Starting out can be tricky. Sometimes you find yourself wanting to quit before you’ve even got started because it can seem too difficult. However, stick with it and take the advice offered. Talk to other musicians and see how they began. Don’t be afraid to fail at something because that’s how you learn. We’ve found a YouTube video that could provide you with all the tips you need to hit the ground running.
Don’t compare yourself to others
He starts by saying how this is your journey and that’s really important. There is no point comparing yourself to someone at a different stage within their journey. If you’re just starting to figure things out, what good will come from comparing your work and following with someone who has been in the industry for years? You aren’t the same person. You’re not creating the same music, and you do not have the same experiences. It’s important that you go into this remembering what you want to gain from it. If you’re just after creating some music for people around you to listen to. That’s great! You don’t need to expand into something bigger just because other people are.
The journey not destination
A really important point here to focus on is people often are always looking for the next thing. Once they’ve achieved their first goal, they move on to the next. In some ways this is empowering. However, often people don’t stop to appreciate the hard work they’ve put in. They don’t think about how they are now where they once wanted to be. Always reaching for the next thing means you don’t enjoy where you currently are. You could always have more followers, you can always have more streams. However, what you have achieved now is something worth celebrating. Enjoy where you’re at. Think about where you have come from and appreciate your entire journey. It’s time you won’t get back.
Learn how to tell stories
Stories are everywhere. They’re within your lyrics, they’re within what you say. Every experience becomes a story. Some you may choose to share, others you might learn from. Many won’t even be registered by you because they don’t seem worthy. However, it’s important you know how to tell a story. By this, he doesn’t mean you must be able to sit down and read a book. Instead, he’s saying you need to be able to show how things have made you feel. How you’ve learnt from things and what experiences you’ve been through. The good and the bad. Whether you’re putting it into a song, or just sharing it with your fans. You need to be able to communicate effectively.
Everybody’s a d*ck
We never thought we’d write that down within a PUSH blog. However, the point he’s making is not everyone wants to help you, unfortunately. Within the music industry things can be cut-throat. This doesn’t mean everyone is actually horrible. Believe it or not, there are people out there who will want to help you and see you succeed. But, if you go into experiences believing people aren’t going to offer you support, you’ll learn how to do things yourself. You also won’t then be surprised if people are unhelpful. Just make sure you have your best interests in mind and don’t believe things that could be too good to be true. Be cautious when starting out.
Play every day
This might sound like an obvious one, but it’s important. Once you start missing a day here and there, you might lose the routine. The more you play, the better you will become. You’ll learn new skills and be able to adapt ones you already have. Practising a few times before a show isn’t going to cut it. It might be that on the day, things get forgotten, and your performance could suffer. You need to be prepared for everything that could happen and by practising daily you should start to experience these things. Remember you want to be the best within the industry. You’re not going to do that without practise.
Gigs are reputation builders
It might not seem huge because it’s low-key. However, we all have to start somewhere. Showing up and playing local gigs gets a name for yourself. People want to support local. They want to get behind people who are from the same area as them. So, if they see you playing around the area, they’ll start to remember your name. Instantly you’ve got a new following. They might then bring other friends to your next gig, and it grows from there. You’ll also start to be known for being reliable. You show up and put on a great show. That instantly makes you stand out from others who might be more likely to cancel. It’s not what you know, it’s who you know, right? So, it only takes the right person seeing your show to break out further. They might know someone who could help push you further.
Friends and family keep you safe
You need people who support you, that’s important. Without it, you’re going to struggle. Friends and family are huge support systems so keep them close. However, the points he makes here are they want you to succeed and often don’t tell you the truth. If a track isn’t at your highest potential they’re probably not going to tell you this. They’ll tell you when they love something, but often won’t mention when they won’t. You need to make sure you get advice and feedback from people who can be critical. People who will tell you straight. If they think you’re not putting enough time and energy into your work, you need to know. It’s important to find the balance. Keep everyone you love close and share your work with them, but also seek advice from people who can tell you honestly.
Your image matters
The key point here is music is a fashion based industry. This doesn’t mean you have to be on top of every latest trend. That might not be you or your image. It also might not match your music or your fanbase’s taste. What you do need to make sure of though is that your image is updated. Turning up to a gig in old, worn clothes might not be the best look, unfortunately. Although it should only be the music that matters, this isn’t the case. People do judge others on first appearance. So, even if your music is fantastic, they might not stick around to find out if your image isn’t working. Keep yourself looking smart.
Talent is not enough
This seems awful, but there is truth behind it. Sometimes people know they’re talented and then become lazy. You can’t get through life in any career by not trying hard. The music industry is one of the most competitive out there. So, if you have to work hard in other areas, you need to work twice as hard within music. Having talent isn’t enough, because there are thousands of talented musicians out there. You need to have the drive to work hard and succeed. By telling yourself you don’t need to try hard because you have the talent, you become obnoxious. You start believing everything will be handed to you, and you can’t lose. This isn’t the case. There will always be someone better. Make sure you constantly strive to be the best.
Don’t overestimate people’s imagination
You need to show people why they should listen to your music. Telling them you’re great, and they’ll love it isn’t enough. People need to know how the music will make them feel and why they should choose that over something else. They aren’t mind-readers. Unfortunately, people often stick with what’s comfortable, what they already know. So, in that case they’ll stick to music they know they love and artists they’ve heard of before rather than trying something new. Especially when money comes into it. Why would they pay for a gig for a new artist over one they have heard before? You need to make them understand why they shouldn’t miss your gig. Help them discover what the gig will feel
Irreplaceable is experience
An important message given within this video is, you need to be so good people can’t afford to lose you. Think about how you stand out from others. What can you bring that they can’t? Make sure you have identified why they need you. This doesn’t mean you can get arrogant and start demanding things. However, being irreplacebale is what you want to achieve. If they can’t replace you, you’ll always have work. Remember how many musicians there are out there. Of course you want to improve and by practising daily you will. However, it’s important you stay good enough to be considered before others. Consider what extra you have to offer. Do you have the equipment and the transportation to take it to venues? Can you add promotion as an extra?
Go where the work is
Unfortunately things won’t come to you. Throughout the video it’s mentioned just how competitive the industry is. There are so many other musicians also hoping for the same outcome, that you need to try harder. If there’s nothing happening around you, either travel somewhere else for work, or move completely. You might find somewhere nearby that you can commit to. Or, it might be that you have to compeltely move away from the area. If there’s less competition out there or more opportunities, follow it. Those who don’t, won’t be able to expand. This already sets you apart from the rest. It might not even be a physcial thing. You might just have to move your ideas around. Perhaps you’re only on one social media platform and you’re not seeing any growth? This could be a time to move elsewhere. Start up more accounts on other platforms.