Guest Post by Annabelle Short
Everyone wants to be on the top 10 list - from David Letterman's countdowns to the Huffington’s top 10.
But what's the process (secret) of being a better musician?
That’s why I wrote this article for you. In this post, you'll find a list of top 10 habits you must develop if you wish to build a better reputation as a musician .
Okay, let's begin...
1. Find people who are passionate about music ... to LOVE your music.
Give samples of your music to these people. Place links to your music on your website to allow people to download and listen. If they like what they hear, they'll quickly let other people know about it.
This way, you can almost instantly know if your music has what it takes to make the public go "Wow!"... by giving away your music for free for a while and until, of course, you create demand for it.
And, don't stop there.
Keep on giving away your sample music but in a deliberate and controlled way. Perhaps, you can give them a song or two for a limited time on YouTube, Facebook, or/and your website. As soon as you sense the time has come to control this, you can start charging them a reasonable fee for access to it.
2. Play as much as you can (at first) and don't worry about getting paid or another gig.
It's easy to tell the difference between who is in the music for money and who is in for the sake of just music.
Devoted musicians understand (and are completely fine) that they can't play music every chance they get. On the other hand, musicians who are all about the money usually complain about why they can't land gigs that pay well.
So, if you are entering into the music scene thinking that you will make your living as a musician, especially in the first six months to five years, then you're headed for a massive disappointment.
Just think about it, every legendary musician, who has made a significant impact on the music scene had to struggle long and hard at their craft, and they never gave up.
Here are few things you can do to build your band’s reputation:
● Go out and play in the streets, at schools, festivals, fairs, and at events that allow you to help others.
● Start offering your services to charities, non-profits, or any other company you can think of.
● Start your own jam sessions, or hang out in clubs and look for more jamming opportunities.
● Or, explore your city or town, and soon you'll discover several venues and places where musicians can play.
As you begin to establish your band’s reputation, and more and more people start to show up at your gigs, then, before you know it, the paid gigs will start to increase.
3. Protect your materials and register (copyright) your songs.
I have come to realize that very few artists are willing to spend $40 to register their songs with the Copyright office. But more often than not, they are the same people who will complain about not getting paid for their little-known music.
Over the years, I have also met inventors who, once they know their product is going to appeal to a specific type of people (customers), file for a patent the first chance they get.
I think the same attitude to protecting songs must be there for any songwriter.
So if you want to quickly build your reputation as a musician who writes his or her own music, register your songs as soon as you can.
And if you believe your music is unique and will appeal to your target audience, I highly recommend that you take some time to learn the essentials of copyright protection.
Learning copyright is easy, too. You only have to visit your local library or visit websites like www.copyright.gov to learn what it takes to file for copyright protection.
4. Know your craft... inside-out.
During the 70s, there was a sudden increase in garage bands, rappers, punk bands, and "do-it-yourselfers," who would just pick up their instrument, sing a song or two with their school pals, and only after six months, would record a new album and start playing live. Many music bands became popular this way in the past.
However, after 30 years, amateurish thrashing such as these have gotten a bit repetitive.
Before the 70s, music was often composed by musicians who worshipped their masters (such as great jazzmen, folk legends, bluesmen, a great songwriter).
They didn’t settle for good. In fact, they wanted only GREAT pieces of music. They used to think, "Why settle for the moon when you can reach the stars," and went on to produce some of the best pieces of music that instantly catapulted their reputation.
So whatever stage you are currently in, do not be complacent. Instead...
● Try to push yourself and go beyond.
● Invest two of your most valuable resources (time and money) to your music and voice.
● Take music lessons if you have to, and even better...
● Play a CD of your favorite musician, and listen carefully to what and how they're playing. Replay the song over and over again and challenge yourself to go beyond.
And, one fine day, you might end up somewhere you thought was never possible, and increase your chances of standing out from the rest of the mediocrity that is your competition.
5. Create your own promotional materials.
Writing and designing effective promotional materials (such as fact sheets, bios, cover letters, website, quote sheets, and blog posts etc) is a lengthy topic to discuss in this article.
But if you're interested in knowing a few tips that can help build your reputation as a musician quickly, and help you get more deal offers, here's one: try to make your promotional offers as compelling and informative as possible.
● Take time out to gather any positive reviews, recent accomplishments, past sales, training and awards, and live appearance highlights.
● After that, organize them into written form and post them on your website and social media accounts (such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google+).
● Once you've done that, send the materials to your recipients and ask each of them what type of materials they'd like to receive in the future.
You see, every day, thousands of people, particularly party and event organizers, are searching for great bands to hire for parties and events. Getting in their eyes and landing great gigs can be easy if you are prepared. In other words, stick to these top five tips (see above) on building a better reputation as a musician, and you’ll never have to complain about not getting a great gig again.
Over to you: As a musician, what have you done to build a better reputation? Join us on Facebook to share in the comments. Annabelle Short is a writer, music industry pundit, mom, and craft lover. She currently writes for Wunderlabel. Disclaimer: Please note that the views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of Tunedly. « return to blog