Hey my name is Michael, I am looking for a great vocal coach in the Nashville area and I love the way you have your web page and the info you have on there. You seem like a great teacher, I have also heard some of your music and you are awesome. [Thank you very much, Michael:) ] But I do have one question. I know this going to sound like everybody's dream but what is the best way to get seen up in Nashville? I am sure there are thousands of people trying everyday. Is it who you know or who you are working with or what? I wanted to ask someone that would give me the right answer and not lie to me about it. Could you help me get there if I started with you and vocal training?
My answer:Your question is a very good one. I always strongly advise people to figure out -- on the front end of any money/time/heart that you invest in your music training/writing/production/performing -- how you would define 'success' that would make your efforts worth it to you.
Levels you could consider 'success' in the music business include:1. You sing better (write/play, whatever you want to be able to do better), and it’s important to your heart and part of your life-balance to be good at your music. It’s not necessary that you make music as a career, or that you ever make money at it. But you love doing it, and it fulfills you to do it well. Karaoke, choir singing, jam sessions with family and friends, the occasional show, that sort of thing.
2. You want to get good enough to audition or participate in a talent show of some kind and not embarrass yourself, maybe even place or win. College music programs, those TV talent shows so many go out for, a part in a musical or other production.
3. You want to do seriously good music on the side… you want to do a recording project that may never pay for itself but is a legacy for you, you want to do some special performances, to get a casual band together to do some part-time gigging. It's important for your life-balance wholeness to be able to make some very good music.
4. You have a professional reason to get better at singing (playing, writing, etc).
- You're a side-musician that need to sing background better on live tours, you are getting live show background vocal, jingle or studio session work and want to go a level up, etc.
- You're a songwriter and need to sing and/or play better to write better melodies and perform or demo your work.
- You're a public speaker (seminar or teleseminar host, keynote speaker, salesperson, teacher, coach, voice-over talent, minister or other) you may need to get rid of some vocal strain or gain vocal ability that will make you a more effective communicator.
- For this, you need to understand that the odds are great you’ll never break even. It’s a gamble you must be willing to take, and like all gambles, you need to be as fully informed of your chances as possible.
- You will need to develop a network of industry insiders… and that takes time, patience and careful persistence. Your reputation with them will be based on things like your personality, ability, and usefulness to others.
- You’ll need money for training, recording at least a demo, and gigging costs (at first you will play for free). You'll either have a backer, savings you're willing to dip into, a day job or all three.
- You’ll need to develop a circle of accountability to keep you safe - an entertainment attorney, friends/family with good business instincts, other singers/writers/insiders who have gone down the road before you. A good circle will both caution you when you’re about to step off a cliff or be scammed, and encourage you when you’re almost there but losing heart. And you'll reciprocate by doing the same for them.
- You’ll need a strong constitution for all the ‘no’s’ you will receive.
- You’ll need to get and stay informed about the current music business marketing and promotion strategies that are working.
- And you’ll need to be satisfied if at the end of the day you can’t make your career pay, that at least you tried, and it’s important enough for you to do so.
- I will kindly but frankly assess your commercial potential for the music business (though I never say 'absolutely never' because a lot depends on your persistence in developing your craft and learning the biz)
- I will make you the best singer you can be, helping you discover your uniqueness, conquer any vocal problems you have, max your ability and protect your voice.
- I am also a studio producer and/or vocal producer and offer the best of those services, too.
- You can use me as a wall to bounce off potential music business strategies your considering, but I do not promise any networking. That is up to you.