Although we do try to listen to everything that is sent to us via a SoundCloud link, we are limited in the amount of unpaid work we can take on. Nonetheless, we here at Vibey understand how difficult it is to be a struggling musician in today’s ever-changing music scene.
We have put together this list of suggestions which we hope might help you get to a point in your career where you’re ready to afford the right production team and recording environment - which in most cases is what it will take for you to compete in today’s market – along with great songs and performance talent, of course. That doesn’t mean you can’t move your career forward right now and there’s plenty to do!
Since the days of bands being “groomed” by the label are gone, it is up to the artist to groom themselves to a point, until they are ready to take things to the next level.
The suggestions we make here are things that truly make a difference to the success of an artist and are part of the basic requirements for 9 out of 10 these days, so take heed!
Now, on to that list...
Never stop writing. You may feel like your latest song is your greatest song, but songwriting is something you get better at as you go along, so this sort of thinking is actually counter-intuitive. It’s better to have 10 songs to pick the best from than to focus only on your latest work. This helps to refine your craft and even push some boundaries which can often result in extraordinary work.
- Learn home recording – the software and hardware. There are a ton of tutorials and YouTube videos to get you through the initial learning-curve. With the price of home recording so low, you as an artist must take advantage of the ability to record your own song ideas and demos. This also prepares you for when you go into a pro studio. By knowing things such as mic technique and placement, using effects, basic mixing skills, etc., you’ll be more comfortable in the studio (and so will the engineer!). Recording at home allows you the chance to develop song ideas that you want to expand on, changing parts here and there until it’s ready to move forward to a better recording, or if your mixes are sounding good, you can release more content yourself (via YouTube, your site, social networking sites, etc.) and subsequently remain more consistently in the public’s eye with fresh content.
Study music marketing. With all the free information available on the Internet, get an advantage over other bands by knowing the tools out there and how to use them, from social networking sites to email marketing, search engine optimization and ad-buying. Any knowledge at all on these subjects instantly puts you ahead of a large chunk of the pack.
Set time aside to practice what it is you do. That’s both obvious and essential, yet most people don’t have the same drive and passion to succeed as those who practice every day. Lots of people seem to expect others to jump behind them and that the long hours of practice are not as important. This is a little backwards since if you don’t blow people away with your abilities, you won’t get anyone behind you beyond friends and family. Nothing wrong with that if it’s what you want, but if your heart is in being a success in music, prove it!
- Get the basics together before you start approaching people in earnest. Your own website that you control; a good quality photo shoot; artist/band bio; your social networking profiles dialed in with that content; consistent artwork/branding on all of your online profiles and website. That way when people hear your music somewhere it is easy for them to find you online and become a fan of the rest of your songs. The internet allows you to come off looking pro without the cost musicians had to bear 20 yrs ago, so take full advantage of that.
- Start building your contacts in the industry by NOT pushing your music on them. If there’s a way you could help them out, or even just carry on some good conversation with them, over time, they will be far more open to hearing your band’s stuff. And by waiting, your music will be better, you will have a larger fan base, and basically be better prepared for that moment when you send them your tracks.
Create content all the time. From songs (both polished and one-mic roughies) to video, photos, webcasts, fan footage, polls, shared experiences and blog posts, etc. Since the attention span of internet viewers is measured in nano-seconds, you want to provide cool content to stay present in their minds.
We hope these tips help in some way to keep you on your path, improving all the time and taking your music to the next level.
Best of luck from the team at Vibey and we hope we get to work together in the future.