Whether it’s the play-counts you rack up over streaming platforms or the amount of followers you accrue through social media, numbers and statistics have become an almost unavoidable part of being active in music today. But just because you’ve got a perpetual front row seat when it comes to following the numbers behind your music, doesn’t mean you should always be paying attention. In fact, obsessing over your plays, views, followers, and downloads can do more harm than good for your songwriting.
When I first started touring, I measured success by whether my band ended our time out on the road in debt or not. Personal spending aside, I considered simply being able to be on tour without having to spend money a success. But many tours and a decade later, I see things pretty differently not just when it comes to spending and earning money on tour, but whether it’s worth it for me to be out on the road in the first place.
Playlists and streaming technology are upending just about everything in music, and the relationship between fans and musicians is no exception. A decade ago, it’d be safe to call most of an artist’s listeners true fans, but that’s no longer the case. Between the plummeting value of music and how easy it is for fans to listen to and discover new music, more people are listening to more music than ever before––but it takes much more than listening to an artist to become a loyal fan. Here’s three ways casual listeners are different than fans:
Because music is closely intertwined with emotion, musicians often approach their work with unrealistic expectations. Big, vague, and unreachable expectations can be dangerous because they lead musicians to exchange focusing on small successes for ones they’ll never be able to attain. Here’s a list of three unrealistic musical expectations to watch out for:
Imagine you’ve got two friends. One can’t stop talking and the other measures their words and only speaks up when they want to say something important. Who are you more likely to listen to? Lots of musicians can learn a valuable lesson from the quiet friend, and not just when it comes to playing music. Stepping back, being quiet, and listening is something that might not come naturally to musicians, but it’s essential for maintaining relationships and making the most out of your musical talents. Read on to find out more about how listening can help your music career.
For lots of musicians, navigating relationships with bandmates often proves to be more difficult than writing songs, promoting music, or performing on stage. Touring around the country and pouring money and countless hours into a band can precipitate tense conditions between members because the stakes are so high. Learning how to bring up tough topics with your bandmates isn’t an option if you’re planning to make music with the same project over the long-term. Here are five tips to help.
When you’re building your team as an artist, or exploring the world of industry career options, you want to make sure you know who is who in this industry. For instance, as a publicist I’m often confused as having the same duties as someone in marketing. A booking agent and promoter are often used interchangeably when in reality, their jobs are very different.
We’ve compiled a list of some of the most well-known careers in the industry and a brief run-down of what each entails. The industry and its career options are always growing, so if you don’t see a role that seems like a fit for you just yet, don’t give up. There’s plenty of us in this industry who have created a non-defined role all our own—in the meantime, check out our list.
I’m well aware that the title of this article looks like something out of a self-help book for musicians, but I’m ok with it because it’s true. Neglect your career, stop writing songs and putting energy into music, and your musical identity evaporates. But spend all your time touring and holed up in your music studio and things like the state of your close relationships and bank account are sure to suffer. Balance is vital for musicians because it creates a big, dynamic space for their everyday lives to exist in. It makes room for an ambitious, fulfilling career along with vital non-musical aspects of a musician’s life. Can you always have it all when it comes to balancing a music career with a marriage, mortgage payment, or dayjob? No! Of course not. That’s why balance is so important.