Introduction to The Musician’s Masterplan

Musician's Masterplan

This is the Introduction to The Musician’s Masterplan by Lee Ness of Bands on Demand. See the index to all the content here.


Musician's Masterplan


The Musician’s Masterplan is an evolution of a different book. Back in 2014, I wrote a book about how to achieve elite status in sports. It was reasonably successful. I based it on a lot of experience, not just sports, but in business and life generally. I see sport as a metaphor for life, or a simile I suppose. Sport simply explains things better sometimes and I often use sporting anecdotes to highlight a point in my working life. But, my working life, my second working life, also involves music. I’ve written blog posts and such like for music and musicians, but not advice per se, because I’m not a musician. Who am I to advise those who are? Well, now I’ve given it some thought, the advice to young people wanting to achieve a sporting dream is as relevant to a musician of any age as it is for sports. So here is The Musician’s Masterplan for your reading pleasure!

 First, let me say, I believe – no strike that, I KNOW – that talent is not given and that no-one is born with it; talent is earned and anyone can earn it if they have the desire.  This book has been written for musicians who want to earn their talent to become the best at what they do as well as for the partners, bandmates and parents of those musicians.
This is a culmination of many hours of reading and research, of articles, as well as biographies and autobiographies. My experience also comes from a lot of observation and talking to people. I have searched for the threads that run through each story, bringing them together as a single resource to help you become the best at what you do. 

This book isn’t a how-to be a great musician from a technical perspective. I can’t tell you how to write songs, improve your vocals, become the next {insert your own music here here}. But it is about how to become a great musician. Huh? Isn’t that contradictory? Yes. And, no. But yes, both statements are. What I mean is, this isn’t an instruction manual for musicians, it is about the process of becoming great. Whether you are an 8 year old prodigy or a 50 year old ageing rocker starting a second phase dream now that his/her kids have left home.

I have not written this looking for some top down perspective as, when you are at the top, it is easy to forget what you did to get there and what you did on a day-to-day basis. A cynic might say that when you are at the top it may suit you to embellish some elements and leave others out. It might be of use to make it seem easier than it was, or harder than it was. It might just be that it was a long road and it is not easy to remember such things clearly.

Reading this book will start you off on a long, hard road that will help you reach the top of your career. It is about the grit and the grind of starting out as a musician. It is about how your life is affected by your journey and how you have to adapt to be successful. Being successful in music is not about where you come from. Having a privileged background or a poor one is irrelevant; for every musical great from one background there will be one from the opposite end of the spectrum and everything in between.
I have not included the occasional seemingly accidental star for whom everything just fell into place and who just happened to be in the right place at the right time. Everyone would like to be plucked from obscurity and thrust into international greatness because that would be easy, as it seems to happen on the X Factor, but in reality life is just not like that and, in my research, I just haven’t found anyone that it has happened to when you look behind the curtain.

This book is about making the opportunities happen yourself, rather than waiting for them and hoping they will. It is about preparing yourself and putting yourself in the right place. It is about dealing with adversity, overcoming all the obstacles and defeating the odds – because the odds are against you. You can overcome the odds, but it is a long road and the sooner you start and the harder you work, the sooner you can get to where you want to be.

I have written this book as a plan of action, rather than a theory or a set of background information that requires you to struggle to extract meaningful actions from. I have written this as a mentor or parent, keeping it simple and keeping it real. At the end of each chapter, I have provided a very brief summary of what you need to do to get to the top, in simple steps. Not everyone will need or want do every single one, nevertheless, the more you do, the more chance you have of becoming successful and reaching the top of your industry.

I’ll be releasing this book one chapter at a time, in full on and an abridged version on Headlights and White Lines. Once it is finished, I’ll release it for download in full. All for free of course. 

I sincerely hope this book gets you to where you want to be, and I wish you all the best for your journey.

If you have questions along the way or you need advice, then there is a forum that I host at where you can ask them, or just visit to post your dreams or tell me how you are getting along.

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