I’ve put together another list of 3 things you can do to develop your skills as an artist quickly and efficiently. If you like this post feel free to tag a musician who needs to see this.
Find a mentor
I’ve mentioned this point so many times before. Find someone who you enjoy listening. Find out what makes you enjoy them and tap into that for inspiration. I always liked Ryan Leslie and Timbaland because they look like they enjoy what they do. Whenever they’re making a beat it’s a party. I try to spark those same feelings whenever I make a track. Realise that your mentor doesn’t have to be someone that you know. Some of my best mentors have been people I’ve never met before. It’s just a case of staying motivated and making sure there’s enough of their content out there to consume. Gary Vaynerchuk has been a great revelation for me and he has stacks and stacks of content. I consumed his stuff for about 6 months straight before executing on my business ideas.
Study the greats
This is similar to finding a mentor, but it requires a whole lot more research. From time to time I find myself scrolling through Wikipedia trying to find legends so that I can read their stories. I’m not very interested in what these people do now. I want to know what hardships they faced, where they grew up, when they started, when their big break was and who gave it to them. I like to deconstruct and analyse these points and try implement them in my life. This tactic is also great for days when you’re running low on motivation and you need a boost.
Be sure to study legends outside your genre as this will make you well-rounded. I study legends in business and in music. From time to time I’ll look at other creative arts as a source of inspiration.
Note the importance of feedback
This one is easy to ask for, but often difficult to analyse. I give out feedback on a daily basis to my new subscribers and although I do it, I know most people dismiss it completely. Feedback is such an awesome tool to determine how people feel about one’s craft yet it’s often used only as a tool to gas oneself up. The typical scenarios go like this:
Artist: hey can you please give my track an ear and give me feedback?
Artist: sends track
Me: points out good and bad points
Artist: thanks me for good points and argues through the bad
I’ve lied many times about my feelings towards songs, but about a year ago I vowed I’d always let people who wanted my feedback know how I truly felt about the songs they send me. The people who get gassed up have this weird shift in reality. This shift either leads them to working harder and becoming better artists/producers or they end up on the wooden mic portion of Idols. True feedback is so important.
Remember these 3 points when you feel like you aren’t progressing. The answers to your problems might just be right in front of you.