Where to get artist development (now that record labels don’t do it any more)

You probably did, but in case you didn’t already know:  the old model for rockstar success is gone.  

As recently as 10 years ago, you could still hope to “get discovered” and “get signed” by a record label.  This meant that if you showed enough promise and potential to look like a good investment, a record label might decide to invest in you, develop you, promote you, record you, market you, and help the world become aware of you, in the hopes that you would be a good financial investment for them.  This happened to a member of my band in the early 2000’s.  But during his period signed with a major label, he saw the model changing before his eyes.  He was in one of the last bands to benefit from this model.  In fact, while he was on Atlantic’s roster, they dropped 50 of the 52 bands they had signed and were developing.  His band was one of the two they kept.

In this brave new world of music where no one is quite sure how to make money any more, the “get signed – get discovered” method has been replaced by the do-it-yourself method.  Yes, if you get to the top levels of American Idol or a similar show, you can still take something of a shortcut.  But for most artists, the process is now reversed.  You now have to develop your show and your fanbase before a label shows interest.  And once you have a good show and a good fanbase, many artists feel they don’t need a label any more!

So how do you do this?  How do you learn stage skills?  How do you learn to develop your show so that you can grow that fanbase?  There aren’t a lot of people teaching these skills now.

Well, you’ve probably seen my references to Tom Jackson Productions and Onstage Success.  But if you’ve checked out the Live Music Producers you can hire for one-on-one work, you might also have seen that you’re looking at hundreds or thousands of dollars for just a day or half-day of their time.  And, if you don’t already have some stage fundamentals down anyway, you’re wasting your money by hiring them. 

Here are three options for you, depending on where you are in your stage experience and your geographic location:

1) For beginning and intermediate performers, worldwide:  Next week, Onstage Success is going to roll out an online Live Music Academy study program.  No matter where in the world you live, you can work via Skype or in person with me, with one of only two other remote teachers (in Pennsylvania or Australia), or with one of their consultants in Nashville, to learn the fundamentals of the stage and how to design your show for maximum impact on your audience.  They highly recommend that you go through this program before hiring a live music producer directly, because you’ll get so much more out of the time and money you spend with the live music producer.  If you would like me to contact you when this program is rolled out, let me know.  Several of my students are already signed up and we are beginning now.

2) Also for beginning and intermediate performers, in Colorado:  On February 25, one of Onstage Success’ Live Music Producers is coming to Lafayette, CO to teach an overview of both stage fundamentals and live music production.  Now, of course in one day there’s not enough time to teach, let alone have you absorb, all the fundamental stage skills.  But you can get an idea of what they are and how they are used.  And you can learn – and see in real time – what it’s like to work with a Live Music Producer, to decide whether this might be something you want to do with your band.  There will also be a chance for you to learn from and connect with a representative of Rockstar Mindset and the aforementioned signed & touring musician.

3) For experienced performers:  Hire one of the Live Music Producers from Onstage Success.  You can either go to Nashville or you can fly them to your band’s location.  If you are in Colorado, you can also take advantage of the fact that Lang Bliss will already be here around Feb. 25, so you don’t have to pay for his travel.


(c) 2011 Adrienne Osborn

Adrienne Osborn is a vocalist and performance coach based in Colorado.   For more free articles and tips, visit http://PerformanceHigh.net.