Are you passionate about making music? Are you willing to do whatever it takes to make your dreams a reality? If “music is life” to you, you’re going to love this interview, which offers insights into both the heights to which you can climb as well as the dark side of seeking validation in the wrong places.
In this episode of The New Music Industry Podcast, I talk to “music mogul” Jason Davis, who’s worked with many famous artists you would know, and is an owner and partner in multiple companies.
In the past, you may have only been to learn an instrument with the help of a book or a teacher. But today, there are so many more options available, and Liv is about to share with us a few ways we can learn an instrument online.
Learning to play a new musical instrument is almost a rite of passage for schoolchildren. Some got to learn how to play at school. Others had tutors visiting their home. Everyone else had to learn through books or videos, trying our best to learn on our own.
Fast forward to 2018, and we have a plethora of ways to hone our musical talent (or lack of it!). While one-to-one private lessons are still hugely popular, the rise of technology has given us new avenues to explore in learning new skills, and music is no different.
From tutoring apps that you can download to your phone or tablet, to real life Skype tutors that will guide you through your lessons, there are now a multitude of ways to learn, and each one has its unique appeal.
So, whether you are looking to be tutored from afar, or simply want access to some popular piano sheet music to help you play some of your favorite songs, you should be able to find help somewhere on the web.
Skype tutors are fast becoming an extremely popular way to learn an instrument, not least because of the flexibility and convenience that comes with them.
Rather than needing a tutor to travel to your house or vice versa, with the aid of a webcam and microphone, you can have your lesson anywhere, and at any time. If you happen to live a rather busy life, finding a face-to-face tutor that works after 9pm may be quite troublesome, but with remote music tutors, this issue completely disappears. If tutor A can’t fit you in, tutor B can.
Equally, if you wish to learn an exotic instrument, you could find yourself with very few options in your local area. Online tutors, on the other hand, come in a variety of shapes and sizes, so if you need sitar lessons in Australia, keyboard lessons in Peru, or even bagpipe lessons in the United States, your geographical location is no longer an issue.
Watch Free Online Video Tutorials
Another option for budding musicians is to follow along with online video tutorials. YouTube is absolutely full of them, some great and some a little confusing, but once you separate the good from the bad, you will find yourself with access to a vast library of useful information.
Especially useful for those who already have a basic knowledge of their instrument, these tutorials can serve as refresher courses for those of us who are just a little rusty or are looking for exercises and songs to practice along to.
Learning Virtually is Becoming a Reality
Looking to the future, learning an instrument is going to get even easier than it currently is. The latest development is in the realm of virtual reality.
No longer the preserve of video games, virtual reality has begun to infiltrate many areas of our lives. From virtual boardrooms at work to ringside seats at a boxing matches, it seems everyone is getting in on the action, and learning to play a new instrument in VR is no exception.
While VR is still in its infancy, there are developments that allow the user to see how to play the drums or piano in a virtual space. Right now, VR drums and VR music makers seem to work almost perfectly, as the large “hit targets” of each drum, combined with the fact you only need have two motion controllers for sticks, make for a very fluid and visceral experience.
Playing the piano is VR however, while possible, is currently less impressive due to the fact that tracking individual fingers is a far more difficult thing to implement accurately.
But that doesn’t mean that in another five years it won’t be a perfectly legitimate way to learn how to play, or at the very least, practice (if you don’t happen to have your instruments with you).
For now though, there is plenty of help available online to empower your learning process regardless of your skill level. Simply find the approach that is right for you and everything else should fall nicely into place.
If it doesn’t work for you, try a different approach. With a little time, dedication, and the help that is now available online, you could find yourself improving much quicker than you ever thought possible.
Most people get into business not because they want to create a job for themselves but rather because they’re in pursuit of freedom. Unfortunately, many of them either fail to take advantage of the freedom they already have, or become so busy they simply can’t get away from their work.
At some point, the long hours will catch up with you and you’ll burnout or become sick. That’s not the ideal state to do work in because your effectiveness will be compromised. So, if you don’t begin enjoying your freedom now, when will you?
00:00 – Getting my day started
00:18 – My decision to take the day off
00:26 – Mixed feelings
00:45 – It’s not about time management – it’s about energy management
01:06 – Discovery
01:20 – Spending the day in the mountains
01:34 – Wrapping up the day
01:50 – Freedom is available to anyone
02:14 – Where you can learn more about music entrepreneurship
Are you enjoying your freedom?
It’s Tuesday at 8:00 AM.
I roll out of bed, have breakfast, walk the dog, meditate and take a shower.
I look into the mirror and see that my eyes are bloodshot.
I was trying to set myself up for a productive day but soon realized I was exhausted beyond belief.
What am I to do?
With no looming deadlines and no meetings on the schedule, I decided to have lunch, drive out of town and head out into the mountains.
My heart was a little divided on this.
On the one hand, I was marveling at the freedom I’d created in my life.
On the other hand, I was feeling a little guilty for taking off. After all, everything in my career life was going so well.
But those feelings of guilt soon started to fade.
I remembered what my coach said in his book:
It’s not about time management. It’s about energy management.
The world tells us we should work from 9 – 5. My coach says you should work when you’re at your best, when you have the most energy to tackle the work you must do.
I believe it’s that kind of thinking that forces you to focus on what matters and spend less time on things that don’t produce results.
On my way out into the mountains, I discover a small park I’d never seen before. It’s beautiful outside, and I’m captivated by the stream, the green grass and tall trees (summer doesn’t last that long where I live).
After exploring for a bit, I get back in my car and proceed into the mountains.
Upon arrival, I sit in the hot springs for about an hour, relax and organize my thoughts.
Then, I head over to Chili’s for an early dinner.
My best friend just got back from her vacation and is back in town, so I head back into Calgary, meet up with her and we spend a few hours together.
Finally, I go home and walk the dog again. I watch a few videos on YouTube and go to sleep. Did I do any work? Nope.
What’s my point?
My point is that this life is available to anyone.
I’m grateful for the freedom I’ve created, but I also know there’s so much more available.
I’m not anyone special. I just applied myself to something I cared about and kept pushing forward when I didn’t see anything happening with my career or business.
Do you now see why I talk so much about business? Do you understand why music entrepreneurship means so much to me?
If you’d like to learn more about music entrepreneurship, I have a mini-book you might be interested in.
People will treat you with respect and offer you better opportunities if you persist in doing the right things. But it can take time to create a solid reputation, and if you have a bad reputation, it can take a long time to recover from it.
Get back to the basics of what you can control. Everything else doesn’t matter. Take a close look at how you conduct yourself and if your actions reflect someone who can be trusted and counted on.
00:00 – The number one thing that’s helped me tap into opportunity
00:10 – What does it mean to be endorsable?
00:39 – How can you become the right person at the right place and time?
01:18 – Simple things you can do to boost your credibility
01:46 – Where you can learn more about being endorsable
One of the number one things that’s helped me tap into a lot of great opportunities is being endorsable.
What does it mean to be endorsable?
Well, it’s not about being perfect, because if that was the case, I would be disqualified.
Despite my imperfections, I’ve had some incredible opportunities come my way in the last few years – some of the highest paying session playing work I’ve ever done, the chance to meet and connect with notable musicians and industry people, helping a jazz artist raise $15,000 for her album, and so much more.
Being the right person at the right place and the right time doesn’t hurt, right?
But how can you be the right person at the right place and the right time? Isn’t it just luck and happenstance?
That’s where being endorsable comes in.
But like all worthwhile things in life, it’s simple and not easy.
There are some personal standards you’ll need to commit to and maintain. And, I will be the first to tell you I’ve dropped the ball on these many times.
Still, I’ve proven myself endorsable enough that I’m living one of the best moments in my life – especially in the career arena.
So, your goal should be to meet these standards to the best of your ability.
Are you excited about becoming endorsable yet?
Here are some simple things you can do to build your credibility:
Practice hard. Always be well-prepared.
Be accountable. Show up early and stay late.
Thank people often and write “thank-you” notes.
Maintain a great attitude and be enthusiastic.
Be trustworthy, especially with sensitive information and money.
Work hard even when no one’s looking.
See what I mean? It’s simple but not easy.
If you’re interested in learning more about the mindset it takes to command great opportunities and earn the success you deserve, I recommend checking out my latest mini-book:
Just so you know, the bonus content for the mini-book isn’t available just yet but it’s coming along.
Regardless, one thing I’ve come to recognize is the importance of two words, “yes” and “no”.
When you’re first getting started in your career, you probably don’t have much by way of contacts, resources, or opportunities. If you’re lucky, you might be starting off with more than others, but for the most part musicians and entrepreneurs tend to start off at zero. They don’t know anyone, they don’t have much by way of money or equipment, and they don’t have venues knocking at their door to book them.
If that describes where you are in your career, you’ll appreciate the value of the word, “yes”, and it’s more powerful than you might think.
You might see other musicians turn down certain gigs or opportunities. It might be because they have other projects or prospects to focus on. Taking a low-paying gig as an in-demand musician doesn’t make much sense, unless the gig offers other significant benefits.
But for you, a low-paying gig might be a great opportunity. You might not see other opportunities on the radar right now, so really any gig would be a step forward.
If you’re professional, you show up on time, and you play a good set, you might make a few more contacts. These people might see potential in you. Granted, if you aren’t that great at your craft, you’re probably not going to get higher paying gigs or better opportunities just yet, but so long as you make just one contact that’s interested in working with you, you can keep connecting the dots from one gig to the next.
It should be noted that people may come to you with offers that aren’t exactly in your wheelhouse or not what you expected. Should you say “no”?
My belief is that you should continue to say “yes” anyway.
You probably don’t have a lot of money coming in, and you still have considerable leeway in your calendar. Most of all, these experiences will cause you to grow. Sure, they may challenge you and put you outside of your comfort zone. But you’ll be hard pressed to find a better way to become more than you are right now.
I’ve done a lot of things through the years that either weren’t in my wheelhouse or I wasn’t good at. I’ve been a laptop salesman, a theater tech, a caretaker, a beverage server, and more.
I may not have been good at those things, but I learned a lot. And, I also found that I got better at some of those things over time.
One of the realities of success is it may not come in the neat little package you expect it to. I talked about this a little bit in episode 97 of the podcast, but I really want to drive this home – you may not end up where you thought you would, but that doesn’t mean you haven’t achieved success.
So, getting back to this idea of saying “yes” – you should keep saying it until your personal bandwidth is stretched.
Now, most people will feel uncomfortable at this point and pull back. They’ll say, “I’m spread too thin”. They’ll let go of one of their commitments.
But if you’re at this point, I believe you should maintain all your commitments for several months if not several years. That may sound crazy, but the projects and tasks you’re engaged in will form the foundation of your financial stability.
If you’ve got debt to pay off, you should keep doing what you’re doing.
But there will come a time when you need to start saying “no”.
You may not know when this moment arrives, simply because you’ve been saying “yes” for so long, you’re not even seeing the forest for the trees anymore. And, if you tend to be a people pleaser, and you’ve been in the habit of saying “yes” for a long time, it’s going to be hard to start saying “no”.
The key thing to recognize at this point is that 80% of your results are coming from 20% of your effort. There are going to be opportunities in your life that are disproportionately better than others. Likewise, you’re going to have many that are disproportionately worse than the rest.
Here are a few criteria you can use to determine which are still worthwhile:
Income. Some projects are almost certainly helping you make more money than others, and it’s better to focus on those that help you achieve your financial and lifestyle goals.
Fulfillment. Some projects are going to energize you, while others are going to drain you. The projects that energize you are the ones you should dedicate more time to.
Relationship. Some people are more enjoyable to work with than others. In time, some are going to emerge as your greatest supporters while others are going to stay the same or be less involved in your life. When I’m working with people I like, I know I’m going to see better results with the projects I’m working on and I’m going to enjoy myself more.
This year, I’ve had several opportunities come my way that I’ve turned down. At this point, everything I take on has the chance to take away from existing projects and relationships.
This doesn’t mean I won’t consider new opportunities. There are always exceptions. Some short-term projects may only require a small amount of my time. Some may offer good financial incentive. Others might take over the existing ones simply because they are more aligned with what I want to do, how I want to live and how much money I want to be making.
But at this point in my career, I’m appreciating the power of “no” more than the power of “yes”. I need to be saying “no” to the good things so I can leave room to say “yes” to the awesome things.
It was hard saying “no” at first, but once I started doing it, I went through a bit of a mindset shift. I value my time more, and in most cases if a project doesn’t pay or isn’t aligned with my goals, I will turn it down.
So, where are you in your career right now?
If you don’t have a lot on your plate, maybe it would be better to say “yes” and sacrifice a little bit of freedom in the short-term for a solid, long-term payoff.
If you have a lot on your plate and you’ve been at it for a while, maybe it would be better to say “no” and get a little freedom back.