I spent 5 years going to college and racking up debt all while working two jobs as a server. I did this only to end up dropping out of school to follow my passion, which is piano. Do I think that going to college was the wrong decision? Yes, I definitely do, however, I don’t regret it.
Going to college and sitting in a classroom for subjects that I simply wasn’t interested in is what helped motivate me every day to practice music. I knew that I wanted to spend the rest of my life pursuing music and the music industry because I was studying subjects I wasn’t very interested in.
Find What You’re Passionate About In Music
This seems silly, but there many different things people can be drawn to in music. Whether it’s writing music, strictly performing it or writing for other artists. Once you know what you want to do you can start to focus on that side of things in the business world. You need to obviously put the time into your craft, but you also want to have an idea for what you’re trying to accomplish in music.
If you are anything like I was, then you are probably putting in a crazy amount of time into playing an instrument already. Don’t let up on it at any point and always find time for it.
Don’t Be Afraid Of Failing In The Music Industry
A lot of people are simply held back by the fear of not making it in music, that they never actually go for it. If you do follow your passion, don’t be afraid of failure. I have been playing in the same band now for over 10 years and it took us five years of going to college before we ended up signing a major record label deal. Along the way, there will be plenty of opportunities to quit and also plenty of opportunities to branch out.
Even if you fail as an artist at first you can still reinvent yourself and keep trying until something clicks. This actually happens a lot in music.
Sometimes it takes musicians failure for them to be hungrier and more motivated than ever. It’s with failure that you find yourself and find out just how passionate you are about something in life. Keep pushing forward and always try to think of things you can be doing better as a musician.
This is a part of the job that no one really likes to do, yet it still is effective. No matter what you’re trying to accomplish in music, establishing good relationships and leaving good impressions is extremely important.
You never know when someone will drop your name or take a liking to you and help you out. The music industry is very fickle and actually smaller than you would think. A lot of artists know each other and a lot of artists talk.
The same goes for leaving good impressions on music venues. Promoters will talk about you to other promoters so it is always important to make sure they have good things to say about you. If you can establish a good relationship with your local promoters it increases your chances of opening for national acts coming through.
When national acts don’t have a big draw in a certain market they will end up adding local support to the bill in order to increase ticket sales. Establish yourself as that band in town that people want to have on their shows.
Don’t Be Afraid Of Releasing Music
Many artists aren’t sure of how to release their music properly and they end up just not putting it out. When you put songs out for people to hear you are opening yourself up to be critiqued by your family and friends as well as the world. Negative feedback and positive feedback both go along in helping musicians grow and discover their identities.
As you put music out you will be able to see what is working and also be able to have something to compare yourself too. Just having a bunch of demos sitting away in your library doesn’t help nearly as much as having it out there for the world.
Spotify And Management
If you can succeed on Spotify then you are going to succeed in the music industry. Obviously, this is easier said than done, but Spotify has algorithms to measure how well your songs are connecting. If you are able to land your songs on playlists and perform well, you will instantly spark interest from labels and publishers.
Spotify curates playlists now and they make it possible for your band to land on them. The more saves you get on your songs, the better it looks to them.
Check out this article I did on Spotify here.
Find a manager that has experience. This will probably be a 20 percent commission deal. I know this sounds alarming, but unfortunately, it is pretty normal for the music industry. You want to find a manager who is truly passionate about what you are doing with your music. Keep control of your songwriting and never let them A and R your music. If they aren’t on board with you at the beginning with your music, they never will be.
You should feel like your manager is actively trying to push you forward. With this being said, do not get lazy. The music industry is just like any other job and if you don’t treat it like that, you will never get anywhere. You have to be prepared to work every day at it.
Here is a cool article I did on what you should expect of your manager.
I hope you find these tips helpful and interesting. If you have any questions, leave them below in the comment section!