Tag Archives: Marcus Miller

The Four Hands of EntreMusicianal Networking

Mastering the Art of Consistent Networking is Foundational & Essential if we are to Succeed as EntreMusicians. Advancement eludes us when we consider ourselves islands and isolate ourselves from community. Albeit, We bear the bulk of the Responsibility for our Careers, True Achievement is Not Created in a Vacuum.

Many EntreMusicians swallow the Myth of the “Self Made Artist,” who Writes Everything, Arranges, Produces & Plays Everything, but never ascends from his/her basement studio because they’ve eschewed human social skills and ignore establishing relationships with other bands, artists and creatives.

Even Musicians who’ve been fortunate enough to secure management, booking or some significant ‘deal’ which somewhat sets them apart from their contemporaries, find they have a much rougher ride and eventually hit a wall because they have set themselves (or allowed others to place them) above or outside the Collective Visibility  of the Creative Culture. The Truth is that even at the Highest Level of Triumph, Connectivity Still Rules! So here are a Few Rules to Perfect the Practice of Networking at whatever Position You Currently Occupy.

1. Reach Out!

Take the Initiative to Find Other Artists of Like Mind/Spirit/Heart whether within your musical genre or not. Arrange a Coffee or Jam Session or Gig that’s Mutually Beneficial. Without Becoming a Pest, Be the One Calling, Texting or Messaging Periodically to Let Them Know You’re Interested in Them and What’s Happening in Their Career.

2. Give Out!

EntreMusicians are Extremely Generous. Any Valuable Information, Resources or Viable Practicality which can be freely offered, Give It! Go Out of Your Way, Be On the Look Out and Intentionally Create Opportunities to Be A Blessing to Another. Is there any Old Gear hanging around that you’ll likely never fire up again? Don’t Pawn It, Find an Up & Coming Hopeful and Give The Thing(s) Away!

3. Help Out!

Everyone Needs Help at Some Point in Time. EVERYONE! Even & Especially National Recording Artists. Find Out How You Can Assist – Yes You! Graham Cochrane, an Engineer/Producer I Follow & Highly Respect once said that every time he attends NAMM or some other Industry Function, he abstains from strolling up to higher profile Artists/Producers/DJs with Business Card & CDs in Hand, asking THEM to either Listen to His Stuff, Get Him a Deal or “Hook Him Up” in whatever way. Instead, He ASKS How HE Can HELP Them!!

Chances are They will be playing his City soon (he asks) and perhaps there may be some assistance they might need when they arrive and/or before they depart that he may be essential in accomplishing on their behalf. He Never asks for anything in return and Graham’s (and now my own) methodology is 85% More Effective that the ‘Star’ will remember His Name…There are a Million Ways to Help – Find Yours!

4. Throw Out!

Discard ALL Negative Motives, Attitudes, Thoughts, Words & Actions!* Live By The Mantra that You NEVER Compete, NEVER Compare & NEVER Criticize!**

Throw Out ALL Feelings of Envy & Pride! Concentrate on Doing Your Best Work and Find Ways to Assist Your Peers in Doing Theirs. Hold The Door Open and Help Balance The Ladder for Other, Again Expecting (And Not Asking For) Anything In Return! Overtime You Will See, by Osmosis, the Law of Sowing & Reaping bearing Fruit and Your Life & Career Blessed because You have Blessed So Many Others!

I would Love to Hear How You Utilize Networking in Your EntreMusicianal Pursuits and the Profound Results. Leave Your Comments Below.

Download My Free E-Book “50 Engaging Ways to Transform Your Fans Into Family” and Subscribe at TheEntreMusician.com for More Ways to Engage, Encourage & Empower Each Other!


I was listening to Spyro Gyra’s “Incognito” on Vinyl while writing this post.

* &** Quotes of Bishop David L. Thomas

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How Important Are You…?

Face It.

You’re Only As Important as You Think You Are.

You can Either Live By & Under the Expectations & Evaluations of Others – or – You Can CHOOSE to Create & Model Your Own Principles or Ideals.

You Can Either Agree to The “Usual” Pay Scale of the Masses or CHOOSE to Negotiate Your Fee.

It’s Up To You.

Your Self Importance is the Sum Total of Your Own Thoughts, Experiences & Esteem.

Your Self Importance is Directly Tied to Your Own Vision & Goals.

You are Either One Who Sees Him/Herself as Having Very Little to No Worth – or – Someone Who Envisions Endless Possibilities. You Either Settle or You Set Out.

It’s Up To You.

Although Present Options may be Limited, Important People are Always Creating Opportunities to Change that Present Situation and Improve Their Positioning.

EntreMusicians MUST Embrace the Realization that Our Art, Music & Creativity is IMPORTANT. We Must No Longer Accept or Agree to Selling Ourselves Short and/or Out!

It’s Time To Set A Price For Our Shows & Songs that Reflect Fair, Equitable Standards which Put Money in Our Own Pockets or Refuse to Participate on Their Platforms & Stages.

Important People Know How to Say “NO.”

How Important Are You?

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The Plan in Perspective

I have a friend named Joe (real name) who started a New Gym in Youngstown Ohio 18 Months Ago. Geographically, Joe’s Gym is about 2.8 miles away from that Other, Better Established, Open 24/7, Only $10 a Month Gym that Most Everyone Frequents. Joe’s Gym is only open from 5:30am to 9:00pm, has far less equipment & space and his Monthly Memberships begins at 5x more than that other place. Yet Joe has a startling slew of clients and continues to add Specialized Sessions & Trainers to his Growing Roster.

The Secret to Joe’s Success is Joe.His Gym Provides Intentionally Focused Workouts in an Exceptional Environment that Provides Optimum Results to its Members. Joe’s Gym is called The Train Station.

I often think of Joe as I talk to Musicians and Software Developers about this Unfolding Plan I’ve proposed. In case You are Unaware, I began a Post several weeks ago concerning EntreMusicians readdressing the Direct Sales & Digital Distribution of their Art. I continued to Add Thoughts & Emotions and will continue to discuss & work with EntreMusicians to formulate a workable plan. The Conversation is Growing!

In short, I Believe that ALL EntreMusicians must utilize their ability to Stream their Content Directly to Their Own Tribes on a Subscription Basis, without the need of a Billion Dollar Corporation paying them less than a penny per stream. The Technology is Available, but must be Personalized in a format best suited for both Artist & End User. 

Dr. Nelson Harrison, a very forward thinker and founder of The Pittsburgh Jazz Network has proposed an Alternative through Millennium Music Media which I am currently checking into and awaiting a callback from a known Artist Currently on their roster.

Joe’s Success in Starting  & Growing The Train Station is in His Initiative to Customize a Service & System the Larger Gyms simply cannot and markets his personal touch accordingly, without railing against them – and Word of Mouth is growing.

Every EntreMusician Must Go and Do Likewise. The Excuses are Over. Other Options Are Available. The Ultimate Option remains in Controlling & Distributing Our Own Songs on Our Individually Owned Platforms and Doing the Hard Work of Marketing Ourselves Appropriately. That’s The Truth of Being Independent Artists.

I wasn’t playing any music while blogging, but I’ve just finished practicing the drums to the “Dreamland” CD by YellowJackets. William Kennedy, ALWAYS WOW!! 

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The Gift

For a child is born to us, a son is given to us.
The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called:
Wonderful Counselor,Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
His government and its peace will never end. He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David for all eternity. The passionate commitment of the LORD of Heaven’s Armies will make this happen

This passage from Isaiah 9:6-7 was written thousands of years before that blessed day when The Messiah was born to the virgin, Mary. Centuries later we still celebrate with joy His birth, death, resurrection, ascension and present authority in all heaven and earth.

He Is Lord and one day every knee will bow and every tongue will confess to the truth of His sovereign reign and absolute power of His Name.

Oh Come Let Us Adore Him…

Christ The Lord!

Merry Christmas!

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As I personally reflected on the Music & Magic of the incredible George Duke in my last post, I listed elements I routinely observed in each project, be it a solo album or his production of another artist. Remaining equally personal here, in that I was weaned on and grew up cherishing his approach, I wish to convey how these elements have helped to shape me as a man, a songwriter and producer. For those of you familiar with SounDoctrine music, you may have noticed similarities in what we were trying to accomplish (In fact, I was really trying to model “Follow The Rainbow” on our debut, “Perseverance.”) You can bet that my future projects will be more definitely based upon the Duke standard that a generation of musicians have relied upon for inspiration!

Total Freedom

Absolute Exploration

Continual Growth

Regal Generosity

Eager Inspiration

Leaving a Lifetime Legacy

George Duke was a Free Man! You heard it in his soaring falsetto. You lived it in his lilting solos. He dwelt in a continuum that defied description. Radio formats could not contain him. Categorization refused to define him. His ability to simultaneously produce pop, rock, funk hip hop, soul, jazz and in some cases, classical, on put them on the same album was legendary. You never missed a beat! It was sheer ingenuity to release “Sweet Baby” as a single on the first Clarke/Duke Project, when we ALL were expecting the entire album to be saturated with funk soaked fusion, sweat and spit. The duos choosing to put a blistering counter melody line underneath the party chant on “Oh Oh” (Clarke/Duke 3) gave both the die hard musician and the general audience all they needed. Of course, George had long perfected this technique on his ultra anthem “Reach For It” as Byron Miller blew the doors off the party with that “funkay-ace” bass solo. And who, other than Uncle George would name a magical wonderland of a song, “Stupid Is As Stupid Does” ??  Total Freedom!

The Fearless Exploration that Duke brought to a project begins with the first note. His intros were an invitation to strap in for the ride. This album was going to take off and you should join us! The interludes and outros are reminders that this album was an experience, not just a few grooves chained together! The previous  – or next – album in your line up could be Stevie, EWF or even Herbie (geniuses all) but Duke’s album would maintain a respectful distance with the appropriate understanding that you would soon be back for another romp.

As a synthesist, The George Duke approach, founded in Moogs & Arp Oddeseys, were excursions into zones we still cannot explain. I have heard many GREAT keyboardists mimic and play Duke solos “note for note,” but ‘something’ was always missing. It was his explorative spirit that moved you, as he bent, twisted and blended notes…always reaching…

…Always Growing. The outstanding Eric Zobler, who is as essential to the Duke sound as any musician, helped create the sonic space for George to soar. The commitment to the technology, the advanced precision and complete unorthodox thinking propelled the mastermind. George wasn’t content to release a “cookie cutter” album. His DNA and composite formula remained intact, but his expression would always exceed our expectations. You could literally ‘feel’ his growth in each experience. He’d never sit on his laurels in spite increasing success. The last project was yesterday’s news, Check THIS Out!

Duke didn’t blow a horn about giving. He simply gave. Of himself. His resources. His time. His spirit. A total extrovert on stage, George was quite the private soul elsewhere, but there are countless testimonies from musicians, artists and fans who stated that he routinely went above and beyond into pouring into them exactly what they needed in that moment, whether spiritually, emotionally or otherwise. Mr. Duke was Royalty personified.

If you listened, you learned. As you learned, you were stretched, confronted, overwhelmed…eagerly inspired. How could you possibly be the same after digesting “No Rhyme, No Reason,” “The Alien Succumbs to The Macho Intergalactic Funkativity of The Funkblasters,” “Pluck,” “In Between The Heartaches,” “Change The World” or “Trust” – Answer Me!!! How could you be the same?? And You Know I could go on and on, song after song.

I commented on the sheer output of his music in 40+ years and only time will reveal the music yet to be released. Like Ellington, Miles, Monk, Coltrane and so many others that jazz holds dear, George Duke’s life will continue to mystify us and cause us to probe deeper into all he said, sang and played. He was leading us, surely and steadily, as he journeyed along. The inclusion of “Trippin” (and listen to the lyrics of “Marin City” right before you play that), “Missing You” &  “Happy Trails” on “Dreamweaver” explained it all. He too would be leaving soon – and if we ever got lonely for him, he advised we put on one of our favorite GD CDs and there he’d be, just as he’d always was.

My “Duke-A-Thon” continues…Image

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What’s the Difference between a Tune and a Song?

I would venture to suggest the difference between day and night, right or wrong and front and back…

This is not to say that tunesmiths are wrong, dark or backward. Certainly, he and she thrive on the merits of trending what’s hot and happening right now, consequently reaping the short term rewards and accolades of the microwave society known as the Music Industry (which include all participants and purveyors). A tune is cute, catchy, sweet. Extremely Easy to Sing. Impossible to Ignore and in spite of itself, annoying. It’s generally accepted that overtime the listener will tire of listening to it and may grow to hate it (especially when a ‘new tune’ is released). They will delete the download the moment the tingle fades and will not look back in their pursuit of the next big thing. The Artist themselves tango on the tight rope of the tawdry tune, which they soon stuff into a medley of other tunes while on tour, only singing the hooks, less they vomit on stage from the nausea of being associated with the doomed thing in the first place.

A Song, however, knows no such fate. Every Lyric, Melody and Curious Chord Change are constantly reanalyzed, rebuilt and refined from cover to cover. Devoted Fans flock to the Song and File it in their Fave Folders. Artists & Musicians rush to it and celebrate the opportunity to express its universalism and gravity. On stage, the Artist may change the lighting, their clothes and/or the tempo to go into deeper explorations of the Song’s original intent and purpose.

Generations of listeners appreciate the Song. Grandparents immediately reminisce, sharing stories of young love, fate and destiny, while the young carve out their own histories, utilizing the Song’s timeless wonder as the backdrop to their lives.

The Song beckons You. The tune teases.

The Song melts into your memory. The tune takes advantage of the moment.

The Song walks with you through heartache and pain. The tune provides no remedy or safety net.

The Song takes up residence in Your Soul and consistently breathes life into Your Very Being. It offers no stress and harnesses sacred memories that remain with you forever.

At the end of every songwriting session, it is my desire to have received that mystical download from the portals of heaven which engages with the human spirit to encourage and expand life itself for everyone who listens.

I trust we share similar examples.
I would love to know your thoughts!


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Have You Listened to Yourself Lately?

Many Artists & Bands are faithful to record their rehearsals and performances as a means of tightening up loose ends and smoothing over rough patches. It can be tough to sit through the taping of a show where the drummer and bass never really locked or where the guitarist constantly played over changes before they arrived or the lead singer…well, you know.

More Often, we listen for technical reasons. Is the Mix Right? Is the EQ On Point? That’s Not the Right KEY! and my absolute favorite, the Drums are TOO LOUD!

But the type of listening I am speaking of transcends the preparatory, technical and reflective.

While vital to our craft and careers, when we constantly reduce our listening to the rudiments of only hearing the imperfections, we’ve lost the essence of why we create music in the first place.

It’s the Soul, the Heart – that Sacred Place inside someone’s spirit that needs to be rejuvenated, challenged and inspired. Isn’t that the reason we first wrote the song? To transform a life – or if that’s being too mellow-dramatic, perhaps simply to make them get their groove on (groove being synonymous with several definitions!) The point is, we should listen to retain that initial spark that overwhelmed us enough to enkindle others.

For too long I’ve possessed the terrible habit of not listening to my projects once they were finished. You spend months creating it, additional months rehearsing, recording, mixing, mastering and releasing it. Weeks more promoting and performing it. When the cycle ends you’re happy you are through and are eager to get on with something new.

Yet, lately, I’ve found it important to revisit those CDs and listen as I would to any other disc in my collection. To simply embrace and enjoy the music, removing myself from the process has presented a new level of encouragement and afforded me a higher sense of confidence. I’ve been surprised, startled and grateful that God would choose to use me as a vessel to express His musical heart to someone, to anyone – and to many I’ve never met.

What About You? Have You Listened to Yourself Lately?

I am sure you’d be amazed. If you’re on Sound Cloud, send a link to your music in the comment section so we can all listen.

Here’s a link to one of my more obscure ideas:

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