how to make a living playing music

- - Blog News

“determine if you are actually called to be a musician. if you aren’t called, all the gyrations in the world, won’t make it work. if you are called, no matter what you do, it’s going to work. this determination will solve most of the problems you are going to encounter.”

via Ol’ Danny Barnes.

There Are 10 Comments On This Article.

  1. LOL! yeah it just wouldn’t be the same singing in clothes in a shower on a stage some place, I have to be naked part and the walls need to be glass for me to sound good. Not a pretty picture, LOL

  2. Genious. what an amazing articale.

    l. the main business strategy is to build your own audience. if you have a draw, agents, labels or investors [which i do not recommend] and stuff will come to you. if you skip this step and start trying to talk to industry people and you don’t have a draw yet, you are going to be sorry [unless you are really hot looking or have a famous parent and/or willing to sign away the rights to the whole thing of course]. build your own audience. if you can sell your own records that you make yourself and do your own shows, you can attract the attention of industry folks and get your calls returned. then you probably won’t need them unless you want them. that’s a better bargaining position for you. work on your draw.
    if you don’t have a draw, these are some likely things to look at:
    where you are playing isn’t the right place
    the music isn’t there yet
    the time isn’t right.

  3. I didn’t read the article and I’m sure there’s some useful information in there but the part that’s quoted here is pure BS.

    So basically what it says is if you’re not called you will not make it and if you are called you will definitely make it. And how do you determine whether you’re ‘called’ or not? Well, the only sure way to know is to actually make it. So in essence, to be ‘called’ is equivalent with being someone who will make it which makes the whole thing tautologic and circular.

  4. Just swap out the words “playing music” and “musician” with “making art” and “artist” and the paragraph above applies to even more of us.

    Oh, and it’s true. Completely true…

  5. J,

    Yes I was angered at this by first, thinking it was hippy speak dribbling out of the mouth of the music industry…but then I read the article.

    I suggest you read it too, as i was turned around quite quickly. It’s an amazing article with an immense wealth of experience that applies to all artistic endevours.

    • @D,

      Yeah, I’m sure the article is useful and maybe I’m going to read it later. My comment was really only related to that specific quote.

      The problem I have with comments such as this one is not primarily that they’re uninformative. The problem I have is the underlying ideology and the implied condescension towards unsuccessful people. What it says is that for people who have made it success was inevitable but what it implies is that people who are unsuccessful deserve what they got.

  6. Just to add…

    I believe if you have a burning desire to do something, consider yourself ‘called’.

    • @D, That’s exactly what Danny means. Like the guy who decided to make an eight-foot, to scale, cutaway replica of the Titanic with toothpicks. House burns. He makes it again, because he needs to.

  7. There is a surprising list of parallels between Musicians and Photographers. We face very similar challenges both creatively and professionally.

    I’m sure this is what you meant by posting this Rob.