When musicians experience loss, it’s natural, and typically helpful, to delve deep into the creative process to find solace. But viewing the times we go through grief as unique chances to make meaningful music is overly simplistic and can actually end up hurting us and our music. Death, disease, heartache, job losses, and frustration have and continue to serve as the inspiration for great music. However, we’re kidding ourselves to think they can and do for every musician.
There’s no getting around how monumentally bad repercussions from the COVID-19 are impacting musicians. From indefinitely rescheduled festivals to canceled tours, musicians are being challenged in profound ways. There’s no silver lining here, but trying to stay as creatively engaged as possible during this time can help. Not every musician will be able to stay productive while stuck at home. However, many can use the time to plan their next career steps, write new songs, and engage with fans.
Even under the best of conditions, musical collaboration can be hard to pull off. During times when musicians can’t meet in person, it’s even tougher. Aspects like body language and in-room chemistry are difficult to translate during remote collaboration sessions, not to mention the hurdles of technology. But despite its challenges, remote music collaboration has resulted in creative work that’s gone on to change the world. With patience and planning, you’ll be able to make your long-distance musical collaborations productive and exciting. Here are five tips to help:
Not focusing enough on music doesn’t seem like a problem for most musicians, but there have never been more distractions in music than there are right now. Whether it’s petty jealousies, disagreements with your team, or obsessing over your social media following, focusing on the things surrounding your music instead of your work can transform into a big problem if you’re not careful. Here are three ways your music suffers when you lose focus on it:
Accepting a demanding new non-musical job. The birth of a child. Burnout after years of touring, making music, and losing money. No matter what’s behind the reason someone quits playing music, it’s something that happens within bands and local music communities constantly in music. While some musicians throw their hands up and quit music permanently, others put it on hold temporarily in hopes of picking it up again when they’re able to. Pursuing music after a years-long break isn’t easy, but it’s completely possible. Here are a few tips to consider if you’re trying to get back into the musical habit after being out of the loop for a long time:
It can be a real struggle to know what to do next.
There you are, you’ve created an incredible piece of music and you can’t wait to get it into the world. You know your music is good, but somehow, every time you release a new song, it’s kind of a flop.
If you’re not careful, an album is something that could take you years to finish. As an artist, it’s crucial to make something creatively meaningful, and that takes time. But there comes a point with making music where indecision, distractions, and the desire to only make “perfect” work gets in the way of productivity and wrapping up projects. If you can’t seem to finish that album you’ve been pouring your heart and soul into, here are three tips to help:
Digital streaming platforms are bringing both huge benefits and challenges to musicians. Today, the idea of an unknown artist distributing their music online and resonating with audiences instantly is very much a real thing. But while more music is being made and listened to than ever before, building real connections with listeners is a major challenge for musicians working in an unprecedented era of music saturation and competition. You might have loads of streams and followers in today’s digitally driven music industry, but making real fans is a whole other story.