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producer/songwriting collaboration


mark1878

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I can't speak to conditions for musicians in the UK, but here in the states, the music biz is lucrative for the few -- not the many.

 

Most musicians I know -- folks with a number of albums under their belts and continuing contracts who go out on tour -- have to work day jobs of varying kinds when they're not out on tour.

 

One pal has three bands, two of which regularly tour the US and Europe, where he just got back from a month or two ago. His biggest band often plays to crowds in the tens of thousands. But more than half the year he's back at the trendy used clothing shop, selling 'new old stock' (marked up through the roof -- but he's just an employee so he doesn't see any of that).

 

Another friend finally was able to quit the record store he'd been working in for years because the major headlining act he's been part of since their beginning is finally paying enough that he could give it up. He finally even bought a car. A used car, but a car. But he worked at the record store up through their third album. (This band is definitely one you've heard of.

 

At that record store, he worked along side one of the hippest producing DJs in LA, a guy who has been flown around the world to spin parties, but who also produces for some of LAs better rappers. He still has a couple of dayjobs, and fills in at the record store.

 

 

The music biz is very lucrative for one sector -- the people dedicated to making money off wannabes and dreamers.

 

Sometimes it's legitimate-enough services or products (whether they are needed or worthwhile or not); more often it's stuff cooked up simply to separate wannabes from their dough.

 

A prime example: the recording/music production diploma mills that have sprung up in the US and around the world. Here in the US, they work by lining up huge student loans so that students -- with little or no entrance qualification end up with huge loans (that, here in the US, due to changes in bankruptcy law, they probably would not even be able to escape in personal bankruptcy, the debt following them into their 'new' post-bankruptcy life). The education may be OK -- but many graduates report very mixed satisfaction with the education and many end up working as unpaid interns or for a pittance under the table (black market, as it were) simply because there are so MANY people just like them who thought they could be 'smart' making it in the music biz by trying to work the technical side -- only to discover that half of everyone else with a small studio has also hung out his shingle.

 

Big, once busy and prosperous studios are folding -- sometimes when they're still busy because they've had to lower block rates so deeply to stay competitive that it's simply cheaper to sell off the gear and close up.

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So wait, Blue. You're telling me I'm not going to be rich?!?! :)

 

Back in 1983 I left a good paying cover band to join up with an MCA recording artist. You know, the big time. My pay went from 750 a week down to 200 bucks a week. :thu:

 

Rock and Roll!! :)

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There are many kinds of wealth... the gold within surpasses the gold of the craven real world. Unfortunately, it's hard to wire transfer the gold within... just ask the cyber-Hermetics... no balance transfer between the soul and your Paypal account... unless it's buried on one of those damn sub-menus somewhere...

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My advice to anyone wanting to be successful in the music industry as an original and creative artist is - don't.

 

Take Blue's advice to heart. If you still want to do it, proceed at your own risk. Otherwise do it for fun. Accidents can happen and you could be commercially successful. Your chances for success are are about equal whether you don't try at all or you run yourself into the ground with ambition and drive.

 

A couple things about the initial post. The great songwriters write 3 songs a day, not focus on 3 songs only. Dylan, Springsteen, Sting, Diane Warren, etc., probably write 50 songs for every one you actually get to hear. 8-track Tascam recorders weren't even invented while Dylan was busting his butt in Greenwich Village making contacts, playing for nothing but a place to stay for the night and a piece of toast. Frankly, I never had that kind of dedication and have never met anyone that did. Ever.

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8 track is about 6 more than you need to write songs.

 

Some folks get all jacked up aboutprodcution, but if you can paly it on a piano or guitar and sing it, and it shines in the raw then you have something good.

 

You could spend a million in the studio and if the sound aren't good, they they aren't good.

 

Once you got the tunes that you wnat to record, get some buddies and try em out in the garage, hit a club or and open mic thing.

If they sound or might sound good and the whole this sounds great, then go to a studio, you can do a live recording and touch up what you think you might need to touch up.

 

You can walk out with a full demo in less than a afternoon.

 

That is if the band thing is important, if you are a songwriter shopping for bands to cover your material than production is a on issue.

 

you can take the outs on that Tasam and run it into your sound card and burn a cd(s) from there.

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My problems are that I am quite under motivated, have virtually no industry contacts and only have an 8 track Tascam recorder which I concede cannot is not adequate to make recordings good enough to submit to publishers.

 

 

A. "quite under motivated" - I'm not sure where to go with this. Clearly this whole money thing is not motivating you. Truly evoking strong emotions in a listener may be a stronger motivation than the money. If it isn't you ain't makin nuffin. If it is then you have a 1 in several million chance of making money. Congratulations.

 

B. Virtually no industry contacts - You do realize how easy it is to start making industry contacts right? If you can make friends and get out of the house, you can make industry contacts. If either of those factors are a problem, fix 'em pronto.

 

C. Only have an 8 track recorder - get yourself a laptop and free software and a Line 6 Toneport (they're less than a $100 now on ebay since they've moved to PodFarm). The Toneport will get you great quality recordings of guitar, bass and vocals. That will be about 1000X easier to record with and develop stuff and will really be inspiring to use. Or it will allow you to discover 1000X quicker that you're stuff ain't all that.

 

D. Submitting to publishers - Publishers don't take unsolicited material. Managers and lawyers can submit unsolicited. Or publishers come to you. All you have to do is make the stuff, market it, and build a paying audience. The rest will take care of itself. In this day and age of online marketing and access to music fans all over the world, no one with money will take you seriously if you cannot generate significant sales on your own. What's significant? Well, I think 1,000 songs sold (not albums mind you, just individual songs) might be a good start.

 

What to work on first? Well, of all the depressing stuff you listed, the "I have virtually no industry contacts" statement really gave me an image of you looking forlornly out a window, all alone, with rain dripping down the window. So, I'd say, get out of the frickin house and do something!

 

Good luck!

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