Being represented by a label or manager are things thought to signify an artist’s success, so it makes sense why so many musicians spend their valuable time and resources trying to get represented and signed. But the ritual of crafting thoughtful pitches and sending them off into the ether rarely results in bands landing a record deal or enthusiastic manager, even if their music is good.
There’s a few reasons why these pitches usually get ignored, but it mainly comes down to the fact that successful labels and managers want to discover talent themselves, not be sold on it by reading about it through an email. The people in the music industry with the expertise and resources to actually move your music forward want to hear and see your music in action before considering taking a risk on you. Instead of banging your head trying to pitch to labels and managers, here’s what you should be doing:
Hecklers are something usually associated with comedians, but they’re something musicians have to deal with every now and then too. In the comedy world, obnoxious audience members are something most of us view that’s inextricably linked to the artform. When comedians develop their unique voice and start performing in public, their ability to handle problematic members of the audience grows with them. But because heckling in music is much less common, it can lead to bruising experiences for musicians.
Networking is an essential part of your music career. The days where you can simply release music, invest no time in promoting this music, and become a well-known artist are gone. The good news is that there are plenty of tools available to you for free to promote your music to a global audience. Below, I have listed three ways that you can network as a music producer.
Every serious musician knows that putting on a great live show takes planning and work to pull off. But for some reason, some bands hold the belief that successfully playing live only requires a great performance, and that things like showing up on time is something that doesn’t apply to musicians. The truth is that when bands don’t act professionally at shows, it not only hurts them, but also the venue, audience, and other performing musicians. Here are three things that happen when your band is late for shows.
“How many songs are you working on right now?” is a question I get asked a lot that I can’t give a simple answer to. On various hard drives scattered around my house I’ve got dozens of unfinished recordings ranging from single melodies to entire songs. On my phone there are almost a hundred more. I’m of the philosophy that musical ideas worth exploring can come to me any place and any time, so I do my best to be prepared when they do.
But being ready for new ideas to find me and not being able to move on from the past are two different things. I can’t speak for every songwriter, but putting valuable time and energy into attempting to transform old demos into new finished songs is almost always fruitless and futile for me. If you’re stuck in a pattern where it feels impossible to let go of your old, unfinished music, here’s some inspiration for cutting ties and moving forward.
Writing music for the first time can be one of the most exciting things in the world, no matter your age and ambition. Whether you’re still in high school or have been a musician for decades, writing music is an experience different than anything else. But things like fear of failure and not knowing where to begin keeps a lot of musicians from writing music. If you’re someone interested in writing music for the first time, here are three things to remember during the process:
You might not think of it this way, but making music is risky. What if what you come up with is bad? Or, almost worse, what if you love what you write but it doesn’t click with anyone else? Self-doubt is a major hurdle that keeps musicians from meeting their potential, but there’s another culprit out there that’s just as dangerous for songwriters but far less talked about: disorganization. Creating a songwriting schedule is a solid way to ensure you reach your goals by getting big things done incrementally and consistently.
Money is almost always tight for musicians whether they’re just starting out or have been building their careers for a while. This makes knowing how much and what promotion efforts to invest money in a tricky task. There’s no guarantees in music, and this doesn’t just apply to whether the world will connect with your songs or not. Throwing money into an expensive PR or radio campaign won’t necessarily get you any closer to your goals, meaning there’s a certain amount of risk involved when you pay for music promotion. But for many artists, forking over precious cash for professional radio and PR campaigns ends up paying off in huge ways. And with today’s ridiculously saturated music culture, most artists need all the help they can get.
But with tight budgets and shrinking profits, many bands are forced to decide whether to invest money into radio campaigns or professional PR efforts.