In the previous articles, I’ve given you all the tools you would need to succeed as an artist. All the steps you need to take in order to become a professional musician. I’ve taught you everything I know (and what I’ve learned from professionals, since I am still a struggling musician myself). We’re in this together.
But we’re not done yet. The last thing every artist needs to succeed is timing. The problem is I can’t teach you timing. No one can. I can only guide you in what I hope is the right direction to finding the best way for you to get discovered.
Timing, Timing, Timing
Most artists just happen to be playing at the right place at the right time when they get discovered, which is why I recommend you say yes to anyone who offers you a potential gig. You never know if someone will happen to be in that dive bar the night you happen to be playing some of your original pieces. Be open to any and all venues because you’re in no place to turn your nose up at any establishment that doesn’t seem “respectable” enough. Trust me, those looking for new talent know where undiscovered artists will frequent and they will be there. You just have to be there at the same time as they are. That’s the hard part.
If you’ve been playing anywhere and everywhere for a while now and nothing seems to be happening, there are other ways to be discovered. Back in the day, all artists had to rely on was just good luck and even better timing, but now that we’re living in the digital age there are more ways to access music producers and record label owners.
Justin Bieber was discovered when the right people watched his cover videos on YouTube. Several other artists who began on YouTube have gone on to participate in singing competitions, like The Voice, American Idol, etc. There are some major perks involved with taking this route with your music. You can get your name and music out there without leaving the house (or coffee shop, wherever the Wi-Fi is at). You can create a profile for your music across multiple social media platforms, blogs, and pages. You can upload videos to most (if not all) of these social media outlets and to YouTube. The more social media exposure, the better. Have someone (or more than one person) who attends several of your shows post pics to your page and post reviews to their own page. The wider a web you can cast on the Internet, the higher your chances are of being discovered.
There is also the old-fashioned way that involves simply mailing a demo disc to the record label company of your choice. In any case, don’t relent until they threaten a restraining order (I’m totally kidding, please don’t ever take it that far). No one ever said making it big was easy. It requires you to face constant rejection,
Recently I had an interesting experience trying to coordinate a gig at a friend of mine’s house. He has an amazing backyard. I’m talking gorgeous landscaping, huge amount of land; AKA a great place to host an outdoor concert. I try to vary my performances and the venues that I perform at. I’ve performed in karaoke bars, dive bars, at block parties, pool parties, and I’ve hosted more intimate get-togethers at coffee shops and small outdoor venues. This was the first time I was organizing a larger-scale outdoor concert with no pool nearby to attract more potential fans to attend. I was going to be the main, and only, act. Everything had to be perfect.
My friend was so proud of his backyard and he has a right to be. He always keeps up with the landscaping. However his focus when it comes to landscaping is the grass, flowers, and bushes. At the time, he had several trees along the perimeter of his house and near the area where the stage would be built. They were vastly overgrown and they drowned out any sound that was produced in the vicinity. They would have to be cut down or seriously trimmed before we could even build the stage. Not to mention, they would have to stay groomed since they were interfering with the acoustics and sound system in the backyard. Like I said before, everything had to be perfect.
My friend hadn’t really ever bothered with the trees before. He claimed it was because it was too expensive and too much of a trouble to mess with. Because there was so many, he had assumed it would be too much work and cost more than he normally paid his landscaping people. I told him not to worry and that I would find someone affordable who would do a great job. He didn’t seem to mind letting me take all the responsibility. Considering it was my concert I think I was way more concerned about the trees than he was. I also tend to be a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to my performances. So the trees had to go.
After asking around my group of friends in the Houston area I finally came up with a list of nearby businesses that might be able to help. I called around, asked about their prices and how fast they could get the job done. After considering the prices and reviews, I settled on one company that I felt could do a great job. I called Houston Tree Works to see how soon they could come by my friend’s house. The concert was postponed until the stage could be built, so this whole production was waiting on me to find someone to take care of the trees.
Houston Tree Works assured me they could come in the next few days and it shouldn’t take them longer than a few hours to get the job done (apparently they do this kind of thing all the time). Sure enough, they turned up to my friend’s backyard just a few days later and were done within a few hours. The concert date didn’t have to be moved, I was fully satisfied with my performance space, and I turned my friend into a Houston Tree Works believer. It was a win-win for everyone involved and if you are ever in need of tree services in Houston, do give Houston Tree Works a call!