Being rejected can be a devastating experience. Most of the non-creative world associates rejection with unrequited love expressed as a teenager, or being passed over for a promotion at work. Rejection is painful, so it makes sense why most people avoid it at all costs. Musicians who are serious about creating meaningful work don’t have that luxury.
Creating and performing music leaves musicians vulnerable and tied to risk through things like playing shows in front of hostile crowds or getting nasty reviews. Unfortunately, you risk being rejected for your work each and every time you choose to share it. Learning to cope with rejection is crucial if you want to sustain a meaningful career in music. Here are three reasons why:
Humans are habit-forming creatures, which can be both good and bad for musicians. Routines are ideal for stuff like practicing an instrument or getting plenty of rehearsal time in for an upcoming performance, but they can wreak havoc on a person’s creative potential. Habits stifle creativity when they remove the potential of risk and newness from the music-making process. If you’re someone who struggles with succumbing to bland routines and predictable habits in your songwriting efforts, we’ve got three tips to help:
Whether you play in a 7-piece band or make music alone, musical relationships are crucial. From having access to opportunities and resources to simply having another person to talk to who knows what it’s like to be a serious musician, we need musical relationships to help us in our careers. But for as important as these relationships are, they often fall apart in spectacular fashion.
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.