In 2019, there’s no shortage of ways to measure a musical artist’s success. Between public play counts and the growing private listener analytic data that streaming platforms now give to artists, musicians have ways to see how well their music performs in real-time. This unprecedented reality clearly brings artists some sizable benefits. For example, a small, unestablished band doesn’t have to fork over cash for an expensive radio campaign to learn what cities listen to their music the most because streaming platforms give away that information for free.
But there’s some significant drawbacks to consider in today’s data-driven, instantly gratified music culture. There are constant, unavoidable reminders of whether an artist is conventionally successful or if their music isn’t being heard. Drawing a connection to your self worth and whether your music is successful or not is a recipe for the sort of creative-killing frustration that can do serious damage to not only your career, but also your personal well-being.
When you think of a mastering engineer, you think of someone tucked away in a studio filled with hardware and expensive equipment. To many, mastering can seem like a dark art. With the advancements made with music production tools, all you need is a set of basic plugins that your DAW offers and a few guidelines on how to tackle the mastering process. In this article, I am going to go over a step-by-step process on how you can use your native DAW plugins to master your own tracks.
Audiences have long relied on music to get them through some of life’s most painful and exciting moments. People turn to music to celebrate births, weather devastating breakups, and to navigate the day-to-day emotional rollercoaster that is adolescence. With emotion playing such a huge role in the relationships’ audiences form with music, some musicians draw the conclusion that great music can be made only while being in a highly emotional state, but this creative approach can be bad for you and your work.
Playlists have become the holy grail of artist placement. While there’s still a ton of value in everything from blog placements to radio to TV, there’s no doubt that right now playlists are just about the #1 thing on most artists’ minds. With artists’ careers seemingly changing overnight with inclusion on just the right playlist, it’s really no wonder that it’s become so desirable. But how do you actually get that coveted playlist spot? How can you increase your chances of being picked for a specific playlist?
Releasing an album, EP, or even a single the right way takes loads of planning and effort. First there’s the hard work of writing and recording music, and then there’s the tedious business of making sure your music gets heard through promotion efforts. But how can an artist stay productive during the inevitable downtime between releases? Try as you might, you can’t make music 100% of your waking life, but what you do with your time after a big music release will lay the creative foundation for your next musical endeavor. Here’s four tips for making your time between releases productive:
Being rejected can be a devastating experience. Most of the non-creative world associates rejection with unrequited love expressed as a teenager, or being passed over for a promotion at work. Rejection is painful, so it makes sense why most people avoid it at all costs. Musicians who are serious about creating meaningful work don’t have that luxury.
Creating and performing music leaves musicians vulnerable and tied to risk through things like playing shows in front of hostile crowds or getting nasty reviews. Unfortunately, you risk being rejected for your work each and every time you choose to share it. Learning to cope with rejection is crucial if you want to sustain a meaningful career in music. Here are three reasons why:
Humans are habit-forming creatures, which can be both good and bad for musicians. Routines are ideal for stuff like practicing an instrument or getting plenty of rehearsal time in for an upcoming performance, but they can wreak havoc on a person’s creative potential. Habits stifle creativity when they remove the potential of risk and newness from the music-making process. If you’re someone who struggles with succumbing to bland routines and predictable habits in your songwriting efforts, we’ve got three tips to help:
Whether you play in a 7-piece band or make music alone, musical relationships are crucial. From having access to opportunities and resources to simply having another person to talk to who knows what it’s like to be a serious musician, we need musical relationships to help us in our careers. But for as important as these relationships are, they often fall apart in spectacular fashion.