WAIT, WHERE ARE WE GOING? Music Biz
Hi all, the changes and challenges that face professional musicians, both at the "grunt in the trenches" level and at the tip of the "artist" pyramid have been bruited about in any number of threads, both here on this site and many, many others. But, as a music school with an emphasis on contemporary music, what instruction/suggestion/advice to you give incoming and graduating students about issues such as:
1. the decline of recorded music purchase and the rise of both illegal filesharing sites and licensed streaming sites (such as Spotify and Pandora) that offer miniscule revenue to the musicians involved
2. the decline in live performance venues and rise in "pay to play" venues, not to mention that basic pay for most clubs (at least in NYC) is pretty much the same as it was (or worse) in the 50s, fer crying out loud.
On a more personal note, I know that the publisher of my book, Chuck Sher, has had his business almost decimated by folks who think nothing of digitizing the fake books that he painstakingly had notated (the first two were prior to programs like Finale or Sibelius, that was all hand notated), had printed and, like the stalwart cat he is, PAID THE LICENSE HOLDERS to use the music in the book, and then distributing them either online or on CD or flashdrive to the world. So,
3. How does Berklee feel about the free and unlicensed filesharing of your publications?
I guess what I meant to say was, what kind of strap is best for metal?
Iíll lead in with some of my views and then answer your questions.
I think the main point is to find what/who are the patron of the arts now. In Bachís time it was the church. Mozart it was royalty. Then through the evolution it became the record label and recorded music. Now we are in a state of having to find more/ different patrons. Some patrons for me have been educational institutions, government funding, and fans.
You have to create multiple revenue streams. Some streams for me are:
Teaching- Berklee, clinics, private lessons
Transcribing/ Music Copyist
Merch Sales- CDs, digital downloads, t shirts, etc.
Licensing Ė placement in movies, tv shows, and Japanese wrestlerís entrance haha
To create these streams requires a certain skill set. Organization is a big one!! But develop other skills along with your bass playing. Learn how to get around a DAW, music notation software, Excel, and work on your writing skills!!!
Now to answer your questions a bit more direct:
1. I think those sites are great for listeners to find more music. But I still think the best way to sell CDs and Merch is being with an audience face to face. Most of my CD and Merch sales have come after live performances. Myself and most other people are more likely to purchase music right after the show.
2. Iím not too familiar with the NYC club scene since I live in Boston. Also what is your definition of ďpay to playĒ venues? I have done shows with my bands where we have rented out halls. It is more work and risky but can have a bigger pay off.
3. Iím personally against unlicensed file sharing in general. I still buy lots of books and music. I sometimes buy it in a digital format since Iím running out of room on my shelves haha. (Whatís your book?) But I think there are gains for making music or publications available for free, IF the owner of the rights approve of it.
As for the best strap for metalÖ I use a DR leather strap for the past 10 years. But if Iím planning on going really crazy with bass tosses and other tricks I prefer a nylon strap, I find it easier. ;)
Hahahha. Those are some heavy points in your first post.
Probably gonna be spring break before anyone can properly address those.
In short. The Music Business has changed dramatically in the last 10-15 years. Some opportunities/ revenue streams have diminished while others have been invented or reinvented. Those who have found ways to embrace and exploit these inventions are enjoying the fruits.
Those who lament about the way it used to be ( I lived in NYC in the early 80's, ) without evolving are frustrated. Many who have evolved are frustrated. But I see many,many more opportunities for young musicians than existed in the "get a good gig" generation from which I came.
The challenge is to turn these opportunities into revenue streams. Entrepreneurial Thinking rules.
Making a living playing Be-bop was hard in the early eighties. Harder now.
Takes some ingenuity IN ADDITION TO tons of practice, these days.
Question 3... Almost No one likes to be ripped off. The big question is how does one solve it or enforce it?
ITunes/Apple did a good job in many ways.
I can't speak for Berklee in this regard but I know that I don't like seeing my CDs and books available in other countries and I'm not getting paid. That's a struggle even for The huge publishers, let alone boutique's like Sher.
More later if others take de-bate.
Oh, and I'm here.
Since that model doesn't seem to viable any more, what do the "business of music" classes cover these days?
I'm trying to come up with a "hook, line and sinker" pun, but I guess I need more coffee....
The eBook stuff -- My son will sometimes buy a book online and download it to his Kindle or Kindle App on the iPad. I'm not sure if those eBooks are protected in anyway or not. I don't know of any way to download it without putting in my account number and password.
I'm guessing these eBooks are a little more protected than just putting it out as a .pdf
2. For the pay to play I know exactly what you are talking about. It's very common in the rock club scene for original music. I'm not a fan of it, but it's all I've known. Unless it's been with a more established band that has some more muscle to get a guarantee. But I've only dealt with "pay to play" playing original music. Never cover bands.
3. With bass moves I have not invented my own to name haha. Once when touring in the metal genre I traded bass playing lessons for bass antics lessons with another bassist on the tour haha. It was nice because he was endorsed by ESP and allowed me to practice bass tosses with his bass!! My first try I bounced the headstock off the parking lot pavement!!! hahaha
But if he want to see some crazy bass moves watch the bassist Wolf from "The Chariot". He's insane!! Filthy, dirty, hardcore player as well!!
Did I just ruin the fun? :atoz:
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