Welcome to EvO:R Entertainment
The EvO:R-Pedia Musicians Tips Section
Welcome to the EvO:R Tips Section. We call this section EvO:R-Pedia because it is like a complete
reference library for Indie musicians...Just about every tip has been used so you won't find false
promises and a series of books to buy after reading each tip. This section was put here by musicians
so that people that followed can take this knowledge and use it's power.
Tips on earning a living as a musican
with Martin Paul
Let me start with a sort of disclaimer - it might be more accurate
to descibe my little corner here in the Evor "tips" section as
"reasons you should change your mind about being a musician"
rather than "tips on earning a living as a musican" because a major
part of my puropose in being a contributor here is to expose some of
the myths commanly held about being a professional musician - and by
professional musician, I mean someone who earns a living playing
music - period!
So, if you're looking for "tips on being a rock star"
or "tips on getting famous" or even "tips on earning a living playing
only your own original songs" or "tips on making a living by playing
only songs I like", don't bother reading any further. I won't pretend
to have any knowledge on any of those things.
I'd like to start off with a an edited passage on "the vulgar trades"
- From Cicero's "De Officiis" , a treastie on moral duites, contained in a
letter to his son, written around 60 BCE -
"First, those . . . which incur people's ill-will, as those of tax collecters
or money lenders . . .all hired workmen whom we pay for mere manual labor
. . .and all mechanics are engaged in vulgar trades. . . Least respectable
of all are those trades that cater to sensual pleasures: Fishmongers, butchers,
cooks, and poulterers, and fishermen. Add to these if you please, the perfumers,
dancers, and the whole corps de ballet" ("corps de ballet" also roughly translates
into vaudvile performers)
So . . the "vulgar trades", in descending order, are tax-gatherers,
money-loaners, manual laborers, retailers, mechanics, food sellers & preparers
- and at the bottom of the list - entertainers. If you think this attitude has
changed much in the intevening 2000 years, go ask 10 fathers at random which
they'd prefer to have dating their daugter - a banker, a mechanic, a store owner,
a cook, a fisherman, or a musician. . . .okay, I'm guessing more than a few readers
are saying "so what's the point" right about now. . . .
The point is - being a musican is not a very highly respected
trade in "the real world" - somewhere below fast-food worker, auto mechanic,
& fisherman. To most folks in the industrialized west, it's a hobby, not a
profession for adults (take my word on this, music stores don't stay in business
selling igear to working musicians - Fender sells well over a million
guitars a year in the U.S. - how many of those do you think were sold to
someone who earns their living playing guitar?) So, if you're looking to be
a musician, be prepared to have a real hard time: getting credit, getting
a landlord to lease you an apartment, getting insurance on your car - not many
folks go "whoopie - now there's a good credit risk/tennant/whatever" when
they see "Musician" written beside "Occupation".
Okay . . .for those of you still reading, here's a tip to hold you over
until next installment - I think it's one of the single most useful things
a "bar band" can do:
Learn how to play "Happy Birthday" - several different ways.
You're going to have to play it many, many, many hundreds, if not thousands,
of times - get used to it. Audiences have heard bored bands do lackluster
versions of "Happy Birthday" on many occasions - you & your band
will REALLY stand out if you work up a version thats somehow "different"
and play it as if you care.
Remember - when you're playing this song,
it's a special day for someone in the audience, and everyone there would
like to "share the love" - help them out. The audience will remember
you for it, the folks in the "birthday party" will remember you for it -
& the folks who work the bar will very likely make note of it &
pass along word to the owner/manager (who's likely not there) that
"this band really got 'em going - w/ Happy Birthday!!!!".
I've gotten gigs as "house band" using a high-energy "two-step into a regaee"
version of Happy Birthday as an audition song - I almost always include it
at auditions - on one occasion, we knew the other bands auditioning had us
beat hands-down as far as "playing it like the record", some had a stunning
girl up front & all the guys had "perfect hair" & "the look" - just like a
hundred other Top 40 Cover bands - but they had no real "personality" -
we did just the one song, "Happy Birthday", & got the gig - the booker
stopped us after the one song & said "I don't need to hear any more". . .
. so never underestimate the power of a good version of "Happy Birthday"
He is road tested and industry updated. He believes that you always send the biggest guy in
to collect the money! You will love his information because he has lived it. Martin has been a seasoned
gigger for more years then he will admit, so if he tells you it can and will happen, you can believe it!
Other Martin Paul (Texas CowPunk) tips for real working
musicians can be located at Tips by Martin Paul 2.