Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Becoming Famous

Dear Monty,

I saw your article and I just wanted to know if there is an age limit to be in the music business. I love music and I write songs. I have a good singing voice but I'm only 12 years old. Is that a problem? And how do you get famous anyway?



Hi Melanie,

No, there's no age limit to being in the music business. Even little kids have "made it big." (Shirley Temple and the Olsen Twins are a couple of examples who come
immediately to mind.)

However, it's very hard for anyone of ANY age to find fame. It takes enormous talent and hard work, plus a good chunk of luck.

You've got to start out by getting very very good at what you do which takes practice, practice, practice.

Even if you become a fantastic singer/songwriter, it still takes a lot of hard work, promotion, and a good bit of luck to become famous.

The best advice I can give you is to work hard at your music as long as you love doing it.

I believe most professional musicians, myself included, are happy to make a living at what they love to do without worrying too much about becoming famous. For me it's really about the songs and the kids I sing them for!

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Learn by Doing


I’m not exactly a kid anymore I’m almost 15 but I have always loved music and I am a singer, well I am for my music class and I am in my school choir. I would love to be able to write my own songs and I have but they never sound good and I have only recently started. I work on my songs and try to progress them on but I was just wondering if you had any good tips that you could give me.


Hi, Jenny,

As a beginner you naturally have a lot to learn. I would advise you to check out a couple of books about songwriting from the library to arm yourself with plenty of basic knowledge about song structure, melody, rhyme, meter, imagery, etc.

But songwriting is like any skill. You can't learn to do it just by reading about it. You learn a lot more by doing. If you get really stuck on a song, put it aside and start a new one. You won't learn anything sitting around being stuck. If you write a song and you don't like it, that's OK. You don't necessarily have to fix it. Just try to do better with the next song. You will learn more by writing ten bad songs than you would learn struggling and struggling to write one great song.

So, read some books, then write some songs. Then look back at the songs you've written. Ask yourself what you like or don't like about them. Then read those books again. This time a lot of stuff will make more sense, because you have more experience at writing.

Most of all, don't worry if your songs don't seem as great as the ones you sing in choir or hear on the radio. The people who wrote those songs wrote a lot of duds while they were learning, too. Everyone does. That's just what you have to go through before you can get really good at it. It's the way the world works. Keep writing and you'll keep getting better at it!

I hope this helps!