Getting that 'break' - is it possible?

Q: Do you believe that one day you will get the break that you've been looking for all this time? Explain why or why not. Sometimes it feels like we get told that we don't have a decent shot in this buisness/industry. How do we skip all that negative thinking and find a more intelligent way to get our material noticed?

A: There's no one way to make it in the music industry. We all have different skills, and some may perform and some may not. We all have different goals and aspirations, and a 'break' to one of us may mean nothing to someone else.

You need to define success for yourself - and I don't think it's a 'negative' to be honest when you are making this choice. You need to decide what 'success' means to you today and then make a plan & set goals to lead you towards that goal - and part of that is assessing where you currently are.

Perhaps some of what you read as 'negative' is information being imparted to you so you can assess your current skill level against that of the pros. I don't think that's a negative either. If I clearly know where I want to go, and where I am on that path, then I've got a much better chance of actually reaching my destination.

Once you have clearly defined what success means to you, then the steps that will lead you there will become clearer. You don't have have only one musical goal, either.

I think it is crucial to recognize that once you have that "thoroughly tweaked music" your job is only 50% done. You now have to become the marketer for your music. You have to understand the industry, how to network, speak the language… be determined but don't turn people off.… make friends, not use people.

Some of the goals I've set for myself are....

perform live more often
- improve guitar playing/take lessons
- take more harmonica lessons
- get some help on the mandolin
- think about maybe learning to play bass

make better demos, cut out the middle man
- place more music in film/tv in 2007
- buy a faster stand alone system, more ram
- buy an orchestra program
- work hard to understand how to produce at a higher level

market my music effectively
- learn more about networking & do it
- visit the music centers at least once a year
- stay up to date with blogs and newsletter

develop a Christmas & a new age album in 2007
- write the music, get it vetted
- slowly work on producing the music

write more commerically viable music
- work with experienced co-writers
- complete courses at SongU & Berkeley

IMO 'getting a decent shot' at the music industry doesn't happen overnight. It takes determination, songwriting chops, and people skills to get that first break. And those same skills are required to get your second break, and your third break.… etc.

Being a successful songwriter is just like becoming a successful artist… there's a big process of learning/developing/growing & networking that often isn't 'seen' once you become established. Establish your goals and work towards them systematically with passion & 'stick-to-it-ness'.
I'm a firm believer in the impossible. :)

cheers Vikki

Recommended reading:
"The Artist's Way" - Julia Cameron (it's a work book - do the work)
"6 Steps to Songwriting Success" - Jason Blume (ditto)

1 comment:

Abbyinternational said...

I think you have a great blog. I'm a newbie in the music industry and agree with your points on defining success for yourself and ways to improve as an artist.

My situation has been that I'm a solo artist and the people that I've met along the way who offered help (people that have been around for years a few famous)have done greater harm than good for me. Now it's the end of the year and I feel semi-jaded on how to approach the future with the wounds of my past.

How do recommend treating the wounds for a newbie in the industry, so that past wounds don't become future phobias?