But one thing that doesn’t get talked about, yet holds immense power in the outcome of your career is something that already resides within each and every one of us — our mindset.
Without the right tools in our arsenal, we’re bound to experience more failures, frustrations, and setbacks, and at the center of those tools is our mindset. Lucky for us, it’s one of the few tools that’s totally free and 100% under our control. Use it correctly, and it can transform the way people see you and the rate at which your career takes off. Pretty powerful stuff, right?
I’ve outlined 5 ways you can start changing the way you approach your career today, just by tweaking your mindset. Go into this with an open mind, employ these tactics, and watch as opportunities begin to show themselves to you, people begin to seek you out, and your career begins to transform.
One of Picasso’s most famous quotes is the legendary comment on stealing from other artists: “Good artists copy, great artists steal.” It’s true—every piece of art has an origin of influence. And while we aren’t encouraging you to steal (get your samples cleared!), we recognize that one of the best ways to build your own sound as a producer is to look to your influences. Every producer who opens up a DAW for the first time has an established history of love for various artists that inspired them to open a DAW in the first place. Right away, you’re probably going to mimic your favorite producer, whether it be their drum patterns or use of effects. But in the 21st century where producers are becoming a dime a dozen, it pays to stand out. You can own your influences, but be careful not to wear them on your sleeve. For the producers who successfully balance their influences with their own original ideas, your work will be much more in demand. Here are a few ways to achieve that goal.
Let’s face it. Even if your band is commercially successful, you’ll still have to do some non-musical work from time to time in order for things to run smoothly. And if your band is small and trying to make a name for itself, then there’s no getting around the fact that non-musical work will have to be a huge part of your day to day lives if you’re serious about making music and trying to share it with people.
Lots of young, ambitious musicians start bands with the expectation that they’ll get to do nothing but write and perform music, but while it’s great to be passionate about the musical aspects of being in a band, that attitude will make it virtually impossible to play shows, build a fanbase, and get the word out about the music you care so deeply about. Discovering your band’s non-musical strengths and applying them to tasks like booking shows and contacting press is essential for artists who want to make music a career.
After working hard to create meaningful music, it can be incredibly exciting when your band starts to get opportunities like opening up big shows. But unfortunately, the thought of playing to a packed crowd often comes hand-in-hand with debilitating performance anxiety for some people, including everyone from members of newer inexperienced bands to seasoned music veterans.
While some performers get nothing more than the feeling of butterflies in their stomach before an important show, performance anxiety is a major issue for some musicians no matter their age and level of talent. But if you’re someone struggling to tame nerves during performances, don’t despair. Here’s some tips:
Since impulsivity and music often go hand in hand, it can be tempting to make quick, on-the-spot decisions when it comes to how you make, perform, record, and promote your music. Feeling comfortable and confident with the way you make decisions is pretty important in the songwriting arena, but ironically, giving your instincts too much of a say in matters other than music-making could end up significantly hurting your band.
In my decade of experience playing music around the country, I’ve noticed a strange similarity in many of the musicians I’ve encountered. Lots of active musicians I’ve met firmly believe their music scene is bad or that it used to be good and has somehow lost its luster over the past few years. Being in a young, ambitious band, I used to relate to these negative sentiments as it can often feel hard to find acceptance and support from a music scene when you’re new and trying to prove yourself. But over the years, I’ve come to realize that no, there’s not a widespread worsening of music communities across the nation, but instead a problematic issue with the jaded attitudes often found in the musicians who form music scenes.
A certain new and exciting credibility is lended to bands when they transition from playing locally to performing at venues around the country. If you’re new to playing music, you might think that touring is an experience filled with non-stop fun, venues filled to the brim with adoring fans, and luxurious accommodations, but the dramatized version of tour portrayed in movies and TV rarely reflects the massive challenges that come along with heading out on a national tour as a small band. If you want a more realistic picture of what it’s like to head out on tour with an unknown band, think sparsely attended shows, strained finances, and sleeping on floors.
But even with the general stress and discomfort that touring usually brings for smaller acts, it’s an absolute necessity if you want to be taken seriously by fans, press, and labels. There’s no better manifestation of an artist’s hopes and aspirations than seeing them set out for a long national first tour for the first time.
If you’re interested in booking your first national tour, this article was written specially for you. Making the transition from playing locally to regionally and eventually nationally can often be overwhelming, so we’ve assembled ten helpful tips to help you get started.
British indie pop, singer/songwriter, Jerry Williams, draws inspiration from her life and the lives of others around her. At just 21 years old, Jerry has racked up over 6 million streams on Spotify and has been supported from the likes of Radio 1’s Adelle Roberts, Cel Spellman, Huw Stephens, BBC Introducing locally and Nationally, KCRW, and Amazing Radio. She has also supported sold out tours with Nathan Sykes and Vanessa Carlton.
With all of these accolades under her belt, it’s no wonder she’s been selected for past opportunities with ReverbNation and is now a part of our CONNECT program. We chatted to her about songwriting, her biggest challenge as an indie artist, and what’s up next for her.