How to get what you want

January 15, 2009

Bands starting out, spend too much time asking others to: “listen to their music, come to their show, vote for them on this and that site, ask more established bands to give them gigs, please buy my cd”……..

It’s all ME, ME, ME!

Why should anyone do anything for you? No one really cares about you and your annoying band.

The way to get what you want, is to give others what they want first.

If there’s a band slightly ahead of you, offer to run their light show for them at their next gig. No one ever has a lighting tech at this level and the desks are so easy to use.


Offer to help promote their gig, through your fan base.

Go to a gig, introduce yourself, buy them a drink at the bar, and just chat about their particular journey.

If you build a rapport with other bands, help ‘em out a little, they will offer your band a gig without you even asking.


December 20, 2008

Just discovered…’s so cool!

rockin the Mac

December 10, 2008

“I’m rocking the suburbs
I take the checks and face the facts
that some producer with computers
fixes all my shitty tracks”


I think Ben Folds summed up today’s recording process beautifully in the track “Rockin The Suburbs”:

Not all that long ago, when all we had was wonderful 24 track tape to record on, we had to go into a professional commercial recording studio to make a record.

These places were expensive, only the mega star bands could afford any extended length of time recording; the rest had to get in and out as quickly as possible, or have to sell body parts to afford extra studio time.

This process and the necessity to focus on capturing the performance, forced musicians to actually become proficient at their instruments. It was very difficult to “fix” poor performance, off key singing and general sloppy playing prior to the Mac and protools.

There’s a saying engineers once used; “You can’t polish a turd” often heard after someone else had uttered the phrase “We’ll fix it in the mix” after finally giving up on attempting to fix a poor performance, by actually having it, well, performed better.

Today you can cut and paste, edit, tune, quantize and sample your way to a polished recording (and dare I say turd?).

Now, I love and embrace all the tools available to today’s recording artist. There are amazing records being made in garages and bedrooms at a fraction of the price once required.

Just make sure that when it comes to playing live that you can actually reproduce the recorded “performance”. If you’re in a band trying to make your way in the world, you should be proficient at your chosen instrument. Practice the right things daily, take lessons, and learn to play accurately, with feeling and in time.

There’s no excuse for poor musicianship. Your band will sound better; the recording process will be more productive, as it will be all about capturing “that” performance, rather than some producer with computers, spending hours and hours, fixing all your shitty tracks!

Your music sucks!

November 25, 2008

You are not your art!

The music you make is just something you’ve produced, it’s not you.

When someone tells you that they don’t like your music, it’s not a critique of you as a person, simply a judgment on something you’ve created.


Likewise, positive feedback is not about you either, but rather about something you did that resonates with the listener.

Sure, we all want to be loved; it’s just that our self worth shouldn’t come from people’s opinion of our work.

Fans don’t really love you; it’s the experience that you give them that they love.

Welcome to the show

November 19, 2008

Sorry, we’re just having a few problems with our keyboard rig,…………….. um Hi, thanks for um coming, um, um, this is called um……..(turn to guitarist and whisper) Are we ready?………….. Now you can listen to me tune for 30 seconds, entertain yourselves………….. Can we get more foldback, less keys in the monitors……….Guys, what’s next?………mumble, mumble…. Ooops, the drummer has started the wrong song and it’s too fast!………This is a new song, we’re not quite sure how to end it, so bare with us… um thanks for coming, um see you later…….


What your audience is hearing is: We don’t have it together, we haven’t rehearsed enough, we’re not really all that professional, and most importantly WE JUST DON”T CARE!

You have to care! People have taken time out from their lives to watch your gig. Show them respect and give them an experience to take home and talk about….

Are you listening?

November 15, 2008

In this soaring demonstration, deaf percussionist Evelyn Glennie illustrates how listening to music involves much more than simply letting sound waves hit your eardrums.

Is music more than just playing your instrument to an audience? How can a musician who has almost no hearing play with such sensitivity and compassion?

No one knows anything about the future of music!

November 15, 2008

Don’t believe anyone that tells you they do, and especially anyone with a book to sell you on the future of music and how to succeed!

Sure, the current business model is dead. That’s been so well documented that it’s not worth talking about, yet it’s nothing to do with the future .

All we know is that the landscape has changed. Consumers no longer  want to consume music as we have been for the last 40 years or so.


So how do you get your band ready for the future?
Work on your live show, grow your tribe one fan at a time and be remarkable, a band that people talk about.

The future is coming, we have no idea what it looks like, but we can be ready for it.

19 minutes you won’t regret!

November 13, 2008

Lessig talks at TED

Can you see the future?

November 12, 2008

What does your band future success look like?

Have you even thought about it?

Do you have a goal, a plan, a place your heading to? Words are imperfect, so use whatever words you need to describe your destination, but just have one.


We’ve all played tennis racket guitar along to our favorite band as kids, and dreamt of one day hitting the big time. Now that you’re kind off grown up, what does “the big time” mean to you now? What’s your definition of being in a successful band? What’s your collective band definition of success? If you don’t have one, work it out and soon!

With no clear picture of how you wish your career to pan out, how with you ever achieve any success? Sure, luck will play a part in any successful career, but it’s the kind of luck successful people refer to as working hard and then being in the right place at the right time.. They all talk about how hard they work for their “lucky breaks”.

Without a direction, how will you decide which gigs to play, or more importantly, which to refuse? Without direction, how will you know what to do with that CD you’ve just recorded? How will you know who your audience is, or where to find them?


Without a clear picture, how would you know where you were at any point? How will you ever know how far you’ve come or how much further you have to go?

How will you know what the next step is if you’ve no idea as to where you’re going?

Are you making things happen, or just waiting for things to happen to you?

TOP 40!

November 10, 2008

I often hear bands complaining of how hard it is out there. “We’ve tried everything and nothing is happening.”

I commend anyone that has tried “everything”, but I find that not one person can give me their “TOP 40”.


Who are the last 40 people you’ve contacted about your band?

What are the last 40 things you did to try and promote your music?

Most can only give me a few items at best.

So, have you really tried “EVERYTHING?”