Hello fans and fellow players,
There’s a lot more to being in the music business than standing in front of a microphone or playing your steel guitar. There are many people who have come to Nashville to be a big star and ended up being much more successful over a much longer period of time in another facet of the music business that they may not have even known existed when they came to town.
Then there are other people who came to Nashville, got a good music education and took what they learned back to their hometown area and were successful musically there.
I remember a great songwriter, Dave Kirby, who came to town to be a guitar player on the road with a star. He soon found out that he could make much more money being a studio guitarist. After doing many demo sessions for famous songwriters, he realized that he could be a songwriter also. Instead of getting $75 for playing on someone else’s demo, he could get thousands of dollars for writing the song himself in less time than it took him to play a demo.
Dave went on to write many hit songs such “Is Anybody Going To San Antone” and many hits for Merle Haggard, along with playing guitar on many master sessions and raised a good family. Dave confided to me that his dream was to be so successful that he could move back to his hometown, make money from there in the music business, have a new pickup truck, an off road motorcycle and time to enjoy them.
Dave did realize his dream. However, after having a full life and making thousands of friends, Dave died a few years ago. I know he died very happy. The moral for this week’s Bobbe’s Tips is to follow that musical dream, whether it’s in Nashville or in your home area.
Once you get in the business, you will find many branches and different roads that you can travel throughout your musical career. There are many turns that you can make that will be very fruitful and interesting. Of course, there will be some up hills and down hills in your travels, but you will find this in all of life in general.
Find a facet of the music business that you enjoy, do it and make good decisions along the way and see where the musical road of life can take you. It’s taken thousands of nice people to a world of immense fun and riches. Don’t expect it overnight and do expect to work hard.
This pertains to steel guitar players, singers, even accountants, lawyers, bookkeepers, road managers, sound and lighting crews, tour bus drivers and booking agents. Remember the music business needs every service that every other business needs. Nashville is full of people who came here to be singers and players and ended up being very successful in related fields.
Most towns and cities in the USA have some type of music business. You may find the scene in your home area to be bigger and more lucrative than you imagined. Most towns have recording studios and do jingles for local advertisers such as car dealers and restaurants. They need musicians.
The gospel music world spreads over the entire planet. This can be a very personally rewarding sector of the music business. A song can be written anywhere. You don’t have to be in Nashville to be part of the music business.
Hunter Thompson was just being humorous when he said “The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There’s also a negative side.” Funny how he always liked to hang around on Paycheck’s bus when we toured California. Actually, he loved it!
Don’t be afraid to follow your dreams.
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Steel Guitar Nashville
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Hendersonville, TN. 37075
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