Not focusing enough on music doesn’t seem like a problem for most musicians, but there have never been more distractions in music than there are right now. Whether it’s petty jealousies, disagreements with your team, or obsessing over your social media following, focusing on the things surrounding your music instead of your work can transform into a big problem if you’re not careful. Here are three ways your music suffers when you lose focus on it:
Every music scene is its own world, packed with locally famous venues, musicians, and history. It’s natural to want to develop within the music community that exists in your hometown. However, when musicians fail to evolve past their local scene, they limit not only their opportunities, but also their creativity. Forming an identity outside of your music scene isn’t easy, but it’s essential to connect with large audiences.
Don’t settle for local success
It can be incredibly exciting to find success within a local music scene for new and unestablished bands. Opening for national artists, getting written up in local media, and headlining shows at local venues are all signs of momentum within a scene. The problem comes when bands get addicted and comfortable with the notion of being the big fish swimming in the small ponds of their local music scenes. It’s completely possible to be a well-known and beloved band to the music fans in your hometown but no one else. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with this. Yet, if your music career ambitions are bigger than being locally successful, you’ll have to plan to be active outside of your hometown.
There is so much power in being an independent artist. Now more than ever, you have advantages that you’ve never had before. From complete creative control to the ability to make decisions for yourself, being an independent artist is no longer seen as simply a stepping stone on the way to signing to a label. Many artists—perhaps even you—have made a decision that indie is the way to go.
However, one of the things you’re bound to run into as you navigate the DIY waters is the inevitable feeling of wearing all the hats. You know what I mean—you’re the manager, you’re the publicist, you’re the marketer, and you’re the booker. You’re trying to learn, do, and get better at everything, and it’s exhausting.
You start to feel frustrated and a little resentful, as you wonder—how am I supposed to do this all alone?
Artists can get quite a bit of mileage out of releasing their music on free digital listening platforms in today’s music industry. However, there’s no getting around the fact that some money has to be spent in order to give your work the best chance at being heard. Music has never been cheaper to create and share, but if you’re hoping to reach the largest audience possible, be prepared to spend a little money to make it happen. Here are three essentials you’ll most likely need to spend money on to share your music with wide audiences:
Musicians have a lot on their plates these days. We’re told that there’s virtually no chance we’ll succeed without throwing a huge amount of our time and energy into doing things like promoting our work over social media or carving out brands for our digital identities. But while there’s some truth to that advice, it won’t make a difference if the music you’re looking to share isn’t solid. Yes, in today’s music industry, artists shouldn’t expect to post music online and find a following without throwing in some hard non-musical work behind it, but many of us are missing the point of what it means to be creating music in 2020, and that point is to share compelling, interesting, fresh, and meaningful music.
What happens when you’ve spent so much time preparing for the release of a new album that you have every idea of what to do pre-launch while having absolutely NO idea what to do post-launch?
Believe it or not, this is something I see a lot. And yes, it’s a blessing that you should have the good fortune of getting press you weren’t expecting or gaining traction that you couldn’t predict—and you should celebrate!
But it can also be easy to become kind of complacent in it. To appreciate the press sure but, not really know how to properly share or promote it without sounding like you’re bragging, or how to really keep the momentum going after you’ve had a couple releases.
Not knowing how to make the most of the press coverage you do receive can mean not only losing opportunities in the moment, but burning bridges for future ones too—and I don’t want that for you!
So whether this is your first press run or your 20th, we’ve put together five ways to make the most of press, and be sure you’re setting yourself up for future opportunities to come.
Accepting a demanding new non-musical job. The birth of a child. Burnout after years of touring, making music, and losing money. No matter what’s behind the reason someone quits playing music, it’s something that happens within bands and local music communities constantly in music. While some musicians throw their hands up and quit music permanently, others put it on hold temporarily in hopes of picking it up again when they’re able to. Pursuing music after a years-long break isn’t easy, but it’s completely possible. Here are a few tips to consider if you’re trying to get back into the musical habit after being out of the loop for a long time:
Inspiration can be hard to find if you’ve been a musician for a while. Similar to the cliche telling lonely people that love will find them when they least expect it, it can feel like the harder we work to feel and express inspiration, the farther away it moves from us. One of the most frustrating things about making music is that we can set aside all the dedicated songwriting time we want, but there are no guarantees that we’ll feel inspired as we work. Here are three reasons why inspiration can’t be forced in music: