Friday, May 19, 2017

The problem with music

You see, the problem with music is this - we musicians want to spend our lives making music, we want to be those people that we grew up listening to, we want to be our idols, our heroes.

We want to be big rock stars, touring the globe, jet setting all around the world, jumping from stage to stage, tour bus to tour bus. We want to be rich, have a big house with a pool.

We want it all.

The problem is, most of us don't have a clue how to get there.

The problem is, we have no idea, looking in from the outside what it all entails, what is involved in getting to that point - how many years it takes to make it 'big', how many shows need to be played for minimal or no pay at all, we have no idea what's the right combination or formula of fans, shows, merchandise, marketing, record sales, etc needed to make a decent living off of music.

Then if we get to that point where money starts coming in, how many extra players are involved - publishers, publicists, managers, booking agents, record labels? And what is their cut from our piece of the pie?

The music biz is not exactly a tried and true formula - if you do x, then y will happen. It's not like that at all.

It's not like a regular job that you go to school for, if you study chemistry you will get a job in a chemical field. It's not fool-proof at all.

The music industry is not as well laid out as that. It's a maze, with many paths and the problem is, all us amateur or semi-pro musicians are all trying to get a piece of the pie, but we might not have the right utensils, heck even many pro musicians are struggling financially.

And how do you continue in a field of work if the income is haphazard and sporadic? Which other professional field do you ever hear of people selling or giving away their services for 'exposure'? Do you ever hear of a newly graduated doctor or lawyer giving away their services cheaply?

And you think that would discourage everyone to get out of this business, but no, the opposite is happening.

And the question is 'why'?

And the only answer is that the love of music, is irrational at best.

And perhaps all us musicians are irrational at best.

And maybe that's our problem.

But how else do we solve it? It's either we get off the boat, or just keep on with it.

Whether we make it big, or just tinkle away in our rooms, music is such a joy.

Cesco Emmanuel Demo Reel

Monday, May 8, 2017

Disappointment and the Headless Chickens

I remember reading in the bible that if you put your trust in man, you will always be disappointed. Put your trust in God, and he will never fail you. Everyone will disappoint you - family, friends, loved ones. Even the ones you don't expect.

A friend of mine keeps on saying that he is in the fight of his life and nobody seems to care. It's hard to hear when he says that because people do genuinely care, it's just that sometimes they don't know how to help.

Somedays I myself feel as if I am in the fight of my life. Fight to make ends meet, fight to stay positive and keep on sending out those resumes for that 'perfect job', fight to keep on practicing guitar although most days I keep on hearing those voices in my head saying that I will never get better at certain flaws in my playing - an old high-school friend of mine, another great guitarist told me that we have technically missed the boat, that we should have been wood-shedding in our teens, not in our forties, that it is too late to master the guitar.

Maybe it's the stubborn side of me, but I'm still trying to perfect the guitar.

Trying to fail or failing to try?

But it is hard to keep trying when there's no sign of improvement, when there's no blue skies on the horizon. It's hard when you almost seem to run out of options. When you keep on trying different things but the end result is always the same - failure, no vacancy, no work, nothing.

I wonder if most people feel like headless chickens? Just going through the day. wishing they could get a better pay or even a decent job but they don't know where to start? Knowing that they have potential but they don't know how to realize it. I wonder if most people are bitter because they too, tried so hard but fell flat on their face many a time. I often wonder if the average person is just going through the motions of life, wishing for something better, but with no real clue of how to get to that better place.

I know the old saying, 'You only fail when you stop trying'.

But I tell you my dear reader, it is truly hard to keeping trying after multiple failures, and I do think it's only natural to want to just give up and just be satisfied with just 'existing'.

Maybe that's whom most people are anyway - just disappointed headless chickens that have lost the fight and are fed up getting back in the ring.

'The act of a noble warrior, who lost the will to fight' - 'The Pass' by RUSH.