Today, most musicians will have means of recording audio at home, whether that includes an array of mics and outboard gear, an audio interface and a MIDI controller or just the mic on their phone or computer and something to record into.
Many musicians refrain from home recording, but even the scratchiest of tracks will document your work more accurately than your memory. Once you get comfortable with recording tracks, it can be great fun to experiment with software plugins and effects to manipulate your recordings. If you’ve never tried, it’s a brilliant, hands-on way to learn what some of the effects do, and can inspire new ideas as a bonus.
8. Make some Easy Money
I know what you’re thinking, but hear me out. There is every likelihood that you’re a little stressed about money right now. The majority of musicians have paychecks that are erratic at best, so having ways to stimulate your income are important.
So what constitutes “easy” money? Some of the best ways to make money online include market research and research surveys. The latter can be very time consuming, but the market research can yield good results with some planning. No, it’s not music related, but it can keep the cash flowing.
9. Perfect your Pedalboard
Ah, the fun bit. We’ve all watched That Pedal Show, Rig Doctor and The JHS Show and wept in awe of the boards and pedals on display. Many have taken to buying pedals incase of currency fluctuations post-pandemic, but whether you choose to make purchases or work with what you’ve already got, you have a good amount of time to really make your board the best it can be.
There are no hard and fast rules, but general maintenance like tidying cable lengths and rearranging your pedal layout for maximum efficiency can make worlds of difference when you play. This is also a fantastic opportunity for you to experiment with the order and selection of your pedals. If you have more than one of the same kind of effect, but you’ve never A/B’d them, give it a try. Set up a “core” sound and flip between the different versions, first trying to target the sounds you’d normally use, but also pushing the pedals to their limits. You might find some interesting sounds that you never knew you had in your arsenal!
10. Keep your Mental Health in Check
Last, but by no means least, is a mention for your mental health. These are truly unprecedented times and the uncertainty of the situation can prove to be a tricky hurdle for some. Everyone’s mental health is different, and hopefully you will know what works for you, but there are certain things worth remembering.
Firstly, remember to take some time for yourself, every day, whether that is a bout of meditation, a walk, a shower or something else. Use the time to de-stress and calm your mind. Apps like Headspace can be really useful for this.
Next, make sure you are in contact with friends and family as often as you can be. Social media can be bashed at times, but it’s power enables us to connect with people even when they aren’t with us. Remind yourself as often as possible of those around you, and be sure to check in on them whenever you can.
Finally, and only where you can safely do so, try to exercise at least once per day. This doesn’t need to be excessive but a short walk, run or cycle ride can drastically improve your mind’s health. More importantly, it can be really refreshing to break out of the confines of the four walls at a time like this, so even if you only take a walk around the block it can help your state of mind.