Not sure if you’ve noticed yet, but the majors have been in survival mode the past few years. Astronomical budget cuts and executive shuffling have become a standard annual process for the big four (EMI, Sony, Universal, WB). Artists are being dropped like flies due to weak opening sales; but this is only due to lack of budget support. It has become a vicious circle. Although it has its obvious drawbacks, there are rewards if you play the game right. Think you’re ready? Read on…
What’s harder — getting signed or staying signed? You may be surprised…
Becoming an artist with major label support isn’t the hardest thing to do. The tricky part is staying signed. One of the biggest mistakes an artist can make is signing before they have a solid fan base established. This process aptly named “artist development”, includes everything from playing live shows, social media growth (now you have a good reason to tweet) and establishing your “sound”. For some reason, labels still think they can break certain artists just because the music is amazing. Don’t fall for the pitch…it isn’t happening anymore. And it’s a guaranteed career ender to be placed on the back-burner of any record label. As painful as it is to walk away from a major deal as a new artist, you will love yourself in the future for it. When you return with more artist development under your belt, you will also notice the label offering a larger budget and more support. Interesting…
I’ve decided to sign my major label deal. Now what?
So you’ve made it through artist development and finally sign that major deal. Isn’t this the part where you can sit back and let the record label do the work? Sure…take a seat, and enjoy the ride… lol, you’ll quickly notice the label taking you in a wrong direction or maybe it stops working on your project all together. Did you enjoy the ride? Because it’s over.
Here’s the deal.
The moment you sign you need to stay in control of your project. Keep in mind that the label is only there to support your career; not manage it or steer it. Other then major distribution and radio support, you really need to consider what else their team will bring to the table. Maybe it’s a budget? Or maybe it’s tour support? Make sure you consider everything about your project when prepping to sign over. Again, this is a vicious circle to be apart of, but if you are prepared to play the game smart, it can be a successful and fun ride.
What do you think about signing to a major label? Does anyone have any experiences they’d like to share with our readers here? We’d love to see your thoughts!
When September rolls around here, that means we are preparing for a whole new school year at LAMA. You can just sense the guitarists putting fresh strings on their guitars, drummers getting new sticks, and the vocalists warming up their vocal chords. While it usually is a time of joy for music students sometimes we could all use a little kick in the butt. Was it a long summer? Maybe finances got you down? Don’t stress — even the most ready-to-go music students need a little pep talk. Hopefully you can use these tips to get motivated for a great year of music!
1) Keep Your Eye On The Prize
This often happens to people during the first semester at college: graduation can seem a very long way away. However, it is important to keep your eye on the prize. Sooner than you can imagine, you are going to graduate with that degree. With LA Music Academy, you are going to make great friends, network with wonderful musicians and artists, and you will be on the way to discovering and building your career in the music industry.
2) Remember Why You Chose Music
During a particularly hard study week or a day full of challenging classes, it may be hard to remember that something more powerful than anything else drew you to a music college – passion! Whether it was the first time you heard Led Zeppelin or the first time you picked up the bass, some sort of inspiration sparked a fire inside of you that led you to wanting a music degree. Take ten minutes from studying or in between classes and remember what it was that led you to music. This might help you focus your thoughts and get you inspired for the upcoming challenges.
3) Find Inspiration From Others
If you are a LAMA student, inspiration is all around you — on campus. From the department heads to the teachers, you would do yourself a favor to take a minute and talk with them about their careers. Perhaps ask Ralph Humphrey about his time drumming with Frank Zappa or chat with Tariqh Akoni about his time with Josh Groban. Sometimes even talking with your fellow students about projects that they are working on can be a great idea and very inspirational. Check out the clinics and master classes on campus (they are free too!) — these are specifically for LAMA students but many schools will have workshops and clinics of their own as well.
4) Positive Visualization
Positive visualization might sound like a hokey way to help you get through a difficult situation, but what if I told you that professional sports teams have used it to win championships? Positive Visualization is the process of imagining what it will feel like in the future and channeling that feeling into your work on the path to that goal. “Think How Good It Will Feel” when you graduate from LAMA or your music school. Take a moment and imagine walking away with your diploma and reflect on that when you are struggling through a class or rehearsal.
5) Remember How Lucky You Are
It might do you good to take a moment and remember that you are ahead of the game— you followed your passion! How many of your friends went a certain route for college just because their parents told them to? While music college can be very challenging and demanding, you were true to your heart and knew that you would be happy in your life only if you were playing music. Congratulations!
There you go friends, students, future students et al. If you find your motivation waning during this upcoming semester, try one or all of these tips and get your head back in the game. It’s important to remember that college is a stepping-stone to the rest of your life. If you are a LAMA student you must remember to take advantage of the faculty and administrators. If a class is too hard, just ask for extra help!
Get to the Music!!
Sometimes musicians can’t get to us, so we go to them. Introducing, the LAMA Experience.
Launched in 2011, the LA Music Academy Experience is an ongoing series of interactive clinics, workshops and concerts hosted around the world in collaboration with LA Music Academy and its alumni. Attendees will have an opportunity to audition for admission and apply for a scholarship to LA Music Academy. Most importantly, they will see what it’s like to learn at a premier music college in Los Angeles and get an inside look at the various music degree programs offered by LA Music Academy. So far, the LA Music Academy Experience is scheduled to visit Germany, Sweden, Ecuador, Brazil, UK, Australia, Argentina and Korea, with trips to England and Denmark coming early in 2012!
For more information about the LAMA Experience and how to get involved, visit the website here.
LA Music Academy Drum Department Chair Ralph Humphrey discusses playing different variations of paradiddles around the drumset.
Ralph, you never fail to amaze us.
In this video, LA Music Academy student Kate Fuller discusses her background, being a part of this year’s prestigious Montreaux Jazz Festival as a semi-finalist, and how LA Music Academy has helped her grow as a musician. Good stuff Kate!
Have you ever been out to MJF?
Haha. Ha. We’ve heard it before… “Never drinking again!”
It’s Friday, let’s have some fun and erm, toast, to this entertaining musical:
Ralph Humphrey, the Drum Department Chair over at LA Music Academy has released the first in a series of video quick tips for drummers. In this video, Ralph discusses hand patterns over foot ostinatos. The video was shot in the brand new recording studio on the LAMA campus!