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  #16  
Old 08-23-2019, 09:30 AM
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If you are serious, go to the best school you can afford. Blackbird Studio has one in Nashville.

I studied composition, electronic music, and recording studio techniques in college and was hired right out of school into a career as a recording engineer/producer. My title is sound designer for film and video, or technically, Audio Post Production Design Engineer. Part of that is engineering and producing music for film and video, which includes writing and composing score music.

What I discovered is that a microscopic minority of folks fall into a career in music and get hired for their looks at 19 years of age. People reach their stale date for getting into performing at about 25 these days. Most others involved in the field study it and then practice the craft for years before they experience success.

I started in 1981 at the height of the music biz's first recession when a guitarist or music recording engineer couldn't get a-rrested, much less a job. Unbelievably, I was hired as the junior-most onto a team of eleven audio engineers at a TV network. I got every schlock assignment and odd shift on the planet for ten years while I honed my craft and grabbed every music assignment I could get. I transitioned into multi-track post production in about 1984. Within about ten years, though attrition in a field full of stress, sturm, and drang, I found myself the senior engineer in the house. Being hired away to school and onto that crew seems to have been the only "lucky" break I got - the rest was a slow slog up a muddy path with a heavy pack.

Has it been worth it? Yeah. I looked around me in 1980 and realized that I couldn't see a single professional guitarist who had been able to keep a family together or stay off drugs. I chose this path so I could have a family and the love of a wife. I wake up in the same bed every morning with my college sweetheart by my side. My dogs love me and I get to do enough music that I don't get tired of it.



Life is good. Best of luck to you.

Bob
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  #17  
Old 08-23-2019, 05:59 PM
drewgrass drewgrass is offline
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Im in the same boat as you except i have a degree in music business. I went to a regionally well respected school 16 years ago. I was all set to transfer to middle Tennessee state. (I couldn’t afford belmont) but i got a off I couldn’t refuse to stay home run the family business.

I got screwed out of the family business and now im going through a divorce. Im 38 have close to 300 songs wrote. Im just going to open mic nights locally and watching. Watching em mess up seeing what works what dont.

I know im good do you? Its just a question. Because you better be good. My friend told me the other day there are nonstop flights to Nashville starting from our town in January. He said its a sign and hes gonna help me. Im gonna fly into town at least every couple months. I took a security job working 4 days a week. I got nothing to lose and if you want it you better cut all dead weight. Live off a can of wolf brand chili a day and wake up thinking your waylon jennings because i do. And I haven’t done nothing. What are you willing to do. Thats the real question

Last edited by Kerbie; 08-23-2019 at 06:05 PM. Reason: Removed profanities, inappropriate comment
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  #18  
Old 08-27-2019, 12:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by romancandle View Post
Anybody have tips for learning music production, finding a fan base, and songwriting opportunities where I could potentially pitch my songs to other artists?
I think if you're serious about wanting a career -meaning being somewhat gainfully employed for many years- I think if was back at the starting line now I'd look into doing songs and scoring for TV. I think having a big recording artist record your work now days means at best you'll get a percentage of their relatively tiny streaming revenue. Gone forever are the days that you're going to have a big artist record your song, they sell millions of physical units, and you getting mailbox money for life. Or at least it's going to be a very very rare thing going forward. I have a few artists I play with that wrote big songs for big artists back in the day, and it's hard not envy them. And they repost the checks are getting a lot smaller, except when, say, a Netflix show uses a song... Again, it's a different world now. The good news is there are thousands of TV shows and small movies being made now days all over the world, and they pay. Just my two cents, but I'd focus on the music production thing for sure, because you'll want to be self-contained. But I'd mostly be looking for companies that work with licensing music.
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Last edited by min7b5; 08-27-2019 at 10:27 AM.
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  #19  
Old 08-27-2019, 10:08 AM
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Get out and gig as much as you can in your local music scene. If you are out in public playing your original songs all the time chances are someone in the biz will hear you. Other musicians will befriend you. You'll build a fan base.

When you have successfully made it to the top in your local music scene then you might want to consider moving to a music city like NY, Nashville, Los Angeles, or Austin. Be prepared to start at the bottom and work your way up all over again.

If it was easy everyone would do it.
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  #20  
Old 10-06-2019, 06:26 PM
ethanay ethanay is offline
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What a question!

Ultimately, it depends on three things in my opinion:

1. Learn how to write good songs. To me this also means not letting your ego get in the way. Don't drone on, be authentic (say what you want/need to say, not what you think people want to hear).

2. Make sure that people are hearing your songs in their ears the same way that you hear them in your head. Most people don't care about lead sheets. They want to hear and feel.

3. Get the songs out to as many people as possible.

If you can do those things, you will meet with some success. And there are umpteen ways to go about doing them. You need to figure out what paths you want or need to take. You don't need to go to any school, but you do need dedication and discipline with a long-range vision or game plan.
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  #21  
Old 10-14-2019, 04:55 AM
Murphy Slaw Murphy Slaw is offline
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Just get a job as a janitor at Capital Records and hang around Tootsies.

Go ahead and quit your day job and make your family think you're NUTS while you're at it.

This ain't rocket science...
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  #22  
Old 10-14-2019, 07:25 AM
russchapman russchapman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Murphy Slaw View Post
Just get a job as a janitor at Capital Records and hang around Tootsies.

Go ahead and quit your day job and make your family think you're NUTS while you're at it.

This ain't rocket science...
It might not be rocket science, but in addition to being an Army Ranger and star rugby player, you will also need to be Rhodes Scholar at Oxford.

So...there's a lot to it.
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  #23  
Old 04-12-2020, 09:41 PM
Winfred Winfred is offline
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Originally Posted by Gordon Currie View Post
Your target is NOT people who love your YouTube clip.
Hi Gordon!

I was wondering why is it you advise that YouTube listeners would not be a musician's target? I was thinking of, since the CoVid19 and no more open mics, of making a video of my original music and trying it out on YouTube to see if people like it. What is it about YouTube listeners you think would not be a good cross section of listeners?

Thanks!
Winfred
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  #24  
Old 04-13-2020, 08:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Winfred View Post
Hi Gordon!

I was wondering why is it you advise that YouTube listeners would not be a musician's target? I was thinking of, since the CoVid19 and no more open mics, of making a video of my original music and trying it out on YouTube to see if people like it. What is it about YouTube listeners you think would not be a good cross section of listeners?

Thanks!
Winfred
Hi Winfred. I can't speak for Gordon but I agree with him in part.
While I would not not discourage and in fact encourage you posting on You Tube as a performing musician/songwriter, to see if people like it.

But given the specific parameters the OP mentioned " a songwriter pitching songs to artists"

The shear size of the pool of music on YouTube means it is fairly unlikely that a particular "artist" who might possibly be interested in your specific song. Would even go to Youtube as a source, let alone stumble on it. And thus YouTube is not where you are likely to get much response as far as other artists wanting to cut your song.
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  #25  
Old 04-13-2020, 09:12 AM
Brent Hahn Brent Hahn is offline
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Originally Posted by KevWind View Post
The shear size of the pool of music on YouTube means it is fairly unlikely that a particular "artist" who might possibly be interested in your specific song. Would even go to Youtube as a source, let alone stumble on it. And thus YouTube is not where you are likely to get much response as far as other artists wanting to cut your song.
In the advertising world, there's "push marketing" and "pull marketing." The former being things like cold-calling and junk mail and demographically-targeted TV commercials, the latter being things like a website or an ad (dating myself here) in the Yellow Pages.

If you're a house painter, pull marketing works fine. Sooner or later, everyone needs their house painted and they'll get on the Yelp and come find you. But for selling songs, pull marketing doesn't work.
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  #26  
Old 04-13-2020, 09:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
In the advertising world, there's "push marketing" and "pull marketing." The former being things like cold-calling and junk mail and demographically-targeted TV commercials, the latter being things like a website or an ad (dating myself here) in the Yellow Pages.

If you're a house painter, pull marketing works fine. Sooner or later, everyone needs their house painted and they'll get on the Yelp and come find you. But for selling songs, pull marketing doesn't work.
"The Yellow Pages" musta been back at the dawn of analog, when the sky's were clear and TV was fuzzy
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  #27  
Old 04-13-2020, 10:19 AM
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I have always enjoyed this article by banjo player Danny Barnes, on how to make a living in music. Might be worth a read and hearing from someone who has lived it.

https://dannybarnes.com/blog/how-mak...-playing-music

Its been neat reading the replies here from folks. If I could turn back the clock to the beginning of college I might get a music composition degree, it is something I always wanted to study.

I went for the security of a day job and don't regret my current career as a web developer. I feel very fortunate my job has continued uninterrupted during this current pandemic.

If I could choose something else it might be a recording engineer or writing music for films/tv/games. I know of a few folks that have transitioned from being mostly performers to composing. Of course still a super competitive field, I am sure.
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  #28  
Old 04-13-2020, 11:58 AM
Captain Jim Captain Jim is offline
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I played my first paid gig in 1965. A couple years later (at age 15), I was occasionally making as much playing in a band as my Mother did working as a bookkeeper at Sears. At 19, I quit college and signed a contract with a management agency; thought it was my path to "making it" in the music business. I was just a bit off on that: worked at lot, but it wasn't inexpensive keeping an 8-man horn band on the road.

Into my 20s, back to college, working a full-time job, and gigging 4 nights a week. I made more money playing music, but I could see that the "day job" was a path where I could own a business. By my late 20s, I was done with bands, but still did occasional solo gigs. The day job turned into a satisfying career, and I only took the occasional solo music gigs I wanted to play (not in bars).

I have written some songs over the years, but enjoy playing songs that people know and can sing along with. And, just a scant 55 years after our band made $3 each for that first gig, I'm still waiting for my overnight success.

Any regrets for the path I took with music? Thanks for asking. No. I have a great wife and daughter that likely would not have happened. That day job turned into a career that allowed me to retire early and enjoy a wandering lifestyle. I can play the music I like, when I like, and not have it be a grind.

Why the trip down memory lane? Hopefully, the OP is getting (and considering) the advice being given by people who have decades of life experience. Every path we each take is different, but we can learn from each other. I was from the wave of people that came into music after the Beatles phenomenon. The current generation has had American Idol and The Voice to show them a different potential musical path. If there was a sure-fire way, we'd all be doing it. Hard work (read up on that "10,000 hour" thing), some natural talent, luck, timing, being in the right place, more luck, getting the right break (Is that more luck?).

Good luck.
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  #29  
Old 04-13-2020, 12:28 PM
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At one time in my life I was working with a publisher in Nashville. At that time publishers would work your songs by making the rounds to find someone to record them. I spent allot of time trying to recreate the next hit. Whatever is hot at the moment is what sells and it's all about sales. Hot artists can write crappy songs and have a hit. That's because they have the public's attention and a recognized sound. An unconnected writer has to have perfect songs to even get looked at. For me personally I didn't find it fulfilling. It was just a job that took allot of time and effort and a hope of a real pay off.

Like an old country artist once said. If you want to make a living in country music, first pay off your house.
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  #30  
Old 04-20-2020, 01:00 PM
Winfred Winfred is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KevWind View Post
Hi Winfred. I can't speak for Gordon but I agree with him in part.
While I would not not discourage and in fact encourage you posting on You Tube as a performing musician/songwriter, to see if people like it.

But given the specific parameters the OP mentioned " a songwriter pitching songs to artists"

The shear size of the pool of music on YouTube means it is fairly unlikely that a particular "artist" who might possibly be interested in your specific song. Would even go to Youtube as a source, let alone stumble on it. And thus YouTube is not where you are likely to get much response as far as other artists wanting to cut your song.
Hi Kevwind!

Thanks for your informative reply! You pose an interesting option I didn't realize or think about. You mean where the real open door is for aspiring songwriters is to get a famous artist to perform your song? That's more important than the big sea of music on YouTube? I'm going to try that too! Now you mention it, I was in Taos, NM at a nightspot open mic and this one lady was very good. She said that her big break was when John Denver played her song on his "white album". I don't mean to be unrealistic in regards to myself, but I see what you mean. Who do you think would be a good folk artist to try? Where do you go to submit? Songwriters will visit various established musician's websites and submit that way? Is recording on a q2n-4k good enough? Is it apropos to submit more than one song at a time to the same artist, or to many artists simultaneously? Thanks very much for your advice!

Top of the Day!
Winfred
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