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faithplusone015 karma

Hey Steve! Huge fan from Texas/Louisiana, I've been following your music since I was in the 9th grade. I've got three questions for you:

  1. Being that you are an incredibly well-rounded player who can seamlessly play or perform or read any style of music out there, is there anything you'll freely admit that you CANNOT do on the guitar?

  2. What is the best piece of advice you'd give to a player who has hit a rut in his development/relationship with the instrument? I've been playing and touring for years now, and recently I've hit a wall where I don't feel like I'm progressing or coming up with as much inspiring stuff as well as I used to. I'm guessing that's normal as one gets better, but I'm wondering if you've ever hit a wall like this before and what you did to overcome it?

  3. In interviews and lessons you come across as a very wise and knowledgeable person as well as a player. You've had a career that has taken you all across the world and you've continuously pushed the envelope of the instrument, but you've also learned about life on the road as a sideman and as a bandleader and music entrepreneur. Would you ever consider writing a book about your experiences in the industry and with the instrument and how they've shaped your life and career?

Thanks for everything you do Steve. You're a huge inspiration of mine. Best of luck in the future and I can't wait to see you live when you come down this way.

faithplusone012 karma

You're more than welcome to include what I've said in a blog post. The more help we can give to "the cause", the merrier.

Being said, I've also seen enough to know that, at least at first, one cannot possibly bank on making anything close to "enough" money in this industry at this point. This consulting business will be much like the music that I make and much like any other contributions that I end up making in the Entertainment industry in that it will be part-time only until/unless something great happens and I can afford to do it full time.

In truth that sort of mentality is the only thing that can work. You've got to be 100 percent happy with being a part-timer because while everyone's goal is at least to be able to make music or participate in the music industry on a full-time basis, the truth is that its going to be very hard to do. I've been arguably full-timing it for the last few months and I absolutely have discovered that it is NOT for me, not unless one of my projects (ex: one of my bands, or a beat-making business, or teaching private lessons, or this consulting project) really takes off, and that is unfortunately NOT something you can bank on, even if you had the recording industry and all of its $$$ behind you.

So in short this (at this point still hypothetical) consulting business would be just like a band or a recording project that any fellow part-timer is running, as something that I do because I love to do it and I believe I'm making life easier/better for others. Yeah, getting paid a ton of money to do it would be awesome, but it'd be awesome to get paid a ton of money to play my guitar in front of millions of people too wouldn't it? That level of success is something I can't bank on. But I CAN bank on being able to provide the necessary advice to educate and instruct other artists to follow my path and not get caught up in the industry's long gone ideas of dream-making and a world of riches coming your way at the drop of a hat. Just like I CAN bank on being able to play my instrument at a high level with a bunch of dudes (or ladies) that play theirs at a high level and, if I work hard enough and right enough, maybe get to do it in front of a room full of excited people because live music is fucking awesome.

Keep doing what you're doing brother. And thanks for taking the time to read and reply to my question.

faithplusone011 karma

Hey man. I'd just like to say that its good to see someone trying to change the industry from an institutional level like this. Its very inspiring to me.

My limited engagements in the industry are confined primarily to a couple of multi-state tours with a few bands and a lot of session/studio work in the East Texas/Southern Louisiana area. In my time I've seen that the truth about the industry is that the vast majority of the people on the bottom have absolutely NO idea what it means to even have a realistic expectation of success.

I've had 30 year old country singers that I barely know cry in front of me about how they're afraid they're too old to pursue their dreams and how they don't understand why they haven't "made it" yet. I've met bands who still insist upon shipping and shopping things out to recording labels in spite of the fact that it seems pretty clear to those "in the know" that they haven't a shot in hell. I've seen 50 and 60 year old jaded worn and tired blue-collar musicians trade war stories and I've seen the pain in their eyes when they admitted that for some reason or another they fell short of getting the success and the money and the fame they craved and that this regret has destroyed their lives.

Today's music industry is as you've said it-its both easier and more difficult to obtain success. With the internet and its wealth of resources available, my band based in the Southern U.S. has sold albums in Scandinavia and even parts of Africa without a record deal. So have many others, mind you, but the opportunities for success for a truly independent band have never EVER been greater, and things are only getting better from here.

Recently (and upon considering the suggestions of friends of mine) I've gone as far as to consider starting some sort of music business consulting company just so that I can feel like I can help some of these people who don't understand the way things are simply by changing a few minds. The old industry dream of waiting until "Prince Charming Records Inc." comes along and whisks you away and turns you into the next Miranda Lambert or Justin Beiber or Taylor Swift or someone and all of your dreams come true is just at the very least not something you can plan for, and I'd like to go about ensuring that, for the sake of good music and for the sake of the hearts and minds of a lot of people who really crave success and have the means to get there.

For the industry to really start making strides I feel like the hearts and minds of the artists themselves need to be changed. I want to do some good by helping them. My question is this: Is my idea of a small-scale consulting and artist development company (keywords: NOT management. I don't have time or patience for that, more like guidance or assistance towards the preferred goal of an artist being able to self-manage) a bad one, a good one, and/or would it be welcomed by those trying to change the industry like you?