The Struggling Musician
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Jan 13, 2012

The Struggling Musician

Every day a new band is created and old band breaks up. Some bands break up due to creative differences and some bands break up because of the high cost of professional musicians maintaining a full-time band.  New equipment, transportation, public relations, advertisement, and the cost of night after night of gigs all add up to a high price for the would-be professional musician or the weekend musician. On top of all those costs the price of printing albums, demos, and shipping of said pressings can be a staggering amount that can hold back some great musicians from finding possible fans.

Equipment:
Equipment is usually the largest expense for a band. Every few months or years (if a band is lucky) new equipment is usually purchased. Items such as guitars, drums, keyboards, microphones, and recording equipment can average anywhere from fifty to hundreds of dollars out of musicians' pockets. The durability of this equipment is tested every night or every few nights on the stages of smoky bars and dingy dive lounges. This equipment isn't built for these extreme playing conditions and at most lasts a few years.


Transportation: 
Transportation in any field of work or activity is a large expense. The price of gasoline is at all-time highs every month and day jobs don't compensate for the rising cost of fuel. Transporting the expensive equipment you buy with your hard earned money can be just as expensive as buying those items. Cases are often not included with musical instruments and equipment and can range from thirty five dollars to over one hundred dollars depending on the item. These costs can take a toll on a band's morale and pockets.


Advertisement:
Advertisement is key to a band or musician's success. The cost of an advertising agent or even the DIY method of printing flyers, posters, t-shirts, stickers, and internet ads can also cost a band more than they can pay. Bands often cut corners or print flyers to advertise more than just their own band to help save money but without advertisement a band can't get noticed by labels willing to fund these expenses.



Printing Albums:
Printing albums and demos is another necessity for a musician looking to become professional or make back the money they've already put into their music. Pressing albums alone takes time and money that a band isn't always prepared or willing to pay and often bands book gigs without any merchandise to supplement their earnings from the show. Major record labels and even independent record labels look for musicians with initiative and drive to make their own merchandise and build profit before they even consider signing them to the label. More often than not the musicians with the most money they can pump into image and advertisement are the ones noticed by record labels. Musicians cut costs by going through companies that print mass quantities of demo CDs or albums at a fraction of the would-be cost for self-printing.

The average musician usually falls under the weekend musician or hobbyist label but the most determined musicians are usually the struggling artist in dingy apartments doing all that they can to catch a small break or a little recognition to help propel themselves into professional status. The cost of equipment and advertisement plus album pressings and transportation can really stagger great musicians from finding a fan base but good musicians always find a way to cut costs on album pressings and equipment to help put themselves in the eye of record labels affected by the economy and digital age.



Author Bio: Musician Skylar Tate relies on blue ray and DVD duplication from DVDCopycat for all her San Francisco replication needsMusician Skylar Tate relies on blue ray and DVD duplication from DVDCopycat for all her San Francisco replication needs.