Why Musicians Do Too Much

How musicians can avoid feeling overwhelmed.

Video Highlights:

0:15 – Musician Overwhelm
0:50 – Pareto Principle
1:21 – The Six Stages of Artist Development
1:49 – Stage 1 Explore

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Hi, Its’s James Taylor from Gigs Academy here.

Everyday I’m contacted by musicians around the world and many of them just feel overwhelmed by all the things they are told they should and shouldn’t be doing to take their career to the next level. I think a lot of the uncertainty stems from them being told that they should be doing ALL these things. And frankly as you progress in your career as a musician you are going to find that you’ll have to do DIFFERENT things.


The first thing I see is a lot of overwhelm in the calls and emails I get from artists.

The second thing I find is that a lot of artists are just trying to do too much. They need to think about the 80/20 rule, the Pareto Principle. 20% of the things you are going to do are going to deliver 80% of the results. I see a lot of artists, because they have no strategy for their career and because they are told they should be doing all these things, trying to do too much. As a result they don’t do any of them very well.

So these six stages are really the classic stages of the career development process for musicians and artists. I’ve worked with artists at all stages of this. I’ve worked with the artist that is just getting started in their career to the artist that are getting their first albums out. From artists who are getting traction in their career and that are having hits, to musicians and bands that are trying to reinvigorate their career. They maybe hit a plateau in their career or their playing. So let’s get started:


Stage 1 – Explore


The first stage that any artist starts on is what I call the stage of Exploring. The Explore Stage is that classic stage where if you are a band you are going to be forming the band, you are going to be getting together to rehearse and write those first couple of tunes. If you are an artist you’ve perhaps got an idea of the sound that you want but you are really exploring your capacities as a musician. You are starting to build your craft as a musicians or a band.


At this stage your objective should really be to try new things, to discover new sounds, write in different ways and work-up new material. So don’t try to feel that you need to start getting out there and marketing in a big way, setting up websites, contacting promoters and doing all the big heavy-duty stuff at this point. You just want to be exploring your creativity as a musician.

At the Explore Stage you may be doing your first shows or recording your first tracks to let people hear. The biggest thing you want is feedback. You want feedback from trusted advisors or friends. You are not looking to go out into the world. You are just looking for some initial idea of is this working? So at this stage just focus on getting feedback. That’s your goal at this Explore Stage. Once you’ve nailed that part you start to move onto Stage 2.

The second video in the series will be coming soon….make sure you join my mailing list to get it first.


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