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Buckethead, Sight Reading or Naked Bass… Where have you placed yourself as a musician?

8 August 2016

Musician strategy – Stay clear of the middle.. it’s safe and boring!

HEY HEY HEY you crazy nutters!

Every musician seems to want to work in the middle… by that I mean the safe, boring & highly competitive area. Come with me on a journey and let me blow your freakin’ mind! (Or just tell you some stuff)

Where you place yourself as a musician (or in business in general) is key. I see many ‘Function Bands’ place themselves in the £1000 price bracket, the toughest area to compete in. I also see many wannabe session players buy a black shirt and promote themselves by sitting at their computer playing a pop/funk song. What about doing the opposite? Be the most expensive commercial band on the market and build your band to that spec or be a session player who looks like John 5 or Buckethead… Sure it’s not everyone’s cup of piping hot water with a tea bag in it, but at least you’re in a different market position to everyone else.

Something that is less rock and roll but guaranteed dosh is learning to sight-read. I mean properly sight read, not charts or a little bit of notation, I mean so that you can read music like a classical musician. An hour a day’s practice so that in a year or 2 you will be a competent reader and ready to start getting some sight reading gigs. In the grand scheme of your 50-year career, a year of hardcore SR practice is well worth it!

As a guitarist or bass player this instantly puts you in a smaller pool of musicians that you can compete with easier. Instead of thousands of guitarists in your city, you might be competing with 2 or 3.

There is a lot of work outside the middle with artists, bands and companies that don’t want safe! They want something different, whether it’s crazy slap bass, sight reading, dreadlocks, 12 string, fretless, double bass drum shredding etc etc.

Don’t be just another guitarist! Why not be known for something and build your career outside of the safe area. That angle might just cut through the competition and the start of a big career might be in touching distance.

PS – I can’t say this enough – If you haven’t got ‘A thing’ and you feel like another musician in a city of a million musicians… get on YouTube and learn to sight read… buy books, get advice, watch clips. It’s a strategy of guaranteed money!!



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