7 Tips For Upgrading Your Laptop

This last week I bought a new MacBook Pro (at least new to me). My old model wasn’t quite fast enough for some of the massively multi-track count projects I’ve been working on, and it was finally time. If you’re thinking you need to upgrade, here’s some tricks on making it less stressful: 


1. Back up everything using Time Machine.


A time machine backup is the best (and cheapest) insurance for your computer, and helps you restore everything if something goes catastrophically wrong. 


2. Copy all of your files to a separate hard drive. 


Once you’ve created a Time Machine backup, get an second external drive and back up all of the important data from Documents, Movies, Photos, Music, and anywhere else you have your files stored. This will help you save just the information you need, and eliminate what you don’t. 


3. Don’t forget to save presets and other data from your music creation apps. 


In the past I’ve forgotten to save patch libraries, channel strip settings and much more when I upgraded. Before you switch, look up all of the locations of the stuff inside apps that are important to you and back them up to your external hard drive. 


4. Write down all of your passwords and login items on a piece of paper. 


Don’t put it in a spreadsheet- it’s easy for hackers to get that info. Writing it all out will ensure you can actually access the apps and accounts you have when you install them again. 


5. Do a “clean install” of all your applications. 


I know it’s a pain, but it can really help speed up your system by eliminating corrupted or irrelevant files on your computer. 


6. Install any drivers for any hardware you have. 


Don’t install the drivers for your hardware equipment until everything else is in place and functioning properly. 


7. Don’t wipe/sell your old computer until your new computer is completely up and running. 


If all else fails and you accidentally delete an important file or can’t get a program functioning, having your old computer around as a backup will keep you productive while you troubleshoot.

Enneagrams and Why They’re Important for Musicians 

I was introduced to the personality analysis system called the Enneagram a few weeks ago, and it’s been really challenging the way I think about myself and the people I’m around. I’ve been familiar with personality tests (I think they’re fun to do), but the Enneagram takes personality analysis to the next level with incredibly detailed explanations of 8 basic personality types. 


So how does this help you in your music career? It helps you understand a little more the reactions of others, and why you might be reacting the way you are to certain pressures. For instance, I was recently working on a publishing deal between two people:  I guessed one of the people to be a type 4 and the other person felt like they were close to a type 8 (I’m not good at assessing personality types yet, but I think I was close enough for it to be useful). 


Things weren’t going too smoothly, but by understanding a little about the personality types I was able to understand a little more where each personality was coming from. My type 4 friend’s biggest fear according to the Enneagram is “That they have no identity or personal significance”. She was really concerned that the publishing deal would fall through if we didn’t move quickly, and that the music she’d written wouldn’t be remembered. 


My type 8 friend’s biggest fear, according to the Enneagram is “being harmed or controlled by others”, and he was reacting this way in the dispute. He was overly concerned that he was going to get ripped off even though that was an unlikely outcome, and told me that he felt he was being manipulated by the other party. 


Because I could understand some general motivations for each party I was able to help diffuse the base emotion instead of getting bogged down in the details of the argument. I tried to reassure my type 4 friend that her music is significant, beautiful, and will be successful even if this deal does fall through, and I encouraged her to be patient. I told my type 8 friend that no one wanted to rip him off, and that I’d be with him every step of the way until we reach an agreement that would works for everyone. 


It’s not perfect and it’s not the solution for every problem, but understanding the different personality types using the Enneagram structure has helped me understand others better than I have in the past. If you’re in the music industry, I’d encourage you to read through the types and get a basic understanding of each type- you might be amazed how much you’l learn about those around you and your own motivations, and it's a lot of fun! 

5 Ways To Make Money Playing Music in a Secondary Market

5 Ways To Make Money Playing Music in a Secondary Market

I'm lucky enough to live in Nashville, home to some of the best musicians in the world and a big chunk of the music industry. I really enjoy a lot of aspects of Nashville, but I was financially successful at music when I lived in a smaller market, too (St. Louis). He are my five best tips for earning a full-time music living in a secondary market:

When & Why To Sell Your Influence

When & Why To Sell Your Influence

Almost every week I receive an email like the following: 


Hi Eric,

I hope you're having a nice day.

We are interested in sending over a quality and relevant article/product/advertisement to your site
ericwbarfield.com as a contribution. Is this something you might consider? If yes, I can email over the details asap. Rest assured that it will be subject to your review. Please note that we'll also add references to our client.

Aside from the article/product/advertisement, we will also pay an administrative fee worth $XXX.

Please email me back if this is something that might interest you.

Looking forward to hearing from you, Eric.

The Ultimate in Music Business Advice: Get Noticed Course

The Ultimate in Music Business Advice: Get Noticed Course

Want advice on how to develop your career as a musician? Don’t ask me. I’m still trying to figure out how to cram practicing, touring, and all the other stuff into an average week, while occasionally sleeping. 


My friend Steve Grossman is the man I go to when I need career advice. With a 30+ year career as a session and touring musician, he’s been wildly successful with a number of bands, and even got a Grammy Award along the way for his work.