Have you ever watched your favorite artist and thought, “I’m going to be like them someday”? Or, better yet, have you ever seen someone who’s made it and thought, “I know I have more talent than that artist”? Well then, do it! Show the world you have what it takes.
It is said that 10,000 hours of practice is required before one can be considered an expert at one’s craft. So, do you consider yourself an expert at yours?
Having the talent is only half the battle. While some of those who have made it may make it seem effortless, no one truly endures in this industry without hard work and dedication.
You never know when opportunity is going to knock on your door, which is why you should want your talent to be in its best shape at all times. By following the tips below, you can develop a routine that will instill in you the discipline needed to hone your craft to its fullest potential.
1. Exercise Your Instrument – No matter how many times you practice your performance, it won’t make a difference if you spend all of your time practicing incorrectly. Invest time into the building blocks of your craft. Study your instrument and review the fundamentals. Even the most seasoned performers can get a little rusty on the basics.
2. Practice Your Stage Performance – Once the basics are broken in, run through your performance, even if you don’t have a show coming up. Opportunities appear whether you’re ready for them or not; make sure you’re ready to showcase what you’ve got at any given time.
3. Know Your 30 Second Elevator Pitch – If you were to end up stuck in an elevator with one of your idols or an angel investor or possible sponsor, what would you say to them? Would you take advantage of this opportunity or let it pass you by with chit chat about the weather? Be ready with what you do, what makes you different, what you need to reach your goals, and why those goals matter.
4. Pick Your Priorities – You can have it all, but sometimes not all at once. When you want to make your art your priority some things may have to take a back seat. When friends want to stay out all night on payday and you have a big show to prepare for the next day, be aware that it may be in your art’s best interest to log in more rehearsal time and a good night’s sleep.
5. Understand How Others Are Spreading Their Message – Communication is key, always. The best way to know what resonates with your fanbase is to watch what they respond to, and what they don’t.
Go to shows in your genre, study others’ performances, listen to new releases (both underground and mainstream). Take note of the way they market and promote themselves – what works, what doesn’t? Soon your skills in marketing and promotion will be finer tuned than you think.
6. Study Your Mistakes – Recordings of your performances aren’t just tools you can use to promote your music online; these videos can help you see yourself from the crowd’s view and see things you may have missed. While fans may be unaware of certain slip-ups, you as the artist should always be looking for ways to improve your performance. Do you feel connected to you as an audience member?
7. Realize Your Weaknesses & Ask for Help – After noticing what you need to work on, assess whether or not you have the resources to improve upon that weakness. If you don’t, find out who does possess those resources and reach out! Opening yourself up to the fact that no one does it alone will allow you to grow and evolve into the artist you want to be.
It can be overwhelming as a DIY artist trying to build a career in this industry, but if you always put your craft first in an effort to serve your fans the best way you know how you can’t lose.
Stay focused, and keep learning.