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Why so many good musicians struggle to begin their music career.

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Why so many good musicians struggle to begin their music career.

If you are like most people who want a career as a professional musician, the first question you ask is probably, What do I have to do? You ask this because you are not sure what you need to do first, second, third, etc. And it seems obvious that you must actually do things in order to move forward and launch your own music career.

Whether you are just starting out, or already have some experience in the music business, there are important steps you must take and many things you will need to do. However, the order in which you take each step will make a big difference in the results you get.

It's not about what you must do It's about who you must become.

Some years ago, I had a great mentor who was a very successful entrepreneur. At that time, I was not yet very far along in my own music career. I asked him all the usual questions like, How can I get on a world tour?, Where should I send my CDs to?, Who do I need to talk to at the record company?, How can I make more money with my music and talents?, What do I need to do to sell my music in other countries?, etc.

He replied, Tom, you aren't ready for any of that yet. You might be ready as a musician, but you haven't really prepared yourself mentally. When you do things now, you will make some progress along the way, but that isn't success - that won't create a lucrative and stable career over the long term. Successful people are successful not because they are intelligent or talented, nor do they succeed simply because they 'do the right things'. When you become 'success-minded', you will have the power to achieve success in anything you want to do. Don't worry now about 'doing things'. Let's begin working on 'who you must become'. Your success needs to be built from the inside first, then the external things you must do will fall into place much more easily.

I only proved him to be right when I reacted by saying, I already know all this positive thinking stuff, I need specific advice on what, when, where and how to do things now. His response back to me was, Ok Tom, if you really know this then I challenge you to show me at least 25 ways in which you have already implemented these mental concepts (on your own) into your music career. I didn't have an answer to that. He continued, The entrepreneurs and business people in any industry will know you are not really ready. They will smell your inferiority like a lion smells fear in its prey. And when they do, it generally won't be good for you. It would be like going into the jungle without a weapon, without shelter and without a guide.

After our discussion, I became convinced it was time to work more on who I needed to become before concerning myself with what I needed to do. Our first major task was to define exactly where my mental skills and preparedness for general success were. To discover your mental preparedness for launching your own music career, take this 3-minute quiz to find out.

7 Things You Should Do Now to Begin Your Music Career

01. Don't get caught speeding. Listen to the advice already given above. Focusing first on who you need to become is more important to your long term success than focusing on 'what actions you should take'. Don't get caught speeding through step 1 in order to get to step 2 faster. Who you will become will dramatically influence the results you receive when you are busy doing things in the future.

02. 'inspect' what you 'expect'. What do you expect from yourself? What do you expect from life? What do you expect from others? Your entire life, up to this point, is a reflection of your own expectations. You alone control your own expectations. Only You can choose to expect greater things out of yourself, your life and your surroundings - when you do this you will become ready for the next step

03. Demand and Command. To expect greater things from yourself and life is an important step. But expectations won't have real power until and unless you demand from yourself and command yourself to do what is necessary for you to move forward no matter what obstacles, challenges, fears and setbacks you may encounter along the way. More importantly, you must demand and command even more from yourself when things ARE going well. Success often causes some people to lose their momentum. This happens to people who are not truly 'success-minded' but have only been granted some shorter term success. When you become 'success-minded' you will maintain high levels of demand and command in your life in all situations. This is key for long-term success (especially in the music business).

04. Shoot Fire! How do other people perceive you? As a quiet, private, introverted or reserved person? Or as someone who is so filled with passion, intensity and commitment that they can see flames of fire shooting out from the back of your head? You already know that passion is the fuel which drives your actions to move toward what you want. Beyond this obvious point is another important component. When you are on fire, other people notice it and become attracted to you, what you do and what you have to offer. Highly successful people have an intensity about them which most people do not possess. Many successful people will look for this quality in you as an indicator of what they perceive your success potential may be - this is especially true when you first meet a person who may be in a position of power to either help or hurt your career.

Of course, be cautious not to come across as arrogant or obnoxious. Show people your attitude of expectancy, confidence, passion, determination, conviction and. FIRE!

05. Get Congruent. It should be your goal to align all (or most) of your daily thoughts, beliefs, attitudes, plans and actions with what you want to be, do and have. Although this might seem obvious, very few people truly focus on this in their daily lives. Typically, we may want to manifest a particular outcome, but we divide our mind into opposing directions. Here are two common examples

  • A guy constantly thinks about becoming a touring guitar player, but does not really expect it to actually happen. The lack of 'expectance' leads to further incongruity, because, by wanting but not 'believing' he will really become a touring guitarist, he won't make the necessary plans, contacts, and other actions which could take him there.
  • College students, who want to become musicians, often major in a non music related (and non entrepreneurial related) subject. In this case, most of these students' time and energy are spent doing things which take them only further from their musical aspirations. As a general rule, the more congruent you are, the faster and easier you will get where you want to go.

    06. Weed your garden....You might not always have the freedom to choose the physical location of where you live, but it is not always necessary to relocate your home. You can find success from virtually any physical place. In addition, not all of us have been blessed with supportive family environments. Although we cannot choose our family, we can choose our friends and other people we associate with (both on and offline). If the friends you have don't support you, find new friends who will. The environment where your mind lives is very important. You must find supportive, positive and empowering peer group environments. People who have similar aspirations, ambitions and experience in the areas you seek are like good soil for which your career can develop and grow. Negative, pessimistic and disempowering people are like weeds. Do people around you build you up or tear you down? Associate with other success minded people, surround yourself with them. It's hard for flowers to grow among weeds.. so weed your garden.

    07. Don't depend on the sun and rain alone. use fertilizer! Your musical skills (no matter how great they may be) will not be enough to create and sustain a significant level of success in the music industry (sad but true). You may even already have a reasonably decent understanding of how the music business works today (though most people don't). Becoming a successful professional musician is a lot like being a gardener. To be sure your career grows, you need high quality seed (your mental preparedness), lots of sun (knowledge and skills), rain (physical action), and fertilizer (a mentor). Yes it is possible to grow a blooming flower without fertilizer, but the chances of long-term life and maximum healthy growth go way up when you use fertilizer. The same is true with your level of success as a professional musician.

    The average person's score on the assessment mentioned above is 4 out of 10. Take the assessment yourself to find out what your score is TomHess.net

    It matters little where you are now, it matters greatly what you are willing to do now.

    About the author: Tom Hess is a professional touring guitarist and recording artist. He teaches, trains and mentors musicians from all around the world. Visit TomHess.net to discover highly effective musician learning resources - free advice, lessons and online assessments.

    2008 Tom Hess Music Corporation

  • 248 comments sorted by best / new / date

      MetallicaNRoses
      the thing that annoys me about tom hess articles are that even though they make good points, that's all they ever do, make points. if any one of his articles were summed up in a single good paragraph, it would be a good introduction to something helpful. they always say "you gotta do this!" and never give you any clue as to what exactly "this" is, because he spends too much time saying how much "this" can help you. just my thoughts.
      lestat1836
      Palpatine MD wrote: Any psychologist will tell you that when performing a skill (such as playing the guitar) maximum performance is achieved when mental arousal is moderate. High or low levels cause a decrease in performance. .
      oh really? Go ask Michael Jordan if he was "moderate" when he played in championship games! - or any other champion for that matter!
      duexe
      mrbiscuits315 wrote: This is good stuff, but i couldn't help but be reminded of Hitler and his idealogy.
      HAHAHAHAAA... sniff... HAHAHHAAHA (Tear).. whew..
      FaceMelter1313
      Well, i half agree. the whole "mental stability" thing is a keeper. but this is definately a sales pitch, or a way to get you on the mailing list or something like that (infomercial type thing), where they make it sound too easy or too good to be true. Plus, i love (*laughed AT) the fact that the end (where they talk about tom hess) is in the 3rd person. that deffinately tells u something.
      SixStringDemon
      RockInPeaceDime wrote: Jaytron wrote: Hannah Montana. Fast track to the success? Disney Bandwagon. Not really =/ Having a dad who has been fairly successful in the music business helps..
      Everyone knows it wasn't her dad that got her the fame...it was her dad's mullet.
      Palpatine MD
      duexe wrote: Palpatine MD wrote: Positive thinking accomplishes absolutely nothing. Palpatine, you are a retard. Go into an interview (any interview) and think negative and see what happens. Say you find an awsome musician you want to be in your band. Go meet them and think negative and see what happens. Go and talk to a reputable club owner about getting regular work as their house band and think negative. Sit down and practice your instrument and try to master a difficult piece and see how far you get with the 'I cant do it' attitude.
      lol what? Who said anything about thinking negatively? How about maybe just thinking neutrally (rationally). Works for me Any psychologist will tell you that when performing a skill (such as playing the guitar) maximum performance is achieved when mental arousal is moderate. High or low levels cause a decrease in performance. Just relax dude. As for the interview thing well maybe you instantly fall in love with people that come up to you with a ragin' mental boner but I respond much better to people when they are calm and relaxed. And just so you know professional musicians wont sign up for your band just because you have a hyped up, over confident attitude they will do it because they like your music and think there is a good chance of a stable working relationship.
      duexe
      Palpatine MD wrote: lol what? Who said anything about thinking negatively?
      Your actions did. Read your own friggen post. When you shred someone else (anyone else), that is negative. And don't tell me that crap you posted was neutral. Unless you have taken lessons from Hess, and can state from a first person perspective that he is a scammer, you still qualify as a retard. I'm not trying to defend the Hessters, but you don't see them talking crap about anyone.
      duexe
      Palpatine MD wrote: Any psychologist will tell you that when performing a skill (such as playing the guitar) maximum performance is achieved when mental arousal is moderate. High or low levels cause a decrease in performance. Just relax dude.
      Mental arousal, lol... Positive = confident, relaxed, calm, focused, resolved, enthusiastic, etc.. Negative = uncertain, tense, frantic, unfocused, fearful, confused, etc.. Obviously there is a huge gap between your definition of positive/negative then mine.
      duexe
      Replace $40 teaching guitar ...with....$40 an hour teaching guitar Replace the one that were listed paid money to Rolling Stone to have their players listed ..with.. the ones that were listed paid money to Rolling Stone (via their record label) to have their players listed
      ChadCrawford
      I am not real? I wish someone would tell my creditors this. http://www.palmettomusicinstitute.com Palpatine, you seem to be a fairly rational person, as opposed to some of the middle schoolers above, attempting to showcase their wit but instead only displaying their ignorant pettiness. You can see then that this article is written for people who do not have connections and money to get started, and may not really know what is required to succeed. There are a lot of such people about. They are not deserving of contempt. They simply have not had exposure to the keys to success. Such things are not obvious to everyone. You apparently have experienced some success, good for you, but it does not reflect well on you to condemn those who have not and may need some guidance getting started. You may be educated, but you betray a lack of wisdom. I have seen a lot of folks like you, with enough intellect to convince you that everyone needs your advice, but not enough benefit of experience to realize you are mot more than a struggling student of life 101 like the rest of us. Probably temporary I am sure, but in the mean time the smartest thing you could do is conceal your lack with silence. Tom Hess has two solo albums and a #1 hit song in addition to his work with another band which has toured internationally, playing large arenas. I can see him, as a music industry insider, being a credible source for the info in this article. I wonder what are your specific qualifications to recommend you as an advisor to anyone on what it takes to succeed in the music industry? Or anyone else who has offered a contrary opinion on this?
      r_linhares9
      To become successful in the industry, you gotta be unique. You gotta do something no one else has done. Something that people like. That's it. No stupid quiz is gonna stop people from becoming successful in the business. I scored a 4/10 on the quiz. Yet, I've been in a band for 4 years. released 2 albums, toured North America and have been signed to 2 independent record labels. And I'm 18.
      r_linhares9
      1) Natural talent 2) Determination 3) Make connections 4) Promote yourself 5) Be unique I should release a DVD.
      dgme92
      Anyone can become a famous musician. Just look at the older bands such as GnR, Zeppelin, Queen. They got popular doing what they do best: entertaining people, not writing books on how to become famous.
      lestat1836
      r_linhares9 wrote: To become successful in the industry, you gotta be unique. You gotta do something no one else has done. Something that people like. That's it. No stupid quiz is gonna stop people from becoming successful in the business. I scored a 4/10 on the quiz. Yet, I've been in a band for 4 years. released 2 albums, toured North America and have been signed to 2 independent record labels. And I'm 18.
      oh really? stop talking and show the proof
      rhcp3412
      honostly i don't believe the success he is talking about is all that important. It seems that most of this article, (or what i have glanced through) is focused on the monetary gains of success (how much green you can bring in). I for one don't care if i don't go on to play world tours, i just want to be playing 'til the day i die.
      SeanHart213
      this make work for him, but preaching this "success in easy steps" stuff is only going to slow most people down.
      duexe
      r_linhares9 wrote: To become successful in the industry, you gotta be unique. You gotta do something no one else has done. Something that people like. That's it.
      One, your sound in Odyssey is far from original (it may be in your area, which is good enough). Please don't be so presumptuous to think that at the wonderful age of 18 you have come out with a sound that no one has done before. Granted, you have done more then most musicians, however there is always room to grow. I would venture that your touring was based on the fact that you proved to someone that your band was worth investing time and effort in. Basically, as individuals you are not pieces of crap. Additionally, I would venture that you learned what you know now from someone (mixing an album, getting the artwork done, distro to itunes, etc). There are MANY without someone to provide them knowledge of the business.
      _jokerman_
      and i clicked on the link to his little quiz, what is it but a ****ing reading comprehension test???!!!!????!!? Fucking WEAK
      the_guitar_hero
      indra13 wrote: How to become a popular musician: Wear a top hat
      slash is a sloppy bastard at playing the guitar
      Lee Carlson
      SeanHart213 wrote: this make work for him, but preaching this "success in easy steps" stuff is only going to slow most people down.
      Maybe I missed something, but I do not recall Tom saying it would be "easy". I am in his MCMP course, and I assure you he does NOT tell you it is just a few easy steps to succeed...
      lestat1836
      SeanHart213 wrote: this make work for him, but preaching this "success in easy steps" stuff is only going to slow most people down.
      Easy steps? Where does this article, or on his website, does he write "success in easy steps"? Read the article again or give a quote from Hess's site where he says you will have success easily.
      getchapull12
      I have now beein in Toms MCMP now for nearly 7 months. Best investment I ever made. My mindset has totally changed. I like how people comment about being lucky and knowing the right people. You dont know jack shit. Maybe you would be more succesful in life if you got rid of tht self prohibiting mindset. Tom doesnt preach success in easy steps. Nor does he say do this do that. He trys to engage your own mind and let you do the work. Sayin 'Its who you know@ and you have to be 'lucky' is for lazy people who can only say and not DO.
      Palpatine MD
      duexe wrote: Palpatine MD wrote: lol what? Who said anything about thinking negatively? Your actions did. Read your own friggen post. When you shred someone else (anyone else), that is negative.
      Man I have a feeling I would be an abyss of "negativity" if you and I were ever in the same room. Lets all get drunk and tell every moron they are perfect so we keep the happy train on the tracks. Sorry for being so "uncertain, tense, frantic, unfocused, fearful, confused" in my posts...lol
      ChadCrawford wrote: Palpatine, you seem to be a fairly rational person, as opposed to some of the middle schoolers above, attempting to showcase their wit but instead only displaying their ignorant pettiness. You can see then that this article is written for people who do not have connections and money to get started, and may not really know what is required to succeed.
      Dude I know that this article is for people who dont know how to succeed. Thats why I hate seeing people say things like "positive thinking is the key to success". I dont doubt that Tom Hess and that Duexe guy are successful but I just dont think they know the reasons why they have that success. It isnt a mystical solution and you dont need to pay someone for a magic secret. You become a successful musician the same way you become a successful doctor or lawyer. Plan a path then work really fkn hard. Closing your eyes and telling yourself that you are made of win just sets you up for a psychological belly flop when you realise the kid who spent twice as long practicing because he understood how competitive the world was just got the record deal.
      lestat1836 wrote: Palpatine MD wrote: Any psychologist will tell you that when performing a skill (such as playing the guitar) maximum performance is achieved when mental arousal is moderate. High or low levels cause a decrease in performance. . oh really? Go ask Michael Jordan if he was "moderate" when he played in championship games! - or any other champion for that matter!
      lol get out of my face and learn to use google you fkn homunculus. (Type "Yerkes-Dodson law")
      lestat1836
      Palpatine MD wrote: You become a successful musician the same way you become a successful doctor or lawyer. Plan a path then work really fkn hard.
      Making it in music is hardly anything like making it as a doctor! Who is the moron now Palpatine MD?!
      lestat1836
      Palpatine MD wrote: lol get out of my face and learn to use google you fkn homunculus. (Type "Yerkes-Dodson law")
      Well I guess you cannot read! What this says at wikipedia does not support your claim at all! YOu took something at face value (from an unreliable and incomplete source) and assumed it was applicable to music, and it's not DUH!
      lestat1836
      rhcp3412 wrote: honostly i don't believe the success he is talking about is all that important. It seems that most of this article, (or what i have glanced through) is focused on the monetary gains of success (how much green you can bring in). I for one don't care if i don't go on to play world tours, i just want to be playing 'til the day i die.
      perhaps it might help if you actually read the entire article and then thought deeply about what has been written before saying anything. Otherwise your view is less valid whether you like the article or not.
      mrbiscuits315
      This is good stuff, but i couldn't help but be reminded of Hitler and his idealogy. How about we just all be competant? Its not that hard if you think every once in a while.
      Lee Carlson
      Good article... but wait, I am one of his students with a real name, of course I would say that... very surprised at a lot of the responses here... Like it or not, Tom knows what he is doing!
      tommaso.zillio
      But I can't help but find it just a little bit suspicious that almost all the people defending him have names like this, and profiles with next to nothing in them. Maybe a few things to make it seem less suspicious. But come on, how many UG'ers have usernames like that.
      Why, they look like real names to me. Why don't you try to google some of them and see if they are real persons or not? : Feel free to start form my name. :) BTW nice article, Tom.
      Randy Johnson
      Defending him? I said "Nice article Tom" and someone says I am defending him? Man are we a bit touchy here? Not that I would not defend Tom Hess. I absolutely would. I have been a student of his for going on two years and have learned a TON. But I really don't need to defend Tom. The truth can speak for itself and Tom's success can speak for itself. Note that many of these defenders all stand behind their real names and not behind some anonymous id. Sorry to disappoint but your dealing with real people here. OK back to whats important. Nice article Tom! : )
      duexe
      Regression , how about er... googling those list of names you mention in your conspiracy theory. You will find that each one of them has their own presence on the web. And yes, they appear to be Hess students (some of them have pages on the Hess site, but elsewhere also). If anything, they all seem to revere their instructor. Take it as you may, if you have such a large amount of students willing to defend their music teacher, it says something. You can talk crap about him all you want, he already appears to have a functioning business model and the rest of us don't have jack shit. SHOW me ANYWHERE where such loyalty exists (even one where students rise up to defend their instructor). Should be easy enough to find with all the blogs available on the web.
      broken fusion!
      hey good on tom for making like 20 new accounts with bunk names to talk himself up. now thats dedication to self promotion
      Mike_Philippov
      VKombinator wrote: Examples: Paul Tauterouff Dan Weiler Jonny_V Randy Johnson Draven Grey ChadCrawford June Moris Jose Daniel Teemu Kleemola Nick Layton Tevis Maloney dude, some of these guys are his students....I heard some of them play on this page: http://www.tomhess.net/Students.aspx
      Yes exactly... I know all of these guys and they are all great players.
      duexe
      broken fusion! wrote: hey good on tom for making like 20 new accounts with bunk names to talk himself up. now thats dedication to self promotion
      How do I know your not 'Tom' trying to gain sympathy points for playing the stupid clueless poster? This is a good point, reading 'broken fusion' posts just makes me want to read more about his stuff. Reverse psychology at its best. Shame on you Tom!
      lestat1836
      is it possible 'broken fusion' is really the one with multiple user names? I have noticed very similar comments from multiple users early on (above). It's hard to believe that there would really be that many venomous people in one place. But you never know. This is a public forum where school boys are also allowed to post messages. Getting back to my original points in previous comments here, why liter this forum with comments about Tom anyway. If you are Anti-Tom, what does that really have to do with the content of his articles? Furthermore, those who post negative replies add nothing to this forum. Therefore your credibility goes to zero. I knew nothing about Hess prior to reading his article. All the talk has only led e to become more curios about him. So I researched his site. Again, I am no expert, but all accounts look great. To broken Fusion and some others, be useful or leave.
      lestat1836
      duexe wrote: broken fusion! wrote: hey good on tom for making like 20 new accounts with bunk names to talk himself up. now thats dedication to self promotion How do I know your not 'Tom' trying to gain sympathy points for playing the stupid clueless poster? This is a good point, reading 'broken fusion' posts just makes me want to read more about his stuff. Reverse psychology at its best. Shame on you Tom!
      I don't get it. Is this sarcasm or a real thought. I think it must be sarcasm, but I am not 100% certain. Sorry. English is not my first language.
      Draven Grey
      Okay... I admit. They're all actually me. I live in quite a few different cities, in a few different countries, post under IP Addresses from each of those places, and run different businesses in each as well. And I also have several families - one for each place. Not only that, but I'm both genders at the same time. That's not even mentioning all the websites, bands, students, driver's lisences, and different instruments I have for each identity. How did you find me out? Well, at least now you know that I'm not Tom. Man, I'm surprised that this conversation is still going on, and even more so amused at ideas like this. Why are some of you so adamantly opposed to Tom Hess? It's one thing to not agree with something someone wrote, but wow...
      duexe
      lestat1836 wrote: duexe wrote: How do I know your not 'Tom' trying to gain sympathy points for playing the stupid clueless poster? This is a good point, reading 'broken fusion' posts just makes me want to read more about his stuff. Reverse psychology at its best. Shame on you Tom! I don't get it. Is this sarcasm or a real thought. I think it must be sarcasm, but I am not 100% certain. Sorry. English is not my first language.
      Its sarchasm
      Mike_Philippov
      Did you guys know that Tom is actually paid to write articles for this site? That means the webmaster of Ultimate-Guitar specifically requests his contributions here...
      Tevis Maloney
      Regression wrote: pissonemo wrote: Regression wrote: pissonemo wrote: Regression wrote: Roopelatvalafan wrote: Well this seems like an artickel on how to become a pop musician.. very much focus on succes, seems like succes = popular in this article.. but Pop music is for people who only understand to make simple music, who will NEver get a long carrier, because they will make a couple of hits, and then be forgotten forever.. i would say, that the way to succes for a person personnaly, would be to try to create your own music, and don't let rules or mainstream things get in you way! You obviously know next to nothing. Everyone underrates pop music, why don't you try writing a song that will get to number 1 in atleast one country. You talk about it like it's so easy and takes no talent, but if that was the case, then millions and millions of people would have no.1 hits. And how about write 36 no.1 singles like Ayumi Hamasaki over 10 years, which btw are amazing instrumentally. As for the article, I tried to draw something out of it, but I just didn't really find anything in it that I could apply to myself. I guess it was the sales pitch that everyone is talking about. Writing a #1 song only requires 3 things. 1) Good Image 2)LOTS of money to pay for promotions and management 3)People out there who have to listen to your same shitty pop song cause it's the only ****ing thing on the radio...but we just heard it like 10 ****ing minutes ago on that station over there! While I realise image and money do influence it alot, just because you, and often me, dislike the song, others do actually like it. And surprisingly it takes a little more than looking 'good' and having lots of money. Although I realise very occasionally it can come down to almost purely that. But now I see your username and I realise you will be very stubborn so I'm not going to try prove my point to you. But when you hear pop songs, listen to all the layers of music, maybe one day you will realise that someone with absolutely no talent or skill couldn't write a song like that. Don't judge me based on my name =). I listen to a wide variety of music. I am fond of anyone person or group that is deeply musically talented. The reason I do not like most pop songs that reach #1 is because about 50% of the time, They didn't write that song. Hiring a songwriter is as easy as dishing out a couple of thousand dollars. So irrelevant of whether it sounds good or not, you won't listen to it, because the artist who is used for the marketing of it didn't write it? And there are pop artists out there who write there own songs. Also on topic of the article, I find it funny how almost all of the 'people' praising it have very similar usernames. Examples: Paul Tauterouff Dan Weiler Jonny_V Randy Johnson Draven Grey ChadCrawford June Moris Jose Daniel Teemu Kleemola Nick Layton Tevis Maloney Ironic, maybe? But I can't help but find it just a little bit suspicious that almost all the people defending him have names like this, and profiles with next to nothing in them. Maybe a few things to make it seem less suspicious. But come on, how many UG'ers have usernames like that.
      Real people chief! No conspiracies involved, no grassy knoll, no bullshit. All good guys/gals good players and study with Tom. Tom has alot to say and I have no problem with that. It's information. Take it anyway you want, that's the beauty of it.
      duexe
      pissonemo wrote: Regression wrote: Writing a #1 song only requires 3 things. 1) Good Image 2)LOTS of money to pay for promotions and management 3)People out there who have to listen to your same shitty pop song cause it's the only ****ing thing on the radio...but we just heard it like 10 ****ing minutes ago on that station over there!
      Ummm.. No First, you only list two prerequisites.. the third is an assumption. What is #1 in the US might be #2005 in Europe or Japan. Mr. Big made most of their money overseas and not in the US. For those of you who are clueless, Paul Gilbert is in Mr. Big. Just because your song is #1, doesn't mean you are making any money off of it. Your Big record label with a 360 contract will be making most of the money. Dreamtheater was mostly ignored in the US (although they had a good fan base), their records never sold well here (until lately). However, overseas is where they made their mark. It took them MANY years to reach this level. Ozzy, in his hayday (when he made his most #1 songs on the rock charts) was only making 60k a year because of the crappy deal he made with his record label. Again, most of you posters are completely CLUELESS about the music industry. Lesson; you forgot PERSISTENCE doofus.
      Draven Grey
      C'mon Tevis. I was having fun being the only real person (apparently with superpowers).
      Mike Breen
      I've been studying with Tom Hess for a while now and I can honestly say that it was one of the best decisions I have made to further my career in music. He is a literal fountain of specialized information, support, and guidance.