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How to Fail as a Singer/Songwriter

Lessons I have experienced and not yet learned from, but you totally should.

By Anomie FatalePublished 6 years ago 2 min read

1. Need a band.

It’s really hard when you can’t just do music accompaniment by yourself because singing/writing is your strong point and playing instruments is not. You have to remember though that for anyone playing with you: it’s their music and time too (unless you or a record label are paying enough to give you the creative control). Still, it’s harder to keep musicians involved that aren’t creatively invested and just feel like human instruments. If you want others involved, you have to be a team player.

2. Have an intimate relationship with your guitarist.

I have done this not once, not twice, but three times. It’s a beautiful, romantic idea to share a love of music and each other while being able to manage time for both. The problem is: ALL RELATIONSHIPS HAVE PROBLEMS. It’s impossible to work through these problems when you’re professionally obligated to be around the person and publicly amiable. The only person I know that this worked out for was my mother. She was a singer in a band for ten years with her husband/guitarist. He died in a drunk driving accident and she never performed again. She became a lawyer instead, then met my father. I think because her love of music was so deeply tied into the marriage it was a different issue though; like how could music ever be the same?

3. Write songs for yourself, not for your listeners.

Yes, music is a great outlet for self-expression and a powerful form of therapy. Unfortunately if the music you write is very personalized, esoteric, and you’re using it as a cryptic audio-diary, people definitely aren’t going to care about it like you do. People connect to music because A) they can relate or give it their own meaning or B) some useful background noise (because they can dance, have sex, clean, and/or do drugs to it).

4. Use a professional studio for the first recording of a song.

Studios are great. It’s a good experience and worth the time and money if you 100 percent know what you are doing and how you want to do it. For a singer/songwriter, that is never going to be the case when you first make a song. Get home recording gear. Practice with it. Get the knowledge of effects; figure out your style for each song before ever going through with official recording and production. Otherwise you’re going to be spending a lot of extra time and money. Lots of making music is just experimenting, that should be done at home or band-mate’s garage. Record the experiments.

5. Be down on yourself for making mistakes.

Every successful artist has done something wrong. Sometimes it’s more up to the universe to work it out than it is for you. Just be true to yourself and whatever you’re doing, make sure it’s fulfilling and enjoyable. Work on professionalism and skill, but also don’t hate yourself just because you’re a hopeless romantic/creative/ADD screw-up.

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About the Creator

Anomie Fatale

Musician. Mannequin. Medical Experiment.

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    Anomie FataleWritten by Anomie Fatale

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