Expert Music Career Advice For DIY Musicians
4 Times You Shouldn't Take the Gig
The Number One Mistake Bands Make Right After Booking a Gig
The Ultimate EQ Cheat Sheet for Every Common Instrument
15 Reality Checks Young Artists Need to Hear

How Your Mindset Impacts Your Music

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The brain is a complex organ – the most complex, in fact. As important and complex as it may be, though, most people go throughout their day without giving their brains a second thought. Instead, they sit and ponder, often in confusion.

Perhaps you as a musician are one of these people. You know that practicing every day is essential to developing new skills, but alas, you still let bad habits take control of you. Everyone is guilty of this one way or another, and the solution isn't a tricky one to find. It starts by looking deep inside your mind.

Musicians: How to Make Repetition Less Boring

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The following article adapts and discusses concepts developed by Gerald Klickstein that are published on The Musician's Way Blog and in his book, The Musician's Way.

 

A day in the life of a musician involves a lot of repetition. Whether it's playing the same city over and over again, promoting your music to your fans every night, or playing the same songs every day in practice, it's impossible to shake repetition.

When one thinks of repetition, a feeling of pleasure isn't usually associated with the word. Instead, we tend to think of painstaking boredom. But it's a necessary evil; we need it to sharpen our skills, nail compositions, and become a better performer in general. All musicians have to wade through the grind of repetition, yet how do so many still stay artistic? Fortunately, repetition and artistry can coexist, and there are ways to make repetition much more tolerable.

The 4-Step Guide to Better Memorization for Performances

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The following article adapts and discusses concepts developed by Gerald Klickstein that are published on The Musician's Way Blog and in his book,The Musician's Way.

 

We've all been there. The big gig. Your band has practiced hard for this very moment. Friends, families, and loving fans pack the venue, and they absorb every note dripping from your instrument. The songs should feel like second nature at this point, but something is amiss.

An upcoming chord change is near and as you dig inside your head for the answer, you're met with darkness. The change is fast approaching and your mind scrambles around every crevice to find the solution to this anxiety. Sadly, it's just not there. Memory has failed you and, suddenly, you’re playing the wrong note. Being the good musician that you are, you rub off the memory slip and continue on. The audience is none the wiser.

Mistakes like this happen all the time, and learning how to recover from them is an essential skill as a performer – but it's even better to prevent them from happening in the first place. There are strategies out there to help improve memorization for performances. Different strategies will work for different people, but here's one four-step process to try.

5 Habits of Healthy Music Practice

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It's likely that your music teacher has stressed the importance of healthy practice techniques from a mental point of view, but has he or she helped address the physical discomfort you sometimes feel as a result of practicing? Some musicians tend to brush over this aspect, but it's something everyone should pay close attention to. After all, you aren't going to be very productive with a hurt hand, aching back, or a sore throat.

Think this would never happen to you? In a recent study, 84 percent of professional orchestral musicians have reported pain or injuries that interfered with their playing during practice and performances. Don't let yourself become a statistic like this. There are plenty of ways to approach healthy practice, but today, we're going to look at five of the most important ones.

How to Set Yourself Up for a Smooth Transition From Music School to a Music Career

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It takes some serious guts to enroll in music school these days. If you've done so, congratulations! And if you've managed to graduate, you're among an elite minority.

As you've likely been told numerous times, there's a fair bit of risk involved in the cost and outcome of your efforts. Because of this, it's important to make the years in music school as productive as possible. For some entering music school, the goal is to follow a "traditional" music career path upon graduation. This usually involves steady employment in a symphony orchestra or something similar. While this is possible, this path is a difficult one to follow. A very small percentage of graduates find themselves in a role like that.Don't lose hope, though.

Don't lose hope, though. With a little creativity, the transition from music school to a music career does not have to involve any busking or couchsurfing (or at least not too much, anyway).