- March 27, 2018 at 3:07 pm #29727
Well put these so called opportunities out there to the mass public in something as popular as music and stoke the fires of “you too can quit your day job and do what you love and make $80000 a year or more” is a surefire way to cause a glut in the industry, and create a heck of a buyers market. Along with the old standby “The reason you aren’t making enough money is because 1:) You’re music sucks 2:) You’ aren’t creating enough of it , you need to send us more products of your hard labor (for no fee whatsoever) and maybe you might make more and and 3) it takes at least five-10 years of contributing to see a return. Anything else they would tell you if your business isn’t seeing a decent profit in five years get out. Six years in and I still make more playing gigs on the weekend. I love that someone thought enough of some of my music for usto make some money off of it, but it gets to the point where the money has to be worth worth the outlay of time, gear, training composers put in. Or the giant pool of music will inevitably turn into a something resembling what used to look like a mud puddle. Now tell me , Am I wrong? to me it seems inevitable. I’m sure this post if it makes it will result in some jabs at the quality of my efforts.March 27, 2018 at 4:14 pm #29728
Now tell me , Am I wrong? to me it seems inevitable.
I don’t think you are wrong Chuck and I feel the burn out. Still, I keep writing. I think I’m just a glutton for punishment! 😉March 27, 2018 at 4:45 pm #29729
Well put these so called opportunities out there to the mass public in something as popular as music and stoke the fires of “you too can quit your day job and do what you love and make $80000 a year or more” is a surefire way to cause a glut in the industry, and create a heck of a buyers market.
I think that’s a fair statement. The market is beyond saturated. And mostly with guys who don’t have experience in being a “composer/ arranger / producer / accomplished (to some degree) musician” – which IMO – is really what it takes to make it long term in this biz.
Along with the old standby “The reason you aren’t making enough money is because 1:) You’re music sucks
Can’t comment on that other than to say : I always think my music is brilliant when I conceive it, and I’m positive it sucks by the time I’m done with it. 🙂 If you know your stuff is good, never let anyone tell you otherwise.
2:) You’ aren’t creating enough of it ,
Well…that’s just a flat out legitimate statement, and possibly the truest statement you made. If you want to call this a full time career and you don’t have 1000-2000 pieces of music in play in many different genre’s, in this market, you will need to be very lucky or extremely unique and gifted. If you only write blues or hip hop or <fill in the blank> you will very quickly begin competing against yourself. How many pieces of one specific mood/genre does an editor need to be able to plug his musical holes. Soon, he will look to other composers if you are not EXTREMELY diversified. Write, write often, write well, and write in a dozen + different genre’s — and by different genre’s I don’t mean : EDM, Trance, house, Drum & Bass, Dubstep, Techno, and Trip Hop. 🙂 🙂
you need to send us more products of your hard labor (for no fee whatsoever) and maybe you might make more and and
Anyone who tells you that is an opportunist trying to take advantage of you.
3) it takes at least five-10 years of contributing to see a return. Anything else they would tell you if your business isn’t seeing a decent profit in five years get out.
I think that’s a legit statement. It a long game. That said, if you’re 5 years in, writing, finishing and placing at least 3-5 pieces a week and not seeing some significant placements, back end and sync’s, you are probably unlucky or doing something wrong. Depending on style, etc. that 5 years could be full time or close to full time. Surviving for those 5 years while you build your catalog is the hard part.
Now, I don’t think it takes 5-10 years to SEE a return, but I do think it takes 10+ years to make enough to “call it a career” – for most of us anyway.
Six years in and I still make more playing gigs on the weekend.
Either you make great coin gigging, or you’re not writing enough or putting it in the right places. That’s not a judgement on your music, your talent or your ability – only on the simple math of more = more = placements.
I love that someone thought enough of some of my music for usto make some money off of it, but it gets to the point where the money has to be worth worth the outlay of time, gear, training composers put in.
That’s awesome, and should be your first driving force. But I understand completely – if music is just a grind, and always leaves you feeling overworked and frustrated….what’s the point. Better to make it for the pure love and joy of it, and make your daily bread elsewhere.
Or the giant pool of music will inevitably turn into a something resembling what used to look like a mud puddle.
I think we’re there.
Now tell me , Am I wrong? to me it seems inevitable. I’m sure this post if it makes it will result in some jabs at the quality of my efforts.
I think you have some good insights. Only you can judge the quality of your efforts. Some guys have 60 hours a week to write. Others are lucky to have 6. Given equal talent and connections, the 60 hour a week guy will grow his career exponentially faster than 10X’s as fast. It’s hard not to feel like your’e falling behind. The last few years have been building a new studio for me, and getting acclimatized to new surroundings, and I feel like a slacker – I’m probably only writing 100-125 songs a year. I’ve got to get back on it. Good luck!!March 27, 2018 at 6:16 pm #29730
I’m actually not writing that much. It is still shy of 200 tracks. I make somewhere between 3000 -4000 or more gigging 50 – 60 times a year . One of the reasons i wasn’t writing as much as I could have. I took an 8-9 year break, but other then that have gigged pretty steadily for the last 30 years. Right now I’m focusing on putting another band together, and looking at the possibility of doing a one man band with my own backing tracks. That’ll take a little time to put together. Take my composing skills and use them in a different way. Working hard on my vocals. I preface that with this version of a John Cougar song I put together. This is one of a condenser mic picking up the backing tracks through my yamaha monitors, considering the set up the sound quality could actually be worse. The one man band project could be a long term one, all things considered, and would incorporate some original music as well. Hope Art doesn’t mind me posting it here.
Feel free to listen and comment on it, but I admit it does get away from the subject of licensing. Still not earth shattering dollars, but FWIW my last quarter earnings were my second best single quarter earnings yet , and surpassed what I made the entire year last year.March 28, 2018 at 12:08 am #29732
Nice. Sounds like the two options – although similar (music) are pulling you in a couple of different directions. I’d give it some soul searching and follow the one that gives you the most musical joy, and give it your all. Good luck.March 28, 2018 at 8:00 am #29734
I make somewhere between 3000 -4000 or more gigging 50 – 60 times a year .
Wow. That’s just $60 a gig! Is it really that bad out there in the live scene?March 28, 2018 at 8:52 am #29735
I’m sure this post if it makes it will result in some jabs at the quality of my efforts.
Not at all Chuck! Posting a performance on a music forum is not an easy thing to do,
I don’t have any advice other than suggesting some discussion might be helpful. What feedback have you received from other professionals/peers (not family and friends) whose skills and feedback you respect? Did you agree with their feedback? If yes or no, why?March 28, 2018 at 9:31 am #29737
I agree with LA Writer, but I also think one needs to ask his or herself, “Can I write/record/mix music that is as good, if not better than what’s out there in libraries?” If the answer is no, then you need to do what you want to do, for fun, or for a iittle extra dough. I’ve been reading Seth Godin’s “Purple Cow” again, and it’s a great read for the business minded. He basically says, if you are not doing your job better than your competition ( or not doing it in a remarkable way), your are already sunk. In the modern business climate especially, there is no time for “average”. And these days it’s even harder with all the thousands of composers you’re competing with. Don’t want to poo poo on anyone’s dreams, but sometimes we all need a dose of reality. The days of slamming out cookie cutter cues and making a living are over. My theory is, if I’m not making money, I better be enjoying what I’m doing.March 29, 2018 at 6:16 pm #29740
We make about $75-$100 depending on where we play. We were doing on average like 65 gigs a year.March 29, 2018 at 6:32 pm #29741
Most musicians I know diversify their sources of income. That said, what makes this band and the solo project different is that I wanted to do something totally different then I’ve done before. Unlike other projects we are learning a lot of stuff right from scratch, largely because I am working with a female singer for the first time in about 30 years. That leaves me needing to force some choices , for now, since I also work a day job, where to expend my efforts. The solo will be a long term project….but I do want to get back into licensing. Looking at writing licenseable music , maybe even more with vocals. And integrate that into into the solo. If I could bring those worlds together, that would be the ultimate. I don’t know that I would ever be a 2-3 tracks a day kind of guy.March 29, 2018 at 7:56 pm #29743
Chuck – you should try to define exactly what your’e shooting for. IME, writing “songs” that could be performed live is a far cry from writing production music. The former is limited in uses with (potentially) higher sync fee’s, and the latter can be used over and over in a wide variety of situations and probably licensable 100X’s more than “songs”. That may be part of your problem in getting placements. I don’t know, just speculating here…..