This course kicks off An Insider's Guide to Today's Music Biz, a series of 9 courses designed to teach the ins and outs of the music business to bands, managers, and songwriters. Here, Steve provides tips on assessing your talent, committing to a plan, picking partners, figuring out financials, finding ideas, and surviving in what can be a tough business. Steve's experience, and his honest take on the ups and downs of the industry, will help anyone interested in breaking through be better prepared for the realities of getting by in the music biz.
Skill Level Beginner
- If you're looking to do something big in the music business, something great, getting your head in the right place is one of the most important and most often overlooked elements of success in the music business. I think in the beginning we all wanna believe in this romantic version of the music business where great artist and great music just rises to the top because we think that's the way it should be. But the fact is that's not how it really happens. In the real music business, great artists go unnoticed, great songs never get heard.
Inspiration alone is not enough. Success in the music business requires a healthy dose of calculation to help those great artists and those songs to fulfill their potential. It's been my experience from working in the music business for 36 years that if you cannot get your arms around the big picture of how this music business works. If you can't see it for what it really is, if you can't see what's really important then things will come undone somewhere along the way.
It's not something most music experts spend a lot of time on. Most folks would rather talk about marketing and promotion, how to make records, how to book a tour, how to manage your social media, any number of other important topics. And the fact is that those things are all important pieces of the puzzle if you want to be successful in the music business. But in the real music business things happen very fast or they don't happen at all. When things are moving quickly it's easy to get distracted, to lose sight of what's important in those key moments.
When that happens, having a handle on the big picture of the music business will help guide you on all those decisions, big and small, that you'll need to make and get right along the way. Understanding the big picture of what it takes to succeed is hugely important because there's so many things in the music business that you just can't control. Things like the musical taste of consumers, competition for those limited number of slots on radio playlists, for tours, for managers, agents, labels, what have you.
All the hidden agendas at work in the music business. Record company politics, all that stuff that's an inevitable part of it. The mind set of your partners is uncontrollable, they're willingness to work, they're capacity to deal with setbacks. The one thing you can control in the music business is your attitude, your head space that you bring to work every single day. In this lesson, I'm gonna share with you some of the most important big picture lessons that I've learned over 36 years in this music business.
Lessons you won't read about in a book or learn in some classroom. These are lessons learned from doing, lessons that will guide you the same way they've guided me. Let's get started.