I find it interesting that within the course of a great conversation with all of the artists I’ve shared time with, whether it’s been an interview, or talking with some of our staff members, that the “biz” is an inevitable part of our conversation. I’m not making a judgment on that premise, just an observation, and I am reminded that my job in delivering a magazine that can “make a difference” for those who cross over our pages is truly twofold. Simply stated, the “art” and the “biz”.
Like any other inspired player, I could spend days addressing all the dynamics of embracing the “art”. In my interview with Rhonda Smith in this issue, she made a sterling point regarding this art/biz conversation. She mentioned how she receives countless emails asking how did she get to where she is today in the business, and she explained how she’s never quite sure how to answer that because she didn’t get into being a musician to “make it”, she got into playing out of the pure love of playing. (You might want to ponder that thought for a while). So, briefly, I will try to speak to both sides of this coin.
Beyond what has been addressed as far as the business goes within the context of the interviews I’ve conducted, here’s a few ideas for you to consider:
1. The obvious. Go online and Google “Music Business”. You’ll be amazed at how much will come up in that search.
2. Pick up a copy of “The Business of Music”, by Scemel and Krasilovsky, 6th edition (not sure if there’s a 7th). This book basically covers any question you can conceive of about the business, and more—-a tremendous reference source.
3. Read our article (if you already haven’t) in our Oct/Nov issue on Tunecore. This is one of the hippest alternatives I’ve seen to help musicians get exposure and be treated fairly. Their logo says it all—Sell your music, not your soul.
4. In this issue you’ll see a review on the DVD “The Business of Bass”, by Nathan East. This is an invaluable source of information covering every aspect of the business beyond just how to move your product—-can’t recommend it enough.
5. A quick thought, and this is on a personal level. I’ve found that it’s imperative to set some time aside “specifically” dedicated to focusing on your own business needs. I refer back to a comment that Mike Pope made in his interview, that talent is just a small part of this total picture of becoming a successful artist.
6. Finally, here is our latest attempt to help each of our readers gain exposure. Check out the article in this issue on BMM’s “World Wide Bass Review”. As it’s impossible to review everything that we receive, we’ve come up with an alternative to help those who have taken the time to send us their work, to have an option beyond our reviews to be heard and receive some feedback on their work as well. I’ll use a phrase I’ve sported before, that being, you’ll find this article “very” musician friendly.
Ok… finally, the “Art”.
Here’s something that I have framed on my desk that in my opinion, kind of says it all regarding being involved in the “art”, written by famed contemporary dancer and choreographer, Martha Graham. Hope you’ll get something from it.
“There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. If you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and be lost.
The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is, nor how valuable it is, nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours, clearly and directly to keep the channel open.
You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep open and aware directly to the urges that motivate you.
Keep the channel open. No artist is pleased. There is no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a queer, divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive then the others.”
A final note…
I’d like to welcome onboard our newest staff members. Joe Darcy, covering “Behind the Notes”. These are in depth interviews with name artists from all over the globe. Dr. Randall Kertz, author of “The Bassists’ Guide to Injury Management, Prevention and Better Health”. He’ll be presenting seriously hip tips on managing as well as preventing injuries that many of us are dealing, or will be dealing with. And finally, Lucas Picford, who will be covering some very cool transcriptions from many genres for us.
Jake Kot, Editor