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6: Make A Living From Singing – Singer Solutions

Singing Solution with Mark Baxter

To make a living in music, you must master something other than music.

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In This Episode

How would you feel about being naked 24-7? Getting groceries, arguing with your girlfriend or boyfriend, going to work … sound fun? In the following excerpt form episode 6, Mark Baxter explains why the path to fame requires a certain personality type:

“If you are dreaming of performing for an entire stadium of devoted fans, then wake up! No one has ever gotten to that stage of their career on dreaming alone.

In this episode, Mark explores what it means to make a living as a singer – a real living within the music industry.

It begins with a reality check. The industry you want to be a part of is not actually the music industry.

It’s the promotion industry.

As singers, we focus on our talent as the ticket to stardom. It’s not that you don’t need talent to be a famous singer, but to be known as a singer, you’ve got to have some level of fame.

Fame and talent are two separate art forms.

I had a dream of becoming an international rock star, but my bands always struggled to get over the hump of regional success.

It wasn’t until I started working as a vocal coach with internationally successful singers that I understood why.

The successful singers I worked with had a calling for being famous. Fame suited them so well that they were able to promote themselves constantly – it was a part of their personality.

Fame means that all eyes are on you all the time. It’s uncanny when you hang around someone famous you sense the heat of all these stares. It is like being naked, and you can never cover up.

Hope for introverts

Don’t worry, there are many examples of superstars who are introverts – Michael Jackson is one. If you are an introvert, you must show something extraordinary about yourself in order to garner attention. Something has to be unveiled about yourself, your writing or your personality. If you can show something extraordinary about you – other people will do the promoting — and act as the extrovert force — for you.

Your path to fame

Take a look at yourself and ask, “What is extraordinary about me?” Talk to others – they will tell you what they observe.

Bands always have a two-year honeymoon period. If your music and singing is going to connect – you will know in two years. If the audience in clubs is not getting larger, if you don’t see strangers in the audience after 2 years, if your Youtube hits are not increasing exponentially in two years, something is not connecting.

Either you, or strangers for you, or people you have hired, are not promoting you in a viable way. This means you are not bringing out the best in you – that something extraordinary about you. You need to assess what is going on.”

Learn how to make your living as a singer in the rest of the episode.

Mark Baxter has worked as a coach with Aerosmith, Journey, Goo Goo Dolls — and many others. He is the author of The Rock-n-Roll Singer’s Survival, creator of The Singer’s Toolbox instructional DVD, Sing Like an Idol instructional CD. Mark operates vocal studios in New York, Boston, Los Angeles and online via Skype.
You can see more of Mark’s work here.

  • Good common sense advice. I enjoyed your blog Mark. I like this, “… you’re not in the music business, you’re in the promotion business”. Yep. Nice article Mark. http://www.TheVocalistStudio.com.

    Here is a video about the connection between lyrics and the nature of the phonetics in the lyrics, ( consonants & vowels ), in the form of vocal onsets. An excerpt from a webinar we did with my friend Draven Grey.