Every time I talk about online social media groups, I feel like I’m revealing this golden secret to the person I’m talking to. I mean sure, we all know what online groups are, and odds are most of us are in way more than we need to be (I don’t know about you, but my feed is practically overrun with groups that I don’t even want to be a part of anymore but also never seem to unsubscribe from) and yet, they are this beautiful untapped goldmine of opportunities and connections.
If you’re new to joining online groups, let this be your guide into why they can be one of the most useful ways to spend your time, build your network, and grow your music career.
Openness and curiosity are important positive traits for serious musicians to have. However, saying yes to every opportunity that comes your way is a bad idea. Whether you make music full-time for your job or during every spare moment you can, you have a limited amount of resources and time as a musician. Committing your time and attention to the wrong things in music means missing out on the things that will actually make a difference in your career. Here are five examples of things you should probably say no to in music:
Serious musicians hate failure. This disdain was bred in most of us back when we learned how to play an instrument for the first time. There are only a few ways to correctly hold drum sticks, finger guitar chords, or belt out vocal exercises; and there are countless ways of getting things wrong. When we master our instruments and start writing songs and playing shows, failure shows up for us in a myriad of new and painful ways, like when your local alt-weekly magazine trashes your album or when no one shows up to the show you’ve been promoting for months. Failure can be excruciating. But it can also deliver huge benefits to your music career if you let it.
Sticking to the same script when it comes to how you think about things like writing songs or connecting with audiences on stage as a musician is easy. But, unfortunately, limiting your perspective hurts your music and shrinks down your musical world as a musician. Reaching your true potential as a musician requires you to step back from the natural and comfortable ways you do things and ask if there are alternative paths for seeing, hearing, and approaching music-making. It’s not easy to do, but it’s something that can vastly improve your life as a musician if you put the work in.
When it comes to the things that can shape great music the most, inspiration is generally thought of as being the most important. But the hard truth is that inspiration is not the holy grail when it comes to factors that will help you write amazing music. Is it important? Yes, without a doubt. But it’s also deeply misunderstood, and, dare I say, overrated. We think inspiration falls into our laps and our ability to create our best work follows. This isn’t the case. While inspiration is an undeniable ingredient found in some of the world’s most impactful songs, it’s often not all it’s cracked up to be. Here are three big reasons why:
Many music-makers liken themselves to anglers fishing on the shore of a peaceful lake. They cast their lines out and wait for musical inspiration to take the bait so they can reel it in and create something amazing with it. But if you’ve been at this game for a while, you know this isn’t how it works. There’s no question that inspiration is one of the most powerful drivers behind any form of great art, but if you sit around waiting for it to creatively engage, you’re sure to end up with no music to show for it. Here’s why:
If you’re a songwriter or professional performer, the thought of learning a new instrument might sound fun but not worth your time. You might figure there’s more than enough new ground to cover on your current instrument or instruments, so why take the time to learn something completely new? Learning a new instrument gets you out of the musical mindset you’re currently in, and this is essential for creativity and growth as an artist. You don’t need to master a new instrument in order to get the benefits of learning it. Instead, tackling a few basics will give you a new creative perspective and countless musical directions to work with. Here are a few important reasons why you might want to consider learning a new instrument as a serious musician:
Teaching music is a rewarding career path for a lot of musicians due to its flexibility with time as well as its financial advantages. Moreover, teaching also makes you a better musician and also has further benefits that can enhance your musicianship. Teaching makes you a better musician in more than one way. In this article we are going to talk about four of them: