Being a musician these days is tough! Back in the good ‘ol days, artists just had to worry about learning their craft and booking shows, hoping to get radio support along the way that could eventually get you signed to a label. But today things have gotten a bit more complicated. But with every challenge there always lies opportunity. This opportunity is that we now have more access to information than ever before–information is knowledge. Now all the barriers of entry only large record labels knew about are out there in the open. With a bit of research and time, we know the industry works and we know how musicians can make money in it.
Entries in music career (73)
Being the top of any given field can be hugely advantageous for people who are looking to build a serious career. This applies to every field, but it is especially important when it comes to music education. If you are someone who has finished an undergraduate music program and are considering whether or not to try for a master’s degree, there are a number of reasons why you should.
Out of all the musicians who try to make it in the music industry, very few ever will. This is because the majority of them spend their time doing things that won’t actually accomplish significant success in the music business. As a result, most musicians will become very frustrated and quit pursuing their musical dreams.
Here are six reasons why you have not become a professional musician yet, and what you should do to immediately move your career forward
This article originally appeared on the Sonicbids Blog
You know the story: one fateful night at the local music hot spot, an up-and-coming local band is playing a show to a packed house. The place is going wild when suddenly, the crowd parts as a hot-shot record executive strolls in. The band plays their last song and starts packing when, out of nowhere, a sweaty, diamond-ring-encrusted hand is thrust into the face of the lead guitarist. It’s the hot-shot record executive, and he wants to offer the band a record deal. It could happen to you, right?
Don’t count on it!
Confidence is key in just about any career, and in the music industry, there’s a fine line between ego and conviction. As an artist, you want to establish yourself as a compelling creator, and you want fans to believe in you enough to invest their time and money in your efforts. Arrogance will surely divert your supporters, so it’s important to develop a confident persona that’s still relatable and likeable. Here’s how to be a boss without alienating your devoted followers.
No I can’t make you famous. No one can. That’s not how this works. So why do people like me need to explain this to musicians all the time? Fame is a very intangible thing – and in this day and age it’s largely purchased. By hiring a producer, manager or promoter you’re probably not going to get famous right away. In fact, even having rad music and an entire team behind you does not guarantee that you will make it. It’s only one step forward. Here’s the thing – we live in a world where fame is bought – and any one who tells you otherwise, or that it was ‘better back in their day’ is woefully misguided.
Musicians make similar mistakes all the time. When they repeat these kinds of things, it not only hurts them in the long run, but they’re often bewildered as to why things don’t go as well for them as they should.
People are so weird. Last week, I was at this amazing barbecue restaurant and the table next me to opens up their bags, pulls out some ribs, and asks the waiter: “Uh excuse me, can we get some plates? We brought our own food.” WHY WOULD YOU BRING YOUR OWN FOOD TO A RESTAURANT After I wondered how this …
This article originally appeared on the Sonicbids blog.
Every musician wants to base him or herself in buzzing surroundings that promote plentiful opportunities for creative collaboration. Therefore, it’s no surprise that many artists who aren’t from major cities around the country have lofty aspirations of hitting it big and moving to Los Angeles or New York City. Yet all of the motivation or talent in the world cannot hide the reality that not every artist is ready to make this next step. There are multiple factors in play that are necessary for every artist to put into perspective before making such a momentous decision. So before you pack your bags with visions of accomplishing all of your wildest dreams, be sure that you refer to this list and are honest with yourself by evaluating each factor when determining whether or not you’re primed to make the big move.
The music industry has undergone a sea of changes since the days of vinyl records and cassette tapes. While the current mobile downloading setup offers plenty of convenience for the average consumer, it can spell financial ruin for musicians and producers dependent on record sales. After all, illegal downloads still eat into profits, with the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) reporting that piracy caused music industry profits to fall from $15 billion in 1999 to just $8.5 billion in 2009. In order to survive in this environment of piracy, musicians must think outside of the box, taking advantage of social media, mobile technology, merchandising and, of course, live performances. Together, these elements can spell great profit, even in an age of iTunes and illegal downloading.
Offer VIP Packages for Concerts
Critics of social media may complain of young people wasting their lives behind computer screens, but the truth is, music fans still love attending live shows. You still can profit handsomely off of traditional concerts, but if you're looking to amp up returns on your tour, consider throwing in VIP concert options. These could include special meet-and-greets before or after shows, or even private performances for your most dedicated fans. Many will gladly pay two, three, even four times the going rate for your concert if it means getting up close and personal.
When I think about the professional musician, I like to break down opportunity into day job and night job. The night job is the dream – rock and roll stardom, touring, selling records, award shows, bodyguards, fawning fans, public meltdowns, etc.
Being more pragmatic as a person – I have spent much of my career on the day job part of this industry (and that’s not just you giving guitar lessons).
Music Publishing to me is the day job part of the business – regardless of your status as a performer. Even the big folks love the mailbox money of publishing. As an independent artist, I think it’s even more important.
Publishing, with all it’s complexities, still has the opportunity to create income streams for artists at all levels – especially if you are up for creating alternate types of content. All music shown on television and the web around the world earns public performance income.
One of the best ways to grow is to look at what’s worked for other indie musicians and adapt it to your own career. I’ve compiled 10 great strategies with 10 real examples to get you going. A lot of musicians I’ve talked to think they can’t start making strategies to move their career forward until they’re making money, until they take some business classes, or until they get a manager. The coolest thing about these strategies is that you can start using them TODAY.
1. Make a Plan from the Start
Making a great plan is one of the best ways to get to that music success you deserve. Not only do concrete goals give you something to aim for, they also help you decide what your first step should be.
I was at a gig last night and I saw three amazing bands rocking out the stage and making people dance very hard. Note: it’s London, normally people don’t dance that hard.The sad realization I made is that none of these bands actually makes money. Isn’t it sad? The band entertains you, makes you feel great, you pay the bar for drinks, but the musician gets nothing of monetary nature. That brought an avalanche of thoughts and I started jotting them down! I quickly came down to 6 main reasons of failure, which you’ll definitely relate with (if you’re a musician).
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(Updated January 13, 2016)