• Ruin one's chance ?. .... not sure what to call this thread....
  • Started by Bill from November Sound
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Okay, so I've been thinking about this.

Melissa and I ( and Will when he's available) have been developing a pretty good following locally. Despite the pandemic and everything we've been very fortunate to perform live often ..... outdoors .....  basically all within a 5 - 20 mile area or less .... and with a lot of repeat business.

But does small-time local success interfere with "bigger" or "better" things that we could do?

Maybe it puts limitations on how people see you?

Does that make sense? 

What do you think?

I'm asking everyone and tagging people who I know have done or still do the live gig thing:
@Leonard Scaper @Timothy Smith  @gezaman @Jurgen @monty_lameer @Monty Cash Music @Mr Sydney @CharlieSmithMusic @Charlie @LePlongeur @JimByrne @Fiddlasrogers @MotterPaul @Troispr  @1roomstudio @Kolohe @Tolo @Katze Konigsberg @Bluedusksun  @Mylene   

or anyone else who wants to think out loud with me ....    :)

   

Bill
Songwriter, Keyboards, Arranger, Producer & Engineer for November Sound

November Sound is based on the Mother, Father & Son musical trio of Melissa, Bill & Will. I'm the father so anything I post will have my wife singing and/or my son playing percussion.


I guess that depends on what "bigger and better things" you have your sights set on @Bill from November Sound .

You always have to start somewhere....and that is usually at the beginning.
"The main thing is to have a gutsy approach....but use your head." Julia Child

 "In a world of robotic conformity, the only originality left in music is the imperfections" Eric Craptone

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Not sure if I understood your message right.....but I guess during the pandemic it would be cool to do "bigger things".....maybe do more projects with musicians here in the forum together...... :pompom: :pompom:


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I get the feeling @Bill from November Sound that the current model works like this.

If you are of a certain age/look/genre and know how to sell yourself on all the myriad of social media channels then you might get lucky enough to be able to get support to do bigger gigs/tours, If not the local audience route is the only way to go.

We have a local singer/songwriter who is very popular locally, knows the business/works with top musicians but basically lived on the road before lockdown and made most of his money probably from packing them in at local gigs.  He does original music and covers. A very good singer /songwriter but he's of the wrong age and is basically playing to the above 45's I guess.

The world and music has moved on and even though the mechanism for delivery has changed, you really need a unique image/sound /fan-base to even get heard. Ideally, you need to predict the next big thing and be in the first wave.

So my suggestion is do what you do best and keep doing what you are doing. If the random factors align somebody might see you and say "do you fancy this opportunity" a bit like the A&R men of the past. It's that or America's Got Talent I guess.
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If you do too much local stuff ..... then do you just become "the local guy" ? You know?

I don't  really have any plans or my sights set on anything really.

I just know we are NOTHING and I mean absolutely nothing like the other local musicians. ( besides maybe my friend and his wife who went to the same music college as Melissa and I .... but even then we are different in our marketing, 60% of our cover repertoire and whole approach to the music world, really.) 
   
@MrBouzouki  do you believe that doing local gigs precludes you from getting bigger gigs/ tours?



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« Last Edit: October 26, 2020, 01:02:17 by Monty Cash Music »
From my perspective, it really depends on what you want from your music and in this what your starting point is for doing music at all.

If it is from the starting point of community and inclusivity then keep going as you are - be relatable, help out small bars and restaurants, give your all for your music because you enjoy doing music for music's sake.

This can lead to bigger things on its own so it doesn't necessarily discount the potential for 'bigger and better'.

On the other hand, many people pursue music for the purpose of grandstanding, ego and to express their competitive nature. A way by which to assert dominance over their reality. Rarely are people that are in this category actually aware they are doing it only for themselves - many believe they do it for the love of it but when the carrot and stick incentive of being the all supreme controller of humanity is removed from their grasp - they lose motivation to make music and in this also lose inspiration. I know, because it was me once.

I've seen massive egos been developed over seemingly minimal skill due to a grand collective perception having been generated. And when the egos have gone that far in the cycle of self-affirmation, they lose the sense of ground and start to believe what the public think of them. It's like watching facades of personalities walk around trying to govern everything with no substance behind them. (Well it's not so different to the rest of modern reality now is it?  :lol: ). (ok, yes I admit, I paint a dire picture of extremes with my macabre brush...)

I've also observed people that start out music for the passion of music and end up making it big because that has been the natural progression of things - yet end up doing regular mindless gigs that they despise because it's just a repetition of the same thing day in day out. Then when they stop playing, they don't pick up their instruments for the fun of it anymore. They treat it exactly like work (the thing they thought they were avoiding by pursuing music as a career...  :lol:)

For me, this pursuit of fame dismantles my motivation to play music and explore my potential within it.

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So my suggestion is - do music on your terms. Be honest with who you are in music and where you want it to go. It is not a bad thing if you really do enjoy the elitism afforded by being a respected name publicly - in my view it is better to be honest with yourself about what you want from music then to walk around believing you are doing it for other people, while subconsciously losing motivation every-time someone removes your podium.  :sleepy:

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As a long term travelling street performer I have met famous and semi-famous people and the little taste I got from them of what that is like in the public world has made me retch.

Personally I prefer to walk into an atmosphere, stand in the limelight for a moment, then return to the shadows in anonymity.

Music for me is fun, expressive and occasionally yes, a way of asserting dominance - I've also done music for the purposes of community, political activism and general well-being (not to mention it as an innate spiritual practice).

It is unfortunate the grand focus of music in the modern world is to be the biggest you can be. This in my view completely disregards 90% of the other reasons you might do music for.


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What do you want? And if you say you want fame, are you really sure that's what you want?

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If you do indeed want fame then pursue it with a passion. Deliberately imitate an archetype that already has a footing in collective perception while retaining some aspects of individuality. Actually pay someone to do your public relations - get professional posters made up and create that all important image.

Get a good set of 10 -20 songs that you play tight. Make sure 3-5 of them are immediate crowd pleasers - to rouse, entice and bring back the energy. Get some expert opinion on your material and don't be afraid to receive hard criticism - then change your act accordingly.

Be unreservedly narcissistic but not to the point of cringe. Do it with a non-chalant reserve that allows you to retain the appearance of some dignity. Some people have mastered this - often referred to as 'charisma'. (Private joke... haha)

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Good luck! It's a jungle out there!
Find updates on my travels and music on http://peakd.com/@montycashmusic


Well said above ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

 In some ways this is similar to a local business man who is thinking of branching out. In this case the product is you.

I'll just stick with that for now as I believe the other angles were covered pretty well. Branching out as a musician look to be a totally different approach. You might have already asked yourself  how that might look? Cruise ships? FWIW I think your act looks well fitted to something like this.
You could branch out locally into the bar ecosystem. All of this is of course, dependent on the availability of bars and cruises during a pandemic. In my thinking, bars might not be the best. I think often people play them because that's what they can play. Eating minnows doesn't look so bad if you can't have haddock.

As to being "held back" from advancing,  I don't see how playing local gigs would do this unless  it inhibits you from playing a larger gig. The question would then be, what would a larger gig look like and how could you organize one?  As sad as is this is to say, it is true, Your act is an eventual depleting resource as none of us are getting any younger. If you're 22 there's a lot of mileage there. If you're 44 things begin to look a little different, at least to me they do. What if one of you gets sick?

"If" I were looking to make something that looks like a larger gig ( as in more people coming, more income )  I would probably be looking to organize a multiple event. This is especially true if  people aren't familiar with you.  These aren't the kind of things we can do every week since they take so much planning and involvement at many levels.

Example- A chili cook off, a car show, a farmers market, a fair, an art or antique show, a community yard sale. Anything that attracts large numbers of people with different interests. Your act is then "tacked on" maybe with various other acts. Someone has to clear things with the local government officials to make sure everything passes code. There needs to be an honest treasurer. Someone has to get the word out probably at least 2-3 months ahead of time with constant reminders. You'll need commitments from vendors ahead of time. Nothing worse than showing up to a chili cook off and there's no one making chili there :) The side benefit is hundreds and maybe thousands of people will be exposed to your act. It is a lot of work though and at best maybe once or twice a year. It could rain that day too. So it's really a crap shoot.....and while we are still all in a pandemic it might be awhile, however you could be planning for it now so you are ready when things open up.

I see musicians get into what I'll call these "ecosystems' There's the church ecosystem where musicians who play Christian music that resonates with the local churches have a trailer with their gear in it and make the "rounds" to various churches taking a "love offering" for their efforts. The clients are generally great to work with and they pay. Not the type to stumble into you while vomiting like maybe could happen in a bar. The flipside is you are the center attraction. No side distractions of noises. They will hear whether the music is good or bad. When I was younger a bunch of "southern gospel"groups made the rounds to local churches in my area 100 miles out or more. This isn't music non christians have any interest in usually. The people who play it mostly have more of an investment in it than how much they make at the end of a day. They are doing with a "cause" and a "calling". If you're atheist, then this isn't likely anything to interest you at all.

Bars will probably always be haunts for everything else. Bars that are specifically country bars. Bars that cater to the rock crowd. I play music in bars at sessions as well as church. I know, I'm an odd cookie. A believer who likes Irish music. The worst thing I have ever had happen at a bar was when one guy came up to me obviously drunk  who was especially affectionate. I had to sort of get away from him lol. We don't get paid. It's just a place to play.

If you are playing gigs right now consider yourself blessed. There are a few musicians around my area who play bars/bands and things seem to be picking up for them now as well. Hopefully this is a good sign!!

Me? I  played an outdoor event last weekend for the fun of it. No money involved. I just bought myself a decent PA for small events and who knows? If the mood strikes me I go busking. Until then I'll make the occasional  music recording and keep playing with my friends. I have a full time paying job, so don't need to get paid to play.

In any case. Not sure there's any kind of transition from smaller to larger. You can be small one day and go big the next day if you can plan it and get the people in.







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Hey Bill - just got around to this one... I guess it boils down to what you want to get out of your work.

I would love to be able to take my music out there to an audience - but I think I would probably need to hire an orchestra to do so properly. Even then - I am not sure how many people would want to sit through an hour and a half of my own music. I was in a pretty decent original band years ago - we got signed and everything looked promising for a while. Myself and the vocalist wrote the songs and they meant something to us - then when we signed we had to write to a schedule - so we became 'product' rather than 'writers and performers'. Eventually - the band split up of course and I stopped playing altogether. It is interesting to look back - I decided that I didn't ever want to be in a band that performed other people's music in bars or on cruise liners - the thought of singing 'Brown Eyed Girl' to a half pissed audience left me cold. Its not why I started to write or play the guitar. So I took a different direction and for a while stopped altogether. The other guys in the band on the other hand went on to form a covers band - and they do exactly that every weekend - singing a range of hits from down the years - and it is 'work' to them.

For myself - I have my studio and I am in control of what I write, play and produce - and that is enough for me. I put it out there and if one day someone comes along and I get the chance to put something in a movie or game - then that great and maybe I have a shot of being able to play to other people who like my work - but I am not counting on it. What I won't be doing is rocking up at a venue and play 'Sweet Home Alabama'...

So for me - if there was interest - or I sold enough music to be able to build an audience who wanted to come, buy tickets and listen to my own work - then that is interesting. Sadly though - I think that most audiences on the 'professional' circuit are not interested in that - and more interested in  having a good night out and singling along to songs they know.

Sorry for the ramble - but just my own perspective.
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« Last Edit: October 26, 2020, 09:13:58 by LePlongeur »
Count on me to be against the grain.

I think we can talk for hours about this, and chances are that that will happen too.

But what I’d do is make a list. An orientation into circumstances unknown.

If you want to market your music you enter a business model. Then it’s very important to think business-like.
There will be contracts involved.
Be sure to never sign a contract without a renewal date. John Fogerty  (Credence Clearwater) was too eager signing with Fantasy. As a result he worked some 50 years for the cat’s arse without the possibility to open up his contract.

Be sure that is clear who owns the rights.
Who is earning what and how is the amount due calculated.
Is that before taxes. Or after all costs are deducted. Chances are you pay for the private plane of your manager.

Who owns the rights to pictures, videos, merchandise etc.
Do you have the right to say: this touring schedule is too busy, we need to slow down.
As songwriting is very difficult or impossible for most people while touring or travelling, do you have periods in which you can relax and write.

As long as you’re not really earning much, you will be left alone. As soon as money is involved, you have many friends.
Paul McC’s rights were bought by Michael Jackson and Paul had to wait for the time MJ got into trouble before he could buy the rights back.

If there are ways in your state to prevent hostile take overs, I would look into that.

When you push the start button, do you have your second LP/or whatever format prepared? In case your first is very successful , you won’t have time for the second as half the world want something from you.
Have you made preparations for a second you can be proud of if the first is a mega (not a meager) success.

Look what happened to Procol Harum. A mega success of your first is intimidating. P.H. Never overcame the shock.
Sandy Denny and Grace Slick each wrote two epic songs before entering the arena. And both got nasty problems trying to equal those songs.

In short, for you to go about in a more businesslike manner with your music, you need to fully understand what you are going into. And consider if the pro’s and con’s are weighing up.
Or in balance. Or controllable. You know.....

You will be up against much intern and external pressure.
All the things that you need to start an ordinary business you will need as a musician too.
Plus a serious professional and public liability insurance with a solid insurance company.
And a logo too.
Ahhhhh....., dooooooooooon’t start me talking.

And of course I wish you a lot of luck!
Kind regards, Gus


And of course I forgot to mention you Bill!
@Bill from November Sound

When I scan the above posts, I see many heartfelt stories about what makes people feel good.
Now, you know what makes me feel good (Smileysmileysmiley)
So did I come to the wrong conclusions about the kind of input you seek?


@LePlongeur
Quote
Plus a serious professional and public liability insurance with a solid insurance company.

Ha,ha @LePlongeur , here I imagine you finally admitting that you are actually an undercover insurance salesman. You've been one all along but you were just waiting for the right time to offer me a great deal on a public liability policy!  :D  :praise: 

 


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Interesting thread @Bill from November Sound  @LePlongeur  @Monty Cash Music  and others who participated.
My idea would be to invent two names - one for the local outlet and one for the statewide or national track. I wouldn't need to be a secret that it is actually the same group of persons, but you could market it to different groups.

Agreed with @Monty Cash Music  "pursuit of fame dismantles my motivation to play music". Fame, as described by Bowie & Lennon, 'puts you there where things are hollow'.

new guitar 4-6-2020 https://soundcloud.com/oorlab/12string-demo1 12string Cort.


Oh an alter ego  heh @oorlab ?   :o   

How do we know you don't already have one?

There could be many oorlabs with many names.   ......  >:D   ..... everywhere. 


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@LePlongeur
Quote
Plus a serious professional and public liability insurance with a solid insurance company.

Ha,ha @LePlongeur , here I imagine you finally admitting that you are actually an undercover insurance salesman. You've been one all along but you were just waiting for the right time to offer me a great deal on a public liability policy!  :D  :praise:


Thank you for this insight in myself @Bill from November Sound
But you underestimate me. I'd slip in a Kidnap and Ransom and a Libel and Slander program too.
Don't worry. Never again would you complain about taxes once you've seen my invoice.
Kind regards, Gus


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I think the idea put forward of an alternative name for different ventures, put forward by @oorlab, seems a good one.
Especially one that is based on the original one.

You keep your cosy local setup and use the other one for world-wide domination. mwahaha  ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D


Why, yes @MrBouzouki  ... very good!  :)

Even my pseudonyms have pseudonyms now! So, there is no way of possibly knowing who I am.  :lol:



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