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Musician Life

Sep 18, 2017 06:00 AM

Jhoni Jackson

5 DIY Musicians Whose Writing You Should Read Right Now

White Mystery. (Photo by Diane Alexander White, courtesy of White Mystery.)

When practiced musicians with years of DIY know-how offer guidance, we listen, because we know that real-world experience offers some of the most accurate and telling lessons. There's no blueprint for newbie independent musicians to follow besides the histories of the folks who've carved that niche outside the mainstream before them — and the bands and artists who continue to cultivate it are the ones with the best foresight into its future.

We're thankful for the musicians who've documented their stories, and by sharing them have given a leg up to those just starting out. The list below is built around five musicians who broadcast their knowledge with the intent of uplifting others; it's a gesture so exemplary of DIY ethos that's another lesson in itself. Read on for our favorite stories they've written.

5 College Towns You Should Definitely Play on Tour

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There's a special magic in independent music scenes centered around college campuses. The university years, of course, can be the most energetic and enthusiastic period in a person's life — that vigor is often channeled into a love for bands and artists or a love for music making. The end result can mean a super-charged underground: a perfect storm for touring independent acts.

How to Stay Positive During These 7 Potentially Devastating Music Career Blows

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When things go seriously wrong for your band, overcoming discouragement is easier said than done. You'll wish you had a thicker skin, the setback may feel everlasting, and you might even be tempted to give up altogether. Stopping the runaway train of negative thoughts is difficult – but it's very much possible.

To help you keep things in perspective, we've compiled a list of seven upsets every band may potentially endure. That latter word is key; you will endure, you will make it through. Don't skip over the tips included here – they could be a boon to that effort.

Turn Your Tour Footage Into Your Most Valuable Marketing Tool

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Multitasking is an essential skill for independent DIY bands; you're juggling all the band-related work while, more than likely, also maintaining a second job ('cause being in a band is a job all its own), a social life, family, and so forth.

Thankfully, every now and then, you can make an effort doubly worthwhile: a band photo session can also serve as a meeting, a recorded rehearsal could become a demo recording. Maybe the most potentially versatile of your endeavors, though, is touring. There's ample room there for squeezing out extra purpose – especially if you're filming the fun (and not-so fun, even) all the while.

5 Ways to Finance Your Music Career Through Grants and Funding Opportunities

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Beefing up your band fund should be a multi-faceted effort, not a single-strategy one. When you include a variety of sources – door money at shows, merch profits, crowdfunding – you're sure to reach your goals faster. One path of opportunity often overlooked, however, is grant funding.

Competition for many of these awards is incredibly stiff, of course, but the rewards can be undeniably game-changing. Learn more about five current grant opportunities for independent musicians below. Do the research, send a compelling application, and continue honing your craft. Whether you snatch the grant or not, the process of applying is, at the very least, fortifying. Good luck!