Here are 10 of the most common mistakes I have seen new unsigned artists make.
THE TEN MOST COMMON MISTAKES A NEW ARTIST MAKES
1) THEY DON’T KNOW WHO THEY ARE AND WHO THE AUDIENCE IS THAT THEY ARE TRYING TO REACH.Can you identify your target market? Do you know their age group? Are they primarily male or female? What artists do they listen to and support? What image should you project to reach this audience?
2) THEY MISS THEIR “ONLY” CHANCE TO MAKE A GREAT “FIRST IMPRESSION”. You only get one chance to make a first impression so the one you do make has got it make it count! It will hurt you in the long run if you are impulsive about sending your recordings in for evaluation or posting them on the web before they’re ready to be heard.
3) THEY ARE NOT ABLE TO “PULL IT OFF” LIVE. You need to play out live as much as possible – but only when you are truly ready to do so. Nothing will hurt you more than to create excitement in your recordings and then fall on your face in front of expectant fans live.
4) THEY RELY TO HEAVILY ON THE OPINIONS THOSE AROUND THEM. I can’t tell you the number of times I have been in preproduction with a band or artist who was trying to make a case for a song to be included on a CD because their aunt, uncle or next door neighbor thought it was a hit. Be especially careful not to make critical decisions based only on comments from adoring friends and family. Undoubtedly they are biased and will have a vested stake in your success.
5) THEY TRY TO LAUNCH WITH TO MANY SONGS. Even thought it’s tempting, never give away all of your material at one time. You will be doing extremely well if you perfect three or four songs first. Always lead with your best material but make sure that your direction is cohesive.
6) THEY TRY TO BE COOL AND WRITE OBSCURE LYRICS OR WANDER TO FAR AWAY FROM ACCEPTED SONG STRUCTURE. It used to be very hip to write lyrics that people had to try and figure out by debating them amongst each other but unless you are a “druggie” band or writer re-incarnated from the 70’s, it is much better to write you songs in the first person and try as much as possible to pack them with emotion and experiences others have felt and can relate to as well. Also, don’t think it’s cool to wait forever to get to the chorus or try a one-minute intro or guitar solo. Study pop structure and learn it. You can learn more about this issue at www.musicproshollywood.com.musicproshollywood.com
7) THEY JUMP IN TO SELF-RECORDING THEIR MUSIC WITHOUT ANY RECORDING EXPERIENCE. Obviously, the best option if you can afford it is to use an experienced recording engineer to record and mix your music. This may not be possible and today it is so tempting to make tracks on computers and bang them into a sequencer or hard drive system, put on a vocal, do a quick mix and call it a master. In order for your recordings to be competitive against the big artists that do have the great sounding tracks.
8) THEY RELEASE VIDEOS OF THEMSELVES BEFORE THEY ARE READY. Again, because the net offers such quick access to social sites, you may be tempted to start posting videos of rehearsals and performances before they are ready to be seen. You must make certain that what you are putting up is doing you justice. Remember, every time you post something or send it to someone you are inviting yourself to be judged.
9) THEY ARE TO ANXIOUS TO SIGN “ANY” CONTRACT. If you sign an agreement too early with a local manager, agent or your bass player’s father, you will pay dearly for it later when you need to get out of it in order to sign with real professionals who have the experience, contacts and leverage to make it happen for you. This is not to say that someone with little experience cannot work hard and get you to the top, but to make it as a world-class artist, it will happen faster with a professional team behind you.
10) THEY ARE IN A HURRY TO SIGN WITH A MAJOR. The decision to submit your material to a major is a tempting one and the tendency of many artists is to care more about chasing and getting the “deal” than the financial ramifications of what the deal means in the future after they’ve signed it. Most artists don’t realize the facts until too late,Be smart and polish your “diamond” first, it might be priceless!