For many artists, finding their ideal fan and learning to cultivate that relationship in a way that’s authentic can feel a little overwhelming. While there are many ways to do this, some of which we’ve outlined in past articles, today we wanted to explore a tool that has made fan growth a priority for the last decade or so via analytics and industry-wide insights — enter, Next Big Sound.

Frances Katz began her career writing about MTV and Napster. Now she writes about technology, music, business, and culture for a variety of publications including The Week, The Atlantic, Paste, The New York Times, Ploughshares, and others. She lives in Atlanta, but you can keep up with her on Twitter.

I’ve learned this tip from experience. I’ve compared myself to other more successful (“better”) musicians and gone into a deep hole. The type of hole where I’m discouraged all day and don’t get very much done at all. So instead of wishing you had some other musician’s success or opportunities, put your blinders on and remember that you are you. Your story of success will look different than every other artist’s.

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This attention to detail only serves to dress the context that much closer so that we become invested in the drama with little to no restraint. We’re invited to take part in the world of the film’s fictional band, The Wonders.

Make sure you at least understand and consider maintaining and registering publishing ownership when you let others use your beat. Otherwise, you run the risk of making the beat to a song but never getting properly paid for it. Consider further that it is very easy to distribute your music as a standalone product. People like instrumentals, too. Spotify recognizes when listeners like your music and will help you find your listener base, algorithmically if not personally.

The building block of serialism is the 12-tone “row” in which all chromatic notes are articulated in an order chosen by the composer. The row can then be developed in several different ways. For example, inversion flips the vertical structure of the row (an inverted row will descend if it ascended before); retrograde motion plays the row in reverse.

There’s something else important to realize about this: You don’t necessarily need an expensive coach or trainer to give you feedback. Often you provide yourself with the most important feedback. Here’s a great paragraph from Dr. Ericsson, referencing someone who was trying to learn how to memorize ever-longer strings of numbers:

During this program, the initial conversations with your mentor allow you to articulate your targets and then make them explicit through your Learning Plan. You don’t have to adjust to generic goals — you’re setting your own objectives with your mentor.

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It’s worth investing time developing a melody that allows your lyrical idea to fully register with the audience. So how do you write a tune that folks can remember irrespective of the lyrics? One that you can play as well as sing, one that is immediately recognizable covered by any one of a glockenspiel band, a choir, a bagpipe, or a thumb piano?

Sure, watching your play count and “likes” totals go up feels good, but how do you analyze how and why they went up so you can create meaningful progress?

This autumn, we’re launching a brand new mentored online course teaching you how to get your home-recorded vocals sounding like the pros, check it out!

That means no initial investment is needed, there’s no financial risk, no obligation (they can use their own partners), and artists and label keep 100% control over their intellectual property!

Touring is great. But it can very quickly turn into exhaustive, monotonous work. Here are 10 great tips to keep things interesting and fun on the road.