I think we can all agree, music is pretty sweet
It can take you back to the middle of a life changing festival moment, get you through a break up, or simply provide backing tracks for everyday life. It doesn't matter what genre you're into, there is a song for every occasion.
Some of you out there might love music so much that you’re considering making it your career, but are unsure on how to get started and more importantly, how to get traction. So, to help you guys get up and running, we've put our heads together to come up with 5 tips on how to effectively pursue your dream career in music.
Gig as much as possible
So you’ve found a garage, sound proofed it and practise, practise practised. Now it’s time to gig. It’s going to be hard at first. It might take a little bit of time to find your groove on stage, develop a presence and get used to performing in front of a crowd, but you need to fight through those initial road blocks and gig as much as you possibly can.
Accept all the gigs you get offered, even if it’s a pub gig for 10 punters at 5pm. All this practice will pay off and after a while, you will be a polished machine that has developed some hype and is confident and ready to take on those bigger gigs you have been daydreaming about while practising.
Network, network and network some more
You can be the greatest new act to hit the scene since a young ACDC, if you don’t make some friends along the way, you won’t get very far. Whenever you can, get to your gigs early or even better, go and support other gigs. Chat with the booking agents, support acts, venue owners, camera guys, potential managers and even that random guy in the crowd that is just having a good time. Surrounding yourself with other creatives is vital to success and in this industry. You never know how far a conversation can take you.
Understand the business
At the end of the day, the music business is just that, a business. It’s great to get out there and perform for a crowd, but to make it a career, you need to get paid. Knowing the business side of things will stop you from getting ripped off and give you the confidence to stand up for yourself in those sticky business discussions. When you understand the business of music, you will ensure you’re getting paid on time, securing the best gigs, and not getting ripped off in contract negotiations. There will come a time when you will be able offload these duties to a management team, but when you’re starting out it is vital that you are across as much of the business as possible. It could be the difference between making it or not and save you a boatload of cash in the process.
Trial different kinds of music
You may have your style down pat, and that’s cool, but don’t be afraid to trial some other sounds when you can to get a feel for the entire musical spectrum. If you’re into metal, try and write some indie rock for a change, if you’re a trance producer, play around with a little disco once in a while. Immersing yourself in different genres will help you understand music as a whole, making you a much more well-rounded musician that is able to appreciate music of all styles.
Learn to promote yourself
Times are changing. You no longer need to be signed by a major label to have your work put in front of a huge number of potential fans. The magic of social media and online platforms means that you can do it yourself, so long as you know what to post and when to post it. It is true what they say, content is king, and using that content correctly can make all the difference.
Learn your target market, make sure your content is quality and make sure you know which platform is best for you to get the most traction. Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Spotify are some of your biggest assets as an emerging musician, make sure you know how to use them.
Being a successful musician is not a mistake. It takes a lot of hard work, dedication and lots of moving pieces. Mastering your music is only half the battle. But if you take the time, do it properly and follow these 5 tips, you are giving yourself the best opportunity to make it in the industry that you love so much!
Our Entertainment Business Management Degree is perfect for learning the nitty gritty of the music business and covers a broad range of skills and topics to help give either aspiring managers or artists the perfect base to launch a long and successful career in the music industry.
To learn more about studying Entertainment Business Management, click here.
Or, learn more about studying Contemporary Music Performance or Songwriting.