1. Be pretentious. The more pretentious the better. No level
of pretentiousness can be reached which is sufficient.
2. Talk the talk but don't walk the walk.
3. Never start, nor enter into, a knife-fight in a carpark. You
will lose because you are a fey singer/songwriter.
4. Never go anywhere without bottled water.
5. Get a divorce. No one understands you.
6. Name-drop. Always. Never have a conversation with anyone ever
7. Respect women. If you are a woman, respect The Earth.
8. Become an alcoholic, then recover.
9. Have no furniture.
10. Your bookshelves should be bricks-supporting-plywood.
11. When appearing in public, try to look unwashed, even if your
daddy (who is paying your rent) is rich.
12. Write lyrics. It helps if they make no sense.
13. Sing them. Hence your epithet.
14. Record songs. Use producer who has access to state-of-the-art
Pro Tools to make your voice sound human and to quantize your
15. Your four-track CD demo should have Copyright signs everywhere
so that no one will fail to see your overblown pretentiousness.
16. Have an acoustic guitar that you can't play very well.
17. Carry around folders with lots of paper in them. So when
you try to find lyric sheets in front of people, they think you
are leafing through thousands of songs, instead of gas bills from
1987 and outdated To-Do lists which haven't been done yet, like
'Get Record Contract'.
18. Rearrange your songs so much that every time you play them
they are different. Tell your listeners you're "feeling where
the music's taking you".
19. Have an expensive current-year-model electronic keyboard
which you can't play, but can program the shit out of.
20. Give your CD to everyone, even if they don't want it. ESPECIALLY
if they don't want it.
21. Think up a custom term for your music, which makes no sense
in English, like "adult-contemporary eclectic-pop".
Each press release should contain the word "unique"
at least twelve times.
22. Tell people A&R reps are coming to your shows.
23. Tell A&R reps that people are coming to your shows.
24. Book shows that no one comes to.
25. Go see a lot of bands, meet with them backstage and tell
them you are a singer/songwriter. Give the band's singer advice.
26. Write songs about men crying. Before each performance, give
backstory on why you wrote those songs.
27. Attend Poetry Slams and do guest acoustic spots.
28. Believe in your dreams.
29. Pad out your CD collection with obscure artists from the
throwaway bins. When people don't recognize the artists, they'll
think they're less cultured than you.
30. Wear a cowboy hat and/or tassled leather jackets. If female,
wear saris and/or no shoes.
31. One word: CANDLES.
32. A fake British accent helps. (Optional.)
33. Your voice can never be loud enough through the foldback
monitors. Matter of fact, your voice can never be loud enough
- period. Always complain that you can't hear yourself.
34. Play out of time with your band and accuse them of having
35. After many years of playing the clubs with hired musicians
who laugh behind your back, become a christian.