It was that time again this month... for my annual boogie boarding vacation at the beach! While I was out in the ocean looking for the perfect wave to catch, it hit me that there are a lot of parallels between boogie boarding and a music career. There are lots of lessons the ocean can teach the singer.
A great ride, either on the ocean or in music, requires:
- Your board needs to be strong enough to ride.
- Your voice needs to be strong enough to sing.
- You need to know how to ride.
- You need to know how to sing.
- Learn to read the ocean waves. (In this video I talk about picking good waves; be sure to see or skip to the end where I finally ride a good one!)
- Learn to read the music industry.
I want to dig in a little farther about areas of timing you need to understand for a music career. You need to know when to wait or go concerning the song, the vocal recording, and your showcase performance.
The SongSo you’re recording your project and looking for and/or writing songs right for the project. Listen to your gut, and get feedback from at least one other trustworthy, informed source such as your producer, manager, label or entertainment attorney, as well as non-industry individuals who understand the ears of your typical audience. Is each song you’re considering right lyrically and melodically and groove-wise for your voice, the type of project your doing, your demographics you are creating this project for? And most importantly… is it emotionally compelling, moving, exciting? If you’re writing it, is it truly finished well? If not, wait for it. If so, go for it! If it's not your song, don’t stall…get permissions and mechanical licenses from all writing/publishing parties so you can go for it!
The Vocal RecordingAre you completely confident in your vocal ability to sing your chosen songs? Have you learned them so well you don’t need lyrics? Have you done some vocal lessons to iron out any potential problems and explore vocal options to use in the vocal booth - experimented with vocal licks, melody variations and alternate phrasing til you have it like you want it? Have you arranged to have your vocals produced by someone you trust can get the best out of you? Are you in good health, physically and mentally strong? Do you know specific techniques for singing in the studio? If not, wait for it. If so… get that studio and producer booked -- and go for it!
The Showcase PerformanceAfter the project is recorded, mixed and mastered, there comes a time for its debut performance. There is usually a significant performance set up to which music industry professionals are invited, with the hopes that the artist’s career will be somehow furthered. This can be a public show or a private invitation-only show; in either case I would suggest you consider it a showcase performance. Sometimes this event is called a record release party, at which the project is either played from the finished recording or performed live.
For a showcase performance, it is wise to rehearse more, spend money/time on fliers, table decorations, food and other accouterments and take pains to make sure you are looking and sounding like the artist you want them to experience. This performance should be your personal best. It is also wise to make sure you invite the right people for your business goals, and that those people are actually coming. Too many times artists spend so much money/effort/spirit on a showcase where no industry professionals show up.
Unless you are rehearsed and know who’s coming, wait for it. If you’re ready and you get multiple confirmations ‘they’ are coming, go for it and don’t look back! You may ride that wave all the way all the way to glory!
ENJOY THE RIDE
- Too much concentration on the next wave keeps me from enjoying the ocean I'm in.
- Worrying about the music business too much keeps me from enjoying making the music.