Technical Hitches And Things To Avoid As A Singer-Songwriter
Technical hitches and things to avoid as a singer-songwriter
A Guest Post by Rowen Bridler
This week I was all set to give you a video of my interview with a fitness expert who would convince you all to make sure you exercise, because, quite frankly, as a singer or actor you need to be fit. If only to have the strength to deal with the multitude of ‘personalities’ and ‘difficulties’ you may encounter…
But then YouTube decided it didn’t like my quicktime file which is what I end up with from recording Skype calls. I was so chuffed that I’d worked out how to edit it as well, but to no avail. So I’ll see if I can fix the problem for next time.
However, this gives me the perfect opportunity to tell you about some unrelated other news. I don’t often talk about my own music work as part of the resources on this site. That’s mainly because I want this site to be about how I can help YOU. It’s not meant as a self-promotion vehicle. And I also don’t want to be one of those vocal coaches who make themselves the star and pose with Simon Cowell. (God forbid.) I’m happy to help someone audition for X Factor if that’s what they want to do, but the work we would do towards something like that is not about posing and celebrity hob-nobbing. It’s about the simple techniques you need to hone in on to be clear which parts of a song are causing you trouble and how to fix it, quickly and efficiently. Having looked at a few other vocal teachers’ sites, I got really clear about what makes my teaching different. And it’s that ‘no flashiness’ idea. I re-wrote the blurb on the home page to reflect that, which you can read here.
Similarly, sharing from personal experience, having a career as a singer in today’s music industry isn’t about posing in cool music videos and having the latest keyboard/recording software/sunglasses. The music industry has gone through a lot of changes and it’s become necessary for musicians and singers to utilise the internet like a business owner. You need to clarify what your brand is, who precisely your audience is and what they use your music for. Are you an artist like Lady Gaga who writes for people wanting some great pop tunes to get dressed to before going out and who is the oddity in their peer group and therefore needs that reassurance that it’s ok to be different? Or are your songs about soothing people who are just lying on their bed at home on their own and thinking? Or are your songs about just dancing and having fun? The need to be clear about your brand and not stray from that either musically or in the promotional posts you make on social media has become paramount because these days you cannot be the mysterious artist no-one can get to know, anymore. You have to talk directly to your fans. And in order to do that, you need to know who you’re talking to.
If you post on Facebook about your trip to the hairdresser’s when your fans are 25 year old men who love death metal and Marilyn Manson fashion sense, then you’re mismatching your promo with your music’s audience. And you are better off being really specific about that audience instead of saying, ‘I want to reach out to everyone’ because it’s great if people hate you. Write-off a particular area of potential audience and you re-affirm that the type of fan you really want has come to the right place. I might like Nine Inch Nails’ music too, but I’m definitely not Trent Reznor’s target audience. And that’s ok, because those who are, LOVE him. I just kind of like his songs.
So if you are a 28 year old woman who’s seen a few hard times, is struggling to overcome a severe lack of support and wants to do something outrageously different to what your family, peers and co-workers are doing and who is looking for a Dr. House-like dry humour with which to shake the hardship off and overcome all that stuff, then you might like my songs. And if so, you would do well to sign-up here, because not only will you get a free song for your trouble, but it’s where all the ground-breaking, independent strong woman stuff is going on and you’ll find a home there.
And that’s the end of my one post that mentions my other work quite so blatantly.
Have you had difficulty promoting your own work as a singer-songwriter? Do you often struggle to be clear on who your target audience is and how to best reach out to them? Leave a comment in the box below to tell us how you feel about the music industry and how to successfully sell your music in today’s market.
Rowen Bridler is a singer-songwriter, actress and voice coach. She lives in Prague in the Czech Republic but works with clients all over the globe via Skype. She specialises in coaching actors and singers with an issue with a song or speech that needs fixing, or a performance to prepare for, using simple and systematic techniques to target problem areas quickly. She is currently working on a Danish film,’1864′, where she plays Johanna von Bismarck, speaking in German. She has a ‘minisongs’ series of short 15 second videos of her own songs on Tout, which she releases every Friday. In her spare time, she can be found wearing Cookie Monster t-shirts and pearls and reading old copies of Vogue.