Apr 11th, 2009 by Dave Piersall
How Do I Get Discovered?
I have been a musician for about 35 years now, seen a lot of stuff, played one hell of a lot of shows, and have wasted lots of chances. The one thing I have learned in my quest is don’t waste valuable time screwing around with booze and parties when you could be building your vessel to rock and roll stardom. If I had known that lesson 25 years ago I would have been farther today believe it. This is a young mans game as the record companies and agents are looking for the next boy band, the next new sound and it does not come with an old man way past his prime like me. For all you young kids out there just starting to build the dream of being a rock star listen to the words of an elder who has learned the hard way and don’t make the same mistakes I have
From the Words Of Paul Rogers “In the Beginning”
In the beginning of the quest for making it big some poor misguided fools will mistaken what being a rock star is all about. It is not about dangerous women, parties, and living on the edge. Being a successful musician takes more than natural raw talent it takes determination and a solid work ethic to succeed just like a real job. You need to decide right now before you waste valuable years infecting your mind with the fairy tales you have conjured up in your dreams.
Are You Really Ready to Take on the Commitment?
If you really want to be famous then forget about the fame part and concentrate on why you want it in the first place. You need a really BIG reason why in life to sustain any dream. So what is it? What is your reason? Could be your reason is you want to have lots and lots of money but that reason will not take you there in my opinion. A good reason could be because you want to share your God Given dream for writing songs with great messages with the world and you won’t let anything stand in your way. That would be a great start. What ever your reason is make it one that will sustain you through the tough times and the distractions that come with the musicians that you will need to get there.
So What Do You Do Next?
First thing is make sure your material is written well and most importantly recorded well as product is everything. If your product is weak all the promotion in the land will not take you where you want to be. So how do you know if your product is good? Take it to friends to get their opinions, and enter it into song contests to see how the public takes to it like Our Stage. Every good product goes through a testing stage as you may need to make slight or even major adjustments to your songs before you set out to conquer the world.
What Makes a Good Song Great?
A great song has all the characteristics you’ll find in the songs that influenced you as a kid. A hit song must have cohesive lyrics, great music, great melody, and it cannot go on and on without end. Proper formulas of a hit song can be found in our past posts “How to be a Better Songwriter” , “10 Steps to Being a Hit Songwriter”, and ” Song Stucture 101″ Use the formulas like gospel and separate yourself from the song you love so dearly because it’s your latest baby. Take a look from the outsiders view and ask yourself “Have I followed all the formulas?”, if not figure out where you lost track and fix it before you let anyone hear it as first impressions are hard to change.
Building a Band
A good product “Your song” needs a great company “Your band” behind it. If you settle for mediocre musicians you will have mediocre performances of your pride and joys which are the songs you took such care to create. Look for the best musicians you can find because a great song needs the right musicians to play it to capture the audience, and to make sales happen. A good place to find musicians no matter where you live are websites like “Craiglist” You will find placing an ad here will yield you many results and just remember to be picky as you are building your dream team. Run the auditions like a company would hold interviews and make sure you get samples of their work before you have them out so you don’t waste your time or the musicians time. Rhythm section is everything too so find the right drummer and bass player that have chemistry together or you will go nowhere believe me.
Touring will be a necessity and the better the shows the better your results will be. You may have to take some lumps in the beginning to build a reputation and audience along the way. Once you have this you can start demanding better shows and more money from promoters and booking agents. You can go the stubborn way and blaze your own path or talk to fellow musicians who are on their way to success already to find out who they use and what has brought them success. This is called “modeling” and it is a great tool to use when finding your way at first in any career.
The Street Team
Touring and sales will need to happen first before you approach a record company as they will want to see you have sold albums and have lots of fans first before they take the leap with you. Today many artists and bands are building this fan base by assembling a “Street Team” which is a group of fans who will go out and talk about your band, put up flyers, and basically pound the streets for you. So how do you build your street team? Here is a great free PDF from Kevin Morrison of eJams I found online. “Street Team Marketing”
Publishers and Record Companies
Believe it or not today record companies are playing a smaller role in bands making it with all the worldwide web has to offer in marketing. Online websites like www.MySpace.com, www.Facebook.com, www.Broadjam.com, www.taxi.com, www.Blip.fm, www.Twitter.com, www.Ourstage.com, and many others are leading the fight to getting musicians discovered and known today. Got a Blog on music you love? Go to www.Dig.com sign up and and dig it so the writer gets the well deserved credit for writing something that moved you. If you want to approach the record companies and agents www.Broadjam.com and www.Taxi.com are a good start and you can also try the conventional ways but remember you are one of millions of bands trying the same thing so this method might take some time to get noticed.
Whether you agree with me or not is up to you but protect your work, do what ever it takes to make it and keep up the good fight my friends. I will see you on the flip side