You know your singer-songwriter friends who you love to pieces but have blinders on when it comes to their music? They have the talent, but there is something they don’t have just right yet. Maybe they are fooling themselves about how good they are, so they don’t work at it enough. Or maybe they keep writing the exact same song over and over again -but are so proud their solo efforts when really they need some serious co-writing help. There is this thing about ego and creativity that can leave artists
Self-sabotage happens more than you know – and the nature of it is that you don’t know you’re doing it. The number one way I see artists sabotage themselves is with perfectionism. Ring a bell? I know this one well myself. Truth be known, perfectionism is a trap! And you know what else I notice? Everyone who is a self-proclaimed perfectionist (self included) is often proud of it! Sadly, it’s not funny at all – it’s actually robs you of moving forward and undermines your self-confidence. The quickest way to release yourself of the burden is to accept yourself, flaws and all (I said quickest -not easiest). The moment you accept yourself, flaws and all, is the moment you move forward.
The way to get clear is to do an inventory of your beliefs. I learned this from don Miguel Ruiz, author of The Four Agreements. One day he asked us to take out our journals and write down all of our beliefs. This was a great exercise. Try it, accompanied by some self-administered truth serum, and it will reveal some kind of shocking stuff about what you really believe – note to self.
The worst case scenario is when you are doing everything possible working on your music, but you don’t have someone to tell you the truth. I have a student who is so picky about what she writes (lyrics) that she never finishes any songs – she just keeps flitting from song to song thinking the next one will be the one that comes out right. Matter of fact she thinks she’s “picky” about lyrics, but really she’s non-committal and underneath that, she’s scared that she’s not a good enough writer. So really what’s running her is her fear – not her lack of creativity. Besides the fact that she has no songs to sing that are her own, she doesn’t get to develop as an artist.. So I gave her a reality check – I told her the truth, and I basically won’t let her get away with it anymore because I know it’s not what really she wants. So far, we have one song close to completion (old habits die hard) and another one on the way! She’s still judging them, but at least she’s staring her
So, are you ready for a healthy dose of reality? This may seem harsh, but the cold hard truth is exactly what you need to arm yourself for your career and beat out the competition. With so many artists out there clamoring to be heard – and your music at stake – here’s how to escort an
Answer the following questions quite honestly. Each one of these is absolutely non-negotiable, if you are destined for the red carpet.
1. Do you practice your vocal technique 5 days a week for at least 30 minutes? No exceptions.
2. Do you write at least one song per week?
3. Do you practice an instrument (piano or guitar) 5 days a week for at least 30 minutes?
4. Do you sing on pitch and have good phrasing (or are working like mad on it?)
5. Beginners: Do you have a professionally recorded demo of your material (at least 4 songs) –
Emerging artists: Do you have a record, EP & videos on You Tube (or are actively working on them?)
6. Do you get compliments on your voice from strangers?
7. Do you perform often?
8. Have you read Everything You Need to Know About the Music Industry by Donald Passman?
9. Do you train your vocal instrument with a professional vocal coach to avoid problems and have an awesome voice?
And if you don’t have a team yet you have multiple
11. Do you love the music you are creating? (Operative word is “love”. Making great music is about making the music you want to hear – no exceptions).
If you have 5-6
Ready to usher some