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9 Expert Tips for DIY Musician Success to Try in 2016

The good news: it's still early enough in 2016 to get a jumpstart on those resolutions. Here are nine tips that you might want to include on your shiny new to-do list that come straight from the mouths – er, fingers – of our expert Sonicbids contributors.

1. "Find someone who's constructive to your career and knows how to work his or her connections. Choose these people wisely. While contracts aren't forever binding, they are a pain in the ass to get out of." – Shawn Cohen and Jon Vetri, A&R reps at Wind-up Records

From: How to Get A&R Attention (According to A&R Reps)

2. " is a popular destination for [meeting fellow musicians], and in some of the bigger cities, there are a lot of networking and educational workshops or seminars where you can find people to discuss music with and possibly folks interested in jamming." – Ty Trumbull, musician

From: 5 Ways to Find Fellow Musicians in a New City

3. "Want to plan a summer tour? Start booking now! Gonna put out a new single in April? Start shooting the video now! Gonna put out a Christmas album at the end of 2016? Start recording now! Don't wait. Don't procrastinate." – Chris Robley, songwriter

From: Avoid These 5 Common Music Career Mistakes in the New Year

4. "Make time to practice (or just jam) one on one with each member of your band.... Even if it's just a singer and a drummer, having time to play together will give you a better understanding of the other person's musicality, which will ultimately build stronger chemistry." – Sam Friedman, electronic music producer

From: How to Build Chemistry With Your Bandmates

5. "Start small. If you give some songs away to 10 people, then they'll share it with other people and so on. Soon, more people will know you, and more people will want to listen." – Anthony Cerullo, musician

From: 6 Lessons All Musicians Should Learn From the Grateful Dead

6. "Writing an op-ed piece allows people who may not have heard of your music to see and read your thoughts on an issue. Op-ed pieces with larger platforms can get a lot of traction, which can in turn mean new fans." – Marco Pavé, activist and rapper

From: How to Use Your Platform as an Indie Artist for Positive Change

7. "If you're holding onto a half-broken instrument or piece of gear that sometimes doesn't even work properly, it might be time to let go and invest in an upgrade that'll last.... Be smart with your gear; you can still be frugal, but don't be cheap!" – Sam Friedman, electronic music producer

From: Musicians: 9 Things It's Time to Let Go of in 2016

8. "While you should always be the person responsible for the direction of your art and the daily creative process you live by, having other trustworthy people around you who excel in marketing, social media, and content creation (all while having a great ear for music and innovative ideas as to what the future holds) is a huge advantage." – Eric Bernsen, marketing/public relations professional and music journalist

From: 5 Things Rising Hip-Hop Artists Need to Know for 2016

9. "Need some songs to perform at shows? Get into the habit of writing regularly – even if it's just 10 minutes each morning – then focus on a few songs that come out of your practice and make them something you're truly proud of." – Anthony Cerullo, musician

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