Making music is something the world has a romantic perception of, which means that giving up is typically looked at as a sign of weakness. But make music long enough, and you’ll soon see that scaling back, changing course, or quitting in music is essential at times. Here are three times when taking a break from music makes sense.
It’s cliche, but when we’re young, we feel invincible. There’s a sense that the stuff we do to our bodies in our teens and twenties won’t have much of an impact on us for the rest of our lives, and sadly, that’s just not the case. Young musicians can get into lots of bad habits early on in their careers, but not wearing earplugs is something that can lead to consequences that can not only negatively impact their careers, but can also cause lifelong health problems.
There’s a stigma amongst musicians about performing on stage with a backing track for the simple fact that most artists are largely expected to be the ones responsible for generating all the sounds coming from the stage. But with things like bedroom producers gaining popularity and more solo artists looking for ways to save money on the road, the use of backing tracks is becoming a more frequent occurrence on stage. Even traditional bands are beginning to broaden the creative potency of their live sound by way of backing tracks. But stigmas aside, playing to a backing track can be complicated, frustrating, and possibly detrimental for an artist’s live performance.
For many musicians, songwriting is a reliable way to escape their current circumstances. This especially applies to those living in places they don’t like. But whether you love or loathe where you currently live, where you’re located has a big impact on the music you’re making. Here are a couple of ways how.
Creating music is something that’s hugely rewarding and cathartic for most musicians, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to make. For some, the pressures of family and non-musical careers slowly edge out music-making priorities until there’s no resources left to devote to it. Others step back from music because of the innate and unavoidable challenges that come along with it. If you’re someone that’s taken a break from music and wants to get back into the swing of things, there are things you can do to make it a part of your life again. Here are five tips:
With the way the music industry has transformed to favor the instant gratification of playlists over the past couple of years, musicians are rethinking the ways they work in some significant ways. Chiefly, the breakdown of the album as music’s main music-listening format is forcing musicians of every stripe to approach making and releasing music differently to cater to music-addicted audiences with perpetually diminishing attention spans. Releasing more music more often is the only way to keep listeners engaged, conventional music industry wisdom dictates. But for as much as a non-stop musical race might sound doable to some musicians, it’s an approach that isn’t likely to work for most of us.
I’m going to say something you might disagree with: most shows aren’t worth your time if you’re a seasoned musician. When musicians are young and looking for experience, every show is worth considering whether it’s an open mic night at a local coffee shop or playing covers at your beloved grandparents’ 50th anniversary barbeque. Every chance to perform represents an opportunity to grow and learn and gain exposure for young musicians.
But what happens after you’ve been playing open mics and barbeques for years? What do you do when the show offers (big and small) keep rolling in but only a select few stand to do anything to get you closer to your musical goals? To preserve your sanity and help you make the most out of your efforts in music, I think you should politely decline any show that doesn’t stand to help you or your music succeed.
Filling a blank computer screen or piece of white paper with original song lyrics is no easy task. Some songwriters struggle with the thought that what they write might be too revealing while others fear that what they come up with is too boring, cliche, or dull. The lyrical part of songwriting proves to be the most challenging for many otherwise talented songwriters, which means it’s something we should talk about.
No matter what your unique challenges are for writing great song lyrics, one thing is sure to help: paying attention.