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Are You In Control?
By Tim Sweeney
Let me ask you a simple question. Are you in control of your
music career? Obviously your first response will be "What do
you mean, of course I am. I write my own songs, make my own
CD's, book my own shows, and sell CD's." Well then, you must
be accomplishing all the goals you have for your music career.
If not, you must not be in as much control as you think.
While it's true, you are writing songs, making CD's, and
playing shows and selling CD's, the lack of results you want
is directly related to the lack of control you currently have.
Let me show you how most artists have lost control and how you
are going to get it back.
One of the first areas artists of all kinds lose control is in
their songwriting or in the creation of their art. For most
music artists we like to focus on writing songs with meaning
or messages that will be beneficial to those that hear them.
The first loss of control comes when they think the person
listening to their songs will magically "get it" when they
hear it. Considering most fans primarily listen to music in
their car, where they are distracted by the frustrations of
traffic, being late, and going to a job they hate, it's
difficult for them to focus on the messages in the songs.
With that in mind, instead of hoping people hear our song and
get it, you need to push yourself to talk about the messages
in your songs whenever and wherever you are promoting your
music on a daily basis. Whether it's to or through the media
or talking to someone you don't know on the street, you are in
control on the conversation. The same is true with your shows.
While it's easier to have others help promote your shows, it's
not the same as when you are the one talking to new people.
Even at your shows, don't just get up and play, remember you
are in control of your entire performance time. Talk in detail
about your songs, and what you want people to think about
while you are playing. Invite them to come up to you after
you're done and share their thoughts about your songs and how
they relate to them personally. If you do this, you will find
you will sell more CD's at your shows as well.
Why? It's simple. People will connect with you more and want
to expand upon your "bond" or relationship. They will want to
support you by buying a CD and coming to future shows.
My point is this. As artists we are in "artistic control" of
what we want to create. However, you often forget that you are
not communicating your passion, your belief, in your music and
the messages in your songs. You are in control of that and in
today's day and time where people are lost and distracted, you
have to wake them up with your works and actions not just your
For more info, artists may order a copy of Tim's new audio
book Tim Sweeney's Guide to Releasing Independent Records Part
II, and you can learn all of this in the car.
Tim's book available at his site:
About Tim Sweeney:
Over the last 20 years he has helped several major labels
(Columbia, Epic, MCA, Universal, Warner Bros., Capitol,
Mercury, Polygram, Revolution, Hollywood (and their
sub-labels), and well known independent labels (Restless,
Metal Blade, Enigma, Accretions, etc.) develop the careers of
some of their most promising and successful artists of all
on a past article topic below to read