Sunday, December 21, 2014

How to become a Successful Jazz Musician in 2015


Becoming a famous Jazz Musician today is harder than it's ever been before, since today Jazz is less popular and more widely hated than ever before.  Here are 6 simple tips that'll help you reach your goal of becoming a successful Jazz Musician in 2015! 


1) Alienate your audience
My #1 advice is to do as much as you can to alienate your audience.  Make them feel like you're not someone who could even be spoken to or approached.  I find an air of superiority is always quite useful.  One of the easiest way to go about this is to make sure you look down on everyone around you, including your peers.  Remember, people that are more successful than you are just 'sell outs' with no artistic integrity.  Also, look really disinterested at all times.  Treat everyone like this and they'll be thinking "who the hell is this guy?" in no time. 

Historically, Miles Davis did a great job of alienating the audience by refusing to acknowledge their very existence; playing with his back to them.  Today it's a little harder to maintain that distance while giving Jazz fans access to your life and opinions via social media.  I'd like to praise Nicholas Payton for doing a fantastic job at alienating the audience while maintaining an online presence with his blog.  By renaming Jazz into "Black American Music", he's alienated a whopping 85% of the audience; who are white.  He also does this brilliantly by accusing anyone and everyone of being racist, while maintaining white people have never added anything through the entire course of Music history.  I know for this reason I can't wait for his upcoming album "Fuck white people" to drop in late 2015. 




2) "You don't get it, you're not smart enough"
If people don't understand your music because you can convince them it's too complicated for them to understand, you're on your way to becoming a famous Jazz Musician.  One good way of doing this is to tell them your music is based on advanced math formulas.  Another way is to set up grooves that feel really disjointed and uncomfortable.  Jazz fans will be so busy trying to count and figure out the time signature and what the hell is going on that they won't realize the music totally sucks.  It's important to remember, your music doesn't need to actually sound good if you can convince people they're not smart enough to 'get it.'  Chances are, they'll pretend to like it or understand it anyway as a way to alienate their peers(see advice #1.)  Steve Lehman knocked it out of the park this year using this method, thus scoring #1 on NPR's "Critics choice best of 2014" list.  His website even has his graduate dissertation listed: "Liminality as a Framework for Composition: Rhythmic Thresholds, Spectral Harmonies and Afrological Improvisation." I have no idea what half of those words even mean. Bravo. A+



3) Selfies with Famous People 
it is important to be seen with other famous musicians as much as possible, to maintain the illusion of being important or seen as "Someone people should know about/Check out."   Jazz Fans will judge you off of those associations and project more relevance on you than you actually have.  Remember: Perception is reality… and reality doesn't actually exist in Jazz.  If you're seen with important or famous people, you're perceived as important by association.  Also, if you thought selfies were just for 14 yr old girls, WRONG.  Vijay Iyer has done some really excellent work with Selfies.  If you have to, go old school and have someone else take the photo if need be but make sure you post these photos excessively on every social media platform that exists.  Your stock will be rising in no time!





4) Finally it doesn't hurt to be a girl:
It is very important to have an old Jazz musician say you're good, so that the audience will also think so.  Remember, unless someone tells Jazz Fans you're good, you won't be considered good.  Jazz fans really dislike making up their own minds, that's far too much work.  And since everyone knows old Jazz Musicians are dirty pervs, being an attractive girl can really help you on your way.  Old Jazz musicians will just be so shocked there's actually a girl in the Jazz club, you don't even really need to be that attractive!  So if you're a girl, seek out an older pervy Jazz Musician to "Mentor" you.  I'm sure he'd love to give you a good "Mentoring."  (The best part is you don't even have to actually sleep with them, they'll just be so happy a girl is even talking to them)



5) The Soulful Path
Okay, so you're not an innovator, and probably haven't had an original thought in your life.  You can still become a famous Jazz musician.  You're going to want to adopt a southern accent, a soulful old timey persona and just go back to being as 'roots' as you can.  Talk about "The Tradition" as much as possible.  Bring up 'The Blues' until people start becoming annoyed with you.  Ignore any cultural, musical or societal changes that have occurred in the last 60 years.  Also, it's good to claim some obscure influences.  I recommend Harold Land, Carmell Jones, Booker Ervin, Hampton Hawes, Curtis Counce… you get the point; anyone no one's ever heard of.

6) Publicists
Regardless of your musical ability, you can still become a famous Jazz musician if you have enough money.  Unfortunately most people don't have enough money to afford a career in Jazz.  You'll just need the right publicist(there's actually only one.)  But if you can afford him, he will get your album to the critics and they might even actually listen to it(or they'll skim through it and put it on the 'best of 2015' list anyway.)


Best of Luck in becoming a  Famous Jazz Musician in 2015!!



Happy Holidays!

57 comments:

  1. This is shit... Cliche after cliche. I've read this article before about 5 times by 5 different "authors".

    Knowing jazz is to know music. Its just an understanding of melody harmony and rhythm that can be applied to any style. It's the ability to hear music and see music on a stave in your mind's eye. It's great! It's inclusive, its polyrhythmic or not. It's conversational, it's tough, its sensitive, its in the present moment.
    It's alive! Get into it. Your article is totally wrong! Come and hang and you'll like it.
    You've just been hanging out with people with shit taste.

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    1. Mike; really? It's sarcasm. Try to not read anything more into it than what's really there.

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    2. Tim literally took the words out of my mouth! lol

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    3. If Bird had to wash dishes and Trane had to work in a sugar factory to support themselves at times, why does anyone think making a living as a musician is going to be a smooth ride? I'd rather see you use your journalistic skills in pointing out the positives in jazz rather than to be sarcastic an depressing. Let's face it, our heroes in jazz are mortal men and women with all that goes with it like everyone else!

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    4. Ironic or not, Mike's sure right about the cliché part...

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  3. Please stop. You aren't contributing anything useful, insightful, or remotely funny. If you are bitter about this music, then keep it to yourself. Thanks.

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    1. Yup, sarcasm, yes but sarcasm has a point. The point of the writer being, "I hate Jazz and you should too". Obviously his 'insights' don't come from listening to jazz, just rehashing stereotypes. Who gives an ef?

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  4. You got haters, let me be a liker! Good laugh indeed.

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  5. Envious people know only envious ways.

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  7. I loved this article. I loved it so much that I tried to bang my laptop. I'm in the. Hospital now. Totally worth it. Jazz is the worst, and jazz musicians are just awful, specifically. "Hurrr, durrrr: mom and dad just cut me off, please contribute to my kickstarter because im too lazy/detached from reality to get a day job. Anyone with a real problem with this article needs to get out more.

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    1. I think you might be taking this a little too literaly dude... You get a job. Cuz most of these musicians you berate actually do. Unless they actually make a living off their music, which then... what the fuck have you got to say against that?

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    2. Come into my parlor, said the spider to the fly.

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  8. Great satire.....best laugh I've had in months.

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  10. If George Colligan likes this, then I like it, too, because that will make me more famous

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  11. Loved it. I think I need to develop my introspection and anti-social skill set LOL

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  12. How to become a failed writer:

    1. Pick an arcane topic like jazz or organic chemistry, that's actually important but easy to disparage.

    2. Regurgitate a litany of hackneyed cliches in a failed pursuit of humor.

    3. Be sure to throw in some notable practitioners, and be site to denigrate their names and contributions.

    4. Name your blog or article a slur, something like biologyisbullshit.blogspot.com.

    5. Don't forget to posit yourself as an expert and when called on it just cavalierly respond that it was just satire.

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  14. yes you,re just proving the point mike so just shut the fuck up

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  15. "Liminality as a Framework for Composition: Rhythmic Thresholds, Spectral Harmonies and Afrological Improvisation." I have no idea what half of those words even mean.

    I don't think it's supposed to be meaningful to humans. It's more of a religious incantation for supplicating grant money from institutions. Or maybe a plum teaching gig.

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  16. This is brilliant! Almost sarcastic... but so accurate that you must wonder if this guy really hates Jazz or he's trying to make a point of what's wrong with Jazz today and what should change. Either way... A+

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    1. Interesting that you say "this guy" since the blog provides no information about the writer. I, too, am willing to bet that the writer is male, because of the tone of the remarks about women in point #4.

      Further, I am guessing that the writer is white, given the tone of the remarks about Nicholas Payton.

      So this writer is, possibly, a white male, and, I feel pretty sure, a jazz musician, because who else would bother having a blog like this? Unless it were some thoroughly tiresome punk/indie-rock ideologue, but a writer a like that wouldn't a) know who most, or maybe any, of the actual jazz musicians pictured here are; or b) need a blog, because s/he would most likely have a regular writing gig for Pitchfork.

      So, we are most likely viewing the work of a jazz musician who is disaffected by the "jazz business," such as it is, in early 21st-century America, and has taken to the Internet to vent.

      And in this instance, I will say, to pretty amusing results. Kudos to you, jazzistheworst, for having set down in print what a lot of NYC-area jazz musicians think, but wouldn't dare state on the internet (if they hope to have some sort of "career in music"--the last three words here undoubtedly sending the writer into paroxysms of laughter).

      And no, I will not say which, if any, of the points presented here I personally agree with.

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  17. Do Joe L. and Phil W. know you're using their photos? Just wondering.

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  18. The "jazz world" needed to hear this. So funny!!

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  19. I'd say those are spot on advices. By the way I read your post about Whiplash and I really enjoyed it. I also wrote about it here:

    www.artbyarion.blogspot.com

    Cheers!

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  21. This is a old school and have someone else take the photo if need be but make sure you post these photos excessively on every social media platform that exists. Also more just click : best electric guitar .

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  23. Hysterical! I laughed so hard! Thank you! :)

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  24. it really is good to claim several obscure influences. I advise Harold Land, Carmell Jones, Booker Ervin, Hampton Hawes, Curtis Counce… you obtain the point; anyone no one's have you ever heard of.

    Also more logged on : earthquaker dispatch master

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  25. A jazz world "10"-looking girl is a real-world "4".

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  26. Look, there's such thing as an opinion. Cool, great. But that doesn't mean you know shit about this. What instrument do you play? Stop shoving it down peoples throats. Look, jazz isn't modern, and some of the lyrical stuff can (in my opinion) be weird, but for some, it keeps them through life. We can all agree that music is great and all, but some have different taste than others. Stop being a stereotypical ass. As someone who likes not only jazz but alternative, pop, punk, rock, country, rap, and EDM I can honestly say that there is no reason to judge based on some biased opinion.

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  27. Get an agent to reserve you at local sites, if you are interested in being a successful Jazz Musician. Should youn't have an agent, get on the telephone and reserve yourself with local nightclubs and eateries. Youare going to be amazed at how many sites are seeking quality music that was good!

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  28. I never met a musician who would trade places with a ditch digger although it is far easier to do.

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  29. Hahaha.....Epic
    I have something better option who loved Jazz music please go with Gypsyjazz the awesome music band.

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  30. It's all about the mentoring... :-P

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  31. It's funny because most of this is true. I gave up on jazz because it's the least popular music and it's very outdated. It doesn't have a real audience anymore and it's kind of a niche market these days. I like more accessible music these days and I think selling out what you need to do to make a good living at it and keep doing what you love. Jazz musicians are some of the biggest prick's and prima donnas I've ever seen in my life

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