Career advice?

Hello,
I’m an amateur musician/producer (?). So much so that I’m not even sure what to call myself. The problem is that I haven’t been at this very long but I feel like I’m have a lot of abilities both as a player and mixer. I just would like to know what I’m doing right, what I’m doing wrong and what would be the best direction to go in order to make a career out of this. I have a video and a blog entry dedicated to the questions I have about the video I made. If you wouldn’t mind helping out a fellow cubase user, please visit my website/blog here http://jdj912.blogspot.com/2011/04/reasons-i-think-i-could-work-in.html

Specifics about me, my music and the questions I have are detailed in that entry.

All help will be appreciated, thank you,

jdj

I’m tempted to say “Don’t give up the day job” but that’s too negative.

Stick in and keep at it, you can only get better.

Good luck :stuck_out_tongue:

My advice based on seeing your site, lose the stuffed animal if you want anyone to give you a second look. While I get the humour, and working for food, etc… if you are serious, then present yourself that way. People tend to avoid desperation.

regards

The almost infinite capacity for self-delusion is what keeps mankind from hopelessness and insanity. :frowning:

Hi jdj912 -

“Hold on tight to your dream”. (ELO).

From a general marketing pint of view - it might be helpful to look at how your potential competition is advertising, and use that as a guide to developing yours, and assessing and developing your product as well.

Since you (as you say) are on the beginning of the learning curve, I’d advise you keep on reading/recording/self-evaluating, and learning - we all can only get better!

A decent starting point might be the book I mention in this post: http://www.steinberg.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=91&t=7124 . There are many others as well - soak it all up!

Good luck!

What, you don’t??? :wink: :laughing:

A bit OT, but I wonder if you have problems competing with non-certified electricians where you’re at – over here they’re all over the place, and cause all sorts of problems. I have a friend who hired an AC guy to replace his power box recently and the guy screwed his whole setup up. Much respect to you and the guys who go about it the right way

My A/C broke last week … called a company that my Dad has used, they said the upstairs fan motor in the attic was out, $600.00 to replace it - OUCH. So I called some other guy from the yellow pages who came over for a 2nd opinion. He said the capacitor was fried, and that’s why the motor wasn’t turning. He replaced it, said he didn’t want a check, just cash please. Wanting to help a guy out, I paid $109.00 cash … NO RECEIPT!! (“Sorry, not for cash …”). I should have listened to my gut instinct at that time … instead of smiling and offering him a bottled water …

I woke up the next AM to the smell of burning electrical stuff (just a whiff, mind you) and no A/C :smiling_imp: . I’m pretty sure the capacitor burned out again. I called that first a/c company back, they’re at the house now, I just p*ssed away $109, I could have used that.

Uggh.

Oh, to keep the post musical - do you guys like that James Taylor song, “I’m Your Handyman”? Steve, does that song “resonate” with you on certain calls? :smiley:

It might surprise/amuse you Zap that once upon a time I belonged to the IBEW. It was when they were building the Clinton nuke plant in my area in the late 70’s and were hiring apprentices

I thought it was brilliant. Best new talent I’ve seen for years.

Join me and help me prove the adage “It’s never too late to start”

That adage is complete bullsh*t.

If you think it’s too late, even for a moment, it is too late.

Don’t expect to make a living in music, unless you manufacture a product that cannot be copied easily (hardware), or run a recording studio or music store.

I listened to your video for as long as I could stand it (46 seconds). It was enough for me to say unequivocally: this is not your calling. You are an amateur, and it does not sound to me like you will ever be anything more than that.

Do not quit your day job.

So, I feel a lot better about myself now. Anyway, thanks for the feedback. As I said, I know I’m not on the professional level yet, just trying to learn where I’m lacking. So thanks, I have lots to work on. I’ll check on that post Alexis, thanks.

Joe

dude, quit worrying about becoming, let alone being, a “star” and focus on developing your own sound. There are numerous peeps just on this forum I have more respect and admiration for than many of “the stars” becuase they’re original and are artistically beholden only to their own vision

Yeah, just keep at it Joe. I had to buy my own guitar, had to pay for my own lessons, stole my 1st recorder, used to record people in the music store after hours in the retail area using a 4 channel cassette tape recorder, recorded people in my apartment bedroom, interned for free…

Just keep at it and if you learn, not just by reading, but by doing and get good, more power to you. You will need another job or few too to get needed things that working for free will not pay for.

Hi jdj912

This is an important thread for you.

Intro
You are, indeed, never to old to start, however please bear in mind CeilingDuck’s warning that your beliefs WILL influence your outcomes.

Steve Fogal has, like you, made much of his progress by ‘networking’ … by including others in his evolution and by sharing his journey. Do a search through threads and posts - through the years, he has hosted discussions on many aspects of setting up music making. Be sure to return to the various forums, and to give individual credit to people who take time to respond to your request. Also, be prompt in putting feedback into action.



Specifics:
For example - easy ‘do-it-now’ bits of tidying up:

Get rid of the dog pictures. They flicker from picture to picture, and steal attention away from YOU in the video below. Put photo-portraits of YOU up there. Get the lights roughly at your eye level, and a bit to one side, so your face looks three-dimensional … i.e. has some shadow to it. Full face … neutral, angsty, gentle-but-manly smile, neutral, and slightly petulant. Let those be what flick as we watch the video.

Video: Put the lighting on a table, and get much closer to the webcam, so your head, shoulders and guitar can be seen, but not much else. Tidy the room up, or put a screen behind you. Closer you are to the camera, the smaller the screen can be. DON’T apologise for what you can’t do - do the BEST with what you can Do, and if you feel apologetic when looking at the video, do SOMETHING inexpensive, to fix it.

Spoken introduction: Make it shorter, and if you must read it, put it in big writing at eye level, next to the camera, so you are looking AT US.

VOICE your voice is your strong point … I was looking for your ‘Spearhead’ … I watched through your video and I wanted to know the answer to the following question “What Is Your Locus of Leverage?” And Yes :slight_smile: Your voice. That final song … Put It First. Just do it. You mentioned you are in the top 63% … well, I do not know the math as well as you do, However, just put that song First, and you will shoot up by an entire 0.3% or even 0.4%. Lose the Drum intro, and tighten up the drum parts on the backing track.

Make the song with the backing track a separate video which will come second in whatever list you choose to make.

Fix this: At the end of your video, there is a menu screen which links to irrelevant items. I clicked, saw a very moving Wedding Proposal in a foreign language. Again, as with the Dog … they are lovely, but they distract from your target. Lose them.

Do Another song … with just strumming guitar accompaniment, but let that be on a backing track, and lets see you sing WIHOUT an instrument … I want to know how you stand and move when singing. Get that camera real close … and don’t have that microphone in the way … stick it slightly lower down or to the side - anything to get a clear line between you and the camera.


Career and Financial Planning:
Keep your other day jobs. These days, everybody needs more than one day-job. Different ones get you different amounts of money. For a while, some will support others, and vice versa. Moreover, different day jobs will provide different Experience, and the impact of that can be cataclysmic.

For example, there is a member here, lifetime musician, who bought, built up and ran a highly efficient and successful bakery, and is now in demand as a consultant. He is a model of excellence to any who need choose and manage people and hardware, placing them in an effective and elegant workflow, to produce high quality product. He comes on to this forum and WHAMMO … a few short years and he is first-league in mixing philosophy and application. Give him another year, he will lead that league. It is called 'transferability of skills. He, like you, is a ‘polymath’ - which means you are able to apply yourself to a variety of disciplines. The broader your experience, the greater impact you may learn to bring to any single point of your choosing.

The First fruits of your Chosen Lifework have a broad base, and for presenting them, I salute you.


Building Credibility and Working with Others’ Feedback to you
I have one more BIG ‘secret’ for you now:
By starting this thread, you have made a Big Chance for youself. Grab It with all your might now. “Is this a joke” was a serious question. Your answer must be in your behaviours now. You can make the changes I have advised within a few days. You have posted elsewhere - others, too, will suggest changes which you may easily make. Do Them Now … for two reasons. Firstly, you can bump this thread and re title it ‘Updated’. That, as they say in MMA, will Send a Message that you Really Are Gunning for Position - you are training heard, and implementing feedback. you will get respect, people will know that there is no joke. They will sit up and pay you the Full Attention you deserve.

You’re new here, so I will share history to explain why there could be concern about your thread being a “Joke”: in past years, there have been people who have come here and asked for advice, and they, like you, have presented work which has countless golden opportunities for magnificent improvement. People who, like you, have been at the foothills of their Everest. However, their motivation has fizzled out, they preferred to talk about why they could ‘NOT’ put the feedback into practice and, eventually, people on this forum lost faith, and started to get off topic, or irritated or exasperated-humour etc etc.
Secondly, people will be excited to be part of your progress. It is a sheer delight to run alongside someone who, every week, transforms and reinvents their threshold of excellence. People will begin, not only to support you, but to Push You Along. In the coming months, you will look back to this day, your eyes will widen, you may say “Feck!”, “Hot Diggety Dawg”, etc, and you will grin widely on the inside.

Again, I salute you. I have more to tell you, however, first things first: I NEED to see how you put feedback into practice, IN ORDER to know Which Bits to tell you next.

Best wishes
Glyn Powell.

Excellent post Glynn.

Millennium Sojurn