Bob Baker's Indie Music Promotion Blog

Music marketing ideas for DIY artists, managers, promoters and music biz pros

September 24, 2010

The Black Keys Guide to Shattering Excuses

We creative types have so many good ideas: new ways to vocally interpret a lyric, guitar sounds that make a song pop, using unexpected instruments on a recording that bring it to life, etc.

These ideas serve us well.
We also have equally creative ideas that hold us back, such as:
  • I don't have enough contacts in the business to be able to get anywhere.
  • Everybody else knows more than me, so I'm going to be taken advantage of.
  • I'm too old to do much with my music now.
  • This music project is doomed because I don't have enough money to promote it.
These are all very creative ideas, in my opinion, because none of them are actually true.

Think about it. Your guitar sound or vocal arrangement isn't actually "cool" or "awesome" until someone decides for themselves that it is. Otherwise, it's just sound vibrations and noise.

Someone has to determine they think it's good for it to be so.

The same goes for the negative beliefs listed above. They're just ideas without substance -- until you decide they are real.

Seriously, do you REALLY need a bunch of music biz connections to make progress? Are you REALLY too old to make an impact with your music? And are you REALLY doomed due to a lack of money?

I don't think so.

Consider the topic of graphic design for your next album. Ideally, you want to hire a professional designer to create a stunning cover. That would be great. But ... you're short on funds. So that means you're destined to be stuck with a crappy looking album cover, right?

That brings me to The Black Keys and the cover art for their CD, called Brothers.

I saw this in a store recently and was struck by the simplicity. I found it both funny and eye-catching at the same time. Very creative indeed.

So let me ask you ... Did they spend a fortune on graphic design for this release?

Could YOU have done something similar, if you had thought of this idea?

Of course, you could.

My advice: Put all of your creative ideas under a microscope. Examine them for what they truly are. Keep the ones that serve you, and discard the rest.


P.S. Did you like this blog post? If so, subscribe to my long-running Buzz Factor ezine and get a semi-regular dose of music promotion tips and tools delivered to your inbox (about once a week).

You can also follow me on Twitter and Facebook.
Get more tips like these when you subscribe to my free Buzz Factor ezine — the longest running music career tips email newsletter on the planet. Since 1995. Learn more about the free subscription here.

Or just sign up using this quick and easy form:

Your First Name
Your Primary Email

Your email address will not be shared. Unsubscribe at any time.

Connect with

posted by Bob Baker @ 10:27 AM   4 comments


At Sep 26, 2010, 3:44:00 PM, Anonymous Christine Kane said...

Very true Bob! (I laughed out loud when i looked at that CD cover. I love what people are doing these days!)

Everything that brought me more money, success or gigs or whatever - was about taking a deep breath, asking my stupid ego to step aside - and then doing something different!

At Sep 27, 2010, 8:58:00 AM, Blogger Rain San Martin said...

Hilarious....what a simple idea. One of the most self debilitating excuses I‘ve seen is.."I'm too old to make a living as a musician". Did they miss the train and are therefore doomed to take their dreams to the grave? Let's change the paradigm, one individual at a time.

At Sep 28, 2010, 11:28:00 AM, Anonymous Kyle said...

It also helps to borrow from the greats that came before you...

At Oct 14, 2010, 2:46:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I COMPLETELY AGREE. I'm an old fashion collector that loves artwork in albums but I also love things that are creative and makes me smile.

The band Mass Assembly did something similar, they were white cardboard sleeves and they used a rubber stamp to imprint the name of the band on the front and the songs on the back.

Then I saw another band Kobra Kobra that took a piece of sandpaper to make the sleeves and used stencils to spray paint "Kobra Kobra" on the front.


Post a Comment

<< Home