Independent Artist Website – A Game Of Musical Hats

I was going to liken the struggle of making it in the music business to a game of musical chairs, until it occurred to me that there had be too much sitting down and you had never get anywhere. You had also be going around in circles, which is a big waste of time and effort — plus it is probably something you are doing too much of already, which is why you are reading articles like this in the first place.

Forget the Clowns, Bring in the Hats

If your music or (heaven forbid) your day job are not making you enough money to pay for professional help, you will have to handle as much of the biz as you can, with assistance from your bandmates, your family, your friends, and, oh, everybody you have ever met and most everyone you are going to meet from now on. No matter how many tunes in your repertoire, you will have to be a one-note song now, henceforth and always. It is all about your art, your craft, and your music. If the people you are closest to you are not telling you that all you do is talk about your music and your career, then you are probably not talking about your music and your career enough.

And if some new person appears who can help you move even a fraction of a step farther down the road, you have to talk me up. Maybe this guy who signed your website guestbook is a graphic Independent artist who will do your CD cover for tickets; maybe this lady at your gig is an acoustic engineer who will diagnose your recording space for a good home-cooked meal; maybe this local radio DJ will interview you and your band for, oh, one of your sisters home-cooked meals.

Do I sound cynical? I am not really. It is just that you have to be realistic. You probably will not be discoveredor luck out somehow and get a record deal. Like everything good (or valuable) in life, it takes time and unflagging devotion to get anywhere in the music biz. Calvin Coolidge, a President who let the government finance minions stumble right into the Depression, was still plenty insightful, and he uttered a truism about success that is so good many people attribute it to Abraham Lincoln:

Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan press on has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.

So, you press on. There are a million things to do, but first things first. Take one step at a time. You can come back to the demos and the internet distribution and all that later — and anyway, that lets me stretch what I have to say into a series.

If ever you do start to doubt the saying, by the way, just remember where it came from: Calvin Coolidge. As far as persistence trumping talent, he is living proof.

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