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Do you need to hit the reset button? Between the holiday season and the start of a new year, January is seen by many as an opportunity for new beginnings. As you kick off this new year, or even just as you look to make a change in your life, we want to provide a few helpful tips for young musicians. Some of these qualify as career advice, while other points may be more personal and wellness-related. No matter what, we believe these helpful tips for young musicians can assist just about anyone.
Get Back in the Groove ASAP
If you’re reading this at the beginning of the year, you’ve just survived six weeks of stuffing your face and putting yourself on standby mode at school or work. Now that you’ve made it to a new calendar year, it’s time to get back to work. The longer you put off working on your music, the more rust you will have to remove whenever you do come back. We would hope that most musicians wouldn’t allow for too much time to pass, but we know the appeal to laziness is a hard one to shake this time of year. The first of our helpful tips for young musicians is to ignore the temptation of sleeping in and get back in the groove as soon as possible.
Set Goals for Yourself
New Year’s resolutions don’t always pan out, but setting goals for yourself is an essential part of healthy growth. That’s true for an entrepreneur, a student, or just about anyone else. Think about what immediate goals you would like to complete as a musician. Do you want to play your first live show? Record an original song? How about something as simple as learning to nail a difficult solo? Whatever goals you choose to set, just make them desirable and within reach. We’re not asking for you to reinvent the wheel.
Forget About Past Mistakes
People often overplay the significance of the clock striking midnight on New Year’s Eve. There’s nothing inherently magical about January 1st. It simply means you have to buy a new calendar and learn to start writing the correct date on any checks you make out. One aspect of this change we believe is worth remembering, however, is that you can forget about your past mistakes. Learn from what you did wrong and move on. You don’t have to be that same person today. For some people that advice might make more sense as it pertains to relationships, school, or family life. Regardless of your circumstance, today is a new day, so you better act like it.
Try Something New - Helpful Tips for Young Musicians
It’s time for new things. Setting goals for yourself is one way that will play out, but there’s always room for more change. Take a risk this year with your music. Maybe that means it’s time for you to learn a new instrument or perhaps you should start listening to different music so that those influences can come out in your own sound. If you’re not continuing to challenge yourself and press forward, you’re putting yourself at risk for getting bored or complacent. Make a change here and there to see how things go. If you quickly learn these changes are untenable, you can always change things back. The point is for you to keep challenging yourself.
Do you have enough knowledge? There is always something to learn or a new method to try out. Many of us who get into music may not have the most pertinent facts until much later on in our journeys. You may be self taught (and perhaps you’ve been successful through this method) or you may have learned through an online course, but how much time have you spent learning from someone who is an expert? Have you ever tried a group class or one-on-one lessons in your area? In what area do you feel inadequate? One of the most helpful tips for young musicians we can give this year is to educate yourself.
Practice is Always a Necessity
Of course practice is important. You’ve likely been told this dozens of times by your instructor, your friends, or your parents. Here’s the thing: practice never gets less important. Even a musician who has been playing for a decade can find himself rusty if he lets enough time slip by. Like we mentioned before about not letting that holiday hangover ruin your abilities for this year, don’t make time for laziness this year. Be consistent and disciplined.
Networking is Important
The world might seem more fair if there were an all-seeing power who decided your career based on talent or personality. While those are naturally part of the process, the truth is that many people find work based on who they know. This is just as true in the world of music as it is in business and beyond. Make connections this year, whether they be at school, in the local music scene, at your church, or at some industry event. No one will know who you are if you never make your presence known.
Keep Perspective on Your Progress
Around the time a year ends or begins, we often think back on what we have accomplished and what we hope to do in the future. Instead of focusing on those positive achievements, it’s sadly much easier to look to our mistakes. As we begin a new year, one of the healthiest and most helpful tips for young musicians is to keep perspective on what you are doing. Monitor your progression and take notice of major milestones. You will probably not be the most amazing bass player the world has ever seen today, but continual effort and incremental success could put you closer to that goal. Don’t lose heart just because you aren’t at your full potential today.
Stay Humble - Helpful Tips for Young Musicians
While you are keeping track of your progress as a musician, don’t allow for your ego to grow unchecked. There are few things in this world uglier than someone who thinks he is better than others. You can, of course, find plenty of examples of musicians who think they are God’s gift to mankind, but these types are usually short lived and hated by many of their peers. Humility is an underrated characteristic in the entertainment industry, but it’s also a healthy attitude to have as a young artist. Try to strike the balance of always treating others with respect while also not losing sight of your goals as a musician.
Make Priorities and Stick to Them
Regardless of whether you sell a million albums or just a few hundred, you will find that the industry has an ability to pull you in several directions at once. People will try to use you or undervalue your work, others will love what you do but expect too much. If you’re going to survive, you need to figure out which things matter most to you. Is it your family? Your faith? Your bank account? When faced with a big decision or opportunity, examine how the choice will affect what matters most to you. And as an artist who’s just starting out, make priorities for your time. How much will you focus on practicing your instrument or song writing? How much time does that leave for everything else? Thinking through these things now might just save you from a little heartache in the future.
We hope these helpful tips for young musicians have made an impact on you and will help you to make the changes you need to make this year. We mentioned before how important it is to challenge yourself, try new things, and learn. A great way to do this is by attending a summer music camp. At Camp Electric, we bring in the best musicians from today’s top Christian bands for a summer camp unlike any other. Find out how you can be our next student by clicking on the link below.