Ignorant, misinformed musicians are a menace to themselves. Enough already!
Over the decades there have been countless stories of musicians who were ripped off by their record labels and music publishing companies. Why? Exploitation was the name of the game. Keeping musicians in the dark was standard business practice. However, the past has passed, and today, any musician who signs a record contract, and learns later what he or she signed, has only themselves to blame.
The amount of free information on the web is astounding these days. Type any topic about the business of music into Google and you will be drowning in resources.
In addition, there are many schools that now offer 2-4 year programs on the business of music. Also, there are many seminars and workshops available on a year round basis in most major American cities.
Consultants, attorneys, and business organizations abound, and so it is only myth, superstition, stubbornness, and immaturity that stand in the way of any musician making a commitment to educating themselves about the business that exists to exploit their music.
When people said to you, "Spend money on quality instruments and equipment," you did that.
When they said, "Spend time and money on practicing and rehearsing", you did that, for the most part.
When they told you, "Spend time and money finding the best recording studio, producer and engineer you can," you also did that.
Well, nobody until now has told you, "Spend time and money learning all you can about the business of music."
But I just did!
So... do it!
It has been said (about education) that we don't know anything until someone tells us. If that is true, the fault in "not telling" musicians is that they must spend some time and money on educating themselves on music business issues is the fault of the businessmen and women who kept their clients uninformed.
Ignorance is bliss as far as the old guard of music executives are concerned. But, knowledge is bliss should be the byword for the musician of the new millennium. Please... spend some time and money educating yourselves about the music business. A few dollars and hours spent now can protect your future forever.
Throughout his fprty year career in the music business, FourFront Media & Music's Christopher Knab has shared his experience at many industry conventions and conferences, including the New Music Seminar and the Northwest Area Music Business Conference.
Knab was owner of a San Francisco music store, co-owner of the 415 Records label, and station manager at KCMU Radio in Seattle.
He currently provides a unique consultation and education service for independent musicians and record labels. His new book is entitled "Music Is Your Business".