What it’s like as an up-and-comer

Many of my peers and I have noticed that growing up with the thirst for writing music comes with many setbacks. Here are some reasons:

  • no one takes you seriously
  • you are writing your own music that no one has heard yet
  • you’re work ethic has room for improvement
  • you’re broke, and some venues that could give you your big break are pay-to-play

How does a growing artist circumvent these obstacles?

Being a young and up-and-coming musician means that you have to learn the ropes. It helps to find out what has worked for other musicians and incorporate that into your routine. Also, see what has led other musicians to fail, and consider neglecting some of those habits as well. Having a general understanding of what is expected from you as a professional is one way to gain favor in the field. This means cleaning up your work ethic, or maybe your just learning what that means for the first time. Work ethic isn’t just for those blue collar jobs where you have to meet specific goals to earn your pay, or keep your boss happy. Music is a profession to be taken as seriously as other professions. The difference is you have to self-regulate. Being a musician doesn’t equate to getting drunk every night with your friends. There is a time to party and we discussed that in a previous blog: http://planetmischief.com/drinking-alcohol-pre-show/. Music takes full on dedication, and doing the difficult thing that others are not willing to do, like practice when others are partying. By having this mindset you open doors you didn’t even know existed, and others will take you seriously. Not to mention, you will actually get better. What a concept!

Getting your music out there

Getting your music noticed when you have worked your ass off is still not set in stone. There are venues that you will luck out and play to a great crowd. Other times, you feel like you wasted your time. But back to strong work ethic, even those crappy shows deserve a good performance by you. You never know who is watching. And furthermore, anyone who is watching your show, deserves your same dedication as if you were playing to a packed house. The idea of pay-to-play venues has been an obstacle for many musicians and bands. You want your music to get noticed so you sometimes sacrifice the ability to make a profit from your music just for the exposure. But paying to play your music is counterintuitive to making a career out of music. Let’s face it, getting all the equipment you need is a hefty cost already, now you are being asked to pay to bring people to your shows?

What do you guys think about the concept of pay-to-play venues?