Music Business For Dummies
Music Business For Dummies
Getting on the Path to Results
In This Chapter
Discovering the best musical path for you
Jump-starting your plan to get what you want
Knowing who to listen to and who to avoid
Differentiating between the music and the music business
The journey into the music business starts with two steps. The first step moves you forward toward the creativity, writing, performing, and love of the music and the art. The second step takes you toward the organization, optimization, planning, and structure of the business side. The best path to achieving the greatest results in the music business mixes the creativity of the music with the budgeting and organizational nature of the business side. It combines the spontaneity of the music with the planning and contractual structuring of the legal side; a yin and yang mix of freedom to create with the conformity of recordkeeping.
This chapter gives you an overall look at the two sides of the music business. I talk about social media and a little about the legal stuff you need to know about conversions and your music business plan. Odds have it, you're already familiar with the creative side of this industry, and you now need an insight into the business aspects. Throughout this chapter (and the book, actually), I stress that the music business is a career. Hopefully it's your career.
Differentiating between the Music and the Music Business
There's a big difference between your music and the music business. That might sound like a "big duh" statement, but take a minute to think about it. As much as you're already established on the creative side of music, you might have little to no experience in the business world or the business side of music. A great musician might have no knowledge about or experience in business - one discipline encourages freedom to create; the other demands left-brain practical thinking. Music and business are truly two entirely different forms and practices.
All too often, the lines blur between the two and cause musicians to make big career mistakes that cost them in the moment and often in the long term. As much as the lines get blurred, always remember that your music is your art. Whereas you might be in the beginning stages of business, never let anyone make you doubt the music you create and love. That's the creative part, not the business part.
Some claim there are formulas to writing hit songs, and million-dollar successes bring all the fame in the world. But the reality is that for every formula presented or example of how the ten best songs of any given year were hits, there are millions of other songs that went nowhere that followed the same exact structure and at least another ten songs that did just as well in completely different molds.
Even though you need to know the business side of the music industry, regardless of the job or role you take, trust in your art and your creative side so you can learn and grow in your craft. Don't make the music all about business, or there will be nothing creative to it.
Many different tasks are presented to and required from you throughout your career, but those activities make up the business side. When you separate and differentiate the two, both are much easier to do and give you a greater understanding of how they both work together.
Why you need to grasp the business
You don't need to go to business school and get an MBA, just like you don't need to learn every aspect of the music business to succeed. Still, taking business and accounting classes as well as intellectual property, copyright, and marketing courses can help to supplement your knowledge. Learning about each position, each expense, each revenue, basic legal and copyright information as well as the fundamentals of contracts inside and outside of your music, your band and the people involved with you gives you a bett