In today’s day and age, it’s not enough to just make music and release it. While it is not impossible to just release music, go viral, and jump-start your career, it’s becoming increasingly harder to do so.
The entry level for producers to create a professional sounding track is very low because of how affordable professional grade equipment is. The result of this is an overwhelming amount of music being released every day. This makes it more and more difficult for artists to stand out and build a career.
The playing fields have been leveled for music producers all over the world making social media an absolute necessity for artists.
For many musicians, writing songs, playing on stage, and recording albums is the most rewarding work in the world. But look around your local music scene and you’ll quickly find a disparity between ambitious young musicians and their seasoned counterparts. Younger musicians are usually the most visible and active folks working in the industry, though there are exceptions. When some musicians get older, life gets in the way of their art and they eventually stop making music. But while aging is responsible for stopping many talented musicians in their tracks, burnout is another factor not taken seriously enough. Putting real energy, love, time, and sacrifice into your work is essential for finding any significant traction for your music, but play your cards wrong and you might put yourself in an unsustainable position for making music over the long-term.
With the way the music industry has transformed to favor the instant gratification of playlists over the past couple of years, musicians are rethinking the ways they work in some significant ways. Chiefly, the breakdown of the album as music’s main music-listening format is forcing musicians of every stripe to approach making and releasing music differently to cater to music-addicted audiences with perpetually diminishing attention spans. Releasing more music more often is the only way to keep listeners engaged, conventional music industry wisdom dictates. But for as much as a non-stop musical race might sound doable to some musicians, it’s an approach that isn’t likely to work for most of us.
I’m going to say something you might disagree with: most shows aren’t worth your time if you’re a seasoned musician. When musicians are young and looking for experience, every show is worth considering whether it’s an open mic night at a local coffee shop or playing covers at your beloved grandparents’ 50th anniversary barbeque. Every chance to perform represents an opportunity to grow and learn and gain exposure for young musicians.
But what happens after you’ve been playing open mics and barbeques for years? What do you do when the show offers (big and small) keep rolling in but only a select few stand to do anything to get you closer to your musical goals? To preserve your sanity and help you make the most out of your efforts in music, I think you should politely decline any show that doesn’t stand to help you or your music succeed.
A quick internet search will give you a myriad of ways to promote your music and cultivate your identity as an artist. There’s no getting around the fact that putting thought into the way you present and market yourself as an artist gives you the best chance at getting your music heard in this brutally competitive music climate. But artists get it wrong when they put image and promotion over everything else when it comes to their work.
When looking from the outside, songwriting can be an intimidating task. Our favorite bands might make it looks easy, and while some of the best songs are written in minutes, many take weeks or months to complete.
I’ve been with my band for about a year and a half now, and we just finished recording our 5-song EP. In my time with this band, I’ve learned a lot about writing songs from scratch.
Here are 3 killer songwriting methods my band and I use to write our songs.
As musicians, you have the gift of sensitivity which fuels your creativity and enables you to transmit powerful emotions. It can also make you more vulnerable to setbacks and criticism. These are completely unavoidable and an integral part of the journey. Indeed, few industries are as competitive and unstable as music. So how can you overcome self-doubts and feelings of insecurity in the face of challenges?
Confidence is a very necessary skill to have if you want to succeed in this industry, but it’s a skill that you can learn and develop.
Here are a few ways you can increase your self-confidence so you can get out of your comfort zone, approach people you want to work with, and avoid feeling sick to your stomach before you have to step on stage.
There’s something truly special about the opportunity to assess all that you’ve accomplished in the previous year and plan for a brighter tomorrow. Maybe it’s the planner nerd in me, but there’s just something truly illuminating about the chance to start fresh, give those dreams new life, and build upon the momentum you’ve already created.
To get started, ask yourself these questions, and really take the time to reflect. I suggest going into this with pen and paper and writing down your answers. Not only will it help you articulate your thoughts, but it will give you something to reflect back on.