If you’re having trouble finding your musical identity as an artist, it could be because your taste in music hasn’t been defined yet. Alongside musical intuition, writing music as often as you can, and letting life experiences shape your songs, your musical taste is incredibly important for your work as a songwriter. When you’re in touch with your musical taste, creating music that’s meaningful and authentic to you gets much easier. Here are five tips for defining your unique musical taste as a songwriter.
As a musician, you have a unique platform to raise money and bring awareness to important causes. Even bands and solo artists with small followings can engage their fan base to get behind causes they care about – whether it’s fundraising for a personal cause or a pressing global issue. Here are three ways on how to raise funds for the causes you hold close to your heart.
Whether it’s a talkative roommate or the constant desire to be on your phone, distractions can be one of the most significant barriers standing between you and your full potential as a songwriter. If you’re serious about making the best music you can and sharing it with the world, you’re going to need to identify what distracts you the most when you write. Then comes the hard work of consciously removing distractions from your writing practice. While this gets easier the more we work at it, it’s a job we’re never finished doing. Distractions will always make writing music harder than it has to be unless we do the constant work of addressing and removing them.
When it comes down to it, we all just want to feel seen. We long to be a part of something that feels like we belong. For so many of us, music is that escape. It serves as a safe haven, a creative nook where we can express ourselves freely. Best of all, when we find a community of others who like the same music, band, or genre as we do, we feel seen. We belong. And we thrive.
We’ve all experienced this, but when you’re an indie musician trying to grow a fan base for the first time, it can feel like you’re throwing spaghetti at the wall. So how do we create an ecosystem that supports and lifts our careers?
For most of us, falling into predictable songwriting habits is more and more an inevitability the longer we make music. It’s natural to favor certain ways of doing things, whether it’s a specific genre, DAW, or instrument. But even if cohesion is one of your top priorities as a creator, your fans probably don’t want to hear you make the same songs over and over again.
Songwriting is arguably one of the most compelling art forms. It is humanity looking back at itself – giving us the ability to reflect in profound ways. A song about heartbreak has the power to bring a person to their knees by ways of evoking memories that are universal. One of our most important missions as songwriters is to present universal experiences to listeners in human and accessible ways.
Making human experiences come off as interesting in music demands a delicate balance. By simply saying “I’m in love and am very happy in this moment,” you may be missing out on an opportunity for greater creative license. However, that same idea presented as “Since I found you, I don’t feel like eating spiders anymore,” rings cryptic and obscure past the point of comprehension.
The non-musical world often thinks that making and performing music is always fun, easy, and instantly gratifying. But serious musicians know that this is only one part of their story. Loading your equipment out of a venue you just played after a show that no one attended isn’t fulfilling. Pitching your new album to a long list of email contacts and never hearing back isn’t fun. And yet both these examples are things independent musicians have to do to find audiences for their music. You can think of it as “paying your dues,” but the kicker is that some artists never manage to move past the stage of trying to get the world to notice their music, even if their songs are great. That’s a hard truth about pursuing music.
It takes far less time to share music than before, no matter where you are in your artist journey. Factors like inexpensive recording equipment and digital music distribution make getting your songs in front of listeners quick, easy, and inexpensive – but there’s a hidden cost here to consider.
To capture the attention span of their audiences, some artists share new music as quickly as they can. As a result, their songs often sound rushed, undeveloped, and uninspired.
Patience is a virtue in all aspects of life and songwriting is no exception. Try to give your songs time and room to evolve and breathe. You’ll dramatically boost your chances of getting heard in today’s overcrowded music industry.