6 Common mistakes musicians make, and how to avoid them

By Kris, Thu, Jun 10, 2021

As musicians we tend to put all our focus on the fun part, sitting in the studio and making music. But music is so much more, and it’s easy to forget or totally ignore some of the key elements that help you succeed. Here are six common mistakes musicians make and how to avoid them.

1) Losing your drive.

Failure is part of everyone’s journey. And unfortunately, too many talented musicians leave the game way before they reach their potential. Be patient and understand those good things take time. Musicians should strive to create and learn new things and techniques along the process, and remember that creativity and inspiration will not always be on top. Remember the fire that got you here in the first place, and keep grinding.

2) Let your ideas and projects be stuck on your hard drive.

Most of us have hundreds of unfinished projects or work in progress which has been stranded on our hard drive forever. Remember your most valuable asset is your music. Invest your time in it, and in the end, you will be great at it, like anything else in life. You’re most probably doing a hell of a job at your day job because you do it full-time. It’s the same with music, putting in the hours will eventually get you closer to your goals. Publishing your tunes to get critique from your audience and fellow artists will make you learn and improve your music skills.

3) Sitting in your studio hoping for things to happen by themselves.

It’s funny because it’s true. So many artists do this for some reason and it's a big mistake not taking full advantage of networking. It’s super important. Since we’re still in a pandemic it’s not easy to get around and network with people face to face. But once it’s over, you should actively go out and make new connections with people in and out of the music industry. Even now, there are ways to network, e.g forums like Reddit, groups on Facebook, or free online production workshops, meet-ups, webinars, and courses. Be creative, there are always people willing to connect and discuss music.

4) Do everything yourself.

Amazing as it sounds, this is really, really difficult to do 100% alone. We all try or have tried to do this. But the fact is, in most cases, you’re not a master of all trades. Most of the successful artists actually making money have a team in their back. This doesn’t mean you need to have a complete team of professionals. But for some it means including a songwriter for better lyrics, producers or instrumentalists for better melodies or beats, mixing and mastering engineers to get the perfect final sound, managers, bookers, and so on. You can in most cases succeed on a couple of those tasks but most times, not all the plate. Verce lets you connect with the perfect match for your project. Sign up for free here.

5) Ignore the power of a good social media presence.

Your value isn’t much greater than what your audience proves. If you got few followers on social media and next to zero streams on the big streaming services and content platforms, you’re not alone. Too many musicians rely on their music and their music alone. Facts are that time spent on branding yourself in social media is a great investment in your future as an artist. Spend time daily on the biggest platforms, or the platforms you feel you can reach your dream audience. Work out a plan on how to reach out to new potential fans, and make engaging content to attract people from around the world. There are services that actually help artists and creatives manage their social media, e.g Remix who specializes in helping musicians and bands (of all sizes) take control of their social media accounts and ensure they are using best practices to get the best possible exposure. Check them out here.

6) Undersell or undervalue yourself.

For way too long, artists have been saying yes to so much that doesn’t make sense. And more often than you should think, undersell or undervalue themselves. It’s a good thing to question everything to better understand fully what deals and agreements you’re actually going into. What looks like a good deal might have some terms that are not necessarily in your favor when you grow as an artist. Always have that in mind, and think one or two steps further down the road before signing deals. Don’t undersell or undervalue yourself, but be realistic.

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