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A Successful Career in the Music Industry

Making a name for yourself in any creative industry isn’t easy. It requires a lot of work, time, and effort. It requires sleepless nights, financial investment, and loads of sacrifices that no one will ever see. But that’s the cost of finding a way to make a living off of your passion, isn’t it? If everyone could do it easily, the industry would be a very different place. 

Many people who are not familiar with the process of how this works will assume that you’d just post a video online, wait for the right deal to come along, and then you’ll suddenly be a millionaire. Unfortunately, things normally don’t work like that. Rather than setting yourself up to potentially fall hard, you should just take the steps that you need to make it big the right way. Below are a few options to consider.

1) Music Education

One of the first things you need to do if you’re serious about a career in music is to get an education in music. This will make you a more versatile recording artist, and it will also make you a more knowledgeable client to work with.

You can start by studying music theory on your own, but you should also consider going through some sort of vocational training, a four-year university, or trade school in order to learn about the recording industry. This will allow you the insight and knowledge to really take control of your career. This education will allow you to know what you want to with your skills. It will give you some direction. 

2) Enroll In An Apprenticeship

Apprenticeships are a great way to learn about the recording industry. With the right program, you can see firsthand what it will take to be an artist, producer, writer, or whatever else you may want to be. Learning information online or in a book doesn’t exactly prepare you for actual work in the real world. Thus it would be to your advantage to try to get some hands-on experience. 

Many of these apprenticeships allow you to make connections, find collaborators, and just generally learn about the industry in a tangible way. Unlike the music school path, which is still valuable, this path allows you to learn about how things really are, not how people think they are.  

3) Find Connections

You should be able to complete your education in just a couple of years, and during that time, you may be able to get your foot in the door with some people who are already in the industry. Making it big in much of anything nowadays is all about connections.

It really doesn’t matter how talented you are if you don’t have the connections to get through the field. Making friends with the right people will be a key to your success overall. It sounds craven, but it’s just the fact of how things go. You need to make sure you’re finding avenues for yourself to grow. 

4) Hone Your Skills

A lot of people focus on the industry side of things when talking about building a career for themselves. And that’s obviously an important part of the trials of building a life for yourself in the music industry, but one of the aspects that people don’t discuss enough is the fact that … you need to be very good at what you do. You need to have a voice, a persona, a viewpoint on music that’s undeniable. If you don’t have these things already, the business side of the career can wait. Focus on the craft first. 

5) Be Active Online

This should be a given, but you’d be surprised how many people aren’t good at building a platform for themselves. What’s even stranger is how some people don’t even think to start building an online following. If you aren’t doing it right now, start. It’s the only way to really guarantee that you’re going to be making tangible inroads into a music career. You need to be pushing forward, making music, and posting it online. End of story. 

6) Promotion Is A Good Thing

Never stop promoting yourself. You might get an agent in the future and go through those kinds of formalities, but initially, you have to do a lot of that work yourself. Take the initiative to get your name out there, whether that’s through signing up for gigs in your hometown or just contacting people in the industry. Laziness and procrastination will do nothing but weigh you down in the long run.


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