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

Why Every Artist Should Play at Least One Instrument

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If you're an artist and don't play an instrument at least passably well, you're putting yourself at a huge disadvantage. There are exceptions, of course — if you're the lead singer in a band or have your own backing band, you may find it entirely unnecessary to learn an instrument. 

This has it's own pitfalls, however. Keeping a band together is often hard work. Egos, conflicting musical tastes, and personalities are often more than a match for the most talented of bands. This is not to mention the added expense of paying band members.

Outside of the perfect scenario where you have endless money to pay a backing band and have a ready-made band of great musicians who are drug and problem free, you'll need to consider picking up a guitar at the very least. Here are just a few reasons why it's smart to learn an instrument if you're an artist.

3 Guitar-Shopping Tips to Find Your Perfect Instrument

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After I began to outgrow my first guitar and develop musical tastes of my own, I started asking for a new guitar. The problem was, I didn't know exactly what I wanted. Walking into a guitar store was mind boggling. The brands and prices became a blur; was there a “best” brand? Was there an ideal model? And, of course, money is always a factor. Few can afford to walk into a store and buy a several-thousand-dollar-dream guitar.

While everything is subjective, here are my own opinions and experiences I've developed while guitar shopping. Hopefully they will help guide you through the process!

Why It'll Probably Take You 7 Years to Break in Nashville

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Thousands come to Nashville every year with the hopes of making it big in a couple months. More often than not, they go home disappointed – not necessarily because they aren't talented, but because their expectations were completely out of proportion.

In my years here, I've heard repeatedly that Nashville is a “seven-year town,” and from what I've seen in my career, and that of others, the reality bears this out. In this article, I'll delve into why that's the case and what you might be able to expect.

Why They're Not Accepting Your Unsolicited Material

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If you've been pitching your demos long enough, you've surely seen something to this effect: “No unsolicited material.” But what does this mean? Simply put, if someone didn't ask for it or it didn't come through someone he or she knows, you're wasting your time. At best, you might get it back with “refused - return to sender” on it (if you've sent it physically). At worst – and more typically – it winds up in the trash.

These music executives aren't doing this because they're heartless and want to crush your dreams – it makes very real sense. Here's why.

Yes, There Is a Proper Way to Follow Up After You've Been Rejected

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It's always tough to get rejected, but how you react to it can often mean the difference between success and failure. Sometimes, a “no” isn't a “no,” it's just a “not right now.” Unfortunately, many aspiring artists assume that door is closed forever and move on without another thought.

An important aspect of the music industry, though, is establishing and maintaining connections – perhaps those who said "no" can't help you today. But who knows? Maybe six months from now, something will change. Here is how to follow up after you've been rejected – it might turn a "no" into an opportunity after all.