It’s a super weird time for everyone and that includes musicians and artists that are used to being on the road, playing shows, and exchanging energy with the crowd. Our tours were all cancelled during the shelter in place/initial lockdown. It left many of us with the blues. No SXSW, no touring, fans disappointed, lots of tour merch printed with cities and dates intended to be sold on the road and then couldn’t be.
Unless you have a huge audience, you probably weren’t able to do the whole drive-in theatre tour either. Plus, that came with a lock of backlash as well. For example, The Chainsmokers faced legal repercussions for doing an outdoor EDM concert that didn’t follow CDC guidelines at all.
So we can’t really play out to audiences right now. And honestly, I don’t think we should just be sitting around, doing nothing, waiting for that day to come. Quite frankly, that day can be a long ways out. So what else can we do? How do we express ourselves as artists how do we connect?
Here’s some simple ideas:
- Virtual Concerts – You can do them on Instagram live, Facebook live, Zoom, YouTube. You can do them for free and gain some new audiences in parts of the world that you wouldn’t normally be able to tour in. You can also charge for online tickets or take venmo donations/tips. Post your merch links while you’re playing. You’d be surprised at how many people want to support artists right now! It’s also very uplifting for fans to hear their favorite artists on live streams right now.
- Write – Use this time that you’re not on the road to come up with more material. Songs, poems, lyrics…
- Practice – You don’t want to get rusty while you’re not on the road. So practice a lot, do zoom concerts, stay able to connect with people so it’s not as awkward and intimidating when you do get to return to the stage.
- Learn a DAW – Pick up Logic, ProTools, Ableton, and learn how to record yourself. I learned this during quarantine and it totally helped me to enhance my songwriting and style. I also worked with samples for the first time on Splice!
- Shoot a Low Budget Music Video – Make it solo or have people send in videos. There’s lots of ways to keep creating content even when we can’t have big crews or sets.
- Release Music – Record singles, release them on YouTube or on Streaming Platforms like Spotify and Apple Music. People are seem to be consuming more digital content than ever. Contribute to the pool and give fans something to look forward to!
- Take Lessons or Give Lessons – Learn something new, teach someone something new. If you’re not on tour you probably have a lot of time right now to learn more about your instrument.
- Learn a Completely New Instrument – Have you always wanted to learn the bass but never found the time? Now’s your time! Guitar Center and other music stores are open. Go pick up a new instrument and learn something new!
- Organize & Rework Some Things – Take some time to organize your songs into computer folders (or physical folders), type up the chords and lyrics, back them up to a hard drive or dropbox, print them out. Bring everything up to date – your website, your biography, your list of shows, all your social media profiles.
- Create a Mailing List – Get your fans to sign up to a mailing list, have incentives, have exclusions, and connect and engage!
NOW IS THE TIME!
Written by Ryan Cassata