How To Be A Better Musician

Musicians tend to have a bad reputation within the music industry and without. I’m sure I don’t need to list the stereotypes since we’ve all heard them. What if you want to be someone that isn’t like that? These are just personal tips/observations that could help you.

1. Practice Makes Permanence

It’s a well known fact that practicing anything makes you more fluent with it. However, what if what you’ve been practicing all along was not the correct thing? In music this could mean an incorrect technique or a note or rhythm that you overlooked which would lead to a non-perfect result. Therefore, take your time and practice carefully and don’t ignore any details. Always strive to know more about whatever instrument you play. Practice and master new techniques, figure out different ways to approach old habits, and so on. Anyone can practice something, but it’ll set you apart from the rest when you’ve been practicing the right thing all along.

2. Don’t Brag About How Great You Are

Seriously, don’t do this EVER. I enjoy reading biographies and learning more about musicians I like. What I don’t like about these biographies is when they’re written in the third person by the musician themselves. To gain the third persons status biography…you really have to make your way up the ladder and have a wide fan-base…I don’t know why it bothers me so much, but I just don’t like it. Reading stuff like, «[Insert Name] is a groundbreaking musician that creates beautiful music that is exotic, amazing, extraordinary, and emotional» is aggravating. If you write like «I am a musician that aims to push my own limits towards the goal of creating music that I hope the listener finds beautiful» I think it settles better with me. Don’t tell ME how to experience YOUR music! (Read more about experiencing music here.)

3. Don’t Censor Criticism

Why do people do this? I guess because they want to look perfect. If someone writes a comment about you that is negative, keep it. It shows you can take criticism and are interested in learning. (Another one of your fans might even come along and defend you.) It shows you’re a real person trying to promote yourself and grow as a musician, not just someone that is using technology to make themselves look better. A few times I’ve commented on peoples works where I made a suggestion of how they could improve, only to have it deleted and   be  « muted » on SoundCloud. Reputation is big in this industry and it’s easy to tell when someone’s trying to control their image. In the end, any promotion is good promotion.

4. Learn From Other Musicians

This is simple. Listen endlessly to your favorite artists. If the music industry revolved around completely original ideas it would have been dead awhile ago. Part of the beauty of music is sharing it with others. Inspiration is NOT plagiarism. Study their works, admire their techniques, and learn from watching and listening to them. If you’re lucky maybe even talk to them too. All music is passed down from generation to generation and across cultures in some shape or form. At this point in music history, it’s almost selfish to think you’ve created something completely original. It’s possible to create music to which you’ve never been exposed, but it could still exist somewhere. Don’t let that be discouraging of course! It’s all theoretical, really. Silence is your canvas…go wild!

Other Thoughts

-Learn the rules before you break them.

-Make sure to have fun!

-Take a break if you’re stuck- don’t give up!

-Don’t give yourself unnecessary time limits or constraints- it could possibly cause —frustration and unwanted stress.

-Repeat number two