We often get the question from young musicians first starting a band, “what would be your advice to succeed as a musician?”
We’re definitely not the model of success, and considering technology and new media are changing so quickly, there is no model to the “Do It Yourself” approach as an indie musician. But there are a couple things that will help…
First and foremost, you need an inkling of talent. Once you realize “hey, I don’t suck at this,” learn all the Apple programs (Garageband, Logic, iMovie, etc). We’re still working on becoming proficient at these programs, but as a musician first starting out, these programs will serve as great writing tools and help you create your own content (you won’t need to rely on spending thousands of dollars on a producer to record your music or to hire someone to shoot your music videos. Start with Youtube). Also, becoming an expert on a program like Photoshop would be invaluable. Luckily we found a guy that has been helping us with our artwork for our upcoming full length release. His name is Patrick Concepcion. Check him out: http://www.patrickconcepcion.com/
Lastly, I would suggest you read about the music biz. If Mr. Big Wig Music Industry Man comes knocking on your door, you want to be informed and knowledgable, so you can make the right decisions. Our two reading suggestions are Donald S. Passman’s All You Need To Know About The Music Business and Randy Poe’s The New Songwriter’s Guide to Music Publishing.
Unfortunately it’s very rare that a musician can rely solely on talent to get his or her music heard. Make the extra effort to become a well-rounded artist.