Achieving a career in music is hard. If you’ve been trying to make it for a significant amount of time, then you’ll know that this is the truth. There’s a lot of competition in the industry, and there’s no point in sugar-coating that fact. There are lots of talented musicians in the world. That’s great news for music listeners, but it’s not great news for aspiring guitarists, singers, songwriters, producers, or even multi-talented artists who possess all of those skills. It’s hard to be heard over the noise of a crowded industry. People have so many music options that it’s hard to encourage them to listen to your songs. Even if it’s good music, that isn’t always enough to entice people. So, what’s the best way to become a successful songwriter?
Know your talents.
No matter how much some people might try, they’ll never be able to play the drums perfectly. Perhaps they just lack the internal rhythm necessary to maintain a steady beat. They might, however, possess the skills necessary to sing well over a steady beat. Or perhaps their skills are technological; perhaps they prefer producing a layered and complex song on a DAW rather than sitting with an acoustic guitar and penning an emotional ballad the traditional way. Whatever the case, the point is that you have to know your talents. That doesn’t mean you should limit yourself. After all, every musician is bad when they start. That’s why so many of them are rejected by record labels at first. Being a little rough around the edges is fine, but you have to focus on your potential. If playing the guitar frustrates you but you feel an intuitive connection with the piano, then that’s the instrument for you. Know your talents and utilize them.
Follow in the footsteps of others.
Much like entrepreneurs in every industry, many musicians make numerous mistakes before they finally achieve success. This is all part of the journey. You have to make terrible music before you can make good music, as mentioned briefly in the previous point. However, there are some mistakes that you don’t need to make if you learn from successful people who have already made those mistakes. That’s how you’ll get ahead in the industry. You need to follow in the footsteps of others. You might want to read the Ray Luzier story. He’s a great example of someone who worked hard and ended up creating a successful career. Now, he plays the drums for Korn and provides instructional DVDs for others. Learn from those who are 10 steps or 1000 steps ahead of you. That’ll help you to start achieving your goals.
This might not seem like a particularly revolutionary piece of advice, and it isn’t. However, it’s something that many songwriters fail to do. If you want to become a successful songwriter, then you need to keep writing music. Don’t spend 4 months completing one song whilst scratching 50 other songs that didn’t quite sound right. Finish every song that you start, even if you don’t like the song in question. You can’t get better unless you learn to finish what you start. Otherwise, you’ll never learn. You’ll probably find that only 1 song is good out of every 10 that you create. But you’ll struggle to create a good song if you don’t keep pushing yourself and continue writing. You never know; a bad idea might develop into something good later on. Remember, there’s no right or wrong way to start writing a song.