Career Advice for the Aspiring Musician
It’s everyone’s dream, but how can you achieve it? If you’re an aspiring musician you need to check out this advice from the music experts.
Reality check: There are a lot of talented people in the world and an aspiring musician can be found almost anywhere. So, how do you make the leap into making music a full-time career?
The answer might be found in the question already. You have to take a leap.
Today, we’re going to look a few guiding ideas to help you, with career advice from people who are making their livings in music.
For example, internationally acclaimed singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran told the now-defunct Walmart Risers that an aspiring musician needs to “Just do you. There are 7 billion people in this world and there is no one like you. There is no one who is going to write songs like you. There’s no one who is going to sing like you.”
Ready to get started? Let’s go!
Make Sure This Is What You Want to Do
This ties back a bit to defining whatever music means to you. The aspiring musician needs to spend a fair bit of time taking an internal inventory of goals and desires. That’s called introspection.
What kind of aspiring musician are you? What do you want out of your career?
Knowing the answers to these questions is critical to taking that all-important next step.
If you want to be a professional musician, meaning you get paid enough to support your life by doing what musicians do, then you need to take the time to be an aspiring musician.
It can be difficult to advance your music career by leaps and bounds if you spend most of your waking hours making other people money. There simply aren’t enough hours in a day.
There is a way to balance a day job and your music career. But, you can’t win big if you don’t invest big.
And, if you flub, what really did you lose? Money and time?
Is going back to where you started really a loss? Absolutely not! It’s a new beginning for the next big adventure.
Become a Professional Aspiring Musician
You want this to be your job right? Treat it like any professional treats his or her job. This means taking on many of the characteristics and doing many of the things professionals do, even if right now you’re still in the “aspiring” stage.
KEN Mode‘s founders Jesse and Shane Matthewson have revealed that many musicians have little training or skills that help them to success.
“The music business is a business, just like any other,” they told music site “The Hub”. “As we’ve found out very quickly, very few people in this industry have any tangible business training…. Our previous jobs and training have been a huge help in allowing us to stay afloat for all these years.”
Get Ready to Hustle
There is an entrepreneurial aspect to music.
Think about it. You are trying to take an idea or concept from being incorporeal to a tangible thing, not unlike a startup. You also need to get people to want something they don’t know they want yet, again, a parallel to the hustle in the startup world.
This means getting out and playing more shows, writing more songs, meeting more people, going to more events and otherwise spending more time doing building your musical “brand” in a sense.
Get Connected in More Ways Than One
The world is online. Thus, the world is more immaterial and actual ownership of information (and music is essentially information) has never been more devalued.
At the same time, music has never been in such high demand as demonstrated by the rise of the streaming service.
There are billions of streams every day. You are doing yourself a disservice by not making a run on as many streaming services as possible.
Further, social media has never put more power in the hands of the aspiring musician. You can now control your image, messaging, and connections. You also have access to millions of eager ears with just a few clicks.
That said. You want humans to pay for what you do.
You need to do human things like getting out and knowing the local music power brokers like booking agents, venue owners, talent scouts, other like-minded aspiring musicians to increase the possibility of that one chance meeting that changes things.
There’s a word for that we’ll borrow from the business world: networking.
Good human interactions are meaningful and memorable, especially in a world where goodwill and favors are potent currency.
Networking increases your exposure often in more meaningful ways than simply playing a show will. You are able to market you, not just what you present on stage.
“Just Play Live”
Rock legend Dave Grohl didn’t pull any punches when giving advice for the aspiring musician on The Off Camera Show: “Just play live.”
“I just know that when you walk into a club and you see a band that blows you away you are going to follow that band; you are either going buy their CD; or, you’re going to find them online,” Grohl told host Sam Jones.
This ties in with getting as connected as possible. You can’t have the full effect of your musical genius blow people away if you’re still sitting in your basement playing Stairway for the millionth time.
It’s Going to Be Hard — But Worth It
Multi-talented musical professional Ryan Brahms told sonicbids.com that his journey to musical success wasn’t easy. In fact, he faced strains on relationships, irregular schedules and mistakes, and being taken advantage of early on in his career.
“Art and inspiration come from everything, but they weren’t kidding when they say it comes from strife,” Brahms said.
Remember that a big part of keeping the hustle up is staying motivated as a musician.