8 Music Career Tips
Do you want a career in music? Then musicians everywhere should read this article if you want to advance your career in music. Top lists are essential in today’s society. It’s a fun, fast and easy way to simplify a complex world. The following list, lists practices you should develop if you want to have a career in music last more than a ‘one hit wonder’. Remember, there is more than one way to get to your desired destination. From my observations of others, this list of professional practices, combine the most successful tactics of musicians who have what it takes to make it in this unpredictable music industry.
1- Make ordinary people who love music, love your music
We live in a time where music is made, heard and taken with us everywhere. We don’t leave home without our wallets or our Ipods. Just because the lives we live revolve around music, doesn’t mean that you will necessarily get your music signed to a record label just yet. Try soliciting your music to music lovers and music fans that are just like you. Talent scouts always keep an ear out for tips to come across on the streets. However, in order to get your music recognized you have to make sure that you are creating something new and fresh. 95% of the independently produced CDs out there contain regurgitated ideas that were ripped off from some other more gifted musicians. Prove to the music industry executives that ordinary music fans in your city love your music. In an executives mind, they want to give the audience what they want in a strong heavily advertise dose.
Tip: You can start by giving samples of your music on the street or at music venues. Be sure to have all your contact information on the CD or flashdrive. Also, put songs on your website (and if you don’t have a website, what are you waiting for?).
If people really love your music, they will tell others about it.
2- Play live as often as possible
People can always tell the difference between musicians who do it for the money and those who do it for the love of music. If you think about it really, you could make a living off gigs for the first few years of your music career, but you eventually hit a dead end. The truly gifted musicians who struggled and never gave up come to that bump in the road and overcome it. So take your music to the streets and perform at schools, fairs, festivals, benefits, weddings, parties, church groups—the possibilities are endless. Once you establish yourself, more and more people will come to see your play your music which then leads to paying gigs. The key is to play live and keep playing live.
3. Know your instrument inside-out.
Since the late 70’s there was a huge increase in garage bands, punk bands, rappers who just picked up on playing an instrument, or just started to sing-a-long with some friends, and then months later recorded a record. Great music and music artists were born because of this.
Prior to the late 70’s disco craze, music was made and performed by musicians who in some way or another worshiped some master bluesman, jazz player, songwriter or whatever. The appetite of these musicians was not just ‘be good’ but to be GREAT! Never settle for anything less. So think about what stage you are at RIGHT NOW, and go beyond it. Reconnect yourself to your instrument or voice. Take lessons, search the internet for your favorite song’s guitar chords and learn it. Challenge yourself beyond your limitations. You may possibly find a new sound that will make you stand out even more. Record labels love to listen to innovative new sounds all the time, in face they bank on unique sounds.
4- Copyright your music
I’m shocked at how few artists are not willing to spend a few dollars to REGISTER THEIR SONGS WITH THE COPYRIGHT OFFICE. Who in turn, are the same musicians who complain about not getting what is owed to them. You have to protect your investment, so start treating your music as a business. If you intend on creating a music career out of your music and work so hard for so long to come to find out that someone else stole your idea, you have no one to blame but yourself. It’s fast and easy. Go to www.copyright.gov
5- Promote your music to make it stand out
Promote your music by writing and designing effective promotional materials; bios, fact sheets, cover letters, press releases…Some other tips that can help musicians promote their music careers, is to make your promotional materials compelling and highly informative. List your accomplishment, quote positive reviews by fans, awards, live appearances. Organize all this information into a ‘Media Kit’, ready to be handed out at a moment’s notice. Also, research which record labels you want to send this information to and personalize each packet to the type of information the label would be interested in.
Tip: Stay away from creating any generic kits, record producers aren’t interested in what has already been done.
6- Know what record labels and music publishers you hope to sign with
Getting signed to a record label is like applying for a job. You have to have the right credentials and experience for them to hire AKA ‘sign’ you. They are not going to waste their time on candidates AKA ‘music artists’ who are not worth a second glance. Having any record label or music publisher admire your work and take interest in your music is certainly an honor, don’t get me wrong. However, don’t rush. Make sure that this label is the right match for both parties.
Tip: Questions to consider when being approached by a record label.
*How have they done with your particular genre of music?
*What specific ‘points’ are they offering you?
*Who runs the label or publishing company?
*What is their reputation in the music business?
*How do you like them as people?
These and other questions are critical in making the right decision for your music career.
7 Get your own Lawyer
Being in the music industry is half the challenge. The other half is the business of getting signed. The music industry has always had, has now, and will always have, the involvement of entertainment law attorneys. The relationship between a musician, record label, publisher, publicist, image consultant and whoever will always come down to two attorneys negotiating contracts for the musician and company to protect each other’s assets.
Tip: When choosing a reputable, ethical and well respected attorney is a serious necessity for any serious music artist.
8 Musicians- Educate yourself if you want a record deal.
Musicians if you want that record deal, you better what that deal is and learn the business of the music industry. Naïve or misinformed musicians are a danger to no one but themselves. Keeping musicians in the dark has been the name of the game for years. Learn to READ AND UNDERSTAND everything you sign BEFORE SIGNING a record contract.
Dozens of stories have come up in the past decade about musicians having their label bleed their bank accounts dry, leaving YOU THE ARTIST broke! Groups like TLC, The Backstreet boys, Mary J. Bleige even Pop-Princess Britney Spears have all complained about their record label having all the control of their money. Now, there are articles, blogs and books everywhere warning artists to protect themselves. Classes and programs are offered in understand the business of the music industry. Mathew Knowles, father and manager of the group Destiny’s Child and singer/actress and daughter Beyonce Knowles, took courses in business management and music industry business before contributing to the success of the group and the his daughter. Don’t let your label exploit you!
Education is power, and the more you know, the less powerful your label will have over you and your music career. Learn about the business side of the music industry because no one will sit down and teach it to you.
-8A Final Thoughts
Please, Please Please!…spend SOME time and money educating yourselves about the music industry business. Just a few hours and a few bucks can protect your music career forever.
For more information, you can Read many more of my Articles and Blogs at my page on Talent Trove http://www.talenttrove.com/mystage/view/59334