Academy Dashboard Forum Production Music Business Selling songs. I'm completely discombobulated. Reply To: Selling songs. I'm completely discombobulated.


    You will probably still have questions after watching this, but it may help you sort some things out. Search YouTube for this video:

    John Mayer - "Information and inspiration" - Berklee Clinic 2008 (Pt.1)

    It is a 10 year old video. But, a lot of what he says still holds true. As mentioned above, you have to choose (for yourself) what "success" means to YOU.

    To paraphrase John Mayer, you have to set goals and decide what you want to try and do. Keep in mind the the music Industry has changed even more since this was made in 2008.

    For example I look at some BIG known bands, and they are selling 14,000 copies. Bands I love. I look at even BIGGER bands and the best of the best in their styles and they are selling under 200,000 copies. So the days of 20 million copies are over. No more Alanis' "Jagged Little Pill" or Guns N' Roses "Appetite For Destruction" etc... for "rock/pop rock" albums. Even worse, not even the pop stars are moving that many albums. I have seen albums charting with less than 7,000 copies I think. I would like to think I could load up my truck with cds and sell 5,000 copies to complete strangers on the street for $5 each... I know this isn't easy and more/less just making a point that the industry is dead for most rock/metal.

    Adele's 25 album:

    "25 is just the sixth album released since 2001 to have sold 8 million copies. It follows 21, Usher’s Confessions (released in 2004, 10.3 million sold), 50 Cent’s Get Rich or Die Tryin’ (2003, 8.4 million), Norah Jones’ Come Away With Me (2002, 11.1 million) and Eminem’s The Eminem Show (2002, 10.6 million)."

    There is the reality. And none of those are metal or rock albums.

    And every one of those people were promotion powerhouses. I've never heard a 50 Cent song. But, I know who he is. I never bought an Eminem record, but I can sing a few lines from 3 or 4 of his songs. I know 4 words from Norah Jones music even though I don't remember what she looks like. They got their music to me. Somehow, they got it out there. One way or the other, I know these people. That is power.

    So would I go out and hire people to record and sing my songs and make "my album" so that even if it is a hit I get .00000000007 of a penny each time Spotify plays it?


    Major artists are struggling to figure out the industry. New artists are getting ripped off to new heights with 360 Deals. Meaning that t-shirts, coffee cups, everything, they trick you into giving them a percentage to get their investment back.

    Unless you want the full EVENT stage setups of Taylor Swift, they aren't even concerts, they are like grand events now (like Ice Capades or something!) HUGE SHOWS, then I don't think you need the industry to help you.

    I am not saying to not follow your dreams. But, when you look at every band except Metallica and a few others, that have 40 year careers almost, suffering in metal and having day jobs etc. It's safe to say that the business model, as we knew it, is dead.

    But, that John Mayer video will get you thinking. "Will I be happy selling 400 cds? Will I be happy with 1000 YouTube Subscribers? Or do I need 100,000 YouTube Subscribers to feel successful?" He says it helps to set goals.

    I will say he is right because I accidentally found this out 10 years ago.

    I was in a band. High school guys I knew in the day. They were younger, bought some of my gear etc. So I joined on drums. They had a Myspace Music. I said cool, I will get Myspace people on my site to follow. They said they only add friends. I said what? You want to add anyone that will listen. Not just friends and your family. lol They disagreed and said it was fake to have 500 Myspace fans if you only knew 50 people in real life.

    I left the band, started my own one man band. Promoted like an MF'er (back when you could without getting banned) and I wanted to beat their Profile views, song plays and fan count. And response.

    Keep in mind this is when Pop singer Lights was starting out, and when Colbie Caillat basically got the first Myspace related career. She even let fans vote on what songs made her album etc.

    I ended up with 48,000 "fans" and bands on my list. Were some people that never talked or listened? Hell yeah. lol But of those 48,000, 2000 or so took the time to comment and listen. Of those 2000, 400 or so would talk and stay in touch. Of those 400, 30 or so would write me everyday. Of those 30, I still know about 10 of them.

    It seems weird to have to get 48,000 people to get 10 people you are in touch with still, even though you deleted your band page 2 years later in like 2013... But, I had the music time of my life. Bands sharing music. People talking gear. Or people just talking. I was in touch with Billy Sheehan a few times, drummer Atma Anur from Richie Kotzen's original solo cds and Cacophony with Becker and Marty etc... It was a good time.

    A hell of a better time than being in that crap band with 3 high school "friends" I don't even talk to anymore.

    By the way. I never made a dime and gave everything away free.

    I still felt successful. Because, I set those stupid goals of Plays, Profile Views and Fans. And a few long lasting friendships with some of the coolest people on Earth.

    All from a stupid Music Site that isn't even around anymore really.

    But, it was a cool ride. The coolest.

    Never made a dime. Never sold a T-Shirt. Never made a T-Shirt. lol Didn't care. It was awesome.

    I think if you put your music first and your guitar first and your songwriting first and let the rest fall into place with your (realistic) goals, you will be further ahead.

    For example if you get help from Produce Like A Pro and your recordings sound the way you want them to, and by then you are playing how you want to, and heck, maybe you find a local person to help record or join the band for free, I think you'll be much happier.

    Again I am not saying to give up on selling 10,000,000 albums. Or playing a concert on the moon or anything. But, I think small goals and building up is a much better plan than going to Nashville and paying to get your song performed and then trying to market your songs or album.

    For example, imagine right now that you put a cd out and it sells 350 copies. The next one sells 375 copies. The next one 800 copies because you joined up with a local guitarist and his fans love your songwriting too. 800 copies sounds small. But, you are playing YOUR music. You are in control. You own everything.

    Now imagine you sign a bad record deal (happens ALL the time). Watch Goo Goo Dolls "Behind The Music". That band was as big as it gets with "Name" on the radio. They ended up OWING the record label money after that album. Because the company made videos, travel expenses, hotels etc recoupable expenses. So the Goos sold records and OWED money.

    Music is music. And music business is music business. And very often they do not mix well.

    Let me know what you think of that Mayer clinic, especially the part early, about expectations. It made sense to me at least. It might or might not help you.