Do you ever wonder why some musicians make it in the music industry and others don’t? We’ve all heard great bands that never even made it off the ground! Where did they go wrong? The truth is they didn’t cover all their bases. You can be the greatest musician in the world, and it won’t get you anywhere if you don’t understand the business!
That’s why I teach the 4 P’s of the music industry. Whether you are an amateur or professional musician, you must master these four areas, or you’re wasting your time. I am going to break down into a few blog posts and taking you through.
The 4 P’s of the music business are the 4 areas you must master, to be successful as a music artist. They are:
Nail down all four of these, and you’ll be successful. Why? …because there are no other variables. Of course, that doesn’t mean you’ll be an international star, but if you want to work hard to create music that inspires and excites people for a living, the four P’s are all you have to worry about.
Let’s examine these 4 requirements right now…
#1…Playing is a given. There are a thousand sites on the internet that deal with playing techniques. This post is different. It teaches you the other 3 P’s… the three other books don’t mention.
Alright, now you know that you have to be entertaining to be successful. Seems obvious right?! …then why do so few people do it well? Maybe for the same reason, they don’t do the third “P” of the music business. “What was that third P again,” you ask… This is the information that will give you an edge in the music business.
Why? Have you ever seen a GREAT band and wondered why they weren’t “making it”?
I’ve seen tons of them… bands that are way better than the stuff you listen to every day on the radio. So what gives? What are they doing wrong? …they’re only concentrating on one or two of the 4 P’s. They’ll never make it anywhere if they don’t learn to balance the other two or three.
Just because you’re playing does not mean you’re performing. Any jazz artist can tell you that. They have watched their crowds thin slowly year after year… and it has nothing to do with the music (in my humble opinion).
Face it… we live in a visual society. If you want to be successful (in a large market), you have to learn to accept this fact. It is on your shoulders to make your music visually entertaining for your audience.
Don’t get me wrong; I’m not suggesting you do cartwheels on stage. Depending on your style of music, this may be as simple as adding some stage lighting or videotaping a performance to pay attention to your facial expressions.
You’ll be surprised at all the little things you start to notice. Like it or not… these are all a part of your performance. That’s the bad news. Here’s the good news:
Most musicians will NEVER take the time to consider this stuff. They don’t want to be bothered with it. That’s good news for you because it means you’ve got an edge on your competition.
Stop right now, and think of something you could do to add more visual excitement to your stage show. It doesn’t have to be elaborate or expensive, but if you can improve one visual aspect every week, you’ll be on the right track in no time.
Whatever you do, make sure that it adds to the music. When people talk about your performance, you want them to comment on how good the music was… not your bass player’s face paint.
So now you’re playing great music and entertaining the crowd visually. The problem is you need to put more people in the crowd to see that you’re doing all this stuff… right?
You’ve been there before, haven’t you? Your band is doing great, and you’re in the middle of a show, thinking…
“Man, what’s the deal… there should be mor.e people than this! What the hell is wrong with this town?!”
You know the problem can’t be the club, because the TAS band (Totally Awful Sh*t band) played the night before and drew over a thousand people. You were there, so you know that the TAS band… well lets be honest… they sucked!
…so how come your band’s rippin’ it up tonight and there’s only a hundred people there to watch?
Kevin Costner has some great kung-fu-zen-Buddhist advice here…
Did you ever see “Field of Dreams”? No, not the one with all the wolves, the other Kevin Costner movie! He builds a baseball stadium in his backyard, and all these famous baseball players come back from the dead to play there. He knew it would work because this eerie voice kept telling him, “If you build it, they will come.”
Everyone who watches the movie can tell you it’s hokey. They might like the movie, but they still know it’s just cheesy fiction.
So why do musicians still believe “If you book it, they will come”?
It just doesn’t make sense… then again, not much in life ever does.
Anyway, If you haven’t figured it out yet, the hidden message here is:
PROMOTE YOUR BAND!!!
… sorry, didn’t mean to yell, but it’s that important!
What’s that you were saying…
“I know I need to promote my band… but how do I do that?!”
Good question! Glad to see you’re finally paying attention 😉
…Alright! We’re getting somewhere now-only one more P to cover. This one may be the most important regarding the effort you’ll have to put in, compared to the benefits you’ll see.
Next, we are going to talk about Production.