Judy Rodman - All Things Vocal Blog

Training & insights for stage and studio singers, speakers, vocal coaches and producers from professional vocal coach and author of "Power, Path & Performance" vocal training method. Download All Things Vocal podcast on your fav app!

Monday, January 13, 2014

How To Make It In Music Business

 want this? read this:

I just received an email with an honest question you may also be asking about the music industry:
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: In short, it depends on what you mean by 'get there'.

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.
5.      You are potentially good enough to have a main career as a recording/performing artist, and decide to devote a certain amount of time to finding out if you can get the bandwagon rolling.
  • 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.h B
  • 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. Here are some sources for current music business training I recommend, some free blogs and podcasts, some paid personalized career guidance:
  • 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.
What I promise to people who train with me is that...
  • 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.
Let me know if you’d like to work with me, and thanks again for reaching out. I wish you the very best whatever you decide. - Judy

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  • At January 14, 2014 at 12:45 PM , Anonymous E. Don Harpe said...

    Very good Judy.

    E. Don Harpe

  • At January 14, 2014 at 2:11 PM , Anonymous Matt said...

    Great article, and you give some wonderful advice. Thanks for sharing!

  • At January 15, 2014 at 7:43 AM , Anonymous Kyle Brooks said...

    Hey Judy!

    I hope 2014 has gotten off to a rockin star for you and life is awesome!

    Excellent response to your inquiry! You got it all in and were able to keep it very concise!

    You are brilliant! :-)

    I will be doing some professional recording in 2014 and will be calling to work with you to make this the best it can be!


  • At January 15, 2014 at 7:46 AM , Anonymous Angelo said...

    The advice you gave to the indivual on how to succeed in the music biz was so Real and Honest, you sent me back to the Re-Evaluate table! You reminded me of the Nsync trial , where they had to sue their first manager for stealing more than half of Nsyncs' funds.
    Its a sad truth, but if you dont have knowledgeable ppl in ur camp...ur in for trouble.
    Thanks for sharing this story Mrs. J.Ro!

  • At January 20, 2014 at 1:16 PM , Anonymous Diane Hurst said...

    Good advice!

  • At March 8, 2014 at 12:51 AM , Blogger Geet said...

    Professional Voice

    Staceypaige.com provides years of experience for Over jobs, Over voice, Professional voice and Radio imaging.


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