THE MODERN ERA OF MUSIC APPLICATION, SOLOS, BANDS, ARTISTS, AND DOING IT YOURSELF

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Oct 09, 2018, 05:56 PM

Hello,

This is a bit of a continuation of another thread going on here that I’ve participated in, and in a desire to stop hijacking a thread from somewhere else, I thought I’d open one up here. I hope it can help some of you.

My contention is always that we are in a “do it yourself” world. Everything we do, writing, recording, performing, networking, developing our own artists and product, has to be done now BEFORE people like investors, labels, producers, publishers, etc. are even involved. We are now our own entities until we can get someone else to “take over the job.”

This presents more delimas for a lot of writers, who just want to “write songs.” But in many ways, that option no longer exists. Artists, which are the lifeblood of the industry, write and record their own songs, or those from tightly controlled entities, publisher groups, etc. and don’t even consider outside songs. Fear of lawsuits and overwhelming amounts of product, are reasons that there are “No unsolicited material” with every company out there. And even contacting companies online will usually lead to someone wanting to separate you from your money in studios, song plugging or library fees. There is no free ride.

So in people I deal with in my capacity as a mentor and business consulatant, I try to get writers to look at their options. This usually entails developing your own artists and pairing up with people before they are into record or publishing deals. But it can work and in my experience and opinion, it is better to have some songs “OUT THERE” working for you, than sitting unheard on some computer or phone.

Today one of the groups I work with were over here doing their yearly session with me and they are actually participating in this. Here is how they are doing it. They are a trio of guys from upstate New York. All have other businesses, are in their mid 50’s early 60’s, and have been coming to Nashville for around 12 years. They come into town once a year, to perform at places like the BLUEBIRD and others, meet other writers and work a day with me. I have been working with them for around 5 years. Each trip, they will spend a day with me, I go through their songs, help them in their overall guidance, and work on song ideas with them that they have been unable to do on their own. WE usually write three songs, one from each of their ideas, a day. They take those songs back with them, work on them, perform them on their gigs, and record in a recording studio one of them owns.

For years I have been trying to get them to branch out to working with other artists. This year they have started doing just that, having found a young 21 year old male singer and two 18-19 year old female singers. They all write together, and have started recording songs in the studio with the guys mentoring the artists, the same as I have mentored them.

Now the artists are getting better songs, having their product produced, and getting OUT THERE. These guys songs (including some that I wrote with them) are included on the CD’s, are being performed around the country and extending their reach. Those artists will tell other artists, and so forth and so on.

This is simply the method that so many hit artists,writers, publishing companies, are doing here in this town and in the overall music business. And what I greatly encourage people, such as yourselves, to investigate. It can be fun, invigorating, and rewarding in many ways.
One of the guys went through a bout with Cancer last year, so the new project helped take his mind off his own struggles and I believe it aided in his recovery which is doing quite nicely.

So let that kick off this discussion if you want. If you have questions or want suggestions I’ll be glad to do what I can if I can. If not, enjoy your writing and I wish you all the best.

MAB

 
     
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MBarne4908 Joined Jul 29, 2010
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Oct 09, 2018, 07:13 PM

You think music will ever come back? I think the entertainment field in general has gotten so bad. The cartoons we grew up with are now movies. About everything is now a closeup etc…Is most music about dancing or singing and playing.

 
     
dennis dawe Joined Apr 17, 2010
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Oct 09, 2018, 07:42 PM

Probably not in the way most people would like to think. Too many people, too many songs, too many people that have and will never pay for music and get endless product. The streaming companies, APPLE, PANDORA, SPOTIFY, etc. are beating themselves up to offer more and more music for less and less money, and they have more and more people willing to do just that. Music has become the “giveaway” to let people know who you are. But in many ways, it is the same as it has always been.

For most of the past two centuries, music was done by artists, bands, etc who would record and make very little on the actual recording, but the actual money was made in touring and merchandising. Writers and composers made litereally pennies for what they did. Now we make literally HUNDREDS OF THOUSANTHS OF PENNIES. And again, with so many people out there doing the same thing, no, I don’t see it ever coming back.

Having said that, the Internet has created OPPORTUNITIES for people to get themselves and their music out there. They no longer have to travel around the world to have people know who they are. But as everything, actually monetizing that is difficult. There are people who successfully navigate that arena and do well. We are in an era of NICHEING. You find your target audience, and you have ways to go after that target audience. In many ways it is half empty and half full. The best of times and the worst of times.

There will always be an entertainment business. There will always be people at the top of the pyramid. There will always be stars and always be someone making money. But as in the olden days the people who really make the money, are the ones who provide what people HAVE TO HAVE.

In the 1800’s Gold Rushes, not everyone found gold or Silver. But everyone HAD to eat, buy supplies, picks shovels, tools, equipment, etc. The merchants made the money.
Up until this century, record companies and publishers ran everything. In movies and TV, it was the big studios .Now it is the Internet platforms.

So it is a brave new world, meet the new boss, just like the old boss.

What it means for us is we have to compete more. We can’t do “Just” anything any more. And overall we will get less in the returns we used to and in some ways never really got.

Music and all entertainment is actually now about CELEBRITY. And PERSONALITY. That is what is of interest to the general audience. They have endless choices, and the “shiny” object is what gets and keeps attention. Not fair,but it is what it is.

MAB

 
     
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MBarne4908 Joined Jul 29, 2010
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Oct 09, 2018, 08:04 PM

Do you see the next Beatles, Steely Dan, The Rolling Stones, The Doobie brothers etc…I think it’s more about quality than quantity.

 
     
dennis dawe Joined Apr 17, 2010
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Oct 09, 2018, 08:55 PM

Dennis,

Not really. I don’t think there will ever be anyone that has that kind of impact, simply because everything is so spread out and so many offerings. I don’t see another Beatles, ever. Like Elvis before them, and Sinatra before that, they held sway over EVERY ASPECT of the lives of people. Fashion, culture, television, movies, etc. there are now far more people that have huge impact but dissipates very quickly. Now, people are not as impacted. In those days the choices were more limited, and focused. That doesn’t happen now.

People don’t look to music to be so much of their “end all” as they once did. It is everywhere, and continuous. It is more of in the “back of people’s minds” as opposed to the forefront of people;s minds. It doesn’t have the level of importance to the general public any more.

Will there be very good bands and artists? Yes, but more of them will be relagated to smaller niches, mostly because “Good” and “Great” are now relative. What might be “amazing” to someone might simply be “eaah…” to others. YOU TUBE and FACEBOOK are more of the shapers of modern opinion, but again, people have such an amazingly short attention span, and getting SHORTER all the time, no one will really be in the public eye for that long. In addition to that, bands, in particular, would not stay together that long. So having a new Rolling Stones, Beatles, Eagles, Doobie Brothers, etc. now would be more of a “here today, gone tomorrow” effect.

I view musicians, artists, writers, etc. and the like more like Athletes. No one really holds dominance for long. A World Series, World Cup or Superbowl team or athlete, might win one year and be everywhere and the next year at the bottom of the pile. There are really no more dynasties.
I believe that in music as well. But this is more to the fickle Nature of the audience’s attention span.

MAB

 
     
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MBarne4908 Joined Jul 29, 2010
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Oct 09, 2018, 09:47 PM
MBarne4908 - 09 October 2018 08:55 PM

Dennis,

Not really. I don’t think there will ever be anyone that has that kind of impact, simply because everything is so spread out and so many offerings. I don’t see another Beatles, ever. Like Elvis before them, and Sinatra before that, they held sway over EVERY ASPECT of the lives of people. Fashion, culture, television, movies, etc. there are now far more people that have huge impact but dissipates very quickly. Now, people are not as impacted. In those days the choices were more limited, and focused. That doesn’t happen now.

People don’t look to music to be so much of their “end all” as they once did. It is everywhere, and continuous. It is more of in the “back of people’s minds” as opposed to the forefront of people;s minds. It doesn’t have the level of importance to the general public any more.

Will there be very good bands and artists? Yes, but more of them will be relagated to smaller niches, mostly because “Good” and “Great” are now relative. What might be “amazing” to someone might simply be “eaah…” to others. YOU TUBE and FACEBOOK are more of the shapers of modern opinion, but again, people have such an amazingly short attention span, and getting SHORTER all the time, no one will really be in the public eye for that long. In addition to that, bands, in particular, would not stay together that long. So having a new Rolling Stones, Beatles, Eagles, Doobie Brothers, etc. now would be more of a “here today, gone tomorrow” effect.

I view musicians, artists, writers, etc. and the like more like Athletes. No one really holds dominance for long. A World Series, World Cup or Superbowl team or athlete, might win one year and be everywhere and the next year at the bottom of the pile. There are really no more dynasties.
I believe that in music as well. But this is more to the fickle Nature of the audience’s attention span.

MAB

I agree with you. Attention spans are shorter and getting shorter all the time. When the Beatles, The Doobie’s etc…started people wanted something different and they delivered something good. People that were considered just okay would be considered stars today but they wouldn’t last long. I’m pretty sure songs by the Fleet Foxes was the last CD I bought. My friend would say with all abortions how many musicians were aborted. We can only hope music returns.

 
     
dennis dawe Joined Apr 17, 2010
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Oct 10, 2018, 08:19 AM

Dennis,

What would you mean by “Music comes back”? You see, I don’t think “music” has gone anywhere? It’s still there, as a matter of fact, it is EVERYWHERE, that’s sort of the problem. There’s so MUCH music, nothing is really that unique anymore. It all more or less runs together, There are still interesting and unique artists and writers out there, but much that the public will never really hear just because it is overwhelmed by so much in life.

And this is sort of like life is. You remember that it wasn’t until the 50’s and 60’s that we even had refrigerators, electric ovens, televisions, multiple cars, families not living in one home, etc. All of these are standard today. So you have to look at all of this in perspective.

As far as music overall goes. It will always be there. Every songwriter or artist in the world could quit writing today (which they never would) and there are billions upon billions upon billions of songs out there, more than could ever be heard by anyone. So I don’t think music will ever need to “come back.”

It is just not as important overall in people’s lives. Remember, in the 40’s, 50’s, 60’s. etc. radio ruled people’s lives. Songs and artists were on a tightly controlled playlist. You got mainly the “TOP 40.” Those were around 40 songs that were the most popular and that formed public opinion. Now you have millions everywhere. Songs on YOU TUBE and FACEBOOK get tens of millions or hundreds of millions of views and streams. So people have no end to music.
And now it’s not just music. Video games, television shows and networks, movies, plays, concerts, sporting events, you name it, all of this is streamed continually on the Internet at the demand of anyone who wants it. People have no end to entertainment, information, everything in life is at their fingertips. We just have to find it.

But will it ever “come back” in terms of importance to people’s lives? Would you suddenly give everything up, everything in your life that you need to exist, get information, news, entertainment, just to listen to music?

I don’t see that happening. Will we have certain artists and songs that make huge splashes and are everywhere?
Yeah, that will happen. But they will be just one more of the many things that attract us every day. And they will be gone much quicker.

MAB

[ Edited: 10 October 2018 08:24 AM by MBarne4908]
 
     
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MBarne4908 Joined Jul 29, 2010
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Oct 10, 2018, 10:24 AM

I don’t think you believe music now is as good as before. There is more of it and more ways to get it but it’s no where near as good. Refrigerators built in the 40’s, 50’s, etc…lasted 30, 40 years now you’re lucky to get one to last 15-20 years. It’s a lot like athlete’s now, they’re bigger, stronger, faster but they can’t do as much. You’re good at writing/preforming your own songs or you’re not. How many schools are there and most of those have a music teacher of those how many can write their own good song (popular with many others). Our parents icons eventually sang our icons songs. I haven’t heard our icons sing icons of today songs. I wish good music would come back. If I was in the music business I would talk it up.

 
     
dennis dawe Joined Apr 17, 2010
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Oct 10, 2018, 11:10 AM

Dennis,

I don’t think you or I are the target audience for most of the music out there today. I have a bit different relationship to music, in that I hear so much from so many different sectors. After doing this for over 40 years, I have probably heard more music than most people could ever imagine. And yes, a great majority of that is substandard at best. I have seen an overall decline in talent, what I have heard on the radio and from artists are not what I felt was “good” or quality, just a few years ago. But my opinion of “good” has changed much over the years. I still have standards, but accept the fact that I am often simply not the judge of what the public wants.

As always, I can’t do anything about that. I can only be responsible for what I do. Over the past three days I’ve written six songs with four different people and all I can hope is that those are what they need and will help them carry their own careers forward. And that is all we really can do. Be concerned with our own output, work as hard as we can on that and often be satisfied in how it works in it’s intended targets.

My mentioning refrigerators, television, etc. actually is only in drawing a parelell in how “COMMON” and taken for Granted things are now as opposed to earlier ages. The same in entertainment. For instance,do you remember when it was a novelty to have football on television? There would be the Saturday for colleges, and Sunday for pros. And many of the games would be blacked out in certain areas.
Now there is football on nearly 24 hours a day somewhere. Aside from the Monday night game, which has been an institution for 40 or so years, now they have Wed. Thursday, Friday nights, entire channels dedicated to it. If you are a football junkie, you can see it somewhere continually. And yes, there are people who are not as good. The overall competition is not as good. Seems like a bunch of the games this year are ending in TIES.

My observations on music are pretty much the same. It is everywhere, and when you get something so common and continuous, the quality will suffer. But there is more of it. And there is some that is quite good. I have a lot of friends who are amazing songwriters and artists. That doesn’t mean they will ever be heard by the masses, but they are doing well at what they are doing in their own worlds. And to me, that is the most important part of music or any form of creation. People do have forums now. They do have the ability to get what they do out there. they have the abilities to work on and learn the craft and all elements. Will that mean there is another monster writer or artist out there? Have no idea. But again, those are not my concerns. That is for others to decide. I just try to do what I do well. I leave the judging of all that to others.

MAB

 
     
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MBarne4908 Joined Jul 29, 2010
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Oct 10, 2018, 12:40 PM

I don’t think we’re the target market either. I remember going to a bar to listen to a band now people want to play games and watch tv while a band plays. I’m glad you can listen to this music i couldn’t.

 
     
dennis dawe Joined Apr 17, 2010
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Oct 10, 2018, 01:08 PM

Oh I don’t listen to a LOT of it. The majority of the “newer stuff” I hear, comes from the people I work with when they sit down and I ask who they are influenced by. Then I pull up videos and songs that interest them. A lot is very forgettable but some have elements that you can utilize, if for nothing else, help you find things you DON’T want to do. Part of the information I offer here are often from hearing some things HUNDREDS of times, and just being able to say “I’d probably move on from that.”

And that is a big thing when working with newer artists or writers. Knowing a lot about current trends, subject matter, approaches, etc. you can have them avoid some of the things that are already overdone. A lot of these people come to Nashville and get random meetings with publishers, song pluggers, producers, label people etc and if they sit down and offer up the same old stuff that’s been done a million times, doesn’t do them a lot of favors. So if you can “wave people off” from doing the same things over and over, it is a help.

But there are some funny things. I once had three artists I was working with all meet me out at one of the songwriter bars here in town. These three were the ages of 24, and 25 years old. And they all looked around the bar at a bunch of 21, and 22 year old’s and all of them said “Man, I feel SO OLD!!!!’

That is much of what we deal with. The ages of people and how they interact with their fellow fans and listeners of their music is really important. You can go from the “hottest new things” to “yesterdays Fossil” very quickly.

MAB

 
     
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MBarne4908 Joined Jul 29, 2010
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Oct 10, 2018, 01:40 PM

Dennis,

I’ve spent an average of five hours a day or night, four days a week, for THIRTY years, dealing with songs, songwriters, artists, publishers, and all things involved in songwriting and promotion of songs. So I’ve heard the good, the bad and the UGLY. The majority is not good, nor bad, just average. So finding things, even on major labels that go past than average, is a really challenging thing.

 
     
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MBarne4908 Joined Jul 29, 2010
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Oct 10, 2018, 02:12 PM

It has nothing to do about business. Personally do you feel music today is as good as music of the 60’s, 70’s or the 80’s?

 
     
dennis dawe Joined Apr 17, 2010
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Oct 10, 2018, 02:43 PM

My music is. That’s all I’m really concerned with

 
     
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MBarne4908 Joined Jul 29, 2010
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Oct 10, 2018, 03:27 PM

Don’t answer the question it’s okay. The best I can think is you think it’s the same.

 
     
dennis dawe Joined Apr 17, 2010
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Oct 10, 2018, 03:56 PM

Dennis,

I did answer the question. There is plenty I don’t care for, most of it actually, but it really does t effect me. I’m not driven by trends or charts or any of the trappings of the moment. Except for what I DONT want to do. But I am drawing parallels between music and the overall culture in that most of it is ultimately forgettable. But there is nothing I can do or want to do about that. To answer your question, do I think music as good as it was “in my day?” Absolutely not, but I never wanted to be one of those guys who sits around bemoaning about how it used to be.
So I’ll just keep striving to make my own music and those I work with better than what is out there.

MAB

 
     
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MBarne4908 Joined Jul 29, 2010
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