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					The Top Five Reasons Why Indie Musicians Quit

<p>Having spoken to hundreds of musicians throughout my music career, it
is interesting to note how some have let the dream fade into the past in
favour of a life of normality, whilst others are still walking the yellow
brick road in search of stardom. <br>The question we ask is, why do
people give up and what happens next?</p><p><b>1. Finances.</b></p><p>If
it‟s not already hard enough having to be the one man band in every area
of musicianship, consider the amount of money which needs to poured into
a single act in order for it to achieve notable attention and success.
Most musicians are poor souls trying to earn a living from their talent.
But talent alone doesn‟t generally take an independent master of music to
the height of comfort and prosperity if he remains unsigned
indefinitely!</p><p>The costs of reputable legal representation, CD
pressing, professional studio services and equipment, to name just a few,
are high enough to cause even a wealthy individual to hide away his
wallet.</p><p>More and more musicians are going it alone in the hope that
they will be able to snap a deal at some point, which would relieve the
financial headache and burden. So they keep going and going until the
coffers are worn thin. But still, for many, when is that break ever going
to come?</p><p><b>2. Commitments.</b></p><p>It‟s a classic story. Bob‟s
been playing in a band for six years. He has his heart set on stardom and
fame. But then one day, along comes „Mary,‟ who initially loves the
attention he receives and finds the whole band thing gives her a buzz.
She is drawn to his talent and his soulful, expressive hobby. But one day
Mary wants to be the „FIRST‟ most important thing in Bob‟s life and soon
he starts to feel the pressure.</p><p>His attention to the game is
emotionally driven off course, as he frets about how he now has less time
to make music and his band mates think he should get rid of Mary! How can
he let her mess it up? But Bob can‟t dump Mary because he loves her and
despite this indifference their relationship has been truly
wonderful.</p><p>Perhaps if he gives it a break for a few years he can
always come back to it again, couldn‟t he?</p><p><b>3. Band
Splits.</b></p><p>Yes it happens to the famous as well as the unheard of.
Unfortunately disagreements are a fact of life. However if you are a band
hoping to rise to the top, constant disagreements do not bode well for
your musical career!</p><p>Some band members split and don‟t necessarily
quit, but join other bands or go solo. It‟s much harder to pick up the
pieces though if the band are already represented by an agent or label
and have commitments to fulfil. The job of an agent or representative is
to ensure that disagreements are solved professionally, and small
quibbles may be solved over a drink and a game of pool.</p><p>Sadly
though, getting a group of people to agree to each others opinions,
future musical direction, (plus all the hundreds of other little
decisions and details that require unanimous agreement) is more than
impossible for a good length of time.</p><p><b>4. Pressure.</b></p><p>A
word everyone in any industry or vocation is familiar with. If we never
had any pressure we would take a lot longer to move ourselves out of the
comfortable zone and into the firing squad. And boy do indie musicians
get a lot of pressure!</p><p>They have the pressure to get
<i>noticed</i>.</p><p>They have the pressure of making it
<i>big</i>.</p><p>They have the pressure of making
<i>sales</i>.</p><p>There is also the pressure to feed a family and pay
all the general household bills <i>before</i> making it
big.</p><p>Pressure is an enemy one can ill afford, but generally shifts
us into fifth gear and keeps us soldiering on. I remember talking to a
friend who gave up his indie career because the pressure of trying to get
heard was causing him nasty headaches.</p><p>I remember his quote: “It‟ll
kill me and I‟ll be gone, and then you‟ll hear my song on the radio”.
Needless to say once he relieved himself of that pressure the headaches
vanished. He now works in an office position which pays him well, and he
feels he is now compensated well for his input and knowledge.</p><p><b>5.
Competition.</b></p><p>Let‟s face it; we all have a competitive streak.
It‟s what makes the world turn so rapidly and produces experts in all
subject and areas.</p><p>For the indie musician though, the „competition‟
is the biggest drawback to his chances of success.</p><p>“It‟s
impossible! There so many unsigned people out there,” he yells in
frustration.</p><p>The competition we face today is more apparent due to
the visibility of artists online trying to make their way to the top. If
we were to go back to the highlights of The Beatles era, we wouldn‟t know
who or where half of these aspiring individuals were!</p><p>As many
musicians step upon the unsteady bricks of uncertainty; and try with all
their might to achieve some online success, many are blown off the
sidelines by even more fiercely competitive and power hungry individuals.
The competition is so fierce that some eventually decide that it‟s not
worth the headache or hassle, and just go back to making music for the
reasons they intended originally – for the pure love of it!</p><p>So
there you have it. There are countless many more reasons why musicians
quit, but then again, in all fairness there are countless reasons why
many <i>don't.</i></p><p>We love music and there will always be reasons
to keep making it and proudly showing it off. So before you fall into one
of those categories above, think hard about how you intend to manage your
own music career and become a winner rather than a quitter.</p><p>Carla
is a musician and freelance writer with over ten years experience in the
music industry. She currently manages independent music label Melodrift
Productions, and is the Editorial Assistant for News site <a
target="_new"
href="http://www.indienewslive.com">http://www.indienewslive.com</a> For
detailed information on Carla's career please visit <a target="_new"
href="http://www.carla-acheson.co.uk">http://www.carla-
acheson.co.uk</a></p>

				
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posted:7/13/2010
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