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Developing A Music Career



Ben, a better than an average musician, singer-songwriter, had always dreamed of having a music career, performing on stage for thousands of people. Maybe we should say, he always dreamed of being a star, a big-time entertainer. He was doing everything and getting no place with his music career.

Like many other musicians, Ben didn’t handle rejection well. Every time he’d get close enough to see that he might have a chance at a music career, his fear would surface causing him to back down.

After many years of putting his songs on the shelf, Ben decided to take a risk and pitch his songs to some music execs. Living in Southern California provided the opportunity to personally go to Pitch Sessions in Los Angeles. Every week for months, he’d spend an hour or two on the busy freeway to get to the weekly pitch. Every week it went the same.

The Pitch

First of all, the music exec would have the musicians hand in a CD which they played for the whole room. The experts then critiqued the song and handed the CD back. The exec occasionally chose one song for further review. Consequently, Ben’s drive home seemed to get longer and longer.

This went on week after week, month after month. Sometimes, he would get a few encouraging comments, but he never had a song chosen for further review.

For that reason, he stopped going to the Pitch Sessions. Instead, he began sending CDs to different music publishers and entering contests. The Songwriters’ Digest stated that the musician would receive feedback in a few weeks. But weeks passed without a word.

He had almost forgotten the CD he sent to a contest when a return package came in the mail.

Ben hurriedly ripped open the package and unfolded the letter that revealed their analysis with a list of changes that needed to be made. He immediately headed for the studio, convinced they would pick up his song, and give him a recording contract. The wait began again.

Finally, the long-awaited package arrived. Ben knew he had made the exact requested changes. With shaky hands, he opened the package and grabbed the letter that would reveal his next step to stardom. He knew there was a contract waiting for him. His music career was about to launch.

He slowly lowered himself to the sofa flipping the letter over to see the back. He looked up at his wife standing in the doorway wiping her hands on a dishtowel.

She took a step closer, “Well?”

He sat stunned, then held the letter up for her to see.

Music Career Fades From View

“Two lines? What does it say?” she asked.

He read it out loud, “Dear Ben, Thank you for submitting your song for evaluation. We regret to inform you that we will not be able to use your song.”

“That’s it?” she asked.

He looked at her with a blank stare. Another roadblock – the end of a dream.

“That’s it? That’s all there is?” she said. “After two years of going back and forth to LA and sending out CDs, that’s all there is? There’s got to be something else you can do. There’s gotta be.”

She slouched on the couch beside him.

“From everything they’ve said at the pitches this is it. If they don’t pick you up, you might as well give up or just keep going to pitches and sending in songs.”

Both were quiet for a long time.

Ben began pacing, dragging his fingers through his hair, “I guess it’s over. I’ve done everything they told me to do.”

“There has to be another way,” she said grabbing her phone. “What’s a DIY Musician?”

“DIY?” he said laughing. “DIY is Do It Yourself, as a handyman.”

They both stopped and looked at each other. Maybe there is away.

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by Dena Warfield


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