Top 10 Mistakes Artists Make – Guest Blog

David Hooper

By David Hooper

If you want to get a record deal, get people to your shows, or sell music like crazy, the answer isn’t some kind of “magic pill” website that you post your music on, blindly sending out a bunch of demos, or anything to do with having good music… although good music certainly helps. The answer is to develop a mindset that naturally attracts people to what you’re doing as well as an understanding of how the music business game is played.

As you develop as a person, your music career will develop with you. Sounds crazy, but it’s true, and I’ve seen it time and time again, with thousands of acts that I’ve worked with, from garage bands, to the guys selling out arenas.

Of course, part of developing includes making mistakes along the way. Check out these ten common music business mistakes, and ways to avoid them…

10. Being too difficult (or too nice)
First of all, let’s get this clear… Just because you wrote a few good songs and recorded them, it doesn’t mean the world revolves around you. Lots of people write and record good songs, so get in line.

Contrary to what the online rumor mill or media would have you believe, people in the music business are involved because they love music, and they’re not making enough to deal with jerks. And they won’t deal with jerks. If you’re a pain, they’re just go to the next guy, who also writes good songs, but has a better attitude.

With that said, don’t be too nice. You don’t have to say yes to everything. Pick your battles. If there is something you really feel strongly about, don’t settle for anything less.

Bottom line: Keep your ego in check and behave with courtesy and respect. At the same time, don’t let anyone treat with you anything less.

9. Trying to convince people of anything…
You play music, and people have strong opinions about music. Either people get what you’re doing or they don’t.

So, some reviewer, booking agent, or manager doesn’t like your new album. Let it go! Don’t try to convince him he’ll like it better after a second listen. He won’t. And the more you press him to give your music another shot, the more he’ll remember how annoying you were. This means he’ll be far less open to ever listening to you again.

There are a lot of people who won’t “hear it” when you approach them. So what? Move on. There are plenty of other people in this business who can help you. Go find the people who do “hear it” and put your energy into building good relationships with them instead.

8. Looking for industry approval
There was a time when the “industry” had a lot more pull when it came to breaking an artist, getting them distributed, and everything else. This is a new time, so we’re playing with different rules now.

Distribution is easy. Every day, more and more albums and songs are being sold online, physically and digitally. Recording music is easier than ever. You are not limited by a lack of options for getting something recorded that sounds professional.

But more importantly, once you get a recording together, you don’t need the industry to tell you your music is worthy. The consumers, the people who buy music, are really the only opinions that matter. And when you have the love of the consumers, the industry will come around.

The thing is, in the music industry, technology has changed faster than mindset. Stop believing you are at the mercy of any record label executive. You’re not. Connect directly with your fans on your terms. The feedback, loyalty and money you receive from them will be far more gratifying than you spending your time beating your head against a wall trying to figure out a way to get an approving nod from a record label…

Read the rest of this post (the top 7 mistakes artists make) @

Posted by Dexter Bryant Jr. [d.BRYJ]
Powered by DbryJ Music Media Group.



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  3. xthecoolx · March 6, 2010

    Great post. I can’t think of a single thing I would change about it.

    • d.BRYJ Music · March 14, 2010

      thanks =) All the credit goes to David Hooper for writing this. If you want to learn more from him check out his Music Business Radio podcast.

      Thx for reading 🙂

  4. Jim · January 28, 2012

    Excellent article! Cheryl B. Engelhardt has just published a fantastic resource for musicians who are struggling to get their careers off the ground. I highly recommend “In the Key of Success: The Five Week Jump-Start Strategy”. This E-course is written by an actual musician who has built a successful career in the music business as a singer/songwriter and composer for film and TV. You can get a copy from her website:

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