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#550438 - 08/21/19 06:31 AM [Off-Topic] Is there still a career in music?
Registered: 03/24/15
Posts: 44
Lucm Offline
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I think I have some very good ideas and write some really good tracks.

At least I did until I listened to the PG User Showcase Radio. I was shocked at the quality of many songs and now I wonder why those people aren't famous or what they are ever doing with their music. Is there any career still left in music nowadays?

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#550440 - 08/21/19 06:43 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Is there still a career in music? [Re: Lucm]
Registered: 07/08/19
Posts: 123
Loc: TN
Roger Brown Offline
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There's always a potential career for an artist. It takes a lot of talent, hard work, diligence, and healthy dose of luck and timing.

As for being a stand-alone songwriter who writes entirely for other artists (me), those days are over for the most part. The money just isn't there to make it a viable profession anymore.

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#550446 - 08/21/19 07:34 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Is there still a career in music? [Re: Lucm]
Registered: 04/03/09
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Guitarhacker Offline
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Originally Posted By: Lucm
I think I have some very good ideas and write some really good tracks.

At least I did until I listened to the PG User Showcase Radio. I was shocked at the quality of many songs and now I wonder why those people aren't famous or what they are ever doing with their music. Is there any career still left in music nowadays?



talent has nothing to do with being successful in todays music business. Not really. Good writers and singers are a dime a dozen. Just go to Nashville and go in the bars and listen to the performers.

But.... to answer the question.... Is there still a career in music? There can be. you just have to figure out where you want to put your efforts to make it happen.
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#550450 - 08/21/19 07:49 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Is there still a career in music? [Re: Guitarhacker]
Registered: 03/24/15
Posts: 44
Lucm Offline
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Originally Posted By: Guitarhacker
Good writers and singers are a dime a dozen. Just go to Nashville and go in the bars and listen to the performers.


Why aren't they famous? Why does bad other music get so much attention, fame, fortune and glory?

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#550451 - 08/21/19 07:51 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Is there still a career in music? [Re: Lucm]
Registered: 02/15/17
Posts: 3105
Deryk - PG Music Offline
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Unfortunately, just being talented and tremendously skilled isn't enough to be famous - and I don't think that's ever been the case, though these days it is more true than ever.

As Roger said - it takes a lot of talent, hard work, sacrifices - and a whole lot of luck. Meeting and knowing the right people, and being in the right place at the right time. I'd argue being famous is overrated as well. To be that in the music industry, you really do need to fit a certain sound, which I'm positive most users in the forum don't want to partake in, and that's okay.

I mean, there are some incredibly talented people on the forums - but they can't compete with Drake or Post Malone because it's just so wildly different, and that is what being a mainstream artist sounds like these days.

95% of music I listen to is either older stuff, or modern stuff that isn't on the mainstream's radar. You can still 'make it' as a music artist, it's just different than it used to be. There is definitely a market for all types of music but being famous just isn't what it once was in the music industry, since the internet changed it so much.
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#550455 - 08/21/19 08:23 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Is there still a career in music? [Re: Lucm]
Registered: 07/08/19
Posts: 123
Loc: TN
Roger Brown Offline
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Loc: TN
Originally Posted By: Lucm
Originally Posted By: Guitarhacker
Good writers and singers are a dime a dozen. Just go to Nashville and go in the bars and listen to the performers.


Why aren't they famous? Why does bad other music get so much attention, fame, fortune and glory?


Talent has nothing to do with being famous, or being a successful artist. A lot of incredibly talented singers/songwriters see their careers fail because they have no business acumen. The music business is just that....a business. Record labels don't give a damn about talent, they care about making money. They're not going to invest in an artist who, for example, has a lazy work ethic....or who is disorganized and misses appointments/meetings...or is habitually late to the same....or has drug/alcohol issues, or bad temper...or who isn't incredibly active on social media, and effective at it.

Even if you do everything right, it's still incredibly hard to make it big. All the dominos have to line up and fall at the right time for it to happen.

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#550456 - 08/21/19 08:28 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Is there still a career in music? [Re: Lucm]
Registered: 12/10/15
Posts: 930
Loc: Cornwall UK
Mike Head Offline
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Hi

Well music is a very broad brush and much of what is being said on here is just a case of Horses for Courses !

There is a lot of head banging, raping etc out there that sells and is popular and it sells, but it makes me cringe.

Most on here will write what I call good music, country, ballads, rock etc ,
But you can’t expect a head banging club DJ to play it.
In the same way you wouldn’t expect Liszt in a honky-tonk bar.
With the sheer amount and diversity of music of this and that flavour, it not suprising that a lot of good stuff gets lost along the way.

There are many different approaches. You can write what you like and hope to sell to like minded, (hard work)
Or you can sell your soul and write for commercial artist or specific markets, or more limited still, something like advertising jingles.
(still no saying it will work though )

Then there is the music that sometimes crosses over to another slot.

Like film music, the theme from Love Story became a hit in its own right.
As have many film themes.

The William Tell Overture done a few rounds for the Lone Ranger.

The Largo from the New world. now know by a lot of folk as the Hovis song due to being used on an advert.

And of course The Hall Of The Mountain King as the music fo an Arcade game Manic miner.


Just my thoughts
Mike


Edited by Mike Head (08/21/19 09:28 AM)
Edit Reason: extra thoughts
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#550495 - 08/21/19 10:54 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Is there still a career in music? [Re: Lucm]
Registered: 05/12/12
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JoanneCooper Offline
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I think there is still a career in music but you have to be prepared to do things a little differently.

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#550509 - 08/21/19 12:44 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Is there still a career in music? [Re: Lucm]
Registered: 12/18/06
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lambada Offline
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Most new businesses go bust. It's as much about being business savvy - particularly in the current music business world - I would think. Around 1985, I was doing a post grad management diploma and my project involved trying to market 2 bands in London. I was enthusiastic and got gigs etc etc at universities and clubs. I even interviewed the marketing manager at Crysalis Records. His advice (from memory) was, if you want to be successful get a good music business lawyer. He also explained how in those days you marketed bands in the UK really heavily, at a loss, trying to get record sales and airplay, and then hoped to flip them over into the US market where they made all their profits. It was all business. Unfortunately, I wasn't tough enough or old enough (particularly with the bands and clubs) and it became very stressful. One band broke up and the other went into oblivion - mainly because of egos - but partly probably me! It was fun watching my bands play live though. Almost like an alchemist!


Edited by lambada (08/21/19 12:46 PM)
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#550511 - 08/21/19 01:00 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Is there still a career in music? [Re: Lucm]
Registered: 05/13/03
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silvertones Offline
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There are many bands making great money and great music. Most people will never even hear of "them".You don't have to be a star to be successful. Ste real goals.
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#550515 - 08/21/19 01:11 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Is there still a career in music? [Re: Guitarhacker]
Registered: 06/25/12
Posts: 2772
JohnJohnJohn Offline
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Originally Posted By: Guitarhacker
talent has nothing to do with being successful in todays music business.

It never did. There were plenty of folks more talented than the superstars of the 50s, 60s, 70s, etc.

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#550517 - 08/21/19 01:13 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Is there still a career in music? [Re: Lucm]
Registered: 06/25/12
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JohnJohnJohn Offline
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Originally Posted By: Lucm
Is there any career still left in music nowadays?

There are plenty of people making great money selling shovels and treasure maps to folks who dream of a career in music!

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#550518 - 08/21/19 01:15 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Is there still a career in music? [Re: Lucm]
Registered: 06/25/12
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JohnJohnJohn Offline
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Originally Posted By: Lucm
I listened to the PG User Showcase Radio. I was shocked at the quality of many songs and now I wonder why those people aren't famous

One reason, in my opinion, is the stuff you hear in the showcase is in the style of music that was big in the past. I have yet to hear anything there that represents something fresh and new like you hear with modern music. Not to say it is not good music but Johnny Cash already did Johnny Cash and Metallica already did Metallica, etc.

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#550524 - 08/21/19 01:58 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Is there still a career in music? [Re: Lucm]
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Notes Norton Offline
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Depends on what you mean.

Having a career and making it famous are two different things.

It's always been difficult to make a living as an artist of any kind, but plenty do it.

Agreed, "making it big" requires a lot of luck. Talent can be an asset, but isn't necessarily needed. Knowing the right people and being in the right place at the right time is more important.

I met Tom Scott one day about 30 years ago. He was leading the band for some superstars (Steve and Eydie) and just got a gig on TV. We got to talking about success.

He said (paraphrasing): There is a sax player playing in a Holiday Inn somewhere like Valparaiso Indiana that could put me in his back pocket but I was in the right place at the right time, I had the right connections, I showed up straight and could do the job.

Aside from making it big, if you play music at a local level and can carve out a niche for yourself, it's not as easy as it used to be, but still possible. If you can monetize your presence on the Internet that could work. You could be a DJ and even play along with the tracks if you want, I know a wind synth player who does this.

I could go on. Like any business, it's all about supply and demand. You need to see the demand and fill it better than the others. Timing is important too. In the early days the Internet was wide open, now it's flooded so you need more creative promotion to get noticed.

I'm still making a living doing music and nothing but music. In my area, I noticed a big retirement market, and decided to aim towards that in the early 1990s. I'm still working. Before that it was singles clubs, hotel lounges, and cruise ships. Plus I write aftermarket products for Band-in-a-Box at http://www.nortonmusic.com and for a while I gave private lessons to sax players and computer musicians.

I have a friend who is not a great musician, but is good at getting gigs. He farms out work to other musicians and takes a percentage of what they get paid.

Songwriting is tough. I remember reading stories about how songwriters tried to get past the 'gatekeepers' and to the artists back in the cassette days, like including something in the package as a tacit bribe to the gatekeeper.

But if you know a recording artist or are a relative to someone in a publishing company, it could be easy.

If your career doesn't involve being the next Kanye or Nicki it's possible to have a career in music, but not guaranteed. Most new businesses fail in the first 5 years. And if you are lucky enough to be at the right place at the right time with the right connections and can do the job you might make it big.

I almost made the big time once. I was in the opening act for major stars while their songs were #1 on Billboard and was in negotiations with a major label. The negotiations fell through over money (the label wanted all the money).

Still, I get up in the morning, go to bed at night, and in between do what I want to do. I make my living doing music and nothing but music. The house is paid off, and I'm definitely not living the life of luxury, but I'm free and happy. In other words, I'm successful.

So while it might not be as easy to have a career in music as it was decades ago, it's still possible, but it's never been guaranteed.

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#550529 - 08/21/19 02:21 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Is there still a career in music? [Re: Deryk - PG Music]
Registered: 12/05/11
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Janice & Bud Offline
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Originally Posted By: Deryk - PG Music
Unfortunately, just being talented and tremendously skilled isn't enough to be famous - and I don't think that's ever been the case, though these days it is more true than ever.

As Roger said - it takes a lot of talent, hard work, sacrifices - and a whole lot of luck. Meeting and knowing the right people, and being in the right place at the right time. I'd argue being famous is overrated as well. To be that in the music industry, you really do need to fit a certain sound, which I'm positive most users in the forum don't want to partake in, and that's okay.

I mean, there are some incredibly talented people on the forums - but they can't compete with Drake or Post Malone because it's just so wildly different, and that is what being a mainstream artist sounds like these days.

95% of music I listen to is either older stuff, or modern stuff that isn't on the mainstream's radar. You can still 'make it' as a music artist, it's just different than it used to be. There is definitely a market for all types of music but being famous just isn't what it once was in the music industry, since the internet changed it so much.


Completely agree. I would add that there are so many genre's and sub-genre's in today's music world (Americana for example) that you can carve out a niche you are comfortable in and market yourself from that perspective. The Americana world has its charts, literature, web presence galore and award shows, etc. No, it's nothing remotely like the pop market but there are millions of folks that enjoy it and not all of them are old pharts like me smile

Bud

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#550531 - 08/21/19 02:33 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Is there still a career in music? [Re: Lucm]
Registered: 12/20/16
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Loc: Gold Coast, Queensland, Austra...
Teunis Offline
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In my little world things have changed a lot since the 80s. Through the 60s and 70s we used to get good money for gigs. There were plenty of gigs to be had in clubs, pubs, balls, football club dos, weddings, woodshed dances. If you wanted you could play for 3 to 5 nights a week and even do more in the daytime. Making money albeit not making it big. I can recall on a number of occasions being undercut by bands “that have made it”. For me I was happy doing what I was, being big was not it.

Then in the 90s I changed where I lived. Doing a pub gig for peanuts and a guy walked in and said they could do the job at a far cheaper rate. My attitude was I made $300+ in my day job why play for less than $50 per night. So I did less.

Also along came drum machines, and various ways to do electronic backing (BIAB for example) so band gigs dried up and one musician with good backing does the job often better for less than a band.

The really sad thing from my perspective is even more are simply downloading karaoke files from the net. Or, worse yet a music video or recording of some type and singing over the top of the recording artist. These folk also have the hide to call themselves music artists.

These days I am retired. I was not going to do anything anymore. But, “pro muso ” asked could I cover for him in a nursing home. I did it and was offered more gigs. I do the odd one but these guys do these gigs for peanuts. They must be dead set keen to try and live like that.

I guess all that is fairly negative but one can still eke out a living and or enjoy a good future in music. My wife’s grandson is studying at a Conservatorium at the moment. He is a brilliant guitar player and I feel sure he’ll make it just fine.

My thoughts
Tony



Edited by Teunis (08/21/19 02:37 PM)
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#551162 - 08/25/19 10:11 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Is there still a career in music? [Re: Lucm]
Registered: 08/04/10
Posts: 2003
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HearToLearn Offline
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Originally Posted By: Lucm
Is there any career still left in music nowadays?


The short answer is Yes. In music, yes. In the music industry even more so.
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#551239 - 08/25/19 06:47 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Is there still a career in music? [Re: Lucm]
Registered: 01/14/02
Posts: 7750
Loc: Colorado Springs, CO, USA
rockstar_not Offline
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Posts: 7750
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I've made tons more money knowing how to mix and set up marginally complicated PA and video projection systems for a company that helps churches that meet in portable locations, than I have as a musician. Same with finding semi-old instruments that are listed as 'knob doesn't work, needs one string' type of electric guitars, doing a couple evenings of work on them, then selling them locally after they are setup properly, play nicely and sound plenty good enough.

I've made about the same tuning pianos.

Is that a career? Nope. But it is enough money to let me buy more instruments for my hobby as a musician! That's better than most people can say I guess. Latest is a Dean Boca 12 string electric guitar.

If I didn't have these alternative sources of income, I would probably not be having nearly as much fun making music that I like.

Again, not a career - but it is cheaper than paying a therapist!

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#551296 - 08/26/19 09:10 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Is there still a career in music? [Re: Lucm]
Registered: 06/08/05
Posts: 7442
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jazzmammal Offline
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Posts: 7442
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My father told me he was a part time radio broadcaster when he was going to college in Michigan in the 40's. He would broadcast live music shows by big bands as well as baseball games. He said there was a whole train of big bands coming through the upper Midwest at that time that in his opinion were better than Glen Miller or Benny Goodman or Tommy Dorsey. None were ever heard from again.

Nothing has changed since.

Bob
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#551298 - 08/26/19 09:23 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Is there still a career in music? [Re: Lucm]
Registered: 07/08/19
Posts: 123
Loc: TN
Roger Brown Offline
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There's a semantics issue on this thread that I feel needs to be commented on.

Asking "is there a career left in music" is akin to asking "is there a career left in sports".

There are a lot of different career paths and areas of the music business. Some of them remain viable. Some of them not so much. As I mentioned earlier in the thread, if you want to be a performing artist, there are always ways to monetize what you do. If, on the other hand, you have aspirations of being a full time professional songwriter who writes for other artists exclusively, forget it.

It really all depends on what your definition of a career "in music" is.

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