Now is the best time ever in the history of the world to be a music maker.

In the studio helping produce Jen Oikawa’s latest recordhttp://www.cdbaby.com/cd/thejenoikawatrio2

Producing music is the cheapest it’s ever been. The infrastructure to distribute your music at scale is essentially free. There are no gate keepers. Everyone who wants a shot gets one.

It’s popular right now to rag on the music business and wallow about how you can’t “make money” anymore selling music or being a musician. This mindset has never resonated with me. Maybe it’s because I didn’t live through the music business golden age, but it never seemed like a good use of energy to try and wish the industry back to the way it used to be.

Here’s why I think it’s so hard to let go of the old model – we no longer have the excuse of not getting picked. It’s up to us now to take the risk. And if we fail, we can’t blame someone else for not recognizing our genius. It’s our responsibility now.

Trying to get picked by a record company? Don’t bother. Instead, make your music, build your fan base, connect with your fans by actually caring and interacting with them. Sell products, services, and experiences that they care about.

Want to be a studio musician and get hired to play at Capital Records, Henson, Sony, and Sunset Sound? Don’t bother. Instead start your own “home” studio, (not my favorite term), or team up with one and figure who needs the specific services you offer and serve them.

The key is to be service minded. It’s no longer enough simply be talented. What services can you offer? Who needs that service? How do you market and acquire those kinds of customers?

Maybe you create end-to-end service for YouTube video producers who want beautiful string arrangements to help tell their story. Could you build a service? Of course. Should you? That depends on you and if the market is there, but it’s worth thinking differently.

The bottom line is that the onus is on us now. It’s our responsibility. It’s up to us to develop those new skills or team up those who have complementary skills to achieve a desired outcome.

It’s truly an amazing time to be in the music business because there are no rules. And there’s a large segment of the industry that is unwilling to change, which is your opportunity if you have the courage to be vulnerable.


Hey! Thanks for reading. If you’re not familiar with me, here’s my quick intro: My name is Gary Lee and I’m a professional guitarist in Los Angeles. I specialize in acoustic guitar styles, studio work, and music production.

If you’re interested in working together or would like to learn more about my work at: www.garyleemusic.com or email me at gary@garyleemusic.com