9 Tips to Find Your Signature Sound: Music Artist Branding
Have you found your signature sound yet? By the time most musicians start building their music artist brand, they’ve already spent years practicing and performing.
However, even before you can perform your music in front of an audience, you’ll need to come up with something original to stand out from the crowd and show that you’re more than just another musician trying to make it big.
That’s where finding your signature sound comes in! These 7 tips will help you find your signature sound so you can start making a name for yourself as an independent musician. Allons-y!
1) Start with what you like
Start with the music you like or music from artists that inspire you. Figure out what it is about the songs that catch your attention, then dig deeper and ask yourself why.
What feeling does the music that makes you want to dance evoke?
What about songs with infectious rhythm?
Reverse engineering those feelings is your following approach once you can deduce why the songs make you feel the way you do. It is indeed an experimental approach so don’t be afraid to break a leg while at it!
2) Listen to lots of different genres
A wide music listening palate would help you become better at musical gymnastics. According to Oga Marc eff of kovapot, musical gymnastics is the process of combing music genres to conjure one’s caricature sound.
Imagine the outcome when you combine Ndombolo from congo with Njang from the northwest of Cameroon mixed with a little flavor of RnB! (Be proud by witty minstrel was born via such an experimental combination)
Listen to different types of music, new and old, on the radio and by artists that are becoming superstars. Seeing what you like and don’t like in each piece can help you identify whether your style is defined more by lyrics or instrumentals.
If you’re interested in creating hip-hop, for example, listening to slow songs won’t be helpful because they won’t reflect the sound of the genre well.
3) Learn a musical instrument
Learning how to play an instrument can help you in crafting a unique sound for your music artist brand. Every musical instrument is built on music theory which serves as the foundation for music creation. Remember it takes time with a lot of practice to be good at any instrument!
It is vital to take some time and explore different options before making your purchase to ensure that you are investing in something compatible with your needs and skill level.
4) Create songs with a purpose
Don’t be the guy that creates music just because you feel like it. If you need people to listen to your music, it makes sense to consider them during the music creation phase.
One way to find your signature sound is by creating songs with a purpose. Purpose-driven songs are those that are written with a specific message or cause in mind. Music that expresses our human feelings and the things we go through in the process of living is easily relatable.
Making sure the lyrics serve a larger purpose beyond your brand can help you stand out among your peers and create meaningful connections with your listeners.
5) Concentrate on the sounds you hear around you
Learning how to recognize the music around you is a huge step towards developing your signature sound. The more sounds you’re able to pick up on, the better prepared you’ll be when it comes time for producing and composing your music pieces.
Keep an ear out for melodies, harmonies, different types of percussion instruments, and synthesized notes while in public places like supermarkets or passing by people on the street. The more things you hear, the more likely it is that one will catch your attention and may spur a new song idea later on.
Making music from local things lying around you can also push your uniqueness forward. Build your sounds. It takes a few minutes to turn the sofa you are currently sitting on into a drum kick for your next song! Ask me how and ill teach you lol.
6) Be your own critic
While experimenting to figure out your sound remember growth is a gradual process. Avoid comparing yourself with others who have been at their best way long before you started yours. Two works of Art can never be identical and understanding this fact will help you avoid putting so much pressure on your metal.
Don’t fret—give yourself a little pep talk, think of a strategy that works for you, and know that it’s okay not to be the most talented guy out there.
Rather than pressuring your mind with unnecessary comparison, seek feedback instead.
Getting feedback from other musicians on your work is an important way to grow. Being able to take criticism is crucial to developing your signature sound. Sometimes you may need constructive criticism, and sometimes you may just need the encouragement of a fellow musician.
7) Make music both when you are inspired and when you’re not.
I know this might sound like terrible work ethics to most of you but try to reason with me! Making music only when you are inspired would mean that you only have to work on your craft when in a heightened flow state. This is not sustainable because weekly your heighten flow state isn’t that many
While trying to better your craft, the is something called life that happens simultaneously as you work toward that goal. An inspiration snatcher that requires years of metal practice to rise above the troubles it brings.
If everyone worked only when inspired, the world would be in a serious crisis.
I have made good Music from just training my mind to work every day regardless of whether I’m inspired or not. After yrs of practice, my muscle memory is rock solid and comes to my rescue during my low flow state moments. I also make it a habit to review my old projects when inspiration strikes so I can avoid putting out work that doesn’t reflect the brand I’m trying to build.
Remember it is music and the digital era has made music-making so easy.
Allow yourself to be the worst so you can shine at your best!
Never give yourself a reason to be lazy or your mind would become the boss of you if you don’t show’em whose boss!
8) Get used to hearing yourself play in public
The only way you’re going to be a superstar is if you’re willing to put yourself out there – the best practice for doing this is by performing your music at bars, coffee shops, and restaurants.
Thanks to Covid19 it’s possible to make a bush lamp concert in the confines of your home while your fans watch you via the world wide web.
Hear how you sound in a live concert or front of a bunch of strangers. This will give you a better idea 0of what’s needed to perfect your vocals. Your vocals and the way you sing the songs you write are definitely part of your signature sound.
9) Keep refining your skills and knowledge
Knowledge and creativity go hand in hand. So make sure you’re always learning, discovering new sounds, and expanding your creativity. Go outside of your comfort zone and experiment with new instruments, melodies, rhythms, and sounds—and don’t be afraid to learn from other people! Try new things and be open-minded
No matter what genre of music you perform, your success as an artist depends on finding the sound that best represents you and your talents.
It is the reason why Musicians like Drake, Eminem, Dr. Dre, etc have stayed relevant for decades.
It’s not always easy to determine what it is about you or your music that sets you apart from others!
Work on a lot of music and be patient. No artist started their carer with a unique sound from the get-go.
Have fun creating
Thank you so much for this article. It should be very useful for young acts who are still grappling with finding a way for themselves, and putting out the identity of their music.