How To (Actually) Become A Professional Musician, Music Producer, Or Artist
Written by Cameron Mayo
It’s a very common question: I want to be a musician, but where do I start? Starting a career in the music industry can be very exciting and potentially highly profitable with recording artist salaries reaching into the millions of dollars. This article will tell you how to achieve the dream of becoming a professional musician.
One of the most important parts of any career is honing your craft. Practicing your chosen instrument until you are at a professional level is essential when starting a career. Hours of practice is how to be a good musician. It certainly helps having a good teacher or coach, but nothing can replace personal practice.
You should also make it your mission to study music. Dissect all types of songs, regardless of genre, and find out what makes them work. You should also read books on musical theory. Having more understanding about what makes good music will serve you well whether you are a performer or a producer.
If you are interested in becoming a music producer, you should also consider taking a music theory course at a university. These skills and qualifications will be very useful at showing labels that you know your stuff.
You should also talk to musicians in your local area. They will have some great insight to help you improve and they’ll warn you of potential pitfalls. Often in the music industry, getting started is the hardest part, so having good relationships with established performers is essential.
If you are respectful, nice, and clearly passionate about music, other musicians are more likely to be willing to use their contacts to help you. The larger you are able to build your contact list, the more opportunities you will find. Also, if you can collaborate with established artists successfully, their fanbase will discover your music.
You should also perform as often as you can. There are countless amateur opportunities to play your music for an audience. Performances are a great way to gain experience and learn about how the music industry works. Talent scouts often trawl through local events looking for performers they think they can guide to mainstream appeal.
Playing open mics and at small venues is often free for the artist, so you don’t need any seed money to get going. If you don’t have professional recordings of your music yet, than record the shows you play. Your live gigs will have to be your initial portfolio which could be enough to get the ball rolling.
As you perform, reach out to other, bigger local artists and ask to open for them. This is an important time to have some recordings of your music and some evidence that you have some fans. If you can increase the turnout to their concert, the headlining band would be happy to have you open for them.
As you perform, make some fans, and sell albums at shows, you will start to make some money. It won’t be much at first but when you are just starting any profit is good. If you can, directly invest that money back into your music. Buy studio time to record more tracks. Pay for a good producer. It unfortunately costs money to get professional recordings of your songs, so save up and make each dollar count.
You should keep your eye out for artist development programs or internships. These programs will pair you with a more established artist who will show you the ropes. These can be a great way of getting a huge amount of growth in a short space. You’ll find that by the end of the program your work is much better than it was when you started. Different programs will focus on different things, but all will help you understand the industry better and help you develop as an artist.
TO WRAP IT UP
This article has outlined some great ways to help you kickstart your career and build a fanbase. We talked about the importance of practice and learning, talking to more experienced performers, doing live events and albums and taking part in development programs. You should use a mix of all these techniques to get into the industry. While the road ahead looks difficult, you’ll find that opportunities are always presenting themselves.
To help get a following online, you need to promote on social media. But that could be a full time job and you have to focus on making music. Omari MC has the best organic music promotion available and will get legit, active listeners engaged with your music.
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