One of the trickiest things to balance in music creation is the desire to get things done versus the need to work authentically in an inspired way. Write only when you feel like it, and you’ll end up not making much music. But let routine, predictability, and creative safety define your process, and the work you make will probably sound forced and uninspired. Forcing the creative process is tempting, especially if you find yourself hopelessly mired in a rut where things don’t seem to click. But making yourself create when you don’t have the passion, attention span, or other resources to do so is a bad bet. Here’s why:
Embracing elements of risk and newness in your music are essential if you’re a creator wanting to keep things fresh. One of the best ways to do this is by collaborating with musicians you’ve never worked with before. There’s a special benefit for musicians willing to work with songwriters and producers outside of their social and musical circles. Unexpected collaborations can result in new, powerful ideas you wouldn’t have been able to dream up on your own.
For the past few weeks, we have seen many weekly live video streams by different musicians, producers, and record labels. However, video streaming should not just be about live music. It offers many other opportunities artists can utilize! So, in this blog post, I would like to highlight four ways musicians can use video streaming services:
There comes a point in every serious musician’s career when creativity, fun, and inspiration are hard to come by. The causes of creative stagnation are different for each of us, but all music-makers experience it eventually. Some musicians are able to spot a lack of ambition or inspiration in their creative lives. Others slowly sink into ruts without realizing it. If you can easily spot one of these red flags in your music career, it’s likely you’re creatively stuck and need a change.
There’s no getting around the fact that live-stream concerts aren’t suitable replacements for the in-person shows. But that doesn’t mean that digital concerts have to be boring, bad-sounding affairs. During a time when the world craves musical connection and comfort, live-streamed musical performances are a lifeline for fans as well as musicians needing to stay in touch with fans and make up for lost revenues. However, it’s clear that some major pop stars and unestablished acts alike are having a tricky time making the leap from conventional shows to digital ones. Similar to normal shows, live-streams need to offer something engaging and exciting for audiences to feel invested. Here are a few strategies for transforming digital concerts into events that fans will be excited about:
Every songwriter has had the experience of getting sucked into a creative rabbit hole while working on a specific musical idea. If we’re lucky, momentary frustration leads to creative resourcefulness. Sometimes a great song is waiting for us at the end, but it doesn’t always turn out that way. In many instances, it’s best to quit working on an idea before we invest too much time into it. We can then save our time and energy for better songs. The hard part is knowing exactly when to stop and why. Every songwriter’s process is different. If you are in one of these situations while working on a song, it might be time to move on to something else:
I’ll be the first to admit that not every day of this quarantine has been productive. There have been days I’ve become one with my couch, pushed off tasks, or simply refused to get excited about the things that once lit me up. And for a while, I felt really bad about that. I questioned if my heart was still in it, if I had what it takes, and if I even deserved to still be doing what I was doing.
But the more I talked about this with others, the more I realized, I wasn’t alone. And it wasn’t that uncommon.
When I think of my strengths as a musician, a lot of skills pop up. Yet, none of them have anything to do with tech. The more I strive to create impactful music in a world that’s increasingly reliant on and fluent with technology, the more I realize there’s a growing deficit in my musical skill-set that needs addressing, and I’m not alone. No matter what kind of music you create in 2020, technology is almost certainly bound to be involved in some way. Whether you use DAWs to write, record, mix with, or share music online through a distributor, tech is integral. A lack of tech literacy hurts musicians of all stripes. Not only that, but the problem will only get worse for the ones that fail to address it.