Making it big is the dream of almost every musician. For most, it’s not about fame or money, but rather the feeling of knowing that your music is heard worldwide and that it is potentially having an impact on someone’s life. Getting to that level of success can be tricky. In fact, most artists won’t get there. That isn’t a reason to give up without trying, though. Here are a few tips that could help you become a recognized musician.
Hard Work as a Foundation
They say that talent is usually 10% of any success equation. The other 90% is hard work. Talent without hard work is a missed opportunity. Most musicians you can name off the top of your head had to work extra hard to get where they are now. We’re talking long nights spent on the road, playing small gigs in some obscure venues before someone noticed them.
Is luck a factor? Absolutely. However, working hard and making things happen on your own is a much more important factor. Without hard work, there is a solid chance you won’t be in a position to take advantage of a potentially lucky circumstance. Write music, record it, play it wherever and whenever you can. Rinse and repeat.
Understand How Distribution Works
Music distribution is much more complicated than it used to be. It’s no longer enough to record an album, pitch to an agent, and work on getting a few gigs. These days, there are platforms such as Spotify and others, which open whole new avenues of approach to music distribution. Experts over at playliststreams.com/the-ins-and-outs-of-music-distribution/ argue that using modern means of music distribution can bring positive results much sooner. Many artists became popular simply because their music was readily available through Spotify and other similar platforms if you think about it. Use this to your advantage.
Use Social Media to Get Your Name Out
Today, starting is both harder and easier than starting some 30 years ago, and the internet is to blame. On the one hand, the power of the internet has allowed people from all over the world to present their music to whoever is willing to listen. On the other, this has created so much competition that many good albums and songs get drowned out in the noise.
That being said, you can still use social media to your advantage. In fact, promoting yourself over social media is the best way to get your career off the ground. If you’re smart about your approach, you can target a niche audience through a bit of social engineering and increase your chances of being noticed. Also, whenever you’re exposing any piece of music to social media, there is always a chance you’ll go viral. It’s a luck-based thing, but definitely something you don’t want to rule out.
Try to Establish Your Own Style
One of the most common pieces of advice given to new musicians is that they have to be unique or otherwise they won’t make it. This simply isn’t true. You don’t have to be unique. In fact, it’s a question if you even can be unique these days.
What you should have is a recognizable style — something that will help others recognize you. For example, Hendrix used many odd chord shapes, which ultimately led him to establish his own style. Was he the only person doing it? Probably not, but he was most successful at it. Finding your own style takes time and effort. It usually comes when you explore a variety of genres and techniques, picking and choosing elements of each one as you go.
Knowing how to play and knowing what you’re playing are two very different things. Most self-taught musicians spend a lot of time learning and perfecting the technique of playing an instrument without focusing much on music theory.
Music theory, although complex at times, is essential if you’re serious about making music. Learning the basics of scales, chords, notes, and more will give you an insight into how to become better at what you do. Chances are you’ll find new and creative ways to express your emotions through your music. Don’t ignore music theory just because it’s dry.
Give Yourself Time
None of these tips matter if you give it one shot and give up at the end of the day. Give yourself time to succeed. Many artists have had several failed attempts before making it big. The same can be applied to anything in life. Give yourself time, and don’t be looking at failure as an end of your journey, but rather a small detour.