Hard Truths: It’s Better to Finish Your Release Then Play a Show

Welcome to Hard Truths, the series on the LANDR Blog where we cut through the noise and take on a harsh reality from the world of music production. This is the advice you might not want to hear—but will make you a better producer.

There’s nothing more exciting than the feeling of playing music in a live setting.

But sometimes focusing your energy on live events can distract you from the bigger task at hand, finishing your release.

Here’s my hard truth for today: a finished release is almost always your key to moving your music career forward.

It’s something that your fans can stream, share, purchase, and connect with anywhere they are in the world.

That’s why you shouldn’t let shows become the busywork that distracts you from finishing that release and using it to grow your music.

Finishing singles and albums gives you a platform

When you play a live event, it’s always that much more impactful if you can promote something concrete afterward.

A finished release is almost always your key to moving your music career forward

It’s your opportunity to turn a moment with an audience into potential life long fans.

Not having anything to share after a show is a lost opportunity and even a waste of time.

An album can even be the impetus for getting a show in the first place.

You can plan a launch show, tour, and even get placed on better bills from the increased exposure.

Playing shows without an album risks sending you into a rut where you can’t move up the ladder because you don’t have the exposure you need.

Adequately preparing for a show takes time

It takes so much time to book a venue, find other artists, and practice to put on a truly great event.

It takes so much time to book a venue, find other artists, and practice to put on a truly great event.

If your efforts are split between recording and coordinating a live production, both efforts might come out half baked.

It’s almost always better to focus on one or the other, especially if you’re just getting started.

Sure, playing shows can get you accustomed to playing in front of people, which is a skill in its own right.

But, what’s the point of working so hard preparing for one show, when that energy could be spent on finishing a release that could open many doors?

Learning how to perform live is a skill you’ll learn with time as your music career progresses.

Finishing an album is a big accomplishment

But it takes a lot of focus and time.

Finishing something is always harder than getting started, but there’s plenty of ways to find time to focus on finishing what you started.

Set deadlines, create a schedule, block off time to focus, and be picky about how you spend your time.

It’s never a bad idea to take anywhere from two weeks to a month to specifically focus on the last push to finish your album.

Don’t forget that there’s many tools out there that can help you get your album to completion like online mastering tools and mixing VSTs.

Play the right shows at the right time

This is not to say that you should turn down every show that comes your way.

Of course, you should play shows, they’re so useful for growing your following.

But, if you really want to focus on advancing your music career, you can’t take every opportunity.

Playing bad shows isn’t just a distraction, it can be bad for morale and hurt your project’s image.

Don’t waste your time playing to the same audience at your local bar or nightclub over and over again.

If you get an opportunity that promises you exposure to a new audience you should jump on the bill!

The key is to be discerning about the kinds of shows you want your project to be associated with.

The key is to be discerning about the kinds of shows you want your project to be associated with.

Your album is like a tattoo

It’s a permanent piece of art that will forever be attached to your name.

Releasing something that needed more time might lead to regrets down the road.

So if you’re trying to finish an album, take the time to focus on it and do it right.

 

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