As musicians we often think the path to success is simple; we just have to be better than the other person, better than the other people in line, better than the rest of the choices, and we'll make it. The truth, though it's uncomfortable, is that the less-talented guitar player is going to get hired for the session sometimes and the less-talented vocalist will get that cut.
The thing that separates you from the crowd isn't always going to be talent. Being good at your craft is a prerequisite nowadays and the way to get ahead is to put yourself out there effectively and to take control of the business that is YOU.
The people hiring musicians for remote sessions don't want an artist who needs their handheld when sending .wav files and they won't sign a contract with someone who doesn't know what a PRO is. They're going to choose the musician who has their act together!
The good news is, it's easier than ever to OWN our businesses and treat them like one! Learn what's going on behind the scenes, market yourself effectively, and know how the industry works. Sometimes we think having talent is enough, but talent is just a stepladder on the mountain of success.
Learn how YOU can produce your own music in this FREE workshop! --->>>
This one goes out to the badasses, those of you who know they’re uber talented. Those of you that have things come naturally to you, who’ve been praised for your skills by those around you, and those of you that know you can throw it down when it comes time to show up with your craft.
Your talent is holding you back…
Being naturally talented spoils us because things normally come easy; it creates entitlement & laziness. It makes you think you don’t have to work as hard because, in most cases, you don’t. And for that very reason maybe you’re not taking on new ventures (i.e. learning to record yourself) because you’re afraid to be ‘challenged’ by doing something you’re not naturally good at.
I know you’ve heard me say this before, but let me say it again.
The most talented doesn’t always win.
I know a lot of us got into music thinking it was all about our talent and we didn’t sign up to be in “business” but guess what? If you want to make money with your music, you are not only IN the music business, you ARE a music business. It’s funny, the music business is the ONLY business I know where people want to start a business without knowing anything about business.
How does this pertain to session work?
I know A LOT, and I mean A LOT of talented people, some are my friends, some are acquaintances, some are online and in my audience. And while I love nothing more than a voice that melts me to my core or a guitar player that can literally bring me to tears with a single solo, I can’t choose who I decide to hire based solely on their talent. There are many other factors that come into play.
Let’s use singers as an example.
You can have the greatest tone and range and be a complete rockstar in your own right as an artist, but if I go to hire you remotely and you can’t send me high quality. WAV files tuned and edited, all bounced from zero, with wet and dry stems, then we are not a good fit to work together. If you do not understand how to read a basic work for hire contract or if you’re a songwriter I’m hiring for a project and you do not know what a PRO is or what your publishing company is, then we are not a good fit to work together.
If you’re not able to take constructive criticism and detailed notes on WHAT it is I expect from you as an independent contractor and be able to put who you are as an ‘artist’ aside, we are not a good fit to work together. This isn’t a knock to the singer, I just don’t have TIME to slow down. In order for my business to run like a well-oiled machine, I NEED to surround myself with professionals.
And yes, it breaks my heart because SOMETIMES the perfect voice for a project doesn’t get the job because the person hasn’t learned how to conduct themselves in their business.
Here’s what’s really cool though, the professionals I do work with are badasses and they’ve learned the business. So I really have no need to work with somebody who can’t meet the required protocol of my business, even if I love what they bring to the table skills wisely.
This is how the entire music industry works too. Let’s talk about getting into Film/TV. Guess what happens when you go banging some supervisors or libraries door down and you don’t know what a PRO is or WHO has control of your masters? They’re like, ‘ok this person doesn’t have a clue.’ Then they go and work with somebody who DOES have their shit together, even if they liked your music more!
The moral of the story is that talent ALONE isn’t going to get you anywhere. It’s simply the prerequisite to even get into the game. Talent is a given, it’s all the other steps you take to solidify and optimize yourself and your business that is going to create opportunities for you. Nobody is coming to save you or do it for you -- you have to do it for yourself.
Well, I hope you got a lot of value out of this!