LA Music Academy’s “LAMA connect” — the school’s internal social network — has its own message board. It’s a great forum for the school’s musicians to talk with each other about the trials and successes of being a musician in today’s industry. Recently one alum posted a contemplative message about his experiences of late:
I am going through a period of reflection as of late in regards to music. I have had a somewhat bad experience recently where I put in a lot of time on a record, got paid very little, then the whole project got thrown out. This was more than just a hired sideman deal and I’m so very tired of working and not getting what I think I’m worth (within reason of course). So I guess what I want to know is how other people handle their situation when it comes to getting paid or doing it “for the love.” I’m struggling with the fear that if I only go for gigs that pay I won’t be playing very much; yet, at the same time I don’t want to continue to provide top notch drummin to people only to get screwed in the end.
So how do you approach your gigs? Do you stick to your session rate and make no compromises? Do you play for the love? With every business, it’s a learning experience. We encourage you to never give up and think the key here is finding the right balance and utilizing networking skills. Lay out the details for your gigs or recording sessions clearly — in the beginning — so everyone is on the same page. Don’t be shy about putting together music agreements. But most of all, don’t forget to have fun.
So what say you…to play or not to play?
LA Music Academy alumni have gone on to play with some of the biggest names in the music industry. LAMA drum grad Chaun Horton is one of them. He just wrapped this video where he talks about growing up and playing in the church, what to expect from the LA Music Academy drum program and playing with pop/R&B stars Macy Gray and Natasha Bedingfield:
Best of luck Chaun — the video turned out great!
One of our drum instructors Gary Ferguson is recording with Phenagen featuring members of Suicidal Tendencies and Pennywise. The video below was posted on YouTube and is a great video of the band in the studio w/producer Darian Rundall during a February 2012 Los Angeles session. For more info on Phenagen visit their official website here.
In a fascinating article “Music: It’s in your head, changing your brain” published earlier this week by CNN, the author discusses the connections between mind and music. It’s a long article so we’ve highlighted some of our favorite points here:
- When you play music you are exercising your brain in a unique way
- Music allows you to think in a way that uses cognitive facilities that have nothing to do with music
- Scientists are referring to the looping, sometimes annoying, sound segments that get stuck in your head as “ear worms”
- Bone flutes are connected to 40,000-80,000 years ago which gives you an idea that people were at least playing music back then
- Our ancestors long ago used music to help remember things, such as how to make food or directions to a water source
- Music is strongly related with the brain’s reward system
- It appears humans are the only primates that can move to a beat. Monkeys for example can’t tap their feet to songs, or recognize beats. Some birds however can mimic what they hear
- A music beat can help people with motor disorders such as Parkinson’s disease
- Victor Wooten and many musicians approach music as a language. He says “It’s rare that I ever meet a musician who doesn’t agree that music is a language. But it’s very rare to meet a musician that really treats it like one.”