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The One Thing That Pretty Much Every Failed Artist Has in Common

Neil McCormick (left) wrote Killing Bono about his ultimate failure trying to achieve the same level of musical success as his famous pal. (Image via twylah.com)

A career in the music business can be one of the toughest, most frustrating paths to take, especially if you're a musician whose dream is to top the charts and sell out stadiums. It's an industry where the overwhelming majority of musicians experience failure more often than success. For the sake of defining what success is, in this case I'm talking about earning a living creating music, as opposed to the fantasy lifestyle that most people think of when they imagine what success in music looks like.

4 Jobs You Unknowingly Take On When You Become a Band Manager

The Beatles with their manager, Brian Epstein. (Image via express.co.uk)

Great managers are hard to find – especially when you consider that it's one of the few professions where no experience or license is required to negotiate contracts and collect money on behalf of someone who is not under their guardianship. While there's a body that governs managers on the film side of entertainment, there are no such organizations in the music business to set standards for best practices among managers, which is why so many artists and bands are likely to experience a bad management situation at some point in their careers.

The good news is that there are some good managers who really care about their artists, and are willing to wear a number of different hats to ensure success is attained. As a former manager/damage control agent, I can tell you that it's not a glamorous job to juggle the various personalities of creative artists. Here are some of the tough, but necessary, intangible roles that a music manager may have to fill. Hopefully by the time you finish reading this piece, you'll understand a little more why great managers are hard to find.

Features

Nov 12, 2014 12:00 PM

Shaine Freeman

From the Pen to the Charts: How a Hit Song Happens

Gotye and Kimbra with their Grammys for "Somebody That I Used to Know" in 2013. (Photo via picphotos.net)

We live in a day and age where just about anyone can produce and commercially release new music. Individuals who were once viewed as "number one fans" are building home recording studios and becoming artists themselves, thus reducing the odds of scoring a hit release. In fact, this very month was the first time in 2014 that an album became RIAA certified platinum, thanks to Taylor Swift's 1989. While hit albums have become a rarity in today's music business, scoring a chart-topping single is still a possibility. Let's explore what a hit song is, what factors work together to increase the chances of scoring a hit song, and how long it could take to score a hit.

Is Your Band Name Killing Your Licensing Opportunities?

In 2012, CMJ included Butter the Children on a list of bands with bad names. (Photo via thegrandvictory.com)

When your parents discovered you were on the way, it's very likely that they began thinking of what to name you. Why? Because your parents knew that your name would be the lifelong personal brand that others would use to identify you. Just like your personal brand, your artist or band name is your professional brand identity. Your band name is the title of your musical story, and it will precede all of your other public identifiers. The name you choose is the one your fans will adopt and use to declare their loyalty when it comes to music, and in many cases, it will determine your earning potential when pursuing corporate partnerships.

Who Owns Your Songs? A Guide to Publishing Split Sheets

Image via awesomesongwritingtips.com

Most songwriters and musicians rely on talent alone, or the knowledge of their managers and attorneys, to help them navigate an industry known for leaving the large majority of its constituents financially and emotionally destitute. Whether or not you have a manager or talent rep handling the business side of your career, there's no excuse for ignoring songwriting income basics.