Saturday, 4 June 2011

Different hats

I don't know about you, but I'm starting to tire somewhat of certain parts of the media trumpeting that "it's never been a better time to be a musician".  The basis for this argument is that the means of production and distribution of music has now become reasonably affordable. This then, has liberated musicians from the evil shackles of the music biz, and our hero/heroine rides off into the sunset, reaping adulation and rewards as they go.

As has been noted by other commentators and myself previously, it doesn't really work like that, mainly due to the lack of a large enough PR machine on the side of the muso. 

The other difficulty is that just because you can record at home in your bedroom, doesn't mean you've done that very well.  To do that, you'll need to invest some time researching recording techniques, reading up on microphones and their placement, recording software, buying mics, mixers, and sundry other bits of equipment.  So, along with musician, add the hats of recording engineer, producer, and studio manager, acoustic engineer, whatever.

 Then, once you have your digital files, you might want people to actually hear them.  So, maybe make a CD?  Add the hats of graphic designer/photographer.  Or just download them?  Wouldn't it be a nice if we had a website?  Add the hat of web designer, and optionally, if you want people to actually find the website, the hat of SEO Bozo.  (Search Engine Optimisation).

Ooh, and what about all that fancy "social media" stuff?  Let's do that too!  Add another hat.

So, all of that stuff can be rewarding at times, and often downright frustrating at others.  But the point is that the modern musician, if they want people to hear their music, must engage with all of this in some way.  And, it all takes time and energy.

And, ultimately, that means less time for doing music. 


  1. Quite right, and if you falter in any of these steps or the machines let you down...

  2. I know big record companies were/are deemed "bad" but now you see what they did while the artists got on with making the music...

    As to whether the "new golden era of self" do will afford the musician any more earnings (certainly less opportunity for being swindled without a record company), the answer's probably "no"...