Success and the Music Business

Success and the Music BusinessImage

Part 1: The Beginning

by David “Rainman” Banta

Multi Platinum 2 time Billboard #1 selling mixing engineer/producer

© 2013

(754) 444 7246


“If you want to play the piano, you must study piano. If you want to succeed you must study success” -Tony Robbins-

    Has success in the music business eluded you? Does it seem like no matter what you do or try you don’t seem to get anywhere? Does attaining your dreams in music seem to escape you? It eluded me for many years. I had had extensive training in music and electronics but the business of success in music always seemed to escape me.

  About 5 years ago I discovered the wealth of information and training out there in the field of personal achievement I spent years studying the greatest success teachers of all time and learning to apply it to myself and my career in the music business. Teachers including Napoleon Hill, Tony Robbins, Stephen R. Covey, Dale Carnegie and many others

  Needless to say it changed my life and taught me how to manifest my dreams on a consistent basis.

The beginning of success in the music business;

1) Have clearly defined outcomes.

 The very beginning starts with you having clearly defined goals in mind.  It’s ok to dream big dreams but it’s important to be pragmatic while defining exactly how you will attain those dreams.  Otherwise it’s just wishing.  Success comes from having the end in mind, and taking massive action towards that end.

   Have clearly desired outcomes short and long term. For example; Your desired outcome in the studio today is to record your guitars while your long term is to make a song with mass appeal.

 If you want to make a living in music start with clearly defined goals. For example “I will be making $500 a week by the end of the summer”.  Next clearly define how you will achieve these goals. For example “I will make this money engineering sessions at my studio.” Then list all the actions you will take towards achieving this goal.  For example “I will run ads in the paper” “I will have business cards made and go to clubs on weekends and pass them out”

   It’s important that you  accurately evaluate the results of each of your actions, and vary your approaches till you find the ones that work best If starting a project by writing the melody and lyric first isn’t working try starting with creating the music first. Or lay down some nice piano chords and write over that. Find your approaches that work best and utilize them. If people like your melodies but not lyrics team up with a great lyricist.

  Massive action is required to achieve your dreams. Simply saying “I want to be a famous producer” isn’t enough. Start with first things first and goals that are attainable like “Record a song that a lot of people truly love the first time they hear it.” Then move on to bigger things like packing out the local club on a Saturday.

2) Check out  the successful competition.

   All the great success teachers I’ve studied teach learn from others who have succeeded in the way that you wish to. It could be as simple as getting on the email list of your successful competition and studying and learning from their mass emails. Studying their websites, reading their bios, rates etc learning what you can from those who have succeeded, All the great teachers I’ve studied emphasis this is the quickest route to success.

  Follow successful artists on facebook or other social media and study how they do what they do Then learn to apply it to your own career.  I’m not referring to losing your originality. In fact originality is why most great artist succeed on the level they do. I’m referring to studying their presentation. fliers, website, recording quality. etc

 If your goal is to have a hit on the billboard charts, I recommend that you  regularly go to see what’s in the top 20 then go to youtube and listen to all 20  songs with the intention of discovering why they went top 20.

3) Don’t get caught in what I like to think of as a “Fairy Godmother Syndrome.” People who record a demo and promote hoping someone will come along and make them famous and finish their product and dream.

   I’ve been a full time recording/mixing engineer/producer/pianist in Hollywood for decades. Pre the home recording and computer boom making professional sounding recordings was very expensive. So people made demos on little 4 and 8 tracks in their house until a record label would come along and give them the budget to record it right. It’s not like that anymore. Finished product puts you first in line for great deals these days.

  Let me ask you a question. If you were a major label and you were planning to sign 3 new artist this year. Who would you sign? The kid with the demo and no plays or the person who has already proven themselves with a certain amount of success. The one with the great sounding album or the one with  the demo?

 Self reliance is required to succeed on great levels. You can’t wait for someone to come along and give you your dream. What if no one ever comes along? You have to make it happen yourself. When times are hard you have to give yourself words of encouragement. You have to be self reliant in action and attitude.

4) You have to have an exceptional product from other people’s point of view.

    It all starts with your music and recording quality. If people aren’t freaking out loving your music….try again. and again till they do. If you want to succeed in music in a big way you’re music has to have mass appeal. It’s required that you don’t pass over this step because if you do no one can help you. Ask yourself and others “If a listener is only going to buy a few songs out of the millions that are out there why would they choose mine and give me their hard earned money?  Like all good companies you have to learn to get honest feedback on your product.

   Make a feedback form for you music and videos in Google Docs it’s easy and free.. Then post the link wherever you want.

.Questions you should add to your form are 1) Where did you hear about us? 2) Give us your honest opinion of our music, 3) ask if they would like to join your email list. Allow people to fill in your feedback forms anonymously. This will get you more honest reviews. Every day I see aspiring artist that I would love to give feedback to but I don’t because I feel it may make them angry or hurt. Ask how you can bring them music that they truly love.

    Give people a reason to fill out your feedback form. Napoleon Hill teaches “You have no right to ask anyone to do anything without giving them a sufficient motive”. Don’t make it one of your albums free because then people who don’t like your music or videos will be less likely to fill out the form. Make it something good like a winner gets a gift certificate, or something else everyone would like

   Here are some examples of feedback forms I made in google docs

Prospective Client Feedback Form

Prospective Student Feedback Form

5)   Always think from the perspective of the listeners point of view.

   . In general people don’t care what you need or want,  they care what they need and want. Don’t ever start an email with “I need” especially to people you don’t know personally. When I get emails like that I seldom read on past the first sentence. Besides deals these days are usually given to those that need it the least. Don’t ever appear needy! The ones who have already succeeded to an extent either on  the web or selling out live shows and selling music are the ones who get the great deals.

    The first major mistake I see aspiring artist make is they are egocentric and believe that everyone likes what they like. Experience has shown me this is not true. Some of my biggest hits that sold the most are ones I liked the least. Thanks to the record labels that released these for seeing the bigger picture better than I did. The first and foremost thing of all is that your music must have mass appeal. If it doesn’t you need to keep trying till it does.

6) Be objective. If you can’t sing, and lessons won’t help. be brave enough to see that and to do something else. Wanting and believing that you will be a famous singer isn’t enough if you can’t sing. Produce, engineer whatever. If your time is spent promoting recording that people don’t like then you’re wasting your life. I see people wasting their lives all the time trying to be a singer when they have no business singing professionally.

 I started out as a professional trumpet player. When people started programming music more and jobs became scarce I was smart enough to take up recording engineering. There’s always work for a great engineer. The great teachers teach have more than one skill. That’s how you survive hard times. Learn an instrument if you can.

    I wanted to play piano all my life and one day I thought “In 10 years I’ll either be a pianist  or not it’s up to me.” So I did the lesson books every day, scales, sight reading etc. Now here I am 15 years later and I’m a pianist and I love it. One of my most fun things is playing for my own personal enjoyment. Being able to produce records the way I hear them in my head now is a dream come true. 10 years from now you’ll either play an instrument or you won’t. It’s up to you now! People who play an instrument as well as sing or rap are more often regarded as artists.

7) Work in well formed teams of people. Groups of people rise far higher than individuals.  This was the main thing that was holding me back. I liked to work alone. When I taught at UCLA one of Quincy Jones’s partners would come and speak to my class. He said that the reason Quincy was so successful was because for each project he would put together a team of people specifically for that project. Just look on a Michael Jackson album and it’s not uncommon to see 5 or more producers listed on one song. Working in teams is so important that Napoleon Hill made it the very first lesson in the course “Law of Success in 16 Lessons” the richest people in the world attest that one of the reasons they succeeded so big was their ability to form and work with groups of people. It is said that Henry Ford had almost no formal education but he was able to make use of other people’s skills and knowledge better than they were themselves.

  It’s of utmost importance to work in groups. If you’re not a mixing engineer and you don’t want to take years to learn and buy a lot of expensive gear than make one of your first tasks to find a great mixing/mastering engineer you like to work with and make them a regular part of your team..  Make sure all of your team members are the best you can find.

 Our mission at Rainman Productions is to fill in the missing parts of your team enabling you to take your career to the next level. Check your favorite artists. It is extremely rare to see them mixing and mastering their own product. So why would you? They bring in a pro. If your car was broke down and you knew nothing about fixing it you wouldn’t twist a few nuts and bang on it with a hammer and say it’s “Good enough”. Major artist use major mixers to get their great sound.

   David is a multi platinum mixing engineer, fox network composer/producer/pianist. David has many awards to his credits including several multi platinum and gold records as well as 2 #1 selling albums on Billboard’s top 100 selling albums in Europe. His credits also include composing/producing and engineering the “NASCAR Highlights Theme” on Fox.

David will bring you the same great sound that he has brought to many huge artists including “Bone Thugs N Harmony”. Tracie Spencer. “Pharcyde”, “Do or Die” “Take That” Robbie Williams and more. When multi platinum groups like “Bone Thugs N Harmony” needed a mixer/producer on their team they frequently call Dave to help complete their songs. In fact David mixed and mastered 43 songs released by Bone Thugs. Many of those he produced.

 David also taught home recording at UCLA in Hollywood for 10 years. He also taught mixing and mastering, cubase, and reason at Musician’s Institute for one year. He now teaches privately from his pro studio in Hollywood in person or live online for the price of a private lesson

 David will be as valuable a part of your team as he has been to these major platinum artists.

 David will; mix, master and/or produce/arrange your song in his professional studio in Hollywood on his large format analog console used extensively by Fleetwood Mac!

  A legendary producer/engineer on a legendary console For very low rates!


(754) 444 7246

Skype Name Platinum.Mixes

Magic Jack # (239) 400-2950

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