by J.P. Kallio
Here are this week’s musician quick tips, part 28!! In my nearly two decades as a full time musician I have learned a thing or two about this business. I also have become very fast at assessing what works and what does not when it comes to promoting, recording and performing your music.
These quick tips are simple actions that you can put to use straight away
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Ever heard the expression “fake it until you make it?” This is something you should forget about in the music business. Trying to bluff it won’t get you far. People in the business have seen it all over and over again. An email from someone trying to convince me that they are the big shot, when in real life they are just some one eager to try anything, can be smelled from miles away. There are much better chance to get an answer to an honest Email explaining your own inexperience, than trying to pretend to be something you’re not.
The same goes with your music. It needs to come from your heart. It needs to be something you understand. And you need to understand where the music originates. Nothing worse than someone trying to play reggae when they only have heard few tracks from Bob Marley.
Be authentic, be who you are, be genuinely interested in what you do, and it will become infectious. And when it does, that’s when you will start to see momentum.
You need to have a vision of what you want your career to look like. Where would you like to see yourself in one years time? Where you would like to see yourself in five years time? If you don’t have vision, you are wondering aimlessly in the dark.
But once you have vision of what you want your career to look like, it is time to focus that vision. Break it down to small steps. Figure out how to take those steps, and if you don’t know, figure out who does and how can you get them to show you how to take those steps. I am specifically using the word “show” here, as you want to be as independent as possible. It is tempting to get people to do things for you, but before you skip to this point, learn how to do them your self first. Otherwise you expose yourself to being scammed. There are enough people in the music business waiting to get their hands on your money.
Stay focused on your goal, and walk the walk. Don’t get others to do it for you.
Things are hardly ever as bad as they seem
Recently my website went down, due to some server problems. And as Murphy’s law dictates, of course this happened when I had decided to take few days off and I was away from my computer. In the past something like this would have me stressed up to high heavens. But it seems I have learned few things along the way.
Things are hardly ever as bad as they seem when you are down in the trenches. What feels right now like the end of the world as we know it, probably will be nothing more than a small pickup, that few months down the line you have forgotten about.
This does not mean you should not react when something goes wrong. Sure thing, do what ever you can to fix the problem. And eve more so, figure out what you can do in the future to avoid it happening again. But don’t try to turn it into the end of the world scenario. Be realistic and remember, tomorrow is another day.
Do the opposite
This one is purely artistic quick tip. I have many artist friends, and family members. Most of these have one thing in common. They all have unique style that they are known for. And to simplify this advice, I will generalise a bit here. Most of their art is either dark (sad or oppressive), or light (happy or positive). I know people who are extremely good at very dark paintings, and I know people who are very good a light paintings. I know musicians who either write one or the other type of music. So which one are you
Today I ask you to get out of your comfort zone and do the opposite. If you only write love songs, why not write song about death? I know it sounds grim, but it is part of life. Or if you only paint very dark subject maters, why don’t you for once try something more positive? I am not asking you to change your style, but I am asking you to break out of your comfort zone. It is these (sometimes uncomfortable) places, where we can find what we truly are capable. If you don’t push your self, you will never find out.
Things happen for a reason
I know this is going to sound like some kind of spiritual speech, but hear me out. Weather you believe it or not, it is better for the success of your career that you accept the fact that things happen for a reason. Especially when things are going wrong. What good is it to get stuck on something that has already happened, and you can’t change it?
In the music business most of us deal more with rejection, than acceptance. That’s just the nature of the business. And if you get upset about being rejected, well then you are in a wrong business! So when things do go south and fast, it is better to accept that there is a reason behind all of this, and it might or might not reveal it self some day, than get angry or frustrated about it. Anger and frustration only slows down the progress.