Years ago I had to make a decision.
I’d been playing in a band for quite a while. I’d helped build a studio and done some producing, engineering, and mixing.
But I was on the verge of getting married, was a little tired of life on the road… I had to make a career decision.
I wanted to stay in music — it’s my passion. But I had options. I was tempted to get a job at Guitar Center. Because I’m a good salesman, I was sure I could make great commissions selling guitars. With over 2 million sold yearly in the USA alone, I figured, “hey, that’s something a lot of musicians will buy!”
But, no. I had another idea. Instead of the sure sale, I “smartly” (said sarcastically) chose a passion for something most musicians don’t think they need… I decided to help artists and bands with their live show.
A recent experience reminded me of this choice.
I was teaching at Camp Electric, a week long event held in 3 cities every summer for teens, and one of the kids came up and showed me a picture of his band. “We’re better than Creed,” he proudly proclaimed. “But we’re quitting.”
“Why?” I asked.
“We spent a lot of money on gear, and we just aren’t making enough money from our live show.”
He went on to say that they “do everything” I teach (of course, it was the first time they’d heard me speak, so I’m not sure how that was possible).
I’m just venting here — but it gets a little frustrating. You see, this is a process. My Live Music Method is an investment of time, energy, and money (like most important things are).
What’s funny is that even some people who recommend us don’t understand the process… we continue to be used as band-aids before an important show. And a band-aid for something that brings in 90% of your revenue, nets you the most fans, and creates a buzz for you and your music, is pretty lame when you think about it.
It’s like hiring a golf coach just 3 days before you go on to the PGA qualifying round, and then expecting to qualify!
Or for a more musical analogy, let’s say you’ve been invited to play at the Grammy’s. So you hire a guitar teacher 3 days before the show to come and teach you how to play the song you’ll be doing. Make any sense?
Of course, as I said, I’m just venting.
I had another women come up to me in tears recently at an event where I taught. “God’s called me to music ministry,” she cried, “but I don’t understand why it’s not working.” She handed me a CD of her 6th recording and I could tell she was hoping for some guidance about how to make her career work.
“Have you studied my materials?” I asked.
“No,” she responded. “But I have a new CD that’s really good!”
Did I mention I was just venting?