If you make music for fun with no intention of improving as a songwriter, creating only when you feel like it isn’t a bad way to go. But if you’re serious about making the best music you can and want to get better and better as a songwriter, you’ll have to put in the work during the times when writing music feels like the last thing you want to do.
As much as we’d like it to be, the live concert industry isn’t going to be back to normal for a long time. Performing from home doesn’t come close to playing on stage in front of people, but this doesn’t mean there aren’t effective ways to connect with your audience without leaving your house. We can choose to either sit out performances until it’s safe to return to venues and festivals, or we can adapt and make the best out of this strange and difficult time. If you’re interested in the latter option, here are three performance opportunities to explore from home:
Songwriting delivers musicians some huge benefits that have nothing to do with money or critical acclaim. It’s a pursuit that is endless because we can always write better and better music, and it’s an incredible resource for helping us to understand ourselves and others. We often hear about the idea of songwriting being good therapy a lot in music, but it’s helpful to get to the bottom of what that really means. Here are five ways writing music can be therapeutic for musicians:
Although I’m a publicist now, I started my career in the music industry as a blogger, and in the six years since I created that blog, I’ve seen my fair share of submissions from bands and publicists alike. Thousands of emails have landed in my inbox, but I’ve only covered a fraction of those stories on the website.
2020 was the year of surprise albums by major artists, and most offline marketing efforts went out the window. So some artists experimented with releasing their album with zero marketing. This is an interesting strategy for a major artist, as it is a pleasant surprise for fans, which is likely to become a success and an engagement driver.
When we think about the kind of music that makes a real impact on people, we’re not just talking about emotionally deep songs written by tortured artists, though “serious” songs certainly are meaningful to a lot of listeners. Tracks that blow out speakers in clubs and music that’s heard by thousands of spectators at sporting events have an effect on audiences as well, though in a completely different way than someone playing the same song over and over again to get through a breakup.
It’s possible for musicians to find success with their music without the help of their friends and family, but it’s much, much harder without them. From showing up to your first concerts when no one else will to donating money to fund your releases, the community closest to you is a priceless asset for a developing artist. But if your plans don’t extend further than the people closest to you as a musician, you’re creating an unsustainable situation for you as well as your friends and family.
If we’re lucky, safe in-person music experiences will become a regular part of life again sometime in 2021––if we’re lucky. While music fans and artists alike are desperate for a sense of normalcy to return to live music, there are still a lot of unknowns around the idea of people packing into venues to see musicians. If you’re not sure what to do when it comes to waiting for touring to become safe and viable again, the same advice applies now as it did back when the U.S. started locking down in the spring. By staying productive, active, and creatively engaged, you’ll make the most of this time. We don’t know exactly when touring will be a major part of music again, but there is a lot we can do while we wait.