When you see the iconic songwriters and instrumentalists from around the world, you may see them as being the lucky few; the ones who were in the right place at the right time.
This may be the case for a very small percentage of them but if you are like me, you will see them as being the exceptional professionals. The ones who have spent months/years endlessly organising, documenting, researching, practicing and editing.
This extreme focus is a necessity for us as musicians. If we want to reach the level of our idols and the other icons of the music industry, we need to commit to this way of life and this dedication in order to be the best that we can be…
Today, I will go over a slightly obvious, yet often overlooked point:
As aspiring professional musicians, we create a voice in order to reach our target audiences.
In order to gain this desired voice, we commit to some/all of the following:
- We compose in certain styles,
- Work with other musicians,
- Buy effects pedal and software packages to help mould our sound,
- Use targeted advertising to reach the aforementioned “audience” (your customers!).
We will all happily conform to most of the above, if it means a healthy amount of listeners at the end of it all, right?
Some of us do pay attention to all of this, while others will avoid conforming at all costs and remain hopeful of a successful release.
Unfortunately, the swing-and-hope-for-a-hit method never works. No doubt we’ve all come across a band or artist who believe that they’ve found out all of music’s hidden secrets! They’re right and everybody else is wrong… I’m fairly confident in assuming that if they’ve released anything, it wont have been met with much positive response (beyond their friendship group and family… they don’t count!).
Please share any experiences you’ve had in the description. I may be wrong and there may be one or two bands out there who really HAVE paved a way for themselves…In the end, if you want to be seen as a professional, first of all, you cannot portray yourself as the know-it-all douche bag… Just form structured plans and make sure that you do everything within your power to make the best choices whenever/wherever your music career is involved. Be smart about it. Be creative! but most of all, cater to your target audience.
There are so many major decisions that you will have to make if you are to release any music. Decisions that will, in turn, have some affect on how you are perceived by your listeners. It is quite simply the butterfly effect. One small thing altering the outcome of the next thing.
Here is a list of some decisions that you will need to make before the release date of your album / single / EP:
What style of music do you write / play?
This should be your primary focus when deciding upon who your target audience is.
What style of release should you commit to?
Being aware of a ball-park target audience, you should research what style of release tends to be the most successful with those people. You could find out via internet research or simply socialising.
How would you like to record this style of release?
By this, I mean what style of recording will you choose? Live recording / Heavily overdubbed in the studio / acoustic instruments or electric / digital or analogue ?? Believe me, the more intricately you design your release, the more you will be able to understand who you should be promoting it to. All of this = more sales!
Which instruments do you use for all of the parts?
For those of you who may have not thought about this before: a Fender Telecaster will sound vastly different to a Gibson Les Paul. Make sure you’re not missing out on introducing something pivotal in the creation of your sound! Get the right equipment for the job. Perhaps even hire it!
Who will design the artwork?
As much as we here at Buden Bay believe that it’s all about the music, you cannot underestimate the importance of the visual aspect of your music. Even the “Black” album has artwork. It may just be a black cover but that suggests that people who like the colour black will like this album!… sounds silly, but what is the universal colour for metal music?… BLACK! Check out the industry artwork for your chosen genre.
How will you promote it?
All of your hard work and effort has been narrowing down to this moment. Deciding how you promote your up-coming release can often be more important than the promotion you do after the release. If nobody is looking forward to your release, you’re doing something wrong! Make sure you learn how to utilise advertising tools such as social media and web-forums to gain as many followers as possible before the release. Will you contact reviewers? Will you ask for interviews from big-named music companies? Are you going to send your music to radio stations once it’s released?
Will you have a release gig?
It’s not the most important thing when it comes to showcasing your new music but it certainly is a good start! It gives your local fan base a chance to see your new music before the rest of the world can see it! If you have any super-fans who are a little further afield, they will most likely appreciate this kind of show too!
The work does not end there! Do not make the mistake of thinking a music release is an easy form of passive income. It certainly can act as a very good form of passive income but again, the success of your release will be determined by your ability (or inability…) to make the best choices throughout the process leading up to it.
All of the greats in the music industry have taken their “jobs” seriously. We would always advise you to do the same if you are wanting to establish a career for yourself in this industry.
Keep Playing & Good Luck
Director of Content, Buden Bay
p.s. Do you have a release coming up? Share your profile in the description and you could gain a few more eager followers. Ready for your release!
p.p.s. Have you followed Buden Bay on Pinterest yet??