Do it NOW! A common musician’s mistake.

So my search for band mate’s is going horribly slow.  I just had one jam session with a friend today, but it wasn’t what I wanted for my band.  Other than that, just a couple of contacts online.  Despite searching for a guitarist daily, hardly any posts on the classifieds for anyone to contact.

Result?  I’m frustrated! I want to get something done.  I want to play shows and write music.  I want to jump around like an idiot on stage.  I want SOMETHING to happen!

That’s when it occurred to me, I’m waiting for someone else to make something happen.  In an earlier post, I loved the idea of not relying on anyone else.  Also, I expounded on Pomplamoose’s not playing live and just making videos.  What am I waiting for???

I have a song that I wrote for my last band, “My Life Fucking Sucks”.  It was a definite crowd-pleaser, and it’s never been recorded.  It’s a 4 chord punk song with a sing-a-long.  Why wait for a band?  I have friends that can knock this out in one recording session, and I have a high-def camcorder that can shoot a cheesy YouTube video.

“Do it NOW!” I yelled at myself.  So, I went to a comedy night with my girlfriend, and, magically, a kick ass drummer I know was there.  I asked him, “Hey, want to record this cheesy song?”  He was all on board and didn’t want a dime.  In fact, he referred me to a place to record the song for $50.  How’s that for networking?

Found out my girlfriend has some movie experience and will help set up the shots.  I called my former band mate that actually played the song with me, and he said he’d do it.  Yes!

And my next idea leads to…

Experiment 4:  Get fans involved in the music video

Since Shiplosion hasn’t done anything yet, having “fans” do something is not in the cards.  However, I have friends.  Good ol’ Facebook.  After recording the song, I’m going to throw it out to my friends and ask them to record themselves on their webcam or cellphones singing along with the song.  In addition, I’ll ask if they want to be extras for the video.  I’ll do something to make it fun for them (maybe pizza).

How to measure the results of getting fans involved in the music video?

  • Did I have fun?
  • Did they have fun?
  • Does everyone now know the name of my band and want to come out to our first show?  Heh-heh!

The bane of musicians:  Not Doing It NOW!

You can listen to all the music pundits you want.  However, if you have an idea that sounds good and fun, DO IT!  Stop what you’re doing and do it now!  I’ve had all these awesome ideas.  You know what I did?  Nothin’.  I got drunk at the bar, bitching about the show instead of meeting people.  I recorded a show and considered editing and posting that video to be too much of a chore.  Netflix seemed more important.  If only I got off my ass, lost a bit of sleep, and did all these cool things right there and then, my former band would have gotten WAY farther ahead.

I started this blog because I realized I needed to DO IT NOW.  Yes, I’ve lost sleep.  It’s not easy to do a full-time job, come home and write an article for a few hours, and then try to contact musicians and write music.  I’ve been going to sleep at 5am.  That’s not important, though.   The important thing is to get something going.  Get it working.  Fall on your face and fail in the most fantastic way possible.  Then get up and do it again.

The major failure of any musician is thinking anyone else is going to make it happen for you.  That just by simply putting it out there, people will flock to you and make you some famous asshole with a fashion line.  No.  Make it work despite all obstacles.  And that’s what I have to do.  If they don’t want to reply to my ad for musicians, I’m going to make the band awesome even without members.

And back to the experiments.  By doing it NOW, I’ll be able to use Experiment 1:  Free Downloads.  After recording, I will make a unique URL for people to download the song, read the lyrics, and give them the option to donate.

Also, I’ll actually attempt the copyright process for a song.  This will be a huge pain and something I’ve been avoiding forever.  But my pain will be your reward.  I’ll write up an article with a step-by-step process for copyrighting a song.

And I’m done.  Only 2am, so I’m doing good tonight.  I still need to contact guitarists, try to write a bit of music, and contact my friend for that $50 recording session.  I might only need 5 cups of coffee tomorrow.

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15 Responses to Do it NOW! A common musician’s mistake.

  1. Adam says:

    I just gotta say man, out of the ten or so blogs I have in my RSS reader, this is the one I look forward to the most! Always interesting!

    • Damn, I’m honored! Thanks, Adam! And please feel free to call me out on anything I post. I’m not an expert, so I need reality checks. Looking forward to keeping you entertained!

    • And, hot damn, your music video is top notch. Vapenlicens rocks! My music video is going to suck compared to that!

      • Adam says:

        Thank you 🙂 All we needed was a green screen and After Effects really. I learned the program as I was making the video, it took a few months but if you’re a control freak like I am I’d say it’s worth it. I’m not sure of the pay-off promotionwise though in contrast to the time it took making it. But it was fun!

        • The pay-off is you learned an awesome music-making skill! YouTube is the more popular way to get your music out there. You could definitely charge other musicians to make videos for them. I’d say it’s time well worth wasted!

  2. Spooky says:

    That is similar to the PWP motto of “We only do this shit because we can.” The only limits a band has is only in what the band can’t do. DIY doesn’t have to be quaint or simple if one has enough ambition.

    From my experience with copy righting- It will save you money to copy right a collection of works- like a full length album- as opposed to one song at a time, as each song on the collection will be protected individually, as well. Also, it will keep you from having to pay the fee again to copy right the album. Sure, the songs would be protected no matter how you do it, but to copy right an album means the art work and anything else you include is protected too.

    • Copyrighting a collection is definitely an option. There’s only one catch to that: film and tv licensing. If someone wants your song for a movie or commercial, you need to have the copyright for the individual song.

      Another possible “gotcha” with copyrighting the collection is radio play. The whole BMI or ASCAP thing. Not sure, right now. I need to review Passman’s book on music copyrights.

      I might take a peek at some of the Creative Commons copyrighting. See how that stuff works. I want to make sure my free downloads don’t get anyone in trouble.

      • Spooky says:

        I’m no expert, but I think I read in the fine print that each song is individually protected even if it is part of the collection. I could be wrong but I do have a few of them licensed with BMI and have had no problems. BMI won’t stop you from distributing your music any way you see fit, so free downloads from your site wouldn’t be a problem. BMI is there to represent your interests with radio broadcast and commercial uses like using your stuff in commercials and movies. Even then you have the power to set your own prices, you just have to get it in writing so BMI won’t sue the media outlet.

        • I read something about the difference between licensing work in a collection versus licensing individual songs. I read it in Donald Passman’s book “All You Need To Know About The Music Business” (http://donpassman.com/allabout.html). There was some type of “gotcha” with licensing an individual song in a collection. But, like you, I’m no expert.

          • Spooky says:

            I should probably check that book out. To be honest, I guarantee I was completely intoxicated when I filled out the Copy Right forms- but that’s a whole different topic!

            • I’ve switched from whiskey to wine, so I might just stay sober enough to report on it! And Passman’s book is what convinced me that I’d never, ever use a record label. It was disgusting and soul crushing reading that book. However, it was extremely informative.

          • Seth Warren says:

            So long as you own the rights to the recorded and underlying material, you can license it as you see fit under US Copyright law. Every album I’ve ever recorded has been copyrighted as a collection (because as a broke indie musician, I am not going to pay $650 to copyright each individual song on a ten song LP) which, last I checked, now costs $65 to submit on Form SR (that is, if you still fancy paper – $35 per claim is the online filing fee ). The great thing about traditional copyright in this respect – aside from holding up better in court if someone misuses your intellectual property – is that Form SR is a “two for one.” Not only do you copyright the recording itself, but the “underlying material” – that is, the arrangements and composition of the work (which is essential if one wishes to have any dealings when it comes to publishing as opposed to licensing).

            The basics – http://www.copyright.gov/
            The paperwork – http://www.copyright.gov/forms/

            • $65? Eek. That’s highway robbery for just one song. What sucks is I’m releasing singles and then making an album from the singles at a later date. But, considering that recording the song will be costing me $35 an hour, maybe the $65 fee may not be so bad.

              Does the copyrighting as a collection interfere with registering your music with ASCAP or BMI?

  3. jmh says:

    Hey man just wanted to say I been following your blog since I saw it on CD baby’s post a few weeks ago. I’ve been trying to start up a new band myself and have and am going through some of the same experiences. And some I have never experienced. But, I like the way you think and keeping up with your blog has helped keep me motivated in the mean time. Keep it up.

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