As songwriters, we like to think that all of our creative decisions are intentional and 100% up to us. A lyric written about a personal experience or chord progression composed spontaneously probably feels generated right there in the moment and only by you, but the truth is that a lifetime of musical influences and hidden tendencies are at play each and every time you try to make music. We might think the new songs we write are comprised of ideas we’ve never explored, but what we’re really doing is piecing together a countless number of old memories, habits, and loved songs from other artists. There’s no way to completely negate a life of musical experiences, but taking a short music cleanse can help break habits and inject new energy into your songwriting practice.
Digital streaming platforms are bringing both huge benefits and challenges to musicians. Today, the idea of an unknown artist distributing their music online and resonating with audiences instantly is very much a real thing. But while more music is being made and listened to than ever before, building real connections with listeners is a major challenge for musicians working in an unprecedented era of music saturation and competition. You might have loads of streams and followers in today’s digitally driven music industry, but making real fans is a whole other story.
A typical independent musician today will spend considerable time posting on social media, writing emails, and reaching out to fans. While our minds are constantly on social media, it is important that we do not forget about the offline world. Ultimately, our success depends on the people who listen to our music, come to our concerts, and support our art. So it is very important that we have real connections with them. In this blog post, I will show you five ways that you can use offline promotion to promote your music.
Sharing new music for the first time is incredibly exciting for a songwriter. After months or sometimes years of working on a project, music takes on an entirely new meaning and purpose once it finally makes its way to audiences. Understandably, for many musicians, the money made or lost on something like an album or EP isn’t nearly as much of a concern as whether new music ends up striking a chord with fans or not. But the unavoidable truth here is that not caring about your relationship with money is something that can harm or even destroy your career. The good news is that you can plan realistic financial goals for your releases that support and prioritize things like connecting with audiences and not going into debt over your music.
I probably don’t need to tell you that we’re living in an unprecedented time not just for music, but just about every other facet of human life. We have more ways to instantaneously share and absorb information than ever before, and that’s not always a good thing. Whereas musicians working just a decade ago didn’t need to worry much about how they related to their fans online, it’s something that can absolutely make or break an artist’s career today. In theory, musicians being completely open and transparent about their personal lives is something that fans can and long to relate to, but the reality is a whole lot more complex than that. Some musical identities and genres of music are much better served through things like sharing political views and personal stories than others. Share too much or too little with your audience, and you risk alienating your fans or appearing cold and uninterested. How do you find the right balance? Asking these questions can help:
As artists, we all have periods where we struggle to find good ideas. Sometimes we make great work, and sometimes, we do not: It is the nature of the creative process that ideas come in cycles. Here are five strategies for getting rid of creative blocks:
Lots of musicians make music with the intention of sharing their work with the world. The main function of being a serious musician is giving music with people, whether it’s through live performances, recorded songs, or both. But making music available for audiences is a serious choice with consequences we don’t often give much attention to as musicians.
Filling a space with a song that was previously occupied by nothing is incredible if you think about it. Today, we’re surrounded by so much music, that it often feels like it comes out of nowhere, though if you’re a musician reading this, you know that’s not true. Just like a house is built using materials and a thorough plan, music takes time and resources to make. For many songwriters, the tricky part comes with knowing what amount of time they should be devoting to their work. Spend too little on an idea, and it could come out under-developed and rushed. But spend too much time on an idea, and you could end up wasting your time never finishing it. Is there a middle ground to look for?