Making and performing music seriously is something bound to leave a person with some sort of emotional baggage at some point. The frequency and severity of disappointments an average musician routinely faces on the path towards making something meaningful happen with their music is so significant that it causes most songwriters to throw in the towel eventually, even if they’re capable of making great music. But letting go of emotional pain and learning how to not take your frustrations out on your audiences is paramount in helping you to become a successful musician, and the idea of giving your audience a clean slate during live performances is especially crucial. Here’s why:
Imagine you’re a new, independent artist looking to test the waters of the business they call music. You have a soul-sucking day job, but hey, gotta pay the rent, right? Soon you’d love to quit and make music full time, but first you need to get some momentum going. You bedroom-produced a handful of songs and you’re ready to get streamed. Got $50 to drop on digital distribution for those five songs? “Ayyyyyy, I haven’t even bought a nice microphone yet!”
Do you really want to begin your career hundreds of dollars in the hole?
You can’t catch your dreams if you go broke trying. That’s why we’re dethroning The Old Way with Select Distribution, the smart, budget-friendly way to get your music on the biggest streaming platforms in the world. The Old Way requires you to spend at least $10 per song and $50 per album to get on “hundreds” of streaming sites, apps, and stores. That’s a fine offer for the more established artist with thousands of fans. That guy is confident he’ll make his money back in a few months. But the up-and-comer, well, she needs to be a bit more choosy with her money. Want to do some quick math?
Even under the best of circumstances, moving on after the breakup of a band can be an emotionally devastating experience. And while extreme emotions can sometimes prove to be prime territory for making music in, that’s not always the case. After serious bands part ways, some musicians find a way to move on and keep making music, but others opt to throw in the towel in an effort to wash their hands of the experience altogether.
It usually takes years of incredibly difficult, thankless work before a band is ready to bring their music on the road. For most bands, touring is the culmination of thousands of tiny failures and successes, so it’s no wonder that our culture has such a dramatic association with a band leaving their hometown to take on the world. Single tours have spelled the untimely demise of many talented bands, but musicians simply can’t develop their careers without it. If your band wants to avoid burning out on the road, you’ll have to bring a balance to the way you think about touring.
You’re probably used to drafting up fan-oriented Facebook posts and newsletters, but one hurdle many artists can’t surmount is how to give individual fans the attention they crave. After all, you’re busy marketing, promoting shows, booking tours, and, oh yeah, making music. At the end of the day, there’s no time or money left over for extensive chats with single fans on a regular basis.
The good news is that there are lots of ways to make connections with individual fans that cost you nothing and take virtually no time at all. Try these five ways to build those connections and get to know each of your fans a bit better.
Great lyrics have the power to mold a shapeless piece of music into a profound statement, but a few poorly-written lines could potentially ruin an otherwise great song. Well aware of this fact, many would-be songsmiths opt to sit out of the songwriting process altogether out of fear of writing bad lyrics or of not having anything meaningful to say at all. But like every other aspect of songwriting, lyric-writing is a skill that’s developed over time, trial and error and lots of difficult work. We’ve assembled five helpful tips to help strengthen your lyric-writing game.
As I write this, I’m currently facing my own version of burnout. It’s Friday afternoon and it’s been an especially long week of fielding emails, putting out fires, managing mini-crises, and trying to find time to actually build my business and look to the future. Did I mention also working in three miles of walking my dog each day, yoga, trying to eat right, and really, really, wanting to catch up on Bates Motel if I could just find the time to sit down, relax, and get my mind to stop racing?
We live in a society that is all about the now, while working in an industry that romanticizes long hours, sleepless nights, and a work schedule that never quits. We are constantly told that we need to be on call 24/7, and that there is always someone else ready to take our spot, so we’d better answer that email, take that gig, make that call, and play that show – and we’d better do it all right now. Because if we dare hesitate, there is someone right around the corner who will gladly snatch the opportunity from us.
If you’re just starting out with under 1,000 followers, dropping a 15-track debut album probably isn’t the right tool to get you the big break you’re looking for. Rather, putting out a single that gets added to a big Spotify playlist or climbs the Hype Machine charts is what will earn you that early buzz.
Nowadays, most up-and-comers release four or five singles first, and then put them out together as an EP. After a few EPs, they’ll ideally have enough buzz to drop a proper album.
The first week of a single release will seem like your biggest rush, but a lot of artists think you just drop a single, scream from a megaphone about it for a week, and then hope people keep listening. Sadly, that’s a recipe for a drop, then flop.
Artists who know how to sustain momentum can actually see their single do bigger numbers in the following weeks if they have the right strategy. Here are seven surefire ways to extend the life of your single.