Can AI Boost Your Productivity as a Musician?

This post originally appeared on Productivity for Musicians.

With the introduction of ChatGPT and other Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based apps and services, people are being drawn to AI like moths to a flame.

It has long been predicted that AI software would have its moment in the spotlight, and at long last, that time has arrived.

But is AI everything it’s been cracked up to be? Should artists take advantage of it? And most importantly, can it be leveraged to enhance your productivity as an artist?

We caught up with our founder & editor David Andrew Wiebe to answer these questions and more.

Artificial, Artificial Intelligence

“First of all, it’s a little premature to call it AI,” said Wiebe. “it’s more like ‘artificial, artificial intelligence.’ It’s not sentient or self-aware. It can’t make decisions for you. Really what we’re dealing with is article compilers, speech emulators, image combiners, and the like.

Yes, it’s quite amazing what they can do with a tiny bit of input, and you may even come away with some usable content. But when you consider that AI is creating derivate work, that it’s taking from different pieces of work that already exist – not creating brand-new work – the context changes entirely.

Look, I do think the technology will continue to improve. But will it ever get to the point of being able to think for itself? The media likes to exaggerate a lot about how it’s quickly becoming self-aware but we’re still basically talking about pre-programmed responses, so we’re just not there yet.

And even though it has the appearance of having popped up out of nowhere this year, even Google products like Gmail and Google Docs, and others like Grammarly, for that matter Microsoft Word, have all featured similar ‘AI’ functionality for a long time. Who exactly is checking your spelling or grammar, pray tell? The same technology. It’s called code.

We get ChatGPT and suddenly everyone’s out of their mind, but this is an instance where appearances are quite deceiving. It could even end up being a short-lived trend.”

Garbage In, Garbage Out (GIGO)

“In programming, ‘garbage in, garbage out’ (GIGO) is a well-understood concept,” shared Wiebe. “Basically, if you feed gobbledegook into a computer, you’re going to get gobbledegook out of it.

So, this is the first test of whether you’re going to be more productive using AI. Because, again, the quality of what you get depends largely on the input and prompts you provide.

A skilled and experienced copywriter, for example, will have studied effective headlines, researched their audience, looked at relevant industry ads, taken inspiration from parallel industries, and so on. Because they know what good copy looks like, they can create prompts that help them develop sales letters in partnership with AI. And whatever OpenAI products feed to them, they’ll be able to parse and determine what is really going to work and what isn’t, because they’re the expert.

Basically, they’ll be able to edit. They’ll take what is working, edit what isn’t working, and get rid of the rest. Editing is a critical skill for a musician too. But sadly, it seems to be going by the wayside.”

AI Spouts Nonsense

“So, then we come to this issue of editing and fact-checking,” continued Wiebe. “This is the second test of whether you’re going to be productive with AI. It may not be much of a factor with AI image generators, but it applies to any text-based content you have AI create for you.

AI spouts a lot of nonsense. I’ve had it summarize some of my podcasts and blog posts and it keeps talking about SMART goals, which I never talk about in my content. That’s a whole other topic for another time, but even with the best of prompts, AI often doesn’t generate good, factual advice. You’ll often find it trails off in the weeds too.

I had AI generate a press release for me, but it got its facts all garbled. It said I worked with Mariah Carey or something like that. Now, that would be wonderful, but I will openly admit that I haven’t worked with Carey or any major artist, though I have had a few bigger names on my podcast. The bottom line, the press release was completely unusable – a futile waste of time. I don’t think it would have been that much better with better prompts.”

Improving Your Rank in Google?

“So, if you’re thinking in terms of improving fan or customer experience, offering qualified advice, or whatever your other content goals might be… if you don’t make good stuff, it’s GIGO all over again. Give Google garbage, and it will either de-rank you or ensure your article is nowhere near the first-page result. We already have tools to detect AI-written content, so you can bet Google’s algorithm updates will continually deprioritize low-quality fluff.

Don’t get me wrong. Content can still get you traffic. But most of the long-term benefits come from creating well-researched, definitive resources.

Most of the long-term benefits of content come from creating well-researched, definitive resources. Click To Tweet

So, those trying to rank in Google with content shouldn’t straight copy and paste anything AI apps generate for them. For Search Engine Optimization (SEO), you want to create content that’s helpful. Your content can be experience and observation-based, sure, and it doesn’t all have to be research-backed. But if you’re serving bad advice – which AI is quite indiscriminate in dispensing – you should not expect to get much traffic from your content.

Everyone is blinded by acting fast in favor of crafting masterpieces right now – ironically, the opposite of what stopped perfectionists in the past.”

Practical Applications for Musicians

“AI – or really what we’re currently referring to as ‘AI’ still has its place,” concluded Wiebe. “I use OpenAI’s Playground frequently to generate viral headlines for content, outlines for articles or books, social media posts, and even 30-day content plans. It doesn’t all work, but AI can certainly help with generating ideas you wouldn’t necessarily come up with on your own.

This doesn’t mean I use everything I’m given. Anything I use, I will usually edit. Sometimes I will save stuff for later.

Various AI tools can help artists generate everything from lyrical content to guitar solo ideas. Again, it’s just being mindful of making it your own through editing. Otherwise, it’s kind of like plagiarism of a different kind – plagiarism of the hivemind. Remember, it’s not creating something new, it’s more like taking what exists, putting it in a blender, and grinding it up.

I also love Descript. It’s a godsend for podcasters and content creators more generally. It will generate a transcript for your audio or video content automatically. This is something it does a fair job of. There’s almost always some manual editing work involved, mind you.

It also has an ‘overdub’ feature. Essentially, it will take a sample of your voice and let you type in something that wasn’t originally in the audio and emulate your speech. Again, it does a fair job.

What makes Descript stand out is that you can do just about anything you could think of with your content – editing, media highlights, exporting to various formats like PDF, MP3, or MP4, audiograms, and more.”

Conclusion

Yes, AI has its place, and it can boost your productivity as an artist. But it has its limitations. The quality of what you get is basically proportional to your input. Again, GIGO. If you’re going to use AI at all, you need to be smart in how you use it. And the people who are most knowledgeable in their fields are the ones that will benefit most from it.

Making Your Artistic Ambitions a Reality in 2022

Making Your Artistic Ambitions a Reality in 2022

My mentors always said to me:

You’ve got to plan your work and work your plan.

It’s a rare person who does this. Because many people, often without even realizing, say one thing and do the other.

Integrity and leadership begins with self. No one is going to master your schedule for you. You’ve got to be the one to keep accountable to doing what you say you’re going to do.

Know yourself as your word, and the following steps will help you make all your artistic ambitions a reality in 2022 and beyond. This is the same method I used to accomplish more in nine months than I have in three years.

1. Create Your Unfolding Plan

No, not a plan. An unfolding plan.

And while some might argue that’s little more than semantics, I have personally experienced and observed the difference an unfolding plan can make. The usual rigmarole of setting New Years Resolutions and hoping and praying they will manifest all on their own is a lost cause. If you’re a proponent of laziness and sloth, this article is not for you, and you would be better served with mainstream spiritual shlock.

One of the all-time best-selling authors said:

Begin with the end in mind.

Who was it? Author of 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey. You would not be any worse off reading his volume, paying careful attention to Covey’s quadrants, which are the definitive pillars of personal productivity.

The unfolding plan, as you’ve surely inferred already, begins with the end in mind and is unfolded from there.

How to Set Up Your Unfolding Plan

The basic framework is as follows:

  1. Look three months ahead. What will you have accomplished? Envision it in rich detail, including the celebration party that follows, and write it all down as a done deal (e.g., “we have launched a Grammy Award winning album”).
  2. What will you have accomplished in month one (first milestone) to have gotten the outcome defined in the final step? Write that down.
  3. What will you have accomplished in month two (second milestone) to have gotten the outcome defined in the final step? Write that down.
  4. What are the weekly actions that will support you in reaching your milestones and outcome? Create these actions as promises, requests (of others), and conversations to be had.
  5. Create a space to document your accomplishments, update as you go, and review them often. You will be surprised and amazed at what ultimately gets done.

2. Build Your Team

We’re all lone wolves. Only some are willing to admit it.

We’re all lone wolves. Only some are willing to admit it. Click To Tweet

You will get better results in your endeavors if you allow others to contribute to you and your projects.

Though I’m harping on a point I’ve raised many times already, fundamentally your team can take any form. Not everyone on your team needs to be a paid employee, but ideally, they are personally incentivized.

Today, you have access to:

Once you’ve built your team, hold weekly meetings and ask plenty of questions. Listen to the answers. The ideas you generate together will far surpass anything you can conceivably come up on your own.

Never micromanage. It’s a waste of your time, and it just annoys others when you don’t give them the space and time to fulfill on their promises. Don’t manage people – instead, manage promises and commitments.

And at the risk of sounding trendy, regularly ask “who?” not “how?”

How to Build Your Team

Place a phone call to a prospective team member. Be direct in sharing why you’re calling and what the conversation is going to be about. Share your idea and invite them to contribute. Whether you get a “yes” or “no,” accept the answer graciously. The outcome isn’t as important as the action taken. Keep making calls until you have a team of six.

Always take the time to get into their world and ask what’s important to them. There’s a way to help them get what they want through their participation in your project, and it’s your job to identify how that’s going to work.

3. Move Projects Forward with Urgent Concurrency

I’m an adventurer, looking for answers to the questions of creatives in a variety of niches, fields, and industries. This answer must be credited to author Dan Kennedy, and if you can still get in, a subscription to Magnetic Marketing will stimulate viable actions and enrich your creative endeavors.

“Successful people don’t do one thing, step by step, as we are taught in school,” says Kennedy. “They move multiple projects forward with great urgency.” This discovery was also mentioned in my holiday reflections, and it has been my modus operandi from the moment I heard it.

I run multiple businesses, write daily blog posts, participate in community projects, hold down multiple staff writing and ghostwriting contracts, make music, engage in personal development (I’m currently in a yearlong leadership program), and still have time enough to work out three times per week, keep a social life, and wind down for a couple of hours at the end of each day.

How to Move Projects Forward with Urgency Concurrency

Perfectionism will not serve you well. Learn when something is “good enough” and get used to publishing. The only way to get used to publishing is to publish regularly.

Have a start and end time for every activity in your life. Say, “X project must be done by Y time” and be unreasonable with yourself.

Minimize calls, meetings, and other distractions that might take you away from actioning your plan. Commit to weekly progress with every project.

Also see: How to Move Multiple Projects Forward Powerfully

Additional Resources

We often assume complete freedom and crystal clarity in moving forward with next steps in our artistic career when we haven’t done the hard work of reflecting on the year past and identifying where and why we’re constrained.

If this describes you, you will profit from a read of my Start Your Year the Right Way, in which targeted prompts will guide you through exercises to complete years past so you are free and clear to act now in the present.

Final Thoughts

If you are looking for further guidance on the topic, a perusal of my products and services will serve you. I am always adding new solutions to help creatives just like you, and while I’m not affordable, I am worthwhile. Set yourself up to reach your 2022 objectives with flying colors.

What have you taken on in 2022? What do you intend to accomplish? What structures and systems have you implemented?

This post originally appeared on http://www.davidandrewwiebe.com/ on January 18, 2022.
15 Holiday Reflections to Ring in 2022

15 Holiday Reflections to Ring in 2022

New year is the glittering light to brighten the dream-lined pathway of future. – Munia Khan

And the dream-lined pathway of the future, as I see it, is paved with your holiday reflections.

What follows are the gold nuggets I picked up as I was engaging in my own thinking and reflection time.

1. Do More of What Works & Tap into Trends

For me, this is not a new realization. It is a revisitation, though, of a critical productivity and business-building principle.

Success leaves clues, and content is the trail. If you’ve been publishing for any length of time, you should be able to identify the unicorns among your donkeys.

Success leaves clues, and content is the trail. Click To Tweet

And while exploiting past successes isn’t always obvious, you’re going to squeeze more juice out of boxing up old things in new packaging versus betting on new, untested horses.

As you work on your music this year, seek opportunities to do more of what works, and tie into the zeitgeist as you’re able.

Where I got this: Wolf

Listen to my first podcast discussion with Wolf in episode 262 of The New Music Industry Podcast

2. Successful People Move Multiple Projects Forward with Great Urgency

When I heard these words exit from the mouth of author Dan Kennedy, I felt as though I was being given permission I needed to embrace this behavior.

See, most of us try to do everything step by step, one step at a time, just as school taught us to do. Kennedy contends, though, that successful people categorically don’t exhibit this behavior. They move multiple projects forward with great urgency.

Henceforth, this is my M.O.

Where I got this: Dan Kennedy’s Magnetic Marketing Podcast

Dan Kennedy’s Magnetic Marketing Podcast

3. Don’t Reinvent the Wheel

Here’s another piece of wisdom via Dan Kennedy, and while it sounds trite, I think his exact phrasing was closer to “I’m a prolific creative thief.”

So often, we think the shortcut to winning creatively is being original and unique. But not even The Beatles were 100% innovative.

Templates, frameworks, and swipe files are creative essentials. And modeling others and their successes is a skill we’d all do well to master.

Also see: How to Build Your Dream 100

Where I got this: Dan Kennedy’s Magnetic Marketing Podcast

4. Sell the Same Work Again & Again

Since your compensation relies on making things, when and where possible, take the same work, and repurpose or repackage it. If any part of you thinks this disingenuous, you should know that bloggers like Darren Rowse have had great success bundling up free content and turning it into product.

A blog post can become a series of blog posts. A series of blog posts can turn into an eBook. An eBook can turn into a series of eBooks. A series of eBooks can become a book, and then a course, and so on.

And it doesn’t just work in linear but also in parallel dimensions. For instance, a blog post could form the foundation of multiple tweets, ad copy, a newsletter, a podcast episode, a video, and more.

What you’re reading now will go on my blog, on Medium, and in a future book, at minimum. When and where possible, look for multiple ways to get compensated for the same work.

6 Steps to $1 Million

Where I got this: 6 Steps to $1 Million Dollars by Gordon Pape

5. Don’t Make What You Can Never be Compensated for

I’d heard this before, but this time, it really hit me between the eyes.

I’ve had a few failed launches in my time, especially in the last couple of years. And what I’m seeing now is that a) you need to know your audience, what they will pay for, and how they like to be talked to (direct, indirect, urgent, etc.,) b) even when you have the right product, desperation stinks, and c) sometimes your hard-gotten email list is made up of a bunch of freeloaders.

If you’re creating for fun, that’s a whole other thing. But entrepreneurial endeavors aren’t a walk in the park, and you need to protect your time. If you can’t foresee being paid for it, don’t make it, and if in doubt, take pre-orders to validate its viability.

If you can’t foresee being paid for it, don’t make it. Click To Tweet

Where I got this: 6 Steps to $1 Million Dollars by Gordon Pape

6. Create the Perception of Success

People like to work with those they perceive as successful, and it doesn’t matter much whether that perception was created or imagined. if you can create it, prospects and customers will be more amenable to throwing bigger sums of money your way.

Where I got this: The Ultimate Marketing Plan by Dan Kennedy

7. Build Personal Satisfaction into Everything You do

Dan Kennedy says the idea that you need to set up your business around things you don’t want to do is a misnomer. When and where possible, he says, build personal satisfaction into your business, and put it ahead of profit.

Home court advantage is a real thing, and if you can get people to come to you instead of you having to go to them, it automatically puts you in a position of power, and the psychological effect is a client who is more likely to heed your advice and get results from your guidance.

In every area of your career, it’s worth exploring opportunities to create more satisfaction in your work.

Where I got this: Magnetic Marketing

8. The Less Flexible Time You Have, the More You Accomplish

Some would argue against scheduling to the hilt, but I resonate more with Dan Kennedy’s methodology of scripting one’s day.

There’s a finite amount of time to do everything, and every activity should have a start and end time. And where most people get stuck is in establishing a proper end time for all their activities. When you schedule activity with an end time in mind, you necessarily put more restrictions on yourself and others. You start to say things like, “it will be done by 2:30 PM, because it needs to be done by 2:30 PM.” And you make it so.

Constraints lead to increased productivity when you treat time blocks as a matter of do or die, life or death.

Constraints lead to increased productivity when you treat time blocks as a matter of do or die, life or death. Click To Tweet

Where I got this: Magnetic Marketing

9. The Longer, Harder Way Doesn’t Pay More

There’s a longer, harder way of doing everything. You can start a book from scratch. Or you can draw upon content already created. You can make a new course. Or you can update an old course and make it better. You can seek out inspiration. Or you can create everything from scratch.

But just because you spent more time on something, put more effort into it, thought more about it, doesn’t mean it’s going to pay more. Identify the direct path to achievement before blazing a new trail, especially if your income depends on volume.

Just because you spent more time on something, put more effort into it, thought more about it, doesn’t mean it’s going to pay more. Click To Tweet

Where I got this: Magnetic Marketing

10. Do Something Daily to Bring Fresh Blood into Your Business

Dan Kennedy says you don’t ever want to rely on one channel to bring in new business, even if it is effective. He says he’d rather have you focus on 10 channels that “sort of” work versus one that’s amazing. What I get from this is that one is the most dangerous number in business, and single-source dependency is setting yourself up for disappointment.

One is the most dangerous number in business, and single-source dependency is setting yourself up for disappointment. Click To Tweet

Use many open doors, many funnels, many channels to attract new customers to your music.

Where I got this: Magnetic Marketing

11. You Can’t Make Money Doing Anything Other Than Marketing

You aren’t in the business of  making music. You are in the business of marketing. This paradigm shift is a challenging but ultimately rewarding one. Businesses rely on cash, and cash is only generated with marketing.

Cash is only generated with marketing. Click To Tweet

Where I got this: Magnetic Marketing

12. Appear a Specialist Even if You Aren’t

Specialists tend to command greater income and more respect from their clients. Music careers are challenging enough without inevitable dream stealers and time wasters, and you are better served creating strong positioning in the marketplace, such that people respect you and your advice from first contact (which, by the way, is a commodity if people don’t pay for it).

Where I got this: Magnetic Marketing

13. Do One Thing Daily to Generate New Business

This sounds a lot like an earlier point (see #10), but it’s easy to miss the forest for the trees.

Distill what was said earlier down to its core, and this is where you arrive – take one action, every single day, that helps you generate new business.

This will be a game-changer for you in 2022.

Where I got this: Magnetic Marketing

14. Success is 1/3 Spiritual Connection, 1/3 Talents & Gifts, 1/3 Environment

Feng Shui expert Marie Diamond explains that many successful people reach a point of impasse on the way to the top. They work on their mentality, their spirituality, even their talents and gifts, but they get to a point where there’s no moving forward, and they’re missing just one thing – their environment is not consistent with their commitment.

To create a life harmonious with your goals and dreams, it is necessary to create an environment where you can do your best work. An environment that reminds you of the success you’re creating, not the failures you’ve endured. Everything in your environment affects your subconscious. If you’ve been hitting a wall, it’s time to transform your life by transforming your home or work environment. Eye-opening.

To create a life harmonious with your goals and dreams, it is necessary to create an environment where you can do your best work. Click To Tweet

Where I got this: Use Feng Shui To Become Abundant Today

15. Keep Your Content Fresh

To remain efficient, I have often opted for fast and easy ways of creating content. Set up a couple of spaces for writing, podcasting, and making videos or going live, and share a timely message.

What I learned listening to copywriter Jim Edwards is the importance of keeping things fresh and interesting. There are so many ways to relay a message – rants, lists, reviews, critiques, how-to guides, and more. Not to mention, if you’re making video content, you can vary up your background (filming location), wardrobe, haircut, and more. With every piece of content you create, there are hundreds of variables you can control to drive up engagement.

It’s easy to sacrifice creativity and forethought for efficiency. But is it worth it? If you want to keep things interesting for your audience, keep your content fresh.

If you want to keep things interesting for your audience, keep your content fresh. Click To Tweet

Where I got this: Sales Copywriting and Content Marketing Hacks Podcast

Final Thoughts

How do you like to spend the holiday season?

Did you spend it working on your music or did you take a break?

What content did you consume?

Did you have any realizations of your own?

I would love to hear your thoughts.

This post originally appeared on http://www.davidandrewwiebe.com/ on January 2, 2022.
Nothing Works

Nothing Works

Amid resting, I’ve had a lot of time to think, reflect, and consume content.

I came across Jack Conte’s presentation called Nothing Works recently, and I loved it. It resonates with me.

Everyone has failed. Even the gurus and experts you look up to have failed. Probably more than they’ve succeeded.

This is something that doesn’t get talked about enough.

To be successful, you must be willing to endure failure.

To be successful, you must be willing to endure failure. Click To Tweet

And, as Conte shares, we’ve got to accept that most of what we do won’t work.

Occasionally, we stumble upon an idea that takes off like a unicorn. But it’s a unicorn. It’s rare. It doesn’t happen all the time.

I’m a bit of an archivist. I like the idea of keeping track of the things I’ve done through the years.

And through watching Conte’s presentation, I came to the realization that I’ve mostly been keeping a log of my spectacular failures.

I’m beginning to identify which of those things I would ultimately consider a success – small or large, and they are certainly the exception and not the rule.

I’ve had a few websites I would consider a success…

A YouTube channel that experienced a bit of traction over time…

A book that did decently (I have five books)…

A single that did okay…

At this point, I’m still not exactly sure how many things I would consider a success on any scale, but it’s a dozen things or less to be sure.

And that’s out of the thousands of things I’ve created over the years (including this blog post).

I’m coming to accept that this is par for the course. And it’s okay to try. To experiment. And to fail.

Maybe it’s not so much about the failure lessons after all, even though there can be value in those.

Maybe it’s more about engaging in work that interests and excites you. Getting swept up in the process of doing rather than worrying about outcomes.

I’m going to be embracing the process of experimentation more.

And I hope you do too, because music, creativity, and business can be cruel mistresses that leave your persistence unrewarded. You might even end up giving your all before you realize that a project was doomed from the start, and is doing little more than sucking the life out of you.

There are times to keep going, and times to move on.

There are times to keep going, and times to move on. Click To Tweet

But within the context of what you’re committed to doing right now, try more. Experiment more. You don’t know what’s going to work anymore than anyone else does. Let yourself be free creatively.

Because if you were to track the stats, you’d see that nothing works. Which is every reason to create more.

If you were to track the stats, you'd see that nothing works. Which is every reason to create more. Click To Tweet
How to Start Making Music

How to Start Making Music

Trying to figure out how to start making music?

At the outset, you need to know that there isn’t just ONE WAY to start making music. There are many ways!

But we can break the process down into multiple skillsets. They don’t all need to be handed by you, but you’ll probably want to learn at least one to get started quickly.

Here are the skills that matter most as applied to making music.

Learn an Instrument

Learning to play an instrument will help you reach your goal of making music faster than just about anything else.

Learning to play an instrument will help you reach your goal of making music faster than just about anything else. Click To Tweet

The only catch is that learning to play an instrument takes time. And you will likely feel a stronger connection to one instrument or another but won’t know without spending some time experimenting.

If I were to recommend an instrument to learn, it would either be piano or guitar.

🎹 Piano because everything you learn on the instrument can easily be applied to organ, mellotron, synths, keyboards, MIDI controllers (which you will find in practically every studio), and more.

🎸 Guitar because everything you learn on the instrument can help you on bass, ukulele, mandolin, banjo, bouzouki and more.

The best way to learn an instrument is with the help of a knowledgeable teacher, so if you can afford lessons, begin taking them right away.

Secondarily, you can find a lot of great books, articles, and video tutorials online.

If you’re looking to gain confidence on your instrument and develop the inner skills necessary to improve your “feel” on your instrument, Musical U is a great community and training program to take advantage of.

Learn to Sing

Your voice is uniquely yours. So, learning to sing is a great way to learn how to express yourself.

Your voice is uniquely yours. So, learning to sing is a great way to learn how to express yourself. Click To Tweet

But learning to sing on your own is tough if not impossible.

Some people have natural talent, and that can help, but ultimately, the best singers are those who’ve received training and coaching. So, take lessons, especially if you can afford it.

Singing is a great skill to master, and it’s always in demand, but just know that making music can be difficult if it’s the only skill you have.

We interviewed Matt Ramsey from Ramsey Voice Studio in episode 198 of the podcast, so if you’re looking for someone who can teach you, that’s a good place to start.

Learn to Write Lyrics

There are virtually no rules as applied to writing lyrics.

There are virtually no rules as applied to writing lyrics. Click To Tweet

In my early days, I always found it helpful to listen to music and how one lyric flows into another.

Basically, listen to music widely, especially music you enjoy. You’ll learn a lot by osmosis alone.

That’s the main thing to keep in mind with lyrics – flow. Big words, too many words, and hard-to-pronounce words should mostly be avoided.

Rhyming dictionaries can also be helpful, but don’t get caught up in formula. If it’s easy for you to come up with, chances are someone else has already come up with it!

Study the ins and outs of songwriting and most of all, PRACTICE A LOT! When I was just getting started, I filled multiple binders with terrible lyrics (but I had a lot of fun doing it). I even wrote 365 songs in a year at one point.

Know that lyrical content is always in demand, but it does have its limitations. If you’re planning to learn how to write lyrics first, then be sure to find a friend who can play an instrument, so you can put some music to your poetry!

Learn to Write Songs/Compose

Technically, this isn’t a great jumping off point for learning how to start making music.

If you want to write songs or compose, generally you’ll need to know how to play an instrument first. So, more than likely, you’ll start there before graduating to writing your own songs.

But learning how to read guitar tabs and figuring out how to sight-read can certainly help you get on the right track so far as making music is concerned.

Additionally, you don’t necessarily need to learn all of music theory to figure out how to start making music. That’s good news to anyone who thought this was going to be a long, arduous process!

To this day, I don’t know all of music theory, though I do understand it quite well.

Learn to Produce Music

At some point, you’re probably going to want to record the music you make.

These days, building beats isn’t that hard, but it takes a little bit of technical know-how, just like anything else (like graphic design, for example).

You can easily get started if you have:

How to produce music is beyond the scope of this guide, but it’s fair to say you can find some decent tutorials on YouTube (depending on which DAW you’re using).

Besides learning to play an instrument, this is probably the best way to start making music. You might even be able to start building basic beats before you can play your first chord on guitar.

How to Start Making Music, Next Steps

If you enjoyed the above, then you might also enjoy my eBook, How to Record, Promote & Sell Your New Music Release – Single, EP, or Album.

How to Record, Promote & Sell Your New Music Release – Single, EP, or Album

This eBook covers everything from how to make demos and choose which songs to record, to how to hire session musicians and find a graphic designer to create your album design.

How to Start Making Music, Conclusion

Again, if you’re trying to figure out how to start making music, trying to learn all the above is going to prove overwhelming.

Ideally, you should start with just one thing and take it from there. See if you can find collaborators who have strengths you don’t, and you should be able to leapfrog in your music making efforts.

Most of all, remember to have fun. Music is supposed to be fun, and you’ll learn faster if you think of it as an experiment. Don’t take it too seriously!

Do you have any other questions? Is there anything else we should have covered here?

Let us know in the comments below!

How to Set Ironclad Goals You’ll Follow Through on & Achieve Your Desired Outcomes with

How to Set Ironclad Goals You’ll Follow Through on & Achieve Your Desired Outcomes with

Do you enjoy setting goals?

I know I don’t.

It probably has something to do with the fact that I often didn’t achieve what I wanted to achieve or the fact that it took so much effort to set goals that were SMART, SMARTER, or whatever method you subscribe to.

It’s not as though I didn’t achieve anything by setting goals.

Certainly, I was better off for having set goals than not.

But I found I just wasn’t getting what I wanted to get out of it.

I would easily get derailed.

And, my confidence kept plummeting with every missed goal.

I also had mental blocks that prevented me from getting to where I wanted to go.

But goal-setting isn’t bad.

And, it needs to be done.

So…

Let’s Get Clear on What’s NOT Working

Before I get to the solution, let me tell you where you won’t find the solution:

In your own head.

It’s easier than ever to get stuck in your own mind (because of social media, smartphones and so forth), and that’s truly the last place you want to look.

Your brain has gotten you to where you are, and it’s not capable of taking you where you haven’t been.

Your brain has gotten you to where you are, and it’s not capable of taking you where you haven’t been. Click To Tweet

I’m not suggesting you can’t change.

But unless we’re talking about breakthrough results, I’m not interested.

1) Setting more goals isn’t going to do it.

You’re going to end up spreading yourself too thin.

2) Setting better goals is futile.

It will only give you marginal improvement on your past attempts.

3) Setting different goals is ineffective.

You’re probably just going to end up going off course when you need to stay focused, as I’ve done so many times before.

So, What’s the Solution?

Here’s how you’re going to set ironclad goals you actually follow through on and achieve in 2020 and beyond:

You’re going to join a mastermind group.

What is a mastermind?

It’s a group of people that get together to discuss challenges and obstacles in their business weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly.

I would suggest joining a group of people who are ambitious and care about achieving their own goals.

If they care about achieving their own goals, chances are they’ll care about helping you achieve your goals too.

Your group can be made up entirely of musicians who want to take their career somewhere.

If you want, you could join a mastermind with YouTubers, business owners or freelancers.

Why do I say this is how you’re going to set ironclad goals for 2020?

Because it’s exactly how I did it.

Yes, I have ironclad goals for 2020.

Here’s a photo from a recent mastermind retreat I went to in Silverthorne, CO:

BDG Mastermind

By the way, that’s Greg Wilnau (Musician Monster) and Brent Vaarstra (Learn Jazz Standards) with me.

For two whole days (four days total), we all sat down to flesh out our goals for 2020.

Then we poked holes in each other’s goals.

After that, we each reflected on what we needed to change.

Then, we set our goals once more.

We all tore each other’s goals down one last time.

Then, after our final revisions, we all had goals we were completely happy with.

And, because of this, I’m convinced we’re all going to have an amazing 2020.

Truly, it will be our best year ever.

That’s why you need to get into a mastermind.

You can hear me talk more about the power of mastermind groups (from 07:25) in an interview I recently gave with Robonzo from The Unstarving Musician:

Put it on Overdrive

Now that we’re clear on the value of mastermind groups, I want to be honest with you…

  • It might take a while for you to set up or find a mastermind (it usually does).
  • And, it’s going to take a while to get to know and trust the people in your mastermind (it’s natural).
  • Devastatingly, there’s a chance you’ll read this and not take ANY action (DON’T DO THAT!).
  • Finally, the mastermind might not be enough – even with the accountability that comes from people who are on a similar path, it’s up to you to produce the results you want to produce in your life.

If you don’t act, nothing happens.

So, it’s time to invest in yourself.

If you’re afraid to invest in yourself, then consider this:

The cost of putting off your growth will be much higher than the price you’re going to pay for your education now!

And, it just so happens that I have a low-cost solution.

It’s called Start Your Year the Right Way.

If you don’t already have this workbook, you’re missing out!

You need this book if you intend to make 2020 the best year possible.

It will help you set goals, plan your year, discard your baggage from the past, find inspiration for the year ahead and more.

You can’t afford to miss out on this valuable resource.

The book only costs $15.

And, it will only cost $15 forever.

This is not a limited time offer.

But that doesn’t mean you should put it off another day.

You’ve got to act now.

And, since you’re on Music Entrepreneur HQ, I would expect you to act now.

Get a head start on 2020 by adding this book to your library.

It will make a difference for you.

Start your order by clicking on the image:

Start Your Year the Right Way: Goal-Setting, Planning & Achieving Big in Your Music Entrepreneurship Career

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