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9 Reasons Your Band Isn’t Going Anywhere

9 Reasons Your Band Isn’t Going Anywhere

Most bands start off as hobbies, out of passion. Usually, bands consist of younger people, either teenagers or young adults. In the beginning, it tends to go really well. Band members are relaxed and there are no big issues. Additionally, they don’t really have any expectations and, in this atmosphere, they are able to improve themselves individually and as a band.

However, after some time has passed and you’ve had a couple of shows and maybe even released an album of your own, you start to realize that you are standing in one place and that there is no real progress with the whole band.

This is where a lot of them get stuck and can’t move forward; in some cases, they even fall apart because of the frustration caused by the lack of progress. On the other hand, if you overcome these issues, you will be able to grow both as individual musicians and as a band even further, and maybe even achieve some real success.

Music is an amazing thing and succeeding as a band is worth trying. So, let’s see what the reasons for your stagnation might be and what you should look to improve.

1. Lack of motivation

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    As I mentioned before, most bands are formed out of young members that have a great passion for music. This passion fuels them to work hard and they are motivated to take on whatever comes their way. Additionally, when you get into it, everything is new and you have a constant feeling like something amazing is happening. Even when bad things happen, you see them as useful experiences that can help you in the future, and they can.

    However, now, you might have opened some new chapters in life and you have other responsibilities as well. You cannot focus all of your efforts on your band and, suddenly, people stop being motivated and they start forgetting about your music. If you want to create new music which will be fun for people to listen, you need to think about it constantly.

    Additionally, you have to practice as well. If you are currently stuck in a rut, ideas might start rolling in while you play your instrument. You cannot simply come to rehearsals and think about your band and music only then. To be a great band, you need to invest yourselves in it as much as possible.

    2. You don’t deliver your music as well as you should

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      In the early stages, you probably had a lot of people come up to you and say “hey you played well!” but this doesn’t mean that you’ve done your job. Chances are that those people though you sounded decent, but considering that you are a new, young band, they didn’t expect any better.

      However, as you grow older, people will start to expect that your performance keeps getting better and better. You will get bigger crowds on your shows and there will be more of “those people” that like to stand at back and listen to everything you are playing and say “Aha! He made a mistake there.”

      If you are going to spread a good word about your band, you need to simply destroy each show, no matter how big or small it might be. When you sound perfect on stage, people will recognize it and they will tell others how great you sounded and this might spark their curiosity to look you up online or come to your show next time.

      Since we are talking about your online presence, let’s get to the next step.

      3. Your band doesn’t have an online presence

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        Besides the fact that the most important things about being successful as a band are to deliver great live performances and create amazing music people will enjoy listening to, it is also important that you harness more potential fans through other efforts like promoting your band online. We live in a digital age where people want to find everything online, and this includes music as well.

        A band needs to be active all the time, even when it’s not. In between your shows and during them, you can post various updated online and promote your band. It’s essential to have a website and social media pages. It may seem like something you are not supposed to do, but trust me, if you want to become a famous musician, you too will have to think about the little things like investing in good hosting, hiring someone to design a decent website and working on your branding.

        Only collectors buy CDs today and you cannot rely on them. Instead, you need to make yourselves available online, provide information about your band, show where they can download your songs, post pictures from your recent gigs or rehearsals, etc. In music, marketing is as important as being a good band.

        Your social media and your website are basically free marketing channels and, if you invest some time in managing them, you might open up many opportunities ahead of you.

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        4. Not doing any real band management

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          In the beginning, you all loved playing shows so much that you played all of them. Although this is cool, it might not lead you to become more successful. It’s true what I said that a well-played show might lead to more fans or even some managers approaching you, but you need to play at a show where there are valuable crowds that might find value in what you do. Playing random gigs wherever you get the chance has never brought anything to anyone and you need to stop doing them.

          Trying to play as many shows as possible is not the answer. The better way to is to actually put in effort into getting some better gigs at festivals or try to get a spot as an opening band for some more popular groups.

          In music, it’s all about networking and creating valuable connections with important people who can get you somewhere. Don’t swim against the tide and play the game if you want to achieve something.

          5. Bad stage performance

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            A lot of bands feel like they only have to play well live and do nothing else to leave an impression on the crowd. Well, they are wrong, and if you think like this, you are also wrong. Music is entertainment after all, and you need to, well, entertain people!

            Give them a night to remember, play with passion and find your own style. Nobody wants to watch a couple of senior citizens going on the stage and looking at their instruments during the whole show.

            Move on the stage, jump around, engage the crowd, talk to them directly, and create a connection on each of your shows. Music is supposed to be fun and people come out to shows to have a great time and not analyze how you play (at least most of them). There are a lot of bands who aren’t so good at making music, but they deliver amazing performance and the crowds respond to that.

            In the end, they don’t even care if they didn’t play so well, as long as they had fun.

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            6. No image of your own

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              The image is actually very important for a band. It’s a huge part of your brand. Like it or not, most people will usually check out a band because they look interesting to them. You should look to create an image of your own and adjust it to the type of music you are playing and the audience that listens to this kind of music.

              This can easily be the first step towards attracting someone, and if your music is good, you will gain loyal fans that will support you anywhere. Your image should be consistent with your music and express the things you are trying to say with your music. This will make it easier for people to know what you are all about.

              When a band has no image, it won’t be memorable and fans will quickly forget about you. Additionally, record labels want memorability and they want bands that have a potential to stay known for a while. They pay a lot of attention on how a certain band is perceived with the crowd and, if they see potential, they will go for it.

              7. Bad communication between band members

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                For a band to function properly, there must be good communication between members. A band that communicates well both verbally and musically can create better music, have better relationships, look more appealing, and become a better band overall. Everybody needs to be on the same page and this is how you will achieve your goals over time.

                A band is like a relationship, only here you have more than one partner. Everything that has been left unsaid can cause serious problems in the long run. If someone is not doing their job, others need to let that person know what he or she is doing wrong. There is no room for hard feelings here, as you all must put the well-being of the band first.

                When you listen to each other and create an atmosphere of mutual understandings, you will truly work together on creating unique music which is a product of all band members. This is the key for memorable and ground-breaking music not a lot of bands out there have.

                8. Expecting a lot without investing anything

                We all dream big and hope that someday, we will get a record deal where everything will be taken care of and the only thing you need to focus on is playing. Every band would love to get there, but you must work hard and put in a lot of effort, time, energy, and money, if you are ever to reach that goal. I cannot count how many times my band mates and I had gigs on our own expense and traveled so many miles to end up losing money.

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                If a show is worth it, pay your own expenses to get there, as it will pay off in the long run. Make your own band material such as CDs, t-shirts, flyers, posters, etc. Don’t be scared to invest in your band on your own and spend some of your own money. Nobody likes bands that act like stars and want everything served to them on a silver platter. Even those bands that are famous get a bad reputation for acting cocky.

                If you are too busy with other things in life, consider hiring a manager who will establish important connections and set up gigs for you. This might seem easy, but it’s really not and only people who tried doing this on their own know what I’m talking about.

                9. Lack of professionalism

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                  You might think “well that band plays thrash metal, they don’t care about anything, they just drink and go crazy on stage.” This is not true. Although some bands may appear that way on stage, the reality could be quite different. Stage performances are one thing but the behavior off stage could be quite different.

                  Bands which are not respectful of managers, promoters, crowds, and other bands cannot expect to make it. For example, you should always look to prepare yourself before the show and get on the stage as quickly as you can and when you are done playing, get off the stage as fast as you can without breaking your time on stage.

                  Never trash other bands online or in real life, no matter how bad they might be. You are not accomplishing anything by doing this; you’re only hurting your reputation. The audience is there to decide who they like, not you, and although sometimes it might feel bad to see that some band has a lot more attention than you, it should only serve as a motivating factor.

                  Have a professional attitude and look to work on yourselves instead of focusing on other musicians or other relevant people in the music world.

                  In the end, it’s important that you all set your expectations low, but dream big. Always look on the bright side and focus on the good things that happened. It’s tough for bands out there, no matter what genre we are talking about and, sometimes, even if you play your cards right, you won’t get what you deserve.

                  Still, even if you don’t achieve the glory you dreamed of having, a band can be a great hobby that can get you a decent amount of money and amazing experiences and friendships for life. Rock on!

                  Featured photo credit: https://www.pexels.com/u/picjumbo-com-55570/ via pexels.com

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                  Aleksandar Ilic

                  Blogger, Social Media Butterfly, Guitarist

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                  Last Updated on July 23, 2019

                  Why You Have the Fear of Failure (And How to Conquer It Step-By-Step)

                  Why You Have the Fear of Failure (And How to Conquer It Step-By-Step)

                  Nobody enjoys failing. Fear of failure can be so strong that avoiding failure eclipses the motivation to succeed. Insecurity about doing things incorrectly causes many people to unconsciously sabotage their chances for success.

                  Fear is part of human nature. As an entrepreneur, I faced this same fear. At times, I forgot that who I was wasn’t what I did. My ego and identity became intertwined with my work, and when things didn’t go as planned, I completely shut down. I overcame this unhealthy relationship with fear, and I believe that you can too.

                  Together we’ll examine how you can use failure to your advantage instead of letting it run your life. We’ll look at what a fear of failure is, where it comes from, and how to overcome it so that you can enjoy success in your work and life.

                  What Is Fear of Failure

                  Fear causes you to avoid potentially harmful situations. Fear of failure keeps you from trying, creates self-doubt, stalls progress, and may lead you to go against your morals.

                  What causes fear of failure? Here are the main reasons why fear of failure exists:

                  • Patterns from childhood – Hyper-critical adults cause children to internalize damaging mindsets.[1] They establish ultimatums and fear-based rules.This causes children to feel the constant need to ask for permission and reassurance. They carry this need for validation into adulthood.
                  • Perfectionism – Perfectionism is often at the root of fear of failure.[2] For perfectionists, failure is so terrible and humiliating that they don’t try. Stepping outside your comfort zone becomes terrifying.
                  • Over-personalization – The ego may lead us to over-identify with failures. It’s hard to look beyond failure at things like the quality of the effort, extenuating circumstances, or growth opportunities.[3]
                  • False self-confidence – People with true confidence know they won’t always succeed. A person with fragile self-confidence avoids risks. They’d rather play it safe than try something new.[4]

                  How the Fear of Failure Destroys Success

                  Unhealthy Organization Culture

                  Too many organizations today have cultures of perfection: a set of organizational beliefs that any failure is unacceptable. Only pure, untainted success will do.

                  Imagine the stress and terror in an organization like that. The constant covering up of the smallest blemishes. The wild finger-pointing as everyone tries to shift the blame for the inevitable cock-ups and messes onto someone else. The rapid turnover as people rise high, then fall abruptly from grace. The lying, cheating, falsification of data, and hiding of problems—until they become crises that defy being hidden any longer.

                  Miss out Valuable Opportunities

                  If some people fail to reach a complete answer because of the lure of some early success, many more fail because of their ego-driven commitment to what worked in the past. You often see this with senior people, especially those who made their names by introducing some critical change years ago. They shy away from further innovation, afraid that this time they might fail, diminishing the luster they try to keep around their names from past triumph.

                  Besides, they reason, the success of something new might even prove that those achievements they made in the past weren’t so great after all. Why take the risk when you can hang on to your reputation by doing nothing?

                  Such people are so deeply invested in their egos and the glories of their past that they prefer to set aside opportunities for future glory rather than risk even the possibility of failure.

                  High Achievers Become Losers

                  Every talent contains an opposite that sometimes makes it into a handicap. Successful people like to win and achieve high standards. This can make them so terrified of failure it ruins their lives. When a positive trait, like achievement, becomes too strong in someone’s life, it’s on the way to becoming a major handicap.

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                  Achievement is a powerful value for many successful people. They’ve built their lives on it. They achieve at everything they do: school, college, sports, the arts, hobbies, work. Each fresh achievement adds to the power of the value in their lives.

                  Gradually, failure becomes unthinkable. Maybe they’ve never failed yet in anything that they’ve done, so have no experience of rising above it. Failure becomes the supreme nightmare: a frightful horror they must avoid at any cost.

                  The simplest way to do this is never to take a risk, stick rigidly to what you know you can do, protect your butt, work the longest hours, double and triple check everything and be the most conscientious and conservative person in the universe.

                  If constant hard work, diligence, brutal working schedules and harrying subordinates won’t ward off the possibility of failing, use every other possible means to to keep it away. Falsify numbers, hide anything negative, conceal errors, avoid customer feedback, constantly shift the blame for errors onto anyone too weak to fight back.

                  The problems with ethical standards in major US corporations has, I believe, more to do with fear of failure among long-term high achievers than any criminal intent. Many of those guys at Enron and Arthur Andersen were supreme high-fliers, basking in the flattery of the media. Failure was an impossible prospect, worth doing just about anything to avoid.

                  Loss of Creativity

                  Over-achievers destroy their own peace of mind and the lives of those who work for them. People too attached to “goodness” and morality become self-righteous bigots. Those whose values for building close relationships become unbalanced slide into smothering their friends and family with constant expressions of affection and demands for love in return.

                  Everyone likes to succeed. The problem comes when fear of failure is dominant. When you can no longer accept the inevitability of making mistakes, nor recognize the importance of trial and error in finding the best and most creative solution.

                  The more creative you are, the more errors you are going to make. Get used to it. Deciding to avoid the errors will destroy your creativity too.

                  Balance counts more than you think. Some tartness must season the sweetest dish. A little selfishness is valuable even in the most caring person. And a little failure is essential to preserve everyone’s perspective on success.

                  We hear a lot about being positive. Maybe we also need to recognize that the negative parts of our lives and experience have just as important a role to play in finding success, in work and in life.

                  How to Conquer the Fear of Failure (A Step-By-Step Guide)

                  1. Figure out Where the Fear Comes From

                  Ask yourself what the root cause of your negative belief could be.[5] When you look at the four main causes for a fear of failure, which ones resonate with you?

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                  Write down where you think the fear comes from and try to understand it as an outsider.

                  If it helps, imagine you’re trying to help one of your best friends. Perhaps your fear stems from something that happened in your childhood, or a deep-seated insecurity.

                  Naming the source of the fear takes away some of its power.

                  2. Re-Frame Beliefs About Your Goal

                  Having an all or nothing mentality leaves you with nothing sometimes. Have a clear vision for what you’d like to accomplish but include learning something new in your goal.

                  If you always aim for improvement and learning, you are much less likely to fail.[6]

                  At Pixar, people are actually encouraged to “fail early and fail fast.”[7] They encourage experimentation and innovation so that they can stay on the cutting edge. That mindset involves failure, but as long as they achieve their vision of telling great stories, all the stumbling blocks are just opportunities to grow.

                  3. Learn to Think Positively

                  In many cases, you believe what you tell yourself. Your internal dialogue affects how you react and behave.

                  Our society is obsessed with success, but it’s important to recognize that even the most successful people encounter failure.

                  Walt Disney was once fired from a newspaper because they thought he lacked creativity. He went on to found an animation studio that failed. He never gave up, and now Disney is a household name.

                  Steve Jobs was also once fired from Apple before returning as the face of the company for many years. [8]

                  If Disney and Jobs believed the negative feedback, they wouldn’t have made it.

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                  It’s up to you to notice your negative self talk and identify triggers. Replace negative thoughts with positive facts about yourself and the situation. You’ll be able to create a new mental scripts that you can reach for when you feel negativity creeping in. The voice inside your head has a great effect on what you do.

                  4. Visualize all Potential Outcomes

                  Uncertainty about what will happen next is terrifying. Take time to visualize the possible outcomes of your decision. Think about the best and worst-case scenarios. You’ll feel better if you’ve already had a chance to mentally prepare for what could happen.

                  Fear of the unknown might keep you from taking a new job. Weigh the pros and cons, and imagine potential successes and failures in making such a life-altering decision. Knowing how things could turn out might help you get unstuck.

                  5. Look at the Worst-Case Scenario

                  There are times when the worst case could be absolutely devastating. In many cases, if something bad happens, it won’t be the end of the world.

                  It’s important to define how bad the worst case scenario is in the grand scheme of your life. Sometimes, we give situations more power than they deserve. In most cases, a failure is not permanent.[9]

                  For example, when you start a new business, there’s bound to be a learning curve. You’ll make decisions that don’t pan out, but often that discomfort is temporary. You can change your strategy and rebound. Even in the worst case scenario, if the perceived failure led to the end of that business, it might be the launching point for something new.

                  6. Have a Backup Plan

                  It never hurts to have a backup plan. The last thing you want to do is scramble for a solution when the worst has happened. The old adage is solid wisdom:

                  “Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.”

                  Having a backup plan gives you more confidence to move forward and take calculated risks.

                  Perhaps you’ve applied for a grant to fund an initiative at work. In the worst-case scenario, if you don’t get the grant, are there other ways you could get the funds?

                  There are usually multiple ways to tackle a problem, so having a backup is a great way to reduce anxiety about possible failure.

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                  7. Learn from Whatever Happens

                  Things may not go the way you planned, but that doesn’t automatically mean you’ve failed. Learn from whatever arises.[10] Even a less than ideal situation can be a great opportunity to make changes and grow.

                  “Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn.”

                  Ask yourself:

                  • What did I learn?
                  • How can I grow from this?
                  • Did anything positive come from this situation?

                  Dig deep enough, and you’re bound to find the silver lining. When you’ve learned that “failure” is an opportunity for growth instead of a death sentence, you conquer the fear of failure.

                  Final Thoughts

                  Together we’ve learned what fear of failure is, and how it can have a crippling effect on our ability to achieve. This fear often stems from childhood, perfectionism, ego and over-personalization, and a lack of confidence.

                  Luckily for us, there are plenty of ways to tackle this fear. We can start by figuring out where it comes from and re-framing the way we feel about failure. When failure is a chance for growth, and you’ve looked at all possible outcomes, it’s easier to overcome fear.

                  Stay positive, have a backup plan, and learn from whatever happens. Your failures will be sources of education and inspiration rather than humiliation.

                  “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” – Thomas A. Edison

                  Failures can be blessings in disguise.

                  Go boldly in the direction of your dreams and goals. Don’t allow fear to stand in your way.

                  More About Conquering Fear

                  Featured photo credit: Vecteezy via vecteezy.com

                  Reference

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