disputing hands on training myth

Disputing the Hands on Training Myth

If you have heard phrases like ‘You need to be in the studio to learn’, ‘You must have a mixing board and record in a sound proofed studio’, ‘In order to learn, you need someone to show you how the studio works’, then you have crossed paths with the Hands on Training Myth.

These are common misconceptions, however, hands on training is when you are alone in your studio, on a deadline. You do not have time for writer’s block, issues in your studio or time to doubt yourself. It’s very simple, either you get radio ready results in your studio or you don’t.

What Hands on Training IS NOT:
Hands on training IS NOT when you sit in a studio tweaking knobs and playing with faders.
Hands on training IS NOT when you look over an instructor or tutors shoulder.
Hands on training IS NOT when you sit in a classroom with a workstation.

It’s quite possible the hands on training myth is blocking you from achieving your dreams.
Anyone can go to a classroom or listen to an instructor but that doesn’t mean you learn anything.

Here’s how to know if you have been duped by the Hands on Training Myth.
“How come when I get ‘Hands On’ with my equipment I still have questions?”
“Why am I in the studio for 8-10 hours and my music is still not finished?”
“Why have I been doing music for years and getting no where?”
I can only learn if someone teaches me or if I watch a video tutorial.
I have to much to do to slow down and read. I don’t like reading.

What Hands on Training IS:
Hands on training is being alone, in your own studio, using the gear you have.
Hands on training is when you complete a project to the ‘radio ready’ industry standard on a deadline ALONE.

How the Process Works: The hands on training process consists of 3 simple steps:
1) Learn. You first must learn what to do, where to go, what to listen for, etc.
2) Apply. You must take what you have learned and make it yours. The only way to do this is applying it.
3) Ask Questions. Keep asking questions on a specific subject until you have no more.

When you use these 3 steps, the process of hands on training becomes a simple solution that can be utilized anywhere at any time. This requires that you read, study, grow and stretch yourself. You must educate yourself no matter how you learn. This is the only way you can achieve your dreams in every moment of the day.

The Computer Music Production School first gives you the knowledge and education to know what to do when you work in any studio with any gear. You have to know what you’re doing before you can get your ‘Hands in it’. When you sit in a studio, where do you start? How do you know your finished?
Secondly, CMPS gives you 24/7 Hands on Training so your education stays in your long term memory.
Last of all you have one-on-one student adviser support to help you every step of the way and to answer all your questions.

You can become a music producer and audio engineer in as little as 7 weeks, 7 months or take as long as you need. You can then produce and record as many albums as you like for the rest of your life.

If there is anything we can help you with, setup a free training consultation below.

world needs more creativity fewer critics

The World Needs More Creativity and Fewer Critics

All of us can’t help but notice how harsh the world has become. In a society that’s filled with nay-sayers, haters and critics everyone has an opinion. Even if it’s your girl friend’s opinion, or your mother’s, or even your best friend we all need to be on guard with who we’re letting into our musical sphere of influence. If you are someone who is ‘addicted to approval’ or crave the acceptance of that one special person, let me give you a word of warning.

In my late teens and early twenties whenever I worked on a new song or recording I would feel compelled to let someone listen to see if they ‘got’ my vision. If they didn’t, I was depressed and agitated or even discouraged. If they ‘got’ it, I felt elated and encouraged. But alas, along the jagged road of self observation I was forced to change this awful habit. One day I realized that this longing for acceptance wasn’t helping my creativity but poisoning it. I decided to start trusting myself, my instincts and my vision despite what others around me thought. As I got older and more secure with myself and my talents I was able to let go of what everyone thought. I mean, did everyone ‘get’ Mozart or Van Gogh when they were in the height of their careers? No! Many successful people have to go year after year hearing rejection before they make the big time. But these are the types of life experiences that make us strong in will and spirit.

I was coming to this conclusion when I started reading the Artists Way. In her book, Julia Cameron has a chapter on ‘The Shadow Artist’. A shadow artist is someone who has their own creativity blocked and has a perverted way of expressing it by hanging in the shadow of other artists as a friend or potential “helpers” (a.k.a. leeches). They may have good intentions on the surface but look closely into the depths of their heart and you’ll see a seething green-eyed monster peering out just waiting to devour your first draft of the song or a book that took you 6 months to write, or the pencil sketches of the still life portrait you made of your now deceased grandmother. They’ll say, “Oh, did you mean to misspell Mississippi?” They’ll nit-pick your vocals or the claps on your beat. They’ll hold up a magnifying glass the size of the sun and peer into your creation looking for flaws. What’s really happening is that they themselves feel threatened by your creativity. So many people are shadow artists and they don’t even know it. They’ll make a joke or a wise comment about one of your verses because they themselves can’t find their own unique voice to express. Creativity is such a precious thing. Without it, we’d be left with a gray overcast world filled with lonely buildings and hopeless people. We’d have meals without taste or color, and a closet full of beige monochromatic uniforms that would force everyone to dress the same. Everything in this world breathes creativity from the fragrance of flowers to the shells of the sea….

Now that I’m in my thirties, I do everything in my power to protect my creativity. I take time to nourish it and provoke it. I make sure to stretch it, and exercise it. I pinpoint the shadow artists in my life and I guard against them. I’m careful who I show my creative projects too. If I have a new plan I’m working on, I hide it in my heart until it’s reached its full maturation stage. I have a hand full of guys that I trust and who are also creative’s themselves and understand and honor the creative process. I also draw out others’ creativity and instill hope to once abandoned dreams.

The world needs more creativity and fewer critics.

So my motto is no longer…”If you can’t say something nice don’t say anything at all”. No, we live in a world where we must stand for what is right and true. We must never be afraid to speak up and comfort someone hurting or to build up someone that’s discouraged. So, I’ve changed this motto to, “If you can’t say something nice…say something constructive!” I’ve found in my line of work people need constructive feedback. That’s another reason we developed the 7 Lesson Course. So that budding and veteran artists alike, could have a safe place and a productive environment to hone their craft and grow creatively. We give you feedback with each homework assignment you do with each lesson, and we constructively tell you how you can improve according to your creative vision.

So this is my advice to you, not from someone who knows it all but from someone who has experience and wisdom to share and if we keep wisdom to ourselves we are leaving a hole in the world that will only need filling. So I say this to you:

•    Be on look out and on guard from the Shadow Artists in your life.
•    Only let other creative artists in on your vision and music plan.
•    If you see others blocked creativity, spur the sleeping artist within them, and ask them why they don’t create.

A lot of blocked creatives have been hurt by other blocked creatives. See the pattern here? So that is why we be mindful of how we are critiquing others.

When hearing somebody else’s art or song be sure to do the following:

1) Listen to the whole project without fidgeting or opening your mouth to talk or ask a question.

2) Listen for the person’s vision and try and get into their frame of mind. If you still don’t know their vision, ask questions. Did I mention listen??? Yeah, some of us need some schooling on listening but that’s a whole other topic.

3) The first thing out of your mouth should be a compliment. Something that lifts them up. Mention the instrumentation of the strings or the choice of the kick drum. Be specific. Be detailed…don’t make some wimpy generalized statement like, “Oh, it sounds good.” Dig deep! Say something with passion about what they do great.

4) Ask the person why they were inspired to write this specific piece.

5) Spend more time complimenting them and asking them about the creative process….let the conversation flow. Be aware that your nurturing their inner artist right now, it’s not about you, it’s about them.

6) Finally, if there is any critiquing to be done, first ask yourself, is it my place to critique this person, what do I know? Is it really the right time to critique them? Sometimes if we leave it alone the person will fix what was wrong in the first place on their own.

7) If you are a person in the know and would genuinely like to help this person then constructively show them how they could improve.

8) Use words like, “Oh, I love what you did here…make sure it’s snapped to the grid so it comes out more” ….or if it’s an EQ problem, “ your vocals would come out so much better if you cut the low end off more.” Catch my drift?

9) Please always THINK and have COMPASSION when commenting on someone else’s art. Creativity is like a fleeting bird, you don’t want to scare it away. Instead throw the bird some breadcrumbs…next thing you know you’ll be feeding all of its friends too.

If you need info on writer’s block or songwriting, please take a moment and signup for a free training consultation.

5 ways to detect a poser

5 Ways to Detect a Poser in the Music Business

Often times I get a call from someone who says. “Uh, is this GotchaNoddin? …Oh, I’m so and so and I’m in the music business. I was hoping we could help each other out…you know, I make hits!“

“Ok,” I say…and start to ask my routine questions. What do you do? What have you done?  How long have you been doing this? Sometimes people will actually cut me off with accolades of famous people they know and on and on they go with, “Oh, I made a hit with this person or that person and I got some industry connections!”

While I appreciate this, I am more interested in learning what projects and things are being worked on.
It doesn’t matter who you know… it matters what you are doing.

You are not who you know but what makes you successful is the results in your life, how you go about achieving results and how many people you’ve helped. What I see lacking in the industry is heart and hard core common sense. I don’t know where it started, but for years there has been this ‘not enough’ mentality that there isn’t enough business to go around and that only a ‘select few’ can live their dreams in the music business.  On the other spectrum, I get many folks calling with stars in their eyes thinking that success and fame can happen in a couple days. The reality is that I have to get through many hard layers of ego and self promotion until I can get to the center of a person’s character.

Now this is the exact same thing you have to do as you embark on the journey of your music dream. Don’t believe what people tell you. In the music business everyone talks. The only way to determine who to let in your circle is by actually witnessing the results in their life to back up what they’re telling you.

Don’t worry about asking too many questions. That will get rid of the posers. It will also start great conversational interest and connection with someone who is not a poser.  The biggest point to make here is YOU NEVER KNOW WHO YOU ARE TALKING TO – if you respect everyone you talk to, you’ll never worry about meeting the right people – they will always return phone calls and keep appointments.

Sometimes, I tick people off with my questions and putting people on the spot. But like clock-work they always call back a few months later. And the call goes something like this:

“Hey man, you think you could help me out. I still haven’t had any luck since we last spoke. My studio isn’t working right and I haven’t been able to work on my beats. I been trying tutorials and other people just aren’t giving me answers that help me.”

“Sure” I reply. “What do you think the problem is?” As I probe deeper I find out that this person has little experience, little knowledge and doesn’t know how to ask for help. I sit back and say to myself “Wow, this is the same person who said in our first conversation he’s got connections, makes hits and we should help each other out.. It’s a good thing I ask my questions!”

I cringe thinking about what many people’s “hits” must sound like who love to run their mouth, show up late to the studio, never return phone calls and have no consistency. If a person’s life isn’t consistent how is their music and music business going to be consistent? I know I sound harsh in saying this but its important to discern who people really are that you would like in your circle. All the sweet talking players who think they can smooch their way through, it’s conversations of honesty and being real that true connection can happen. How can any of us help each other if we’re not up front and honest from the start?

Now that I have painted a picture for you, what do the paintings of people in your life look like? Are they playing hardcore game, talk but no walk, name dropping but the results in their life don’t add up? These people are toxic to your success and interfere with your needed encouragement while on the journey towards your dream.

Tutorial: 5 Ways to Detect a Poser in the Music Business:
1) Consistency:
When someone calls the person you’re trying to work with, do they say “ahh man, why they calling me!” or do they respectfully say, hold on I got to get this call. How do they treat other people, friends and family when you are around them? Don’t listen only to what someone says when you meet them, watch for consistency in their life with others and you’ll see right through them on how they will treat you in business and as friends. This process takes time. Also, everyone goes through phases in life. Sometimes you may meet someone in an inconsistent phase of their life. 6 months later they call you and are constantly calling you. This is a good sign. It’s not about judging but watching and always being open and attentive, being understanding and not burning bridges works wonders for connections too.

2) Reliability: Reliability is never seen on the first meeting. You can talk about a lot of plans and ideas. Some people live in ‘ideas’. However action is the only thing that counts. As with consistency, reliability is on a day-to-day basis. Set appointments, times to talk, meet or attend events. Watch for patterns of lateness, promptness, ‘unexpected issues reoccurring’, do they show up, do they call? Consistency and reliability go hand in hand. Relationships take time, effort and continual pursuit. If there isn’t a great common ground then the effort may not be worth the consistency and reliability of yourself or the other person for that matter. Also look to see if they are consistent in other areas of their lives. If someone hasn’t been consistent a few times, maybe its time to give them some space. If the relationship is important to you, call them back in a few months to touch base. It could be a season of inconsistency for them. There are many seasons of inconsistency in our lives. These can change at any moment. In the present situation, this lets you know that they are more of an acquaintance rather than a potential business partner. Never start business partnerships until you have tested and established that they are reliable.

3) Integrity: One of the definitions of integrity is honesty. The word honesty these days seems pretty lame…  However, the results of dishonesty are flat out appalling. Let’s paint a picture of how important honesty is. If you are building a house and you decide to use cheap cement to cut costs, decide to do poor quality job in building the foundation and don’t put forth a quality effort, that house will crumble from the inside onto itself. This is the same thing that happens when surrounding yourself with dishonest, shady, inconsistent, unreliable, game playas. All the time and effort you put into building your music foundation and career will be destroyed from within itself. What is the opposite of cheap, ego-centric, poor quality and laziness? Surround yourself with encouraging, passionate and motivated people who enjoy the learning and growing process with you. You’ll then have lifelong friends and potential business partners as you achieve your goals.

4) Value: What is the value of the person you are meeting? Are they a giver, a taker, a friend or mooch? Are they always broke asking for money, asking you to make beats or record them for free? Do they ask you to do something and then respect your time and give something back? Or are they asking you ‘to put them on’ and ‘give them their shot’ but when the time comes they have nothing to offer, are not prepared or just simply flake? Or do they come prepared, asking questions and on time? It is important to determine the giver, taker, friend or moocher as soon as possible. This can avoid much wasted time. Consistency, Reliability, Integrity and Value all integrate together to form the character and trustworthiness of the person you are considering doing business with, partnering with or working with creatively. Time never lies and will always reveal the truth of your relationships.

5) Results: The last and most obvious is the results in someone’s life. This is the easiest to detect. I hear from at least 10-20 or more people a week telling me about how they run a record label. Before I can determine if I can help them, I first ask: How many artists do you have, how long does it take to put out a record, how many units did your last release sell, do you do production, mixing and mastering in house or is it outsourced? Often, I get the response “Well, I don’t have a label yet but I’m in the process of starting it”. OK, now we can get somewhere!

What are the results in their life? What does their music sound like? Does what they tell you about their business and music match up with what you see currently or is it where they are heading? This is SO important! I have seen so many people miss opportunities because they misrepresented themselves. The change that must be made is not to tell people where you are going but to tell them where you are currently, what you need help with NOW FIRST. Then the doors of what you need and where you are going can be established.

These 5 ways to detect a poser in the Music Business are important to reference when you are seeking relationships and also to reference in your own life. This is only a small part of what it takes to not just talk but to live your dream. If you love music and have a passion to do it for the rest of your life than making some personal changes to avoid posers should be easy.

If you are in the middle of a business deal or networking and are not sure what to do,

obstacle in your path

The Obstacle in your Path

“The highest reward for a man’s toil is not what he gets for it but what he becomes by it” -John Ruskin
I once heard a story called, “The Obstacle in Our Path” that I want to share with you.

In ancient times, a king placed a boulder on a roadway. Then he hid himself and watched to see if anyone would remove the huge rock. Some of the king’s wealthiest merchants and courtiers came by and simply walked around it. Many loudly blamed the king for not keeping the roads clear, but none did anything about getting the big stone out of the way. Then a peasant came along carrying a load of vegetables. On approaching the boulder, the peasant laid down his burden and tried to move the stone to the side of the road. After much pushing and straining, he finally succeeded. As the peasant picked up his load of vegetables, he noticed a purse on the road where the boulder had been. The purse contained many gold coins and a note from the king saying that the gold was for the person who removed the boulder for the roadway. The peasant learned what many others never understand..

So what is the obstacle in your path? What’s the big boulder in the middle of your road to success?

The truth is we are all faced with some sort of obstacle along the way. For some it may be lack of money or education, for others a mental disability or kids to take care of. Whatever your obstacle is, don’t let it keep you from living your dream. No matter how long it takes, face that boulder head on and push it with everything you’ve got. Always remember, it’s the times when you want to give up but don’t, that you really see what you’re made of. Are you going to give up and quit or try harder, be more creative and dig your heels in?

It’s easy for us to commit to things that are easy or convenient but the result can be a long-term unhappiness with uncertainty of the cause. We can often cheat ourselves out of rewards simply wanting to avoid difficulty.

However, if we are willing to exert effort, we will reap great benefits.

The important lesson to remember is that work has its rewards. This is true in corporate settings, in your home, in your relationships, in every area of your life and especially music. If you are willing to pay the price, you can have the prize. The same principle applies to music production. If you are willing to work for the dreams in your heart you will be amazed by the person you will become in the process. If you want to reach any worthy goal at all or do anything significant, you will find you always have to go through a narrow place. Your narrow place may be walking away from negative relationships or putting yourself on such a tight budget you can no longer afford some of the small pleasures of life, such as a cup of coffee or a movie ticket. You may have to choose to work while others are entertaining themselves. These kinds of disciplines will squeeze you and press you, but they will also lead you to the broad places of success and prosperity. When you are pressed and squeezed to the point you feel you can hardly breathe, make sure to stay focused on the reward ahead.

Tutorial: The Obstacle in your Path
1) Find a nice quiet place to think undisturbed. Think through all the obstacles keeping you from your goal(s) of destination.. Write them down in no particular order. Do this as a brainstorming process. Get as much onto paper/document as possible.
2) After brainstorming, organize each obstacle by priority. Use a computer document for this task and save it in a location you will not forget.
3) Choose the top 2 obstacles interfering with your goals. Brainstorm 3 action steps you can take within the next 7-14 days. Follow this process for each obstacle and keep moving them out of your way..

If there is anything we can help you with, setup a free training consultation below.