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Whatís So Hard about Making it as a Musician? - by Christopher Knab
So, whatís so hard about making it as a musician? My simple answer would be....fantasies are safer than realities. How many times in your life have you seen images of success? The entertainment media shows nothing but successes.

Whatever kind of music you grew up listening to on the radio, seeing on TV, hearing on the soundtracks to your favorite movies, read about in newspapers and magazines, and saw in live performance were musicians who were either already successful, or on the major label-supported-road to fame and fortune. (The media spend very little time informing the public about all the bands and artists who arenít in the charts!).

ou wanted to be just like the stars didnít you? When you started out you were indoctrinated with a belief system garnered from years of absorbing the music and lifestyle images of successful artists, and a mindset took over your consciousness.

It goes something like this: Buy some good equipment, and the instrument of your choice. Take some lessons, practice for awhile, start playing with other like-minded musicians. Since you have written some songs, record a demo, and get out their and play gigs, will be discovered! But the wrong thinking doesnít end there.

You also believe that having been discovered, the music business in all its wisdom, will support you 100% and you need only keep writing and playing your music, and success will come your way. Basically, when it comes to the business side of things, you believe that as an Ďartistí, you wonít have to worry about such mundane things as business issues.

I may be over simplifying this situation. But somewhere inside you resides a belief system not unlike what I have spelled out. At some point in your theorizing, you land up believing that an outside group of individuals will come along, and recognize your talents, and they will take care of you forever...they will make you a star.

Get over it.

It most likely will not happen that way. What can happen instead is that if you are willing to cash in your old belief system and allow for some reality to shine in on your consciousness. It could very well happen that you could establish your career on your own, make a respectable living as you develop, and even decide at some point along the way, that controlling every aspect of your career, isnít so bad after all. Well, more and more musicians over the last decade have come to that very conclusion.

Loreena McKinnett, Fugasi, Ani DeFranco, Steve Vai...the list goes on.

So, beginning with this column and over the next 10 columns I will be addressing the following issues in more depth. But for now, sit back and find yourself in the following

10 Reasons Why Musicians Fail

This list consists of 10 things that keep musicians from making a living with their music.

1. The fantasy of being a star is easier than working to be a star.
2. Discouragement over the lack of support from the people you think you need.
3. Naive concepts and wrong beliefs regarding the reality of the music industry.
4. The unwillingness to get down in the trenches and do grunt work.
5. Lack of a commitment from fellow musicians in the group.
6. Improper funding of recording and promotion plans.
7. The belief that someone will come along and discover you.
8. Poor musicianship: lack of professional skills that make a master musician.
9. Unoriginal music that lacks inspired ideas.
10. Refusing to believe that art and commerce are inseparable.

Christopher Knab, Music Business Consultant

for Effective Product Development / Promotion / Publicity / Performance.

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