What’s The Next Step?

Hello, lovelies!

The sun is shining, and so am I! I just got over a terrible sickness, and I’m feeling refreshed and ready to go! Ready for that next step, which always seems so elusive! Maybe you’re like me, and you’ve got all this drive with nowhere to go. What do we do when we feel like that?

Verbalize and Remember
What are your goals? I don’t mean to play an arena, or to win a grammy. I’m talking about the basic, do you want to perform? Do you want to perform YOUR music? Do you want to grow your fanbase? Maybe you want to do all those things (that’s okay)! Just verbalize what you are thinking, that will help you to find any holes in what we are about to do!

Songwriting
Are you always thinking about writing music or your music? Well, the next step should be to use this drive to write something new! Don’t think in terms of good and awful, the important thing here is to write. Being an original band without music is like being Nike, without selling shoes, or clothing. It doesn’t make any sense. Write now. Write today. Do you know how to write a good song? Write nine bad songs.

Record
Maybe you’re not writing original music, that’s okay! Even still, you should be recording! David Ghrol said, and I quote, “Record. Record. Record. Record EVERYTHING.” Can’t find someone to record you? Do it yourself. If you can’t find someone to record you, look again, be a little more active in the community. A lot of people have some recording experience and are willing to record you for FREE (if not for really cheap). You don’t need to be in a nice studio paying out of your butthole, to create an album. Billie Eilish has taught us that!

It seems a common fear is that you don’t know how to produce the song, which takes its own set of skills. But the way to get good at this is by doing it! Record an EP that sucks. You must do it to get better. We’ve all done it before, and it’s how you get good.

There’s a big hurdle we all have to get over. The idea that you can’t make something that sucks. Or that at the very least you’ll die if anyone sees/hears it. I am living proof that this is not true. If you’re Billie Eilish, you can’t afford to record something, then record it again. Sure, she can’t do that. But you can have multiple versions of the songs. Doesn’t that feel weird? But you can do it! You can relieve yourself of the pressure of writing something “perfect,” which doesn’t exist. There has never been a perfect song and a perfect recording, there never will be a perfect song. You will never perfect that song you’ve been working! So what do you do? Work your butt off on it actively (that’s the keyword there) and then record and release it and move on to the next one!

A quick side note on something that I have found biblically destructive. The thought, I’ve wasted this year. Don’t do it! Just stop! Our focus is here, our time is now! Don’t go back and think about wasting time. If you need to lie to yourself and say it was a learning period when you binged the series Sense 8 on Netflix, then LIE! This looking back on the past on things you could have done is not helpful. If you catch yourself doing it, talk with a positive friend! Hell, send me a DM and we will talk through it. We’re focused on the next step, life is short and beautiful when looked at its entirety, it doesn’t always look pretty up-close, you need some distance! It’s okay! Just focus up starting today! Starting right now.

Booking shows to make money
All you need to do is ask. It is actually pretty easy. Just DM them on Instagram, or write them on Facebook. Call them, email them, don’t stop until they respond to you. Most places (at least in Arizona) want you to play for three hours (with two fifteen-minute breaks). You should always check with the venue to see what they’re expecting from you. Then give them a little extra! Can you bring a lighting rig into a resturant? Nine times out of ten, the answer is yes! Make it a show! Make it a good time for the guest, and you’re sure to come back!

Growing your fanbase
All of these points could be their own separate post. None more so than this point. What are you doing to promote the show? Making a poster and sharing it with your friends? Doesn’t that seem like just about the least you can do? Let’s break it down real quick. You’re inviting the same fifteen people you invite to every show you have, and you’re surprised that your fanbase isn’t growing? Even if you have something great on your hands, don’t sell that product short, we need to get serious about expanding! Not just playing shows. Go out and make new friends. Find new places to explore (not just play music) and be friendly. Stop expecting your friends to carry you to where you want to go! Get people interested in what you’re doing by genuinely be interested in what they’re doing! Make real connections with real people, and you’ll find that your brand will start expanding. Not exploding, but it will be something real. Don’t live in your house, live outside in the world! Does that make sense? It’s like the guy that complains about never meeting any women. The first question you must ask is, are you leaving the house? It should be fun! Become a fan of someone else! Be a good friend to new people! Be a bigger part of the community, and the community will embrace you!

What’s the next step?

  • If you’re a songwriter, it’s to write and record.
  • If you’re a performer, it’s to book and engage.
  • If this is just for fun, than make sure you’re having a good time!

Today is your day! Make it happen, sharpen that focus.

I hope you’re having a great day! If you need someone to talk to, my line is always open! If you need someone to help you get back on track, leave me a comment and I’ll get in touch with you!

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