Achieving your goals as an independent musician in the modern world
Benedict Roff-Marsh (2022)
The Indie Musician’s Guidebook is designed to help you find the right mindset and path to travel as you write, record, and publish your music. Oh, and that marketing thing too. If it so happens that you are reading this and you are a painter, photographer, racing car driver, don’t feel that you have to stop. Where I write the word music, swap that for your peccadillo and we are all good.
If you are here looking for simplistic tips and tricks that will turn you into an instant pro, if it were that simple, you wouldn’t need this book. The first five-minute YouTube tutorial you viewed would have you, and everyone else who saw it, an UberStar by now. That doesn’t work. This material won’t tell you what knob to press or even what tags to tweet on Instagram. The Guidebook focuses on the real reason that people do, or don’t do, a thing.
The material is in four main sections with practical suggestions that match the tutorial arcs as I made them. This whole guide is about helping you see the reasons under a thing so you can have better control over that thing. Whether that is fans, band members, or even yourself, the game is the same.
As a very young child, I was fascinated by my father's record collection and his monophonic valve Hi-Fi, but it wasn't long before I was listening to music of my own. My brothers brought pop music into the house with little AM radios. I listened to the Top 40 and developed some favorites. We also watched the now famous Countdown TV show on Sundays and that introduced me to Rock & Roll as a visual style. The New Wave artists like Adam Ant, Joan Jett, and Duran Duran really caught my attention and I feel set me for life.
My father built harpsichords for a while when I was a teenager and I helped him design and build these very special instruments. When leaving school I wanted to be a record producer just like Alan Parsons. I spent some time in studios but opportunities didn't seem to be there for me. To have material to work on I bought myself a Casio CZ-1000 synth and started experimenting with it. Soon I was composing my own pieces.
Between about 1989 and 1993 my demo tapes (yep, cassettes) got me phone calls from several mid-size Independent Record Companies (with distribution channels through Majors) who wanted to talk. Sadly with each label I spoke to, it ended with one partner wanting me but the other not. Later dealings with labels always went the same. Eventually, the doors just closed, and I stopped sending tapes, CDs, mp3s. I didn't give up making music or even working on understanding what makes music work or not.
Despite multiple setbacks, I persevered, and I successfully composed for several short films, including "27th," "The Extraordinaries of Food," and "Out Of The Box." In 2010, I scored for the short film "Unrepentant" which was a joy to work on and I was allowed to be 'interesting.' "Unrepentant" has won several awards in film festivals including a "Best Music Score" from Wildsound 2011 for my input. "Out Of The Box" got another two awards in 2019. I can't say that I took the short route, but I have had both failures and successes which I believe can be of benefit to others.
Imprint: CDG Books
Place of Publication: New York
Number of Pages: TBA
Primary Field: Music & Entertainment
Publication Date: 31 March, 2022 (Coming Soon)