Top 10 Essential Tips for Succeeding in Music

The music industry is a very diverse field. Everyone has different goals and aspirations. But there are certain habits that will help you achieve success.

Here are my 10 top success habits for achieving your music goals this year and beyond.

Here are the top 10 ways you can succeed in the music business.

Top 10 Success Tips for the Music Industry

1. Quantity is more important than quality.

In the words Ed Sheeran “Run until the dirty water is clean!” It means that you need to produce a lot of music in order for the good stuff to start flowing. This is similar to Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000-hour rule. It states that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to become an expert in something. While I believe there are ways to reduce this amount of practice time (mentorships and courses being two examples), the overall idea is true.

If you finish 6 songs in 6 months, you will have a lot more practice creating the elements of the song. songs finished means 6 bass lines written, 6 drum patterns written, 6 melodies written, etc.)

2. Make music you enjoy, not what you believe others will like.

You can easily fall into the trap of chasing fame and popularity, instead of following your heart with regards to the music that you create. If you produce music you enjoy (or strive to do so), you’ll be in a winning situation. It can be frustrating if no one else enjoys your music, but you have expressed yourself and had fun in the process. You may not like the trend if you try to follow it.

It makes sense to make the most of your time when you are producing music.

3. Consistency is the key!

Consistency is key to gaining traction in the industry. You will lose any momentum you have gained if you only release a few tracks and then do nothing for an entire year. You need to be consistent, put in the effort, and have 3 or 4 songs ready for release so that you always have breathing room to continue releasing music.

4. It’s important to set goals but also develop systems that will help form good writing habits.

As guilty as anyone of setting big, audacious goals! I believe in the power and importance of setting goals, but without a system to achieve them, they can become a painful reminder about what you haven’t done.

Good habits can help you achieve your goals. Systems that encourage good habits will also help. (I wouldn’t rely too heavily on willpower – it wears out quickly! ).

An example might be:

Two tracks per month.

Habit: 2 hours of production per day, five days a weeks.

System: Set a daily alarm at 5:45am and let anyone who needs to be aware that you will not be available from 6am to 8am Monday through Friday. Leave your phone in a different place so that it does not distract you. Go to your studio every morning for these 2 hours.

5. Spend your time on production rather than spending money on plug-ins.

We buy plugins hoping they will “fix” our songs. It won’t. You’ll be amazed by the sound quality you can achieve if you know the stock plugins that come with your DAW inside out. You’ll also learn the limitations of these stock pluginsso that when you decide to purchase a 3rd-party premium plugin, you will do it for a specific purpose.

6. Your social media fans can be converted into email subscribers.

I learned this lesson the hard way a few year ago. I had more than 20,000 Soundcloud followers and I uploaded a mix (that was allowed by the original artist). Soundcloud flagged the upload as a violation of copyright and cancelled my account. Overnight, I lost all of my followers. ….now THAT REALLY hurt.

What is the lesson? This list is yours if you use a system such as Mailchimpor Activecampaign to collect the email addresses of your followers. You can’t give it to anyone else.

This email list can be used to update your fans on your music and sell merchandise. You can also let them know about upcoming concerts.

You won’t regret building an email list, even if you are just getting started.

7. Contribute to music production community

Relationships are the key to success in the music industry! Reaching out to people who share your passion for music production online can help you make connections.

Try contributing too, rather than just asking. Someone might appreciate it. 

Ask questions. People love to assist. But don’t forget to answer them or provide links to other resources that you think will be useful to other producers.

8. Be bold

You shouldn’t be afraid of criticism. You will get some criticism…that is absolutely fine.

Three types of criticism exist:

1. It’s always constructive to get feedback from someone who knows what they are talking about. It is important to listen to this feedback, as it will help you improve.

2. You’re asking your Gran whether she likes the filthy industrial drum n’ bass song you made with X-rated porn samples. Spoiler alert, she doesn’t. If you ask someone who only listens to Norwegian Death Metal if they like your Deep House song, they’re likely not going to. It’s not because the music is bad, but because they don’t like it. Seek feedback from those who can give it.

3. Trolls, haters and others are destructive. It hurts but remember that it’s not personal. Move on, delete, block. You’re getting it from people you don’t even know. They’re probably angry because they are either a) jealous of your efforts to make something happen in your life, or b) frustrated by their own lives.

When you accept the fact that you cannot achieve anything without criticism, you will find it easier to deal with it when it happens.

9. Enjoy yourself and it will show in your music

It’s important! When pursuing your ideal of music success, don’t forget that you began this journey because of a passion for music and music production. Feel the love baby, life is too short to not enjoy music.

10. Look after yourself

It’s easy to forget, but it’s a good reminder. Keep healthy and well. Don’t shave too often. If you are not constantly tired, it is much easier to create music. You can get inspired by a few beers or a couple of nights out, but if you do it too much and too often, you will not have the energy to create your own music.

Oh, and earplugs of high quality for loud gigs is a must! Tinnitus will never be your friend in the music industry.

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