When things are going well in our music careers and personal lives, it’s easy to think we’d be able to stay just as productive and creative during times of crisis. But when life gets tough, our ability to write songs, practice, or even think about music is challenged. Creativity can help us cope through times of stress, anxiety, and loss, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to embrace. No matter what you’re going through, the following tips can help you approach musical creativity in a positive way through rough periods:
Whether it was normal for you or not, writing and recording from home have become an unexpected necessity due to the COVID-19 crisis. As musicians, creating from home presents many challenges that we may not be used to. Distractions like roommates, family members, pets, and other things can make creating music from home especially hard. It’s not easy, but by managing our time we can make room for music in our lives at home.
There is so much power in being an independent artist. Now more than ever, you have advantages that you’ve never had before. From complete creative control to the ability to make decisions for yourself, being an independent artist is no longer seen as simply a stepping stone on the way to signing to a label. Many artists—perhaps even you—have made a decision that indie is the way to go.
However, one of the things you’re bound to run into as you navigate the DIY waters is the inevitable feeling of wearing all the hats. You know what I mean—you’re the manager, you’re the publicist, you’re the marketer, and you’re the booker. You’re trying to learn, do, and get better at everything, and it’s exhausting.
You start to feel frustrated and a little resentful, as you wonder—how am I supposed to do this all alone?
Despite our best efforts, creative stagnation and predictability are things we all experience as songwriters at some point in our careers. Working hard and pushing through works for some artists, but others need to bring real change into their processes in order to move forward. Here are four ways to get a new musical perspective if you’re stuck and in search of a little creative inspiration:
The concept of a music fan purchasing an artist’s music might seem outdated in 2020, but it’s still a crucial part of making an income and leaving a legacy as an artist. Music has changed so much in recent years that it’s easy to dismiss long-standing cultural and industry traditions like selling music physically and digitally, but artists and audiences alike lose out when convenience ushers out things that are truly meaningful and enduring in music. Selling and owning music is something all musicians should be advocating for.
A typical independent musician today will spend considerable time posting on social media, writing emails, and reaching out to fans. While our minds are constantly on social media, it is important that we do not forget about the offline world. Ultimately, our success depends on the people who listen to our music, come to our concerts, and support our art. So it is very important that we have real connections with them. In this blog post, I will show you five ways that you can use offline promotion to promote your music.
Your sound engineer most likely isn’t the first thing you think of when you’re getting ready to play an important show, but people in this position wield an incredible amount of power that can make or break the sound of your performance. A smooth soundcheck will ensure that everything sounds the way it should on and off the stage, but also that you feel comfortable in your performance. But for some artists new to live performing, proper soundcheck etiquette has to be learned the hard way. Here are three tips to help ensure you get the best soundcheck you possibly can on stage.
Whether it’s sending music to a local venue in hopes of landing an opening spot at a big show or reaching out to blogs and playlists in an effort to get featured, pitching music is an integral part of making progress as an unestablished artist. It’s also an incredibly frustrating experience for many musicians who always seem to be pitching their work but never see the results they’re looking for. It makes perfect sense why so many musicians loathe writing pitches when most, if not all of them, usually end up getting sucked down into a digital black hole in which messages never return. The good news is that there are things we can do as artists to drastically increase our chances of catching the attention of music journalists and curators.
Most of the time, it comes down to remembering one very important thing: empathy.