The following guest blog is written by country singer/songwriter Allen Krehbiel. His debut album “Heart of a Dad” is a wonderful collection of original songs from a Dad’s perspective. These songs elicit smiles, bring up memories, and pluck the heartstrings. Above all, the songs celebrate the blessing that is fatherhood. Please visit his website www.allenkrehbiel.com to listen to his music and join his mailing list.
I am a singer/songwriter. That is to say that I write songs that I believe in, and I sing them to anyone who will listen. If other artists want to sing those songs, all the better! Although I enjoy what I am doing right now, I’m sure I’m like many of you in that I have much higher dreams for where this journey could lead.
“Making It” In the Music Business
It is very easy to assess the music scene and become discouraged by the massive discrepancy between where you are at and where you think you need to be to “make it”. That said, it is also important to understand that if you are making music because you love making music, that discrepancy does not matter one bit!
I would say that one of the most significant nuggets of advice I have received and followed in this journey is this:
“Do something every day to further your journey,
no matter how insignificant it seems.”
What Does This Mean?
Adding a phrase to my collection of song ideas, jotting down some phrases on a theme, meeting with a co-writer for coffee, reading some bios of artists or songwriters, sitting down with the guitar or piano to encourage music expression, sending out demos, reading a book or watching a movie looking for song ideas, recording random idea snippits, checking out local open mic nights, and even just cranking up my favorite CD heading down the highway.
Yes, all of those count, believe it or not.
Each activity represents a small step in the direction you want to go in furthering your music career, and they ensure you don’t drop the dream altogether. The worst thing you could do today for your music career… is nothing.
Songwriting is a Process—Allow it to Unfold
Notice that I did not mention “sit down and write a hit song”. That’s certainly not a bad outcome, but ultimately, every song that has become a “final product” of mine can be traced back to a first step that was, in itself, seemingly insignificant. Each of the tiny steps in the song’s birthing process led to other steps that formed and shaped the song either directly or indirectly, until one day I’m signing a single-song agreement with an excited and optimistic publisher who hopes to take it much farther than I can on my own. The song would not have even come into existence if I hadn’t taken 30 seconds to jot down the title in my idea book one day.
As an example from my own journey, I’ve been baby-stepping towards the dream of writing a hit single for a huge country artist. Recently, I looked up from those steps and realized I was in a great place to release my first solo album, featuring several of the songs that I had recorded and had been pitching to the “industry”. Releasing a solo project was not the goal when I began, but because I did something each day, I ended up with the relationships, equipment, skills, and songs to release a project with which I am extremely pleased.
A Journey of a Thousand Miles Begins with a Single Step
Ultimately, you cannot go wrong by doing “something” every day to further your journey. You’ll be amazed at how far you can go taking one little step at a time, and you might just end up in the very place that looked too far away when you first started out. Or, you may find yourself in a brand new place you never even imagined…
Please share Allen’s insight with others.