Many successful artists have one thing in common, a YouTube channel. You might wonder why they would need to have a YouTube channel when they are undoubtedly very successful. It is because, unlike in the past, fame does not guarantee stability in the music industry.
You must have noticed that most musicians in the 21st century hardly studied their craft in school. You are inclined to see this reality as ludicrous. After all, you assume art depends on prowess, not popularity.
Sadly, that is not the case in this age of technology and the internet. The cliché ‘anybody can become anything’ is practical in the world people live in today. Here are a few tips you can use to break into the music industry:
Learn Technological Trends
For your music videos to get suggested on YouTube, understand the strategies for optimization, keywords, and algorithmic trading software. These skills guarantee an increase in the traffic to your music video and the opportunities for awards nomination.
As you may know, there is controversy around some Oscar and Emmys nominees. Some of your favorite artists have been criticized and accused of lacking talent. However, social media platforms gave them a platform to create masses of supporters- you included.
Create a Reputable Brand
Being an excellent musician is not enough for you to attain success. Work on your personality through publicists and personal trainers. A flawless reputation will open doors for you in other industries, and you will become a brand ambassador for reputable firms.
You must know excellent artists that have lost their credibility because of negative publicity. For instance, the display of violent tendencies will lead you to failure. Your music agencies will detach themselves from your negative image, leaving you at a disadvantage.
Engage With Your Audience
In the modern era, your supporters will demand a deeper understanding of your personal life. The extent to which you give them access is entirely up to you; being closed off is ill-advised.
You may perceive this step as selling your soul. Regardless, transparency is the price of the celebrity status of modern times.
However, there is no pressure to publicize your lifestyle. The ideal situation is being relatively open to your supporters’ questions and curiosities. It is only natural for your fans to wonder about the source of your immense talent.
As you may know, the gig economy is a concept that emerged in the post-2008 economic crisis. The uncertainty of modern times requires you to take up any opportunities that may present themselves. Furthermore, the more gigs you do, the more likely you are to gain support and recognition.
Your performances should be strategic. For example, do curtain raises for distinguished artists to warrant an exceptional reputation by association.
You must be aware of artists who made one wonderful song and people forgot them. Regularly releasing songs will keep you relevant and exert your influence on your supporters. Nevertheless, do not release half-baked songs to sustain your fans’ interest.
It is challenging to have a breakthrough in the modern music industry. On top of talent, you should be a brand too. In the end, your whole life should be a reflection of your craft, at least in its preliminary stages.
In some ways, getting your music out there is simpler than ever. In fact, the whole process of music has, to an extent, been simplified. After all, it is so simple to record music, therefore, it should be simple to promote it. But for any musicians starting out, the overriding component is about promoting yourself. The fact of the matter is that it’s not just about the hard graft anymore. You’ve got to be on the ball when it comes to marketing. And now, the art of music as a business and promotion has never been more intertwined. You only have to look at the multitude of musicians in reputable bands offering their services to mainstream pop artists. We’ll touch upon this later, but when it comes to the right strategies to get your music out there, but also, to make sure that you are earning some sort of satisfactory living from it, what do you need to do?
The Importance of Branding Yourself
This is where art and commerce collide. It’s not an easy thing to get your head around, especially when you want to be taken seriously as a musician. But it is so important to get yourself a branding, and an approach to promoting yourself that gives you an advantage over anybody traipsing around the open mic circuit. We’ve all encountered those serious musicians that are waiting to be discovered, and live and breathe creativity. But the fact of the matter is that the modern world requires us to be multifarious in our skills. Those bands going around the toilet circuit are not able to maintain a living purely by being a musician alone. And this is why you’ve got to be savvy with regards to your marketing. So what does it take to promote yourself properly?
The Importance of Regular Content
Ideally, you need to set up your own website, SoundCloud, Bandcamp, and so on. But you must remember that with each platform comes its own specific audiences. Regular content is crucial, and it can be overwhelming to try and create regular music. But don’t think about content as purely being a song, look at how other artists engage with their fan base. Something like a tutorial, or telling a story behind the song can be just as engaging.
Upskilling Your Technical Knowledge
If Twitter API integrations and terms relating to the Click-Through-Rate, Call-To-Action, and keywords mean nothing to you, it’s no time to get a crash course in marketing. Technical knowledge is vital now. It’s also important to get your head around Search Engine Optimization. When you start to optimize your website, this can be a very simple way to get higher up the search engine rankings. It is a lot to get your head around, but there are fantastic courses available. It’s so important to make sure you have a website, but also knowing what you can do to optimize it to your advantage. For the creatives, this may seem like cheating, but it’s about making sure you have an advantage.
Having an Understanding of the Business Side of Things
In addition to some marketing knowledge, and being able to promote regular content on your website or pages, you should learn the ropes when it comes to business. This can be a conflict for the creative type, but when you start to realize that the creative well only goes so far to earn you a regular income, this is when you have to become savvier with your business practices. This can be frustrating, and you may find that people around you think that it’s unfair, especially if they are struggling musicians themselves. But it’s about making sure that you balance your creative time with your abilities to promote yourself.
The Importance of Gigging
Everybody is taking opportunities where they can to play music. The great thing now is that you can easily do a live stream every single day. But digging is not just a way to build a strong relationship with your audience, but it’s the one true way you will learn from your mistakes. There’s a lot of pressure in being a musician, you have to come flying out of the gates fully formed. Many seasons musicians that have been around for decades were given the opportunities to fail, and now it seems that this is not an option anymore. And because everything we create is out there on the internet forever, we have to be match fit.
Gigging is perfect for promotions, and it will help you to get your content out to audiences. Increasing your craft as a musician in front of an audience is daunting. But it is the one true way to discover your audience, but also discover your craft. When you start to play in front of an audience, you can gauge reactions, but you’ve also got to remember the importance of finding your voice. You will inevitably lean towards certain genres and styles and it’s vital that you don’t run away from these instincts. The temptation for so many of us is to go towards something that is profitable. But this is anathema to the creative process. When you are getting a solid feeling from a specific type of music, even though it is a niche genre, you’ve got to go towards it.
This is why you’ve got to take the opportunities where you can to play live and keep doing it. Love or loathe Ed Sheeran, he learned his craft by playing hundreds of gigs a year. Gigging is where the money is. And while gigging is not as profitable as it once was, as far as engaging the right audience, but also fine-tuning your craft, there is no process better.
Living and Breathing Music
There is no such thing as doing one role in a career anymore. While, once upon a time, musicians were able to specialize in one field, this is not the case anymore. You will find that even the most seasoned of session musicians become tutors, and diversify their craft. And it’s something that you need to come to terms with as soon as you can. The great thing about being involved in music is that it’s a craft that you can use to inspire others. And when you start to leave and breathe music, the opportunities are endless.
The fact of the matter is that now, what they used to call “selling out” is part of the music industry. Even indie bands are writing for popstars. And it is an essential part of how musicians evolve. In one respect, you are applying your craft to a different genre or approach, but if you are writing for other people, you can find another way to earn a living. And it is so important, again, that the idea of art and commerce come together. By working with other musicians, it gives you a lifeline to other genres and artists, but more importantly, it is the way to earn a living in such a competitive industry. And this is something we should feel no shame in doing. Those musicians who are able to diversify their efforts, and work as session musicians, or work with other bands, are doing what they can to earn a living by solely being a musician. The very nature of being a musician is feast or famine, and if you can start to fund your creative endeavors by being a tutor, or working as a session musician, it can lead to a fantastic life.
What Is the Answer to Making a True Living in Music?
The art of promoting yourself in the music industry is not just about blasting yourself out there on the internet, but it’s about turning yourself into a product. And this can feel like you’re selling your soul to the devil. But when you start to incorporate the fact that you can promote yourself online, combined with your abilities to work with different positions, while also developing a side hustle as a tutor, it is the definitive way to live a life that is full of music. It’s not possible to earn a living doing one thing unless you are at the top of the pile.
And the great thing about being a musician is that you can diversify your efforts, and it becomes a part of your life in ways you hand imagined. When you start to look at people who have gone into business ventures, but also now still do what they can to give back by tutoring at music colleges, it is the way forward for the musician. It’s not about the rock and roll lifestyle anymore. Many big-name acts cannot afford to live off their name alone anymore. And this is the reality that we face in a changing world. And this is why you’ve got to be multi-skilled. Partly, you have got to understand the importance of promoting yourself correctly, but also making sure that you diversify your efforts. By gigging, branding yourself, but also living and breathing music in ways you haven’t considered gives you the best opportunity to make a living. And if you’ve made a living doing it, this will be the very definition of success.
It used to be that making excuses for recording music was pretty easy. After all, you needed a record deal and all the trimmings that come with a machine behind you, and they were hard to find.
Today, the landscape has changed dramatically, making the process of recording music more accessible than ever before. However, you might still be in the mindset of believing the industry is exclusive, which stops you from creating songs.
If you are, you are holding yourself back because you’re making excuses for your behavior. The reality is that most of the pitfalls don’t exist any longer, and these are the reasons why.
Studios Aren’t Hard to Find
It turns out that a studio is right under your nose, just waiting for you to find it. Where is it? Well, it’s in your home thanks to software such as Garageband. Developed by Apple, the program allows users to make music through Apple-related products, like macOS, iPadOS, and even iOS devices. Yes, you can do it via your iPhone! Not only is the quality great, but Android and Microsoft users can also leverage it with a Garageband on PC download. You don’t have to leave your bedroom to start recording. Isn’t that cool?
Equipment Isn’t Expensive
If you are waiting for the latest Fender, you’ll have to splash out a significant sum of money. But, this doesn’t mean the cost of musical equipment is high – it’s a lot lower today. Instead, it means that you must be savvy about where you purchase your tools. For instance, you can buy used instruments off the internet. Or, you can leverage social media to find the latest bargains in competing stores. The number of incredible deals is very high, so as long as you shop around, you will find what you need.
You Can Build A Fanbase
Talking of social media, you shouldn’t ignore the potential pros of recording music and releasing it directly to your fans. Whipping up support used to be challenging since most people listened to songs on the radio or through their stereos, and you required a formal deal to get onto these platforms. Currently, the likes of Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter cut out the middlemen and provide access to the people who matter the most – your supporters. It’s almost impossible to launch a pro music career without their help, yet you have it in abundance with social media accounts.
You Can Learn
Whether you’re Keith Richards or new to the game, you never stop learning. The problem with education is that it isn’t as accessible as it should be, not for people on the bottom rung of the ladder. Thankfully, formal classes are everywhere, and the hardest part is choosing which course to use to boost your knowledge base. Producer Hive has a list of ten of the best available right now which should help. The key is to invest in your education. When you do that, nothing can get in your way.
Have you stopped making excuses or are you allowing them to derail your career?
Are you a musician who has made that all-important step forward and booked yourself time in a recording studio for your first ever session? It’s a huge step, and one to feel proud and excited about, but at the same time, you want to be sure you make the most of the opportunity and show up prepared and ready to work, and be creative.
To help you better understand what your experience will be like in a recording studio, allowing you to plan appropriately, let’s break down exactly how things work.
Be Clear on What the Booking Entails
Before making any sort of booking at a recording studio, it’s important to determine what exactly a booking includes. Will you have self-service access to equipment? What is the quality of the equipment? Do you have to pay a premium to use the equipment? What is the length of time of your booking? What about a space for production, writing, and editing? Is there a vocal booth? These are just some of the things you’ll want to investigate before you make any sort of booking. It ensures that you’re getting what you need, and that you’re getting your money’s worth. It also helps you to narrow down the options and pick the ideal recording studio for you.
For many artists, the best recording studio is the one you can write and produce music in, and take advantage of day rates. These are all the features that Pirate Studio in Brooklyn offers musicians, giving them the tools and the flexibility that they need to make music happen and feed their art. These Brooklyn recording studios are well-known in the industry and have a very strong and respected reputation.
Chat with Your Producer/Engineer in Advance and Have a Plan
Because time is of the essence, you’ll want to head into the experience expecting to get to work the moment you step foot in the studio. Artists are recommended to speak with their producer/engineer in advance and have a plan on what to accomplish in the session. For musicians, the idea of having a schedule or a plan can seem a bit stifling and doesn’t allow for that natural organic flow, but here’s the thing – you’re on the clock, so forming those creative thoughts and visions in advance can definitely help the session to be more successful.
Make Sure Your Gear is In Good Condition and Ready to Be Used
Because you want to get started right away, it’s also wise to tune up your gear ahead of time and make sure everything is working properly. You could even do a little practice run before you head out to the recording studio, thereby eliminating the need to do so when you arrive. If you require a lot of gear, make sure you take the time to go over everything you have packed, making sure nothing has been forgotten. Making a list of items you want to take with you can help to alleviate some of the stress. It ensures nothing gets forgotten in the rush of the moment.
Keep the Head Count to a Minimum
While it may be tempting to bring along all kinds of friends to help you out, the fact is that you don’t want the studio to be too crowded and to get too hectic. Try to keep the bodies to a minimum and just bring the people you need to help you make your music. If a person doesn’t add to the process and have a job to do, then they probably aren’t needed in the studio. The last thing you want is to be distracted while you’re in the recording studio trying to accomplish your music goals.
Don’t Be Afraid to Step Outside the Box
Once you are in the studio and you see all the equipment before you, don’t be afraid to experiment. You can step outside your box, try a different set-up, make small adjustments, and just allow yourself to be creative in the moment. So, while it’s good to have a plan, that plan doesn’t have to be written in stone and there still needs to be room for creative freedom.
Be Sure to Pack Snacks and Beverages
The final tip is a really simple one, but it’s also important. Be sure to also pack some snacks and beverages. You could be in that studio all day so your vocal health and energy level needs to be something you are mindful of.
One of the Best Experiences of Your Life
As a musician, there is nothing quite like the first time you step foot into a recording studio. It’s an impressive milestone, and one that you don’t want to take lightly. Go ahead and celebrate, pat yourself on the back, and then get down to business and make the absolute most of your time in the studio.
Here’s one I learned by starting with Jason Skinner videos on YouTube, but also by listening to the original from Don Reno over and over. I’ll never play it as well as he did, but at least I got to play on his banjo once.
During this insane quarantine time we are all stuck in the middle of, I started working on a new album that, unlike my last one, won’t be in the electronica realm. Now that I’ve finally built somewhat of a home studio where I can play instruments and be loud without the need to channel everything through headphones, my options are much more inspiring.
That, coupled with this deep, intense angst that many of us are feeling as we are trapped at home under this new but hopefully temporary way of living, led to the following track that I hope you enjoy.
It is available on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, and all the usual places, but you can also listen to it here: