In his new book Slacker Guide To The Music Industry, radio DJ, former musician and all-round music biz whizz Phil Taggart offers up an easily digestible guide to the ins and outs of a career as a jobbing musician.
Below, in an extract taken from the book, Phil calls upon his friends in Hinds and Dream Wife to offer up their top tips for any budding young musicians looking to follow in their footsteps.
Phil Taggart’s Slacker Guide To The Music Industry is out now, and comes supported by Help Musicians UK. Order it here.
Hinds – Top 10 Tips to Starting a Band
- Don’t Choose a Joke Name
- Make Merchandise Immediately
- Go See Live Music In Your Town/City As Much As You Can
- Believe in Your Shit
- Bring On Tour More Underwear Than You Think You Need
- Appear In Your First Music Video
- Don’t Kill Your Bandmates
- Go to the Studio With the Purpose of Changing the World
- Involve Your Friends in Your Project
- Never Forget That the Role of the Artist is to Make the Revolution Irresistible
Dream Wife’s Top 10 Tips to Get Creative and Write Music
- Make Things With People You Trust
To make music with other people is to do it with trust. To really communicate and explore ideas together, you have to trust each other.
- Remember to Have Fun
As a band we are serious about music, but don’t take ourselves too seriously. This gives you room to be playful in the creative process. Making music is meant to be fun.
- It’s About the Process Rather Than the Product
Smash your own expectations, it’s ok to figure it out as you go.
- Believe in Yourself and Each Other
Set your own standard, believe in each other, support each other, be each other’s role models.
- Challenge Yourself
Feel the fear but do it anyway.
- Playing Songs Live
For us this has been such an important part of exploring song writing. When you play a song at a show it becomes a conversation with everyone else in that room, you can feel what is working, which bits are connecting with people, which bits feel like moments. You can get a unique perspective of a song when you experience it live.
- Don’t Rush to Define Yourself
Having too fixed an idea of who you are and what you want to make can be stifling. Feel it out and allow yourself to figure out why you did something after you did it.
- Don’t Let Anyone Else Define You
No one else knows what you’ve got to contribute, but people have a tendency to want to tell you what you should be doing. Don’t let them. Stay true to you.
- Look to the Creative Community
Go to local shows, meet people, support the things those people are making, make things with those people and if there is nothing happening where you live start something.
- Always be Open to Grow and Learn
No matter how much you know or how proficient you are there is always limitless space to grow, stay curious and lean into it.