There are many good musicians out there, but a lot less who are widely seen as being great. Usually this status takes time to achieve, and is the result of a number of things being in place for a prolonged period of time.
If it’s your aim to one day be seen as one of the greats, you’ll have to make sure you’re doing what’s necessary in a few different areas. Today I’m going to show you what five of those main areas are.
So here are a few things that makes a great musician. They’re not secrets, but they are good practices which you may not have thought about before. Make sure you’re doing all of these to increase the likelihood you’ll get to that stage some time down the line.
Characteristic 1: A Great Musician Needs Outstanding Talent (And Adaptability)
Let’s get the obvious one out the way first. In order to reach the great musician status, you need your talent to be at a very high level. While top level talent isn’t required for you to have a successful and profitable music career, if you want that success to last for the long term (and of course great that rare ‘great’ status), it is very important.
You should always be trying to improve your craft. Musical tastes change over the years, and chances are you’ll have to adapt your style accordingly. While you shouldn’t ever do something that’s really not you or you’re not comfortable with, most likely you won’t be able to do the same things forever. Great musicians adapt their style as they go along, and can do each one to a very high level.
Characteristic 2: Consistency Is Key
This is related to the above point. The simple fact is, you won’t be seen as one of the great musicians of your time if you aren’t consistent with your music output. That means not only should you put out songs and videos which are consistently good, but you should also do it over a long period of time. We all see musicians who come, have a few big hits and then disappear They’re then replaced by the ‘next big thing’, and the cycle happens all over again.
Regardless of whether you’re on a label or not, you want to be releasing music and staying in front of people’s faces for the long term. Never rely on anyone so much that if they’re not around you can’t get music to your fans. Keep your ear to what they want, and give it to them.
Characteristic 3: People Can Easily Relate To Great Musicians
The musicians who keep the long-term fan bases are the ones who others can relate to. You don’t want people to buy into your music, you want people to buy into you as a person. Maybe they’re in similar situations to you and can relate to what you’re saying, or relate to what you’re about. Furthermore you might be someone they find attractive, whether physically or based on your character.
The thing is, as humans we like to follow others who are achieving what we want to achieve. Or at the very least, those who we feel like we could be good friends with. So find out who your core audience are (most likely people like you), and show them that you’re someone that it’ll be fun to follow along with. Make sure you market those points which they’ll be able to relate to and emphasize them in a natural way where possible.
Characteristic 4: Great Musicians Aren’t Too Available
Now, these last two thing are slightly related, but this one is worth mentioning in it’s own right.
As much as you want to get your music out there so people know you’re good, there is such thing as giving too much. It’s tempting to put out tune after tune when you’re on a high and doing well in the public spotlight. While this is a favorite strategy of record labels as they want to make as much money from you as soon as possible (meaning a good return on investment for them), it’s not usually such a good thing for the act. Doing this will usually decrease your shelf life, and make people get bored of you fast.
Instead, you want people to have time to miss you in the periods where they aren’t getting any new material or aren’t touring in their area. So when you’re back, there will be even more excitement and buzz around you.
Now of course, you don’t want to be gone for so long people forget about you. This is a delicate balancing act, but get it right and it will increase the lifespan of your music career.
Characteristic 5: Great Musicians Need Strong Marketing And Branding Behind Them
Lastly, if you want to be seen as a great musicians, you need to show people how great you are. You could have the best singing voice in the world, but if you don’t show people that you won’t be recognized for this talent.
This is why all great musicians have a strong marketing team around them. There are people who do nothing but raise awareness of the act and what they’re up to. Even in down periods where the musician isn’t releasing much to their fanbase, believe that their marketing team is still keeping the word about them out there. Or at the very least sorting marketing campaigns for when they do return.
If you’ve the money to hire people to help with your marketing, as long as you’ve a good level of talent and some songs you can release, you should probably go for it. If you haven’t got the budget to hire people to market your music, you can always do it yourself until you can hire someone. My music marketing course The IMA Music Business Academy can teach you how to market yourself and make people want to listen to you.
Characteristics Of A Good Musician – What Makes A Musician Great Conclusion
If you want to be seen as a great musician, the above will all definitely help. While there are other factors which will also need to be in place, these are some of the main ones.
Are there any others factors you feel will increase the likelihood of you reaching this level? If so let us know in the comments.