Disappointment is inevitable for serious musicians. This applies whether you’re conventionally successful or have never found traction for your music. Ultimately, this makes the art of transforming discouragement into something positive a crucial asset for a music career. It’s not easy, but learning to cope with discouragement and allowing it to fuel our ambitions as musicians is a survival technique we’ll have to turn to over and over again throughout our careers.
Sometimes, you just want things to be easy. You get a little tired of the constant hustle and you find yourself wondering why it’s not enough to simply make good music. I hear you. It can feel like an uphill battle. But one thing I’ve learned after a decade in the music industry is that if you’re taking the right steps, it starts to feel a lot less like a slog and a lot more like progress.
For every big dream in music, there are countless things that a musician needs to do to make it happen. We typically associate thorough organization more with the profession of an accountant than a musician. Yet, it’s an asset that could be the difference between your audience hearing your music or not. Whether you’re booking a national tour or are writing new songs, organization will help you in a big way.
From packed arena tours to modestly attended open mic nights, the ways we used to share musical performances with people were events most of us took for granted. But now that the vast majority of shows have been put on hold, musicians and audiences crave musical connection and meaning through live performances like never before. While digital concerts can’t replace the real thing, they’re your best shot at keeping in touch with fans and maintaining an income through live music right now. These five tips will help yours look and sound professional, and make an impact on your audience.
Every band is a unique universe with its own rules, customs, and relationships. Audiences may see the bands they love as united fronts. However, each is comprised of multiple members with different needs, opinions, and backgrounds. In order for the band dynamic to be healthy and sustainable, each musician needs to feel heard and respected. For some musicians, making their needs known can be a huge challenge, especially if the culture in their band is geared towards a stop-at-nothing for success philosophy. Not expressing your needs will end up ultimately hurting not only you but also the musicians you play with.
We’re making music in an endlessly complex and brutally competitive climate, and things are only getting tougher for unestablished artists. Having great music that’s thoughtfully promoted is far from a guarantee that you’ll ever find an audience. It’s a tough pill to swallow. Yet, we’re all better off accepting it and letting this information shape our careers for the better. One of the best ways we can let the harsh realities of how hard it is to connect with audiences in 2020 is to break down the moonshot ambitions we have for our music into small manageable goals. If you’re set on connecting with the widest audience you can, the best place to start is by engaging with the fans you already have.
Releasing music frequently is becoming increasingly important in the age of streaming. Since there is so much music being released every day, artists who spend years between releases run the risk of being forgotten. As listeners have an immense amount of music in their hands, people are less likely to wait for albums for a few years. The attention spans have shortened and it might take a lot of work to kickstart your social and online presence after being gone for a while. So, it is a much better strategy to release music in smaller packages and more often. In this post, I’ll talk about 4 reasons why you should release new music more frequently.
When it comes to creating and performing, musicians often take a perfectionist approach to their work. From the second we pick up our instruments, we’re taught that there’s the right way of doing things and endless possibilities for getting things wrong. This all or nothing philosophy can bleed into the ways we measure value, success, and contentment in our careers. This can cause damage to our creativity and ourselves. It’s natural to hate errors like placing a capo on the wrong fret during a live set or forgetting the lyrics during recording. But I’d argue there are much bigger mistakes musicians should be worrying about.