It’s the first day of Spring, apparently. I’m curled up with my current notebook on a dark chocolate coloured sofa, peering out at the grey snowbanks that line the streets. I’ll settle with a stock photo for now, because I’m already in the spring mindset. By that, I mean, ready for some changes that lead to the better. This list is called “17 Musician Resolutions for Spring 2017” – I didn’t just make it for myself, so feel free to join in, and add your own in the comments after!
1- I will attend more local concerts I’m not performing in.
The cool musicians in town aren’t the ones who always leave after their open stage set because they’re bored, or lean moodily in the corner while another band is playing. They’re in the centre of the action – cheering from the front row, dancing, encouraging less experienced artists to go up and sing a song they wrote. While we aren’t trying to seem rude or anything, sometimes life gets in the way – we’re practicing, have school, work or family, commitments, and it’s a lot easier to stay home and watch Netflix than to support the industry we’re part of. So, here’s number one. Let’s go see some live music in town!
2- I will answer every social media comment I receive personally.
Music is about making people feel something. Social media interaction is about making people feel special. Replying to your fans and complimenting people back in your genuine style is an easy way to do that. Bonus: social media algorithms love comments and replies, and will reward your post by making it show up on more users’ radars.
3- I will learn a new cover song every month.
It’s an easy habit to get into; most songs with lyrics + charts on Ultimate Guitar only have four chords anyway. If you’re ever under-time at a gig and need one more song that everyone will know, you will be prepared.
4- I will (finally) get around to organizing those business cards.
You know the ones that are still at the bottom of that gig bag? Or in your wallet? It’s time to sort through and organize them by what these people do, where you met, and how you can help them. Then, go follow up by email!
5- I will explore three different styles of music I’m not very familiar with.
We all have friends who can introduce us to new music. Let’s go and extend our horizons, even if we decide in the end that particular classic album was not for us.
6- I will proudly cheer on my friends’ successes, without losing confidence in my own.
I, personally, have spent far too much time being jealous and insecure around my talented musician friends than I should have in the past. The fact is that we’re all different, with our own niche to carve out in the industry and the world. So, let’s celebrate and be proud of having such esteemed people at our parties.
7- I will refine my accounting system, and keep track of my gig money better.
It’s something a lot of us struggle with. Let’s try our best, shall we?
8- I will eat healthier.
This isn’t just for that musician friend we all have who lives off yesterday’s pizza and pub fare. Eat your greens and drink your water.
9- I will take better care of my instruments.
On the topic of taking care of oneself, we’ve also got the instruments. Vocalists – sip that herbal tea like a BO$$. Everyone else – polish, re-string and give check up’s to the entire instrument family like champions.
10- I will buy from more local businesses, and get to know their owners and employees.
Local supports local. Go down to the market and explore every mom-and-pop shop open! Introduce yourself! You never know what could lead from that.
11- I will teach myself a new party trick or joke, even if I can’t perform it onstage.
Be a Renaissance artist – one who is skilled in multiple disciplines. We’re in the business of music and personality. Time to let that second one shine through.
12- I will let go of those who have done me wrong.
This one I feel I especially need. I fear becoming the person constantly raging about a venue who underpaid or a business partnership that collapsed. It’s one thing to learn a lesson and warn your friends. It’s another to hold onto poison, expecting the other party to suffer.
13- I will go out and make a new friend or connection at least every month.
Our network can never be too large. Let’s go say hi!
14- I will organize a calendar of grant/festival/awards applications’ deadlines.
Adding the requirements needed under the date is a good idea too. You don’t want to forget to nominate your art for a major award, or miss that festival application.
15- I will try writing songs in a new physical environment.
Shake things up! If you normally write on your living room sofa, go to your backyard, now that the weather is nice. If you normally write alone, try pairing up for a co-write. It never hurts to get creative with your regular creative process.
16- I will learn to accept myself for who I am, while always seeking to improve.
There are some things about ourselves we can’t change, and are going to have to love. It’s a long process, but the sooner we start, the sooner we get there, while always adding new skills to the ride.
17- I will subscribe to the Pop of Colour newsletter.
It doesn’t hurt to stay on top of what’s going on in the music industry.
18- I will deliver more than promised.
Be that person who goes above and beyond when it comes to returning favours, or helping someone out. Speaking of going above and beyond… Read those bullet numbers again 😉