Despite the best efforts, being an active musician requires traits that transcend musicality, and this can cause problems for artists who purely focus on music without taking the time to develop other important music industry skills. For example, the skill it takes to cold-call music venues and ask for shows is hugely important if you want to start making a name for yourself in your local scene. But even the smallest venues are typically inundated with emails from another band asking the same thing, and if you go about it the wrong way, you could end up severing an important relationship that your band will need for years to come. Here’s a few tips to avoid pissing off the venues you work with:
The art of mixing in many ways is an art of balancing — you’re weighing different frequencies, audio levels, sound placements, etc. Many times when trying to balance too many things at once, things begin to fall apart. If your mix is too busy and crowded with clashing frequencies and harsh-sounding audio clips, you’ll need to clean it up before releasing the music. So, before you give the greenlight to a mix that’s on the border of being too busy, give it a few tests. We’ve outlined four ways to tell if your mix is too busy, and in each way, we offer a solution.
Despite what you’ve heard, it’s possible to be in a serious band while having a career. Part of being an active and successful musician in 2017 is abandoning the now defunct notion that “making it” means becoming so successful that you’ll be able to someday quit your day job and ride off into the sunset and leave a trail of cash in your dust. Even Grizzly Bear, one of the world’s most beloved and successful indie rock bands, famously revealed that not all of its members could afford health insurance back in a 2012 interview. Getting a serious job isn’t admitting defeat when it comes to making music. Defeat only happens when you stop making music altogether, and that can happen whether you’re employed or not.
Plenty of musicians are doing well in their careers and making meaningful music, and if you’ve been writing and performing seriously for a few years, you’ve probably developed some serious skills that could apply toward a career outside of music. Here’s five examples of band skills:
How many half-finished songs or killer ideas do you have collecting digital dust on a hard drive?
Getting started on a new song or project is easy. Finishing it and setting it into the world is much harder.
When inspiration comes it’s magical. But all too often it takes months or years from that first moment to reach a release-ready master. In some cases, it’s taken me so long that just the thought of that session file made me anxious.
The creative process is a constant battle between too many good ideas and not enough resources and motivation to see them through the finish line. Ironically, the more songs you actually finish, the better your songwriting or production will become.
SoundBetter, a member of the ReverbNation marketplace, has helped tens of thousands of artists finish their tracks and albums by connecting them with the best music production talent in the world that work with them to create amazing-sounding songs.
Here are 10 tips on getting your song to the finish line:
Mojave Nomads hail from the Utah music scene, where pop music dominates. But with influences like Portugal. The Man, Broken Bells, and The 1975, it’s no wonder their indie, funk, 80’s tinged sound stood out when they submitted their song to one of our opportunities.
Whether you’re completely new to songwriting or have been making music for years, working in a space that’s conducive for creativity is essential if you’re taking your craft seriously. But musicians often have a bad reputation for not taking care of themselves, and sometimes this neglect can seep its way into the songwriting process and stifle the atmosphere that surrounds the unique way we write songs. Are you one of those people with the uncanny ability to work creatively in any space? Well, that’s awesome, but the rest of us will have to invest thought and energy into creating a comfortable space to make music in.
Going all in on a PR campaign for your newest release can be one of the smartest investments you make. In fact, I’d put it up there as a non-negotiable cost with every major new release, right alongside professional recordings, promo photos, and a killer release show. Yet, many artists view this as an optional cost. They’ll spend thousands on a strong recording, only to plead brokenness when it comes time to hiring a professional to promote it—then wonder why it didn’t see any kind of buzz.
Love it or loathe it, touring for long stretches of time is mandatory for bands who want to be taken seriously. Even if things go well, touring can be a hugely taxing endeavor for most bands, with the chief difficulty of most tours being that musicians are often asked to work for weeks and months at a time in exchange for little or no money. And unless you’re packing the venues night after night or are touring with a cover band, your band is most likely not making a whole lot of money on tour. Bands run the risk of going broke and breaking up if they go too long between working and paying the bills at home. So, what’s a serious band to do when it’s in the position of needing to regularly tour but simply can’t afford to? Try getting a remote job.