I’m about to go on an adventure. I’m getting all the things I’m going to need in order, gathering the tools and supplies and support system to go delving deep…deep into the world of trying to make a living as a musician.
It seems like I’ve always known that this was what I had to do, from the time I was 4 or so and being rocked to sleep by my dad on his antique spring rocking chair, being taken away by Guy Clark, Willie Nelson, The Eagles, Jimmy Buffett, John Prine, Dylan…all the singer songwriter greats of the 60’s and 70’s.
The desire to be a musician continued and was even amplified when I first heard Van Halen and spent hours listening to 1984 doing jump kicks. It continued through middle school when I focused on guitar playing, listening to Metallica, Slayer, Joe Satriani, and Steve Vai. Into high school when I got into fusion: Scott Henderson, John McLaughlin and Al DiMeola.
I wanted to be a musician so much that I went to music school. I attended Berklee College of Music and got into Jazz, but I found out about half way through school that I really would rather be a songwriter than a shredder. I took classes with the amazing Pat Pattison and Jimmy Kachulis, and found that I wanted to JUST WRITE more…and after graduation, I moved to Nashville.
The thing about Nashville is that it’s a hustler’s town, as I’m sure LA is, and I would work as a front desk person at a hotel, or in retail or whatever, and write during my off time, or go see songwriters I admired when they played around town, but I got discouraged pretty early. No one was writing what I wanted to hear anymore. Due to some poor relationship choices, I found keeping my head somewhere near the surface of the financial water hard to do while trying to be true to my musical core.
So I did something that no one should ever do: I stopped trying. I stopped wanting to be a musician at all. I stopped seeing that music had any value whatsoever.
I had drifted into a career in luthiery, and I seemed to be average at it. I was good enough to make a decent wage, but it was far from my passion. I had drifted into comfort and ease and so far, it had given me a roof over my head and food, but I had never received anything like contentment or satisfaction from it, to the extent that it is possible to find.
Which brings me to now…
To date, I have recorded somewhere around thirty songs, I have about 30 songs started and half finished, and I’m writing more all the time. Of those complete thirty-ish, I’ve chosen 11 songs to put out as my first downloadable album, and I’m going to be shooting for an early fall release date.
This means I’m going to have to learn a huge amount about social media and internet marketing in a very short amount of time.
In the coming weeks, I will outline all the things I’m reading and doing in order to try and get this thing off the ground. I’ll tell you what seems to have worked, what seems not to have worked, and I’ll report my findings here.
Stay tuned, it’ll be interesting…and FUN!
If you have any suggestions for books to read, videos to watch, or classes to take, please let me know by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org