We know that being a DIY musician is far from easy. Going out into the music industry on your own is intimidating at times, but it can be so rewarding in the end. In this new series, we're giving you a quick roundup of our best tips and advice from experts every Monday to help you become a better DIY musician.
1. Pat yourself on the back and remember what you've already accomplished
"Look at all you've done! You deserve congratulations and you deserve success. Finding the things you've done best offers a way forward, since you can continue to use those skills as you build on what you've done already." – Jesse Sterling Harrison, author and recording artist
2. Actually act upon your goals
"It's common sense, but nothing will get done unless you put it into action. Start small and write a list of things you need to advance your music career. Then just start doing them." – Anthony Cerullo, freelance writer and keyboard player
3. Take meaningful breaks from music when needed
"Hitting the restart button will not only clear your mind, but it will also hopefully make your heart miss making music. What's the saying? 'Absence makes the heart grow fonder.' It's totally okay to take a step back, but make sure you're doing it with intent." – Rachel Bresnahan, musician and Sonicbids editorial intern
4. Study and learn from other musicians' career choices
"You should be cognizant of your peers and their career trajectories. Try to keep track of what they're doing that's working and not working, and learn from that. You should also look at the lay of the land for bigger bands you admire and trace their history and things they did, but come up with your own way to install their methods." – Amy Sciarretto, owner of Atom Splitter PR
5. Hustle hard, then hustle even harder
"Everyone is different, but being a persistent and consistent self-starter is an essential quality for success in the music business. You can't just sit around and wait for opportunities to drop in your lap. It doesn't work that way. You've got to go out and get them, or you can bet your sweet behind someone else will!" – Christine Occhino, founder and artistic director of The Pop Music Academy
6. Ditch your beat-up gear once and for all
"No matter how broke, do not find yourself onstage playing a guitar with five strings, an amp with a blown speaker, or a keyboard with missing keys. Your guitar doesn’t have to be a new Les Paul Custom, but it should have all its strings, stay in tune, and not have the jack hanging out." – Jesse Sterling Harrison, author and recording artist
7. Get used to hearing "no"
"Like salespeople, musicians have to hear 'no' on a regular basis. No matter how great your act is, it won’t be right for every gig or every venue. No matter how talented you are, you’ll lose opportunities to someone who got there just a little sooner, someone who knows someone, or someone who sounds a little bit more like that club owner’s favorite artist." – Jesse Sterling Harrison, author and recording artist