Three music myths and fallacies that most people believe.
If you’ve been around the music scene for a minute, or like me, a little longer. You will undoubtedly hear stories. some stories even reach epic/legendary status such as Keith Richards preternatural ability to consume alcohol, cigarettes and drugs and remain alive, possibly forever… Or the story of how Steven Tyler and Joe Perry got the nickname, ” The Toxic Twins” from,of all people, Jerry Garcia. There are literally thousands of legends out there about various folks of whom some are celebrities some of whom are local musicians or groupies much less well-known.
The topic of this article is Music myths and legends but because the overall theme of this site is DIY/indie music business success tips. I want to focus on myths or beliefs about being in the music business that continue to persist and may have a direct impact on your DIY music career.
The impact/influence of myths.
Why even pay attention to myths in the music business? For the most part these stories are nothing more than just that, stories… Some stories however persist, year after year, generation after generation. They become a part of the cultural fabric and resultantly accepted as part of the lore of the culture.
Three myths that most musicians believe that aren’t true!
Myth # 1: “You need to grind away, paying your dues for 5 years, 10 years or more in order to be successful”.
This certainly is one way to go about your music career…. However, with digital direct marketing and sales technique aimed at your specific Niche Market you can cut a lot of wasted time and energy out of the equation.
Myth # 2: “Once you get signed to a label you’ve made it!”
Getting signed to a label “can be” a step towards having a successful music career and not that long ago it was a necessary step along that path. The old school music industry was very tightly regulated and controlled by Middle men gate Keepers in the form of Indie Labels and A&R reps for Labels at all levels.
However…., Getting signed IS NOT and has never been any kind of Guarantee of success in your music career and many artists have been dropped from labels with no rights to the distribution of their albums and Merch or recordings of their own music. I myself played in the backup band of a signed artist, he had a three album contract with a small to medium sized indie label. when I Played in his band he was still living on food stamps and still had to do all of his own booking and managing of his gigs and of his marketing and sales of his CDs.
Myth # 3: “I don’t need a Website/online Marketing and sales campaign, It’s too soon and people will just steal/Pirate my stuff anyway…”
Ok Guys, wake up, sniff the coffee, It’s 2016. All Business is being conducted online. Believing this myth pretty much guarantees that you will be a Living example of Myth # 1. Now, I know most if not all Musicians these days are using Social media. But 95-98% of musicians are using it ineffectively. That being said, I have heard with my own two ears and seen postings online that some musicians still believe That They don’t need a website or an online marketing strategy or an online sales funnel. The Only thing I can say to that is… You may be right. But only if your Musical goals include just remaining stuck in a local market and playing local bar gigs and other local events. If you want to remain stuck in the “hobbyist” stage of your Career for years to come. Then yes you are right you don’t need a website or an online campaign.
As far as the Stealing/Pirating goes, You not getting your media up online quickly is Not going prevent someone from pirating your music. In fact I watched a Video a week ago where a Music Business consultant talked about how one of their clients is involved In a legal battle with a “FAN” who went to their shows and recorded all their songs with an iPhone and Then put up a “fan channel” on you Tube and started Monetizing all of the you tube views and making money off of the bands songs.
You won’t ever stop people from stealing/Pirating your stuff But if your smart and Savvy maybe you can use it to your advantage. But either way, Not having a website and you tube channel or other social media outlets claimed as your own is only making it easier for someone to beat you to it and make money off of your music.
Succeeding in the New Music Business means changing with the times, understanding the market we are reaching out to and being willing to change our role as Musician/artist to Musicians/artist/entrepreneur. You don’t have to stop listening to the rhetoric of the old school music Business But, you need to recognize that what worked for musicians in 1976 or even 1986 may not be the only or even the best way to plan and execute your career in 2016
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