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#1143756 - 08/11/18 06:22 PM "Middle Class of Musicians"  
Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 10,377
John Voorpostel Offline
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John Voorpostel  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 10,377
So I just came back from "Writing A Song That Matters", hosted by one on my favourite singer songwriters, Dar Williams
If you do not know here, you are losing out on one of America's best folk\pop artists full stop. Youtube and Google here for more info

It was a song writing retreat at The Garrison Insitute, on the Huson River across from West Point and included workshops by Suzze Roche, Heather Maloney, Raquel Vidal and Rick and Michelle Gerner.

Spent some time talking to Heather because I had no knowledge of her. She is actually living Brian's mantra about being able to live a good life with a critical mass fan base in centers across the country

She referred to a growing middle class of artist who can thrive in this day and age with "quality fans"and there are growing networks of these artists as they collaborate on various causes, interests and business matters

As I understand, "quality fans" are."sticky fans" who connnect and stay with an artist....as opposed to days when large record companies and AMAs ran stables of artists and mass marketed physical media and hoping they could bat some home runs among singles and doubles and strikeouts

So artists can dramatically lower media\content creation and duplication and connect to quality fans via internet

What I also heard was that there are growing networks of these artists collaborating, and it is a community one can only join as you emerge into visibility as an artist

Guess that means if you have a song to sing, just go out and play it, collaborate with other local musicans, grow as an artist, and keep going out to play. If you are any good, there are a growing number of people you will bump into locally, regionally, and nationally if you beging gigging around

So if you have a song to sing, just go out and play it.


If writing ever becomes work I think I'm going to have to stop

iAccountant --- Info L inc --- Taxboard
#1143762 - 08/11/18 11:23 PM Re: "Middle Class of Musicians" [Re: John Voorpostel]  
Joined: Oct 2017
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Fdemetrio Online content
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Fdemetrio  Online Content
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One of my observations and / or complaints was that music doesn't have a medium wage, or a middle class.

You either made it or you didn't. The Internet has changed that somewhat. You don't need a record label any more, and record labels were notorious for taking everything an artist made anyway.

There are middle class singer songwriters now, but they are still rare and still brand names, in their own circles.

You can't do anything without a name. All the internet really does is your advertising. You won't sell downloads or CDs, that ship has sailed, but there are still artists who can fill small clubs and make a living.

I can name 5 who are doing it right here in nj, but they have credits, and bios that you wouldn't believe. Stars? No way, but they have enough name to fill a club. Then they can use social media to say where they are playing.

So I guess, instead of the usual 100-200 per gig, if your lucky, you could make 500 to 1000 maybe 2000 a night, which might pay the rent if you are constantly playing.

Last edited by Fdemetrio; 08/11/18 11:24 PM.
#1143765 - 08/12/18 07:16 AM Re: "Middle Class of Musicians" [Re: John Voorpostel]  
Joined: Aug 2002
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Everett Adams Online content
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Everett Adams  Online Content
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This doesn't help a great songwriter if he/she is not a performer. I know of people that are making a go of music who are not great singers and their songs are nothing to write home about. So what do they have going for them. Maybe it's their personality, who knows.

#1143792 - 08/12/18 07:52 PM Re: "Middle Class of Musicians" [Re: John Voorpostel]  
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Fdemetrio Online content
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Fdemetrio  Online Content
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It doesn't help most performing songwriters either.

Sometimes artists are very good entertainers. I know a guy who plays at this biker bar. I mean every time I drive by I see his name on the sign that he's playing there, must have been ther 5 years consistently.

Is he great? No, I think I can out play him and out sing him, and probably have better songs, and I'm just decent all around.

But he manages to get consistent work.

You know what he does well? He's great behind the mic. He engages the people and brings them into the conversation. He'll ask questions of audience members, he'll tell jokes, do a magic trick, anything he can do to make an experience for the audience.

It's a great skil to have. In the end that's what people want, to be entertained, they ain't there to praise you, they want u to praise them

But it's as tough as ever for non performing artists

Last edited by Fdemetrio; 08/12/18 07:54 PM.
#1143801 - 08/13/18 09:50 AM Re: "Middle Class of Musicians" [Re: John Voorpostel]  
Joined: Dec 2000
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John Voorpostel Offline
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John Voorpostel  Offline
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Great point Fdemetrio.

Engaging and building a rapport with the audience is critical. People have to like you as a person, even as they do not know you personally

Our own Bob Young used to make that point...along with "always play to the back row"....for sonic reasons and to include everyone in the room.

The patter in between songs is also not something that is spontaneous...it is planned out, which each song getting an introduction that is rehearsed. Not necessarily the same every time..

Artists employ stylists to build\enforce their look too. It is part of the image you create in your fans.

So lots goes into the stage personna

Note this all comes from observation and learning about these things. I am not a serious, professional entertainer. I\we do church and charity gigs and try to scope out the whole set, intros and all. So I have definitely used some of these tips in performances


If writing ever becomes work I think I'm going to have to stop

iAccountant --- Info L inc --- Taxboard
#1143802 - 08/13/18 11:36 AM Re: "Middle Class of Musicians" [Re: John Voorpostel]  
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 8,793
John Lawrence Schick Offline
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John Lawrence Schick  Offline
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PA
I don't know where I fit in all this. I've been told I have no class at all.

John smile

#1143826 - 08/13/18 05:54 PM Re: "Middle Class of Musicians" [Re: John Voorpostel]  
Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 10,377
John Voorpostel Offline
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John Voorpostel  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 10,377
So you're saying it it were'nt for no class you'd have no class at all?


If writing ever becomes work I think I'm going to have to stop

iAccountant --- Info L inc --- Taxboard
#1144079 - 08/22/18 01:31 AM Re: "Middle Class of Musicians" [Re: John Voorpostel]  
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 18,537
Brian Austin Whitney Offline
Brian Austin Whitney  Offline


Top 10 Poster

Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 18,537
Indianapolis, IN USA
Originally Posted by John Voorpostel
So I just came back from "Writing A Song That Matters", hosted by one on my favourite singer songwriters, Dar Williams
If you do not know here, you are losing out on one of America's best folk\pop artists full stop. Youtube and Google here for more info

It was a song writing retreat at The Garrison Insitute, on the Huson River across from West Point and included workshops by Suzze Roche, Heather Maloney, Raquel Vidal and Rick and Michelle Gerner.

Spent some time talking to Heather because I had no knowledge of her. She is actually living Brian's mantra about being able to live a good life with a critical mass fan base in centers across the country

She referred to a growing middle class of artist who can thrive in this day and age with "quality fans"and there are growing networks of these artists as they collaborate on various causes, interests and business matters

As I understand, "quality fans" are."sticky fans" who connnect and stay with an artist....as opposed to days when large record companies and AMAs ran stables of artists and mass marketed physical media and hoping they could bat some home runs among singles and doubles and strikeouts

So artists can dramatically lower media\content creation and duplication and connect to quality fans via internet

What I also heard was that there are growing networks of these artists collaborating, and it is a community one can only join as you emerge into visibility as an artist

Guess that means if you have a song to sing, just go out and play it, collaborate with other local musicans, grow as an artist, and keep going out to play. If you are any good, there are a growing number of people you will bump into locally, regionally, and nationally if you beging gigging around

So if you have a song to sing, just go out and play it.



Funny you say that about Heather because she, Roche and Williams are all JPF members. They are all excellent writers (as are the others you listed who I don't know as well) and they do, in fact, live many of the things I have long talked about, but though I have had a positive place in promoting those things, artists like them have successfully lived it and proven the theories in real life along with countless others I could begin to list here. One of my dreams within JPF was to help create, or better said to nurture a musician middle class. (I was involved in a start up in 2010 based on JPF, my 5000 Fan Theory and the goal of creating both a Career Ladder for musicians willing to put the work in and a middle class lifestyle for those who graduated. Then 3 massive strokes hit me and I had to bow out after working for years to design the courses, write a book, create climbable ladder rungs to measure and track success moving up and had gathered the financial support and technology support needed to make it all real... then I spent a year and a half in a daily fight for my life and it all scattered to the wind sadly. But there are people out there who did it on their own with a little nudge by me and at least I was able to have that positive affect on a variety of people across the spectrum of genres and age groups and career goals and talent levels. I sure wish I had the health and energy to jump back in it but we may have lost the war as the small opening that was there in 2010 is ever closing tighter and tighter for anyone in any type of middle class.

Brian


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