Category: Developing As A Musician and Performer

Questions and Answers for Independent Musicians

When you are starting out as a musician, or even when you’ve been at it for a long time, there are questions that are specific to independent musicians.

Some of these questions may be related to making a living as a musician, or they may be about how to become a better or more successful musician.

You may be wondering how much money you might eventually make, or what your lifestyle will be like. Do you need a back-up plan?  How do you make the connections to get the gigs you want?

If you already an established musician, whether locally, regionally, or nationally, you may find yourself being interviewed and asked questions about what it’s like to be a musician.

Here, from an article on grassrootsy.com, are a few of the questions and answers.

What skills/personal attributes are most important to being successful?

Most importantly, you need to be a good business person. There are so many talented artists out there, but not very many of them know how to make a living off of their talent.

So the most important aspect of being an musician – an independent one – is knowing how to book shows, capitalize on opportunities, be assertive, and ascribe value to your work, so much so that people want to invest in what you have to offer.

You also need to be extremely flexible and have an easy time engaging with different groups and types of people.

It’s common for musicians to be out of work for long periods of time. How can you supplement this time without work? How can you transition out of this period as quickly as possible?

I think when you’re first starting out, you might not have as many performances. It will take a while for people to get to know who you are. But eventually it shouldn’t be hard too find work. People are always in need of entertainment for their events.

The real question is, are these good jobs that can help you pay your bills? Sometimes they are. Sometimes they’re not. When you’re out of music work, it’s extremely important to fall back on your other skills.

This is why I highly recommend going to college and having another skill. I have many friends who are graphic designers, photographers, and videographers. They do other flexible types of jobs to help them subsidize their music career. And these are all great skills for a musician to have.

What are typical mistakes people make when trying to pursue this career?

They are selfish. They only look out for themselves and what they want. The more you get to meet, share, and collaborate with others, the better your experience will be.

For the person who just wants to “get ahead”, they can often feel threatened when others come into the picture as “competition”. But I think if we could operate off of a framework where one artist helps another, then everyone would succeed.

They compare:  I strongly feel like more artists need to spend less time looking at what others are doing.

Stop acting like we’re in a competition. If you set your own trajectory then you will be right on schedule. Stop comparing and just do what you do.

Piano Hand Exercises To Improve Your Swiftness And Expertise

Author: RhonleeSavage

Pianist ought to make piano hand workout routines a component of their routines to be able to sustain adroit flexible fingers. Musicians are also sportsman, only they use smaller muscles. Daily tendon and muscle exercises keeps them stretched and powerful. If you’re seeking to engage in many musical styles, exercise both hands on a daily basis.

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One form of hand exercise is playing scales. Sit up tall on the piano bench. To ensure correct body alignment, make sure your posture is accurate. Situate your right hand on the keys. Begin with your thumb and use each of the following fingers to play the next key. Use different finger to play each note. Start off slow until you get the hang of it. Continue reading Piano Hand Exercises To Improve Your Swiftness And Expertise

The Rockstar Checklist

By Cari Cole

Being a rockstar and having a music career in music is one of the most fulfilling and exciting lifestyles imaginable. But it’s not only reserved for those at the top.

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You can master your own rockstar world with this quick and easy checklist I give all of my students. Rock on!

  1. Master Your Instrument/s(voice – and piano, guitar etc.)
  2. Impress yourself as if you were trying to impress your boss. Being a Rockstar is a job – treat it like one.
  3. Surround yourself with people better than you.
  4. Never think for a second that you can’t do it.
  5. Everything everybody says to you is advice– not gospel.
  6. Learn from the music you listen to and then take it one step further – rather than copy it.
  7. Never, never, ever burn bridges– There’s absolutely no reason to be vindictive or look down on anyone in the business – because hopefully you will have a long career and everyone’s working hard just like you.
  8. Make sure your whole camp is on board with your music and direction – There are plenty of people out there looking for great artists.
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  10. Dress the part, act the part, live the part– because you are 24/7 marketing yourself – and there’s a lot of competition out there.
  11. It’s never about YOU – it’s always about THEM. Be interested in people – don’t blabber on about yourself. People do business with people they like.
  12. Despite popular opinion, those in the music industry that drink and do drugs are not nearly as respected as those that don’t.
  13. Continue reading The Rockstar Checklist

5 Tips to Improve Your Musical Performance Technique

Author: evan

This week we’re going to look into some tips on how to improve your technical agility. One of the main abilities a musician must have is to have command of the technical aspects of his/her instrument.

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Tip #1: Play everything slowly

“Slow is the same as fast”. Maybe you’ve heard of that phrase. I’d like to interpret it as understanding that all movements that you make while playing rapid passages must have the same relaxed feeling as though you were playing slowly. What better way to do that than practicing slowly?Continue reading 5 Tips to Improve Your Musical Performance Technique

How to Have Stage Presence For Groups

By Terrence Harper

1. Prepare and rehearse. Know everybody else’s lyrics, so that you can fill in and define parts of the song to get or keep the crowd hyped. Rehearsal is important in order to show that your a professional or on the brink of becoming a pro, you’d got to know where the other person should be onstage.

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2. The lead vocalist should almost always take center stage, then move from right to left interacting with the crowd. Always, go center stage when your verse starts this brings the attention to you, especially if you have multiple people on stage.Continue reading How to Have Stage Presence For Groups