How to Get Into the Music Industry

how to get into the music industry

You have the passion and the talent. You’re ready to take it to the next level. Jumping into the music business isn’t a simple thing. The industry is constantly changing and not necessarily friendly to newbies. But don’t let that alarm you.

There are many ways to learn how to get into the music industry. With careful planning, networking savvy, and dedication, the business of tunes isn’t far off. Scan these steps and you’ll be singin’ right along.

Identify yourself.  Start with the serious questions first when you’re learning how to get into the music industry. Ask yourself: what type of musician am I? What do I hope to contribute to the industry? What makes me different?

Your answers to these questions will help you choose which aspect of the music industry you’d like to join. They’ll also be helpful when marketing yourself later.

Remember, the more specific and unique you can be in the music field, and the more confident you can be in this, the better! Once you’ve chosen your specific path and destination, stick to it.

Follow someone who’s in it.  One of the best ways to understand the music business and get savvy at navigating it is to shadow another musician.

It can be hard to find a mentor, but ask around at local studios for any existing mentorship programs, internships, or work opportunities. Contact your favorite local musician and see if they would be interested in taking on a shadow. A lot of high schools and universities have endless opportunities for young musicians seeking a mentor.

Even if you are able to work with a mentor for one day, you’ll be likely to learn a lot about the industry, its mechanics, and its doorways.

Keep networking to learn how to get into the music industry. A lot of people struggle in general with making connections. But these are extremely important in the music industry.

Talent is one thing. Who you know is definitely another. Get comfortable introducing yourself to mentors, instructors, musicians, and anyone in the music industry you encounter. If you don’t meet many individuals in the music business on your own, go out and find them!

Create business cards, a resume, and studio samples. Have these on hand when attending events or workshops. Whenever you make a connection, follow up via phone or email. Showing initiative and interest will pay off, help you to snag a gig, or enable a future leg up.

Build your presence.  It is important to have a powerful social media presence in any business endeavor. Make sure you have a Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram account. Manage these daily. Craft a cool logo and attach it to all of these.

Set up a website and/or EPK, complete with news, bio, links to your work, and events. Make sure people know about it. Be professional. Keep your personal profiles separate from your business profiles.

Be audacious.  Have an open mind as you learn how to get into the music industry. Remind yourself that it’s a creative industry. So be as flexible and creative as possible in your networking.

If you get discouraged, use it as an opportunity to come up with a new approach to something. Audacity also gets musicians recognized. It establishes a personality, which attracts fans.

Know the facts.  Be aware of how difficult this industry is. Having a healthy, balanced perspective of its ups and downs is important to maintain confidence. If you have a mentor or are able to get in touch with a local musician, ask them honestly about their experience with the challenges of entering this industry.

Read testimonies of rising musicians. Follow their blogs. An outside “reality check” will ensure that you pursue all of your goals with the appropriate amount of zeal and caution.

Work your degree. Or get one.  If you have an undergraduate or graduate degree in music, excellent. Emphasize this in your online presence and as you network.

If you have the opportunity to pursue one, do so. This is a fantastic means of making connections, brushing up on technical skills, and educating yourself in all aspects of the industry. Many music programs also provide fantastic ways for students to establish a presence in the community and after graduation.

Some music professors consistently enable their students in some aspect of the industry. Cultivate solid relationships with several key instructors and take advantage of these in the years to come.

Have multiple back-up plans.  You’ve probably heard this before, but make sure you have a solid financial and professional foundation regardless of your musical pursuits. This includes potentially finding a part-time job that can sustain you, for example, as you do that awesome unpaid internship at an urban studio.

Keep your professional future always in mind, but have several options on the table at once. See it as an opportunity to foster another interest or hobby. It’s possible to be a lawyer and a musician, for example. Entertain multiple possibilities for personal and professional growth.

Start local.  Begin by getting a list of all of the downtown places that host local musicians. Shop yourself. Shop aggressively.

Even if a gig is unpaid, take it. It’s important to get your name and sound out there. The more solid your local foundation, the fuller your resume and larger your following. This means greater opportunities of expanding your listener base elsewhere.

Head to the streets.  Street corners can be the best starting line for any musician. What’s not to love? Pick up a little cash, entertain passersby, and market yourself.

Getting confident in a street presence is likely to serve you later on as you prepare for events and spread your sound. Not to mention, it will be boost your stamina for playing for large crowds for indefinite amounts of time.

Don’t be afraid of collaboration.  Teamwork is everything in the music industry, and can be the key to making it big. Pair up with your writer friend when compiling lyrics.

Connect with other musicians in town to perform a cover. Don’t be afraid of competition here. Establishing yourself as a musician who’s willing to collaborate and entertain other talent will benefit in the long run.

Enter contests and competitions.  Local competitions are an excellent way to hone your craft and promote your skill. Besides providing prizes, many contests are supported by panels of local musicians and artists or are associated with local arts and music organizations. Learning how to get into the music industry is tough, but always worth it in the end!

Use these competitions as a means of cultivating possible connections and learning more about the music industry in your specific community.

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