The Problems Musicians Face and How To Solve Them, Pt. 3

Part3Written by Tommy Darker, originally published in The Musicpreneur.

Travelling the world and chatting with fellow aspiring artists reveals astounding insights about the future of music. Here’s the deal: we think we all face different problems, but the reality reveals the opposite. I will share one of these insights, explaining what it means for the way we work as musicians and how to move in the future.

This is the 3rd part. Each part is linked at the end of the post.


Digital native musicians have always struggled with the same problems. Actually it’s just one.

We have shaped the digital world and its tools according to our needs (a tool is created because it solves a real need for a sizable amount of people). These tools have dominated culture and shaped our behaviour, consistently, no matter where in the globe we reside.

That is to say, our behaviour becomes incrementally homogenized. The more we progress in the digital world, the more interconnected we become with one another, the more we influence each other and the less differentiated our behaviour happens to be.

That is not to say that there are no local specialities (ie. very specialized needs that make sense only in a local environment), but the vast majority of today’s projects seem to spring from the same global motives.

Refraining from generalizing the situation, I could state: within the context of the en-masse-spread culture of the digital world, musicians have faced the same problems.

The aforementioned problems of part 2 existed, exist and will keep existing in the digital economy until musicians realize and accept that the context and the economics of the Digital Era (dominating medium: the Internet — main characteristic: interactivity) are different from the Electrical Era (dominating media: TV and radio — main characteristic: broadcasting).

The problem is one, and it roots back to the belief that the way we obtain knowledge and do business are still the same.

We still believe we belong to the old music industry. You know, labels, CD sales and stuff. What is the new industry, you ask? We’ll get back to this at the end of the essay.

I’m a fan of retrospection. At this point, I believe it will be helpful to closely examine how the old world was moving and how we’d been dealing with our issues so far, only to see more clearly the new solutions that arise.

The Problems Musicians Face and How To Solve Them:
Part 1 ~ Part 2 ~ Part 3 ~ Part 4 ~ Part 5 ~ Part 6a ~ Part 6b ~ Part 7

[Photo credit: Studio68.]

Tommy Darker is the writing alter ego of an imaginative independent musician and thinker about the future of the music industry. His vision is to simplify scalable concepts and make them work for independent musicians.

He is a writer about the movement of the #Musicpreneur and founder of Darker Music Talks, a global series of discussions between experts and musicians. He and his work have been featured in Berklee, TEDx, Berlin Music Week, Midem, SAE Institute, Hypebot and Topspin Media. Find him on Facebook and Twitter.

This research and essay is proudly patronized by its readers.


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1 Comment

  1. I’m sorry, but someone in editorial goofed when they okayed this series of articles. Talk about meandering. These should have been edited down greatly. Bleh!

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