For about as long as musicians have been writing music and performing, the world of music has been synonymous with things like terrible diets, late nights, and copious amounts of booze and drugs. But while unhealthy lifestyles make for good television, they can be hell on a musician’s body. If making and performing music is something you plan on doing for the rest of your life, the bad habits you form now could keep you from being your best, or stop you in your tracks completely. It’s not sexy, but learning how to take care of yourself will make you a better musician.
Performing on stage is something that makes musicians vulnerable no matter what kind of music they make. For many musicians, emotions run high during live performances because there’s so much at stake. When things go well during shows and the connection between listeners and fans is strong, emotions help to fuel the energy in the room and the show is better for it. But when things go bad during a show, the negative emotions, perceptions, and attitudes of performers can get out of hand and ruin a show. Here’s how to keep your negativity from ruining a performance:
No matter what kind of music you make, it’s a common goal to be so successful that the price of gas isn’t something you think about much while you’re on the road sharing your music with the world. But for the vast majority of musicians actively developing their careers through touring, the ever-fluctuating cost of filling up is a big concern. For your reading pleasure, we’ve put together a short list of America’s cheapest and most expensive cities for gas.
No matter what kind of music you play, all serious musicians run the risk of sustaining debilitating performance injuries. When it comes to these injuries, repetitive motion is the main culprit. This means that over-practicing and bad playing habits could end up getting you into a world of trouble as far as pain and injuries go. Here’s a few tips to help you avoid performance injuries.
Try being a serious musician long enough and you’ll soon see that nothing about writing, performing, and recording music is simple or straightforward. Whether it’s setting up to track the acoustic guitar on a song or performing to a packed venue, if something can go wrong it often does and sometimes in spectacular fashion. In case you’re not familiar, this idea is called Murphy’s Law, and it’s especially prevalent when it comes to bands touring. Even when things run smoothly, touring can be a challenge for artists, but if you find yourself unprepared for the hidden costs of touring, you could be in for some major problems.
If you’re new to making music or are just plain aloof, it might seem like the world of live music is a free-for-all where bands and their fans can do whatever they want, but that attitude is a classic hallmark of being “that guy” when it comes to shows. Music scenes are sort of like elephants in the way that they seem to remember even the smallest details about musicians and how they conduct themselves publicly, so what you do at shows is actually really important whether you’re performing or not. Here’s a few of the more prominent “that guy” traits that every musician should avoid:
In a perfect world, the musicians we choose to work with will be thoughtful, helpful, and encouraging when it comes to the music we’re making. But like any relationship, the interpersonal connections between musicians in bands and other musical projects can often be as complex and dramatic as music itself. Sometimes the answer is to dig in, find common ground, and to do the hard work of maintaining these relationships to keep them healthy. But when relationships between musicians become damaged past the point of salvageability, there needs to be a major change.
Like the bands that frequent them, new music venues are born and every day it seems. Great venues are able to deliver a sense of magic and meaning to musicians and the fans that watch them alike, but setting yourself apart as a music venue is almost as tough as creating meaningful music. Here’s a list of five great new American venues doing just that: