How to Get Starting in the Music Business
So you want to get started in the music business, but you don’t know the first step to take—or the second, or the third, for that matter. Obviously, this isn’t a question that can be fully answered in a simple article like this one, which is why we offer full externship programs geared to help you break into the music biz! However, it definitely helps to have some sort of game plan or a track to run on, so this brief overview should hopefully give you a sense of direction.
DECIDE WHAT YOU WANT TO DO
The music business is broad, and there are a wide range of careers you could have within it—some on the administrative side, and some on the creative side. Getting started in the music business begins with deciding what area of the music business space you’d like to inhabit. Do you want to be a music producer or audio engineer? Do you see yourself as a musical artist? Do you like the idea of managing talent? Are you drawn to creating music in the studio, or are you drawn to working for a record label? Or perhaps you’d like to own your own studio, or even your own label. The pathway for different careers within music is going to be a bit different for each, so it helps to know which way you’d like to go.
SHADOW SOMEONE WHO DOES WHAT YOU WANT TO DO
Admittedly, there are some aspects of the music business that can be taught in a classroom, but really, the best way to learn the business is to find someone who does exactly what you’d like to be doing for a living, and shadow that person to see how they operate. This is the whole idea behind the externships offered at the Recording Connection. We believe the best person to teach you the music business is someone who is actually working in the music business.
MAKE LOTS OF CONNECTIONS
You’ve no doubt already heard this from us a lot, but connections are the lifeblood of the music business. Whether it’s in the studio or in the office of a record label, one of the most unique aspects of this business is that it is relationship-driven. Your qualifications alone won’t get you a job, a record deal, a publishing deal or any other kind of deal—that’s why degrees and diplomas don’t really matter here. You have to know lots of people in this business, and those people have to know you. The best way to make these connections is to spend time in the places where these people hang out. If you want to produce music, spend time in a recording studio. If you want to work in A&R at a label, try volunteering at a label. Go to industry events, and when you’re there, hob-nob, mingle and network. These are the people that can one day help you get a job, get a gig, or land a contract. These aren’t just people who know the music business—these people are the music business. This is one of the most important aspects of getting started in the music business. Get in with these people, and you’ll become an insider yourself before you know it.