I have been known to wear many hats both literally and figuratively. As a musician, the latter, especially these days is imperative. Traditionally a professional musician pretty much had to just worry about making music and hope they can gain the interest of other parties (record labels, managers, etc.) to do the rest. While that is still a valid option and one that many hope and strive for, it may not happen for many musicians. However, all is not lost. Welcome to the age of DYI. But what if you don’t want to Do It Yourself and still hope on getting a team of others interested so you can just make music? Well, here’s the reality check…for the most part, to get those people interested you need to have already established yourself to a certain degree. How do you that? That’s right…DYI.
Here are just a few of the many roles that musicians these days usually have to become:
* Recording Engineer
* Booking Agent
* PR person
* Social Media wiz
* Web designer
And trust me there are many more. Now, I am ALL about hiring a person to do as many of these as possible especially the ones you may not be very skilled at and I firmly believe it is better to pay a Pro and get it done right than do it yourself and do a poor job. However, some of these you may find that you (or other band members) excel at and may actually enjoy doing. Here’s another plus side to being able to do some of these…one, you have more control over the results, two, you become acquainted enough with a task that you can better convey your ideas to a pro at it as well as possibly keep you from getting taking to the cleaners. We’ve all heard horror stories about bands that lost thousands of dollars by dishonest managers.
How many of those have I had to do? Pretty much all of them and more. Some I excelled and enjoyed more than others. Recently I have become a bit of a videographer and video editor as I am filming a series of online guitar instructional videos and although it has been a bit of learning curve, I have really enjoyed it. It's fun to play Steven Spielberg. Have I hired people to do tasks for me? Absolutely! Having had done some of those myself however definitely gave me an advantage when hiring someone else to do it.
The bad news is there has never been a time where musicians are expected to more. The good news there has never been a time that has been easier to learn to wear all these different hats and give musicians so much control over their creativity and career. So as you go out and independently dress for success I’ll leave you with this metaphor…make sure YOUR hat matches your wardrobe ;)