Sorry, but music careers are’t made in the practice room. You have to network, get gigs, win auditions, manage your finances, and more. These three books, all by past Clarineat Podcast guests, will help you reach your career goals.
Jason Heath is a great bass player, but he’s famous as the host of the Contrabass Conversations Podcast, a show that has reaches over a million downloads a year. After more than 10 years running, he’s talked to anyone who’s anybody in the bass world, including dozens and dozens of orchestral bass players. Last year Jason started putting together a podcast series to highlight some of the best moments from past conversations. Interest in the subject matter was substantial, and this inspired Jason to combine the wealth of knowledge that his guests have shared with his own wisdom by releasing his very first book.
This concept seems simple enough, and although the book is short in length, it’s absolutely brimming with value. Jason painstakingly combed through over 300 episodes of his podcast in real time (So you don’t have to… but you still should!) and hand picked the most valuable moments for inclusion in the book. His added commentary is smart, clear, and concise, and the text is tastefully coloured by Jason’s exuberant personality.
It’s worth noting that this book is relevant to all musicians, whether or not they are actually seeking an orchestral job. The practice tips and playing advice in here alone make me seriously wish I had this resource in my undergrad. I hope that Jason continues this concept with other topics, it’s a brilliant idea.
Seth Hanes is the mind behind the popular “Musicians’ Guide to Hustling” blog, a skilled french horn player, and is fast becoming a master marketer. After graduating he came up with numerous strategies to get more gigs, build his network, and make music freelancing into a full time job. Thankfully for us, he then chose to share these techniques in his debut book, which reached number one on three categories on Amazon upon its launch.
Interestingly enough, Seth’s success with the book launch is a true testament to what’s inside, since many of the music business and marketing strategies he discusses are equally well suited to all fields of marketing. The writing is casual and to-the-point, and although Seth’s characteristic single-sentence paragraph sentence writing style seems choppy at first, once you settle in you’re in for some smooth sailing to musical success.
Emilio Guarino is another relatively recent grad, but he’s already becoming an active player, video blogger, and has even released his first commercial product called the Chromatic Endpin.
“Make It” is an incredibly honest and realistic look at what it takes to not just be a musician for fun, but actually make music your career. It starts off by asking you to consider your privilege as a person. Have you eaten today? Do you have a place to sleep? If not, perhaps you need to work on that first. But if so, congratulations, you’re ahead of a huge number of people in the world, and this is a great starting point no matter what you think. Change your attitude! After this harsh wake up call, he dives deep into mindset, college (including why perhaps you shouldn’t go or continue), networking, getting and behaving at gigs, making and managing money, and more.
I love Emilio’s perspective on things, and some stand out moments include why being upset and feeling bad about something is hugely important, and how it makes more sense sometimes to consider how you can earn more money instead of spend less (after all nobody ever got rich by not buying a cup of coffee). The honest advice in these pages is accompanied by real world actionable steps that you should work through slowly for best effect. Emilio’s book is a welcome addition to any musician’s library, especially in these difficult economic times.