The greatest influence on your musical career is how motivated you are to continue practicing. When you were starting out, it was probably kind of easy to sit in your room and practice your music for hours on end.
After a while, there are so many things pulling for your time that it can get really hard to continue to stay motivated. This is where some people keep getting better with their instrument of choice and others start to taper off. I suggest you find balance between these three verbs: Practice, Perform, and Promote.
Put in the time and you’ll reap rewards, right? It’s always going to be hard to show someone incomplete material, but there’s nothing better than performing for others. You should refrain from considering your music teacher to be your audience. A music teacher is not going to give the same kind of feedback as someone who is not skilled in your instrument of choice. Music teachers are awesome though, and they can help you to keep focused on your daily practice. In the accompanying image I have suggested that you find a balance that works for you.
Think of the most successful musicians that you know. Are they more successful with music than they were a year ago? If you answered yes, then you have a pretty good idea of what they have been doing the last year: they’ve been performing for others; formed a group; rallied with their fans. And yes, they’ve put some in some extra studio time working on new material. You see, the reason they are so motivated is because of the need to be in peak musical condition when they next perform.
Involve others in your practice.
- Establish a place where you are comfortable performing.
- Take some time before you practice to ask someone else to listen.
- Reflect on their feedback after you perform.
Now is the time to find your audience. You need to promote yourself as hard as you can to as many people as you think are willing to listen. Without a following, it’s really hard to get any gigs. Make a Facebook page and keep it up to date. Keep some of your top tracks posted on SoundCloud. If you want to see what your audience is willing to do, you have to keep them interested.
If you’re having trouble finding a place to perform in front of others, you’re welcome to play here in Consortya. We’re just getting going ourselves, so we’ll let you do it for free. You can also use it to promote yourself and to perform for others.