Archive for November, 2008

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?”

JUST don’t DO IT!

November 7, 2008

What else do you do in your band?

You play an instrument, sing, or perhaps you’re the drummer with aspirations of becoming a musician one day.


What other roles have you taken on?

I’ve been in bands where I was booking agent, press agent, tour manager, web developer, fan list administrator, even accountant, just to list a few.

I had one of those “aha” moments recently. These roles are not why I’m in a band!

I’m a musician and playing drums for my band is what I do. I’m just not interested in any of those other roles anymore.

You know what? That’s how it should be!


If you’re currently your bands booking agent and you’re frustrated with all the time and energy it burns, then simply stop! There is always someone else who will enjoy the role. If it’s not within the band, then do a little work and find them.

The point is that you don’t have to take on any role that you don’t want, just because someone has to do it. Find someone that wants to do it instead

If you do take on any non playing roles, keep in mind that people are relying on you, so make sure it’s something you enjoy doing.

a different path

November 5, 2008



Be open to exploring new ideas within your songs. Just because you wrote a song a certain way, doesn’t make it the definitive version. Try any idea that comes to mind, just to see what happens. Mess with arrangements, find new interesting parts to colour the song with.




You might be pleasantly surprised with what you find when you head down a different path.   

What’s your plan?

November 4, 2008

What is your band plan?
What are your goals for this week, next week, next month, and in 5 years time?


What, you  don’t have any? So, how will you know that you’re moving forward and growing as a band?
If you don’t a have group goals you could be surprised with each member’s definition of success.

One band member might define success as achieving his life long goal of recording a CD and selling just 1 copy. Another member defines success as having his music played on the radio, whilst another  deems  sales of anything less than  5000 copies a failure!

We all have our individual dreams within a band, but if the band doesn’t come up with some common goals, things will get ugly!


So, get really specific with your band goals and map them out.

You’ve played a few gigs and all your friends and family tell you how great you are and that if you had a CD they would be the first to buy a copy.  You get all excited, as it’s the next step towards world domination.

So, what’s the plan?

What’s the budget, and all the minutiae that’s involved in recording and pressing a cd?
With an open ended project, that is the self funded CD, there is the danger of the “project” dragging on for ever and a day as you work towards perfection.  When  after months you finally emerge with opus in hand, you find that your small yet loyal fan base has virtually forgotten you. Bands you  shared gigs with thought you  had split up, as your website hasn’t been updated in over 6 months. You find yourself having to start all over again.


A great idea that some writers employ, is to design the cover and layout of their new book before they start writing a word. This really helps the process, as just having that “finished” book in their hands makes the whole project tangible.
Do the same with your CD. Design the physical product, name it, write all the linear notes and then make a physical copy. Details can change at any point, but having a semblance of the final product might help you.

Your cd is eventually finished and you now want it played on the radio. Time to get specific again. Which radio stations to you  want to play it? Who are the djs at your chosen stations that you want to play your cd?

You’re now tired of managing the band yourselves and want a manager. Ok, which manager do you want? Who is he? Who is he managing now? Get specific. If you feel you  need a manager, work out who he is and find him.


You’re done with playing to your 10 friends and an empty room. You want support gigs with some of the bigger bands in town. You know the drill by now. Which band do you want to support and where do you want to support them?

Get the picture yet? Start asking really detailed, specific questions about what it is you want as band and you might just find the answers you need…