Don’t Stop. Keep Going.

It’s been awhile since my last post because I wasn’t sure what I had to say. I didn’t want to write another “how to” post, though I most certainly will do more of those in the future.

As I was out walking, getting some fresh air, an idea came to me – Write something I myself would like to read. Some encouragement!

Warning: This may come across as more of a rant to some of you than an encouragement.

The Value of Music

I truly believe most art – including music – is highly undervalued these days. Fellow musicians, I share your pain and frustration with this.

Music is everywhere – on the radio, in shopping malls, advertisements, movies, video games, multimedia presentations, etc. Yet the listeners and users want it for free or next to free. What an insult!

There! I said it! It’s out of my system.

The Cost of Music

I don’t believe any type of creative or artist should put in the many – often countless – hours it takes to create a work and then give it away for free.

I’ll give the people who think this way the benefit of the doubt. “Oh, it’s just music,” they say. Or, “musicians make too much money as it is. Look at the price of concert tickets.” I’ll assume you don’t realize that the artist is the one who pays for it all.

The cost of the many hours of composing, recording, mastering, artwork and releasing a work, comes out of the artist’s pocket.

Yes, there are mega stars who make millions, but that is not the norm! The vast majority of artists also have “day jobs”, yet still have to find the time and resources to create.

A Note About Ticket Prices for Concert Goers

If you still think I and other musicians are just whiners and complainers who make too much money, please consider this…

Last time I checked:

  • concert venues are not free.
  • the people collecting tickets at the door don’t work for free.
  • sound crews don’t work for free.
  • road crews don’t work for free.
  • transportation isn’t free.

Come to think of it, not much in life is free.

So, before you think that a $100 ticket all goes straight into the pocket of the artist, do a little googling. You’ll find the average income for musicians in 2019 is not what you may have thought.

Am I whining? Maybe a bit. I could probably talk about all this injustice for us artists and musicians for hours. But no. Let’s move on and up!

For My Fellow Musicians

In the words of Frank Zappa, “Don’t Stop, Keep Going!”

Why? Because we – that is, humans – need music and art of all kinds to enhance life, often to keep our sanity!

But how do we keep going when it all seems fruitless? (Okay. I guess this is a “how to” post, after all.)

Creative Collaboration

Let’s start with supporting each other. Encourage one another to keep creating, to keep our minds off the money (or lack thereof), and to get back to the love of creating!

Collaboration is a great way to keep us motivated and inspired. We can even share the costs.

Love What You Do

Try not to let the financial side kill the creative process. That’s very hard to do, I know, but please don’t stop creating! I’m fully aware of the business side of music and that it is necessary, but I’m focusing on the creative side here.

If you’re a weekend warrior who likes to get out and tear it up on Saturday night at the local gig spots, awesome! Keep it up and love what you’re doing! Don’t forget to drag all your friends and family out to the gig!

If you’re a music teacher, awesome times two! You’re bringing up the next generation of musicians. Embrace it, love it and press on.

If you’re blessed to be a full-time musician who gigs, teaches and composes for licensing (or whatever combination of musical activities your days or nights consist of), DON’T STOP, KEEP GOING!

Changing the World Together

Thanks for taking the time to read what I have to say!

Who knows? Perhaps we can turn things around together. Collectively, we can give necessary support to artists, and educate music lovers and consumers about the reality of what it takes financially, emotionally, spiritually and even technically to enhance life with our art.

As I stated earlier, I could go on for hours about this because I’m biased. I am a musician after all. But my hope is that I can somehow contribute to helping change and encourage others to do the same.

Until next time, once again:

Don’t Stop! Keep Going!

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