January 17, 2011

A short rant on getting your music out there

If you’re like me, you’re constantly making new music just for funsies and while you’ve got maybe one or two tracks that you let people listen to, it’s mostly just for practice. Maybe it’s because you have that fear of having your music slammed by critics; maybe it’s just a personal issue of “This isn’t good enough by my standards” (I get both of these feelings all the time). No matter what the cause, I’m finding more and more that this is a bad method of thinking. Even if you just spent an hour writing/mixing/mastering it, it’s important to get feedback from someone else, preferably someone musically inclined. It’s as simple as taking it to a music teacher, or friend, or even website, and asking people, “What can I do to make this better?” Not only is this a great way to learn the craft, it also is a great way of meeting other people who do what you do, which can lead to collaborative projects later on down the line. There are tons of ways to get your music online, many of which can lead to paid projects.

Take Bandamp for instance. Bandcamp is a website dedicated to allowing artists to sell their music and merch to their fans without the having to deal through retailers. Once you’ve created your music, you can try uploading it to your Bandcamp account, people can listen and download, and you make money in the process! Another such website is Soundcloud, where you can offer your music for digital download, just to listen, or any combination thereof. People can leave comments on specific parts of your track, which can be useful feedback for future work, and more importantly lets you know that people are listening.

The whole point of this rant is this: don’t be afraid to put your music out there. It’s a scary thing, I know, but it gets easier the more you do it, and that’s the most important thing. If you’re too scared to let someone listen to your music for free, how terrified will you be when someone is trying to pay you for it? The business is just that: music for money. When it comes time to make a career out of your work, people won’t hesitate to give you the money for the music, so you’d best not hesitate to give them the music.
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