Unless.

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Musician dreamingIf you’re hoping to make the writing of music a career choice, it’s not going to be even a remote possibility for you unless…

  1. unless you are writing excellent songs, and doing it consistently;
  2. unless you are practicing your songwriting craft, and improving daily as a songwriter;
  3. unless you are energetically building a fan base for your music;
  4. unless you play your music regularly for others, live and in-person;
  5. unless you have a polished, professional-looking website with current information;
  6. unless you have an easy way to allow new listeners to hear your music (streamed online, usually);
  7. unless you’re able to listen to your own music objectively;
  8. unless you’re listening to lots of music, including songs from genres you normally wouldn’t consider;
  9. unless you work hard to make connections to others in the music industry;
  10. unless you understand how the music industry really works;
  11. unless you are willing to learn from other songwriters and industry personnel;
  12. unless you understand that songwriting is a discipline.

In other words, unless you realize that a career in songwriting requires a level-headed, disciplined, clear-headed approach, you’ll live in that dreamworld where you wait for top industry people to call you tell you that they want to record every song you’ve ever written.

The music world invites dreamers. But there’s an important difference between dreaming and hallucinating. It’s OK to dream as long as you know that the twelve “unlesses” can’t be ignored. Those “unlesses” are simply reality.

To ignore reality means you’re hallucinating, and not on track to making music any sort of career.

Dream big, but get to work.

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Written by Gary Ewer. Follow Gary on Twitter 

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Gary is also the author of “Beating Songwriter’s Block: Jump-Start Your Words and Music“, published in hardcopy by Backbeat Books, and available from Amazon and any other online bookseller.

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2 Comments

  1. I truly believe that 99.999 percent of song writers are living in a dream world.
    We cant expect every song writer to gig , yes I gig but not so much as I used
    to. The majority of Good to Great Song Writers can sing and have to sing
    their lines, to prove that they work.
    I see average writers quoting their favorite singers are Hank Williams, and
    Gene Autrey, what planet are they living on?? 99. 9 per cent of over fifty
    writers are writing dated Country Music . It dose not make sense .

    Simplicity in Pop Music, yes we often here that as the way to go, but simple
    does not mean three chords and a six tone vocal span. it means in general
    keep the vocal range of your song, so that the average punter can sing it,
    Exceptions to that rule will always exist in the pop world, but keep it one
    octave and three tones maximum . and of course many great songs have
    less range.

    Learning writers in general are not coming up with even a song title that,
    wants us to hear more.

    Having a brilliant website means nothing if your songs are average or
    worse, and collaborating with peers who are also average will not help
    you, you need someone who is stronger where your own work is week.

    • Hi Peter:

      Well, you’ve said several things that I of course cannot agree with. But I’m particularly surprised by the comment that “Learning writers in general are not coming up with even a song title that wants us to hear more.” How depressing if that’s true. I see lots of up and coming songwriters who are writing really great lyrics.

      Also, a great website means nothing, true, if you’re simply streaming garbage. But that’s why I mentioned all those other points, including the first one, which is that one needs to be writing excellent songs, and doing so consistently.

      Cheers,
      Gary

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