Monday, July 23, 2012

music monday: beginner tip #4

Well hello! Last week was a bit sparse on the posting, so I'm excited to be back with this week's music monday. We spent most of the week helping with our sweet new niece and with Jordan's sister, who was having some unexpected complications. Thankfully God has been gracious and she's back home and on the mend. I'd love for you to pray for her as she continues to recover and enjoys life with her new little girl! Keep on reading for beginner tip #4...

With any new business (or potential business), it's important to know what your goals are and to take the first steps toward achieving them. But what happens when things aren't going the way you hoped or planned? Beginner tip #4 is: be persistent! Getting started as a new artist isn't easy by any means, but it's possible. At every level there are doors to open and hurdles to overcome, and many new artists do get burned out or overwhelmed. If you're truly serious about making a place for yourself as a musician, you need to be prepared to not only celebrate your successes, but push through the struggles. Persistence is a quality you might not have naturally, but it's certainly one you can discipline yourself to learn.

A major factor is the ability to discern when persistence turns into annoyance. Nobody wants to get multiple phone calls and emails day after day from the same musician, begging to play a show. However, sending one email and letting that be the end of it will most often result in a "no" by default of not following up and never receiving a response. Persistence is sending an email or making a phone call that concisely intros who you are, what you'd like, and why, and then following up a few days later. If you still don't get a response, do your research to ensure you're contacting the best person for the job, and try again. Give it some time, and (politely) make a follow up phone call. Your goal is to get a black and white answer, a "yes" or a "no". Then you can move forward with your plans, be it to plan the show, contact them again in 6 months, or move on to another option.

Persistence also pays off when looking for the best people for you to work with. Interviewing one producer might be okay, but interviewing several (or more!) may lead you to the person you didn't realize you just needed to take your project to the next level. A persistent attitude can help you push through writers block, give you the energy to take a second look at a song you thought was good enough, spend time perfecting the instrument you love, and help you refine what you say on stage.

It can be easy to let the embarrassment of a bad show scare you into not playing the next one. It can be easy to feel like you'll never finish the song you were so excited about when you started it because you're in a rut. It can be easy to get discouraged when you don't hear back from someone about your ideal gigs. Push through. Keep going. Maybe you will find that your song doesn't make your record, or that it takes you ten concerts to nail down what you really want to say between songs. But waiting on the other side is experience that only comes through living, doing, trying again, and succeeding!

If you're getting caught up, here are beginner tips one, two, and three.


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