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Indie Musicians: 5 Personality Development Tips for New Musicians

Some musicians focus mainly on their music because they believe that talent is everything. They somehow look down on those musicians who are social butterflies and who have excellent social skills because they somehow associate it with the lack of pure, raw talent. I know this feeling is not expressed by many but some artists do see cheerfulness as lack of substance and talent so they try to be mysterious and withdrawn because it makes them look more intelligent, or at least more poetic.

But, come on. Being socially detached does not make you more talented or interesting. In fact, these social interactions and relationships can open new opportunities and can help you learn more about the music industry and its ropes. Let’s face it- when it comes to music, personality and social relations do matter…a lot.

Here are some specific tips on how you can improve your personality so your music career would flourish:

Leave your temper at home. So you had a very bad day because of your school, your buddy, your pet, your farmville…and you can’t help but be grumpy. What can you do, that’s just the way you are. You’re just being REAL. You can’t pretend like you’re enjoying your band practice or gig or having fun talking to new acquaintances when deep down you are really pissed at something.  This kind of attitude will not get you anywhere. Why would you keep your anger, frustration, or any negative emotion inside your system? You answer me “ It’s not my choice. It just won’t go away.” Well, the truth is you have control over everything including your temper. There are techniques that can help you manage your negative emotions and manage the difficult band member. Meanwhile, fake it till you’re used to it so you won’t affect other people and you’ll gain more friends and opportunities. No one wants to be around a grumpy man-even if he sings well. You should also learn how to deal with a difficult band member so all your energies will be focused on improving your music instead of petty things.

Address people using their first names. Create intimacy by addressing people using their first names. It takes practice and good memory to remember people’s names but you should develop this skill because it’s very crucial in creating good relationships fast. You do not want to meet someone important and forget his name when you meet him on the street. And do not ever (EVER!) misspell people names when sending a marketing e-mail. It’s a big turn-off and it could end any possible opportunity.

Don’t be picky. When it comes to people, places, and food, do not be too picky that people would remember you and label you for it.  Superstar complex while you’re still a newbie is ridiculous and funny at the same time. If they assign you to play at the beginning or end, then grab that chance, be grateful, give it your best shot and hope that you’ll get a better slot as time goes by.

Don’t be shy but don’t be cocky, either. Make sure you learn how to make friends with other bands without looking desperate. There is nothing more annoying to established musicians than a new musician blatantly working his way in the music community by being too confident. These people have been around for years so do not try to come on too strong by talking as if you know a lot about the industry, you know a lot of people, and that your music is really different compared to other musicians. Try to examine your personality and recall if someone has told you that you’re cocky or too confident. Ask your friends and band mates for their honest opinion and work on improving your social skills. Learn to have that balance so other musicians would not ignore you or find you annoying.

Admire the people you meet and let them know. Learn to really find something worth appreciating in other people and remind them about this in the right moments-and sparingly. It takes a lot of effort and change to develop an appreciative eye and outlook so do not pressure yourself into doing this or you’d just appear like a fake who’s trying too hard. If you are not too comfortable with this yet, then the least thing you can do is NOT talk negative things about other musicians. Words spreads so damn fast in the music community so you better keep your harsh opinions to yourself.


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