Expert Music Career Advice For DIY Musicians
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7 Times You'll Want to Give Up Your Career (And How to Get Past Them)

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Ask any self-professed lifer, and they'll admit it freely: making a career as a DIY, independent musician is not easy. At some point, you may want to abandon music-making in search of a more financially stable and less emotionally and physically trying path.

For some, that may be the right move; nobody has any business faulting you for making a choice with your own well-being in mind. But a big-picture mentality – recognizing the ruts as temporary and making steps to skirt, or at least smooth over, the next potential set of bumps – can help you regain the strength and focus you need for the long haul.

It's totally understandable that the slew of inherent struggles, like relentless touring, penny pinching, and constantly pouring your soul out in the studio and onstage only to feel stagnant afterward, would wear you down.

Before you call it quits, though, consider our best advice to get through these seven disheartening moments most artists endure at one point or another.

7 Local Partnerships That Can Really Boost Your Music Career

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Your local music scene provides both a helpful network of resources and an uplifting sense of community, and that's an especially empowering combo of tools for pushing your progress as a band or solo musician.

There are massively positive effects of being a member of your city's underground landscape – but don't forget that you shouldn't close yourself off from other, non-musical creatives, either.

Musician Life

Jan 2, 2017 06:00 AM

Jhoni Jackson

The 5 Most Livable Cities to Build a Music Career

Denton, Texas. (Photo by Jonathan Silverberg via Flickr / CC BY 2.0)

What makes a city especially friendly to independent musicians looking to advance their careers? The obvious spots, like New York City or Los Angeles, aren't the easiest places make any sort of dent. Not only are they overwhelmed with folks with the same aims but also they're quite pricey, and when you're struggling to make ends meet financially, you'll ultimately lose time and energy that could be spent building your career.

The ideal cities for DIY musicians boast a balance of low-cost living and openness to independent music. Cheaper rent, a sense of community, fans and venues with a penchant for championing the underdogs – all of these things are important.

The five places we've picked offer all of that and then some. You can make music anywhere in the world, but in these environments, you'll likely have more time to focus on music making and a more supportive network to receive the art that materializes.

3 Cool GIF Flyers to Inspire You (And How to Make Your Own)

This flyer by Puerto Rican artist Javi Matu is stellar as-is, but it's even cooler as a GIF.

While we definitely consider a great flyer a piece of art, there's a special place in eye-catching DIY marketing reserved for GIF flyers. They're just beginning to make a mark, so now's an ideal time to excite your followers by promoting an upcoming show with your own take.

5 Little Ways to Make More Time for Music This Week

Finding more time for music doesn't have to be complicated. (Image via stocksnap.io)

If you really care about something, you'll find a way to make time for it, right? Whoever believes that hasn't struggled to balance a full-time job, a DIY music career, and the general obligatory stuff of being a human. Even musicians who truly love the craft can find themselves short on time for practice, songwriting, or playing gigs.

You meant to allow a half hour to tweak that new song today, but a stop for gas, some unexpected traffic, and a surprise call from a friend you've been neglecting and  bam! There goes your songwriting session.

Life getting in the way of your music-making is inevitable, but it's also manageable. These five tips can help you reclaim that time and develop habits that will help you avoid losing it in the future.