7 Things to Do as a Musician Stuck at Home | How to Keep Your Career on Track
The Corona virus pandemic is causing major problems worldwide, this article looks at what a singer or musician can do while are stuck at home. These seven top strategies will help artists hone their craft, maximise their social media and help build a supportive community.
You may be wondering how to practice effectively as a musician stuck at home? Being at home doesn’t mean musicians and singers have to put their career on hold, and there are plenty of things to do as a musician stuck at home.
How can you keep your fanbase engaged when all your gigs are cancelled? And how should you spend your days productively when you can’t get to the studio? Below we are 7 things to do to ensure you keep your career as a musician on track during these hard times.
Things for singers to do while stuck at home
With the current climate causing a great deal of anxiety and uncertainty worldwide, musicians like yourself may struggling to maintain a successful career.
The music industry is all about gigs and performances. Connections and collaborations between artists. However, the importance of self-isolation and social distancing has put a hold on that side of things, leaving us musicians in a rut.
You may be disheartened that your recent gig has been cancelled, but take this as an opportunity to focus on your musicianship and follow our simple guide to keep your career on track.
What to do as a musician stuck at home
From online festivals to bedroom production skills, it’s important to keep working on your career as a musician. Don’t let the Corona virus demotivate you from being a musician and definitely don’t take your foot off the pedal. Although easier said than done, being a musician requires consistent marketing and a level head.
Here are the seven tips to musicians and singers about how to keep their career on track during the Corona virus outbreak:
- Reschedule gigs
- Focus on your branding
- Learn a new skill
- Engage your fans
- Support other artists
- Practice your instruments
- Write new music
Social media and online tools mean that it’s still possible to collaborate and share your music, it also means artists can support each other and spread a bit of love and community spirit.
7 things for singers to do while stuck inside
#1 Reschedule your gigs
Easier said than done, but it’s really important to email venues and follow up performance opportunities that have been cancelled amid the current climate.
Pubs and clubs being temporarily shut down doesn’t mean they will never be looking for artists to perform at their open mic nights again! So, drop them a message and remind them that you’re still interested in performing once they reopen. If you had lots of payed gigs lined up, then get in contact with the venue and try and reschedule your performance for nearer the end of the year (giving you extra time to practice!).
Festival opportunities are a big deal so if you were on the line up for a festival that has been cancelled, it’s understandable for you to be feeling upset. However, don’t just assume that it won’t be taking place all together, some festivals (e.g. Bournemouth 7’s, where I was hoping to perform) have announced that they will be postponing their event and for artists to get in touch if they are still interested in performing.
Why not take this time to research new live gig opportunities? Send out your details to as many live music venues as possible, and explain your interest to perform once everything has calmed down again. Don’t expect a reply straight away, and don’t be disheartened if they’re not looking for new acts at the minute. Even just seeing your determination and drive to share your music will make you stand out.
#2 Focus on branding
Now’s the time to really work on your marketing skills. What makes you stand out as a musician? It’s all about branding and creating a consistent look across all media platforms.
Why not set up a website? This doesn’t have to be expensive, there are many free website making tools (e.g. wix and weebly) and having a website makes your artist profile seem more professional. You can share upcoming performances, social media links, photos from the studio or recent gigs and even snippets of unreleased original music to create a close relationship with your audience.
You could also design your artist logo. Drawing may not be your strong point, but researching fonts and typefaces can give you an idea of what you want your logo to look like. From there, you can sketch basic ideas and play around with colours until you’re happy with how it’s looking.
Having a logo can help create brand consistency and make you more memorable as an artist. You can put it on your website or use it as a YouTube banner. Again, this doesn’t have to be expensive- if you can’t create it yourself, you could always ask an artistic friend or a design student at uni who are more likely to offer lower prices.
#3 Learn a new skill
Whether you’re a singer, a guitarist or a budding studio engineer, maybe now’s the time to learn production and mastering skills that make home recordings sound that extra special.
If you’ve ever heard the expression ‘bedroom producer’ then what better a time to practice production than when you are confined to your house! If you can’t get to the studio, then bring the studio to you. Starting with the basics is always a good idea if it’s your first time recording from home.
You don’t need loads of equipment on-hand, even with GarageBand there’s an orchestra of synthesised instruments at your disposal. With tools like Splice, you have online access to hundreds of royalty-free samples that you can experiment with.
Many production software programs offer free trials, so don’t rush into buying anything before you’re certain with your decision. If you’re looking to spend a bit more on a production software, then Logic Pro X or Cubase can bring studio level sounds to your recordings.
Remember, like any new skill, it takes time and practice. Watching YouTube tutorials can be a great way to learn tips and tricks from professionals when it comes to production.
How singers can be productive from home
#4 Engage your fanbase
More than ever, people’s eyes are on social media. With online platforms being people’s main source of communication when stuck at home, it would be a good idea to put a lot of energy into building up a strong following on all socials.
Why not post a daily cover video on Instagram? Making the song your own is really important.
Consistency is key, so don’t expect results if you only post once every month. People are more likely to engage with your content if you’re always seen in their feed. Whether that be a cover video, a picture of you in the studio from a while ago, or even a daily story sharing what you’re up to as an artist stuck at home.
It’s important to use relevant hashtags when posting on social media, for example #quarantinecovers and the ‘Stay Home’ sticker on Instagram. You could even hop onto new hashtag trends such as #bedroombuskers. This will attract a larger audience who are searching for exactly what you have to offer.
You could also go live on Instagram, why not perform your set that you had planned for a local open mic? Scheduling a set time to go live and share it with your followers beforehand. This will maximise the number of viewers likely to engage with your livestream. Asking for song recommendations from your fans is also a great way to connect with your audience, and can help you out too.
#5 Improve your instrument
Now that you have time to spare, it would be a great idea to focus on improving your instrument and honing in on any elements that need extra practice.
If you’re a singer with regular singing lessons, you may be worried about how to carry on strengthening your voice whilst lessons are cancelled. You can look online for singing teachers offering virtual lessons. It’s good to support your local and independent teachers, community Facebook pages are a great place to reach out and ask for recommendations.
However, if this isn’t an option for you, there are many apps available to download which help strengthen your voice (e.g. Vocal Builder), and guided vocal warm ups on the iTunes store (we recommend Jo Thompson). If you play an instrument, now may be the time to learn a new good set of cover songs that you can take to the stage (rather than replaying songs your audience have already heard before).
Remember, practice makes perfect, but don’t overdo it.
#6 Make contacts and support other artists
All emerging artists are in the same position, feeling as though your career is being put on hold during this hard time, adds another layer of anxiety. So, it’s really important to support one another even more than usual.
Focusing on community projects can not only brighten your spirits, but also open up your contact book to loads of musicians following a similar path to you. Online choirs are being set up to unite voices across the country. Signing up for this sort of project could introduce you to possible artists for future collaborations.
Offering to do livestream performances for care homes and hospitals with other artists could be a great way to keep sharing your music, whilst having a positive impact on others.
Instagram shout outs are highly appreciated at a time like this. For example, an ‘Artists supporting artists’ chain was set up on Instagram for artists to tag their artist friends (like a massive shout out) reposting it on their story. This encourages people to check out similar artists to ones they are already following. Starting a trend like this could be a great way to support one another.
How to increase productivity as a musician
#7 Write more music
Finally, without your typical day to day distractions, now’s the time to really tune into your creativity.
Original music is the key to success, so why not take this opportunity to write as many new songs as you can. Put some lyrics to that catchy melody, write a verse to go with that chorus.
Remember, it’s okay to not fall in love with your first original song, sometimes you have to write a hundred verses before the perfect one comes to you. It’s all about trial and error, so don’t be too hung up on a leading line if it doesn’t fit with the rest of your song.
Once you have a selection of original songs under your belt, you can maximise studio time to get that perfect recording done. Bringing original songs to your set can help position you as serious artist as opposed to a cover singer.
If you’re stuck for inspiration, and you’re experiencing writers block, here are some tips to overcome it.
How have you been practicing? Are you spending your time as a musician stuck at home effectively? What other tips would you like to share? We would love to hear about them in the comments below.