Welcome to The Manual
So here it is, the one and only manual that’s very, very different from all other books about writing and producing music.
Almost every expert and almost every book out there will teach you that you will need to follow trends and that you will have to produce mass-compatible chart pop, as this will be the only way to become a successful musician in the age of online piracy. In this manual however, we will analyze the real problems of both the music industry and of today’s music. This will help you to understand why most artists fail and why the entire industry is dying, and it will allow you to come up with a strategy that will make people buy your own records. You will soon discover a few quite surprising facts, as well as answers to the most important questions that have been haunting both musicians and record companies over the past 20 years:
- Why are people buying less records nowadays?
- And if people generally buy less, then why do some artists still sell millions and break sales records, while others don’t sell anything at all?
- What will YOU have to do in order to make people love and buy YOUR own records?
- What are the biggest challenges for today’s artists, how can you make it on your own without producing mass-compatible chart pop?
- And finally, what’s wrong with today’s music, and with this entire industry?
The answers to those very important questions will help us developing a strategy that will allow YOU to become successful on your own, without the help of traditional record companies, by releasing great music that will be relevant or even revolutionary again.
Writing this book was a hell lot of work. It’s the first book I’ve ever written. I’m not a professional writer, and English isn’t my native language. But it was a tremendous exercise, and I discovered a whole lot of new things during the entire process, while I thought I knew everything already. And now I would like to share this knowledge with you. To me, this endeavour was something like the search for the Holy Grail, the search for solutions that could help musicians to become successful on their own, without having to produce purely commercial chart pop and without having to participate in some awkward talent show. And I’m very excited to be able to tell you that there is hope:
Not only is it still possible to become successful by making good music nowadays, but you’ll even learn that chances for you to make it on your own will be much higher if you do exactly THE OPPOSITE of what all of today’s bubble gum teen pop stars and producers are doing.
You may not yet believe all of this at this point – but as soon as you’ll understand the problems of the industry, the solutions will become obvious. Read the book, and you’ll learn how it will be possible to reach your goals.
I called this book a “manual” by the way, as it offers clear instructions on what has to be done. It offers practical solutions, plus all of the theoretical background information you’ll ever need.
More than half of the manual is free, including the chapters about sound and style development, and songwriting. The free part alone should help you to greatly improve your skills as an artist and as a songwriter already. If you like it, then please consider paying for the entire book, as the second half will teach you how to really kick things off.
This is the first release of this manual by the way.
Version 1.0 as of March 2018 if you want. So I would like to apologize in advance for all possible typos and other small mistakes you may find. As said before, I’m not a writer and English is not my native language, but I hope the entire thing is still somewhat readable. If you notice anything wrong or really awful, then please let me know by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks in advance for your help and support.
I would also like to apologize to Justin Bieber and to other entertainers who will be mentioned as examples of what’s wrong with today’s music and with today’s music industry in this book. I have no personal problems with those people, and the world needs music and entertainers of all kinds of course.
Finally I would also like to mention that this manual will help you to improve as an artist no matter what music genre you’re into. The rules and recommendations will be the same for all genres, no matter if we talk about rock, pop, folk, punk, heavy metal, or even hip hop or disco and dance music for example. And don’t forget that there is no good or bad genre, there is only good and bad music. We’ll talk about that soon.
Note that this is an ongoing project.
As the entire manual is online, I will easily be able to update it, and it shall be improved on a regular basis. You may also contact me if you have suggestions or if you notice something important to be missing.
Any kind of feedback is welcome. Also note that this is an educational project in many ways.
Reading the manual means learning a lot about what’s wrong with the entire world of music at the moment.
If you want to become successful on your own, then you’ll need to understand why others fail, and why the entire music industry is failing.
Get educated, as you will need all the information you can possibly get in order to succeed. Thanks to all of those who are supporting this project and thanks to all of you who are trying to turn this world into a better place by making great music.
This manual is for you!
Jos F. Kirps
Note: This book features a number of quotes by famous artists and business people, and I hope that I got them right as I found most of them online. If you find something that’s not correct, then please let me know. This manual also features a bunch of album cover images, reproduced under fair use conditions in the educational (sub)chapters.