So who out there is aspiring to make a living in the music industry? I know I am, and I'm pretty sure I can't be the only one... I mean I'm flattered that you would read my blog and listen to my music just out of enjoyment and perhaps quirky habit, but I have to believe that out of the several thousand people that drop by here every week there might be a few people on a similar path or trajectory to me!
The reason I'm asking is simple. I gave a masterclass in Los Angeles today and, as is more common in my sessions these days, I asked everyone in the audience (maybe 20 people) who had a website. I also asked who had a Facebook page, a Facebook profile, a twitter profile, and who was blogging. There wasn't a single person in the whole room that had all of those things functioning as one cohesive communication unit. Some of the cats had various pieces of the basic puzzle together, but no one had completed the tricky pieces. You know the ones... The part of the puzzle that is all blue sky and clouds that you think might never get finished. Well check it out, getting yourself online and communicating with your fan base is WAY easier than doing those sky filled puzzles, and it's something you could have up and running by the end of the day if you took a couple of hours to look into it.
Today's class really showed me that despite the fact anyone under the age of about 30 was more than likely educated in basic technology, so few people in education have made the connection between what's out there in terms of tools, and what's needed as an aspiring musician of any level to build a career. And they certainly don't seem to have integrated many ideas into the higher education system to prepare their students for the real world out there. I ended up spending at least 50% of the class talking about ways the students could enhance their online presence and improve their visibility, and I think some definite progress was made. Giving classes like this one and finding out where people are at with these subjects is an incredibly interesting part of the research for my book, and as I sit here adding the finishing touches to it I want to hear from you! Anyone who has read this blog a few times has no doubt heard me talk about the process of being online and of communicating with their audience. I want to hear what questions you have left about that so that I can address them in the book, and really make this a tool that people from all walks of the music industry can learn from.
And before you ask me about touring as an independent musician... that's going to be a separate book because there was no way I could fit all the information I have on the subject into just a couple of chapters. I would be short changing you if that's all I wrote about touring. I've been out there as a sideman, as a leader, and been all over the world amassing some crucial experience. And not all of it was a good time. I think it's those times where it was tough that I learnt the most, and I can't wait to share some of those stories with you, and more importantly the solutions I had to come up with to deal with problems both on the road touring, and at home booking the tours.
So TALK TO ME!! leave me some comments, and let me know what issues you are having with your music, your products, your ideas, your content. Whatever it is, I want to hear about it, and I want to make sure it gets covered in the first edition of the book. I've been working flat out researching tons of stuff for you over the past year, and I hope you get to improve your situation, whatever that might be, from learning from my mistakes and not having to go through them yourself. As you read this you're out there, in your own real world, and I want to hear what's going on in it. Maybe you have an idea but don't know where or how to start implementing it, or perhaps you've started putting content out there but aren't sure how to take it to the next level. I want you to ask me all the kinds of questions I was asking myself when I first got into this online realm, and through communicating with each other about it we can all help each others ideas have a much higher chance of success.
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Everything possible, patience is key, and hard work is obligatory!