Whether you are just starting out in the music industry and deciding which path to take or, you’re already performing live and are looking to change things up, the question of whether to go it alone will have entered your mind at one time or another.
Personally, I have performed as a soloist as well as in a band situation and both performance vehicles have very distinctive pros and cons attached to each.
In this post I’d like to go through the pros and cons of being a solo artist with you.
You Have Total Artistic Freedom – As there’s no-one else getting in the way of your musical vision you have the ultimate artistic freedom to create the music that YOU want to create.
You set the songwriting and rehearsal schedules any time you want and you don’t have to worry about the punctuality issues of other band members.
You Make All The Profit – There are no other members to share the performance fee with so you keep the lot. You also take all of the credit for a job well done. All of a sudden, all of the work you’ve done will seem to be worth it.
You’re Free Of (Band) Drama – Being a solo artist means that there’s no conflict with others. No egos to clash, no music differences to navigate around and no arguments over songwriting royalties and how much to split the rehearsal room fee.
This is because everything is all up to you and you have the freedom to run your act the way YOU want to and at the end of the day, if you want to stop doing it, you don’t have any messy break up issues to contend with.
It’s Harder To Get Motivated – As there’s no-one else to be accountable to, you’re going to be relying on your self discipline to get you through the long days of being a solo artist.
If you don’t have much in the self discipline department then you’re going to find it very hard to get motivated as there will be no-one else around if you get stuck.
You’ll Be Doing ALL The Work – I hope you have space in your house for all of the hats you’ll be wearing both musically and administratively as you try to run your solo music career.
The two main drawbacks of doing everything yourself is firstly, you’ll get really frustrated by how long everything takes to do. As you’ll have no-one else to delegate tasks to this will become an issue but secondly (and most importantly), you’ll at some stage become very overwhelmed by all the activity you need to do.
Unless you have advanced time management skills you’ll become paralysed by having too much choice at your disposal.
You’ll Be Paying For Everything – As well as doing all of the work needed to keep your music career afloat, you’ll also be paying all the expenses and taking on any negative feedback that comes your way.
Now of course investing in yourself and getting feedback is very important for your music career, you’ll need to develop deep pockets and thicker skin if you’re in this for the long haul
Believe me, I know this from experience.
It Can Get Pretty Lonely – Humans in general are social creatures and musicians (and other creative types) are especially so which leads me to this last point… Going solo gets pretty lonely at times.
This is even more so when you’re touring so if you’re not confident enough to talk to people you don’t know make sure you start developing that confidence as early on in your career as you can
Do you have any other suggestions as to the pros and cons of being a solo artist? Do you have any solo artist stories you’d like to share? Let me know, I’d love to hear from you.
Until next time, just go out there and do it,
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