How To Be A Musician

A Detailed Guide to Making Music Your Career

I can’t count how many times I’ve been asked this question.  A simple Google search or a 10 minute browse on Yahoo Answers and you’ll see this question, or something very close to it, all over the place – as if the answer is just some simple paragraph or a few simple steps.  The answer to this question is complex, detailed, and daunting.  Anyone who tells you otherwise is lying or trying to sell you something.  There are many who claim to have the answer to the question, but their answers are either incomplete, inaccurate, grossly-misguided or flat-out wrong.  The question?

How do I earn a living being a musician?

First off, I need to preface this entire guide:
If you are trying to become rich and famous by making music, stop reading this and go sign up for American Idol or any of those other idiotic, fictitious, misguided television shows.  Your reasons for making music shouldn’t be for the money or fame.  It should be because you have a message that you want to distribute to the masses, like Sisaret.  It should be because you want to make art, like The Glass Child.  It should be because you want to express your feelings when doing so in other ways ends up being awkward, like The Oh Wells.  Now don’t get me wrong – if people like your message and the way you present it (a.k.a. your music) then by all means, go ahead and try to earn a living with it.  If you can make a living doing what you love and what you’re passionate about, there’s no harm in that.

Be forewarned, a career in music is very, very difficult.  It requires tons of hard work, dedication, planning, and being able to handle rejection.  If you can’t handle rejection, maybe try a different career.  You will at some point, on more than one occasion, be rejected by a venue, a fan, a blog, radio station… It happens.  It’s a part of the business.  You just pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and keep moving forward.

You won’t get very far just randomly creating music and trying to share it on Facebook or submitting it to radio stations.  You won’t have any luck trying to get a manager, publicist, or label to take you on, either.  Believe it or not, there is a method to the madness.  And believe me, the music world is madness.  It’s an incredibly fickle industry with so many nuances and intricacies it literally takes a lifetime to understand them all.

Wanting to take a run at the music life is a big thing.  And you need to go into it realizing just how big a thing it is.  It’s not something to take lightly.  You will have to keep a lot of stuff organized.  You will need to be able to multi-task.  You will need to be able to remember things when you can’t write them down.  You need to be an outgoing person.  If you’re an introvert, this is going to be a million times harder.  If you’re serious about this, you need to sit down, before you ever play a show, ever upload a song, video, or picture and create a gameplan.

On the next page you will be presented with 10 questions which you will be able to answer at the completion of this guide.  Use those questions as your gameplan to help you on your way to becoming a musician.  It’s not the be-all-end-all of guides, and it might not answer all of your questions, but it is pretty thorough and is also based off of my 11+ years of being in the music industry, both on and off the stage.  If you follow this guide, I don’t promise you success, but if you don’t follow it, I can bet you will have a much harder time accomplishing your goal.

Ready?  Let’s go!


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