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  • Things I’ve Learned from Independent Authors as a Musician | TJR

    Hey everyone! Welcome to the latest episode of Teen Jazz Radio! Summer is halfway over, so I hope that you’ve been making good use of your extra time to fit in a bit more practice or songwriting. I’m Shannon Kennedy, your host and I’d like to thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to listen to our show and to the fantastic young artists we feature as part of each episode.

    Today on Teen Jazz Radio I’m going to discuss how we, as musicians, can look to other vocations for inspiration on a variety of things – the day to day tasks, marketing and more. In this episode I’m going to take a look at independent authors in particular, what they’re doing and how we can apply it to music.

    Also in this episode, I’m also going to feature the music of Nick Colionne, Paul Taylor, Terje Lie, Tim Owens, U-Nam, and Vernon Neilly.

    As I mention at the beginning of each episode, I know that many of you are listening to this podcast for different reasons – some of you may be here for the advice offered as part of this episode and some of you may be listening to check out the music we feature as part of the show. So, as I mentioned in the last episode, I’m going to try and space the music and the advice out evenly throughout the podcast so that there’s a little something for everyone.

    So, before we dive into today’s tips, let’s check out our first music set. This week I’d like to introduce you to guitar player Nick Colionne and saxophonist Paul Taylor. The first song you’ll hear is Keepin’ it Cool by Nick Colionne from Keepin It Cool and second I’m going to feature Velvet Rope by Paul Taylor from Undercover.

    Once again, the first track was Nick Colionne from Keepin’ It Cool. And after that was Paul Taylor with Velvet Rope. You can find more information about Nick Colionne at nickcolionne.com and Paul Taylor at paultaylorsax.com.

    “If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot. There’s no way around these two things that I’m aware of, no shortcut.” Steven King, On Writing, p. 145

    I love that quote from Steven King and I believe the same can be said for music. If you want to be a musician, there are two things you must do: listen a lot and play a lot. Or if you want to be a songwriter: listen a lot and write a lot. As he said, there’s not way around doing those two things.

    So why I am talking about advice from a writer to other writers?

    I think that as a musician, or in any field really, there’s a lot to learn from observing other comparable industries. Like musicians, many writers have been turning towards the independent route as a viable means of establishing a career doing what they love and much of what they do can teach us, as musicians, something.

    Brainstorming and Working With Your Audience to Create Great Content

    Before I get into the first point, I want to make sure you understand that when I say “content,” I’m talking about your music regardless of what form it’s in – audio, live performance, video, etc.

    The first step to creating successful content, is to come up with ideas for the content itself. During this phase, brainstorming, feedback is critical. It’s not enough to play your new song for mom and dad and then expect it to be a success just because they liked it. You need outside, unbiased feedback (sorry Moms and Dads – that doesn’t mean we don’t value your opinions, it’s just that we need a diverse collection of them to make the most informed choices).

    So how do writers do this?

    Independent (and sometimes even “signed” writers) often blog as a way to help find usable ideas, get to know their audience, develop their personal writing style, and get feedback on their writing (both on the blog and in their published works).

    Musicians, like writers, can also blog to get to know their audience, but there are tons of other tools we can use to do the same sorts of things. So if writing isn’t your thing, that’s not a problem.

    Youtube, for one, is a great way to post videos of live performances or even rough recordings of new songs to find out what your audience and peers think. It’s a great way to get feedback on your songwriting, your performance, etc. and there’s a nice variety of ways that you can use Youtube to not only get in touch with listeners, but to promote your music as well.

    With Youtube you can create a video tour diary, give music fans a behind the scenes look, share “acoustic” versions of songs, live performances, music videos, and more.

    If you’re in the process of putting together an album, you can see what music of yours your friends and fans enjoy and this can be incredibly useful when you’re selecting songs for an album or when you’re in the songwriting phase.

    You can also use the statistics on past album and single sales (if you have any at this point) to see what works and what doesn’t. Which tracks are the most popular? Which were the least popular? Figure out what you did that worked and what didn’t and then focus on what’s working for you.

    Soundcloud is another great way to share your music with your audience as is Bandcamp. Soundcloud allows you to post clips or entire tracks and listeners can add comments that link to certain sections of a song. Bandcamp is an online music distributor that allows your fans to listen to your music and even purchase it. They also provide you with insightful stats such as how many plays you’ve received, where they originate (through a widget or the site directly), how many times a track was skipped and even if it was listened to partially or all the way through.

    Instagram is a fun way to share behind the scenes photos with your audience. As is Facebook. I could probably spend an entire podcast on how to use each social media tool to promote and share your music, but that’s already been done several times over, so I’ll let you do a bit of research and explore some of that yourself if you’re really interested. There are posts on Facebook and Twitter promotion on Teen Jazz, so I’ll include links to those with the transcription of this post.

    So to sum this first section up, when brainstorming and developing ideas, you basically need three things: a way to capture your ideas whether that be video, live performance, or recording; a way to share your ideas (a platform such as a venue, Youtube, Soundcloud, Facebook, whatever); and a way to collect feedback.

    Our second set of music for today’s show is going to feature Terje Lie and Tim Owens. The first song you’ll hear is So Retro by Terje Lie from the album Urban Vacation and second I’m going to feature Somethin 4 My Soul by Tim TiO Owens from Realife.

    Once again, that was Tim Owens with Somethin 4 My Soul and before that was Terje Lie with So Retro. You can find more information about Terje Lie (“Terry Lee”) terjelie.com and Tim Owens at tiomusic.us.

    Focus on the things that you do that sell

    Opportunities that pay are the things you should focus on first, the rest can come when you have time left over. What do you record or perform that interests your audience? That is what will keep opportunities knocking at your door. If you create music just because you want to create it and not because people want to listen to it, you may never turn music into a viable career. In this case, it might only ever be a hobby that brings in a little bit of money. Is that what you want for your music?

    Now, to be clear, I’m not suggesting that you sell out. Not by any stretch. There are things that you are doing, that you enjoy doing that can be monetized and there’s no reason to do something you dislike to make money. It’s a matter of finding a way to make the music you love make money. This is definitely an art, but if you want people to pay attention and make money for what you do, pay attention to the things you do that people connect with and focus on them.

    How do writers do this?

    They blog. As I mentioned before, blogging gives writer’s a way to connect with their audience and get feedback. Part of this gives them insight into what they’re doing that works and what doesn’t.

    As a musician, this is where posting your music and performances really come in handy as I said earlier. You can put your stuff out there and see what works and what doesn’t, just like writers do with their blogs.

    Another thing that some writers do, is that they offer free copies of their books before release to a select group of readers or their mailing lists in exchange for free feedback and reviews. The same can be done when we’re getting to release an album and this is also a great way to pull off a successful album launch.

    Be consistent

    This is a point that I make almost every time I discuss content creation. I’ll link to a few posts where I talk about it more in depth, but I want to mention it again here in today’s podcast.
    + Practice Tips
    + Paralyzed by Perfection: Why the Single Release Model Can Help You Keep Moving

    You need to deliver consistent content. In little ways, your audience relies on you and your clients (people who hire you) rely on you for consistent releases and performances. If you stop releasing music regularly, your audience is going to look elsewhere for something new. If you show up for gigs and don’t perform consistently (meaning the quality of your performance varies too greatly), they’re going to bring in someone else who can do a great job every time.

    How do writers do this? They write everyday, even when they don’t feel like it.

    Make a commitment to your art. Practice regularly. Write regularly. Record regularly. Consistency leads to improved output, it’s something that builds slowly over time. You’ll grow with your audience and with your opportunities. You just need to be willing to put in the day-to-day effort to get there.

    Some days it may be easier to write or practice than others. I can tell you from personal experience that there are days it feels impossible and quite miserable, but you can’t rely on outside sources for inspiration or motivation. Inspiration comes from your consistent, hard work. You can’t expect to pull off a brilliant performance or release a number one hit single if you aren’t putting in the effort on a regular basis behind the scenes.

    Yes, there may be times where something magical happens and you succeed effortlessly, but that’s only because you put in the work at some point. You can’t expect to write an amazing song if you’ve never written a song before and you can’t expect to play an epic jazz solo if you’ve never picked up an instrument or improvised.

    Consistency helps build confidence which is the next thing you need to succeed.

    Daily practice or daily songwriting allow your output to be of a higher and more consistent quality (yes there are always exceptions and bad days and horrible songs that make you wonder what happened). But if you’re putting in the work regularly, it’ll show and it will make you feel more confident about your playing or songwriting. This confidence, in turn, makes it easier to sit down and write or go perform in high pressure situations because you know you’ll do well.

    I also want to point out that confident and egotistical are not the same things. There’s knowing you can do something and being overly certain in a way that can come across as quite obnoxious (especially if one of those bad days happens to show up). Learn to differentiate between the two and make a point not to cross that line!

    Writers and musicians both have the same fears – they worry about not being good enough, about running out of inspiration or ideas, not meeting expectations and of failure in general. These can hold us back, but you have to try to push through them. Music is something you’ll spend your life working on and getting better at, it’s something that doesn’t have a defined end. You may never feel like you’ve “arrived” and know that it’s okay.

    These fears don’t disappear with time, but they do lessen. Try to work through them and not against them. You’ll only burnout and get frustrated if you’re constantly fighting yourself. Try to focus on when others connect with your work (which is usually more often than when they don’t if you’re doing it right).

    Our last set of music for today’s show is going to feature Vernon Neilly and U-Nam. The first song you’ll hear is I Was Made to Love You by Vernon Neilly from A Tribute To Stevie Wonder and second I’m going to feature C’est Le Funk (feat. Nivo Deux) by U-Nam.

    Once again, that was U-Nam with C’est le Funk and before that was Vernon Neilly with I Was Made to Love You. You can find more information about U-Nam at unammusic.com or in our interview with him on Teen Jazz and Vernon Neilly is at vernonneilly.com.

    Before I close out the show, I’d like to invite you all to check out Teen Jazz if you’re interested in learning more about me, Shannon Kennedy or the community. As I just mentioned it’s TeenJazz.com.

    Or if you just would like to say hello, come and say hi at our Facebook page – that’s facebook.com/teenjazz. I promise to say hello back!

    All the links that I’ve mentioned as part of the show will be up on Teen Jazz and Teen Jazz Radio, so if you’re interested in learning more about these talented artists, please stop on by – I know they’ll appreciate the love! You can leave comments on any of our posts at TeenJazzRadio.com.

    A very special thanks to Jazz and Bossa Radio for featuring Teen Jazz Radio on their web radio station. We recently partnered with them back in May to share our artists with a wider audience and we are excited to have joined the Jazz and Bossa Radio family. You can visit them at jazzandbossaradio.com. All of our Teen Jazz Radio podcasts are featured over at Jazz and Bossa Radio on Sundays at 3pm EST and on Wednesdays at 5pm EST.

    And last but not least, we appreciate your iTunes reviews! If you’ve enjoyed our podcast, please help us get noticed on iTunes by writing us a review. Let us know if you’ve found our podcast valuable or if you’ve enjoyed some of the music we’ve featured as part of the show. We’re so very thankful for those of you who have gone in and taken the time to write us reviews for Teen Jazz Radio.

    Thank you again for tuning in the Teen Jazz Radio podcast from TeenJazzRadio.com.

    In this week’s episode, you heard the music of:

    July 20, 2014 • Music and Career Advice, Podcasts • Views: 1647

  • Balancing the Creative and Business Aspects of Your Music Career Pt II

    Hey everyone! Welcome to the latest episode of Teen Jazz Radio! For those of you in the US, I hope you all enjoyed a little bit of time off for Fourth of July Weekend! I’m Shannon Kennedy, your host and I’d like to thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to listen to our show and to the fantastic young artists we feature as part of each episode.

    Today on Teen Jazz Radio I’m going to continue a conversation on managing the two most important aspects of a career in music – the music and the business. We’ve already started the discussion on this very topic over at Teen Jazz with an article called “Balancing the Business and Creative Aspects of Music,” and of course, we’ll include a link over at Teen Jazz with this episode’s transcription, but I wanted to elaborate a bit further.

    Also in this episode, I’m also going to feature the music of Althea Rene, Dan Higgins, Drew Simpson, Franck Sitbon, Christian Hernandez, and Nivo Deux.

    As I mention at the beginning of each episode, I know that many of you are listening to this podcast for different reasons – some of you may be here for the advice offered as part of this episode and some of you may be listening to check out the music we feature as part of the show. So, as I mentioned in the last episode, I’m going to try and space the music and the advice out evenly throughout the podcast so that there’s a little something for everyone.

    So, before we dive into today’s tips, let’s check out our first music set. This week I’d like to introduce you to flute player Althea Rene and Dan Higgins. The first song you’ll hear is More Than You Know by Althea Rene from In The Moment and second I’m going to feature Don’t Back Down by Dan Higgins from City Side.

    Once again, the first track was Althea Rene with More Than You Know. We recently posted our interview with Althea up on Teen Jazz, so we will include a link to that in the transcription of today’s emission as well. And after that was Dan Higgins with Don’t Back Down. You can find more information about Althea Rene at althearene.com and Dan Higgins at danhiggins.net. We also interviewed Dan Higgins, and you can read that on Teen Jazz as well.

    Alright, so let’s talk about balancing the business and creative aspects of your career.

    As independent musicians, we quite often find ourselves fulfilling the duties of several roles and each requires us to develop a wide range of skill sets. These duties, at a company or record label, for example, would usually be completed by entire teams of people, but as independent artists, we’re left to complete them on our own. And the unfortunate reality is that any time we spend working on those tasks is time we take away from our craft – our songwriting, our production, our practice, and so on.

    The problem is, for most of us, there isn’t another option. We have to learn to balance the business and creative aspects of our careers ourselves.

    Finding this balance is a problem that most musicians face and although, as I mentioned earlier, we’ve already started to discuss finding a balance on Teen Jazz before, I wanted to bring back into the conversation.

    So how do you start to find a balance?

    First, you have to:

    Figure out what you want

    Finding time to balance both the business and creative aspects of your career is not always easy, but it isn’t impossible. If you go at it each day with a plan, an idea of how much time you want to set aside for each, the two sides of music are much easier to tackle, even when and if other things come up.

    As I said in a podcast I did with MusicMarketing.com a few months back, I don’t think that there is any one right way to find a balance. It’s going to be different for everyone and it’s going to be different each day you go at it, but starting with a plan will help you accomplish a lot.

    One day you may find you need to dedicate a few hours to practice or writing and only a quick ten minutes to marketing while the next you only need to practice for a short time and focus on sending out an email blast or contacting radio stations about your new release.

    So how do you decide how much time you need to allot to each?

    The first step is to figure out exactly what you need or want to accomplish in the near and distant future. What are your overall goals?

    Do you want to be a songwriter, jazz performer or orchestra musician? What about a film composer? First, figure out what skills you need to succeed in the role you are aiming for.

    If you want to be a songwriter, you should have at least some skill as either a keyboard player or guitarist. You should also study lyric writing, harmony/theory, etc. If you want to be a jazz performer, you need to play an instrument or sing, obviously, have an understanding of improvisation techniques, be familiar with the standard repertoire, etc. And so on for the other options I mentioned before. The time you spend on the creative aspects of your career need to focus on developing these things.

    The next step, once you’ve figured out what you want to do is to figure out how you want to do it and promote it. Do you want to produce a music video? Do you want to put out a new album? Or do you want to go on tour?

    Once you figure out what your long term and near future goals are, you can figure out the steps you need to take to accomplish them and what you’ll need to do on a daily basis to achieve them. Write them out so that you have a clear picture of what you need to do so that you don’t go at it randomly.

    So let’s pick an example, because for any goal there’s going to be both music and business steps to take. Okay, so something specific, maybe like putting out an album.

    An album is a perfect example because it has numerous elements that take you from the creative to the business aspects of your career on a regular basis. So, some of the creative aspects would be things like [the examples below] while some of the business tasks are [the examples below].

    Creative Business
    Learn your instrument at a high enough level to record an album Write a press release announcing the album
    Write the songs & lyrics Coordinate radio promotion for the single/album
    Learn the songs at a studio-ready level Send out email blasts, social updates, etc. to fans to let them know about the album. In other words, build buzz surrounding the album release.
    Rehearse the songs with the band Do interviews surrounding the release of the album
    Record and produce the album Plan a CD release party
    Practice, rehearse and memorize the music for the CD release Figure out how you’re going to have the album mixed, mastered and manufactured

    Of course, those are just a few of the things that you need to complete to finish an album, and if you’re really interested in learning more about that particular process, we have a great guide and workbook available at adviceformusicians.com.

    So, once you figure out what your goals are, in this case releasing an album, and what you hope to accomplish in the near future, you can create weekly and daily tasks that keep you and your business moving. So the overall goal is the album itself. The daily goals may be to finish writing, to record certain instruments, to work on the arrangements, to finish lyrics, to do a photoshoot, etc. You can write songs and develop their arrangements a little bit everyday. A weekly task could be updating your fan base about the progress of the project via Facebook, email, your blog, Twitter, etc. So you can see how a big project can be broken down into digestible and more accomplishable tasks and the overall goal no longer seems daunting.

    When you’re working on a project or touring, sometimes it can be hard to step out of it to reach out to fans and music business reps, but you have to find a way to maintain any momentum your business has going for it by keeping in touch. You cannot just focus on the creative process (as much as we would like to). When you’re plugged in to a project and really dedicated to creating it, it can be hard to pull yourself away and do other things, but it’s important to find a balance and make time for other tasks.

    One of the suggestions David Hooper from Musicmarketing.com had in the podcast I briefly mentioned earlier was to schedule different tasks at different times of the day so that you could mentally prepare for them and “switch modes” more easily. I think that this can be a great method, but don’t worry about it too much. Sometimes things may come up and your routine gets thrown for a loop. The most important thing is to be as flexible as you can while staying on track with what you need to accomplish. And don’t get too carried away with planning and checklists and things like that. Those are big time wasters and it’s easy to get lost in the planning and never get to the execution stages of a process, particularly when there’s tasks involved that you don’t particularly like doing (procrastination anyone?).

    Our second set of music for today’s show is going to feature Christian Hernandez and Nivo Deux. The first song you’ll hear is The Drop by Christian Hernandez from the album 5 For 5 and second I’m going to feature Culture Shock by Nivo Deux from Open Beta – EP.

    Once again, that was Nivo Deux with Culture Shock and before that was Christian Hernandez with The Drop. You can find more information about Christian Hernandez at christianhernandezmusic.com and Nivo Deux is at nivodeux.com.

    The second thing you need to consider when trying to balance your music career is that you can always:

    Divide and Conquer

    It’s easy to get distracted with all the different hats we wear as musicians, so prioritizing the work you need to get done helps quite a bit. The easiest way to do this is by dividing your tasks into different categories. As far as business goes, I suggest:

    1. Revenue Generating Tasks – gigs, digital downloads, sending out emails to concert promoters, doing research on venues that are looking for music, or sending out emails to help you get more people to your shows. These are the most important tasks because they are what earn revenue. Make sure you complete these tasks first!

    2. Relationship Building Tasks – answer questions from fans, send emails to keep in touch with your contacts, etc. These are important but not as important as the items in category #1. Do these second.

    3. Everything Else – updating Facebook, listening to music (aka “research”), blogging, etc. These things sometimes seem more important and are almost always more fun, but they are the least important things you can do. Spend the least amount of time on these and don’t get carried away. Try setting a timer so you don’t lose track of time and so that you can go back to focusing on more important items in a timely manner.

    As for the “art” side of your business, you should spend as much time (if not more) working on your craft as you do working on the business. It will hurt your business if your product (you as an artist and your music), doesn’t stand up to the marketing and business efforts you’re making.

    David Hooper said, “If you can’t spend at least an hour on your music a day, you should really look at what you’re doing” and I agree wholeheartedly. If you’re serious about pursuing music as a career, you should make sure that you have at least an hour a day to refine your skills and hone your craft.

    That hour (minimum!) should be spent practicing – working on your instrument, your recording technique, your stage presence, etc.

    And last, but not least:

    Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help

    If you find that you’re unable to manage the different responsibilities necessary to your business, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Sometimes paying someone to do the things you can’t do or don’t have time to do is worth it. And sometimes you don’t have the skills necessary to do different tasks well (check out our last podcast to find out what we think about “good enough”).

    There are some things that other people can do better and faster than you and you need to decide if it’s really worth spending the time to do it yourself. Yes, you may be able to do it yourself and yes, it may save you money, but sometimes it’s better to bring in someone who has that skill set to help bring your project to the next level. (You can read more about building your team in this guest post by Cyrene Jagger, The Musician’s A-Team.) Plus, working with others gives you the opportunity to build diverse relationships.

    If you’re still wondering where to get started:

    We’ve put together a worksheet to help you plan out this next year and better manage your creative and business tasks. Check out TeenJazz.com, where you’ll find a transcription of today’s episode and where you can download our Music Business Planner.

    So those are our thoughts on balancing the creative and business aspects of your music career. I can’t say that my method is perfect, but it has worked for me and I hope it will help you start to find the right balance as well. If you’ve figured out a way to balance it all, I’d love to hear what it is. You can let me know in the comments at TeenJazz.com.

    Our last set of music for today’s show is going to feature Drew Simpson and Franck Sitbon. The first song you’ll hear is Meet Dr Washington by Drew Simpson from the album Noteworthy and second I’m going to feature Dorica by Franck Sitbon from A Toi La Vie.

    Once again, that was Franck Sitbon with Dorica and before that was Drew Simpson with Meet Dr Washington. You can find more information about Drew Simpson at drewsimpsonmusic.com or in his interview with us on Teen Jazz.

    Before I close out the show, I’d like to invite you all to check out Teen Jazz if you’re interested in learning more about me, Shannon Kennedy or the community. As I just mentioned it’s TeenJazz.com.

    Or if you just would like to say hello, come and say hi at our Facebook page – that’s facebook.com/teenjazz. I promise to say hello back!

    All the links that I’ve mentioned as part of the show will be up on Teen Jazz and Teen Jazz Radio, so if you’re interested in learning more about these talented artists, please stop on by – I know they’ll appreciate the love! You can leave comments on any of our posts at TeenJazzRadio.com.

    A very special thanks to Jazz and Bossa Radio for featuring Teen Jazz Radio on their web radio station. We recently partnered with them at the beginning of this month to share our artists with a wider audience and we are excited to have joined the Jazz and Bossa Radio family. You can visit them at jazzandbossaradio.com. All of our Teen Jazz Radio podcasts are featured over at Jazz and Bossa Radio on Sundays at 3pm EST and on Wednesdays at 5pm EST.

    And last but not least, we appreciate your iTunes reviews! If you’ve enjoyed our podcast, please help us get noticed on iTunes by writing us a review. Let us know if you’ve found our podcast valuable or if you’ve enjoyed some of the music we’ve featured as part of the show. We’re so very thankful for those of you who have gone in and taken the time to write us reviews for Teen Jazz Radio.

    Thank you again for tuning in the Teen Jazz Radio podcast from TeenJazzRadio.com.

    In this week’s episode, you heard the music of:

    • Althea Rene – “More Than You Know” from In The Moment
    • Dan Higgins – “Don’t Back Down” from Cityside
    • Christian Hernandez – “5 for 5” from 5 For 5
    • Nivo Deux – “Culture Shock” from Open Beta – EP
    • Drew Simpson – “Meet Dr Washington” from Noteworthy
    • Franck Sitbon – “Dorica” from A Toi La Vie

    July 6, 2014 • Music and Career Advice, Podcasts • Views: 1792

  • Why “Good Enough” isn’t Good Enough | Teen Jazz Radio Podcast

    Hello and welcome to the latest episode of Teen Jazz Radio for 2014! We’re now almost into July which is just crazy, it’s probably just me, but I feel like this summer is just flying by.

    For those of you new to this series, I’m Shannon Kennedy, your host and I’d like to thank you for taking the time out of your day to listen to our show and to the fantastic young artists we feature as part of each podcast.

    I know many of you are listening to this podcast for different reasons – some of you may be here for the advice offered as part of this episode and some of you may be listening to check out the music we feature as part of the show. So, as I mentioned in the last episode, I’m going to try and space the music and the advice out evenly throughout the podcast so that there’s a little something for everyone.

    In today’s episode, I’m going to feature the music of Tyler Nathaniel Hindsley, Lori Jenaire, Jason Weber, Liza Carbe, Incendio and Darryl Williams.

    Today on the show I’m going to discuss this issue of being “good enough” and settling as an artist. Not settling as in doing music you don’t want to do or selling out, that’s something entirely different. Instead, I’m going to talk about not working as hard as you should on your craft or relying on natural talent and why you shouldn’t do it. Why you should always push for more, strive to improve and grow and search for knowledge.

    It’s easy to get frustrated and throw your hands in the air, pushing out content or music that is not as good as it should be. Of course, we can always do better, but you have to make a serious effort to do the best that you can all the time and not settle for sub par material or performances. And it’s important to continue to try to do better, to continue to practice, to continue to learn. Even if you play great or you write really well, it’s important to keep working at it so that your playing and writing continues to evolve and you continue to improve.

    So, before we dive into today’s tips, let’s check out our first music set. This week I’d like to introduce you to Tyler Nathaniel Hindsley and Lori Jenaire. The first song you’ll hear is Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough by Tyler Nathaniel Hindsley and second I’m going to feature Unexpected Storm by Lori Jenaire from Fruition.

    Once again, that was Lori Jenaire with Unexpected Storm and before that was Tyler Nathaniel Hindsley with Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough. You can find more information about Lori Jenaire at lorijenaire.com.

    Why “Good Enough” isn’t Good Enough

    You’ve been practicing for hours and everything you can think of to improve, but you just don’t feel like you’re getting any better. You can’t hear any difference in what you’re playing. You grow frustrated, decide that it’s “good enough” and move on to another activity. But is good enough really enough or should we strive for more?

    The Internet and tools like Youtube have opened up the possibility for anyone and everyone to put homemade videos and recordings up along next to professional quality music videos and recordings and as much as I hate to say it, not everything matches in quality. Because anyone and everyone have been taking advantage of these tools to create.

    That’s not to say that I think that they should be more exclusive, not by any stretch. I think they are great for the developing musician to get their stuff out there and receive constructive criticism, but that’s not what happens most of the time.

    In fact, I recently saw a video of a performance I was there for on Youtube where the comments accused the singer of lip syncing (when she wasn’t) and of creating terrible music (which is subjective). We’re all entitled to like the kind of music we like and dislike the kind of music we don’t, but my personal opinion is that we’d all have much pleasanter lives if more people spent more time discussing what they do like rather than what they don’t like.

    To play devil’s advocate with myself, however, one could argue that we’d never improve or make progress is people didn’t point out what was wrong and to some extent, I agree, but there’s a difference with a comment like “I really don’t like this style of music, but the singer is great” and “The singer needs to work on her pitch, but she’s a dynamic performer” over “This is complete crap. Who listens to this anyway?” and “He sucks. He should quit guitar and go work at a fast food restaurant although he’d probably be terrible at that too.” Or something like that, but you get the picture.

    Anyway, in regards to the video, there were at least twenty negative or brutal comments for every one positive comment and it was heartbreaking especially because a lot of it was untrue and therefore unwarranted. Of course, all of this to say that a lot of people apparently have nothing better to do than bash others on social media and it unfortunately comes with the territory. You just have to learn how to move past it.

    If you’re interested, we actually have an article on dealing with negative criticism on Teen Jazz, it was one of our past Teen Jazz Radio episodes, and we’ll include it as a link with the transcription of today’s episode at TeenJazz.com.

    Back to the subject at hand.

    There’s a lot of stuff out there that is only “good enough” and it’s easy to fall into producing similar content. Rather than aiming to do something unique or outstanding, we create things that are comparable to what everyone else is doing. It’s not great, it’s only good enough. Everyone else is putting out clips of this quality, so what’s wrong with me doing it? We have to constantly generate new content. More, more, more. So we only spend a short time working on a lot of things, never really focusing on quality. But success is quality over quantity and not the other way around. What if you focused on a constant stream of content (music), but focused on creating fewer high quality recordings or videos?

    Fans would look forward to your next release with more excitement because 1) the quality would be better and 2) because you made them wait a bit longer to get it.

    So when and why would you want to settle for “good enough”?

    It may be difficult to push yourself and stretch beyond what you’re comfortable doing but that’s one of the challenges you’re going to come to over and over throughout your career and you’ll have to learn to push past it.

    Now let’s check out the next set of music featuring Liza Carbe and Jason Weber. The first song you’ll hear is Five by Jason Weber from the album Five and second I’m going to feature I Will Be There by Liza Carbe from Wait for the Spring.

    Once again, that was Liza Carbe with I Will Be There and before that was Jason Weber with Five. You can find more information about Jason Weber at jasonweber.net and Liza Carbe is at lizacarbe.com.

    So here’s my advice to you.

    Don’t settle for good enough, aim for great.

    Like I said earlier in this article, it’s important to know that you should never stop looking for opportunities to learn and grow. Push and challenge yourself to be great. Good is too familiar, too easy to settle into but great offers something valuable to the world (and yourself). Good and good enough are forgettable but great is what makes a recording, performance or video memorable. Strive to be memorable.

    Another reason to aim for great, rather than settle for good enough, is that you can take the negative comments in stride. Rather than feeling like they might be deserved, thinking, “yeah they might be right,” you’ll know that you worked hard and that’s far more important.

    Of course, it isn’t easy dealing with negative comments when you’ve poured your heart into something, but at least you’ll know it isn’t on your end that something’s wrong – it’s the other person who has a problem. On the other hand, if they offer valid criticism, thank them and work on it.

    If you follow Teen Jazz, in an article I wrote a while back I shared the fact that I tend to be shy and for the first several years I played I let my introverted personality inhibit my ability to perform. For me, I was doing good enough and that was all I thought I needed to do, but it wasn’t.

    When I was in high school, one of my teachers really challenged my way way of thinking – he often put me on the spot so that I was forced to do better than “good enough”. I could no longer get away with playing by ear rather than reading music, play timidly nor pass on opportunities to solo. I was forced to put myself out there constantly and I had to get past “good enough”. It was challenging, frustrating, often embarrassing, but it pushed me to get better and I’m thankful for the experience even though it was tough to go through at the time.

    Avoid the danger of comfort.

    When we get to a certain level with our playing, it’s easy to let daily routines and practice sessions become comfortable. We put in the time, but don’t really push ourselves. It’s easier to play for 30 minutes to an hour mindlessly, maybe sightread a few etudes, solo over a song we’re familiar with or run through scales, play along with your favorite recordings than it is to sightread something really challenging, learn the changes to a new song or really focus on the inconsistencies in pitch or finger movement as we play our scales, or really learn the entire solo on that recording note for note.

    Don’t fall into this trap. Actively think about where you’re at with your playing or songwriting, keep track of things that have room for improvement and work on them. Don’t settle into a routine. You’ll only hurt yourself and limit your own potential and you’ll have no one else to blame.

    Create goals so that you don’t wander aimlessly.

    As I just mentioned, spend the time to sit down and really think about the aspects of your playing or songwriting you want to work on.

    For example, maybe (as a sax player) you want to learn altissimo, play more like Charlie Parker or improve your pitch in the lower register. You can break down each of those goals into more digestible actions so that you can take daily steps towards improving in each of them. Maybe for altissimo you first take the time to find out which fingerings work for you, then work on getting to them, then work them into scales and arpeggios, learn to play melodies that transition up to altissimo, etc. To play like Charlie Parker you could learn the Omnibook at a slow tempo, work it up to speed, memorize your favorite licks from the book and then learn them in several keys, try to transcribe his solos from recordings that aren’t in the Omnibook, etc. And finally for pitch in the lower register, play long tones and practice with a tuner.

    The best musicians are those who really look for opportunities to improve and grow, they know that they are “good enough” but they always aim to get better. Don’t overwhelm yourself by trying to achieve perfection – for most, that’s impossible – but don’t let yourself settle for less than you can be as a performer. There’s a balance somewhere between “good enough” and perfection and every musician needs to decide for themselves what that is.

    So there you have it, our thoughts on why “good enough” isn’t good enough. If you’d like to weigh in on this week’s emission, the transcription on TeenJazz.com is open to comments and we’d love to hear from you.

    Our last set of music for today’s show is going to feature Incendio and Darryl Williams. The first song you’ll hear is Secret Traveler by Incendio from the album Seduction and second I’m going to feature Costa Rica by Darryl Williams from That Was Then.

    Once again, that was Darryl Williams with Costa Rica and before that was Incendio with Secret Traveler. You can find more information about Incendio at incendioband.com and Darryl Williams is at darrylwilliamsmusic.com.

    Before I close out the show, I’d like to invite you all to check out Teen Jazz if you’re interested in learning more about me, Shannon Kennedy or the community. As I just mentioned it’s TeenJazz.com.

    Or if you just would like to say hello, come and say hi at our Facebook page – that’s facebook.com/teenjazz. I promise to say hello back!

    All the links that I’ve mentioned as part of the show will be up on Teen Jazz and Teen Jazz Radio, so if you’re interested in learning more about these talented artists, please stop on by – I know they’ll appreciate the love! You can leave comments on any of our posts at TeenJazzRadio.com.

    A very special thanks to Jazz and Bossa Radio for featuring Teen Jazz Radio on their web radio station. We recently partnered with them at the beginning of this month to share our artists with a wider audience and we are excited to have joined the Jazz and Bossa Radio family. You can visit them at jazzandbossaradio.com. All of our Teen Jazz Radio podcasts are featured over at Jazz and Bossa Radio on Sundays at 3pm EST and on Wednesdays at 5pm EST.

    And last but not least, we appreciate your iTunes reviews! If you’ve enjoyed our podcast, please help us get noticed on iTunes by writing us a review. Let us know if you’ve found our podcast valuable or if you’ve enjoyed some of the music we’ve featured as part of the show. We’re so very thankful for those of you who have gone in and taken the time to write us reviews for Teen Jazz Radio.

    Thank you again for tuning in the Teen Jazz Radio podcast from TeenJazzRadio.com.

    In this week’s episode, you heard the music of:

    • Tyler Hindsley – Don’t Stop tip You Get Enough
    • Lori Jenaire – Unexpected Storm from Fruition
    • Jason Weber – Five
    • Liza Carbe – I Will Be There from Wait for the Spring
    • Incendio – Secret Traveler from Seduction
    • Darryl Williams – Costa Rica from That Was Then

    June 29, 2014 • Music and Career Advice, Podcasts • Views: 1650

  • 13 Skills and Traits That Will Help You Succeed in Music | Teen Jazz Radio Podcast

    Hey everyone! Welcome to the latest episode of Teen Jazz Radio! I’m Shannon Kennedy, your host and I’d like to thank you for taking the time out of your day to listen to our show and to the fantastic young artists we feature as part of each podcast.

    Today on Teen Jazz Radio I’m going to discuss a few skills or qualities you should focus on developing if you are hoping to pursue a career in music. Of course, these things are beneficial across a wide variety of vocations, but I’m going to focus on how they can help you specifically as an artist or musician.

    In this episode, I’m also going to feature the music of Bastian Weinhold, Adam Larson, Reggie Padilla, Yvonnick Prené, Tim Owens and Poor Man’s Fortune.

    As I mention at the beginning of each episode, I know that many of you are listening to this podcast for different reasons – some of you may be here for the advice offered as part of this episode and some of you may be listening to check out the music we feature as part of the show. So, as I mentioned in the last episode, I’m going to try and space the music and the advice out evenly throughout the podcast so that there’s a little something for everyone.

    So, before we dive into today’s tips, let’s check out our first music set. This week I’d like to introduce you to Bastian Weinhold and Adam Larson. The first song you’ll hear is The Snowman by Bastian Weinhold from his newly released album Cityscape and second I’m going to feature Simple Beauty by Adam Larson from Simple Beauty.

    Once again, that was Adam Larson with Simple Beauty and before that was Bastian Weinhold with The Snowman. You can find more information about Adam at adamlarsonjazz.com and Bastian at bastianweinhold.com.

    Alright, so important qualities, skills and/or traits to have as a musician. There may be quite a few things that come to mind, but I’m going to talk about 13 in specific. If you feel I’ve left anything out or if you would like to expand upon one of the thirteen I’m going to talk about today, I’d like to invite you to Teen Jazz to join the discussion. That’s TeenJazz.com. I’ll have a transcription of today’s emission up on the website and comments are more than welcome, so I look forward to hearing from you.

    Let’s get started.

    The first trait I’d like to talk about is a desire or ability to be…

    Innovative

    In music, like any art (or business for that matter), you need to be able to think outside the box (yes, I know that’s a tired and overused phrase, but it’s used too often for a reason). As an artist, you should have a desire to create something unique, to contribute to your genre and not just be another voice that gets lost in the crowd.

    There’s no room to continue doing what’s already been done because, well, it’s already been done. The only true way to succeed for any length of time is to forge your own path. Yes, it may work to continue in the footsteps of another artist, but for how long? And do you really want to be compared to them for the duration of your career? You risk being known as a “bad copy” of so and so artist rather than an artist in your own right. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather take the risk of trying something new and standing on my own than live in someone else’s shadow.

    So, to be innovative, to be original and creative in thinking or to create a product or idea that is new. Yes, it may be hard, but it isn’t impossible. What can you do that no one else is doing? What can you bring to the table that’s different and uniquely you?

    No two people are the same. We all have our own backgrounds, our own history, our own unique music preferences. Find a way to bring all that together to create your own voice and contribute to the music industry by bringing something new and innovative to the table.

    Okay, so I’m not really doing these in any particular order, so let’s pick the next one.

    Tech Savvy

    We live in a digital world and technology is the primary vehicle for how more and more music is created, documented, distributed and promoted. Heck, even concerts are now broadcast online for those who can not physically make it out to concerts. Arguably, of course, music was always created using some facet of technology or another, but the two, in my opinion, are becoming more and more intertwined. For example, a number of young artists such as Madeon take full advantage of the technology available to them to create dance music while marketing has shifted from posters, direct mailings, and catalogs to a strong focus on online stores, social media, and online advertising.

    All of that to say that you should do what you can to take advantage of all the technology available to you. Don’t think of it as an obstacle. Do what you need to do to learn how to use the tools that are available to you whether it’s for creating music or promoting it, don’t shy away from it (unless, of course, that’s a part of your brand and you’ve found another way to succeed without it).

    Because of technology, marketing, promotion, and even recording are easier and more accessible than ever. AND because of technology, it’s easier to learn how to do those things too (Youtube tutorials, online classes, Skype, easier access to authorities on all of this stuff, etc).

    You can build a basic home studio, record an album with musicians from anywhere in the world, and even distribute your own music. Before this wasn’t possible, and to record an album, musicians often had to reserve expensive studio spaces and actually fly musicians in to create it. Now we can invest all the time in the world into our albums because we’re not trying to rush through the recording process and keep costs down and we can collaborate with a wider range of musicians more affordably thanks to technology.

    And it’s not just recording that’s gotten easier and more affordable. Learning music has also improved. You can take lessons from other musicians anywhere in the world via Skype, Google hangouts, etc. Of course, one can argue that you lose something taking lessons with someone online rather than in person, and I’d probably say you’re right, but at the same time, if you can study with someone you couldn’t before, wouldn’t you say that’s a win?

    On the marketing side of things, technology has created marketing and promotion opportunities for independent musicians that weren’t affordable or accessible in the past. Now, you can implement a full-on Web 3.0 campaign using tools such as Facebook, Twitter, Soundcloud, Youtube, Sonicbids, online radio stations, podcasts, blogs, etc. and it’s all reasonably affordable. Of course, the bigger budget you have, the farther you could arguably reach, but there are people out there doing just fine without a big budget, so I’d spend some time thinking about how you can do it too.

    There are tools to distribute your music such as CDBaby and Tunecore, ways to promote it both freely and with advertising dollars, and it’s so easy to make your music available to your audience.

    Leadership

    To succeed in music, you need to be willing to show initiative and be aggressive (within reason). You have do things for yourself because no one else will do it for you. It’s a lot of work, but it’s part of your job description. You are the only one who’s going to make it happen for you, so if you aren’t out there networking, doing the work and research, then you’re only hurting yourself.

    Take responsibility for your career and your music and step into the leadership position required. No one will want to help you do things if they don’t see that you’re making the effort to do them first.

    An example of this is the 180 shift a lot of record labels have made in the last few years. In the past, labels would often seek out undiscovered talent and then spend their time creating an artist and building an audience for them, but more and more, labels are picking up artists who have already built their audiences on their own because it makes their job a bit easier. These artists are leaders and they made it their responsibility to make their career happen and in the end, you could say it paid off for them. Of course, there are always exceptions, especially in the above case, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take initiative and make things happen for yourself first.

    The Ability to Work in a Global Market

    This one isn’t really a trait, it’s more of a skill, but it is something you should at least be aware of running your own music business.

    Because of the Internet, we now have a global audience and that’s important to keep in mind when sending out messages or promoting your music. There is cross-cultural communication taking place on a daily basis, and so, we now not only need to be aware of our own culture’s ethics and customs, but begin to develop a broader understanding of those of our neighbors.

    I’m not saying that you need to have a full understanding of all the history and cultures of the world, but if you become active or begin to communicate with certain markets, a basic understanding or an effort to find common ground can go a long way to you becoming successful in that market.

    Musicians also have the opportunity to travel the world, so do your work in advance. Find out what the visa requirements are before you go on a trip. Do you need vaccinations? What are some basic phrases in the language of the country you’ll be visiting? It’s good manners to at least make a small effort to learn some of the language of the places you visit rather than expecting everyone else to speak your language.

    Little things like that can make a big difference both in how much you enjoy your trip and how your audience receives you as an artist.

    Ethical

    As a musician you are self employed and you run your own business, so you need to operate accordingly. Make sure that you do everything in an ethical manner.

    Treat your band members fairly and be honest. Do all of your paperwork business properly (copyrights, pay the royalties you need to pay, people what they deserve to be paid). Show up to your gigs on time, do your homework (learn the music and practice and so on). Have checks for the musicians at the gig, don’t make them chase you down to get paid (that’s not cool). Don’t promote yourself on someone else’s gig unless you’ve discussed it with them first (or they may not call you back). Of course, there are plenty of other examples.

    Music is all about networking and relationships – do everything you can to earn a good reputation and foster strong, healthy relationships with those around you. Trust is necessary to build partner and audience loyalty.

    Plus, there are laws there to punish you for doing the paper side of your business wrong! Don’t end up a part of a lawsuit because you didn’t secure the rights to use a sample or record a cover of someone else’s song. Make sure you sign contracts with fellow composers when you write together or with band members when you form a group.

    Get contracts for your gigs and make sure you do what is required of you.

    Follow up skills

    Don’t be flaky. If you tell someone you’re going to call them or email them, do it. Regardless of if it’s a fan, band member or promoter, if you say you’re going to do something, just do it!

    If you need to, take notes, set reminders, or do it right away so you don’t forget. Not everyone is good at doing this, and so if you do, you will stand out.

    Now let’s check out the next set of music featuring Reggie Padilla and Yvonnick Prené. The first song you’ll hear is Don’t Forget to Smile by Reggie Padilla from the album They Come and They Go and second I’m going to feature Never Let Me Go by Yvonnick Prené from Jour de Fête.

    Once again, that was Yvonnick Prene with Never Let Me Go and before that was Reggie Padilla with Don’t Forget to Smile. You can find more information about Reggie at reggiepadilla.com and Yvonnick Prene is at yvonnickprene.com.

    Adaptability

    One of the best skills you can have as an artist is that of adaptability or versatility. You need to be able to not only adapt your playing, but you also need to adapt to different situations, different crowd sizes, different venues, etc. Adapt your style and set list based on the audience at your shows or even the musicians playing with you that night. Pay attention to what they react to and what they don’t and respond accordingly. Be willing to play other musics, consider doubling and do what you can to remain versatile as a musician. You’re willingness to do this may create opportunities for you that you otherwise would not have had.

    Until you’re established as an artist, music also requires you to be adaptable because you have to be able to perform a wide range of music. One night you may be playing straight ahead jazz with your trio at a restaurant and the next be on stage with a pop star, backing them up. You need to be able to adapt to those different styles both musically and with your setup. If you plan on doing a wide range of music, make sure you’re equipped in every sense to do so.

    Tenacity

    Succeeding in music can be hard, so you have to be determined and willing to persevere. You also need to be able to overcome objections. If someone tells you no, pick yourself up and keep going.

    Keep in mind that sometimes the “no” may have nothing to do with you. They might have said “no” to ten others before you and the response became automatic. Maybe it was just “no” to the particular thing you were asking and there’s another angle you can try. Or maybe the opportunity isn’t right and you need to look elsewhere.

    There are also ways to turn “no” into “yes.” Try asking the question a different way or asking for something else entirely. Instead, try asking when they book their events so you can call at a different time, or if they know of other opportunities that may be more appropriate or about another opportunity they may be tied to, one you weren’t initially inquiring about.

    Verbal communication and closing skills

    Be sociable. If you can, I’d even suggest taking a speech class. You are on stage in front of people and you need to be able effectively communicate both on and off stage. You should be comfortable around all sorts of people and know how to positively react in all types of situations. Of course, there are always surprises, but the more prepared you are and the more practice you have, the better you’ll do when they pop up.

    You also will need to interact with all sorts of people – fans, booking agents, promoters, managers and you need to know how to act accordingly. Each relationship has its own dynamic and you’ll need to know how to approach and interact with different kinds of people in different kinds of roles.

    Another communication skill that you need to be equipped with is that of closing or negotiating. Yes, they are two different things, but they’re often tied together. When you’re negotiating your pay or time or travel per diems for a gig, you need to know what you’re doing otherwise you’ll end up with the short end of the stick (or no gig at all). You also need to know how to close your negotiations so that the other person doesn’t feel like they ended up with the short end either. It’s not easy, but if you want an opportunity to be more than a one time thing, it’s a good skill to have.

    Organization

    Be well organized. You can operate more efficiently and effectively if your business and workspace are properly organized (and clean). When I have a messy desk, I have a hard time working because it’s overwhelming to work around. For me, being organized is key to my success. I feel more productive and I’m able to work with better focus when I’m organized. If I keep my practice organized, I also have more successful practice sessions.

    So, I also suggest having a distraction-free practice/songwriting space. I have a specific area where I practice away from my computer so that I am not distracted by calls or texts or the temptation of checking Facebook. I have my sax, my stand, my music, headphones and my phone on airplane mode so that I can focus on the task at hand.

    Organizing your time is also imperative. Create a practice schedule and create goals so you can measure your improvement and growth. We have a few practice journal templates and a Project 365 sheet available on Teen Jazz if you’re looking for something to help keep yourself organized.

    Planning

    I’m going to keep this one short, because like I just mentioned as part of organization, planning is important. Riding by the seat of your pants is never a good business or practice plan, and your music is a business so make goals and set deadlines.

    For example, if you sit down to practice without any goals in mind, what do you end up doing? You end up working through whatever you feel like but it might not be what you need to work on. Keep that in mind. I’ve always found that when I practice something specific, something I need to work on, my practice sessions are far more productive when I practice just for the sake of practicing and putting time in on my instrument. Go at it with a plan in mind.

    This is why a practice journal is great because you can note things you want to work on so that you always have something to work towards when you practice.

    Another reason planning is important is that as a creative type, we can often do and redo things without ever finishing them because we want them to be amazing. You need to know when to let a project go and decide when to stop. Deadlines can help with this. When you’re self-employed its easy to let time pass you by while you complete projects. Once you’ve decided to do an album or project, set deadlines and goals to help keep you on track. That way you don’t spend too much time working on something and you work a bit harder to get it where you want it faster than you would without a deadline.

    A desire to keep learning and growing

    Continued growth is so important as an artist. If you keep doing the same thing, you’re audience is going to get bored (and you will too). It might even lead to you quitting because of frustration or boredom. This is why it’s so imperative to always look for ways to grow and improve and continue to learn.

    In the same vein, to keep growing and improving, you have to keep moving and producing new things. A failure to release new projects and material will result in the loss of sales and your audience. Just like it’s important to constantly release new and “fresh” material, you also have to constantly keep your ideas and abilities “fresh.”

    A lack of drive, motivation or focus will prevent you from releasing new material and it will also prevent you from growing as a musician and artist. An inability or refusal to learn or grow will result in your music becoming “outdated” and loss of appeal to your audience.

    Of course, this can be a struggle. There are times where we get frustrated with our playing or feel as though we’re not making any progress. These plateaus can be hard to break past, but it isn’t impossible. Sometimes you just need to get a bit creative to work through them. For example, studying with a teacher could help. He or she might be able to pinpoint what’s preventing you from progressing or suggest a new way to go at your practice sessions that you haven’t tried before. These little changes can make all the difference in the world. If you’d like a few more tips on how to push through a plateau, we’ll include a link at teenjazz.com along with the transcription of this week’s episode.

    Or you can work on something completely different. Listen to different music than you normally would, play along, work on an etude for another instrument or begin to study another instrument just to give you a new perspective on your own.

    And it isn’t just your playing that you should work on. It’s also your overall performance – your show, your stage presence, etc. How fluidly do you move between songs when you’re performing? Do you have segues or medleys worked out? Are you comfortable talking on the mic? What do you look like on stage? Have you been playing the same set of songs for a few weeks or months? Constantly reinvigorate your show with new songs, etc. (especially for fans that come to several of your shows, they might grow tired of hearing the same jokes and songs). These are all things to think about and improve.

    Always make sure that you’re working on your craft, learning or improving new techniques, building up your repertoire, and expanding your catalog. Read as many books and listen to as much music as you can and absorb as much of it as possible.

    Good attitude

    Most of all, have a good attitude. Share your excitement and passion. People are less likely to want to work with you if you have a bad attitude, big ego or spend your time complaining even if you’re incredibly talented. A successful live performance requires a good energy and if you’re not contributing to that, or even taking away from it, you make the other musicians’ jobs that much harder. Don’t be that person.

    Music is hard, but it’s important to avoid becoming bitter. It’s a career path that you’ve chosen to pursue, so remember that. When things are hard, take things in stride and don’t let it get to you. It’s okay to be frustrated or upset every once in a while, but if you let it affect your overall feelings towards your job and how you perform or interact with other musicians, you aren’t going to get any where you want to go.

    Plus, the audience can often feel that kind of energy. Even if you smile on stage and pretend to have a good time, they’ll see it as inauthentic and will have a harder time connecting with you. That’s just something you should be aware of.

    So there you have it. Are there any skills you think we’ve missed that you’d like to add?

    Our last set of music for today’s show is going to feature Tim Owens and Poor Man’s Fortune. The first song you’ll hear is Realife by Tim Owens from the album The Realife Project and second I’m going to feature something a little different. A while back I talked about Breton music and I’d like to feature a group that plays that sort of music so you could hear it, this is Mardi Gras by Poor Man’s Fortune from Bayou Curious, a Breton group located in the US.

    Once again, that was Poor Man’s Fortune with Mardi Gras and before that was Tim Owens with Realife. You can find more information about Tim Owens at tiomusic.us and Poor Man’s Fortune is at poormansfortune.com/music.

    Before I close out the show, I’d like to invite you all to check out Teen Jazz if you’re interested in learning more about me, Shannon Kennedy or the community. As I just mentioned it’s TeenJazz.com.

    Or if you just would like to say hello, come and say hi at our Facebook page – that’s facebook.com/teenjazz. I promise to say hello back!

    All the links that I’ve mentioned as part of the show will be up on Teen Jazz and Teen Jazz Radio, so if you’re interested in learning more about these talented artists, please stop on by – I know they’ll appreciate the love! You can leave comments on any of our posts at TeenJazzRadio.com.

    A very special thanks to Jazz and Bossa Radio for featuring Teen Jazz Radio on their web radio station. We recently partnered with them at the beginning of this month to share our artists with a wider audience and we are excited to have joined the Jazz and Bossa Radio family. You can visit them at jazzandbossaradio.com. All of our Teen Jazz Radio podcasts are featured over at Jazz and Bossa Radio on Sundays at 3pm EST and on Wednesdays at 5pm EST.

    And last but not least, we appreciate your iTunes reviews! If you’ve enjoyed our podcast, please help us get noticed on iTunes by writing us a review. Let us know if you’ve found our podcast valuable or if you’ve enjoyed some of the music we’ve featured as part of the show. We’re so very thankful for those of you who have gone in and taken the time to write us reviews for Teen Jazz Radio.

    Thank you again for tuning in the Teen Jazz Radio podcast from TeenJazzRadio.com.

    In this week’s episode, you heard the music of:

    June 24, 2014 • Music and Career Advice, Podcasts • Views: 1783