Just because opportunities to play live have been cancelled for the foreseeable future, it doesn’t mean your band has to be put on hold. Here are five tips on how you can make your career thrive whilst in self-isolation!
From simple ways to improve your skill as a musician to getting your band to stand out from the crowd, these five tips will allow social-distancing to work in your favour.
Incorporate these into your weekly routine and return to the music scene as a better musician and (hopefully) with a wider following!
Now, this may seem obvious but, think about it, how much time have you actually practised in the past month? I don’t mean mindlessly noodling on your instrument whilst you binge-watch your favourite series- I mean actually setting time aside to perfect that riff you’ve been working on or finally learning how to sweep pick after months of procrastinating?
Once you actually take a glance back into your time off, you may notice that you’re putting in severely less effort into your instrument than you first thought. Try and reignite the passion that made you want to pursue music and start learning something new!
Try making a regimented routine and incorporating one hour of focused practise per day. Or if strict schedules aren’t your forte, why not download an app so you can learn tabs and new techniques at your own convenience? Whatever your preference, just make sure the time you put into your instrument is concentrated and intentional and you’ll be surprised how quickly you’ll notice progress.
Fender Play (£9.59 per month) is the perfect place to start if you’re wanting in-depth lessons about everything from how to play a chord to learning that John Petrucci solo you heard last year. If you’re wanting a budget-method to keep motivated, I recommend checking out justinguitar for free lessons and countless song tabs!
2. Reinvigorate your Social Media
If you’ve now realised that you haven’t been practising half as much as you thought, have a think back and find out what you doing instead. Chances are you were spending a good amount of time on social media.With everybody socially-distancing during this time, they’ll inevitably spend a lot more time on platforms like Instagram and Twitter than ever before- so take advantage of this and make your pages stand out! Think back to some of the musicians that you follow and take notes on what they’re posting that keeps you interested and updated in what they’re doing.
Statistics show that posting daily on social media is guaranteed to increase momentum and attract attention towards your band. So dig up those old promo pictures you haven’t posted yet, flick through the archives to find footage from previous shows or even film a few videos of you showing off your musical skill. Updating your page with relevant content on a daily-basis is the perfect way to give your social media a new lease of life and attract new followers.
3. Design Some New Merch
Although most musicians will be taking advantage of self-isolation in any way they can, few will think of using this time to design some new merchandise or come up with a new logo to refresh their image.
You don’t need to be the next Michelangelo to come up with a valid design- check out logos from bands such as Pearl Jam or Red Hot Chili Peppers and you’ll realise just how simple the most famous and recognisable logos can be.
Also, check out various artists and tattooists on pages such as Instagram and Pinterest! You be surprised how many artists are, like you, are currently at home waiting for inspiration to strike. Search for an art style that you like and get in touch with the designer. You never know, they might be willing to collaborate and design some killer merch for you and your band!
4. Don’t Put Writing on Hold
Whilst rehearsing studios are firmly closed and meeting bandmates is strictly forbidden, working on new music is still possible when you think outside the box.
Set up a meeting on FaceTime or Zoom with band members to discuss how you can keep momentum going without rehearsing together. Virtual writing sessions, whilst tricky at first, are a must if you want to really make the most out of your time at home! Come up with some new ideas and riffs beforehand and bounce ideas back and forth to see what you come up with.
Who knows, maybe one brief idea could end up becoming your new favourite song or you could find a new way to perform on stage that makes you stand out from the crowd. With bands such as Warpaint writing in this way, it’s worth seeing how a new approach could refresh your sound and help you discover new avenues to venture into.
5. Make New Contacts
Finally, it may feel like the world is put on hold at the moment but, like you, there are so many people looking for a way to keep their momentum going whilst social-distancing.
Venue owners are wondering how to book acts for when they reopen. Promoters are looking for a way to keep their businesses going from home. Journalists are constantly searching for the latest upcoming bands to keep their publications running.
Just because the world on your doorstep has been temporarily closed, there are still hundreds of opportunities still available to you via your phone, with freelancers trying to keep their businesses afloat!
With the biggest bands on the scene now unable to perform, conduct interviews or release new music, there has never been a better time to get recognition! Seek out any promotion you can, whether it’s through making contacts or by booking an interview with various publications- let the absence of updates in the music scene work in your favour!