Have you ever gone out for drinks with your friends, and it turns out they’ve brought along another friend who you don’t already know? It might feel a little weird at first, but as soon as you get to talking you realize that you actually get along really well with this new person—and the more you hang out with them, the more of their personality you get to see, the more you realize you’d actually like to keep hanging out with them even after this.
If you’re a musician that’s obsessed with statistics, you probably love the in-depth analytic information that most major streaming platforms now offer to artists. But if you’re not a fan of numbers and graphs, you might be missing out on the benefits that streaming analytic data can give you as an artist. If you’re a serious artist that tours and frequently releases new music, paying attention to the data behind your music can help you. Here’s how:
It’s the dream of countless music-makers to spend their days writing music and earning a living. For many developing artists, songwriting seems like the opposite of working at a conventional job, and in some ways they’re correct. When you create music, you are your own boss and what you say goes. It’s a creative pursuit that allows you to express yourself exactly how you want to. Compare the experience of creating a new song to sitting in an office all day, and the two experiences couldn’t be any more different.
When it comes to social media, it can feel like you’re screaming into the void. You put all this time and effort into trying to create a post that people are going to care about, only to check back hours later and see you only got 5 likes. We’ve all been there.
So, what if I told you that there was a way to never again wonder what to post. A way that you could quickly come up with new ideas—the kind of ideas that encourage people to actually interact with your content, so that the next time you post something you’re sure to get lots of interactions? And how about if the icing on the cake was that you’d also grow your following and create a true community of fans through all of this?
It can be exciting to read reviews of your music when they portray your music in a positive light. But, unfortunately, make music and share it with the world long enough, and it’s almost inevitable that some negative feedback about your work will get published and sent your way. The truth is that music criticism can help you as a music-maker whether the reviews covering your music are flattering or difficult to read. It all depends on your perspective and goals.
Even the most talented songwriters can’t create their best music without putting in the work. If you want to make the best music you can, you’ll need to show up to the creation process over and over again throughout your life, not just when you feel inspired to. Living a musical life happens week by week, and there’s a lot you can do each day to create the best work you can as often as possible. Adopting these weekly habits will help dramatically improve your life as a serious songwriter:
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.
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.