One of the more fascinating transformations happening in music today is how insanely easy it’s become for anyone with a laptop and microphone to create, record, and release music. A big impact of this trend we’re beginning to see is the widespread blurring of lines between songwriter and producer. Cheap DIY recording gear and easy access to digitally driven sound effects and synthesized instruments are putting production power into the hands of millions of musicians who wouldn’t have had it in the past. Here’s three ways songwriters are taking on music production roles:
When I started making music seriously in my early twenties, I had an idea in my head that once musicians got to a certain level of success, they’d be able to focus purely on their music. Music promotion, finances, booking shows – I thought all the unpleasant grunt work of musical life could one day be handed over to managers, accountants, and record labels if I could just be successful enough. More than a decade later, I’m happier than ever making music and am nowhere near the point of being able to schlep off the non-musical duties of my music career off on someone else. Over the years, my views on what a musician’s role can or should be have changed completely. I now believe that musicians should care about the non-musical aspects of their careers, but not for the reasons you might think.
Things like expensive instruments and recording equipment can definitely improve your music career, but no amount of money can buy talent and an artist’s willingness to work. There are free and inexpensive things musicians have access to every day that they can be doing to change their careers in a huge way. Here are three of them:
Whether it’s because of a lack of money or an inability to be away from a stable job or young family, many musicians who’d benefit from touring find themselves stuck at home. For bands who’ve tapped out local resources and the attention spans of fans in their hometowns, this can be a big problem. But while touring can bring loads of benefits to ambitious bands, there’s other things artists can do to build momentum for their music.
At its best, music is a collaborative art. We can’t create in a vacuum. Plus, the vast majority of the songs on the charts right now are all co-writes. Everyone has their strengths. Everyone has those few things they do that really click. Where you don’t always shine, a collaborator will help to brighten and polish your work. Take a break from your island, and let’s take a look at how to bring our best selves to a co-writing session.
Whether you’re a weekend warrior playing in a regional city close to your hometown or embarking on a long national tour, being able to promote shows in cities you’ve never played in is vital for bands trying to find momentum and new fans. But getting the word out in a new city isn’t easy, especially for new and unestablished bands. Here are three tips to help promote shows in places you haven’t played before:
Even under the best of circumstances, performing can be an anxiety-inducing experience for artists. Since artists are under so much stress at shows, they’re easy to offend. The musicians that artists perform with end up being massively important connections throughout their career, so staying on their good side is essential. Here are four show faux pas to watch out for while playing live:
Marketing is a bit of a buzzword, isn’t it? It’s one of those terms we throw around freely that conjures images of slick advertising, fancy sales techniques, and lots and lots of money behind it.
But it doesn’t have to be such a heavy word. In fact, you can create and execute a solid music marketing plan even without a hefty budget and with a strong vision for where you’re going and who you want to impact along the way.