With an overwhelming worry of criticism or making mistakes, many musicians are reluctant to try to create new content and release it all on their own. I’m here to tell you that with the limitless amount of help and information available online today, you shouldn’t be afraid of these things. You don’t need a huge budget or a slick record label to create and distribute music that is still cool and professional when compared to the rest of your iTunes library. In fact, there are several advantages to creating and releasing music yourself.
1.) It’s Easier Than Ever
One of the first things I hear from young musicians about why they can’t catch their big break is because everything is too complicated or impossible without the help of a good record label. That’s just not true. There are loads of tutorials available on YouTube and other websites that give you comprehensible solutions to almost any problem you may encounter. You can get a great sound in a shitty room with a little effort.
There are also communities and forums filled with people just like you that will even offer private feedback to any work in progress you have to show. Many times, these places are even home to successful people in the music business who don’t mind helping out the little guys like you, because perhaps a few years ago they were also in your shoes.
2.) No Time Pressure
Without any record label pushing for a release, you can work at your own pace. This can be either a blessing or a curse. But for anyone who adopts the right mindset, it is most certainly a benefit to DIY musicians. Going this route allows you to stay focused on your main work (if you’re a full time employee or student) while leaving it up to you to manage your time and find a few hours here and there to work on your music. If you were able to find maybe 2 hours a week to work on your music, then you could realistically release a song every 1-2 months. Of course this would vary depending on your current skill level in all the different stages of production, but we’ll get to that. It really doesn’t take as much time as you’d think.
3.) Save Money
This is one we’ve been over a few times already. Studio time gets expensive. Artwork gets expensive. All the little details add up. For instance, I personally think it’s ridiculous what many small time mixing engineers charge for a mediocre quality of work nowadays. These guys easily go beyond 100 dollars per song, and that’s just for the mix. Just one aspect of many things you would need to fund.
And the truth is that a lot of these guys barely have more experience than you do. I understand the argument that they need to make a living, but I would also argue that they shouldn’t be entitled to that sort of pay without a complimentary skill level either. Basically what I’m saying is that even many of the small time guys are going to drain your wallet dry for a headache of a result that you probably could have done better yourself.
4.) Gain Experience
Having the experience of releasing a song, EP, or album on your own can really help you assess yourself and where you stand as a musician. You may find that your written parts sound empty on their own, so you’ll have to learn how to play producer and get creative with adding or changing elements that you didn’t think of before. This will help you in the future in the way you write parts to begin with. You may also find that by trying your hand at some of the unfamiliar parts of production, you’ll find something that you actually enjoy or have a knack for. Maybe this will open new doors for you and what you’re passionate about. Worst case, you’ll at least know where your strengths and weaknesses lie, so you can determine a more efficient course of action in the future.
5.) Actually Release Your Music
This is possibly the biggest reason of all to produce your own content. You can actually release the music that you’ve been making excuses for over the past year. You don’t need to rely on anyone else to make that happen for you. You can actually just get it done. I know so many people who will tell me they’re musicians, but then they don’t have any content to show online.
“Well, I have a few ideas recorded… but nothing finished.” Finish those songs! Find out what’s keeping you from uploading it, spend 20 minutes on google searching for a good solution, and then start a plan to release it! You’ll feel better for doing it. Each DIY release will be a learning experience, and you’ll be happier with the result each and every time.
So get out there, and show me what you can do.