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#890591 - 04/06/11 12:32 PM Re: Scammers in Nashville's Music Industry [Re: niteshift]  
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 4,840
Marc Barnette Offline
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Marc Barnette  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 4,840
Nashville, Tn.
Brian,

You are mixing things here. The people that you are talking about are rarely the studios. That is not what studios do. They are usually independent contractors who hire the studios. In all of these cases of these "services" that promise this and that, they are rarely the studios themselves.

But there are roughly three thousand studios in the city of Nashville. People have GOT to take some responsibility for themselves. The people who went down with Madoff took the hit and the responsibility. Some have sued and some assets have been sold off but that money is mostly gone.

The people who make the claims you are talking about end up with people here asking about them all the time. They tend to be well known and focus mostly on people who don't know any better. But here is the deal. I have talked to hundreds of people that have done these services and STILL support them. One was a member here.

When you tell someone NO NO NO NO NO NO!!!! And they STILL do the same thing, what is anyone supposed to do. If you were to be a judge on almost any contest anywhere you see these people over and over again. They enter song after song, recorded the same way over and over. They end up at conferences, attend web sites and usually get very defensive over themselves. You have dealt with them too. Many over here that you have finally gotten to a point where you have to show them the door.

Almost getting into music now do Google searches and web sites now before they do anything. If they only go to one they are not doing their homework.

I push very hard for people to get out of the living rooms, and get around local writer's nights, open mics,attend songwriter related events,go to NSAI or meet people who have some experience. That is why I do what I do. If you get around four or more writers you are going to find someone who has gone through these scams.

If you can't do that, due to whatever reasons, people can't really help you. The scammers actually do exactly what they say they are going to do. They make recordings, "pitch" the songs. The pitch goes right into someone's garbage can but it is a pitch nonetheless.

That is why you can't sue them, accuse them of unfair business practices, or slander them in any way or they can sue YOU. You can't prove they are NOT doing what they say they are doing. Because in the definitions of what they are doing, they ARE doing exactly what they say. They use the name dropping and usually you will find it is like they say. Only it is more the six degrees of separation of Kevin Bacon than anything else.

As Niteshift says, there are lower eschilon studios that might be doing this. But almost all studios are simply to the job at hand and that is it. They are not involved in the promotion of anything. They are work for hire and do their job to one level of proficincy or another.

I do my best to tell people what works and what won't. But trust me on this one. There are people that you CANNOT save from themselves.They go looking for this kind of thing. And they find it.

In spades.

MAB

#898099 - 05/14/11 11:18 AM Re: Scammers in Nashville's Music Industry [Re: niteshift]  
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dmk Offline
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PA.usa
the best thing, one of the best things about jpf, for me, has been the liberating effect it has had on my poor little mind. largely thru these interesting discussions about the whole music bizz. for years i had this weird little creature attached to my brain that whispered lies that egged me on to those outlandish decisions of which you all speak. i once let it get control of my better judgement and sold my home and moved to nashville. for about twenty four hours that is. fortunately the guiding Spirit that holds my hand used it all for my good anyway so it was no great lose. the more i listen to you pro's talk this stuff the more liberated i become and ya know what? i become the artist i was meant to be. however large or small my talent is matters not at all because with each step away from that artificial light that beckons the would be artist on to the rocks of disapointment i am free'ed up to enjoy the talent as it was meant to be enjoyed rather than use it as some inflatable lover. in the end if i ever have success in this field it will come as it has always has. it will come to me and i will not chase it because therein lies death to art. i am not saying no efforts are needed, but if it is going to happen it will. just depends on who's taking care of you. finding treasure can be death, obsurity can be life. so thank you all for this insight of yours. i hardly feel qualified to speak or interject a thot in your pow wow, i couldn't resist letting you all know the good you do me.

shalom, dmk

Last edited by dmk; 05/14/11 11:20 AM.
#898772 - 05/17/11 07:55 AM Re: Scammers in Nashville's Music Industry [Re: niteshift]  
Joined: Nov 2006
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BIG JIM MERRILEES Offline
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Joined: Nov 2006
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Edinburgh, Scotland. UK
The problem is simple to understand. Folk listen to the charts and think "hey I can do that.... I can write or perform a song every bit as good/bad as that"....sadly they probably can.
So until the charts contain music that is so mind blowingly great that people know they cannot better it or even match it the problem of scammmers conning wannabes will never go away.

#899047 - 05/18/11 01:01 PM Re: Scammers in Nashville's Music Industry [Re: BIG JIM MERRILEES]  
Joined: Jan 2009
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Marc Barnette Offline
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Marc Barnette  Offline
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Nashville, Tn.
Jim,

They do do that. And usually they are shooting at a target that has already left the station. They are writing things that were written years ago, recorded years ago, and on the charts. The people who are inside the business are on to other things. So not only are they writing down sometimes they are chasing something already gone.

MAB

#899893 - 05/22/11 09:14 PM Re: Scammers in Nashville's Music Industry [Re: niteshift]  
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Sausagelink Offline
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Just thinking....

I think anytime someone does something to "further their writing/performing career," whether it's a seminar, recording, even internet forum, there is somewhere within them a seed of belief they can "make it." It's one of the big butts of life: "I know there's no real chance BUT ..." That little seed inside them stays alive until they get old or experienced, and then they either adjust or get bitter.

I've been dismayed by some of the things legitimate groups like NSAI have done because I know some people get the wrong idea.

There's a little town about 200 miles north of me called Dahlonega. It was the site of the Georgia gold rush in the 1800s. They still have places where you can pan for gold, and from what I hear, you can still find gold sometimes. There's a place in Arkansas where you can go dig for diamonds and some pretty big diamonds have been found there. I have something akin to a gambling addiction. I've actually said "if I go out to the diamond place and spend a whole week, I'm bound to find something." That's a lot like "if I buy this number sequence on a lottery ticket every day, I'm bound to win sooner or later." And that's not much different from saying "if I attend this event and meet people who worked with this star 30 years ago, I'm bound to meet somebody who can/will help me."

Some studios do water that little seed in the dreamer's heart and I don't know the point at which that becomes "wrong." I remember the first NSAI event I attended years ago. One person impressed us all by saying they had gotten 4 of their songs recorded. Then we heard one of the songs. One seemed to be about oral sex though the writer didn't mean it that way but the listeners in the room took it that way. The writer had gotten it recorded but she was talking about a demo. Another person played his song and just about everyone in unison said "that's a John Denver tune with new lyrics" or something to that effect. This man admitted that but he didn't know it was illegal to do that and thought the song could be a hit. People have talked in this thread about folks mortgaging their homes even when honest people advised them not to. I know a couple who put their whole life savings into a computer business and lost it all. Even the whole sub prime mess worked for a while because people had that little seed of hope. You can't protect people from being their own worst enemy. My family and myself are living proof of the philosophy "yeah, you're right BUT it's different with me."

#900222 - 05/24/11 09:01 AM Re: Scammers in Nashville's Music Industry [Re: Sausagelink]  
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 18,248
Brian Austin Whitney Offline
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Indianapolis, IN USA
Marc and or Mike,

We're going round and round. I am talking about scammers who size up and then manipulate people into spending far above reasonable market rates dangling name dropping and suggested benefits that they know don't (or won't) exist for that client and then take them for a financial ride. You're taling about "honest" studios who do not engage in that behavior. I've said over and over, if they are honest, I have no problem with them. But when they aren't, or when they charge way over market value or the quality of their work is below acceptable for the price involved, I am going to use my little bully pulpit which thankfully Google seems to like to find when folks search out dishonest scammers and tell anyone listening what is going on. I've been doing it a long time. I know better than anyone that you can only save the ones that you can save. So I do it for them. Those who can't be saved (and yes, Mike and I worked with 1 lady together, but she's far from the only one or even the worst case I have dealt with) simply CAN'T BE SAVED. We can only hope the scammer that gets ahold of them isn't among the worst of the worst so their punitive lesson isn't so harsh. Meanwhile, though some can't be saved, many many many CAN and HAVE been saved. Just reading this post, even with the dissent, will alert smart folks to think twice before their vanity gets the best of them.

And another point about studios versus buying most other items: In most cases, you can RETURN a product or get your money back if you're unhappy with the results. I know some studios who actually offer that as well, but most don't. If I buy a set of Golf Clubs at Dick's Sporting Goods, I can return them. If I buy a membership to TAXI and use the service for most of the year and decide I am unhappy with the service, I can get my money back. Too few studios offer money back. Too few music industry services or even retailers offer reasonable return/refund terms because so often people realize their vanity caused them to buy what they don't want or learn that promises or false innuendos don't pan out. If it's a beautiful dress or even a new car, you have a window of refund. If the demo sucks, or they don't get you in touch with a famous publisher or get your song into the hands of some other power player they are "friends" with, you can't get a refund.

I think we should seek out all those services and retailers who offer money back terms and list those here.

Brian


Brian Austin Whitney
Founder
Just Plain Folks
jpfolkspro@aol.com
Skype: Brian Austin Whitney

"Don't sit around and wait for success to come to you... it doesn't know the way." -Brian Austin Whitney


#900250 - 05/24/11 11:42 AM Re: Scammers in Nashville's Music Industry [Re: Brian Austin Whitney]  
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 8,574
Mike Dunbar Offline
Mike Dunbar  Offline


JPF Mentor

Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 8,574
Nashville Tennessee
Good. That's pretty much what I've been saying all along. Expensive does not mean bad. Luring the weak does.

I'm skeptical about blacklists. It's easier to have a reputation tarnished than it is to clean it. I prefer education. Tell a man about one shark and he'll live for a day. Teach a man about sharks and he'll live for a career.


You've got to know your limitations. I don't know what your limitations are. I found out what mine were when I was twelve. I found out that there weren't too many limitations, if I did it my way. -Johnny Cash

It's only music.
-niteshift

Mike Dunbar Music

#900307 - 05/24/11 03:21 PM Re: Scammers in Nashville's Music Industry [Re: Mike Dunbar]  
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Marc Barnette Offline
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Marc Barnette  Offline
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Brian,

I think we are all on the same page. I can't really speak to much what the crooks are doing since I don't work with them. I can only really be concerned with what I and the people I work with do.


MAB

#900852 - 05/27/11 03:06 AM Re: Scammers in Nashville's Music Industry [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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HeatherMorris Offline
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Nashville TN
I can say something here from experience..there is a company in nashville I worked for doing demos ... they would have songs come in and they were not even structured well enough to write a decent melody to ..yet this company would tell the writer congratulations ...your song is really hit material and we look forward to getting it into the hands of our publishers ..how does that feel huh to have YOUR song on its way to a "nashville publisher"? first we need to demo it please send this much money ....and of course the writer would ..i stopped working for that company for that reason ..i had nothing to do with the deceitful way of the company but i really didnt want any part of it so I quit...maybe i should have seperated my part of the business from theirs but ..i just couldnt : ) i wanted to sneak in at the end of the recording " psss ..hey this place is a complete rip off "

#900853 - 05/27/11 03:11 AM Re: Scammers in Nashville's Music Industry [Re: HeatherMorris]  
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HeatherMorris Offline
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Marc, i was watching 'waking up in Reno "
i think it was and the guy said " Ive got too much blood in my alcohol content " and i thought of your song : )

#900854 - 05/27/11 03:23 AM Re: Scammers in Nashville's Music Industry [Re: HeatherMorris]  
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Marc Barnette Offline
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Marc Barnette  Offline
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Nashville, Tn.
Hey Heath, you back yet? My dog had to have surgery. Could have used you.

Most of the movies get their lines from me! LOL!

Glad to hear from you.

MAB

#900856 - 05/27/11 03:57 AM Re: Scammers in Nashville's Music Industry [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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HeatherMorris Offline
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yea im back ! ..u dont want me doing surgery YET : ) and a warm welcome home with tornado sirens and dark clouds rolling around the house ..i told the Grenadians i missed the sound of thunder and seeing lightening and come home and get a full dose of it : ) thats ok though ..hurricane season starts when i go back..oh and after the last Tsunami they put a sign on the beach .." if u see the water get real shallow ..'run to high ground" ..flying in a plane is a piece of cake now ..I can get my mind back to music for the next 3 months so I will be wandering around on here ..im due for a new song too

#900897 - 05/27/11 12:50 PM Re: Scammers in Nashville's Music Industry [Re: HeatherMorris]  
Joined: Jan 2009
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Marc Barnette Offline
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Marc Barnette  Offline
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Posts: 4,840
Nashville, Tn.
Always glad to see and hear you. I bet you were quite the sight coming into the Waiting room seeing patients in your bikini. I would have brought my dog down there to see that. LOL!

Glad you are around. I am too, if you need to get together and catch up. I think I heard you were in Ga. I'll be over there next weekend in Alpharetta to do a show Saturday. Would love to see you if you are around.

MAB

#900923 - 05/27/11 03:41 PM Re: Scammers in Nashville's Music Industry [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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HeatherMorris Offline
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Nashville TN
Marc, what surgery did your dog have ? is this Tinas little one?

yep I'm in Georgia,,i know exactly where Alpharettta is , problem is I have no ride..if i did I would shimmy on up thata way


#901065 - 05/28/11 02:42 PM Re: Scammers in Nashville's Music Industry [Re: HeatherMorris]  
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Marc Barnette Offline
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Marc Barnette  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 4,840
Nashville, Tn.
She had a growth in her left side. Still don't know what it is.
Has to wear one of those cones on her head for now so she won't tear the stitches.

Next week I am at Chuckker Farms, which is a polo club in Alpharetta. Wish you could make it.

MAB

#901292 - 05/29/11 05:43 PM Re: Scammers in Nashville's Music Industry [Re: Marc Barnette]  
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 18,248
Brian Austin Whitney Offline
Brian Austin Whitney  Offline


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Posts: 18,248
Indianapolis, IN USA
Hi Heather,

Thanks for your first hand report on what I was talking about. Perhaps Marc and Mike will get my point a bit better now. What you described is sadly rampant. But it's always good to have an insider verify it to folks who feel it's rare or non existant.

Pro's in Nashville aren't the ones getting ripped off. It's the unsuspecting out of town folks who often are. A studio should stand on the quality of its work, not its connections with publishers or stars who "would love to hear this, if only you had a great sounding demo which we can provide to you for 10 time market value."

Brian


Brian Austin Whitney
Founder
Just Plain Folks
jpfolkspro@aol.com
Skype: Brian Austin Whitney

"Don't sit around and wait for success to come to you... it doesn't know the way." -Brian Austin Whitney


#901318 - 05/29/11 09:12 PM Re: Scammers in Nashville's Music Industry [Re: Brian Austin Whitney]  
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Marc Barnette Offline
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Marc Barnette  Offline
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Posts: 4,840
Nashville, Tn.
Brian,

We preach against this all the time, we have dealt with all of it. You at times want to paint everything with a broad brush, but I don't dispute what you are saying. I have dealt with it closer than most people ever get to. I deal with it every day and have since I got here. I just tend to stay away from that and try to give people different sides of this.

Am I missing something here?

MAB

#901603 - 05/31/11 05:24 PM Re: Scammers in Nashville's Music Industry [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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HeatherMorris Offline
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Nashville TN
aww...well i hope shes gonna be ok : ) polo club ...hey that sounds high class there ..if u see a real good looking rich guy on horse get his number for me ..ha
..jk jk

#901606 - 05/31/11 05:28 PM Re: Scammers in Nashville's Music Industry [Re: HeatherMorris]  
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HeatherMorris Offline
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Joined: May 2007
Posts: 590
Nashville TN
about the other topic..yea the one im talking about does go for the ppl that dont know better...i doubt a pro writer would even deal with them ..they have probably heard of them and know better : ) not bad demos ..but bad(good) liars for sure

#901632 - 05/31/11 07:27 PM Re: Scammers in Nashville's Music Industry [Re: HeatherMorris]  
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 4,840
Marc Barnette Offline
Top 100 Poster
Marc Barnette  Offline
Top 100 Poster

Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 4,840
Nashville, Tn.
You gotta collect your own numbers. LOL! Like YOU have any problem! Maybe you could get a gig as a house vet and sing to the horses at night. Stranger things have come out of my show.

MAB

#904760 - 06/22/11 04:51 AM Re: Scammers in Nashville's Music Industry [Re: Eddie Garcia]  
Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 7
Eddie Garcia Offline
Casual Observer
Eddie Garcia  Offline
Casual Observer

Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 7
TN
From dealing with his attorney John Kitch, for over a year, it doesn't surprise me what his attorney will do to deflect the truth....

#904781 - 06/22/11 09:22 AM Re: Scammers in Nashville's Music Industry [Re: Eddie Garcia]  
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 8,463
BIG JIM MERRILEES Offline
BIG JIM MERRILEES  Offline

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Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 8,463
Edinburgh, Scotland. UK
This biz has a lot of good guys but sadly there are a few baduns thrown into the mix......the few baduns give ALL the gooduns a bad name.
It is up to the good guys to stand by their principles refuse to be part of the bad culture and expose the bad guys. Sadly that does not happen in a lot of cases. Starving musicians and wannabes with pipe dreams make easy targets as they either fall for the scams or maybe have to become part of them just to make a buck. Let us not fool ourselves things happen all the time that most of us find abhorant and we are just to scared or apathetic to expose or do anything about for fear of it hurting our rep or ability to work.

#904862 - 06/22/11 05:00 PM Re: Scammers in Nashville's Music Industry [Re: BIG JIM MERRILEES]  
Joined: Nov 2010
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Eddie Garcia Offline
Casual Observer
Eddie Garcia  Offline
Casual Observer

Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 7
TN
Well, in our society, for it to flourish, in the right path, we must stand up to expose fraudsters and scammers.

Otherwise, our doom is surely set in motion.

To leave it to the "Jones'" to take care of it, is no longer a viable answer.

#911834 - 07/30/11 02:37 AM Re: Scammers in Nashville's Music Industry [Re: Eddie Garcia]  
Joined: Nov 2010
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Eddie Garcia Offline
Casual Observer
Eddie Garcia  Offline
Casual Observer

Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 7
TN
DELETED

Last edited by Eddie Garcia; 01/20/12 05:48 PM.
#912145 - 07/31/11 10:59 AM Re: Scammers in Nashville's Music Industry [Re: Eddie Garcia]  
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 4,840
Marc Barnette Offline
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Marc Barnette  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2009
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Nashville, Tn.
Sounds familiar.

M

#914687 - 08/10/11 07:44 AM Re: Scammers in Nashville's Music Industry [Re: Marc Barnette]  
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 18,248
Brian Austin Whitney Offline
Brian Austin Whitney  Offline


Top 10 Poster

Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 18,248
Indianapolis, IN USA
Eddie,

Enough of the Metzger/Garcia battle. We've seen your posts. This isn't your site and enough is enough. We're smart enough not to do business with the guy. Your protests are starting to sound unhinged a little.

Do you ever talk about anything else? Make some new music. Get past that crap as it seems to have eaten you alive.

Brian


Brian Austin Whitney
Founder
Just Plain Folks
jpfolkspro@aol.com
Skype: Brian Austin Whitney

"Don't sit around and wait for success to come to you... it doesn't know the way." -Brian Austin Whitney


#915122 - 08/12/11 04:55 AM Re: Scammers in Nashville's Music Industry [Re: Brian Austin Whitney]  
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 156
MATT STONEHAM Offline
Serious Contributor
MATT STONEHAM  Offline
Serious Contributor

Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 156
Le Monde
Hear Hear, Stop winging, get on with your writing

No matter what business you are in it will be the same.

Anyone can see who the idiots are just dont be so naive


Without the right music your clever lyrics will never be heard, if you want success be prepared to re write many times and even change the meter you chose originally
#915151 - 08/12/11 10:56 AM Re: Scammers in Nashville's Music Industry [Re: MATT STONEHAM]  
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 8,574
Mike Dunbar Offline
Mike Dunbar  Offline


JPF Mentor

Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 8,574
Nashville Tennessee
Here's a reprint of an article I wrote here which was also used in the Fort Worth Songwriters newsletter, thanks to our member Samuel Harris. John Braheny sent me this nice note about it:

"Hey Mike, I just read a great article you wrote, "Sharkproof Yourself" for the Fort Worth songwriters newsletter. Very wise advice on the scams. I was pleased and flattered to see that you recommended my "The Craft and Business of Songwriting." Big thanks!! John Braheny"
##################################

SHARKPROOF YOURSELF by Mike Dunbar

There are sharks in the water. The shark feeds on egos.

We often hear about singers and songwriters getting scammed. One instance I'll never forget. A woman spent tens of thousands of dollars, mortgaged her house, for what amounted to a couple of $500 demos (and I'm being generous about the price) from a man who promised her the moon. She did it after I literally begged her not to. We get posts all the time from folks asking or warning about this company or that company, but new scam companies start up and old ones continually change their names, so that's just screaming "there's a shark in the water." Well....we always knew there were sharks in the water, didn't we? We can worry about one while we get bit by another. It's time we "sharkproof" ourselves. Let's get started.

Let's look at the scams.

The most common scam a songwriter is likely to encounter is the bait and switch. This is where a publisher or songplugger offers to sign your songs, but they say you need a better demo, and it has to be recorded by them or one of their friends. The bait is that you get your song published or plugged. The switch is that they simply want to do your demo. Sometimes they will offer to split the cost of the demo with you. In reality, the "half" you spend is the entire cost of the demo...including the fee for the publisher/plugger. They will publish your song, they will even "plug" it, which amounts to sending some cds or mp3s to a label or artist which will never, ever, be heard. They might even do a decent job on the demo. But you weren't shopping for a demo, you wanted your song published or plugged. The sharkproofing? Educate yourself. Do your homework. Put together a team of advisers* (I'll get to that later). Do you need a publisher or songplugger? Not unless you are writing songs at a highly professional level, and maybe not even then. And never, never, NEVER work with someone you don't know who contacted you first (unless your team of advisers* agrees your are writing at a high level and they have checked them out thoroughly...THOROUGHLY. I'm still tempted to simply say "Never" but I know of one example in all my career of someone who was contacted by a major publisher. It's so rare as to be astonishing.)

Another songwriter scam is "We'll compose music to your lyrics as a work for hire and won't be cowriters, as long as we make your demo." These are almost never composers who are in love with your lyrics. I've heard many hundred of these songs. I can't, offhand, think of one where the music really fit the lyrics. There may be a few...I can't think of any...including any from our members here. This is perfectly legal and, if it makes you happy, I have no problem with it...as long as you don't expect the songs to go anywhere. Again, they are selling you the demo. The sharkproofing is, again, have a team of advisers* who agree that your lyrics are at a high level, then network until you find a good composer or composers who love your songs and are willing to work as cowriters including splitting the cost of the demos. If you simply want songs to play for your friends or grandchildren, or to play for each other online, I have no problem with buying a "work for hire" composer as long as you're not paying more money than you can afford to throw away.

Singers and artists will find, or be found by, folks who offer to manage them and/or produce them. The producers may be legitimate, as long as they are not promising "access to their contacts" as part of the deal. That's the scam. If a producer promises access to their friends before the deal is set, then that's the bait. I know producers who, after the project was finished, helped shop it and promote it. That is different. It wasn't bait, they legitimately want the project to succeed. It is the same with managers. To sharkproof yourself, guess what? Put together a team of advisers* who will look at the deals as well as look at you to see if you are ready.

More scams are paid showcases, cd compilations and tv shows. There is nothing wrong with a paid showcase...Garth Brooks put together paid showcases before he got his deal, but he was Garth Brooks. Are you that good? Ask your team of advisers*. CD compilations may be legit, but they are rarely useful. On the bad side, they put together bogus charts that track radio play you never got, or no one ever heard. As Brian says, the only chart that really counts is Billboard. Also, there are television shows that showcase new talent for a fee. Sometimes the only tv they are on is yours at home when you play the DVD you bought. Sharkproofing? Again, education, homework, honest assessment of yourself that includes your team of advisers*

There are other scams, but they are usually spinoffs of these, such as "contests" that are judged by producers who want your business. They all include that you pay for something you don't really need. Some promise things they can't or won't deliver. To sharkproof yourself from all of them, you must educate yourself. Get John Braheny's book "The Craft and Business of Songwriting" and Donald S. Passman's "All You Need to Know About the Music Business." Then avail yourself of online resources such as ours. Learn a little about business in general.

Perhaps, most importantly, if you want to be sharkproof you must become brutally honest with yourself. Music people are afraid to do this because they fear they lack talent. The truth is, talent is not the biggest component. The biggest component is authenticity. When you write or sing, you must be authentic. The feelings and ideas you convey must ring true and touch other people. Authenticity can be developed. You just "get real." Then you add that to whatever talent God gave you. Or, do you have false pride? Do you think you are better than everyone else? Do you think you could take Nashville, or London, or L.A., or Mumbai, or Austin by storm? You can't. It takes hard work. The sharks think the proud ones are easy prey. You also must be honest about your chances. Do you have the time and energy to work harder at this than you ever have worked at anything else in your life? Are you reaching for the wrong goals? Do you want to be a country star, but you are over 40? Maybe you need to look at Americana. The best tool you have for self assessment is your team of advisers*

So, sharkproof yourself. I've seen people quit the music business because they didn't. I know one fellow who spent a quarter of a million dollars recording, pressing and promoting a cd which now, literally, fills his rather large garage. He spent his retirement. He's quite good, but he has quit playing music anywhere but church. Come to think of it, he is, in the real sense of the word, a success. \:\)

##########################################


*team of advisers
I recommend a team of at least five advisers. I recommend at least one be someone who is successful in the music business; one who is successful in a business other than music; at least one good friend who will always be honest with you; no more than one family member; at least one entertainment lawyer. This team does not have to all meet at once, though as your career goes on, that could be a good idea. You should take them out to lunch or dinner as a way of "paying" them. If your career takes off, you might give them a token percentage. Once successful, you may find your publisher and/or manager from among them. (You don't need either until you are successful) Their biggest job will be protecting you from your own and each other's egos.

There are sharks in the water. The shark feeds on egos.







You've got to know your limitations. I don't know what your limitations are. I found out what mine were when I was twelve. I found out that there weren't too many limitations, if I did it my way. -Johnny Cash

It's only music.
-niteshift

Mike Dunbar Music

#915180 - 08/12/11 01:02 PM Re: Scammers in Nashville's Music Industry [Re: Mike Dunbar]  
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 4,840
Marc Barnette Offline
Top 100 Poster
Marc Barnette  Offline
Top 100 Poster

Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 4,840
Nashville, Tn.
Mike,

I saw that in the newsletter and meant to congratulate you on it. Very good summation of what we all deal with.
Thanks,

MAB

#915975 - 08/16/11 08:51 AM Re: Scammers in Nashville's Music Industry [Re: Marc Barnette]  
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 18,248
Brian Austin Whitney Offline
Brian Austin Whitney  Offline


Top 10 Poster

Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 18,248
Indianapolis, IN USA
Congrats Mike. With your permission I will run it in the JPF newsletter as well. I meant to ask you about it before but that was between strokes so things get a bit scrambled each time.

Brian


Brian Austin Whitney
Founder
Just Plain Folks
jpfolkspro@aol.com
Skype: Brian Austin Whitney

"Don't sit around and wait for success to come to you... it doesn't know the way." -Brian Austin Whitney


#915988 - 08/16/11 11:10 AM Re: Scammers in Nashville's Music Industry [Re: Brian Austin Whitney]  
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 8,574
Mike Dunbar Offline
Mike Dunbar  Offline


JPF Mentor

Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 8,574
Nashville Tennessee
Hey Brian, Thanks. I do scrambled too. smile

Yes, you have my permission to use it.


You've got to know your limitations. I don't know what your limitations are. I found out what mine were when I was twelve. I found out that there weren't too many limitations, if I did it my way. -Johnny Cash

It's only music.
-niteshift

Mike Dunbar Music

#919462 - 09/02/11 07:16 PM Re: Scammers in Nashville's Music Industry [Re: niteshift]  
Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 47
AJ Love Offline
Serious Contributor
AJ Love  Offline
Serious Contributor

Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 47
This is a great thread. I'm very much looking forward to moving to Nashville and being around all the great musicians & songwriters. I know there are scammers everywhere (and also great people everywhere too) so its no surprise that they are in Nashville as well ... I'd move there tomorrow if I could but I have to wait a few more months to save up some $$$

I know Nashville doesn't need another Telecaster picker (!) or songwriter but I know I will really love being there. Everytime I've been there I've fallen love with the place...

I'm definitely not thinking I'm just gonna show up in Nashville and be a star, I know how much talent is there. Just looking to connect with some like minded souls and play some music and be inspired by the greats like Vince Gill & Brent Mason and the rest. I just love playing Country music on a Telecaster so much I'd be doing it for the rest of my life anyways, but if I can be around all the geniuses in Nashville I figure why not!

Long winded way to say I know there are no shortcuts and I'm not gonna let anyone scam me outta some money... and thank you to the established Nashville pros who post here

Last edited by ajlove; 09/02/11 07:17 PM.

A.J. Love - Telecaster player & Songwriter
#920175 - 09/06/11 12:11 PM Re: Scammers in Nashville's Music Industry [Re: AJ Love]  
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 4,840
Marc Barnette Offline
Top 100 Poster
Marc Barnette  Offline
Top 100 Poster

Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 4,840
Nashville, Tn.
Aijove,

The one thing I would suggest to you is what I suggest to anyone I work with. Expect to never make a DIME from the music industry. Even people with incredible track record, great songs and have been here for years, have not done anything. So don't expect anything ever. That way anything you do get will be welcome.

The other thing is you are going to need to save money for a LOT longer than just a few months. You are going to need several jobs here. The majority of people who move here, around 90% last about 6 months before moving back home. The reason is that they save up about three months money, then start hitting walls immediately.

You don't get known immediately. It takes months of starting out on open mics. which are the "Pledging the fraternity" going to meetings, attending networking events, to even start getting known. Then starting to work your way into writer's nights, into rounds, etc. All this takes literally years. It is about three years to get feet firmly on the ground.

The "Scammers" that this thread started out being about, see that, swoop in, and offer "Shortcuts." There aren't any. If it seems to good to be true, it is. There are some pretty established rules here and it is best to learn them and play by them. It is easy to get a reputation in both directions, good and bad, and EVERYBODY knows each other.

If you are going to do this, that is great and we welcome you. Just understand it takes a LONG time,and be prepared for the long haul. If I were you, I would make at least three trips to check it out BEFORE you even think about moving here. You need to really see this from the playing field before you uproot,ESPECIALLY when you have a wife and kid. WAY too many marragies and families started out ALL gung ho, only to be destroyed when things slowed down to the inevitable crawl. When people are trying to figure out how to pay the rent and food, doing music stuff doesn't quite match up. And the savings go FAST.

There are ways to approach the music indsutry. Being slow and methodical is the only real way.

MAB

#920244 - 09/06/11 04:29 PM Re: Scammers in Nashville's Music Industry [Re: Marc Barnette]  
Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 47
AJ Love Offline
Serious Contributor
AJ Love  Offline
Serious Contributor

Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 47
Thanks so much Marc for your thoughtful response.

I've made 2 trips to Nashville so far and absolutely fell in love with the place. Most of my Telecaster picking all-time favorites live right there (Marty Stuart, Vince Gill, Brent Mason, etc). The people are really friendly, there is a real sense of community there. And the amount of talent in Nashville is incredible. It is extremely inspiring to me....

I'll be getting there in February or March or so and I'll be prepared for the long haul. Slow and steady and methodical is the only way I know how to live, I'm a Capricorn! I agree with the sentiment "never expect a dime from the music industry and anything you make is a bonus". I agree 100%

You have to understand how completely obsessed with playing traditional Country music on a Telecaster I am. There is nowhere better than Nashville TN for someone to live if they want to learn from and be inspired by the best Tele pickers. I play this music because I love it so much. I'd be playing guitar every day all day in some backwater hicktown or Chicago or Baltimore or wherever, might as well be in Nashville!


A.J. Love - Telecaster player & Songwriter
#920311 - 09/06/11 05:58 PM Re: Scammers in Nashville's Music Industry [Re: Eddie Garcia]  
Joined: Feb 2001
Posts: 2,448
Ande Rasmussen Offline
Top 200 Poster
Ande Rasmussen  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2001
Posts: 2,448
Martindale, TX, USA
I think he's the Robert Metzgar who lead one of my cowriters to believe he'd get her a major label deal. I think she won a "contest" he hosted. He convinced her to record an album with him, not sure what it cost, but she never got a deal.

When I googled him, one listing says: "Legends Hall Of Fame producer"


His website is hosted by angelfire
Does anyone still use angelfire?


Looks like he puts out PR listings like:


Robert Metzgar Receives 2010 Ascap Plus Award For Jazz & Popular Music. ASCAP songwriter Robert Metzgar is the recipient of the prestigious ASCAP PLUS AWARD for 2010 in the jazz and popular music category. Mr. Metzgar's hits can be viewed at www.ascapsongs.com. Metzgar is a songwriter for Walt Disney Music (ASCAP). (shows a pic of him with Garth)
http://www.prlog.org/10940191-rober...p-plus-award-for-jazz-popular-music.html

(fyi: many ascap writers who aren't making money receive the ASCAP Plus Award, but he launched a press release about his.


another release:

The Artist Survival Manual Is A Free Book That Answers All Your Questions About Recording In Nashville -- Newly Revised By Best Selling Author Robert Metzgar
Best selling author Robert Metzgar has released the book that answers all your questions about recording in Nashville. His million selling Artist Survival Manual is now free of charge to singer/songwriters. The book is the most downloaded manual online as a music reference book that is used in colleges, universities and graduate programs worldwide.
The book reflects the many changes in the digital era at http://www.artistsurvivalmanual.com


Guess they're intended to give the impression of legitimacy.

#941519 - 01/20/12 05:49 PM Re: Scammers in Nashville's Music Industry [Re: Brian Austin Whitney]  
Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 7
Eddie Garcia Offline
Casual Observer
Eddie Garcia  Offline
Casual Observer

Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 7
TN
Brian
Remove my post, while you are at--REMOVE my profile and account from JPF. It's not worth my time.
Thanks
Eddie

#950154 - 03/14/12 09:07 AM Re: Scammers in Nashville's Music Industry [Re: Eddie Garcia]  
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 18,248
Brian Austin Whitney Offline
Brian Austin Whitney  Offline


Top 10 Poster

Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 18,248
Indianapolis, IN USA
This post will not be removed. We don't delete posts, especially important ones such as this one which has helped so many people avoid being ripped off.

Brian


Brian Austin Whitney
Founder
Just Plain Folks
jpfolkspro@aol.com
Skype: Brian Austin Whitney

"Don't sit around and wait for success to come to you... it doesn't know the way." -Brian Austin Whitney


#1062076 - 10/13/14 12:31 PM Re: Scammers in Nashville's Music Industry [Re: Brian Austin Whitney]  
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 156
MATT STONEHAM Offline
Serious Contributor
MATT STONEHAM  Offline
Serious Contributor

Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 156
Le Monde
I know this is an old post, but what is the problem with

Eddie Garcia why does he get all boiled up over nothing


Without the right music your clever lyrics will never be heard, if you want success be prepared to re write many times and even change the meter you chose originally
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