This is admittedly a bit of a rant. But here goes – and I suspect many will agree with me this time.
If you started a business you would hardly expect it to be an overnight success if you could only spare an couple of hours a day promoting it. Yet in the music business that’s what we routinely do.
I’m in the process of renovating our 400 year old farmhouse in France and that, as you might imagine takes up a lot of time and money. So when I have finished my daily work – whether that be plumbing, plastering, tiling and general building work – I have a shower in the shower I finished installing yesterday and I sit myself down at the computer. Then if it isn’t my turn to cook something for dinner I set about the process of trying to persuade people that I’m an all round good egg, superb musician, in-demand, up to my ears in work and a number of other vague mis-truths. Some are true enough but one thing I am not great at is the marketing side of things. Ploughing through the mind numbing tedium of bashing a few tracks out to potential venues and facebook groups, twitter feeds and so on can drive one to the edge of madness – an edge I am all too close to as it is, without the assistance of Social Media.
How did they do it in the old days? Well they sent out tapes, CDs or some other physical thing which cost money to produce and maybe after trying for years someone would take an interest – so on the plus side the ‘modern’ way is better. The old way I think proved a level of commitment – it’s harder to part with cash unless you are confident and self-assured enough to know its worth it.
But I wonder if it is still possible to do it the old way? I mean if you were to say to a potential booker of talent ‘I’ve decided I’m going to be different: Instead of doing what every man and his dog does I’m going to drop social media and all its hype and do it the old way. So hello my name’s Tony and I’m really good at what I do’. You know it might just work better. The problem with the ease with which we can now a) record and produce and b) distribute our music is such that there is now an ocean of competition. Millions of other talented musicians trying to stand head and shoulders above the rest. There is a massive flood of talent with the wherewithal to go for gold.
Your music is your business – and no, you cant do it justice with just a couple of hours a day. It takes time. It takes a maddening amount of time to get it heard. Social media might be a pain but you just have to do it. Put up and shut up.
There I’ve finished for now.
Stay tuned for the next thrilling instalment of the grumpy old guitarist (see what I did there? Word play they call it)
Love to all.