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steve2470 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-18-10 11:08 AM
Original message
Need information about the music business
Edited on Sat Dec-18-10 11:25 AM by steve2470
To be more specific, my 14 year old son wants to go full-time, one day, into the music business as a performer. He hasn't made up his mind which instrument, etc. He'd probably be in a band playing rock or alternative. He might play guitar or be a keyboardist.

I fully support his desire. However, I want him to be realistic and be able to survive somehow while he works to achieve his dream.

Can someone 1- point me to some good websites with realistic information about the business and 2- give me any tips for my son ?

Thank you very kindly for your time.

Steve

on edit: corrected sentence

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taterguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-18-10 11:31 AM
Response to Original message
1. Just go to a bookstore and pick up a copy of The Cheese Chronicles by Tommy Womack
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MilesColtrane Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-18-10 01:43 PM
Response to Original message
2. Well, a good first step would be for him to pick up an instrument and start...
taking lessons from a competent teacher.

Learning to play requires real work, and some people lose their enthusiasm when they realize this.

Playing original music in a band is an "all in" proposition. If he wants to make enough money to eat, I would suggest that he learns enough to be able to freelance as a sideman.

I've freelanced for over thirty years and that route, while economically easier, is still fraught with insecurity.

My advice would be, pick an instrument that is in more demand - bass or keyboards would be good. There are million guitar players and drummers out there.

Learn to read music and chord charts. This increases your gig opportunities.

Learn some basic music theory: the function of chord changes, what scales go with what chords, the relationship of keys...

Learn to sing some tunes - If you can pull off singing lead on some songs...great, but at least be able to pick out a part and sing backup while playing.

Learn as many songs, from memory, in as many styles as possible, jazz standards, Motown tunes, classic rock tunes. This makes you more hirable and helps you learn about what makes a good song if you have any aspirations to write original material. (Even the Beatles, Dylan, Hendrix, etc. learned other people's music)

Learn some basic business chops. Be on time, have a good attitude, have gear that is reliable and doesn't break down on the gig, dress appropriately for the situation...

Here's a good music business primer.

http://www.amazon.com/Need-Know-About-Music-Business/dp...

This is a big one. Realize that the odds of you being a rich star are incredibly long. Don't do this unless you absolutely love it and can't live any other way.

Good luck to you and your son.




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steve2470 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-18-10 02:38 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Thank you very much for your time and good advice
I will make sure my son reads your advice. I want him to be happy with whatever he does, whether it be fruit picker or CPA or keyboardist. I think this information really helps !
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Kali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-18-10 10:35 PM
Response to Reply #3
6. this makes my heart swell
"I want him to be happy with whatever he does, whether it be fruit picker or CPA or keyboardist."

You sound like a GREAT parent. Good luck to you both!
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MrsBrady Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-18-10 08:13 PM
Response to Original message
4. be really, really good
and let him find out on his own what he wants to play.

I play three instruments, but my strength is in my songwriting and singing.

there is no magic.
i had no fall back, but am developing one now. it's not been the easiest route, but I wouldn't change a thing.
At one point in my life I qualified for an income tax credit as a single person, which means I really made no money.
I sometimes had to choose between food and guitar strings.
I have not had the breaks that some of my friends have had, but that doesn't mean I quit playing...
I just have had to find a job where I feel like can live with myself at the end of the day and feel like I am helping others.
My first love is performing. I still find opportunities to do that, but have never been able to break out of the "local" scene.
I have friends that tour Europe and are national acts now...I don't quit trying though.
By the way, these people aren't wildly famous and rich. They tour all the time, are not household names, but do well as indies.

Focus on just being really, really, really, really good.
It's an expensive hobby, and even a more expensive career. I've never even broke even.

I say go for it. But you have to be willing to live with the consequences -- good and bad.

But let him alone with it. If he doesn't practice or want to get gigs on his own -- he probably doesn't really want it.

There's lots of good and bad books, websites, etc on the subject. Just going to have to slog through it like the rest of us....

unless you have a bunch of money, can hire a music lawyer to get you in touch with the right people from the start, and spend a bunch of money on PR.
(not being sarcastic)
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steve2470 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-18-10 09:56 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. Thank you for your time as well
Every piece of heartfelt advice is so important to me, for my son.
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Bennyboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-18-10 10:45 PM
Response to Original message
7. A good thin as a fall back is to
get him into some production things. Lot so frustrate musicians get into the biz as a lighting director, producer, road manager, sound guy etc. And there are a ton of schools for that. Probably ten times more interesting than regular school. It is great knowledge anyway and if you are a musician it gets you hooked up with other musicians becasue you are working around them all the time.
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