5 Signs You’re Overthinking Your Songs

It’s easy to overthink the songwriting process whether you’re a seasoned pro or are writing your first batch of songs. But regardless of where you’re at in your music-making journey, you and your music will end up suffering if you nitpick your songs to death. Spontaneity and curiosity are two crucial character traits you’ll need to make interesting music, but prioritizing perfection and your own intellect leaves you more likely to make boring music and less likely to finish your songs. Here are five red flags that you’re overthinking your music:

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Why Less Is More When It Comes To Touring For Developing Artists

For young, ambitious artists, there’s nothing more romantic and hopeful than the idea of jumping in a van and touring around the country for months at a time. Tours are crucial for grabbing attention, building audiences, carving out performance experience, and building industry connections. And when labels and managers look for new artists to sign, artists who regularly tour are almost always the first to get noticed. But while touring gives artists a lot, it comes with serious risks, drawbacks, and costs to consider as well. A “let’s tour until we make it” mentality could end up breaking up your band instead of bringing you closer to your goals.

DaveWhy Less Is More When It Comes To Touring For Developing Artists
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5 Hallmarks Of An Unsuccessful Song

“Bad” and “good” are vague and frustrating terms when it comes to measuring up music. What’s good in the mind of one listener might be awful to another. A better way to think about it is determining whether a piece of music is successful or not, and as songwriters this is a topic that’s near and dear to our hearts. We don’t have to personally like a song to recognize that it has standout qualities that we’re looking to emulate in our own music. Similarly, there are universal qualities we can listen for and avoid in unsuccessful music. Here are five signs that a song isn’t going to make a connection with listeners:

Dave5 Hallmarks Of An Unsuccessful Song
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How To Pare Down For An Acoustic Set

Acoustic sets aren’t just for folk bands and songwriters. They’re opportunities for artists working in every genre to show audiences a completely different side of their music listeners couldn’t have heard otherwise. For many musicians, this isn’t easy, and that’s exactly what makes it special. There’s a creative resourcefulness required for bands and solo artists who choose to fit their music into the mold of acoustic shows for special occasions. And, believe it or not, many listeners will resonate with these performances as much or even more than conventional shows and recorded and produced songs with full instrumentation in some cases. For musicians interested in paring down their music for acoustic sets, we’ve got a few tips to help.

DaveHow To Pare Down For An Acoustic Set
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4 Ways You Can Use Data For Booking Shows 

With data being readily available on streaming platforms, musicians and booking agencies can book more location-targeted shows. For emerging artists who haven’t played a tour, most booking agents have to take a risk about how many tickets they can sell. With the availability of streaming data, now everyone can see how many listeners there are in each city and country, and they can make a more realistic estimate of how many listeners they can bring to the show. 

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How To Pare Down Your Set For A Small Audience

In 2021, artists that are accustomed to playing big stages in front of huge crowds are bringing their music to smaller audiences by necessity. Whether you’re playing a modest outdoor show or a small house concert, it’s important to be able to pare down your set for a small, intimate audience. This isn’t a big deal if you’re a solo acoustic artist, but what if you play in a five-piece synth-rock outfit? Bands like this have challenges paring down their sets for small shows, but it can absolutely be done. These tips will help:

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Why You Should Make Music For Yourself First

There’s a good argument to be made for why songwriters should create music for their listeners above anyone else. It’s natural to want to please your audience, and writing with their tastes and needs in mind is a way to try and do that. It’s also natural to want to win the approval of bandmates, managers, labels, and venues with the music you make. Plus, there are the added benefits of financial and critical success to think about if you’re a professional musician. But does writing for others first and yourself second actually result in music that audiences will more likely want to hear?

DaveWhy You Should Make Music For Yourself First
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