On Typical Musos…

I came across this post in my RSS reader:

“30 Tips For The Typical Musician”  By Mike Venti

Meaning, ‘how to be a typical muso embodying all the flaws, drawbacks, weakness and downright annoying features of an egotistical, mediocre muso’. That’s a bit harsh, but there’s an ‘inner muso’ in every muso, if you get my drift.

Back in the 90’s when I was with my band, I was very much guilty of several of these characteristics, but so were the many around at the time. This one in particular:  Beg your friends and family to come out and see you for the third time in a month.

Here’s another: Never take a gig playing covers for fear of being average… We shouldn’t learnt more covers just to learn from the songwriting etc…

And this one when hastling booking agents: Understand that anyone who doesn’t return an email or a phone call is out to get you and personally dislikes your music. We didn’t take it personally like that, but we complained when people didn’t get back to us, and we didn’t persevere. The lesson: It’s show business, it’s going to be tough to get gigs…


And also the simple disconnect between reality and thinking “we’re going to make it” because some producer for a famous band would sooner or later walk into a pub we were playing in and suddenly see our genius.

But back in those days the labels held the power over distribution, so it was assumed that to make it you had to get a record deal, so the average muso could deceive him or herself into thinking it was all about being discovered and signed.

The problem with that thinking was that it was too easy to take DIY hardwork out of the equation. These days you can’t deceive yourself like that anymore -it’s all DIY, and there’s nothing stopping you (theoretically) from getting out there and building a following from the bottom up.

It just takes a lot of effort to play your instrument well (or sing well), write good songs, times that by 3-5 cooperating with other band members, record a demo, shop it around to get gigs, put up your online profile and take it from there…


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