5 Tips for New Indie Artists
My dream was to release an album that I composed and wrote by myself. Funny thing - I got super discouraged from day one. I’m a baller on budget so how in the HAIL was I supposed to afford everything and how would I come up with a song out of thin air? How do I add strings when I’ve never picked up a cello in my life? How do I come up with riffs on the guitar when I’m as basic on the guitar as it gets. All I had was my voice and my keys and the discouraging fact that I’ve never written lyrics in my life.
I couldn’t afford to pay thousands of dollars to record a full album, let alone an EP. Instead, I taught myself how to produce, how to edit video, read countless books and blogs, listened to e-books, enrolled in online courses, created a home studio, invested in some tools and just ran with it.
After writing my first album, I came up with 5 Tips for New Indie Artists:
Invest in a home studio. Purchase a DAW (digital audio workstation) like Logic, Studio One, Pro Tools, etc. You can get away with using the free version at the beginning, but that won’t last long! Get yourself a decent mic, stand, pop filter, interface, headphones, etc. I found this YouTube video to be very useful: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XLXSqan3Jcs Now don’t get me wrong, if you’re one day able to afford studio time, then I highly recommend it. I still take my finished home-version to a professional studio to get it mixed and mastered. It’s important to understand what the producer is doing in the studio so you can also give some valuable input for the sound you really want.
Educate yourself. If you’re like me and don’t have thousands of dollars to spend on recording costs, music school, photographers and videographers then teach yourself the basics. No one is going to give it away for free! Enroll in Udemy courses to learn more about your DAW, take a weekend photography course at your local community college (I still have to do this), read music business books and search your butt off in YouTube videos for the answers. I’ve only scratched the surface but I’ve learned so much this past year. I personally use Logic Pro X because the student package apple was selling came with Final Cut Pro. Here is a great Logic Pro X course on Udemy: https://www.udemy.com/music-production-in-logic-pro-x-course/learn/v4/content
Don’t you dare give up. Starting out from scratch is tough enough as it is, so when you start getting rejection emails from blogs and venues you’re going to want to throw in the towel real quick. When a family member or friend asks you, “your music is great but what’s your real job” you’re going to want to scream or throw a pie in their face. Just last night, I received 5 rejection emails and one ‘maybe’ for press releases. One editor said I didn’t have enough emotion but liked the song while another said that I had tons of emotion but needed to polish my vocals. Everyone has their own taste so don’t take it personally (at least that’s what I try to tell myself haha). Take the feedback with a grain of salt and learn from it if you’re hearing the same thing over and over again. Here’s a great article about 20 successful people who were rejected but got back up again! https://www.scoopwhoop.com/inothernews/famous-people-rejected/#.blyzyg6az Moral of the story, do not give up no matter what. You owe it to yourself to see this thing out.
You can’t do it alone. Well, technically you can but what fun is that? It’s going to take you a hell of a lot longer to do it on your own so why do it? If it weren't for my mentors, producers, friends and session musicians I would probably still be scratching my head. Actually I’m still scratching because of this damn psoriasis! LOL I digress. Find your people and don’t let them go. I was so afraid to ask people for help & so afraid to let them know about my minuscule budget. If I didn’t ask, I wouldn’t have something tangible today. Trading services is also a great way to get help if you’re all out of mula. No I don’t mean offering to clean their toilets for a guitar session, I mean offering to sit in as a vocalist on one of their tracks; a clean trade. Maybe you can’t afford studio time? Offer to play some keys for them on a few tracks for a discounted rate. Get creative my friends but don’t forget to thank your people. Learn more about the team who helped me get started: https://www.taraannemusic.com/blog/you-cant-do-it-alone
Discipline Yo’Self. Oh my lanta this is probably the most important tip of them all. You need to discipline yourself to get anywhere. Let me give you an example. If you want to lose weight, you probably signed up for a gym membership, a trainer, bought a food scale and bought some healthy groceries. It doesn’t mean a thing if you’re not using the tools and disciplining yourself to consistently workout and eat right. You’re just not going to lose the weight. Just like your health, your music career is not something that happens overnight. You work at it for a long time before seeing results. I use a free application called, MeisterTask to schedule all of my weekly goals and album goals: https://www.meistertask.com/ If it’s not in my calendar, it’s not happening. Make a 1-5-10-25 year plan and adjust as needed. Here is an example of my weekly schedule with MeisterTask.
There you have it friends! I’m writing this as a life long music artist who just started to believe in myself about a year ago. I’ve been playing the piano and singing since 7 years old, performing since the age of 10 and I’m just now finishing my first self written album at the age of 31. It’s never too late and although I have a lot to learn still, I think it’s important to help others who may be just starting out. Some of the more seasoned musicians reading this may be wondering, why are you giving out advice when you're not that far along in your journey? I think that it's important to give out useful information when you have it. Why would I be so selfish to keep it all to myself silly rabbit? Don’t be that asshole who thinks they have it all figured out or that you’re too good to help someone else out; stay humble. We all start somewhere and this is just the beginning of my story. Below you’ll find the links in this bio along with a few books I recommend you start with in your musical journey (this blog is not sponsored).
See ya later alligators and don't forget to mark your calendars! Eleven Eleven is releasing in 19 freaking days! Available for pre-order here: https://www.taraannemusic.com/media
How to Make it in the New Music Business:
All You Need to Know About the Music Business:
Claim Your Power:
Logic Pro X Udemy Course:
Rejected much? Read this blog to feel better haha:
Don’t forget to say thank you: