A passionate scientist is all about seeking out knowledge. He/she will try to prove theories through experimentation. The final outcome may not be what was anticipated or hoped for, but knowledge was gained through the experimentation which will lead to new experimentation with the newly acquired info.
The reason I bring this up is because this new world we live in is still very new and rapidly changing. This is the time to experiment and try new ideas. You have very little to lose. If something doesn’t work and you maybe lost some money in the process, you now know something you didn’t know before. You’ll take that little bit of wisdom you gained and try something else. You might have lost some time and money, but you’re not out of the game.
That could be demoing your songs on youtube and seeing what songs are worth professionally recording by the feedback you get. That’s an experiment because it can be hard to judge your own work. It could be playing with artists you typically wouldn’t play with. It’s an experiment to see how their audience will react to your music. It could be testing out different social networks to see which one is benefiting your music the most (so you spend more time on the right one).
You’ll mess up a few times and get outcomes you’d rather not get, but you’ll always learn something if you have an open mind to just trying things out and seeing what happens.[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2IlHgbOWj4o]
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I’d add an important qualification, before we take the “musician as scientist” premise beyond its limitations: scientists only experiment with things that they think have a chance of working.
A scientist starts with a hypothesis that is consistent with what is already known and tries to verify it through experimentation. The hypothesis will be founded on the scientists own research (experience), plus the accumulated work of all other scientists in the field.
What does that mean for musicians: before you experiment, ask yourself what is needed to make it work, whether your experience suggests that it will and how do you judge if it did. Otherwise you’ll be wasting your time and possibly money on what is essentially gambling. Even in Vegas, you’ll sometimes win big, but most times you won’t.