I just reviewed materials from a fellow who promises to take my music career to new heights if I give him money for “private coaching” and access to secret tips and tricks that nobody else knows (except all the other people offering similar services).
Now don’t get me wrong; there are some music career, songwriting, and performance coaches worth getting to know and worth signing up with (I’ve used a few). What puts me off is his attitude. I won’t quote him exactly, but he implies that if I don’t buy his services right now, I will always be a loser playing third-rate equipment, stringing together crap jobs to pay my internet fees while living indefinitely in my mother’s basement.
Of course, he doesn’t know me; he doesn’t know that in years past, I played “out” many hundreds of times in many different kinds of venues, that I have two masters’ degrees, or that I’ve put three kids through college nearly debt-free, or that my home is paid off and that I can afford any kind of instrument I need to take my music to the next level, but I also know when I still have “room to grow” on the instruments I own. That I’m looking to get more active with my music as I approach retirement, but I’m nobody’s fool. Or that the only reason I’m checking out his materials is that he has approached young friends of mine promising to make them rich and famous for a substantial fee, and I wanted to see it he was as big a creep as he seemed to be.
I refuse to accept his implication that refusing to invest real money right now into the kind of services he purports to offer means that you’re a loser and will always be a loser.
Whatever happened to playing music for fun and personal fulfillment? Lots of folks who play for fun would like to play better, write better, perform better, play out more, and reach more people. So taking advantage of tips and tricks like those listed in the Careers & Performance forum of our CreekDontRise.com site makes sense. But that doesn’t mean that every one who wants to broaden their “scope” needs to go to the same promotional extremes as every 17-year-old hoping to be the next Taylor Swift or Justin Beiber. Or needs to sacrifice every other area of their lives, including careers, family, and conscience.
Here’s the deal – your music is your music, and your life is your life. If, like me, you’d like to play out more and expand your reach, you should feel free to learn what you can from the resources available without anyone guilting you into investing more time and money than you can afford just because they’re holding out the “carrot” of (falsely) promised success or smacking you with accusations of laziness, etc.
Let’s face it, if they were half as good as they claim to be, they’d be too busy managing some superstar’s career to troll the internet looking for clueless wannabees to con.
Yes, at some point you may feel that investing in some paid service or resource will pay off. I can certainly recommend a few that I have used. But even if your heart is set on stardom, and you’ll pay any price to achieve it, I don’t recommend giving money to anybody who claims that you’re only “serious” about your music if you give them money now before the price goes up or the next “session is full” or whatever.
In fact, the more you learn and the more you do for yourself, the more likely you are to meet up with actual professionals who can do you some real good. Don’t sell yourself short by linking up with the first “manager mister who’s telling you you’ve got what it takes.”
Best of luck in all you do, and feel free to post comments or e-mail me back using the contact page of this site!