What You Get
Film & TV
Future of the Industry
Hot Topics in the Industry
Music Related Businesses
Studio Tips (Engineering)
Music Industry Myths
Establish Your Blueprint
Establish Your Blueprint
A Guest Post By
I love to talk to songwriters about their plans and ideas for their lives as songwriters and performers. I call these talks “establishing the blueprint” – and it essentially takes the form of asking two questions: 1. “If you had a magic wand, what would you conjure for yourself and your life as a songwriter and performer” and 2; “what are you up for creating, that upon it’s completion you would look back on and feel that that was a year really well spent’’?
These questions can be surprisingly confronting. Many of us, when given the chance to use a magic wand to create something for our lives, don’t actually quite know how to use it…. Feelings of ‘who do I think I am to dare to think I deserve that’ can surface very easily. Grounding a fantasy in a potential possibility can be disturbing to our identity.
My good friend Mo says: ‘if you want to hear God laugh, tell him your plans’! It’s a phrase I love. At best, it seems, we can point our ship in a particular direction and then see where it actually takes us… It is unlikely to stay on anything like a steady course. But opening up to the possibility of a future that might begin include results we have always dreamed of is surely the essential starting point and one that starts, first a foremost, with a matter of declaration – declaration as to what these dreams might actually be.
Benjamin Zander, in his book The Art of Possibility, talks about meeting with a group of students for the first time and saying to them that he is starting off by giving them all an A grade for the course about to start…. Then asking them to write and and tell him, one by one, how they each got there. A brilliant, simple idea – but so powerful in that it immediately puts each student firmly in their own driving seat. I, like many people, pretty much detest the idea of being responsible for pretty much anything(!)….. but I have found, over many years of bitter experience, that if I’m not up for making it happen, no one will else is going to do it for me, that’s for sure.
Today’s music business is all about DIY. Ed Shearan, Ben Howard, Ryan Keen and many others are all examples of owners of remarkable courage of convictions – of simple, bold, unstinting tenacity. THEY have built or are building careers based upon years of gig after gig after gig – often with not great evidence that their courage of convictions is paying off.
Wasn’t it Churchill who said “success is failure after failure after failure with no apparent loss of enthusiasm”?
Step by step, the evidence that these young artists are on track has emerged as a powerful reality: Ed Shearan at the Olympics and Ben Howard on the David Letterman show, for example. AND having done it their way for so long, no record company can easily turn around and say ‘’now you’re going to do it our way’’… The power is back us – with the writers and performers…
This is, as no other, the time to see the vision, ground the vision and act the vision… Who knows what’s possible? There’s only one way to find out…and it all starts with you and I dreaming it – and then declaring it. Who will you share your dream with today?
Start here: What is your blueprint?
Julian Marshall is Founder Director of
leading a team of songwriting facilitators to run courses and workshops for songwriters that help them discover and develop their own unique songwriting identity.
He is known internationally as co-creator (with Kit Hain) of the 70’s group Marshall Hain - known especially for their massively successful international hit Dancing in the City in the late 70’s. He was also a member of The Flying Lizards – who scored a top 5 hit with Money in 1979. In the 80’s he formed the group Eye to Eye with American songwriter and performer Deborah Berg - recording two classic albums for Warner Brothers produced by Steely Dan producer Gary Katz and a latter day third album produced by Roxy Music producer Rhett Davies.
Julian has produced records, has played as a session musician on both sides of the Atlantic, been an A&R man for Boulevard Records in LA and a Senior A&R man for Polydor Records in the UK.
He has enjoyed many years combining his love of teaching with his love of composition and playing. He runs his own highly successful teaching practice and has taught and lectured at various institutions including Dartington College of Arts, Plymouth University, Dartington International Summer School of music and is currently lecturing on the MA course at Middlesex University.
5 Mistakes to Avoid When Preparing Your Demo
Everything You Need to Know About Branding
How to Sell More Music as an Unsigned Artist
Musicians, the gig economy, and online learning... a happy (but dysfunctional) family.
If You Want to be a Recording Artist You Need the Right Development
15 Things You Must Do to Make it in the Music Industry
Saying no to everything else
Consistency Equals Success
How To Get Better: Practice
Separate The Emotion From The Event
Turn it down a few notches, please!
Are You Taking Ownership Of Your Songwriting Success?
The Shawshank Songwriter
Show Me Your Songwriting Friends, And I'll Show You Your Future
Getting out of a bad place
Taking your Music From a Hobby to a Career
How to change or build your career
CHOOSING THE PERFECT BAND NAME
4 important qualities of a band manager
Touring Advantages/Disadvantages From Less Than Jake
What musicians can learn from Joan Rivers
What you can learn from Bob Dylan's Career
Yes You're Talented, But Remember This…
Two Things That You Can Do to Start Making Music Industry Contacts Today
Promoting Music Internationally – The Right Way
How to Sell More Merchandise at Your Show
How To Reach The Best Music Business Contacts. Period.
4 Ways To Be A Boss A$$ Indie Artist
Are you over looking this strategy to becoming a better musician
Why You Should Be Doing House Shows
It's All of Your Business
Don't Buy Your Own Tunes
What If You Didn't Need Money or Attention?
Why Bands Need to Stop Bitching
What's In Your Toolbox?
Why You Need a Live Music Producer (And Don't Even Know It)
Many Eggs, Many Baskets: How to Make a Living as a Musician in 2014
Your Music is Just a Hobby. So What? Part 1 of TBD
Defining Success And How To Achieve It With A Career In Music
Why Talent Isn't Enough
Why You Need Your Own Superhero Alter-Ego
How To Make It In The Music Industry
What If The Label Says "YES"?
How to Avoid Artistically Starving to Death
20 Worst Indie Artist Mistakes
Why Your Most Important Tool In Being A Successful Indie Musician Might Actually Be Your Day Job
The Importance of Branding as Recording Artists
Why Bad Days Can Do You A World Of Good
How To Tell If You Need Singing Lessons
How To Ruin Your Music Career In 10 Easy Steps – Part 2 (Steps 6-10)
How to Stay Motivated to Make Music
The Self-Promotion Tactic that Fails Every Time
3 Important Lessons In Success From Bob Dylan
Sell 1000 CD's In a Weekend
Music Licensing – 90 Day Challenge
Superfans: The Key to a Sustainable Music Career
A Solution To The DIY Artists Biggest Challenge
How To Ruin Your Music Career In 10 Easy Steps – Part 1 (Steps 1-5)
What to Look For In A Distributor
Does 99% of Jazz Suck? – The Jazz Kickstarter That Seduced 870 Backers
Are You Making These 9 Band Rehearsal Mistakes?
Enhancing Your Music Marketing: The Ultimate Guide to Creating Press Kits for Musicians
7 Important Aspects to Getting Noticed in the Music World
7 Tactics to Double the Size of Your Fanbase
Why The Vocals On Your Track Are Vitally Important And How You Can Improve Them
Top 3 Tips To Find The Right Singing Teacher
Some Will Always Say You're Wrong
That Time'n Thang
Leap Of Faith
Question & Doubt
Connecting With People In The Industry
Five Reasons You're Not Licensing More Music
The Importance Of Following Up In The Music Licensing Business
How To Fund Your Band's Kickstarter When You Have No Fan Base
Human Intervention as a Competitive Advantage
A Quick & Dirty Guide to Branding
Why it Pays to Replace Self-Promotion with Selflessness
Rules for Confronting a Difficult Band Member
Valuable To Others, or Only You?
It's All Who You Know?
Ignore Your Website & Social Networks and Your Career Will Suffer
Three Intelligent Ways to Make a Living as a Musician
What Musicians Should Carry at all Times
Sometimes Big Promo Doesn't Work
Avoid Band Drama: Be Up Front
How To Effectively Handle A Flaky Band Member
Why No One Is Listening To Your Music
How To Avoid Serious Mistakes When Choosing An Agent
Managing The Fear of The Unknown In The Music Industry
How To Balance A Family, Your Music Career, And Your Stresses
MusicPreneur - The New Music Industry Mindset
Band Leading 202 - Gigs
How Does An Independent Artist Stay Relevant While Creating New Music?
What It Takes To Be A Successful DIY Independent Artist
Band Leading 101 - Rehearsal
How To Make Lots Of Money Selling Your Merchandise
Why You Need Great Pictures As An Artist
Overnight Success - Does That Happen?
The Power of Positive Thinking
Goal Setting Tips That Work
Easy Tips For Engaging Your Fans
Getting Things Done As A Team
4 Common Newsletter Mistakes You Should Avoid
Creating Your Social Media Image
Effectively Utilize Your Youtube Music Videos
Tips For Building A Bigger Fanbase
How To Build A Professional Music Team
The Top 5 Ways To Get Noticed in Today's Music Industry
Why Radio Spins Matter And Tips On How To Get Them
Networking Essentials For The Music Business
Why You Should Be On Pinterest
JOINING IS EASY AND IT TAKES LESS THAN 60 SECONDS.
YOU CAN ALWAYS UPGRADE, DOWNGRADE OR
CANCEL AT ANYTIME.
Get Started Here
SIGN UP TO OUR NEWSLETTER
What You Get