Goal Setting and How it Helps Your Music Career

If you were planning a trip to Africa, how would you get there? You can’t just say, “I’m going to go to Africa.” You actually have to make plans in order to reach your final goal of landing in Africa. Which will include: packing, finding the best route to the nearest airport, buying tickets, figuring out where you would stay, etc. With that being said planning a successful music career takes steps also. In this article we will cover the importance of goals and how we can use them to achieve our ultimate goal.

The first step, and the most important step, is to figure out what your ultimate goal is. Without an endpoint, there is no point to begin. Let’s say, for example, your ultimate goal is to get a record deal with a major label, well you take that goal and move backwards. In order to get a record deal you need to find a major label. To find a major label that will be interested in you, you have to build a buzz. To build a buzz, you need plenty of shows, at least one successful release, and a fan base. So, now you know what you need to work towards.

By setting goals, you are making small steps to achieve a larger goal, which is what you need to do next. Set goals to achieve your ultimate goal. Let’s do another example. Let’s say all you want is to play your music at the next MTV music awards. Once again you should work backwards. You should find out when the awards are, then find out who is in charge of booking, but neither of these should be done until you have a fan base and a solid press kit. You see how knowing your ultimate goal can help you plan to achieve it? The more clearly your ultimate goal, the easier it is for you to make steps to achieve it. This can be done in any aspect of life, not only in your music career. You can’t travel on roads not knowing where you are going because you will never get anywhere.

Here is something you can do today that can help you achieve something and will also show you how powerful goal setting is. Book a show. Now that you have your ultimate goal, work backwards. Find an appropriate venue for your music. Find out who is in charge of entertainment.

Look through your catalog and find the best songs for the venue. From their contact who is in charge of booking entertainment and get information to where to send your press kit with the songs you have chosen. Simple as that. As long as your contact information is included, you should be hearing from them shortly, and you’ve booked a show. Do this about seven more times and you know what you’ve done? Put together your first tour. You got to love goal setting.

Planning Your Music Career

The Challenge. We study and practice. Yet the question remains, “What now?” How do I make a musical connection to others? How do I apply my skills to real-world experiences? It’s frustrating that the craft of drumming, and the landscape of the music business is not an exact science. But there are things you can do; steps you can take; and changes you can implement to take you out of the practice room and into the music business. Let’s start by planning and then by taking a look at your goals.

Take stock. Examine your musical and professional experiences and goals. Where are you in your music career? How many shows do you play a year? Do you have the network you need to achieve your goals? Do you have any network at all? What do you want to be doing next month or next year? Are you on the outside looking in? If so, what must change? This type of personal assessment will be different for everyone depending on your hopes and dreams. Allow yourself the time for this evaluation. Perhaps even do some research. Be very clear about the type of drummer you are, and the types of playing at which you shine. Taking an honest look at your present situation will save time now and perhaps avoid future disappointment. It will also pave the way for your next step.

Find your pigeonhole. Have a concise, truthful answer prepared to the “What kind of drummer are you?” question. Once you’ve decided, stick to the answer and tell people that answer when they ask! For drummers, this seems to go against our very core. We are taught to be well rounded and versatile. We should be open to many musical styles. However, it is also important to realize that fellow musicians, band mates, the music industry, even your local bartender, will classify you as a certain kind of drummer. For example, think of a drummer that you do not know personally, but one whose work you admire. What kind of drummer is he? If you had to put him in one musical category, what would it be? You see? We do it to others, and others will do it to us.

If you do not pigeonhole yourself, others may do it for you. For example, suppose you consider yourself a heavy metal drummer. Your band recently returned from a successful tour. You have several weeks before your band tours again. To pay the rent, you accept a six-week gig, playing a show at a local dinner theater. Because you are now working at a dinner theater, are you a show drummer? The outside world may see it that way if you let them. However, if you have already established yourself as a heavy metal drummer, the theater gig will only help you appear accomplished and versatile. Remember to decide your category honestly, and then stick to it, no matter what kinds of jobs you are doing. Soon, others will describe you by using your own phrase. If you do not take the time to type cast yourself, to pigeonhole your career, you are leaving your legacy open to the random interpretation of your peers. Now that you have your place in the music world, it is time to make something happen.