Lockdown 3.0: Productive things you can do for your music career without playing live

Blog by Jamie Hamilton under Artist Managers, Creative & Branding, Finance, Law & Music Business, Live, Media, Music Publishing, Music Training & Careers, Record Labels, Recording & Production, Selling & Distributing Your Music

With gigs and festivals off the table for the foreseeable future, you may feel that your music career is grinding to a halt...

Fear not - this period of gigging down-time can act as a perfect opportunity to work on new projects & ideas, soak up some new skills or polish unfinished tracks. And there's still plenty you can do to promote your music to radio stations, blogs, or reach out to labels and managers you're keen to work with. Maybe it's time you spruced up your website, updated your biog/press kit, or checked your claiming all royalties due to you? Check out our blog for suggestions of how you can keep those music career wheels in motion...

Create & write new music: We’ll start with an obvious one that we’re sure you’re on top of already… Write as much as possible while the time allows. Don’t be too focused on the end product in the early stages of writing - creating can be therapeutic in itself. Express yourself through your music.

Complete unfinished projects: Now might be the time to dig out that old notebook/hard drive with all those song ideas that you never quite got around to completing…

Record some home demos:
As well as the best way to get your ideas down, self-recording a demo is a great opportunity to hone your recording and production skills.

Plan your next release:
It is worth thinking about releases well in advance. So, even if you’re still at the writing or recording stage it will pay to start thinking about an end goal. Plan your route to market in plenty of time.

Keep your fans engaged on your socials: We’re all going a bit stir crazy and could do with some virtual company. Upload videos and updates on what you’re doing regularly, or share snippets of those new songs that you’re working on.

Organise a live stream: You could even go a step further than sharing short videos and live stream an acoustic session from your living room. If this is something that you’re keen to try, the Incorporated Society of Musicians have recently shared some tips for both live streaming and online gigs. You could also submit any streamed gigs you do to The Social Distancing Festival - make sure you check out their submission info for bands & musicians first.

Review & update your biog/press kit and website: Add details of any new releases, as well as gigs and festivals that you’ve played. If you haven’t updated your biography for a while, our blog on how to write one could be useful.

... Or create a press kit:
If you haven’t got a press kit already, we have a blog that could help with this too!

Check social and streaming platforms are up to date: It is crazy how often this gets overlooked. Make sure that every single platform has an up to date biography and that all the links are up to date. Not just Instagram and Facebook; Twitter, SoundCloud, Bandcamp, Spotify, BBC Music Introducing, AmazingTunes… the lot!

Contact radio stations for airplay:
Things may be quiet on the live front but you can still push existing material for radio airplay. Now that your biog, press kit and online platforms are shiny and up to date, there is nothing stopping you!

Research other music industry contacts:
Have a bit of a dig around for relevant managers, labels and blogs that might be interested in your music. The Unsigned Guide’s UK music industry directory might be of use here, and we’re always on the lookout for new artists ourselves. If you’re a member of The Unsigned Guide, you can send your music to us for our Spotlight blog & radio show.

Brush up on music industry knowledge & tips: Check out our Advice page! From tips on sending your music out to the industry to expert advice on finding a manager, landing a sync deal, or getting your track playlist, we’ve got it covered.

Cash in on those unclaimed royalties:
A surprising number of musicians don’t claim royalties that they have earned through radio airplay or by their music live. Welcome to the world of music royalties. If you have a music publisher, make sure that you’re reporting your airplay/shows so that they’re on top of your claims.

Apply for funding: Applying for music funding can be a bit daunting but you should never be afraid to give it a try. Our Essential Guide to Music Funding is chocka with opportunities, schemes and grants. Organisations from across the music industry are providing additional funding for musicians to help during the pandemic. Keep up to date here.

Discover other emerging bands:
If you’re looking for a starting point - check out our Spotify playlists of fantastic emerging and unsigned acts that we’ve featured on our Spotlight blog & radio show.

Create playlists of your favourite bands: Lockdown doesn’t have to be isolating! Reach out and say hi to any bands you like the sound of. Share their music on your socials, tagging bands that you’re including in your playlists to make new connections.

Stay home & stay safe,
The Unsigned Guide Team x


Things musicians and bands can do to boost their music career during Coronavirus lockdown


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