We’re creating music in one of the most uniquely challenging moments in modern history. Something as simple and carefree as getting up on stage in front of a crowd of people in an indoor space is now burdened with danger and uncertainty due to a pandemic that has no end in sight. A fascinating and endlessly frustrating problem is that as the crisis drags on, audiences need music more and more when it’s often difficult or even impossible for musicians to deliver it to them. But between a world connected by the internet like never before and the timeless innovative and tenacious spirit of songwriters and performers, music is still enriching lives during the pandemic in a huge way.
Have you ever had a conversation with someone who constantly talks but never really says anything meaningful or memorable? In our creative pursuits as songwriters, it’s essential to avoid doing this same thing with our music––filling valuable time on our tracks with ideas that we know won’t really say or mean anything to our listeners. Along with curiosity, honesty, and a willingness to fail, intention is one of the best traits we can have as songwriters. It’s an asset that can transform forgettable songs into solid, engaging, and accessible pieces of music for our listeners.
In 2020, working out of a home recording studio doesn’t mean having to compromise on the sound quality of your music. We’re seeing more artists produce phenomenal sounding music from modest home studios than ever before. The good news is that you can do it on a tight budget. Yet, to get the kind of results that succeed in music, there are some basic things you’ll need to do to prepare your songs for release.
Things in music rarely work out the way we think they will. A song that you’re completely convinced will perform well with listeners falls flat while another you didn’t give much thought to succeeds. Something big happens in your life that you think will lead to lots of great songwriting inspiration, but nothing ends up happening. There’s so much we can’t control in music, which is undeniably frustrating, but it’s also one of the biggest reasons why we have to focus on what we have a say over. Waiting for the stars to align to create music is one of the worst habits you can get into in your music career because it forces you to invest your time and creative energy into things you have no control over.
Though the music industry has recently transformed in ways that give independent musicians a lot more agency and opportunity than it used to, many artists still rank signing with a label at or near the top of their list of career goals. Working with a reputable label can deliver massive benefits that can be elusive for musicians who go it alone. However, things are slowly changing in a big way when it comes to the musician-label relationship, and there are big advantages for going the independent route you should consider.
When it comes to things that can ruin your songs, a lot can happen between the initial spark of an idea and a song’s completion. From bad performances that stifle a song’s potential during recording to ideas that don’t resonate with audiences, lots of factors can make music fall flat. A lack of imagination is one of the most dangerous among them.
To some songwriters, a song feels like a living and ever-changing entity, even when it’s finished and shared with the world. To others, released songs feel like permanent fixtures that can’t and shouldn’t ever be changed. While these two mindsets couldn’t be more different, a situation every songwriter finds themself in is not knowing whether a song is ready to master and be made available for others to listen to or not. Here are five signs that your song is ready to share:
If you’re serious about pursuing music, there’s no way to go about it without failing––spectacularly and publicly in many cases. As songwriters and performers, we open ourselves up to failure every time we get on stage, put out new music, or share work with blogs, playlists, and radio stations. There’s no denying that experiencing failure in music can leave you feeling frustrated, discouraged, and potentially even devastated. But how you respond when things don’t go your way could mean the difference of whether you’ll be able to keep pursuing music or not. Doing the work of viewing failures as valuable opportunities is one of the best ways to survive and thrive creatively and professionally as a musician.