September 15

“Cover bands don’t change the world.” —The Accidental Creative

I spent a good portion of my early twenties as a performing musician. I got to know a lot of successful people who had made music their career, and who had managed to carve out a bit of space for themselves in a highly competitive  industry. However, not all of them had the same trajectory or staying power.

Those who began their career by playing the music of others (“cover bands”) often gained large audiences right from the start. After all, the music was familiar and they always played it pretty much like the original artist. They served their purpose. However, when another band came along that played the song a little more like the original artist, they began to lose their spark and the audiences waned.

On the other hand, some people carved their own path by playing original music. Their audiences started much smaller, and they had to convince people to give them a chance. However, as awareness grew along with the venues they played, their initial audience remained loyal because they loved the music, not just the performance. 

Yes, the Beatles started as a cover band, but transitioned to original music so that no one could copy them. I’m sure there were plenty of Liverpool cover bands that we have never heard of because they never made that leap. Being a cover band is pretty comfortable until it’s not.

Cover bands don’t change the world. What is the thing that only you can do that people must come to you to get? 

Question:  What is your unique offering to the world, that only you can offer? 

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