10 Musical New Year's Resolutions
by Jonathan Jaeger
1) Learn the classics
Ever feel like you’re so absorbed in your own music creation that you forget about the tunes that started it all? Go back and learn a few classics on the instrument(s) of your choice. They’re great for around the campfire singing or possibly sparking your own creativity for new music.
2) Support local music
Show up to a local show, or if you’re going to see your favorite headliner then show up early to see some local talent. Everyone could use a little support sometimes.
3) Donate to a Kickstarter music project
Help fund someone’s record production or local concert! With your help, they can make their project happen and you can get a CD, concert ticket, or other incentive the band wants to give out. Electronic music group Late Night Alumni recently completed their own Kickstarter.
4) Listen to the whole album
Haven’t listened to a whole album from start to finish recently? We’re all busy, but try to find that artist that you really enjoy and listen to one of their albums all the way through. Sometimes listening to a whole piece of art puts you in a mood where you see things differently.
5) Thank everyone
Have an email list of fans you’ve been neglecting? How about some bloggers that could use a quick ‘thank you’ for covering your work or the work of your favorite artists? Whoever it is, send them a short (or long) thank you for their support of the music scene.
6) Practice everyday
Don’t let a day slip by without practicing. Maybe you can’t fit in two hours today, but you could slip in 15-20 minutes before bed or set your alarm so you can play before leaving your house in the morning. The minutes add up over time.
7) Warm up
Sometimes we get overzealous and don’t warm up properly before playing. For vocalists, this could be dangerous, for those with an instrument, it could be hurtful as well. Don’t forget to warm up every time. Electronic artists might not have the same physical constraints as other musicians, but it can help to get the creative juices flowing to spend a few minutes messing around.
8) Discover ‘The New’
Go out and find a new genre that you’ve never listened to or gave a chance. Try to understand the nuances of the genre. Or if you want to really test your boundaries, find at least one song you like in a genre you normally hate. Maybe you’ll find a new guilty pleasure.
9) Use a new music tool or application
There are hundreds of music apps and tools to help you share, discover, or manage music online. Find a new one and take it for a test run. This year I started using ex.fm to help me aggregate music I listen to from across the web.
10) Network in the physical world
Most artists probably do a fair bit of networking online, but don’t forget to network in real life and make some lasting connections. If you don’t play live much, consider joining a meetup in your area based around the kind of music you like.