DIY muso

Il4 DIY musos

In the 90’s when I was doing the odd gigging in an originals band, the general wisdom of the time was that you had to be ‘discovered’ and ‘signed’ to a record company yadda yadda.

Of course people have a different outlook these days with your Myspace and your Youtube and the emphasis on performing and ‘doing it yourself’. Sure, it’s still super competitive, and I’m sure there are statistics that say you’re better off buying a lottery ticket than making a livable income from music. But people may believe this just from hearsay, or that friends and family say it is so, or they’ve read a couple of articles that give that impression, so I’ve been doing a bit of reading and research just out of curiosity.

What are the mechanics of making money from music? How do royalties work? How much is this form of income being affected by the new online environment? How feasible is it to perform and tour for a profit? And more importantly, what opportunities are there for new “DIY musos” taking advantage of the new tools of the internet and social networking

I don’t want to base my beliefs about running a band, songwriting or the potential to make money from music on assumptions, even though I did use to base these things on assumptions, and I’m not in a band or performing any more anyway. I still enjoy songwriting, and I’m doing it out of love, not for money.

But you never know what the future holds or what opportunities might arise, however unlikely. It’s good to know how you can exploit a song that someone may take an interest in, or if there’s a ‘tribal’ interest in a particularly style, or if something should go ‘viral’ for example. It could be a bit like surfing -if you’re not ready, the wave goes by and you miss the opportunity to ride it.

The down side is, it’s a brave new world and nothing’s simple about it. If recorded music is going to become virtually free, how can you make money from it? So you give away a million to sell ten thousand, how in the world are you going to become that famous that a million people want to download your free song -especially when there are four million artists to chose from?

If only there was one simple ‘DIY’ kit that made everything so clear, but I think for every DIY muso, it’s going to be a unique situation as to how they can make the most of their music business.


%d bloggers like this: