Jump to content


Please note: You can easily log in to MPN using your Facebook account!

What are your goals and aspirations?


Recommended Posts

What are your goals and aspirations for your music? What would you like to accomplish in two years? Five year? Ten? What's important to you? Recognition? Financial success? The respect of your peers? The attention of the opposite sex? Hearing your music on the radio? Playing live to adoring fans? Partying with the rich and famous? Having and endorsement contract? A signature model? Your own tour bus? A private jet? What would you look back on with pride in thirty or forty years? A string of hit singles? A legacy of well-produced albums or scores for feature films? A memorable stage presence? A cult following? A string of sexual conquests? Whatever your goals are, they're your goals. Maybe you want to be a lip-synching teen idol - I'm not here to pass judgment on you. What I DO want to ask is this... Have you THOUGHT THOROUGHLY about what you want to accomplish? Have you defined your goals? Do you have a plan in place for the accomplishment of these goals? In other words, are you moving toward something concrete, or are you floating along, waiting for a break? Are you making progress, or do you feel stuck? If you are stuck, have you thought about why that is and how to move past that place? Is it a matter of finding the right people to work with, or perhaps getting RID of the people you work with now? Do you need training or experience? Do you need gear? Do you need to relocate? Are you pursuing the resources that can provide you with the "missing ingredients," or are you waiting for the proverbial "big break" to come along and sweep you effortlessly into the winner's circle? Are you moving forward? Are you moving fast enough and in the right direction? Do you know what the right direction is? Is "success" a hazy idea or a clearly-envisioned objective? Do you have a road map to "success" or are you driving around the countryside hoping to run into it one day? Could you be doing more? Working harder? Working smarter? Learning more? Making more and better contacts? Could you be more consistent? More persistent? More focused? What's between you and your dream? What's holding you back? Do you really have a dream or just a daydream? If you ARE moving toward (or living) your dreams, how did you manage that? Did you make critical decisions along the way that propelled you forward? Have you made some key contacts along the way? Do you have a team of supportive people in place? These are rhetorical questions. I don't expect anyone to post direct answers to them, but I would like you to think about where it is that you want to go an whether you're on track to get there. Perhaps you can post some impressions. Perhaps you have some ideas about career advancement or techniques for making contacts or tips on finishing an album that might inspire one of your colleagues. Maybe, in addition to sharing information about microphones and guitar strings, we can find a way to encourage each other, to push each other toward bigger and better successes. Just a thought. Worth a shot, I guess.

The Black Knight always triumphs!

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites



  • Replies 49
  • Created
  • Last Reply
Interesting questions, Dan! My main objective is to make music that I enjoy creating at the time and also can be proud of in years to come. I'd like to be playing with my current band for many years into the future, and for us to continue to grow creatively and constantly be doing new things that drive that forward: writing and recording new songs, playing gigs, and enjoying ourselves like we are doing now. If anybody wants to pay us to do this, nobody would complain. It would be nice to make a modest living from this, but if that process in any way detracts from the prime directive - our enjoyment of the creative process - then we don't want to pursue it. We'd like to be heard and build a loyal "cult" following, through releasing our music on the Internet and perhaps on an indie label (I doubt very much a major would touch us, and in all likelihood we wouldn't be interested if one did) and gigging. We certainly wouldn't mind some radio play or filling up 1000 seat venues, but being rock stars isn't really on the agenda. We think being one of those "slightly under the radar" artists like Richard Thompson or Robyn Hitchcock, who always have a record deal and make a decent living and a very loyal and respectful fan following, but can still walk the streets relatively unnoticed, and who don't kowtow to current trends, would be just swell. I'd say that success at this level is part hard work, part trusting your instincts to lead you to the right things - the "lucky break" as it were (but it usually isn't luck), and part pure love for what you do. You can't succeed as a "cult hero" if you aren't passionate about your particular niche and able to put that passion across. I need to get some sleep now :D , but this promises to be an interesting thread and I'm curious to discuss how people go about jump-starting their goals. --Lee
Link to comment
Share on other sites

STEEMPY...YOU EEEEDIOT!!! Actually, what Lee said, kinda. Goals? Well, a wise person once said "What's more important than making a record is [i]leaving[/i] a record"... I think that it's art, and all of us who are artists want our work to be accepted on some level, some acknowledgement that what we do doesn't suck...that it touches someone else in some unique way. I asked my wife once..."What do you do when you want to hear a song?" to which she replied "Play the CD"...to which I countered "What if you don't have the CD"...to which she responded "Go out and buy it"...to which I prodded, "What if it hasn't been recorded yet?". My point? Trying to communicate to a non-musician the frustration of having tunes rolling around in your head...trying to get them out. Ultimately it's about you yourself, ya know, but it sure is nice if someone else digs it...even if it's only one other person.
"Cisco Kid, was a friend of mine"
Link to comment
Share on other sites

[quote]Originally posted by Dan South: [b]What are your goals and aspirations for your music? What would you like to accomplish in two years? Five year? Ten? [/b][/quote] My goals would be to be able to earn a living from playing my music. Secondary would be to have a tolerable living that allows me to play my music and feel I'm having the opportunity to be heard. 2 years: have my current demo completed and successfully dispersed, enabling me to arrange a band behind it allowing me to have 3 concurrent gigging situations: a vocal/pop band, an instrumental/everything else band, and the acoustic gig. It would be nice to be able to do that for a living, but I don't expect to. 5 years: nothing specific outside of hopefully being able to multitask my life/abilities into something more lucrative, either through playing/composing music combined with engineering, some sort of music-teaching offshoot (a book), maybe something else (as long as it's music related). Has to be music related; I won't be around otherwise... [b]What's important to you? Recognition?[/b] Nope. [b] Financial success? [/b] Of course. Financial success means personal freedom, plain and simple. For the "success" part to be there it has to be related to music, though. It would be "easier" to have "*financial* freedom" outside of music, but I would consider that a *failure*. [b] The respect of your peers? [/b] That has to come with it I think for anything to happen, right? That seems to be the easy part to me (just as long as no one finds out about the... well, I'd better not tell.. [b] Could you be more consistent? More persistent? More focused?[/b] Of course. My problem is that I throw away probably about 90% of what I produce because I hate it before I finish it. This is probably because of the aforementioned sleep condition, since I've had people threaten to come over and steal my hard drives and mix my music down without my permission... Focus isn't hard if I'm enthused, but I tend towards glumness, which is probably sleep related. If something doesn't strike me as being the Ultimate Answer in all aspects, composition, arrangement, execution, novelty, tone, style, approach, everything... I lose interest. Then I listen back a few months later and think "why did I abandon that?". That's something that is going to be fixed in 2002 as well. [b]What's between you and your dream? [/b] Happenstance of fate I think? I don't know. You tell me. I haven't had a good representation of my playing up on the net yet, and even people that have heard me around town have only heard me under "questionable" conditions... My "dream" of living off my music seems quite attainable from a sense that I feel I can create music of a caliber consistent with most anything I hear, but the miscellaneous.... peripheral business I'm not sure about. There's also the problem of "what's the logical direction style wise?". I hear Mike Landau and I think "man.... that's so cool, he gets paid to do what I like to do - does some playing here, some there, recording bit there, live gig there, has his solo projects," etc.. Not pigeonholed. That would be pretty ultimate, but I can't do it here. On a tertiary level, there's a lot of guys who have moved themselves into a sort of comfy regional marque.. which requires a live band, connections... ambiguously cloudy things... working on that I suppose. [b] What's holding you back? Do you really have a dream or just a daydream? If you ARE moving toward (or living) your dreams, how did you manage that? Did you make critical [/b] Nothing is holding me back except where I live and my "gigging resources" I think. [b] Have you made some key contacts along the way? [/b] Man. I've made contacts but at the wrong time it would seem... [b] Do you have a team of supportive people in place?[/b] Not really? That is elusive. [b]These are rhetorical questions. I don't expect anyone to post direct answers to them, [/b] No one expected the spanish inquisition, either. [b]Maybe, in addition to sharing information about microphones and guitar strings, we can find a way to encourage each other, to push each other toward bigger and better successes. Just a thought. Worth a shot, I guess.[/b] The main reason I post here is that it helps me codify my thoughts about such things. It keeps me aware of the rest of the planet's activities, I suppose inlieu of living in a "big city" where it's more evident. In other words, it's enlivening to hear about everyone's different pursuits and successes, as opposed to living in a very limited (and warped) vacuum called "Augusta Georgia"....

Guitar Lessons in Augusta Georgia: www.chipmcdonald.com

Eccentric blog: https://chipmcdonaldblog.blogspot.com/

 

/ "big ass windbag" - Bruce Swedien

Link to comment
Share on other sites

god willing... on the material end... (1) a wooden den with a walk-in humidor (2) a large collection of rare books (halfway there) (3) a DECENT project studio (4) a wife who's still hot when she's 40 (5) a death ray on the spiritual end... (1) self-actualization on the political end... (1) RESPONSIBLE globalization (2) world peace (3) a death ray
Link to comment
Share on other sites

[quote]Originally posted by Dan South: [b]What are your goals and aspirations for your music? What's important to you?[/b][/quote] In the smaller view, I simply wish to bring some happiness, and perhaps even joy, to someone else’s and my own life through music. In the larger view, I seek to further the physical, emotional, intellectual and intuitive development of my bodymind, and the spiritual development of my non-corporeal body, such that I may know the nature of myself and the world as one. It is important to me that I do not renounce the gifts I have been given in this life, and to show some wonder for all that is. It is also important to me that I am available to become both student and teacher to others if the opportunity presents itself. [quote][b]What would you look back on with pride in thirty or forty years?[/b][/quote] That I had realized my potential to its fullest in good faith and integrity. [quote][b]Have you THOUGHT THOROUGHLY about what you want to accomplish? Have you defined your goals? Do you have a plan in place for the accomplishment of these goals?[/b][/quote] I have both thought about it and non-thought about it. ;) I choose to actively visualize my progress and direction and what I need to do to further that progress. I also meditate such that I may exercise that which will make the visualization clearer and my progress easier. [quote][b]What's between you and your dream? What's holding you back?[/b][/quote] I think what is between me and my dream are the choices I make that do not contribute to realizing that dream. It is all the energies I expend that are maladaptive or self-defeating, perhaps behaviors which served me well at one time but do not do so now. I am talking about things I project into my own conscious awareness that feel externalized somehow, like fear and doubt, things I could otherwise choose to acknowledge and dismiss. The only thing holding me back is me. [quote][b]These are rhetorical questions. I don't expect anyone to post direct answers to them, but I would like you to think about where it is that you want to go an whether you're on track to get there. Maybe...we can find a way to encourage each other, to push each other toward bigger and better successes. Just a thought.[/b][/quote] I think part of what allows a person to achieve success is not considering these questions as rhetorical, but asking them with a full expectation of an answer. Intelligence and wisdom applied to the flame of the mind’s eye and the willingness to work can get you there. Dan South, please don’t end your post by diminishing it with saying “just a thought,” because it is more than that. By asking these things you have perhaps become both student and teacher. That is something that cannot be manifested in “just a thought.” You could enable someone to awaken to their own nature and realize potential of which they were unaware. That’s a gift of the highest order.
Go tell someone you love that you love them.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

[quote]Originally posted by Tedster: [b] Trying to communicate to a non-musician the frustration of having tunes rolling around in your head...trying to get them out. Ultimately it's about you yourself, ya know, but it sure is nice if someone else digs it...even if it's only one other person.[/b][/quote] Dammit, Tedster you stole the words out of my brain :D Exact same thing - get these rythms and melodies out of my head, onto tape (CD, DVD, whatever) and communicate as intense an emotional response as my own is to what I'm hearing (thinking). Financially? I couldn't care less. I've heard my stuff on the radio, I've seen my face on TV, I've sold a lot of merchandise, signed people's shirts, but none of those thrilled me enough to really want to make it a living. It was fun and all, but I'd HATE to make a job out of it. ;) Even if others were handling the business work, the way I used to for others, it still wouldn't do anything for me. Recognition is kind of nice, but too much and it's a drag. Then again you did mention the other sex - THAT I can't bargain with :D Peace, Harold
meh
Link to comment
Share on other sites

[quote]Originally posted by aeon: [b] Dan South, please don?t end your post by diminishing it with saying ?just a thought,? because it is more than that. By asking these things you have perhaps become both student and teacher. That is something that cannot be manifested in ?just a thought.? You could enable someone to awaken to their own nature and realize potential of which they were unaware. That?s a gift of the highest order. [/b][/quote] :) EVERYTHING'S just a thought until WE forge something more tangible from those thoughts. That was a little joke to myself. I've often struggled with these very same questions. Sometimes I'm productive and sometimes I'm not. Why? How can I move more steadily and consistently toward my goals? Because, after all, the greatest album/concert/symphony ever produced was once "just a thought" until someone worked their ass off to make it happen. How do we take a great idea and turn it into something more than just a thought? If we can help each other by discussing these concepts, we've taken an important step in the right direction.

The Black Knight always triumphs!

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I hope this doesn't sound like a flip answer, but... My goal is to get better. Whatever positive things come as a byproduct (recordings, money, etc.) is fine. A more specific answer would be... Eventually I want to be somewhat proficient on most of the instruments in an orchestra. I want to be able to multitrack myself playing each instrument and be good enough so that even those with the most jaded ears will be convinced there's realy a live band/orchestra playing, not one guy in his basement with a DAW. I don't want to set time limits or "I gotta do ____ by 2 years, ____ by 5 years, ___ by 10 years"... I've run marathons that way ("OK, I'm at mile 10, so my time should be... Crap! I'm nowhere near it!" :mad: ) and have had no fun when I think that way. I'd rather just inch towards my goal with the understanding that take probably the rest of my life to get there, [i]if[/i] I get there. If not, I'm going to have fun and hopefully make some music that I like along the way. :) [ 01-09-2002: Message edited by: popmusic ]
Link to comment
Share on other sites

[quote]Originally posted by Dan South: [b] I've often struggled with these very same questions. Sometimes I'm productive and sometimes I'm not. Why? How can I move more steadily and consistently toward my goals?[/b][/quote] You know, it was funny but reading your first post, although I really appreciated the stimulating questions, I got the feeling that you were somewhat taking a "corporate" attitude toward music. Some of it sounded like questions that might be asked in a motivational speech at a business seminar. :D I'm not knocking the business world for what it is, and of course, many musicians/composers/arrangers HAVE to take that kind of attitude because they are dealing with the business world every day (film scores, label deadlines, gig contracts etc.) But when you say "sometimes I'm productive and sometimes I'm not" as if this is a bad thing, I wonder do you mean creatively productive, or productive in your professional goals, or what? Cuz one thing I've noticed that has certainly applied to me and to a lot of others I've observed, is that in a creative endeavor you can't necessarily measure "success" in terms of "productivity" and that you don't necessary move "steadily and consistently toward your goals". You may end taking a lot of side roads, and it's often good to have periods of downtime. This doesn't have to mean you're lazy or unfocused. Sure there are lots of musicians who ARE lazy and unfocused, but it's a balance: one can just as easily get too goal-oriented and regimented as too lazy or unfocused. So I think part of the process of making great ideas come to life is to give them the time and space to do so, and not beat yourself up too much if you're not consistently moving "forward". Recognize those times when you aren't "productive" as times when stuff is rattling around your brain trying to find the best way to happen. Recognize that "the muse" is not really something you can control, and even the business part of music is pretty bizarre compared to traditional businesses. :D [quote][b]How do we take a great idea and turn it into something more than just a thought? If we can help each other by discussing these concepts, we've taken an important step in the right direction.[/b][/quote] I think you're right, and I'm really psyched that you started this thread! Looking forward to hearing more and contributing more. --Lee
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks, Dan, for externalizing the voices in my head, the incessant questions-without-answers that are the root of my malaise. And thanks, Chip, for an answer so detailed and honest that it approaches the universal by way of the microsopically personal. What the hell does that mean? Rationally, I gave up the successful rock band dream a while ago, but its troublesome spirit persists. Realistically, I want to hone my composing and recording chops with more focus and direction than I have in the past, build on the work I've done for theater and media (and the connections made but un-exploited), hope to be recognized as a valuable oddity in a small wing of the music world. Get a decent commercial demo together. Convert the garage into my studio space. I want to be less fearful when it comes to taking myself public--give up the psuedo-indie detachment and accept that I really do care and really do want to be heard. I view myself as a self-subverted alpha dog--leadership, vision, even tyranny are in my nature, but starting at a young age, I worked very hard to negate that and essentially undermine any expectations placed on me (by myself and others). So I have wended my way through a shabbily artistic life as the classic youngest child--talented (If I'm allowed to say that), but unfocused, largely unrealized potential. 40 dawns next August. I can no longer be content as the non-committal dilletante--an identity that I used to cherish and it pisses the hell out of me now. My goal: to stick my neck out and take a punch. [ 01-09-2002: Message edited by: Magpel ]
Check out the Sweet Clementines CD at bandcamp
Link to comment
Share on other sites

To start this little essay, I 'd like to say: If I want my son to learn a lesson, it would be to never give up. It does not matter -really- if you suceed or not, But doing it. DO not "try". DO IT. Now... [quote]Originally posted by Dan South: [b]What are your goals and aspirations for your music? What would you like to accomplish in two years? Five year? Ten?[/b][/quote] To me, It will be SUCCES to have my music being listened AND enjoyed; I want to enjoy making music, as I have always done. My music career is divided in three big areas: (1) Performing Musician / Artist. I'm getting older quickly so I have to focus into this. The time to do it is NOW. (2) Composer / Producer. You can never get too old to compose or produce anyone so this is the next step after step accomplishing -or not- step (1). (3) Music technology. Man, this is new and unexpected for me and I'm so proud of what I have done in the last 6 months. However, I'm doing my best to keep it in pace with step (1). I can get realy old and still working on this. This is a life plan now. [quote]Originally posted by Dan South: [b]What's important to you? Recognition? [/b][/quote] Yes, it is a part of it. [quote]Originally posted by Dan South: [b]Financial success? [/b][/quote] This SHOULD be the prize of being succesful. Not always happen. [quote]Originally posted by Dan South: [b]The respect of your peers? [/b][/quote] I have it. It does not depend on how famous you are. Being respected is a part of being REALLY successful in whatever you do. [quote]Originally posted by Dan South: [b]The attention of the opposite sex? [/b][/quote] Another nice side effect of success. [quote]Originally posted by Dan South: [b]Hearing your music on the radio? [/b][/quote] Absolutely yes. And in films, TV, etc. [quote]Originally posted by Dan South: [b]Playing live to adoring fans? [/b][/quote] Playing live, YES. I love it. "Adoring fans" are the dressing of this wonderful salad. [quote]Originally posted by Dan South: [b]Partying with the rich and famous? [/b][/quote] Already doing it ;) . Not an issue. [quote]Originally posted by Dan South: [b]A signature model? [/b][/quote] "model" of synth or... ? Actually, no. [quote]Originally posted by Dan South: [b]Your own tour bus? A private jet? [/b][/quote] I do believe in the power of outsourcing, so I don't think in getting an own plane, bus, to be as important. [quote]Originally posted by Dan South: [b]What would you look back on with pride in thirty or forty years? A string of hit singles? A legacy of well-produced albums or scores for feature films? A memorable stage presence? A cult following? A string of sexual conquests? [/b][/quote] All of the above, Dan, plus the fact of seeing my son being proud of it too. [quote]Originally posted by Dan South: [b]In other words, are you moving toward something concrete, or are you floating along, waiting for a break? [/b][/quote] As Chick Corea said once: Success comes in steps called "gradients". I'm doing my best to get every single gradient accomplished. [quote]Originally posted by Dan South: [b]Are you making progress, or do you feel stuck? If you are stuck, have you thought about why that is and how to move past that place? [/b][/quote] Alternate routes must be always a part of the master plan. [quote]Originally posted by Dan South: [b]Do you need to relocate? [/b][/quote] I certainly need to. But there are some steps prior to this. [quote]Originally posted by Dan South: [b]Are you moving forward? Are you moving fast enough and in the right direction? Do you know what the right direction is? [/b][/quote] Not "fast enough" but certainly forward. If not the right and only direction to success, I'm moving closer every time. [quote]Originally posted by Dan South: [b]Is "success" a hazy idea or a clearly-envisioned objective? [/b][/quote] Not THAT clear. I'm open to everything. I know what success could mean, but I don't know how his face yet. [quote]Originally posted by Dan South: [b]Could you be doing more? Working harder? Working smarter? Learning more? Making more and better contacts? Could you be more consistent? More persistent? More focused?[/b][/quote] YES. We all could. It depends on our requirements and accomplished gradients. [quote]Originally posted by Dan South: [b]Have you made some key contacts along the way? Do you have a team of supportive people in place?[/b][/quote] Lots of contacts. Interesting people I would't meet If I was not in this industry. I'm by nature a team leader for my projects but I have some experts supporting me. [quote]Originally posted by Dan South: [b]These are rhetorical questions. I don't expect anyone to post direct answers to them[/b][/quote] Oh my... :D Remember: Sometimes It does not matter If you hit the goal or not. Walking the way is everything for some of us... Sorry if this was too long. Thanks Dan!

Músico, Productor, Ingeniero, Tecnólogo

Director de Ventas, América Latina y Caribe - PreSonus Audio Electronics

 

Instagram: guslozada

Facebook: Lozada - Música y Tecnología

 

www.guslozada.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Fall in love Marry Have a child(ren) Do something with music (see below) Hopefully, in the order presented. Since I'm nothing more than a wannabe musician, it seems odd for me to be hanging out with you guys. Gotta start somewhere, I guess. But about 11 months ago, I decided, after much soul-searching about where to head with my life, that I wanted to quit dinking around on my acoustic guitar, which I had done for 34 years, quit being the local live music attendee record-holder and just dreaming... and take a stab at improving my musical skills. With the goal of getting good enough to at least play parties and maybe small gigs. Solo. I bought an electric guitar (Fender Strat MIM), Fender Blues Junior amp. Whacked around on that for a few days. Then bought a Yamaha PSR740 keyboard workstation. Then a Taylor 310KCE acoustic and a Fender Acoustasonic Junior amp. And a whole shitload of books. (Give me six books on any subject and desire and I can do anything.) ;) Over the next several months, I practiced a lot except for the summer months, when I again went apeshit over golf. Music practice took a back seat. Got after it again when I again hurt my shoulder and golf had to go for awhile. Sometime last fall, I came to the realization that "Hey, I am a LOT better. My guitar skills are WAY better. My singing is WAY better. Hey... maybe I can really do this!" Problem... settling on a playlist. Spent countless hours listening to and cataloguing songs I considered good ones for me. Last I looked, it was up to, like 673, or some ridiculous number. ;) Had a tentative gig debut date of my birthday, November 13. Then... Enter... the girl. Met a girl October 13 that caused my heart to do the pitter-patter thing. Went absolutely nuts over her. On October 15, we attended a wedding for some friends. That night, at the reception party (live band), it was a blast. In a mushy moment, I uttered these fateful words: "I'm going to write a song for you." (I had almost zero experience writing songs... had only whipped out a couple of silly things in the past.) So, in the next 24 hours, I wrote a song. I called her answering machine and played it to "her." She went nuts after she heard it. Actually, it WAS pretty good. For a boy-girl thing, it's all mushy and romantic and appropo for the romance department. But what surprised me was that it actually turned out pretty good! I knew nothing about song structure and stuff like that. I just subconsciously copied verse/chorus/verse/chorus structure used by countless songs I have heard over the years. And I was pretty proud of the guitar accompaniment. Fingerstyle. I thought it was kinda pretty. So, through my popping off to her... and actually doing it... that was the birth of the next great songwriter. Me. ;) Since then, I've gone nuts with songwriting. Me and the girl, as of yesterday, are split. I guess. Not sure. But I think we're split. Unless I hear something different from her, we are. Turns out, it appears we aren't a good match. Doesn't need to proceed anyway, as she can't / doesn't want any more kids, so we don't need to get serious anyway. But man, for the most part, I was crazy about her. The other part, her bad side, wow, it was a test! Amazing what romance does for the songwriting department. I've written about 35 songs. Blows my mind to look back at them and think that _I_ did this. All by myself. 35 songs in a little more than 60 days. When I say song, I mean lyric. Probably 20-25 of them have music, too. I have 15 or so that I play regularly that are good enough to pass off as completed work. During this songwriting period, I bought several more books. (Give me six books on any subject and desire and I can do anything.) ;) So, as I read these books, things would come up from time to time from the author that would make me think, "That's me! S/He's talking about me! Hey, _I_ sound like the person s/he is talking about... what makes a good songwriter." So, in little spurts, my confidence crept forward. Mind you, coming as much from what I read and learn about songwriter traits as it would from my opinion of what I was producing with my songs. (I saw myself in these authors' descriptions of good songwriters.) So, as of this morning, I am 99% sure I am going to pursue songwriting in a serious way. Serious meaning trying to get something published some day. I may be a fool. Time will tell. But I'm not just going to strike out and spend the next few years stumbling around. I'm now considering polishing up a handful of my best songs. Getting them as good as I can get them. Doing a good demo. And then hiring one, maybe two, respected critiquers in the industry to give me an analysis. At this stage of the game, I just want someone to tell me "Okay, so you wrote these in your first 60 days at songwriting? Okay, they're not good enough. But they're pretty good. But if you wrote these in your first 60 days, I see potential. You've got some talent. Work at it and you might get good enough." And of course, tell me why they're not good enough so I can make a judgment call about how to "fix" them and how that relates to my inborne talent. Something like that. It boils down to this. At this stage of the game, due to the songs I have written and my own opinion of them... and things I have read from songwriting book authors about what makes a good songwriter... and my own seemingly boundless creativity that I have utilized in the past to write marketing material over about 20 years... and my tireless work ethic (very few people can outwork me)... slowly (or fast, maybe)... I have concluded that I can do this. I can really do this. HEY, I CAN DO THIS. So, I am now in the process of taking stock. And analyzing the resources I need and those who can give me feedback. What I mean is, I think the thing to do is try to get a few songs "done," complete with demo, and then get some feedback from experts (not my friends... they think I'm wonderful) to find out if I have potential. Depending on those answers, I'll flesh out where/how I'm headed. If I were to get feedback from people such that it is negative, I don't know how that would affect me. If I truly respect their response, I might just hang it up regarding "seriously" pursuing songwriting. Because "serious" songwriting, from what I can see, is not some mysterious gift from above. It's damn hard work. Simple as that. I have worked my ass off to write these songs. And I don't even know what I'm doing yet. But I know enough to keep refining them. And I know enough to recognize their weaknesses. And that takes time to "fix." Bottom line is that I had NO IDEA of the work involved in songwriting. No clue. BUT... I guess what excites me is that I am not afraid of hard work. In fact, I'm a workaholic. So, there could be something there for me. I'm foolish enough that when I look at great songwriters, I don't revere them such that they are superhuman. It appears to me that many of them just got good through a bit of talent and a lot of hard work. I think I have some talent. And I know I can work hard. And I love music. Therefore, I think I can do this. And I think it would be SO cool to create great songs. It truly is art. You are literally creating something out of thin air. Until I got into songwriting, I never realized how a good song is art. I find it a fascinating process. The odds are SO high against any songwriter wannabe making it. I'm not one who wants to spend the next ten years stuggling and then failing. (Who does? What I mean is, at this stage of my life, I'm not about to do it on a wing and a prayer. If I'm not confident I can pull it off, I don't see myself as continuing.) What's weird about this is that I think I can do this. How does ANYone make it? They believe in themselves. Right now, I believe in myself, based on these 35 songs and what I've said in this post. If I get a handful of songs anaylyzed and I get a thumbs down reaction from my expert critiquers, I might hang it up. BUT... who's to say I couldn't be GREAT at songwriting. Who's to say I might be one of the most creative writers ever? You don't know until you try. As far as how it meshes with the big picture for me... this sounds kinda philosophical and such, but... songwriting is a way for me to leave something. I hope I can get good at it. Because I don't have any children. Drives me nuts. I am 48 freakin' years old and no kids. Still hopin'. But I kinda need a wife for that. So that presents a problem. I hope it (family) happens but if it doesn't, I shudder at the thought of just living and then dying and not leaving something worthwhile. Seems kinda like songs could be a legacy. As far as just gigging... still working on that. Just only so much time in the day. Songwriting has taken so much of my time, been kinda hard to work on a live act. But I think I can pull that off, too. Got my eye set on a local gal who sings like a dream. Wow, that would be cool to hook up with her for a duo. We'll see. Problem... money. My business pursuits (call me an entrepreneur) must allow me to make a living outside music. Because the songwriting takes so much time. Amazing how it so often boils down to money. And from what I can tell, odds are high against making enough money to make a living within music. Wow, this is long. Amazing how I bare my soul on this forum. Sorry. But hopefully, someone will find something of value in this post. I have enjoyed the others. Good thread, Dan! [ 01-10-2002: Message edited by: LiveMusic ]

> > > [ Live! ] < < <

Link to comment
Share on other sites

so many questions...so early in the morning [b]What's important to you? Recognition?[/b] Sure, it's better than being told you suck.... [b] Financial success? [/b] Too hard to define. Chip said "Financial success means personal freedom, plain and simple." I would strongly disagree. Unless you are a trust fund baby i.e. 'the Strokes,' or win the lottery, more money usually means more overhead, which in turn enslaves you to some degree to the source of said money. [b] The respect of your peers? [/b] see recognition... [b] The attention of the opposite sex? [/b] not anymore. any young and willing girls that would be attracted to this old fart, surely have something very mentally wrong with them and should be avoided.... (plus my wife knows kung fu) [b] Hearing your music on the radio? [/b] doesn't suck. unless it's that one song where you curse a whole bunch and refer to using your penis a lot and you are in the car with your mom when it comes on...... [b] Playing live to adoring fans? [/b] as long as they really are adoring and don't ask for "Freebird..." [b] Partying with the rich and famous? [/b] As long as they pick up the tab.... [b]Having an endorsement contract? [/b] I dunno. what would i endorse? i was working on a Converse Chuck Taylor high-top sneaker endorsement and then they went under...(sigh) perhaps doan's back-ache pills, or geritol? [b] A signature model? [/b] I'd rather have a model than her signature... [b] Your own tour bus? [/b] Unfortunately, i can't read in a car without getting sick. Bus sounds better than a van, but something tells me it's coming out of my "recoupable" budget... [b] A private jet?[/b] a regular plane flight with no boxcutters on it will do just fine... [b]What would you look back on with pride in thirty or forty years? [/b] Still having my hair, my memory, and my liver intact, a daughter who didn't grow up to be a crack-whore, and having written something that at least one person besides me still remembers... [b] A string of hit singles? A legacy of well-produced albums or scores for feature films? A memorable stage presence? A cult following? A string of sexual conquests?[/b] done the sex thing long ago, too old in today's world to start any legacy of singles or albums. most folks say i have memorable stage presence, so i guess that leaves me watching cult films on tv..... [b]Maybe you want to be a lip-synching teen idol[/b] sure would! just tell me how i can be a teen again. i have a feeling that the method for doing that is included in the same book that tells you how to get your virginity back... :) [b]Have you THOUGHT THOROUGHLY about what you want to accomplish? Have you defined your goals? Do you have a plan [/b] plan seems to get downgraded a bit with each passing year, otherwise depression levels rise substantially.. [b]progress, or do you feel stuck? [/b] seems like no progress, but when you look back i guess things are moving along ok [b] Is it a matter of finding the right people to work with, [/b] nope. [b] Do you need gear? [/b] a free publicist wouldn't hurt. nor would an indie record promoter who worked for free. [b] Do you need to relocate? [/b] I should have left New York years ago, but at this point why bother... [b]Are you pursuing the resources that can provide you with the "missing ingredients," [/b] Yep. i think it's called "the way back machine"..... if only i knew then what i know now! [b]Are you moving forward? [/b] somewhat [b] Are you moving fast enough and in the right direction? [/b] never fast enough. not always in the right direction. [b]Do you know what the right direction is? [/b] when yer at the bottom there's only one way to go...UP [b] Is "success" a hazy idea or a clearly-envisioned objective? [/b] it's an evil voice that haunts you like a curse [b] Do you have a road map to "success" or are you driving around the countryside hoping to run into it one day? [/b] yeah, i have a map, but most of the highways are under construction so i've had to make do going somewaht out of my way on the small, winding roads... and had a few accidents along the way. [b]Could you be doing more? [/b] always... still trying to get that walking while chewing gum thing down... [b]Working harder? Working smarter? [/b] sure [b]Making more and better contacts? [/b] yup. [b] Could you be more consistent? More persistent? More focused?[/b] all the above [b]What's between you and your dream? [/b] ugly reality. oh, and a 9 foot hairy troll named vladimir.. [b] If you ARE moving toward (or living) your dreams, how did you manage that? [/b] lots of sacrifices. [b] Have you made some key contacts along the way? [/b] never enough [b] Do you have a team of supportive people in place?[/b] very tiny team. kinda like a chess tream rather than a football squad. -d. gauss http://www.betteroffdead.com
Link to comment
Share on other sites

[quote][b] You know, it was funny but reading your first post, although I really appreciated the stimulating questions, I got the feeling that you were somewhat taking a "corporate" attitude toward music. Some of it sounded like questions that might be asked in a motivational speech at a business seminar. :D [/b][/quote] It's okay, Lee. Corpophobia is not life-threatening. ;) Every non-trivial endeavor - planning a vacation, remodeling a house, throwing a big bash, promoting a concert, writing a novel - requires some degree of management, not business management per se, but project management in its purest sense. I'm not interested in how business people manage their project, because most of them can't plan a luncheon competently. I posted this thread, because I'd like to discuss how MUSICIANS manage to get their projects done. Creative projects are similar to business projects in SOME ways, but the "heart and soul" aspect is clearly distinctive. That's one of the issues that I'd like to get at - how do you keep a project on track while at the same time keeping the "creative juices" flowing? In terms of my relative productivity month to month, I'm not looking to turn myself into a non-stop, music crunching robot. But there have been times when I've finished a cool project, learned a lot in the process, and then looked forward with great anticipation to the next one - except I'll not do ANYTHING for several weeks. I WANT to, but I find ways to avoid doing any work. That's always been a mystery to me. [ 01-10-2002: Message edited by: Dan South ]

The Black Knight always triumphs!

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Duke - sound like you've caught the BUG! Welcome to the club! Gus - You're one of my idols, man! You pump out a lot of tunes, and they're all GOOD. How the heck do you DO that?? d gauss - The penis song; that was YOU? My Mom LOVES that song. :)

The Black Knight always triumphs!

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You guys are being waaaay to mature about this. It's like the joke that ends you can't grow up AND play music. Simply put, I want to be first on the sub list for Anthony Jackson, Will Lee, Jimmy Johnson, Nathan East, Darryl Jones. That should keep me in bass strings.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

[quote]Originally posted by Dan South: [b] I posted this thread, because I'd like to discuss how MUSICIANS manage to get their projects done. Creative projects are similar to business projects in SOME ways, but the "heart and soul" aspect is clearly distinctive. That's one of the issues that I'd like to get at - how do you keep a project on track while at the same time keeping the "creative juices" flowing?[/b][/quote] Personally, I've found that I need other people to do it, as independent as I am in most other areas of my life. The best "other people" are bandmates, for me, but they can also be songwriting partners, or other producers/engineers, depending on the nature of the project. Sitting alone in my home studio just doesn't cut it for me, in terms of keeping the creative flow going, whereas if I have at least one other person around that I respect and we're bouncing ideas off each other constantly, it's not a problem. There are some exceptions. Once the basic tracks for a tune have been recorded, for example, if I'm playing guitar I DO like to zone out for hours alone in the studio trying different guitar parts. Same way with mixing - I love to mix and do it well alone. Also, although I'm good at things like marketing, booking, and other business aspects of running a project, I prefer for someone else to take care of that. It frees my mind a great deal. I also find that having short term goals and deadlines helps to keep things moving forward. In my band we always make sure we have a gig coming up within a week or two, and if we don't, we use the time to do other stuff, like writing and recording. Having big chunks of time where we don't get together, doesn't sit well with us. We also try not to get on a treadmill with anything - we cast about for different kinds of gigs than what we've done, and we always work on new material so that we don't end up playing the same songs at the same venues all the time. Creativity requires dynamic thinking, and getting too stuck in a routine will eventually kill creativity in my experience. [quote][b]In terms of my relative productivity month to month, I'm not looking to turn myself into a non-stop, music crunching robot. But there have been times when I've finished a cool project, learned a lot in the process, and then looked forward with great anticipation to the next one - except I'll not do ANYTHING for several weeks. I WANT to, but I find ways to avoid doing any work. That's always been a mystery to me. [/b][/quote] Yeah, it's a mystery to most people who are used to thinking in the "business mode" where you consisently go to an office every day and have to DO something to feel useful. In truth this "down time" is intensely valuable and that's why your subconscious - the wellspring of creative flow - will always find ways to avoid "working" at times when you need to reflect. After finishing a project that you're proud of, it really is good to rest on your laurels a little. If it was a recording project, kick back with your favorite beverage of choice and put the record on your stereo and go, "This is COOL!" :) If you want to do this for a few weeks, no big deal. Solicit feedback from others if you wish. Take a vacation or whatever. Consciously or not you will be absorbing what you did and learning from it, thinking about how to do better next time, etc., plus recharging the creative batteries. As I keep saying, music is a lot like sex - you can't be hot and heavy with it ALL the time, and to deny yourself the foreplay and the afterglow is to miss out on the full experience - not to mention you'll just get burned out after awhile if it's always "Wham, bam, thank you ma'am" and on to the next conquest. Right? :D --Lee
Link to comment
Share on other sites

[quote]Originally posted by Lee Flier: [b] As I keep saying, music is a lot like sex [/b][/quote] ok, music is like sex. but a lot of people say sex is like pizza i.e. even when it's bad, it's still ok. so does that make music a pizza?..... :) -d. gauss
Link to comment
Share on other sites

[quote]Originally posted by d gauss: [b] ok, music is like sex. but a lot of people say sex is like pizza i.e. even when it's bad, it's still ok. so does that make music a pizza?..... :) -d. gauss[/b][/quote] Yeah, but even the worst sex...is pretty damn good.
Down like a dollar comin up against a yen, doin pretty good for the shape I'm in
Link to comment
Share on other sites

A few years ago I saw Billy Joel and Elton John in concert. At once point, Elton left the stage, and Bill Joel sat at the piano and played a few of his ballads. As he was performing "Piano Man", he asked the audience to sing with him, then he just quit playing and singing, and sat back on the bench and listened as 10,000 people sang HIS song back to him. And the cool part was that you could tell he was truly loving it. I've always wondered what it would be like to experience that kind of thing. A cool kind of validation that the music I wrote meant something to people. Sorry if that's corny. :cool:
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yo Slice... it ain't corny at all... Perhaps this comes off as sounding trite, but I'm extremely happy where I am [i]right now[/i]. Not long ago, I was I came out of a place that led to nowhere but a meaningless death. Every day... is a revelation to me. The fact that I am here at all...growing into what I know is a better person every day...[i]this[/i] is what I want. For me, all the rest is just that. The rest. Steve
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Lee, I agree that there are many ways we experience music (and those other aspects of life you mentioned). For myself, I am as good at procrastinating as I am about the other "modes" of my life. I can be OK at different speeds. There have been times at work where the pressure biulds up and I look aside and play around with something else. For whatever reason (enter Dr. Freud) it loosens me up and frees my mind, and then I can tackle what I have to. It's when I look back at the procrastination I get annoyed at myself. That's what I work on fixing. Maybe others find that too. I'm going to answer Dan's real question later (band practice tonight - have to go soon). And when I answer it, it will be as long as the others. FYI, I copy the post and paste into a notepad session on my machine just in case the electronic world conspires against me in that moment (and me an IT guy). I recommend that approach for any posts you make that are long, hard to recreate in your head, or way cool !! Dan, I'll say it now. Thanks for generating such a thoughtful topic. It's great reading, and helps you think about your own life. Tom (crawling low back to the Lowdown - passing Smed going to the keyboard corner)

www.stoneflyrocks.com

Acoustic Color

 

Be practical as well as generous in your ideals. Keep your eyes on the stars and keep your feet on the ground. - Theodore Roosevelt

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...