Quality over quantity
Every man and their dog appears to be aiming for quality over quantity these days ... so what exactly does that mean in the music world? For those in the music world, quality comes at a price, whether it's the gear we use, the time it takes to bring our ideas to life or simply the amount of practice we need to do in order to create something we're truly proud of. There are a number of ways we can focus on quality over quantity in regards to our musical life, keep reading to find out how ...
Plugins and studio gear:
With the rise of digital technology, do we really need all the analogue gear? Feel free to read the arguments as to why or why not found all over the internet. This rise of technology has brought on another bread of hoarder, the digital hoarder - those who download every available plugin just to add to their never ending library. Eventually, you will get to a point when you realise that you simply have too many tools at your disposal that you don't know how to use effectively. Would you rather be 100% confident using the tools you have or 60% sure that you can use the plugin effectively?
Yes, instruments are one of the main tools for musicians to showcase their creativity, but in reality, do we really need a room full of synthesisers, guitars or even hard drive full of soft-synths for that matter? In most cases, no! If we aim to purchase high quality gear that does the job well, we could really minimise the amount of equipment we actually need simply by not feeling like we need another guitar or type of drum to achieve our goal. Of course, as musicians we still need to cover a range of sounds and tones which are not always possible with one instrument, but keep in mind that a good quality instrument actually encourages you to practice!
Music production and releasing:
Give your fans a few high quality track released over the course of a few months or a bunch of mediocre music released on a daily basis. We are at the point with available technology that it makes a serious difference when we release mediocre work. The modern world has gotten used to receiving high quality products quickly and cheaply, so should your music be any different? YES! Here's why ... if you release a mediocre track every day/week/etc then your fanbase may fluctuate depending on any number of reasons but if you were to release one high quality track every week or month, however long it takes you, your fans will be more interested and committed to following your work, make sure you keep them updated during the process to maintain the relationship.
Gigs and performances:
Similar to the music production and releasing, wouldn't it be better to have your fans super excited and willing to wait in line to finally hear your new music live? If you decide to play every single show or every weekend you will end up leaving your fans thinking 'it's ok to miss this one, I'll catch the next one!' Wouldn't it be better to have a sold out show twice a year than to have 10 or 15 shows with a small crowd?
Anyone who's ever tried to play an instrument or tried to learn a new skill knows that it takes practice to go from a beginner to competent in any amount of time. Rather than practice just for the hell of it, focused practice with clear goals and thought out tasks, such as incorporating rhythmic exercises into your scale practice, makes the whole process more efficient allowing you to spend more time doing what you want instead of running scales all day. Remember to take regular breaks to maintain concentration.
In the end, quality is what we want, right? We all want work that we can be proud of. Think about it, when your older and cleaning out your home and you stumble upon some old recordings of yours or your grandkids search your name on the internet, come across some of your music, you'd want to be proud enough of your work to show them and have them be excited that it was actually you who created that, right?