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  • So come on then, what's your secret?

    How do you folks manage to make any money in the music business?

    I haven't made a single, solitary cent from music sales. Kinda funny, really

     

    What is your secret??


    a selection of my songs: https://soundcloud.com/songwriter101

    my youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/SaulTiberiusNads

  • #2

    Merch, music supervisors, and recording people in my recording studio.

    Ken Lee on 500px / Ken's Photo Store / Ken Lee Photography Facebook Website / Blueberry Buddha Studios / Ajanta Palace Houseboat - Kashmir / Hotel Green View - Kashmir / Eleven Shadows website / Ken Lee Photography Blog / Akai 12-track tape transfers / MY NEW ALBUM! The Mercury Seven

    Comment


    • #3

      MarkydeSad wrote:

      How do you folks manage to make any money in the music business?

      I haven't made a single, solitary cent from music sales. Kinda funny, really

       

      What is your secret??


      Mark,

      Don`t feel down about sales. The truth is even the biggest artists/bands are having difficulties selling their music these days. Only big time touring acts are making serious $$$ and thats from touring, not CD sales.

      EB

      Comment


      • UstadKhanAli
        UstadKhanAli commented
        Editing a comment

        You create music because you love it.  If your love of creating music is dependent on sales, then choose something else.


    • #4
      Bristley, Mark. Calm down, bro. Did you expect the clouds to part and the hand of God bestow you with coinage? Of course not, right?
      ___

      Comment


      • #5

        MarkydeSad wrote:

        How do you folks manage to make any money in the music business?

        What is your secret??
        • Get a regular music gig somewhere that pays a little money. Some of the audience will buy CDs
        • Get some airplay. Do they have college radio stations over there? If not, set up a US tour.
        • Get someone who's already successful to record some of your songs
        • If all else fails, kill off the competition.
        --
        "Today's production equipment is IT-based and cannot be operated without a passing knowledge of computing, although it seems that it can be operated without a passing knowledge of audio." - John Watkinson, Resolution Magazine, October 2006
        Drop by http://mikeriversaudio.wordpress.com now and then

        Comment


        • #6
          What Ken said... Make your music because you have to. Your audience will love what you do, they are out there but don't expect $$$ where there is none. At the end of the day it comes down to this: don't let your music die in you.

          Comment


          • MikeRivers
            MikeRivers commented
            Editing a comment

            Ernest Buckley wrote:
            What Ken said... Make your music because you have to. Your audience will love what you do, they are out there but don't expect $$$ where there is none.

            But SOME people are making money. I'm no judge of pop music so I can't really say whether Mark's music has commercial appeal, but Craig sure seems to think so, and a lot of folks here think highly of his songs and arrangements. The thing is that you can have only so many (real, not Facebook) friends, and in order to make money from music, you need to expose a whole lot of people to it, including as many as you can who are actually able to come out to your shows, which means you have to do shows. 

            It's difficult to break into the songwriting business and get your songs recorded by someone who will make you money from royalties, but it's possible. It's really difficult, probably darn near impossible to do it on your own, though. You need an agent who already has an established foot in the door with publishers who regularly pitch songs to money-making recording artists. But all of this is hard to do as long as it's a part time job.

            I never made any money with music except for 6 months of daily gig at the US Pavilion at Expo 70 in Japan in 1970, courtesy of the USIA. I paid for a lot of gear with recording, but never really made money at it. And these days I'm not making any money at technical writing. At least I had a good day job that's now paying me a decent amount for not working any more. But it had nothing to do with music (but a lot to do with engineering).

             


          • RockViolin
            RockViolin commented
            Editing a comment

            Ernest Buckley wrote:
             don't let your music die in you.

             Why not? I had to give that some thought, actually. And bobbing away in a sea of negativity I found one very humble, undeniable, unsinkable reason. Just one. But it was just the one I needed. I think I can hold that thought and be better for it. Thanks Ernest! .png" alt=":smileyhappy:" title="Smiley Happy" />


        • #7

          ...and never forget the "lightning strikes" theory. All it takes for one guy from Apple to hear one song and say "This would be perfect for the next iPhone commercial..."

          _____________________________________________
          There are now 14 music videos posted on my YouTube channel, including four songs by Mark Longworth. Watch the music video playlist, subscribe, and spread the links! Check back often, because there's more to come...

          Comment


          • Anderton
            Anderton commented
            Editing a comment

            ...and an actual quote from Andy Warhol: "Being good in business is the most fascinating kind of art. Making money is art, and working is art, and good business is the best art."


            Here's another one: "Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.


        • #8

          I don't make any money from music, either.  But I know what I'd do for starters, 'tho, if I really, really wanted to.

           

          I'd try out for all the local "home concert" venues that I could find that feature acoustic singer-songwriter stuff.  There's a few around here I know about just from random hearsay - so I'm sure there's a bunch more in addition to those.

           

          I'd try to get into any folk or similar festivals that are in the region.  There's a huge one - the Kerrville Folk Festival and others.  I'd be willing to bet I could get in one of them somehow.  Or at least I'd go and participate in all the jams, song circles, etc etc and who knows who I might connect with eventually.

           

          I know a few folks who play in cover bands and such.  I'd hit them up for stand-in work or trying to put together a duo or something for local gigs.  There are tons of coffee houses and acoustic venues around here.  I'm sure I'd get a shot somewhere.

           

          I'd just have to buckle down and create a couple full length CDs and give them away like religious tracts.  

           

          I'd work Facebook and other social network sites just keeping my name and activities in front of whoever is looking.

           

          I would not play in the street for change.  

           

          I'd of course work up whatever music access/sales sites I can.  This by itself will probably only result in a handful of friends and family sales, then would go dormant UNLESS one of the above realtime activities with real people doing real live music often as I can sparks some interest in the web sales.  The web sales thing by itself is like setting up a lemonade stand behind the fence in your back yard.  You gotta make real contact with real people and charm them into your yard.

           

          That's what I'd do if I had the time and inclination.  Short of that, I might as well just waste my time and money buying Powerball tickets - the chances of success have to be similar.

           

          nat whilk ii

          Comment


          • #9

            Terry, your posts are both inspirational and depressing. They make me realise how little I've done in my life

            I've spent pretty much my whole life 'waiting for something to happen'. Unfortunately, nothing has happened. This has now become my default setting and I get afraid and quite agitated when there's the slightest possibility of something 'different' entering my closed world

            I listen to my songs a lot. My wife thinks that is weird behaviour. I do it because when I'm in the depths of despair, it's a reminder that I can actually do something, and I'm not completely useless

            If you met me, I think you'd be bored fairly quickly. I haven't done much in my life and therefore don't have much to say. I'm a good listener, though....


            a selection of my songs: https://soundcloud.com/songwriter101

            my youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/SaulTiberiusNads

            Comment


            • Anderton
              Anderton commented
              Editing a comment

              MarkydeSad wrote:

              Terry, your posts are both inspirational and depressing. They make me realise how little I've done in my life


              I've spent pretty much my whole life 'waiting for something to happen'. Unfortunately, nothing has happened. This has now become my default setting and I get afraid and quite agitated when there's the slightest possibility of something 'different' entering my closed world


              I listen to my songs a lot. My wife thinks that is weird behaviour. I do it because when I'm in the depths of despair, it's a reminder that I can actually do something, and I'm not completely useless


              If you met me, I think you'd be bored fairly quickly. I haven't done much in my life and therefore don't have much to say. I'm a good listener, though....





              Terry's posts are also proof that some people still know how to write...a disappearing skill, unfortunately.


              But Mark...I HAVE met you, and didn't get bored. What's interesting about a person is less what they've done but who they are. There are probably thousands of people who ran sound, but because Terry is who is is, he was able to weave a story. Some other soundman might be less about storytelling and more into showing cool photographs of life on the road. That's how they tell their story.


              Your songs come from somewhere. and I would venture to say they come from your life, so you must have done something. I really like "My Lucky Day." That didn't come from delivering stuff in a truck, that came from a friend who needed you to write a song for him to help him through a tough time.


              So, you who "haven't done anything" was the person who could help your friend. The credits I've accumulated over a lifetime didn't do him any good at all.


              Look how much you've changed since you started opening up in this forum. You stopped waiting for things to happen. You came to the Line 6 conference. You started learning a DAW. You overcame your fear of having people hear your raw vocals and you have to admit, they sounded pretty effing great in "Magic Spell."


              Now's the time to get that sense of urgency Terry described so eloquently. Push further, more often, and make yourself uncomfortable more. Fail more. Succeed more.


              I'm sure you have a fear of failure, that's usually what keeps people from pushing further and taking chances. In that respect I have to tell you a story about when I joined Gibson. I don't fail a lot (I'm pretty lucky, actually), and Henry (Gibson's CEO) knew that. At one point he took me aside and said "You're now in a position where you're bound to fail at some point, and also in a position where it could be a really big failure. And when that happens, I want you to remember you just have to pick yourself up and keep going."


              That's pretty good advice, I think. Remember those Andy Warhol quotes I linked to a few posts back? One of the best ones was where he regretted how long it took him to learn to say "So what?". You didn't get hired for the club gig...so what? No one liked your latest song. So what? You had a hit single and made some money. So what?


              You haven't done a zillion things in your life that look good on a resume. So what? You're a thoroughly pleasant person with a great attitude and a very sweet wife, and frankly, the world could use a lot more people like you and a lot fewer overachievers who try too hard to make up for something they're not.


          • #10

            I've never been a full time musician. I won't go into my story but I'll relate some from people I know.

            One is a Jazz musician. He's never worked a 9-5 job in his life. He started playing in bands in H.S. Toured with a well known Vocal group in the early 70's and even played Madison Square Garden when he was 18. He decided to go into Jazz because he needed more stimulation from the music. He's got a number of CD's out but didn't get rich from them because he's not Kenny G. He does however make a living in music. He does what ever he needs to do to make a buck. He teaches privately, does session work, plays gigs, and teaches Jazz at a College even though he has no College degree. A lot of Jazz musicians play what ever music makes them money. Wedding, corp gigs, teaching, cruise ship gigs etc.

            Another friend of mine used to make a steady $1K/week as an acoustic guitarist/vocalist playing in clubs 5-6 nights/week. He ALWAYS had a tip jar out. He always played cover material and maybe a few originals because let's face it unless you're well known or have a HUGE following you're dilusional thinking anyone but a small crowd of fans wants to hear your original material for an entire night.

            I grew up in NJ and bands like Bon Jovi didn't get the large following by playing originals all night. It was the other way around. You play what the people want to hear, you build a following, and you slowly incorporate your originals into the act. 

            Some people will pay you $200 to sing a song or two at the church during the wedding on a Saturday afternoon. Another friend of mine has a great voice for opera(talk about no work) and he's been paid $500 to sing one or two songs at private parties quite a few times. He's even had to learn songs in Yidish and Japanese. 

            None of the people I know who make decent money in the music business are playing their music all the time. They play what ever brings them a paycheck.

            Just my perspective. Hope it helps

            Comment


            • #11

              I make some money playing gigs and the occasional studio date.  I sold maybe a dozen copies of my own music.

              Comment


              • MikeRivers
                MikeRivers commented
                Editing a comment

                You guys sure aren't giving Mark any encouragement.

                I suspect that anyone with a successful career in music doesn't have time or interest to hang out on a forum like this one. Let's face it. All of us here have our day jobs, and except for a a few short periods in our lives, our music is for fun, our own sense of accomplishemnt, and occasional small change.

                If anyone here has a string of major hits, a label contract, and some TV appearances, come back and tell us how it's going. 


            • #12

              First the joke: How do you make a million dollars as a musician? Start with two million. 

              Now the reality: No one buys music anymore except old people, and they buy old music. So you should:

              Gig.

              Teach an instrument (voice is also an instrument.) 

              Network.

              Marry someone with a regular, full time job. 

              Works for me. (I am not rich or famous, just a musician.)  

               

              Comment


              • MrKnobs
                MrKnobs commented
                Editing a comment

                Three things:


                (1) YouTube:  if you manage to create a video with a huge buzz you can make some money from an advert pasted onto your video.


                (2) Second Life.  I alluded to it earlier, but let me say a little more.   Second life is an online, virtual world where the little cartoon people are controlled by real people.  That would be silly, except for a few things:  there are a LOT of people there from all over the world, the money is real, and people like to go to hear live music.  So you can stream a performance (sound or video) up to SL and get actual money.  Plus you can flog your album, your website, and your merch.  People can pay you on the spot to download your MP3 files.


                Most musicians who sing and play in SL suck.   Just like in RL, they don't make much money.  But there are a handful of musicians in SL who make significant money.


                I know a guy who makes about $40 USD to play a 45 min show, plus whatever sales he makes for his downloadable album.  That's not a lot of money but it's an hour's work and since he uses backing tracks from his album he gets to keep it all.  This guy plays about 30 - 40 shows a month in SL and he packs every venue to capacity.  He's managed to translate his SL success to rl now.  His real life name is Donn Devore.  Google him and listen to his music!


                I also know a middle aged housewife who makes her entire living from singing in SL.  She sings for weddings and birthdays and formal events in SL.  Pretty crazy but the money is real and she gets to be a stay at home mom and make some really good money.


                I've been on both ends of the SL live music thing.  Julie and I used to perform our duo act, sometimes a trio with our bassist.  We found that we could make MORE money playing as a duo in SL than in Austin in real life!  That's more of a comment on the sad state of Austin but then again playing in SL you don't have to shlepp a bunch of gear downtown, spend gas money, and get home dead tired at 3AM when you have to work the next day.


                 I also own a live music venue in SL and that's how I know how much these top performers in SL make - I only hire the very best.   In addition to Donn Devore, also Google Tukso Okey.   That guy is incredible and he makes bank.  I've also turned on several artists I know in Austin to SL.  Google Lisa Marshall or check her out on YouTube.


                And you already have everything you need to do it.


                Lee Flier turned me on to SL back in 2007.   I saw her band playing there several times.  She told me about some club in Atlanta that streamed SL video to do a simulcast between RL and SL.


                (3) Internet collaboration.  I've been collaborating with other musicians over the internet for quite a while now.  Most collaborations are for my personal stuff, but sometimes I make money by recording someone here in Austin for another studio far from Austin.  I'm friends with a guy who has a highly successful studio in New Mexico.  He used to live in Texas so he knows a lot of good players and vocalists here that he recommends to people doing projects at his studio.   He demos Austin artist cuts to them.  Then, if his client agrees, he sends me guide tracks and I record some takes of the Austin artists he wants on the tracks here in Austin and send those .wav files back to him.  I get paid, he gets paid, and when I can I reciprocate by hooking up demos of his sidemen to my clients.


                Mark, you could probably collaborate like this and even get paid for it, if you get networked with the right people.


                Terry D.


                 


            • #13

              MarkydeSad wrote:

              How do you folks manage to make any money in the music business?

              Pretty much the way you do in any business and that is provide goods or services that other people are willing to pay for and then find a way to provide those at a profit.

              If nobody is buying yours,  you either need a new product or better marketing ... or both

              Don Boomer

              Comment


              • #14

                This entire thread and Terry's responses have really spurred me into airing my own concerns and personal issue on my own thread. Tough times indeed.

                Comment


                • #15
                  Great thread
                  ___

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