A lot of you out there want to make it. A lot of you want to make it big. And there’s absolutely no problem with that. Everyone’s idea of success varies from person to person, so if yours is one that includes playing stadiums, festivals, hookers, and blow, then by all means I hope you continue chasing those drug filled dreams of yours.
But you have to be smart about it. You have to understand the process in which you must take in order to achieve those goals. See, despite what you’ve been told, not every one of the key major players out there want, or have time to hear your band. And in all actuality, when you’re sweating it out in your garage, or sitting in your room at night practicing, your goal shouldn’t be to impress those who wear suits. Your goal should be to fulfill your love for art and the need to create it. Long lasting art is forged not out of love for money (just look at most pop music), but more so out of the love for connecting with others. But, again, if your goal is to write music that’s easily marketable vs. making music from your heart, then go for it. Just make sure you get a really good accountant.
But no matter which option you chose, you have to know which direction, and steps to take in order to get your music in front of the right people. Here are some things that may help:
Perfect your craft: I think it’s safe to say that the majority of us out there with a working brain have discovered that through the use of auto tune, nice hair, make up, and some clever dance routines, anyone can make it in the music business. How long they last, that’s a different story. But a lot of today’s popular music is more so focused on the face of the artist more so than their art. The artist doesn’t really need to know how to play an instrument to be on the face of every awards show related to music. As long as they have a pretty face, and someone’s willing to hire the right musicians, you’re halfway there. However, and this is why I love the extreme metal genres as much as I do, you have to have more versatility than just the looks and a voice you can auto tune in order to last. You have to have tools hidden up your sleeve that’ll open doors for you. In order to last, you have to have talent. Learn everything you can about the craft you’ve chosen, be it singing, guitar, bass, drums, etc. Learn it inside and out and perfect it to the best of your ability.
Record everything: Anyone with a little cash can buy some recording equipment and record aartwork and product isn’t good enough. Go back to the drawing board.
Be Innovative: STOP trying to copy everyone else. Fans have already seen that already. Sure, other bands may be holding their attention, but eventually those fans will be growing up and their tastes change. Be that change. Offer to them something they haven’t heard before. This is where practicing and perfecting your craft come into play. The more you know your theory inside and out the more tools you have to offer in creating art that someone might not have heard before. Trends come and go. We all know this. If you’re looking at other bands attempting to copy the same path they’ve paved for themselves, then chances are the trend you’re trying to follow will be dead in a few years anyway. Don’t limit yourself.
Stick with it: If you aren’t prepared to spend the next 10 years of your life dedicating every ounce of your soul to making art, then stop now. Most of the bands you listen to have put in their 10,000 hours, yours is just beginning. If this isn’t something you live and breath for then you won’t be in the proper mindset required to deal with the scarifies necessary in order to handle all of the above mentioned tasks.
In the end it takes more then just getting in a garage and jamming out. You have to connect with people. And as I mentioned before, there’s a multitude of ways to do this. It just takes the extra effort. Your art doesn’t stop once you’re done with practice or stepping off stage at a show. Your personality and what makes you you come into play and can be the deciding factor between gaining a new fan or not. You have to engage in conversation. You have to open up and speak to those around you and reel them in more ways than just music on a Facebook page. Your band should be looked upon as a community of individuals that the outside fan looking in wishes and strives to be a part of. Give them a home, and they’ll stay with you forever.
If you have made it this far and read all of this, I applaud you. Now go back to practicing. You have work to do.