Why Musicians Shouldn’t Wait For The World To Return To Normal

There are no guidebooks musicians can look to for learning how to cope with COVID-19. If you’re reading this, it’s possible or maybe even likely that the pandemic has completely upended your plans, whether you were set to tour this summer, release a new album, or hole up somewhere with your bandmates to work on new material. If live performances are a part of the way you earn money, you’re being especially impacted by this crisis. 

While it’s natural us to want things to return to normal, it’s becoming increasingly obvious that’s not going to happen. No one can predict the future. Yet, the world––and music along with it––has already permanently changed as a result of COVID-19. Instead of longing to create and perform in a pre-2020 world, we have to accept the harsh reality of our circumstances. Luckily, doing so doesn’t mean giving up on creating and sharing music. 

Music’s new normal

Things are constantly changing across the world because of ever-evolving social distancing measures. It’s impossible to predict exactly what the world will look like over the next year. However, it is safe to say that no matter what, live music will be on hold over the short-term. This is a gut-punch that we shouldn’t glide over, by the way. Countless musicians, venue owners, promoters, live sound engineers, bartenders, and other hardworking people are out of work right now.

There’s no getting around the fact that these circumstances limit musicians and fans alike. But this is the reality we’re stuck with for the time being. Even if every government simultaneously lifts their social distancing measures, it’ll take time for audiences to feel comfortable at venues. We will get to a point where musicians play on stages in front of carefree fans again. We just don’t know when.

What we can do right now

If you feel powerless right now, you’re not alone. This crisis highlights how human and essential live music is for people. Not being able to perform in front of audiences can make musicians feel lost and without a sense of purpose. If we want to weather this storm through creative action and productivity, we have to focus on what we can do instead of what we can’t.

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We can live-stream performances to entertain and brighten the spirits of countless homebound music fans. We can perform at home for our world-weary family members and roommates. And we can write, record, and share music in the places we live. Music is a device that brings human beings together. We may not be able to make those connections in the same room for a while. However, we can still bring humanity and comfort to people by being active during this time. And even if you create and explore music without sharing it, you’ll still be bettering yourself through creativity.

Planning around uncertainty 

Getting out there and playing at venues might be a critical part of your music career plans for the next year. But there’s a good chance that won’t happen in the short-term. Local restrictions where you live or plan to tour might keep music venues shut down for months. Then there’s the question of whether fans will risk coming to your shows even if they were allowed to. Since there’s no easy fix for this, musicians have to be adaptable when doing things like promoting new music. It’s not what we want to hear right now, but it’s the reality we have to face.

However, with some creativity, you can meet the moment with the tools you have available by presenting your music in a special way. Nothing will replace live concerts, but that doesn’t mean musicians can’t make a lasting impact through other ways during the crisis. Finding ways to connect with fans is important now because people are searching for comfort, distraction, and inspiration through music more than usual. Whether it’s live-streaming performances or writing music based on topical themes, there are plenty of opportunities to reach audiences right now. They might not be in the ways you’d hoped or planned for, but they’re important. 

Patrick McGuire is a writer, musician, and human man. He lives nowhere in particular, creates music under the name Straight White Teeth, and has a great affinity for dogs and putting his hands in his pockets.

MikeWhy Musicians Shouldn’t Wait For The World To Return To Normal
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Stuck At Home And Need Inspiration? Take A Music Trip

Musicians are having an understandably difficult time in the age of COVID-19. Whether it’s a canceled tour or the inability to rehearse with bandmates in person, the pandemic is keeping us inside our homes and away from our musical routines. In strange and difficult times, embracing resourcefulness is essential when it comes to finding ways to stay inspired.

You might not be able to travel or leave your house right now. However, you can take a music-listening trip to inspire your process and transport your mind. An upside to our vastly increased time at home is that we can spend more time listening to music. And by listening, I mean sitting down and doing nothing other than listening to a piece of music. The following four listening trip ideas are designed to focus your mind on specific characteristics that shape music. 

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4 Ways To Get Playlisted

One of the best ways to receive passive income is from your streaming revenue. To get a consistent revenue stream, having your songs placed on playlists is very important. Depending on the playlist size, you can receive consistent streaming numbers as well as a solid following. So in this post, I’d like to offer four ways you can get playlisted to build a consistent revenue stream.

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Why Overthinking Hurts Your Music And What To Do About It

Expectation and pressure can be good for you as a musician, whether you’re performing on stage in front of a huge crowd or paying by the hour to record new music in a studio. Without a dog in the fight, what you’re doing as a musician is a carefree hobby. But, like so many other aspects of a healthy music career, a balance has to be found between striving to perform well and living up to what’s expected of us and not overthinking and questioning everything we do. When we let doubt, insecurity, and fear guide us in music, we stifle our best ideas.

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4 Things You Can Do Today To Become A Better Musician

We can all be better musicians. It doesn’t matter if we’ve been musically active for a couple of months or multiple decades when it comes to finding areas that need improvement in our musical lives. Making real progress towards big goals like learning how to play an instrument or starting work on a new album can be challenging if you’re musically inexperienced or find yourself years into your music career and losing steam. Doing any one of these four things will help you become a better musician right now and get you closer to hitting your targets in the future:

Tyler4 Things You Can Do Today To Become A Better Musician
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4 Ways To Increase Revenue With Subscription Services

With touring being out of the picture for the foreseeable future, it is time for musicians to increase revenue in alternative avenues. Fortunately, as artists, we are lucky to live in a time with so many new tools at our disposal to help us generate some extra money. 

A great way to create an alternative revenue stream is by creating regular content on subscription services. So how does it work? The proposition here is that an artist will create content weekly or monthly and in exchange, fans will pay them a certain amount of money on a regular basis. 

Being at home is a great opportunity for creating more content and to get fans to subscribe on a monthly basis to consume your content. So, in this post I’d like to talk about four types of content artists can generate for subscription services. 

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A Crucial Element For Musical Inspiration: Longing

With its uncanny ability for canceling tours, summer festivals, and weekly band practices all over the world, there’s plenty for musicians to despise when it comes to COVID-related social distancing measures. Since few living people have experienced a pandemic like this, music makers are being forced to dig deep for ways to be productive and inspired during the crisis. One spot of good news for music creators is that there’s no shortage of longing out there in the world right now, and the fact that some musicians will be able to transform their understandable feelings of loneliness and pining into powerful inspiration for their work. 

JustinA Crucial Element For Musical Inspiration: Longing
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Why Your Music Should Change Over The Years

If you’re a decade or two deep into your music career, stack up the music you’re making now against what you were doing when you started. What’s different and what’s the same? If you’ve been working from the same musical playbook for years, you’re essentially writing someone else’s music. Songwriters and producers have the best shot at creating engaging music when they embrace curiosity, newness, risk, and exploration. Everyone changes over time and your music should change along with you. But keeping up with your changing musical persona demands a willingness to fail and start over again in your creative process.

ColtonWhy Your Music Should Change Over The Years
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