There’s no one way to write a song. If you’re a songwriter, you’re probably well aware of this fact. But when a musician comes up with a great idea, it can be difficult to remember this when a single idea fails to materialize into a good song. We often love musical ideas so much that we’ll do anything to protect and preserve them, even if it means ultimately wasting our time or sacrificing other ideas that actually work well in a piece of music.
But how do you know when to press forward with an idea and when to bail? This is a question that songwriters and composers have grappled with for as long as music has been around.
Music is a space where it’s tempting to approach things with an indulgent philosophy. If you think about it, everything from selling out shows to proving your music is being listened to over streaming platforms is dependent on numbers. The better numbers you can generate, whether it’s song streams, fans over social media, or downloads of your music, the better, right? I don’t think it’s that simple, and in an age where music is so intertwined with numbers, we run the risk of valuing musicians too much or too little because everything is attached to numbers now. Rather than adopting a “more is always better” mentality around your music, you could probably benefit in a big way from stepping back and embracing a more minimal approach––especially when it comes to songwriting.
Guarantees are few and hard to come by for those working professionally as music-makers. For most of us, uncertainty is an unavoidable part of writing songs, booking shows, and trying to make a living through music. Through a combination of talent, hard work, and creating the right music at the right time, some musicians find the kind of success in their work that changes the rest of their lives. But for others––the vast majority of musicians––life-altering success in music never quite materializes. The sad truth is that you could do everything right and never find success in music. Here are three reasons why:
Touring can be a tough endeavor for every personality type, but introverts have an especially challenging time out on the road. This is one of those issues that doesn’t make or break a musician’s career, but it does make life harder for introverted musicians and the people who work with them. Today, we’re highlighting some ways touring is tough on introverts with some tips to help things run smoothly.
Because music is closely intertwined with emotion, musicians often approach their work with unrealistic expectations. Big, vague, and unreachable expectations can be dangerous because they lead musicians to exchange focusing on small successes for ones they’ll never be able to attain. Here’s a list of three unrealistic musical expectations to watch out for:
Imagine you’ve got two friends. One can’t stop talking and the other measures their words and only speaks up when they want to say something important. Who are you more likely to listen to? Lots of musicians can learn a valuable lesson from the quiet friend, and not just when it comes to playing music. Stepping back, being quiet, and listening is something that might not come naturally to musicians, but it’s essential for maintaining relationships and making the most out of your musical talents. Read on to find out more about how listening can help your music career.
Where does a musician’s creativity come from? Is it something a person can learn and develop or is it one of those “you’ve either got it or you don’t” sort of deals? While it might be tempting to try to understand and summon musical creativity with hard and fast rules, it just doesn’t work that way. The creative process is different for everyone, and the things that help me write meaningful music won’t necessarily work for you.
But while everyone’s creative process is different, we can all relate to feeling lost, uninspired, and stuck when trying to make music. Creative frustration can feel irritating, stifling, and even depressing for some musicians, but it can be turned around. Here’s a few tips to transform creative frustration into something that works in your favor:
For lots of musicians, navigating relationships with bandmates often proves to be more difficult than writing songs, promoting music, or performing on stage. Touring around the country and pouring money and countless hours into a band can precipitate tense conditions between members because the stakes are so high. Learning how to bring up tough topics with your bandmates isn’t an option if you’re planning to make music with the same project over the long-term. Here are five tips to help.