One of the toughest parts about being an indie artist, is that you have to really develop your time management skills. Do I attend this writing session, do I go out to this show, do I stay home and save money? All of these concerns are valid, and it’s a struggle when you’re just starting out to know how much time to put into everything.

Today is going to take you through some thoughts and ideas on how to balance being actively involved in your community while still putting yourself as a top priority.

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Starting Out

When you’re just starting out in the music biz, there’s going to be quite a learning curve at first. If you’re just getting into your first band, or just starting to play out some of your original music, you’re going to need to really cut your teeth and make some mistakes in order to gain experience.

My first suggestion if you’re just starting out, is to literally attend as many shows as you possibly can. This is going to show the scene that you’re dedicated, that you’re willing to sacrifice your time to support others, and it gives you an opportunity to show how cool you are. Not only did I meet most of the people I still play with and work with at shows around town, but I was also able to develop relationships with sound engineers, promoters, as well as venue owners.

The other aspect to this is that you can have an actual gauge on the talent and skill in your certain genre, there’s nothing worse than thinking you’ve come up with the next big thing and you go to a local show and someones doing something along the same lines. Adding to the benefits, this gives you the chance to chat with these artists and create connections so that you can maybe open for these bands and maybe (if you’re lucky)even become apart of their collective.

Basically you never know what can happen from attending a show, and the only negative is if you really like to drink (then you’re going to have to figure out how to budget yourself accordingly).

Going Alone

This is a tough one since you’re so used to going to things in groups and our society has made it feel strange to do anything alone in public. If you want to make it out there in the music industry, you’re going to have to get used to going at things alone.

I remember the first time I went to a show alone (none of my friends had time/wanted to go), so I said screw it I’m going to go anyways. It was a metal festival in aircraft hanger, and I remember showing up and being so nervous that I didn’t know anyone and was not with anybody. But it was funny because as soon as I got inside and starting moshing to the music, I met a bunch of different friend groups that were extremely inviting and inclusive. I ended up having a great night, and left with an overwhelming feeling of independence and a “if I can do that alone, what else can I accomplish by myself” attitude.  

So get out there and do stuff by yourself, go have a meal alone, go to a concert alone, go to a networking event by yourself. I guarantee you’ll learn something new about yourself and probably meet some really interesting people.

Do I Stay Home and Save, Or Do I Go To The Show

This is a difficult one that I think any good musician has really struggled with. Deciding on whether or not to stay home and work on what you’re doing, or to attend a show in town? This has been the age old question for the struggling artist.

You can break it down pretty simply here, If you’ve attended 100+ local shows you probably don’t need the experience as much, and are probably going to support other acts or just support the scene in general. Now if your music is going well and you’re consistently reaching your goals, and you’re basically finished what you needed to finish in a day then absolutely go out the show, network and have fun. BUT if your music isn’t going well and you’re not reaching the goals you’re setting for yourself. It might be smarter to stay home and WORK on your music rather than supporting someone else’s.

The key here is to strike a balance between supporting the scene you want to be apart of and making sure your life is propelling in the way you feel it should. Don’t feel pressured to get out there and socialize for the sake of it, make sure you’re doing what you think is best for your life,career and health.

Hope these tips were helpful, and if you have any thoughts on going to shows and networking, Please leave a comment below.

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