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This book I'm reading now I wish wish wish wish. I had read in high school/college or even the last 10 years but I just found it now. If I knew anyone going into the business now I'd buy them a copy and lock them up until they read it. Maybe more books out there or even better ones but this one is great. Called How to Make it in the New Music Business by Ari Herstand. Frankly as I read It I had no idea about currently what an artist or a band needs to do to get and build a following. I used to make fun of the Cheesy back story that American Idol and the Voice put up about the artists but now I get it. Your fans as you get started /build and maintain your following care almost more about you and your story than the latest b9 slick lick you learned in class or how fast you can play a chromatic scale. I am no relation to the author, I picked up the book just for junk reading to put me to sleep at night and really, really guys. This is must reading if you want to understand CURRENTLY what to do and how to do it. anyway, I'm only half way through and its turned my head around. I'll take the 10K with PayPal. Thanks K
 

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Oh it's ABSOLUTELY about building a narrative and making people CARE about you as an artist, 1000% more than your skills or even the product you put out. Social Media has changed everything. It's about being accessible to your fan base and making them feel involved in the process.
 

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I talk a lot about the current state of the industry to my students- I think a lot of teachers, especially those who are older, still give advice based how things used to be. There is a lot that goes into it, but I think being currently on the scene and working is an asset as an educator to properly prepare and advise young musicians on their journey.
 

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I talk a lot about the current state of the industry to my students- I think a lot of teachers, especially those who are older, still give advice based how things used to be. There is a lot that goes into it, but I think being currently on the scene and working is an asset as an educator to properly prepare and advise young musicians on their journey.
I really agree Dave. I can tell kids how to get good enough to play with the crap RnB and Pop bands that gig for 50 bucks a piece around here but I had no idea about the different markets in music and how each one has its own path/place to do it and how to. So this book fills in big gaps for me. One quote I'll never forget is if you want to work in Nashville there are 75 to 100 country songs you need to know. If you want to work more be the best on your instrument . If you want to tour with a good band be the best on your instrument and be a GOOD Hang. great advise. also all the intermediate steps even before you try to get your song/Cd on the radio. Also how to make money in music even if you don't want to tour or perform much? There is so much I didn't know and social media has changed the game . You or your band needs the following even before you hit the club scene. Never occurred to me > K
 

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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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Your fans as you get started /build and maintain your following care almost more about you and your story than the latest b9 slick lick you learned in class or how fast you can play a chromatic scale.
Surely they care more rather than the "almost more" you say.

Why would "b9 slick lick you learned in class or how fast you can play a chromatic scale" have any bearing on one's success in the music business or as a professional musician?

That stuff is great if you are on a sort of old time jazz circuit or if you are in the top 0.5% of jazz musicians, but really - that is not something students should get hung up on. They need to learn about show production, image and online and real world marketing.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Surely they care more rather than the "almost more" you say.

Why would "b9 slick lick you learned in class or how fast you can play a chromatic scale" have any bearing on one's success in the music business or as a professional musician?

That stuff is great if you are on a sort of old time jazz circuit or if you are in the top 0.5% of jazz musicians, but really - that is not something students should get hung up on. They need to learn about show production, image and online and real world marketing.
Show production, image and online and real world marketing Yes yes yes. BTW, I referring to the many many many students who judge their ability to work by how far down the jazz reharmonization hole they can go. You hit the nail on the head. Its about building a brand. I really didn't understand alot about the current market. this book really opened my eyes. Im not "In it" like alot of you guys. My gigs were always down the food chain so I wan't exposed to alot of what some of you deal with on a daily basis K
 

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Keith, please give us a synopsis of what the book says we should be doing to take our bands to a higher level of success in "the new music business".
 

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This book I'm reading now I wish wish wish wish. I had read in high school/college or even the last 10 years
It was published December 2016. But, here's an article with the primary take-aways:

https://busk.co/blog/busking-tips-tricks/how-to-make-it-in-the-new-music-business/

1. Prepare for setbacks
2. There are a lot of myths in the industry
3. Have a good team around you
4. Pre-release, and get ‘super-fans’
5. Busking is a relevant part of the music industry
6. Connect your audience to your online network
7. Don’t just take physical donations
8. Have a professional delivery
9. Use similar strategies to those used by small businesses to market your products
 

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This book I'm reading now I wish wish wish wish. I had read in high school/college or even the last 10 years but I just found it now. If I knew anyone going into the business now I'd buy them a copy and lock them up until they read it. Maybe more books out there or even better ones but this one is great. Called How to Make it in the New Music Business by Ari Herstand. Frankly as I read It I had no idea about currently what an artist or a band needs to do to get and build a following. I used to make fun of the Cheesy back story that American Idol and the Voice put up about the artists but now I get it. Your fans as you get started /build and maintain your following care almost more about you and your story than the latest b9 slick lick you learned in class or how fast you can play a chromatic scale. I am no relation to the author, I picked up the book just for junk reading to put me to sleep at night and really, really guys. This is must reading if you want to understand CURRENTLY what to do and how to do it. anyway, I'm only half way through and its turned my head around. I'll take the 10K with PayPal. Thanks K
wow I guess I am doing the right thing having lots of facebook and instagram followers . It is about talent too but of course social media has really helped my alot . I am getting this book thank you and goos luck to you
 

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Show production, image and online and real world marketing Yes yes yes. BTW, I referring to the many many many students who judge their ability to work by how far down the jazz reharmonization hole they can go. You hit the nail on the head. Its about building a brand. I really didn't understand alot about the current market. this book really opened my eyes. Im not "In it" like alot of you guys. My gigs were always down the food chain so I wan't exposed to alot of what some of you deal with on a daily basis K
I tell all my younger students "If you learn the tar out of the blues scales in all keys and can wail a solo out with one you can start gigging" It's all you need for most of the music played today.
 

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I tell all my younger students "If you learn the tar out of the blues scales in all keys and can wail a solo out with one you can start gigging" It's all you need for most of the music played today.
How about this 11 year old:


He is the son of a friend of mine. I think he'll do very well without any book.
 

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Keith, please give us a synopsis of what the book says we should be doing to take our bands to a higher level of success in "the new music business".
I'm halfway through but so far as far as a band goes my biggest take aways are. 1. Have a back story for your fans. give them non musician reasons to devote their time to you. 2. Release on a regular basis short videos of updates on the band, tours, new songs, different directions in approach. Make something up. You have to feed them the non musical stuff. 3. Most musicians think its 80% practice and 20% promotion (many not most) but its actually 90% promo and 10% practice. 4. You have to know lots of tunes to work , then be the best in your area on your instrument , then BE SOMEONE FUN TO HANG WITH. Thats more important than I realized. its true if you are a dick or can't manange to be interesting/fun you are competing with people who are. 5. Either you have to hire or assign someone in the bands to A manage band rehearsals and schedules B Do new creative poster art for any new venue or city you play. C. Someone has to be on the phone for hours a day getting gigs. D. Either get a great friend to or hire a sound man , Crucial. E. someone has to take and edit all the video shots which are becoming mandatory with any announcement or new song, new information. Good production quality also, no more iPhones and no planning. 6. Keep on all the contacts you have to make sure that the gig in cleveland is still on and not cancelled. Many more items.
The author also breaks down the three major cities where most music production is happening now by areas of the city. So its LA NY and Nashville but he details which parts of each city you might want to live in and which parts to avoid. Also makes the valad point that if you are drinking coffee along with potential people who can help your career you are ahead of people living far far away. This is only one book and one guys opinion but if you spend 45 to 60 an hour for a music lesson now with a private instructor (like I do) why not spend the 15 bucks or so for the book and few hours to read /skim it. I am retired, not in the game. but if my career was ahead of me I'd do anything I could think of to get a leg up on my competition. Just my 2 cents. K
 

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And I would make a huge distinction between gigging and making a career in the music business. Steve is a wonderful teacher and great player but his creativity in the publishing of his online books and his online lessons, and all the transcriptions which drive people to his site is what will make his retirement much much different and allow a different lifestyle. So there are many talented people out there playing and performing for money but not nearly as many who can "make a career" out of it. I know a very good pianist who plays with a gazillion bands 7 days a week. He does more gigs in a week than I do in 2 months but he is barely able to get by financially and without his girlfriend has no healthcare. So the talented gigger will get gigs but can you survive on that? K
 

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Related story....A couple of years ago I happened to get seated next to a top caliber SEC athlete on an airplane ride across the country. I asked her about her professional prospects. She said she had none. “Look Ben, if you want sponsorships, you need to have a massive Twitter following, otherwise no one is going to pay to support your professional career. I don’t like doing any of that stuff. I just like to run.”

With the discipline required to achieve what she had, I am sure she will be successful in nearly any field she chooses - as long as it is not related to entertainment.

I love people like this.

I started life as an engineer because it gave me a 90% chance of making a decent living.....so many of us have been there. Get to enjoy music now because my regular job has given me the money to do it.
 

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When I was trying to make it in my very limited career I was playing in the top corp band in St Louis (Bob Kubans Brass at the Cardinal Football games and other great union gigs) Ihad 30 private students I was driving to after school for lessons, I sub taught in the Parkway School District, Played in the Parks and Rec pro band and a couple of wedding bands. I was busy, I was gigging, I never slept, I made 7 thousand that year. (1980) Then I moved to San Fran and got a job as a stock clerk (union) and was making 21K a year. Triple the income with half the work. My point isn't that music biz is bad and day gigs are good but that I didn't understand how back then to monetize my talents. To go from sideman to band leader, go from driving to kids homes to my own facility school of music, etc. So , there is really alot to just the running of your own small business which is the category I'd call alot of music careers.
 

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Thanks for sharing, I’ll definitely be looking into this! I’m an accountant by day, but I really wish I had pursued music as a profession.
 

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I've watched my friend Tiffany Austin make it as a jazz singer - very interesting. Yes, she has really solid chops, she is very smart and likable and good looking, but she also did very effective networking with the established musicians in the Bay Area jazz scene (who she performed with, and vice versa), and she has a really good social media presence (I regularly see her things pop up on facebook - concerts, albums, etc.) Google her and see.
 

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Related story....A couple of years ago I happened to get seated next to a top caliber SEC athlete on an airplane ride across the country. I asked her about her professional prospects. She said she had none. “Look Ben, if you want sponsorships, you need to have a massive Twitter following, otherwise no one is going to pay to support your professional career. I don’t like doing any of that stuff. I just like to run.”

With the discipline required to achieve what she had, I am sure she will be successful in nearly any field she chooses - as long as it is not related to entertainment.

I love people like this.

I started life as an engineer because it gave me a 90% chance of making a decent living.....so many of us have been there. Get to enjoy music now because my regular job has given me the money to do it.
Me too. In some ways it's discouraging that a love of music and being a really good musician is not enough to make it in the music biz. I think Keith has the right idea. Anyone in high school planning on trying to make a living in music should have to read a book like this. Not so much so they gain all the skills but to make them aware what it's going to take to make it. Most of the younger folks I've met lately in or just out of college for music are very good players but honestly, few have the drive, desire, worldliness, or general skills, aptitudes, or acumen to do all this kind of marketing, networking, and self-promotion. With the money that most of these folks owe in student loans and as expensive as life is these days you can't afford to be learning or just figuring this stuff out in your 40's and mastering it in your 50's.
 
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