By JOHN DALY
So you want to be a Rock N Roll star?
It’s not easy, and it may not even be financially rewarding, but it can be immensely satisfying to be a musician. Today’s rockers have to be ready to juggle a range of responsibilities, especially these days when the competition for listeners and fans is at its fiercest.
While there may be more opportunities today for DIY musicians than ever before, it’s also a “Catch-22” because musicians have to be multi-taskers able to design their sound, their look and their style. So, while it is most important to write, perform and record music there are other components to making it as a musician. Artists have to go many steps further, also often making business deals, arranging tours and transportation, and, all the while, building a fan base.
Making a living as a musician is not impossible, as evidenced by the amount of new bands that come online every week. But there are some handy tips to keep in mind.
— Get with the program as far as social media and regular advertising. Make flyers to advertise, use Facebook, My Space, Instagram to get out the word — or the photo — on your gigs, your music and your achievements. If you have an investor or a financial backer, you might even be able to afford a publicist or social media promoter, who can help take this task off your shoulders.
— It’s important to have merch to sell and it should be stuff people actually want to use, whether it’s a T-shirt, mug or pins. Make the merch as fun and as attractive as possible for your followers.
— Keeping your musical equipment safe, including guitars and pedals and custom pedalboards for guitar and bass, and that’s particularly vital for touring musicians. There are anti-theft devices, but the best anti-theft device is to always have one person in charge of keeping an eye on the band’s possessions at all times. It’s easier said than done.
— Eating properly on the road and at home is an important factor for the long haul. Fast food doesn’t cut it for nutrition and many musicians have their own stash of vitamins and health foods to keep as a stash. Try to get enough sleep. While it’s optimum to get a few hours of sleep in before midnight, it’s unlikely. Adjust your schedule accordingly to get as much sleep as possible.
— Select your style of music, practice it and stick with it. Be true to your heart and play like you mean it. That includes picking the instrument and the keyboard and guitar products you want to master and figuring out if you prefer to play alone or in a band.
— Keep in mind your style of clothing and the “look” you want that enhances the music. For instance, if your band plays country-rock, a futuristic silver bodysuit probably won’t project the desired image.
No matter whether you’re making millions off your music, or you want to get together with your friends to have a good time, music is a worthwhile endeavor and at the very least, and maybe the most, can lead to a great deal of enjoyment.