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Where should a singer/songwriter move?
Old 5th February 2010
  #1
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BrandRecordingCo's Avatar
 

Where should a singer/songwriter move?

Hi,

So I've seen threads like this before, but couldn't pull them up from a quick search. Anyways, is it wise for an upcoming singer/songwriter to move to say...Nashville, LA, New York, etc.??? I'm from a small town outside of St. Louis, no opportunity for professional musicians to play with in my town, and not a whole lot of great places to play. I opened for a national act a few weeks ago that came through, which was awesome, but other than that it's just small local stuff. I feel lucky as I just started playing out my own songs less than a year ago, and have already got to play live over airwaves, open for a national act...etc. So it's cool...but I want to take this more seriously than playing here and there.

Is it wise to try and move to somewhere like Nashville where there are so many more places and people in the music industry that could here you and provide more opportunity? Just trying to figure out my next stepping stone. I play in the style of maybe John Mayer/The Fray/whatever, I'm 24 years old, and would like to put together a backing band someday. Here, click below:

Check out the music

Any thoughts or suggestions? I realize I could stay here and just keep playing and hoping, but is it really smart to move? It seems a lot of successful musicians picked up and moved at some point or another...I don't care to be famous, but if I could play music more often and at a little bigger level, I'd be very grateful.

Thanks
Old 5th February 2010
  #2
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James Lugo's Avatar
 

LA first then Nashville. IMO for the Fray/Mayer thing LA may be better. I lived in Nashville for a couple of years in the mid nineties and maybe it has changed but back then it was pretty much country and I personally grew tired of trying to fit in. LA is more a hub for pop/rock and way more open minded to different styles of music. I could be wrong but that was my take on Nashville and I was there for a while. Great town but for more mainstream rock LA is the place. A lot of music placement in film and television too.

My 2 cents
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Old 5th February 2010
  #3
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BrandRecordingCo's Avatar
 

Hey James,

Thank you for the great advice. This was my thought as well, I just live a lot closer to Nashville right now and it seems like a nicer town to be in...lol. I will keep your comments in mind. Thanks again!
Old 5th February 2010
  #4
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by $uper$tar View Post
Hi,

So I've seen threads like this before, but couldn't pull them up from a quick search. Anyways, is it wise for an upcoming singer/songwriter to move to say...Nashville, LA, New York, etc.??? I'm from a small town outside of St. Louis, no opportunity for professional musicians to play with in my town, and not a whole lot of great places to play. I opened for a national act a few weeks ago that came through, which was awesome, but other than that it's just small local stuff. I feel lucky as I just started playing out my own songs less than a year ago, and have already got to play live over airwaves, open for a national act...etc. So it's cool...but I want to take this more seriously than playing here and there.

Is it wise to try and move to somewhere like Nashville where there are so many more places and people in the music industry that could here you and provide more opportunity? Just trying to figure out my next stepping stone. I play in the style of maybe John Mayer/The Fray/whatever, I'm 24 years old, and would like to put together a backing band someday. Here, click below:

Check out the music

Any thoughts or suggestions? I realize I could stay here and just keep playing and hoping, but is it really smart to move? It seems a lot of successful musicians picked up and moved at some point or another...I don't care to be famous, but if I could play music more often and at a little bigger level, I'd be very grateful.

Thanks
For what you are doing Nashville defintely isn't the right place. One thing to consider is that if you build yourself up in your town, or even in St. Louis you will attract attention if it's signable. Especially if your opening for major acts, that's a great stepping stone to get heard. Moving to L.A. can be frustrating because it's so completely over saturated with bands and artists that it's easy to get lost in that sea.
But I personally believe that if you or anyone has the goods you'll rise above wherever you live.
Old 5th February 2010
  #5
Lives for gear
 

Don't move.

Make yourself a big fish in a small pond.

Budget some of the money you will save by not relocating for extended trips to Nashville and LA to meet people.

I do agree that, possibly, "if you or anyone has the goods you'll rise above wherever you live." The converse can also be true: you still have to be in the right place (with the right people) at the right time, no matter the quality of the goods.

That place is not always a physical place.
Old 5th February 2010
  #6
Quote:
Originally Posted by $uper$tar View Post
Hi,

So I've seen threads like this before, but couldn't pull them up from a quick search. Anyways, is it wise for an upcoming singer/songwriter to move to say...Nashville, LA, New York, etc.??? I'm from a small town outside of St. Louis, no opportunity for professional musicians to play with in my town, and not a whole lot of great places to play. I opened for a national act a few weeks ago that came through, which was awesome, but other than that it's just small local stuff. I feel lucky as I just started playing out my own songs less than a year ago, and have already got to play live over airwaves, open for a national act...etc. So it's cool...but I want to take this more seriously than playing here and there.

Is it wise to try and move to somewhere like Nashville where there are so many more places and people in the music industry that could here you and provide more opportunity? Just trying to figure out my next stepping stone. I play in the style of maybe John Mayer/The Fray/whatever, I'm 24 years old, and would like to put together a backing band someday. Here, click below:

Check out the music

Any thoughts or suggestions? I realize I could stay here and just keep playing and hoping, but is it really smart to move? It seems a lot of successful musicians picked up and moved at some point or another...I don't care to be famous, but if I could play music more often and at a little bigger level, I'd be very grateful.

Thanks
You don't mention what you do for day work.

Sad to say but this will almost certainly be a factor in the viability of your move, unless you've got a sack of bank salted away. But even then, be advised that, in big metropolitan areas, money goes fast -- rent in big cities is often several times what it is in smaller towns... and it's far worse in places like NYC. But you knew that.

Working in ('affordable') studios in the LA/OC area in the 80s, I saw plenty of artists and outfits that had come here thinking they were going to take the city by storm and ended up scrambling, trying to survive and keep their acts together.

It was especially sad after Guns 'n' Roses hit it big. I seemed like half the hard rock outfits in the midwest ended up out here. Unfortunately, SoCal audiences didn't go much for that stuff for the most part. And those audiences could be cruel. Problem for those bands was there already was a GnR and it had it pretty well sewed up.

This is an issue that those whose sound is perilously similar to major artists must confront, if they want to move into their own spot in the sun.


I'm not saying don't move -- it could well be an important step for all the reasons you cite -- but don't get, as they used to say, blinded by stardust.
Old 5th February 2010
  #7
Gear Maniac
 

Keep living somewhere cheap and move your music career to the road and the internet. Build an audience and a network of places you can play. That way, when you do move to a music biz center, you'll still have places to go while you're waiting for people to notice you.
Old 5th February 2010
  #8
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James Lugo's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by seriousfun View Post
Don't move.

Make yourself a big fish in a small pond.

Budget some of the money you will save by not relocating for extended trips to Nashville and LA to meet people.
I tried that and it was a huge failure. I know for LA, most people aren't interested in you if you're not committed and live here. Bottom line. For me my career went nowhere in a satellite city I had to go where the action was. When they asked the bank robber why he robbed banks he said 'cuz that's where the money's at'. As far as being over saturated, LA 's over saturation is a representation of people trying to break into the music business, so if you live somehwhere else LA's over saturation effects you the same way as if you were here, those same people are jockying for the same gigs, the same gigs you are jockying for but now you're at a disadvatage because you are irrelevent to the people making descisions because you're out of the loop, hence putting yourslef in a worse position by not being here. Out of site, out of mind.

I am very opinionated about this subject on gearslutz, I'm not saying this directly at anything posted on this thread (I don't know the posters and would never want to insult them) but I see a lot of people drawing conclusion or mimicing what they've read and it's not always true. I can't tell you how many times in my life I have spoken to someone who bashed LA only to find out when speaking to them in person that they never lived out here for any length of time and/or were crushed by the music buseiss when they were out here. I'm the first to say LA is hard as hell and not for everyone. This place is no joke and no place to tread lightly, go big or go home is the sloagan. But if you break here you can really do something with your career most likely infintely more then you could ever do in St. Louis. That being said you can do the same thing in Nashville, if you really want to relocate pick a place and throw your shoulder into it.
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Old 5th February 2010
  #9
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BrandRecordingCo's Avatar
 

Hey guys,

Thanks for all the suggestions. You all are so awesome! As for work, I graduated a little over a year ago with a degree in Audio Production. I work, right now, as a supervisor at the IT help desk where I went to college..full time. The pay is terrible, and I would be loosing nothing by going elsewhere. The ultimate goal would be to find a job in audio, somewhere with great music opportunities for singer/songwriters. Still in the hunt for my first real audio position.

Music, and singing/songwriting is my true passion and love. Audio is my mistress, in which I love dearly, who gives me what I need when the performing side is holding out on me. I'm passionate about both, and couldn't live without either of them. It would be nice to live somewhere I could do both, and make a living.

Thanks again and keep them coming!
Old 5th February 2010
  #10
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I get where James 'LA' Lugo is coming from on the location thing. To make it "big" you need to develop relationships with business partners. Distance makes this tough.

I live in small market Edmonton Alberta Canada. I'm certainly not famous and don't work with the "big boys". I do record songs that get radio play but nothing huge.

I am an exception to the general president. I make a great living through my recording/teaching studio. I've never worked in anything else and built my business from nothing. The recording studio is always busy and I have 1 full time assistant engineer. Meanwhile other studio's in my area a closing down and teaching studio's are dropping like flies. Careful considered marketing is the key. For some reason I've always had a knack for that.

My point- If you want to make a living that can happen anywhere. If you want a greater level of fame I'd go where that happens. The people that have done well from here on the world stage didn't do it from here and they aren't here now.
Old 5th February 2010
  #11
My advice; you're 24, move to LA. Start doing open mic nights at Genghis Cohen and you'll meet all sorts of nice people. At the very least, you'll have an adventure and get to go to the beach. Just stay out of the valley and don't talk to anybody who wants you to get into "modeling".
Old 5th February 2010
  #12
Gear Maniac
 

It may make sense to stay until you can make some waves in St. Louis first if you haven't already. then move to nashville (wonderful place to live and make ANY kind of music these days, ask jack white) after spending some time visiting and playing gigs here. because:

A) it's hard as hell to get people to come out to shows in nashville as an unknown band. kind of a lame local music town.
B) it's hard as hell to find musicians to commit real time to a band that doesn't pay, it's easier to do both A and B in non-music hub cities (like uncle tupelo did in St. Louis before being signed
C) If you develop a following in St. Louis, then move to nashville to work the music hub thing, you will have a city within reachable gig distance where you can find support on road trips. you may play 3 other towns that week for little or no money. but having a Home base on the road can make a weekend of shows worth doing while you build in new towns.

nashville is not just country music. and a great place to live IMO. it's easy to meet people who are friendly and into music, of course this takes a while anywhere. so don't be discouraged and leave. nobody who left ever made it in any of these places. the people who hunker down and plant roots develop the relationships to make it wherever you are.
Old 5th February 2010
  #13
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by James 'LA' Lugo View Post
LA first then Nashville. IMO for the Fray/Mayer thing LA may be better. I lived in Nashville for a couple of years in the mid nineties and maybe it has changed but back then it was pretty much country and I personally grew tired of trying to fit in.

All respect in the world to James, but coming from a 25 yr old who does music for a living, and who has lived here the last 7 years, Nashville is a completely different town than it was in the nineties. Sure, it's country music heavy. It will always be, because it's Nashville. I don't want to be misleading about that, BUT there is so much other music in the vein you mentioned. Great rock/indie scene. And the town is FULL of bands and artist who tour and make records in that genre... Kings of Leon, Paramore, Erin McCarley, Jack White, American Bang, Landon Pigg, Matt Kearney, Sheryl Crow, etc. etc. Those are just a few with major deals.. the town is full of independent artists. But the real draw to Nashville is the songwriting community. That's something that even LA and NY can't offer like Nashville can. If you want to be a better SONGWRITER, move to Nashville. I think LA is a GREAT place to live and make music, and the rock/pop scene is definitely bigger out there, much bigger. But don't write off Nashville. It's a great place, especially considering you live only a few hours away. I've known quite a few people who've moved to Nashville, got something going, then moved to LA.
Old 5th February 2010
  #14
Quote:
Originally Posted by brill bedroom View Post
My advice; you're 24, move to LA. Start doing open mic nights at Genghis Cohen and you'll meet all sorts of nice people. At the very least, you'll have an adventure and get to go to the beach. Just stay out of the valley and don't talk to anybody who wants you to get into "modeling".
heh

Also... watch out for OC... it seems like it's close to LA -- but it's a whole 'nother world. Moreso, even, than the Valley, if that's possible.

Cool places are the westside (like you can afford that!) and the greater Silverlake area (affordability is going to be an issue there). Long Beach is putatively cool, except that it's really very much a big town made out of smaller overlapping cultural communities. It's the most diverse city in the US, I believe, by almost any measure, and it's certainly more affordable than LA, but it can also be a tough town. You have an economic mix that goes from multi-million dollar houses on an island carved through with canals (into boating? -- if you can pony up 10K a month for rent, you can park your smallish sailboat or cabin cruiser out in front of the flop) to some gritty, gang-ridden turf as tough as any in LA.

I have no idea about how reliable the info is from this site: Los Angeles Apartments for Rent - Los Angeles Apartments Reviews and Ratings -- but it probably reflects what's going on now to some extent.
Old 5th February 2010
  #15
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James Lugo's Avatar
 

If you're comin to LA to do music I would live in the Hollywood/Valley/Los Feliz area, unless you love sitting in traffic. My head engineer lives on the west side and he rots in traffic at least 2 to 3 times a week and Orange County is f'n brutal to commute sometimes. For cheap look to North Hollywood, Van Nuys, Sherman Oaks. Usually pretty good places if you stay south of Burbank Blvd. I have a house in Sherman Oaks south of Ventura Blvd and it is a beautiful neigborhood. The closer to Ventura Blvd usually the better and south of Ventura Blvd is the higher end stuff. Call me if you need help.
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Old 5th February 2010
  #16
Yeah... I didn't mean to paint the entire Valley with the same brush -- and, as Valley folks probably know, we South Bay types pretty much only see the Valley on our way to SF or the Sierras. heh I suspect James has a good grip on his turf.
Old 5th February 2010
  #17
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James Lugo's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post
Yeah... I didn't mean to paint the entire Valley with the same brush -- and, as Valley folks probably know, we South Bay types pretty much only see the Valley on our way to SF or the Sierras. heh I suspect James has a good grip on his turf.
I have lived everywhere in the LA area and my fav is Sherman Oaks, just a personal preference. I love the Valley, it suits me, a person would have to find the place that suits them. Some people will only live on the west side, they love that lifestyle others it's west Hollywood.
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Old 5th February 2010
  #18
If you want to get noticed in Nashville, it isn't that hard. If you are just starting out play The Basement "New Faces Night" and venues that have built in crowds. There are a lot of great Americana labels like Bloodshot, Oh Boy, Sugar Hill, and Rounder that are always seeking out new artist. It's a cheap place to live (I have a three bedroom house half a mile from Broadway that's $700 a month) and the greatest musicians in the world live here and are easily accessible (and affordable). Studio rates are unbelievably affordable here as well.

Plenty of rock/indie artist get noticed down here, you just don't hear about it as much as country. If I were a songwriter, this is where I'd want to be.
Old 5th February 2010
  #19
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RCM - Ronan's Avatar
Of course you are going to get a ton of advice, but the one that I would suggest you consider would be to stay put where you are and start developing a career. But the thing is to not sit around waiting for it happen, but as we used to say in the old days of punk "Get in the F***ing Van"

Keep your personal overhead low (live with friends or parents basement, etc)
Get a job that allows a lot of schedule flexibility (Kinkos was great for this 20 years ago)
Get in the F***ing Van

That last one being the important one, and it does not have to be a van. It can be an old Ford Focus, but get on the road and start touring. You are not super close to a lot of places but you can be close to tons of major cities in half a day of driving of less. Even if you had a 9-5 job you could book 3 day tours almost every weekend:

Fri-Springfield
Sat-Bloomington
Sun-Chicago

And you can still be back at work monday morning.

Make sure your act is scalable so that you can play tiny gigs solo, if it gets a little bigger add a percussionist, and add a full band if you get a big gig.

Its going to be an insane amount of work (the booking part) and you are going to end up playing tons of shows in front of two people, but if you keep your overhead super low you can take that hit. There may not be anyone at the show, but if you put on a great performance that those two people in the audience loved at a club in Decatur, the owner might ask you to come back when she needs an good opening act for a national act coming through. You really impress the crowd and next time you play Decatur there are 20 people there. You blow those people away and sell them some CDs and they tell their friends...........

If you develop a kick ass following in your own region, A&R people will be flying out to see you from LA and New York. I can also tell you as a guy that knows A&R people that very often an act that is not in one of the big markets is often a more exciting prospect.
Old 5th February 2010
  #20
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u2bonoman's Avatar
 

NASHVILLE. Yes, NASHVILLE!

Nashville is a GREAT city for the singer songwriter.

I moved to Nashville in the mid 90's, but left after getting tired of hearing Country everywhere I turned. I moved back at the end of 2000, and let me tell you, it was a COMPLETELY different place. Indie bands rising up left and right man. The thing is Nashville used to have a big underground music scene, but it started to come out from underground within the last decade.

Nashville is also a VERY friendly city. It's like a small town, except it's not. It's very pretty. Lots of great hangouts. There are ALWAYS plenty of chances to get out and network and market yourself.

For specific places to live in the Nashville area, I can tell you Franklin is awesome. It's about 20 minutes from downtown. If you want to live closer, maybe right in the noise, Hillsdale Village is really cool, as it's located close to Belmont and Vanderbilt University.

I've been to LA once and didn't much like it. It was very impersonal, in my personal opinion. Nashville is the exact opposite to impersonal. It's not your granddaddy's city anymore.
Old 5th February 2010
  #21
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JCRockit's Avatar
 

As far as making money while you do an acoustic act at night NYC has got to be the place. There are loads of places in the Village you can showcase. If you can't get work here where CAN you get work ? Worse comes to worse you can drive a cab or wait tables to survive. Nashville is really looking for hunky farmboys who can honk and twang and besides there is like NOPLACE to gig in Nashville believe it or not. I'm from NYC and when I went there I was shocked at how SMALL it is. No live scene no clubs. There is that "music row" which you drive by in like 6 minutes lol. It was funny. Tons of studios there I guess but you dont want to be getting caught short in that town you will run out of options fast. I'd say NYC would be a good fit for a self contained acoustic act. Easiest place to hook up with musicians too. You could play dinner clubs for cash, even busk it on the street. With the dollar dropping there are tourists EVERYWHERE and they will drop money in your box. Pretty much every folk act that amounted to anything had to come through NYC. IT experience on your resume is a good thing too if you are looking for a day job. Even though the job market is tough its tough everywhere. Cali is BANKRUPT, I would think the job market there is real poor.
Old 5th February 2010
  #22
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antoniosolo's Avatar
 

Move

Seems like you are disciplined and that is a good trait to take on the road. Me, I have been willing to go ANYWHERE to accomplish something. It is good to have people to lean on, but it is even better to have faith and just do it! It is pretty tough in California and the mindset is way different than NY, Nashville/southern parts of America have some really kind people that you could be welcomed. What you seek is what many, many artists seek. I prefer to advise a person to follow your heart, be prepared to be pushed to the edge and be wise about people in general. There is a niche for you, probably in several places, you just need to get there. The WORST thing people do in America is stay where they were born, eastcoast does this a lot. What do I know, I long ago decided that snow/cold sucks.....
Old 5th February 2010
  #23
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u2bonoman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JCRockit View Post
Nashville is really looking for hunky farmboys who can honk and twang and besides there is like NOPLACE to gig in Nashville believe it or not.
How about not? Neither of these statements are true. I lived in Nashville for 8 years. How long were you there? An hour?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JCRockit View Post
No live scene no clubs. There is that "music row" which you drive by in like 6 minutes lol.
And I guess you were there like 20 years ago. Music row doesn't exist anymore. In it's place? Restaurants, coffeeshops, and shopping. There are PLENTY of clubs, and the live scene is killer.

Just ask the singer/songwriter Mat Kearney how he fared in Nashville.
Old 5th February 2010
  #24
Gear Nut
 

LA is a ****hole, and anyone living there is too stubborn and disillusioned about its real place in the music industry to give proper advice.

Why would you want to live somewhere with nowhere to play, no media coverage, is ungodly expensive to live in, and is eight hours from the next place to play? John Mayer didn't make his name in LA, and neither did the Fray.

Where I'm located (a middle American city, about the size of St. Louis [and home to the Fray, btw]), we have great clubs to play at that actually pay, we have daily and weekly papers that cover local music ad nauseum, a Clear Channel rock station that actually spins local music at least once in hour all day/every day, affordable studios, reasonable rent...

...and what's happened? It's been amazing to see so many music acts break through on a national level because it's home town is so effective in facilitating the careers of its own musicians. Los Angeles will absolutely hang you out to dry, and the local, celebrity obsessed culture, could not care less about whether you're playing an open mic (the only gig you can get).

Make the mooks come to you (because they will)! If you're playing good music, getting it out there, and legitimately drawing fans to your shows, someone is going to hear it. It's doesn't matter if you live in LA, St. Louis, or a shed in the Ozarks.
Old 5th February 2010
  #25
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James Lugo's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bivouac View Post
LA is a ****hole, and anyone living there is too stubborn and disillusioned about its real place in the music industry to give proper advice.

Why would you want to live somewhere with nowhere to play, no media coverage, is ungodly expensive to live in, and is eight hours from the next place to play? John Mayer didn't make his name in LA, and neither did the Fray.

Where I'm located (a middle American city, about the size of St. Louis [and home to the Fray, btw]), we have great clubs to play at that actually pay, we have daily and weekly papers that cover local music ad nauseum, a Clear Channel rock station that actually spins local music at least once in hour all day/every day, affordable studios, reasonable rent...

...and what's happened? It's been amazing to see so many music acts break through on a national level because it's home town is so effective in facilitating the careers of its own musicians. Los Angeles will absolutely hang you out to dry, and the local, celebrity obsessed culture, could not care less about whether you're playing an open mic (the only gig you can get).

Make the mooks come to you (because they will)! If you're playing good music, getting it out there, and legitimately drawing fans to your shows, someone is going to hear it. It's doesn't matter if you live in LA, St. Louis, or a shed in the Ozarks.
Wow
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Old 5th February 2010
  #26
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by James 'LA' Lugo View Post
Wow
...oh, and no offense

It's just not a place to develop a music act from scratch.
Old 5th February 2010
  #27
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Jeff16years's Avatar
 

Where should a singer/songwriter move?


move to Hawaii, it's beautiful there!!
Old 5th February 2010
  #28
Quote:
Originally Posted by rcm View Post
Of course you are going to get a ton of advice, but the one that I would suggest you consider would be to stay put where you are and start developing a career. But the thing is to not sit around waiting for it happen, but as we used to say in the old days of punk "Get in the F***ing Van"

Keep your personal overhead low (live with friends or parents basement, etc)
Get a job that allows a lot of schedule flexibility (Kinkos was great for this 20 years ago)
Get in the F***ing Van

That last one being the important one, and it does not have to be a van. It can be an old Ford Focus, but get on the road and start touring. You are not super close to a lot of places but you can be close to tons of major cities in half a day of driving of less. Even if you had a 9-5 job you could book 3 day tours almost every weekend:

Fri-Springfield
Sat-Bloomington
Sun-Chicago

And you can still be back at work monday morning.

Make sure your act is scalable so that you can play tiny gigs solo, if it gets a little bigger add a percussionist, and add a full band if you get a big gig.

Its going to be an insane amount of work (the booking part) and you are going to end up playing tons of shows in front of two people, but if you keep your overhead super low you can take that hit. There may not be anyone at the show, but if you put on a great performance that those two people in the audience loved at a club in Decatur, the owner might ask you to come back when she needs an good opening act for a national act coming through. You really impress the crowd and next time you play Decatur there are 20 people there. You blow those people away and sell them some CDs and they tell their friends...........

If you develop a kick ass following in your own region, A&R people will be flying out to see you from LA and New York. I can also tell you as a guy that knows A&R people that very often an act that is not in one of the big markets is often a more exciting prospect.
That makes enormous sense to me.

As I tried to indicate, I've seen so many artists and bands come out here to LA and just get swallowed.
Old 5th February 2010
  #29
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JCRockit's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by u2bonoman View Post
How about not? Neither of these statements are true. I lived in Nashville for 8 years. How long were you there? An hour?



And I guess you were there like 20 years ago. Music row doesn't exist anymore. In it's place? Restaurants, coffeeshops, and shopping. There are PLENTY of clubs, and the live scene is killer.

Just ask the singer/songwriter Mat Kearney how he fared in Nashville.
Yeah if youre from Kansas city I guess its killer ROFL. Whatever, Nashville is like the size of a NEIGHBORHOOD here. Glad you love it. Good for u. Just ask Bob Zimmerman how he fared in NYC I was there for a week met up with industry people who told ME there was no live scene in Nashville. Lots of farmboys living out of the trunks of their cars trying to get record deals. Even if its gotten HOT as a live scene by its own standards its a joke compared to NYC, comon.
Old 5th February 2010
  #30
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by James 'LA' Lugo View Post
I tried that and it was a huge failure. I know for LA, most people aren't interested in you if you're not committed and live here. Bottom line. For me my career went nowhere in a satellite city I had to go where the action was. When they asked the bank robber why he robbed banks he said 'cuz that's where the money's at'. As far as being over saturated, LA 's over saturation is a representation of people trying to break into the music business, so if you live somehwhere else LA's over saturation effects you the same way as if you were here, those same people are jockying for the same gigs, the same gigs you are jockying for but now you're at a disadvatage because you are irrelevent to the people making descisions because you're out of the loop, hence putting yourslef in a worse position by not being here. Out of site, out of mind.

I am very opinionated about this subject on gearslutz, I'm not saying this directly at anything posted on this thread (I don't know the posters and would never want to insult them) but I see a lot of people drawing conclusion or mimicing what they've read and it's not always true. I can't tell you how many times in my life I have spoken to someone who bashed LA only to find out when speaking to them in person that they never lived out here for any length of time and/or were crushed by the music buseiss when they were out here. I'm the first to say LA is hard as hell and not for everyone. This place is no joke and no place to tread lightly, go big or go home is the sloagan. But if you break here you can really do something with your career most likely infintely more then you could ever do in St. Louis. That being said you can do the same thing in Nashville, if you really want to relocate pick a place and throw your shoulder into it.
I know you weren't directing your post to anyone specifically but just for the record, I'm an L.A. guy. I lived there and worked as a musician for most of my adult life until 2006. I LOVE L.A. But, for just starting out, I'm not sure if it's the right place. Especially these days. I think the a&r and scouts are pretty jaded and playing gigs as an original band or singer/songwriter can be a nightmare. But, it's certainly not impossible, I just think strategically it might be better to build something where you are and then make a move with some momentum going, if necessary.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bivouac View Post
LA is a ****hole, and anyone living there is too stubborn and disillusioned about its real place in the music industry to give proper advice.

Why would you want to live somewhere with nowhere to play, no media coverage, is ungodly expensive to live in, and is eight hours from the next place to play? John Mayer didn't make his name in LA, and neither did the Fray.

Where I'm located (a middle American city, about the size of St. Louis [and home to the Fray, btw]), we have great clubs to play at that actually pay, we have daily and weekly papers that cover local music ad nauseum, a Clear Channel rock station that actually spins local music at least once in hour all day/every day, affordable studios, reasonable rent...

...and what's happened? It's been amazing to see so many music acts break through on a national level because it's home town is so effective in facilitating the careers of its own musicians. Los Angeles will absolutely hang you out to dry, and the local, celebrity obsessed culture, could not care less about whether you're playing an open mic (the only gig you can get).

Make the mooks come to you (because they will)! If you're playing good music, getting it out there, and legitimately drawing fans to your shows, someone is going to hear it. It's doesn't matter if you live in LA, St. Louis, or a shed in the Ozarks.
Aside from the first comment, I do think there is validity to this.
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