Vulnerability is something some musicians might associate with the more nauseating and navel-gazing aspects of pop music. Hackneyed ballads featuring tales of unrequited love or angsty music compensating for a lack of depth with extreme emotion and themes come to mind. But the truth is that there’s a big difference between broadcasting emotion in music from approaching it with real vulnerability. Emotion comes naturally to most of us, but vulnerability ends up being a whole lot trickier.
I’m well aware that the title of this article looks like something out of a self-help book for musicians, but I’m ok with it because it’s true. Neglect your career, stop writing songs and putting energy into music, and your musical identity evaporates. But spend all your time touring and holed up in your music studio and things like the state of your close relationships and bank account are sure to suffer. Balance is vital for musicians because it creates a big, dynamic space for their everyday lives to exist in. It makes room for an ambitious, fulfilling career along with vital non-musical aspects of a musician’s life. Can you always have it all when it comes to balancing a music career with a marriage, mortgage payment, or dayjob? No! Of course not. That’s why balance is so important.
There is no single method or secret ingredient in the process for making good music. Things like years of experience and lots of familiarity with any given songwriting process can be just as beneficial—or detrimental—as sitting down with an instrument without much musical training. Because every songwriter’s process is a complex mosaic of things like natural musical intuition, experience, and musical philosophy, pinpointing and imitating what songwriting approaches prop up great music isn’t always helpful or even possible to do.
As a musician, your single biggest challenge is getting your music before your target audience. It’s not enough to create good music; you also have to market it effectively.
It doesn’t help that far too many musicians rely on spur of the moment actions and ad-hoc marketing tactics. Instead of approaching their music marketing with a systematic plan, they make reactive decisions that don’t yield any long-term success.
In this guide, I’ll show you how to create a DIY music marketing plan that actually works. I’ll cover branding, developing a marketing mix, and finding your target audience so you can make better marketing decisions.
In 2018, solitude is a hard thing to come by. Because our daily lives are often revolved around technology, the non-stop noise of the internet seems to follow us everywhere we go. Whether we’re working on our computers or keeping up with friends and family on social media, solitude is something a person needs to seek out if they want to find it today. But while the distractions of modern culture brought on by technology impact everyone, songwriters are especially affected.
Every serious musician knows that touring comes with its fair share of challenges, but that nebulous space of time between when a band arrives at the venue and when they begin their set is one of the less talked about hassles of being on the road all the time. If your drive between shows is short, you could be spending anywhere from 4-8 hours a day waiting for your show to start. With that amount of time at stake, it’s important to get the most out of your days on tour. Here are a few suggestions: