Releasing an album, EP, or even a single the right way takes loads of planning and effort. First there’s the hard work of writing and recording music, and then there’s the tedious business of making sure your music gets heard through promotion efforts. But how can an artist stay productive during the inevitable downtime between releases? Try as you might, you can’t make music 100% of your waking life, but what you do with your time after a big music release will lay the creative foundation for your next musical endeavor. Here’s four tips for making your time between releases productive:
Being rejected can be a devastating experience. Most of the non-creative world associates rejection with unrequited love expressed as a teenager, or being passed over for a promotion at work. Rejection is painful, so it makes sense why most people avoid it at all costs. Musicians who are serious about creating meaningful work don’t have that luxury.
Creating and performing music leaves musicians vulnerable and tied to risk through things like playing shows in front of hostile crowds or getting nasty reviews. Unfortunately, you risk being rejected for your work each and every time you choose to share it. Learning to cope with rejection is crucial if you want to sustain a meaningful career in music. Here are three reasons why:
Whether you play in a 7-piece band or make music alone, musical relationships are crucial. From having access to opportunities and resources to simply having another person to talk to who knows what it’s like to be a serious musician, we need musical relationships to help us in our careers. But for as important as these relationships are, they often fall apart in spectacular fashion.
When I started making music seriously in my early twenties, I had an idea in my head that once musicians got to a certain level of success, they’d be able to focus purely on their music. Music promotion, finances, booking shows – I thought all the unpleasant grunt work of musical life could one day be handed over to managers, accountants, and record labels if I could just be successful enough. More than a decade later, I’m happier than ever making music and am nowhere near the point of being able to schlep off the non-musical duties of my music career off on someone else. Over the years, my views on what a musician’s role can or should be have changed completely. I now believe that musicians should care about the non-musical aspects of their careers, but not for the reasons you might think.
Things like expensive instruments and recording equipment can definitely improve your music career, but no amount of money can buy talent and an artist’s willingness to work. There are free and inexpensive things musicians have access to every day that they can be doing to change their careers in a huge way. Here are three of them:
Whether it’s through popular culture or unrealistic standards set by other musicians, many of us approach our work in music with a cultish devotion. There’s this idea floating around out there that if a musician doesn’t completely focus on creating, performing, or sustaining their career 100% of the time, they’re not deserving of success. But while devotion borne through hard work and sacrifice is absolutely vital for a musician to find any measure of success in their work, only caring about music is an extreme attitude very much capable of hurting your career and causing major damage to your life.
Sometimes, you just want to throw your hands in the air and tell someone else to deal with all the hard stuff, am I right?! You want to be able to turn to someone when you need advice, call on them when it’s time to strategize, and just know that someone out there has your back. For many artists, that means having a manager. But here’s the kicker—it’s not always the right time to bring one on.
Sure you may be wrestling with all of the above feelings, but just because you want a manager or feel like you need a little help doesn’t mean you’re actually ready for one. Here are five things to ask yourself next time you start to wonder if you’re ready for a manager.
As much as many of us would like, we can’t just make and perform music every waking minute of our lives. This doesn’t just apply to those of us balancing music with full-time jobs and familial obligations, but also well-known successful musicians who make music for a living. Since music is ultimately a reflection of life, songwriters, lyricists, and producers have to delve deep into the non-musical aspects of their lives in order to create meaningful work. Whether it’s to recharge creatively or to tend to pressing non-musical matters, it’s not uncommon for musicians to step away from making music for a long time.
Re-introducing music to fans after a considerable stretch of radio silence can be tricky. Your fans might feel a strong connection to your music and will be thrilled to know you’re in the game again, but capturing and holding their attention in 2019 has never been harder. Here are a few tips for bringing new music to audiences after a long hiatus: