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TEM Blog

The Entrepreneurial Musician Blog by Andrew Hitz featuring articles on being an entrepreneur in the music business. Show notes for The Entrepreneurial Musician Podcast.

Filtering by Tag: Phil Snedecor

Different Is Better Than Better

Andrew Hitz

"Different is better than better." 

—Brian Clark (CEO of Rainmaker Digital)


There is a very popular etude book for tuba by Phil Snedecor titled "Low Etudes for Tuba". Phil wrote this book years ago and it continues to sell very well for him in spite of having been released a long time ago. This is not by accident.

It turns out that back in the day John Cradler, Phil's friend who plays tuba in the Presidents' Own Marine Band, told Phil that he should not just write a tuba etude book but one that contains melodies in the extreme low register.

John pointed out to Phil that in spite of the existence of many tuba etude books there wasn't one that specifically addressed this skill head on. Phil asked him if it really would sell. John assured him that it was a glaring hole in the tuba etude book market and that it would.

Sure enough it did and continues to!

The point is that Phil didn't write a better version of a low etude book for tuba. He wrote the first book to do so.

Phil is an incredible writer (both arranger and composer) and very likely could have written a better book than what was already out there if he had been beaten to market by others.

But by writing the first book in that specific niche he was able to sell a whole bunch of them right away. It was a need that people didn't even realize they had and he solved it for them.

The path of least resistance to both impact and financial success is being different. This is much more important than being better.