5 Tips to Make It in the Music Industry
Have you ever thought, "I wish I had the talent to make it big?"
Many people may think that talent is the only thing you need to have in order to be successful in the music industry. Unfortunately (or fortunately, if you are a hard worker!), it’s much more complicated than that.
The music industry is very competitive and one of the more difficult industries to break into, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible.
Whether you are a Music Producer, Engineer, or Artist, you still may have what it takes to break into the music industry if you work hard and take the necessary steps.
So, what steps do you have to take?
Let's break it down!
Table Of Contents
- Perfect Your Skill Set
- Do Something Crazy
- Be Determined
- Use The Right Tools To Break Into The Music Industry
1. Perfect Your Skill-Set
You never really want to have a closed mindset when working on your craft in the music industry.
Try broadening your horizons such as singing lessons, piano lessons, guitar lessons, etc.
Ultimately, you want to find out what you like most about music. Experiment with different genres, even if you think you may not like it.
Chances are you are going to learn something from it one way or the other.
Maybe you’ll come to find out that you’re actually more interested in the engineering/production side of music. Whatever it may be, you want to learn everything you can.
Limiting yourself, no matter what course of action you decide to take in life, is never a healthy approach.
Study everything you can about music and the people who are professionally involved in music. You never know what doors or untapped potential you could be unlocking during your research and practicing.
Perfecting your craft always proves to be beneficial, even if it’s time spent without your instrument in your hands.
2. Do Something Crazy
Artists, Producers, Record Label owners and more are always keeping their ears open for the next best thing.
These people are looking for something that they’ve never heard before.
If you want your career to last, being innovative is vital. Finding your sound can be one of the most difficult things to accomplish as a musician.
While it may be a delicate balance at first, you'll want to carefully toe the line between innovative and gimmicky.
This process can take a few months or take a few years, as everyone’s journey is different. Try not to think about the "end-result" during the experimentation stage. That can lead to paralysis by analysis.
Instead, you should let loose, roll up your sleeves, and have fun with the music you create.
You’ll want to be able to prove that you bring something new to the table. This doesn’t just mean as an artist either.
For example, producers often hire session musicians to help them work on a track, knowing that they are going to bring something fresh to a current work in progress.
Building relationships may be one of the most important things you can do.
Since the market is so competitive, more often than not when job openings occur, they go to people they already know.
Why would they do this?
Well, why not? These talent scouts etc. already have someone that they like and want to help out. It’s the perfect fit!
It’s not always what you know; sometimes it's
Some effective networking ideas include the following:
- Attend local gigs/events/open mics
- Create business cards
- Talk to other performers, musicians, sound engineers, agents
- Create a website/Bandcamp/SoundCloud
- Be active on social media
You may have to put yourself out there, which is half of the battle, but you’ll make new friends with the same interests.
From these relationships, you’ll have more people supporting you, and you’ll learn about more places to perform and things you can do to get your foot in the door.
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For some, collaboration may be nerve-wracking.
Thoughts will likely be going through your head that the other person will be much better than you, as well as asking yourself “what if they hate my demos?” etc.
The good thing about collaboration is that everyone brings their own special “thing” to the song.
If everyone in the room were a drummer working on the same song, well then you’d have a great drum track, but nothing else.
The beauty of collaboration is that a song can reach heights that you may not have even imagined.
Musicians usually nerd out on one thing as well, so it’s fun to see what new tricks you will learn that will spice up your track.
Also, collaborating fuels the previous tip, networking. Constantly meeting and working with new people is healthy for your career and chances of breaking into the music industry.
5. Be Determined
It cannot be reiterated enough -- talent is not everything.
Success is beyond ambition; it is initiative. Also, you must keep your goals realistic.
Breaking into the industry definitely does not happen overnight.
You’ll want to treat music just like any other job if you plan on making a living from it. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t get paid for your services for the first couple of years.
Patience is a big part of being able to break through the industry.
When the time comes where you get frustrated and can’t believe that nothing BIG has happened yet, that will be the time that it is most important to be patient and persistent.
This is when you’ll have to pull yourself up by the bootstraps and find out if you really want it. The people who push through these moments are the ones
However, having determination doesn't mean you don't get downtime. Everyone needs time to relax and chill.
So often musicians are shown that if they aren’t practicing or performing every single day, then someone else will be doing more and gaining an edge.
While practicing every day is a healthy goal, you do not want to exhaust yourself.
You have to know your own limits, discover what works for you, and stick to it.
Use the Right Tools to Break into the Music Industry!
There is no perfect guide to making a name for yourself in the industry; you just have to do it and not look back.
One step you can take that gives you a clear advantage is by attending an Accredited Music College.
Whether you want to advance your skill set or technique on guitar, bass, drums, keyboard, or vocals, or you find yourself drawn to the Music Production side of the studio, Atlanta Institute of Music and Media can assist you on your journey.
From exclusive studios to industry-leading instructors, click the link below to discover how AIMM can help you break into the Music Industry and achieve your goals today!