Onto breaking rules, this article does not follow in the lines of any of my previous threads, but is my music business contribution one can get by signing up for the free teachmusic.co.uk mailing list….. now onto our burger sauce!
It is safe to assume that a good 9 of 10 guitar players started out hearing some other player’s music, what turned them to the guitar in the 1st place. What makes each of them prefer one or more music styles over others is their very pre-exposure to their fave genres which even form comfort zones within their minds regarding what to expect out of music, and hence the very reason why one prefers the subtleness of a nylon string performance over the more fiery chainsaw playing used in early industrial music, or vice-versa, and any sound in between that the different forms of axes may produce. At some stage, guitarists then turn to lessons and to us as educators.
As educators we play the foremost role of capturing our students’ dreams, aiding them in their quest to turn them into reality. For most it might just be to interpret some cover songs at their local pub or at a family bbq, but for others getting their name out there just as their idols before them is the name of the game. And this is where music itself takes a back seat and the actual business mind is to be called to the forefront.
For a moment, imagine one runs a worldwide take-away food franchise. Ask yourself if it was love for fast-food that made you start, and probably your answer has nothing to do with burgers & chips than with the opportunity of a fruitful long-term business. Which makes one observe that while musicians have way progressed from just playing their instruments well to learning more about backline, accessories & sound (from choice of strings, electronics, effects & amps to producing, sound engineering & mixing), some still do not recognize the extent it would benefit them if they put their hands on actually promoting their name.
Not via cheap or free routes the Internet nowadays provides, but in actually financially investing in their product to see it hit off the ground.
To return to the take-away concept, it might be less satisfactory running a junk-food franchise than playing music, yet look at the way they run forward – every now and again they change bread, add a sauce or whatever, thus making a new menu out of it. In other words, they create opportunities for themselves. Easy to them nowadays after so many years of success, but in their humble beginnings, there definitely was lots of investment (maybe at a loss of money, but close to surely at a loss of time). So why does it turn out that sometimes musicians do not tend to see the opportunities ahead of them, figure even create new ones? After all musicians are doing what they like most, playing their instrument, so one probes if, by logic, promoting oneself should only come as 2nd nature, same as owning professional gear to sound good! Needless to say, playing music brings a higher satisfaction than selling take-away food not? 🙂
The point comes in the conclusion. The music industry (as any other) runs on the expectancy that nothing rains free from the sky, but anything has to be worked for. As educators, we are to foster such a way forward in our students, at least the most ambitious. This will pave itself in our students managing their time even further as they start thinking more as self-employed dogs in a world of many more competing for the same bone! I once read in an innovations management blog that “If the tree cannot be moved, a new route has to be found”. This is an area that musicians – educators and performers alike – might like to look into.
Modern approaches to guitar, bass & music theory tuition