What the Heck!!!

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alsemas
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What the Heck!!!

Post by alsemas » Tue Sep 25, 2007 12:06 pm

I'm tired.....I've been trying for years and nothing seems to come from it. Lots of TAXI forwards, oh yeah: “Right on Target" yet no success. I'm afraid I'm going to lose everything, my house, my wife my entire family, etc. Everyone seems to have their doubts. This business is really taking its toll on me. How can I get so many forwards and never hear anything back? Taxi screeners are always saying, "Great Job" Forward" Right on Target" etc, nothing ever comes from it. I'm beginning to think this is all a scam... Between the equipment and Taxi, Broadjam and other places, I’m spending hundreds if not Thousands every year and nothing comes from it but contest winnings and praise. How do I get my music noticed by professionals? That's what I'm wondering. I thought TAXI was the ticket. Very sad , don't know what to do, so many years of hard work. Everyone says I'm great, yet nothing comes from it. It's exhausting!!!! Taxi ads always show people that have joined and in 3 to 6 months they Have contracts and are making a living from their music. I can understand If I suck, but if I get a bunch of Forwards and lots of people telling me how great my music is, then what’s up?. I should have all kinds of contracts by now….I made sites:portsidestudio.comalsemas.comI don’t know what else to do...Fans say, "Oh Ya, you’re great", Taxi Says; (Oh Ya, You're great) yet nothing seems to come from it. I’m really on the edge at this point; it just seems like all my online contacts are nothing but a hoax. Thanks Taxi, Broadjam and all the other so called contests and promoters..Not getting anywhere..Bye. very disappointed, and frustrated.

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Re: What the Heck!!!

Post by matto » Tue Sep 25, 2007 2:14 pm

Hi Al,you say you've "been at it for years", how long have you been a Taxi member?What kinds of listings have you been submitting to?BTW...I don't know where you have seen Taxi ads that show people who join and then 3-6 months later are making a living at music...I certainly have NEVER seen an ad like that...and I'm even in one of them... When you produce music that gets forwards, but nothing else happens...there can be many reasons why that is and it really depends on the listing, but the most common one is that somebody else (or several people) who was (were) also forwarded just hit the target better than you did, meaning they fit better what the listing party was looking for. It's really as simple as that, and there's nothing Taxi can do to change that...that's really the nature of this business, it's extremely competitive and there are TONS of people out there dreaming about making a living doing music...Listening to the first 4 tracks of your website, I found them to be quite good, but not great...nor particularly marketable. So I could certainly see how the scenario I mentioned above could apply to you.The advice I can give you...try to improve your craft (e.g. post some material here for feedback and let people help you improve or have some more in depth Taxi custom critiques done), and try to target your compositions better to the market.I do music for a living and have found that targeting your music effectively is the single biggest step you can take to be more successful.I know how frustrating it can be to feel that you're close but...nothing is happening, so do everything in your power to move from "close" to "there". This is a process that takes a long time for most people, so you're not alone.Best of luck,matto

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Re: What the Heck!!!

Post by Casey H » Wed Sep 26, 2007 12:49 am

Quote: I'm tired.....I've been trying for years and nothing seems to come from it. Lots of TAXI forwards, oh yeah: “Right on Target" yet no success. I'm afraid I'm going to lose everything, my house, my wife my entire family, etc. Everyone seems to have their doubts. This business is really taking its toll on me. How can I get so many forwards and never hear anything back? Taxi screeners are always saying, "Great Job" Forward" Right on Target" etc, nothing ever comes from it. I'm beginning to think this is all a scam... Between the equipment and Taxi, Broadjam and other places, I’m spending hundreds if not Thousands every year and nothing comes from it but contest winnings and praise. How do I get my music noticed by professionals? That's what I'm wondering. I thought TAXI was the ticket. Very sad , don't know what to do, so many years of hard work. Everyone says I'm great, yet nothing comes from it. It's exhausting!!!! Taxi ads always show people that have joined and in 3 to 6 months they Have contracts and are making a living from their music. I can understand If I suck, but if I get a bunch of Forwards and lots of people telling me how great my music is, then what’s up?. I should have all kinds of contracts by now….I made sites:portsidestudio.comalsemas.comI don’t know what else to do...Fans say, "Oh Ya, you’re great", Taxi Says; (Oh Ya, You're great) yet nothing seems to come from it. I’m really on the edge at this point; it just seems like all my online contacts are nothing but a hoax. Thanks Taxi, Broadjam and all the other so called contests and promoters..Not getting anywhere..Bye. very disappointed, and frustrated.I think Matto already addressed this, but people like Matto who are earning good money at this will tell you it takes at least 5 years for decent money to roll in. It takes that look to learn how to build a large catalog, attract music libraries with targeted submissions, hear back from those libraries, get placements, and collect royalties which can slowly trickle in. People have had forwards and gotten a call as long as 2 years later with interest. So be patient. If you are getting a lot of forwards, my take is that your music is very marketable and with patience you will get placements. Remember many more people are upset that their music WAS NOT forwarded due to high screening standards and therefore wasn't being heard by the right people. You are over that hurdle.Good luck! Casey

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Re: What the Heck!!!

Post by ljweber70 » Wed Sep 26, 2007 2:01 am

Here's one of my favorite quotes that may apply here:"Many of life's failures are experienced by people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up." -- Thomas EdisonKeep your chin up, mate,Larry

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Re: What the Heck!!!

Post by tedsingingfox » Wed Sep 26, 2007 12:59 pm

There's no way I could say it any better than Matto or Hurowitz, but they're speaking the truth. I'm also one of those folks, like you, who keeps getting "close, but no cigar". YET.You CAN"T turn your back on your dreams. I know. Just hang in there and keep racking up the forwards. Something is going to come through for you. (Me, too. )Ted
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Re: What the Heck!!!

Post by lieflin77 » Wed Sep 26, 2007 2:42 pm

Put all that emotion into a song...I say! Could be your greatest song yet...the next song just might be the best...

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Re: What the Heck!!!

Post by michaeldean » Sat Sep 29, 2007 9:22 pm

Al,I'm genuinely sorry you feel so let down. It must be terribly frustrating to get lots of forwards (I wouldn't know - but I can imagine) and not have gotten any action off of them.Your post bothered me on several levels: I was touched by your expressions of despondency over your lack of success with Taxi.It also bothered me as to why this would be the case when you seem to be getting forwarded regularly (doesn't bode well for the rest of us, does it?).And I was also bothered by the way you seem to place responsibility for your success/failure on others.So I took it upon myself to dig into it a bit. I spent a good deal of time (over 2 hours) perusing your two web sites and listening to the musical selections there.I would hope that having invested that time gives me a minimal amount of "cred" to perhaps make a few slightly negative comments without being dismissed as a "dumper".Having said that, here are my thoughts:You mention several times that fans (and taxi screeners) think your stuff is great, but one thing that sort of jumps out at me in your post is that you never say what YOU think about your music. It's as if you judge your musical talent and level of artistry purely on the opinions of others. I find that a bit strange.It's as if (and I'm obviously conjecturing here) you're only doing the music thing to satisfy others, not yourself. I happen to think that's a really poor way to approach something as personal as music.One of the things that reinforces that opinion is that many of the tracks I listened to on your sites just sounded sort of "lifeless". You have obvious musical and technical talent, but there just doesn't seem to be a lot of passion. This is born out, to me, in the way you talk about how much "work" it is to do this.I think if it's not fun and it's just "work" you should probably find something else to do that you're more passionate about.Judging by the sheer quantity of tracks on your personal web site, I'd venture to guess that you're a pretty goal-oriented person (I know, I'm making a lot of assumptions here, but it's all I have to go on). You seem like you might be pretty "product" driven rather than "process" driven.My advice to you is, on your next track take twice as much time doing the writing, recording and mixing. Take that extra time to get the best sounds you can and get the best sound field you can. Then take some more time to add a few other touches (percussion, effects, doubling, etc.). It's the little touches that really bring a track to life.Some more specific comments:I listened to every track on your studio web site, and there are some very good pieces there, but they just didn't "grab" me. The only one I would care to hear again was "Funky Monday". That's a cool track, and I think it's cool because it goes outside of what's expected and has a more "organic" feel to it.To my ears, the mixing could use some work. Your guitars, in particular, sound odd to me. For starters, they seem way too "up front" in the mix. Too "in your face" - almost claustrophobic. And they never seem to be panned more than about 30 degrees from center.The drums, on the other hand, sound great! They're back in the mix just enough to not be annoying, and they have a big, wide soundfield (maybe too wide). They sound great, tonally, as well - I'd be interested in knowing what you're using. The programming is rock solid, too.So you have this odd situation where the main instruments (guitar and keys) actually sound as though they're surrounded by the drums.To my sensibilities (indeed, in most real-world situations) it would be the exact opposite - the pitched instruments would surround the drums.Try doubling up some of your guitars and panning 70 degrees left and right. It may not sound as "hip" (i.e. "in your face"), but it's a whole lot more pleasant to listen to, and opens up the middle for your main melodic instrument.On your personal website, the arrangements are pretty rudimentary, and the weak string patches are a real detriment (IMHO) to enjoying the tracks. They sound kind of like "demos" of tracks instead of real tracks. Would you put those tracks on a CD? I would definitely invest in some better string samples if you intend to continue pursuing this.The reason I suggest these things is that I basically agree with Matto; Taxi can pare down the field for you, but once you're forwarded you're competing with a dozen or more other people who also got forwarded. Here's where your mixes have to be great, and your tracks have to have energy and passion.Remember, Taxi doesn't guarantee you deals. They guarantee you access to deals. There's a world of difference.It's like being in a car race with 40 other cars on a track that was designed for 20. You can't make any headway for all the traffic zinging, crashing and bunching up around you. All Taxi does is disqualify the 30 worst drivers out there so that you (assuming you're forwarded) can be free to go ahead and race with the other 9, but you still have to drive the car! And (to stretch the analogy even further), how well constructed the car is will have a lot to do with how you place, and whether you even finish the race.Again, I hope you understand that I took the time to research and write all this because I care, and not just because I'm a pompous windbag (which I may well be).I think Lieflin77 hit it on the head: You need to put the emotion back into the music.Good luck whatever direction you decide to go...
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Re: What the Heck!!!

Post by hummingbird » Sun Sep 30, 2007 5:26 am

Michael, I think it's awesome you took the time to objectively listen and give some very sound advice to another musician. Thank you for that.I agree, we have to have a passion for it. I always tell my students, it's quality before quantity. I think the suggestion of spending more time on one piece, rather than going on to create something else, is an excellent one. One I could incorporate as well. cheersHummin'bird
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Re: What the Heck!!!

Post by squidlips » Sun Sep 30, 2007 10:03 am

Wow, michael, that was a lovely in-depth post. I'd ask you to hit my site too but now I'm skeert so never mind! You're quite correct that we're up against some heavy hitters out there. And that's just getting through Taxi!! Lots of these guys keep me up at night, worrying how to keep up.Sometimes this process can wear a person all out if they're thinking about it as work and not as a joy to do. This is a very bottom-heavy business.....all the cash and hard work are up front with a possible payoff at the end. If it's not enjoyable, it'd be a bit like hitting the casino cuz we felt like we 'had' to. Ugh. I've had more than my fair share of days when I wonder if it's worth it. The forums help me a lot. It helps to talk to other writers on the phone, read their posts about forwards and deals, listen to their critiques of my songs (and they're really nice to me about them too, which is great, versus the monstrously ugly music monitor in my head). In short, the whole thing keeps me going and this is just my first year doing this. I've had my forwards and I'm grateful for them. I know also that marketing is a big part of this too, that taxi can't be the means and end of this business. We have to find other sources, spread ourselves out, find as many resources as possible. That can take time from the fun of writing (assuming you're having fun) and it's certainly the least favorite aspect of this job, for me. Yep, I have days when I get frustrated and anxious, and fret that it's all not jes a con job I'm pulling on myself in order to get my next song jones satisfied. I guess I won't know until I get more than the deal I made earlier this year with a library. But getting forwards is a really good start and believe me, lots don't see a forward.That said, if writing music for this business makes you miserable, it's definitely not the end of the world. There're plenty of other things you can do with your songs besides plug them to taxi and other listing sites. I hate to see you unhappy about this.

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Re: What the Heck!!!

Post by michaeldean » Sun Sep 30, 2007 3:54 pm

Hey, Squidlips, thanks! I had a good hearty laugh at that first paragraph... When you said:Quote:...listen to their critiques of my songs (and they're really nice to me about them too, which is great, versus the monstrously ugly music monitor in my head)....you hit it right on the head - it's great to have people telling you your songs are wonderful (and we all need that, don't get me wrong), but in the end, it's that "monstrously ugly music monitor in your head" that's going to make your songs the best they can be!So let's hear it for the ugly music monitor! The uglier the better - until it starts to get into "perfectionism" which, to me, is a kind of paralysis that comes from going too far in that super-critical direction. I've struggled with that my whole life. The hardest thing about songwriting, in my experience, is shifting back & forth from one to the other (the creative and the critical).
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