If you are just starting your career as a musician or you have been at it for a long time you need to read this article. You have a choice: Either Take Control of your own music career OR Wait For Others to take control of it for you. Which way is best, is your decisions there are good and bad points to each.

Let's go over some pros and cons of both sides.

First, getting signed is a whole different beast then doing it on your own and you must respect both paths. When trying to get signed that must be your focus, all your energy and promotional skills must be to get the attention of the label and rep. An A&R rep is the person that represents you to the label, gets your deal and is often repsonsible for you. Everything you do must bolster the opportunity for you to get this persons attention. For example you may want to develop a mailing list of A&R reps. Invite all the reps at once to a music-showcase where you perform to start a bidding war. You will need professional representation if you land a good deal. This can chop off 10%-30% of your income right off the bat. If you do not promote your music during this entire process you will most likely not make it. Do not every stop promoting your music!

The positive things that happen when you get signed are astounding! You will be given some money to finish your LP and possibly even to shoot a music video. You will get this in the form of a recoupable advance. Remember that this is not free money, you owe this back to the label. Whatever you happen to make it will ultimately go back to the label in your royalty statement. You will get massive exposure only IF .... IF the record label gets behind your project.

The downside of getting signed include the following. You will immediately begin competing with all the other artists on the label. You can expect your schedule of tracks released will be the labels will, and not yours. You may be an artist that prefers to release tracks every month, and this will be slowed down amazingly. You will still benefit if you promote your must through the entire length of the deal. Imagine if the label has a bigger artist coming down the set releases. Imagine if the your music sells , but not as well as hit oriented music by other artists. From start, you have to make alot of $ in sales or the label may move on to an easier project. And most importantly your royalty rate will be cut from 100 to about 10 percent. And, you MUST make sales, or your career will end.

Second if you take your music career in your own hands, you are taking positive and immediate action. You must promote your music even more that with a label behind you. You must take this part of your career very seriously. You will work 40+ hours a week on this. You will also immediately have to get help from friends, family, co workers, or whomever else is willing to help you move your career forward. This is an approach that you must get into , to make work.

The positive side of this is a lot of control and possible a lot of money. For example , do it correctly and you will get a very very large percentage of your sales in fact probably one hundred percent. You can forego hiring legal staff to represent you. You can become your own producer, manager, and agent and guide your own career. You can put an album or track out whenever you want and will not be bound to a major label release schedule. All merchandising will be owned by you which means more money in your pocket. This is the best situation for artists.

The tough side of handling it all on your own is it is easy to get depressed and you have littel feedback besides sales to keep you going. You will immediately be wearing many hats and you will not be able to JUST concentrate on your craft- which is music making and songwriting. You can only blame you if things don't go correctly , and you must always promote your music or you may not make it.

Whatever way you decide to go you must remember: It doesn't matter which route you go, you can control this.

- Get an attorney when you need help. You will probably need this if you get a major deal.

- Watch your manager like a hawk. They MUST do something for you in order to move you forward..

Be extremely cautious no matter which way you decide on this. As an artist or running you own career, you will need to be patient with yourself.
to be patient with yourself at all times with your music career.