Rejection and disappointment are inevitable for those who seriously pursue music, so why not put these experiences to work and get some good out of them? You can think of life like a song recording. We can try, and fail, to ignore or edit out unwanted noise and mistakes, or we can seamlessly weave them into the production and let them add character and nuance into the music. Setbacks and pain are going to meet you at many points in your musical pursuits, and a lot of what you’ll experience will be out of your control. However, the way you respond to challenges is something that’s completely in your hands.
As much as you might want them to, loads of new listeners are probably not going to spontaneously flock to your next release and listen to it, especially if you’re a developing artist. Sometimes we get so caught up in the excitement of sharing new music that we forget that connecting with audiences is far from a predictable, sure thing. Music is not an “if you build it, they will come,” endeavor because when it comes to making and sharing music, the reality is that no one owes you anything whether it’s coming to your shows or streaming your songs.
Even in today’s digitally-driven music industry, touring is still a powerful way to build your audience and sustain their attention. But executed the wrong way, DIY touring could be a costly waste of time and can sometimes be disastrous enough to damage your career in a huge way. If you’re a small or unestablished artist, DIY touring is almost sure to end up costing you money whether things run smoothly or not. Bad tours can be devastating for morale, especially in band settings. And in an age where musicians are succeeding by creating and sharing as much great music as they can, every day you spend on the road is one you’ll spend away from your songwriting process at home. Touring can build your career by expanding your audience, but only if it’s done correctly and at the right time. These four tips will help you make the most out of your tours if you’re a small or unestablished band:
Knowing you’re not totally ready for a show is maybe the worst feeling a musician can have. Whether it’s a sold-out room or just you and the venue staff during your set, musicians are still expected to take their performances seriously if they want to be taken seriously in return. Luckily, it’s completely within your power to decide whether or not to be prepared for your concerts. This is what showing up unprepared for your shows looks and sounds like:
It’s impossible to say exactly how many promising songwriters have called it quits because of doubt, but it’s safe to assume the number is high and it’s not difficult to see why. If you’ve chosen songwriting to be your profession or even just as a hobby you take seriously, there are massive barriers standing between you and success. More people now are making music than ever before, and there’s simply more great music being made than people have the time and attention span to listen to. And, even if your music does get heard, low streaming payouts and a playlist-centric music listening culture make it difficult to earn a living and make a connection with audiences. Doubt is inevitable in music, just like with any creative pursuit. How you grapple with it can make the difference between whether you continue creating for another year or for the rest of your life.
A problem we talk about a lot in songwriting is perfectionism, an issue that keeps many music-makers on the sidelines and keeps them from creating their best work. But more and more songwriters struggle with the opposite problem, which is rushing ideas to completion and releasing them when they’re still underdeveloped. With how quick and easy it is to release music now, this is becoming a bigger issue for independent artists. While creating lots of music and sharing it with the world can definitely be rewarding for you and your fans, you aren’t doing yourself or anyone else any favors by rushing to get your songs over the finish line. Here are five signs that you’re not devoting enough time to your creative process:
If you’re in a band that has trouble focusing and staying on task, you’re not alone. Getting things done in a group setting can be difficult, especially when bands are built on close friendships. Focusing as a band is a skill that doesn’t come naturally for some, but this isn’t a problem for musicians who are willing to put in the work. Here are five tips for building your focus while you write and rehearse as a band:
If you’re new to writing music, it can be tricky knowing how to get started. Sometimes an artist’s talent and passion are in the right place, but they’re not sure what they need to begin. Every songwriter’s process for creating music is different, but you’ll be on the right track if you have these five things before you start writing and recording music: