After a few months of worrying about the big events in my life more than my music, I decided to spend the past week focusing on my musical life.
Well, that and American Idol. (Hey, at least it’s thematically connected!)
Here’s a list of what I did:
- Installed backend software on my band’s webpage
- Worked on a new layout in Photoshop
- Ordered new recording hardware
- Uploaded videos
- Talked to Gina about band strategy for the upcoming months
- Listened to some new recordings for changes to EQ
- Scheduled a rehearsal with a drummer
- Changed my guitar strings
- Networked with other musicians
- Practiced piano with a metronome
- Played through 20 or 30 cover songs looking for a new one
Do you notice anything missing from that list?
If you said, “playing your original music,” you’d be right.
Now, imagine if I was on a record label … or on American Idol. I certainly wouldn’t be doing any design, or working with software or hardware. Someone else would probably help me steer my strategy and mixing. Hell, I probably wouldn’t even have to change my own guitar strings, and I could hire someone to play piano for me!
If I was a major label musician the only thing on the list I would have definitely done for myself is the last thing – choosing cover songs. And, you know, maybe I would have fit in some practice time on my own songs.
Clearly, being an independent musician isn’t easy. Not only do you have to learn how to make compelling music, you have to take care of all of the other facets of being a musician on your own or with your bandmates. You don’t have anyone to do those things for you. You either do it yourself or make do without it.
This post is the start of a new CK feature aimed at sharing knowledge with other indie musicians to make all of those non-musical tasks easier to understand and achieve. I’m not an expert in the field, but I’m a rare Type-A musician that loves the process of making music as much as the music itself, and I’m happy to talk about what I’ve learned so far.
Whether you’re a musician gigging around town or just someone thinking about writing a song, you can help me get this series started. Is there something you can’t figure out how to do? What do you wish you had some help with? And, how often would you be interested in reading about this stuff?