For about as long as musicians have been writing music and performing, the world of music has been synonymous with things like terrible diets, late nights, and copious amounts of booze and drugs. But while unhealthy lifestyles make for good television, they can be hell on a musician’s body. If making and performing music is something you plan on doing for the rest of your life, the bad habits you form now could keep you from being your best, or stop you in your tracks completely. It’s not sexy, but learning how to take care of yourself will make you a better musician.
Seemingly without notice until recently, the music industry has been experiencing a seismic and possibly irreversible change throughout the last decade. Last year, the Washington Post published an article about the recent decline in international electric guitar sales. The numbers are pretty shocking. In just the past decade, electric guitar sales have dropped by a third, from 1.5 million to a new average of just over 1 million. As you can imagine, this trend has been hell on small music stores, but even large music retailers have been experiencing pain due to waning guitar sales.
If you own a music store, this is all pretty bleak news, but what does the electric guitar’s decline mean for the rest of the music industry?
Every DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) will come with a large slew of effects and built-in plug-ins. Depending on how long you have been producing, you have already started downloading additional plug-ins outside of the native ones that come with your DAW of choice. Whether you just bought the full Waves plug-in bundle or you’re still experimenting with your native effects, you’re going to end up with a few choices that will certainly land in your go-to folder. Typically, producers and mixers will have their favorite reverbs, compressors, EQs, and basic effects racks. While it is arguably better to master a few plugins than to poorly use hundreds of them, there are pros and cons to using the same effects over and over.
Music is an industry where nothing is guaranteed. Even if you’re talented, lucky, connected, and hardworking, the odds of achieving lasting financial success and notoriety are slim. But like in any profession, there are things bands inadvertently do that thwart their own prospects. Here’s a list of five things that keep bands from being successful:
Remember when you first started making music, how every show, every new fan, every kind word, or t-shirt bought made you feel like you were on top of the world? Somewhere along the way as you began to grasp the business side of the industry, you lost that sense of excitement and wonder at every opportunity or win that came your way—no matter how big or small. But learning to embrace and celebrate the small wins, leads to a slew of positive outcomes—including helping you accomplish your stretch goals even after.
So how do you begin to turn small wins into huge successes?
Ah, the dreaded bad review. Even the most talented and successful songwriters often question themselves after reading a negative write-up about their music, but negative reviews are especially potent when they’re aimed at new and up-and-coming bands. No matter who you are and what kind of music you make, bad reviews and harsh opinions about what you’re doing are an inevitability, and crafting your music a specific way to please critics will only make your music worse. So, what do you do when a bad review comes along?
Every January 1st, millions of people make new year’s resolutions that are meant to lead them to greater things. We promise ourselves we’ll get in shape, eat healthier, get that promotion, move to that new city, or start that new business—whatever it is that’s been brewing in the back of our mind for just a little too long. We’re fired up, we’re excited, and we’re ready to take action.
Unfortunately, so often we let the chaos of every day life get in the way of moving forward on those goals. These things we really want take a backseat to the things we need to do. But it doesn’t have to be that way. When it comes to your music career, pursuing your talent, your dream, your musical destiny is possible to manage amidst a busy life. Put these 3 tips into action, and you’ll soon find your career blossoming.
Time and time again, the sort of music that finds its way to the top of relevance, prominence, and appreciation are ideas that manage to blend listenability with stark originality. When musicians create new, fresh musical ideas presented in accessible, engaging ways, listeners take notice. With this in mind, it makes perfect sense why so many artists and bands do everything they can to set themselves apart from their peers––and often end up generating ideas indistinguishable from everyone else in the process.
Sometimes when songwriters and people in other creative fields try doing something completely different, new, and unconventional, they end up coming up with ideas similar to thousands of other artists. Why?