance, Hegel and Nietzsche to presume that their arguments are about the 'goal' and not the process. In the first instance, arguably, if you adopt a more processual view then Hegel's argument is not that supersession results in an imprves state but the process by which we achieve it. In the second one of Nietzsche's key quotes is 'man is a bridge' - we are part of the process/way and not the result. So as with most things meaning is really down to how you interpret.


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