Avoiding Stagnation As An Artist


© 2009 Vinny Ribas

Stagnation can be the death of any business, and it is no exception with singers and musicians. Fans love to see you mature as an artist, improving yourself and challenging yourself as a singer, songwriter or performer. When every CD seems to be better than the last, and every show is a new experience, it keeps fans coming back to see what new surprises you have in store. The trick is to grow as an artist, but balance that growth with the demand from your fans to remain true to what they love about you.

Here are some areas in which you can always be improving yourself:

  • Singing better, especially live. A good vocal coach can help you improve the quality of your voice, your vocal range, your stamina and much more. Developing your authentic vocal signature and improved versatility will always bring rave reviews.
  • Playing better instrumentally. There is always something you can improve on. Maybe you can challenge yourself by mastering a new technique or style. You might master another instrument to change up your sound or show with. This might even mean using different effects on your instrument. One-up yourself every time and you’ll keep your fans intrigued.
  • Improve your stage performance. A good performance coach can transform your good show into a riveting experience for your fans. The way you sing and perform every song should be evaluated. The things you say in between songs and the way that you say them should be evaluated. Make your performances an experience that your fans want to share with all of their friends and will come back to time and time again.
  • Establish an image. You may not want to look at it this way, but your act and your music combine to create a brand that need to be marketed just like any other company markets their products. Before a new product hits the shelves, much thought goes into the packaging of the product so that it 1) fits in with its competitors on the shelf, but; 2) stands out from them in some unique way (color, shape, texture etc). Artists need to go through the same process of establishing their brand (their look, sound, personality, musical ability, vocal ability, the look of their CDs etc.)
  • Improve your recordings. This may mean hiring a producer instead of self-producing your CD. Or it might mean hiring a better producer, musicians or engineer than you hired on your last CD. Maybe you need to change studios to get a different sound. Each of these can improve the quality of your products dramatically.
  • Improve your songwriting. Writing with better songwriters and taking songwriting workshops from great teachers are 2 ways to accomplish this. You might venture into writing with people who have mastered a style different than yours just to expand your creativity and capabilities.

A great artist never stops learning and improving. When you do, in most cases you’ve started your downhill plunge.


About The Author

Vinny Ribas

Vinny Ribas is the founder and CEO of Indie Connect, an artist management, consulting and training company. The company also hosts networking and educational events and has published an app that connects people to the Nashville Music Industry. During his 40+ year career, Vinny has been a full time musician, artist manager, booking agent, songwriter, studio owner, producer and the Entertainment Director for the NV State Fair. He has also coached over 1000 artists and songwriters. He is a sought after speaker and has authored over 400 music industry articles. Vinny is also the CEO of Top 4M Entertainment, an independent film and television production company.