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How To Become a Better Musician?

How To Become a Better Musician?

build your skills Jun 21, 2024

How to improve as a musician?

A phase of extreme doubt followed by self-improvement isn’t a new occurrence in any musician’s life. It is quite important for any musician to instill a drive to become a better musician, otherwise, the self-doubts could lead to a downward spiral of imposter syndrome. But does it really look as easy as it sounds?

 

In this article, we have tried to answer a few questions:

    1. Are musicians born or made?

    2. How do musicians improve?

    3. How can I be unique in music?

    4. How can I be famous in music?

    5. Is being a singer hard?
       

Are musicians born or made?

 

Quite honestly, neither. It takes an equal amount of both nature (genetics, innate talent, prodigy), and nurture (environment, resources, parenthood, and so on). So, musicians aren’t just born or cannot simply be made, despite the prevalent compliments given to famous musicians saying that they are born to be musicians. 

 

When we say, nature, we mean innate talents that a few individuals are born with. Some people have a natural passion for music, demonstrating exceptional musical skills at an early age without formal training. Perfect pitch or a good sense of rhythm are examples of genetic predispositions that can influence musical ability. 

 

On the other hand, there are other individuals who grow to be musicians, mainly because of the nurture they get. Most musicians improve and succeed with consistent practice and training. Even individuals with natural talent must improve their skills via hard effort, education, and experience. According to research, while talent can give you an advantage at first, consistent work and practice are essential for reaching high levels of musicianship.

This means that musicians aren’t just born, they’d need a considerable amount of skill development, learning, and training. Additionally, musicians cannot be made without any talent or predisposition of musical abilities to kickstart a music career in the first place. It is not a ‘this or that’ situation here, rather, it is a ‘this and that.’ Both talent and training play an important role in shaping an individual to be a musician. 

 

Consider, Stevie Wonder for instance. Stevland Hardaway Morris was born in 1950 and started playing musical instruments at a young age. By the age of four, he had mastered the piano, harmonica, and drums. Despite being blind from birth, Wonder demonstrated an outstanding sense of rhythm, pitch, and musicality from an early age. But it wasn’t enough, was it?

 

His ability to compose, produce, and perform sophisticated music across multiple genres demonstrates his genetic predisposition for musical genius. However, Wonder’s brilliance was cultivated by Motown Records, giving him the appropriate resources, training, and guidance. If not for Motown Records, we wouldn’t know Stevie Wonder today. 

 

How do musicians improve?

 

Musicians improve through training, feedback, learning new skills, shaping existing ones, and doing all this, pretty consistently. Here are a few important pointers we have jotted down:

 

Regular Practice

 

Regular, focused practice is necessary. This encompasses technical exercises, repertoire rehearsal, and improvisation. Breaking down practice sessions into realistic portions with clear goals might increase efficiency. 

 

Jazz musician John Coltrane was known for his rigorous practice regimens. He trained for hours every day, concentrating on scales, modes, and improvisation methods. 

 

Pssst…come here: We definitely do not mean overworking yourself and not taking enough breaks with your schedule. Coltrane frequently divided his practice sessions into smaller, goal-oriented segments. For example, he would devote certain periods of time to practicing various scales or modes, followed by improvisation sessions to put what he had learned into practice. You could also try something similar, to avoid feeling intimidated by the goal. Regular practice means you allot a certain duration for a dedicated session, every day. It doesn’t necessarily have to include long and tedious hours. Breathe!



Listen More

 

Musicians grow by listening to a variety of music, understanding diverse artists’ approaches and styles, and applying these insights to their own performances.

 

To grow and become a better musician, you should also learn to expose yourself to a world of music that isn’t limited to the genre you indulge in. If you are an indie musician, you might not want to just listen to other indie contemporaries. Give other music types, musicians, and artists a chance. Watch their interviews, and draw observations and conclusions. Think of this as a daily task, a long-term research that doesn’t quite have an end because learning itself is non-linear. 

 

 

For instance, consider Kendrick Lamar. The famous rapper is noted for his diverse musical preferences, taking influences from jazz, funk, soul, and even classical music. His recordings often include sophisticated arrangements and samples from a wide range of musical styles, demonstrating his broad respect for other forms. For example, his album To Pimp a Butterfly contains elements of jazz and funk, drawing inspiration from superstars such as Miles Davis and George Clinton. His associates asserted that he paid special attention to their use of rhythm, harmony, and improvisation, which he eventually incorporated into his own music. So, listen more!

 

Performance Experience 

 

Regular performance improves confidence, stage presence, and the capacity to deal with mistakes. Live performances allow audience members to express opinions in real time. What we mean is, if your vocals are wavering let’s say, or if your pitch is off, your audience in the performance will make it obvious to you - it may be harsh on the music artist but it is considered the most reliable way to truly recognize and accept your flaws so you can improve on them. 

 

 

Live performances would also help you alleviate any sense of performance anxiety, helping you build a sense of professionalism in your concerts and shows. If you are actively trying to recognize your drawbacks and build your skills, do as many local gigs as possible. A lot of local gigs are hosted by venue owners who know the local crowd well, you could ask them to place a feedback bowl for the attendees to leave their feedback anonymously. Of course, not every written piece of paper will hold substance, but those who are sincere in listening to music will leave something of value to you. This will help you become a better musician. 

 

How can I be unique in music?

 

Let’s get one thing right. Every musician, every voice, and every sound out there is unique. Nothing can ever sound exactly the same. Similar? Yes. Same? No. It is vital to understand that your voice and your sound have been unique from the beginning. But there are a few ways you could consciously maintain that originality and authenticity. 

 

Innovation

 

Pushing limits, experimenting with new techniques, instruments, or genres, and incorporating unexpected aspects to create anything fresh and distinctive are all examples of musical innovation. Many artists have done so effectively, producing revolutionary work that will affect future generations. Our point is, that you’d need to experiment to KNOW your sound. Once you recognize your sound, you’d have already invented it, and that would be unique in essence. 

 

David Bowie, for example, constantly experimented with different instruments and genres. In the album Young Americans, he experimented with soul and funk, which were different from his prior glam rock style. His ability to combine numerous genres while preserving his distinct voice set his work apart. 

 

Focus on your strengths

 

Accepting your gifts entails identifying and developing the distinct components of your musical personality that set you apart from others. Whether it’s a distinct voice quality, an amazing instrumental technique, or a particular performing style, showcasing these talents can help you establish a strong, identifiable identity.

 

Adele is noted for her rich, soulful voice that carries a strong emotional resonance. Her ability to express real emotion through her singing has played a significant role in her global popularity. However, one of her greatest abilities is songwriting. Her lyrics frequently mirror real-life events and emotions, allowing listeners to relate strongly to her music. Adele wouldn’t be the Adele we have come to love, without her emotionally evoking lyricism in Someone Like You

 

Authenticity 

 

Staying loyal to one’s own identity and creative goals is essential for generating music that connects with audiences. Authenticity in music entails conveying actual emotions, experiences, and viewpoints rather than sticking to trends or attempting to fit into popular stereotypes. When musicians are real, they engage with their listeners on a deeper level, resulting in long-term influence and dedicated fan groups. 

 

Consider Frank Ocean as an example. He has been noted for his contemplative, genre-defying songs. He has continually pursued his artistic vision, releasing music on his own terms and rejecting the typical paths taken in the music industry.

 

How can I be famous in music?

 

You can be famous in music by building a great brand identity, being consistent in delivering high-quality content as well as being active on all social media platforms. This doesn’t mean that you could just relax after posting a clip on TikTok hoping the platform itself would do the job. The ticket to viral content and becoming a popular musician doesn’t just happen, but, you could do your best in making really good music!

 

Build a brand identity

 

Establishing a solid reputation is critical for musicians looking to develop a lasting presence in the industry. A thoughtfully designed brand represents the artist’s music, personality, and ideals, resulting in a consistent and identifiable image that appeals to viewers. 

 

Let’s take a look at Taylor Swift. Her brand has evolved from a country music sweetheart to a pop superstar, and lately to a folk-inspired storyteller. Her individual aesthetic and visual sensibilities have evolved alongside every record cycle. Swift maintains consistency through narrative and an intimate connection with her fans. Albums like Fearless and Red are about young love and heartbreak, and Folklore and Evermore are more introspective and indie-folk in tone.

 

 

The Weeknd has also built a great brand identity. His early anonymity as well as the enigmatic nature of his initial mixtapes, fueled curiosity and helped shape his persona. The Weeknd’s brand is constant across his songs, images, and public image. His albums, including Trilogy and After Hours, share themes of sorrow, hedonism, and introspection. His visual identity, which features the iconic red outfit and bandaged face from the After Hours era, adds to his brand's mystery and artistic complexity.

 

Pssst…come here: Due to the distinctiveness of their brand identity, their music had higher chances of being easily recognized and thus, became popular quickly. Something that screams YOU should be weaponized cleverly in building your music brand. 

 

Social Media Presence 

 

Participate actively on social media sites to reach a larger audience. Visibility can be dramatically increased by viral content, regular updates, and fan involvement. Lil Nas X’s ascent to popularity, for instance, was fueled by his adept usage of social media. His song Old Town Road became viral on TikTok, gaining widespread attention. He constantly communicates with his fans on social media platforms such as Twitter and Instagram, keeping them interested and active in his journey.

 

New music is now available at the fingertips of users, which is fantastic and can accelerate music discovery. Social media has only accelerated this process by providing a platform for musicians to directly communicate with music fans and followers. Furthermore, Instagram Live has gained in popularity as a way for artists to perform and interact with followers in real time, resulting in a unique and tailored music-finding experience. So make sure you utilize all such possible tools at your disposal. 

 

Network with influencers

 

Collaborate with prominent artists, producers, and influencers who can introduce you to their target audience. Before diving into influencer networking, you must first get to know your target influencers and their audiences. Knowing your ideal clients will help you locate influencers whose fans share your musical tastes. Take some time analyzing demographic data, tastes, and online activity to find the influencers that can best enhance your song’s reach. 

 

Consider Clairo, for instance. Born Claire Cottrill, an indie pop artist best known for her lo-fi sounds and DIY approach to music production, made her breakthrough with the release of her single Pretty Girl in 2017. She collaborated with fellow indie artist Cuco on the song Drown. This collaboration helped her tap into Cuco’s fan base and showcased her ability to blend her style with other artists. Let’s not forget Clairo’s collaboration with The Wallows as well. By collaborating with renowned musicians and influencers, she was able to reach listeners who might not have found her music otherwise.

 

Is being a singer hard?

 

Yes, it is hard being a singer. But again, which profession isn’t? Every field, every occupation comes with its own unique set of obstacles and challenges. What you CAN do is face them and stay on your path. Along with being consistent and productive with your music journey, you should also pay attention to your mental health

 

We at GreaseRelease, have a bunch of curators on our network who are looking for new & exciting music to push on their massive playlists. If you make music and want to reach a wider audience, check out our submission platform and get a chance to reach millions of listeners! Submit your tracks now! 

 


 

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