For those whose workplaces have been turned upside down by COVID-19 and quarantine, along with the worries and struggles, there have also been moments of hope, time to reflect and reimagine your life, and opportunities to change course. It is tough to have plans changed and things you have invested in destroyed.
Many people have put their dreams of being a musician on hold in the past as it didn’t seem practical. After the events happening so far this year, many people are taking a new look at those dreams they gave up on and are realizing that life is short and it is worth following your passions.
If these hard circumstances give you the opportunity to pursue your dreams and launch the music career you have always dreamed of, we hope you will find these tips helpful.
1. Take Lessons
Especially if you have not taken lessons since you were a beginner, this can feel like a step backward. It is actually a solid step forward, making sure that your skill is growing and you have experienced help.
If you have kept your guitar or keyboard skills up to date, consider voice lessons or look for a teacher who can also teach composition.
Even if you feel like you are a good musician already, lessons will only help you perfect your craft. Even U2 went back and took music lessons before they recorded The Joshua Tree!
Learning music theory is also a good way to get better as a musician since it is crucial to be able to compose and arrange a song that people will enjoy.
2. Look for Local Gigs
You may have your sights on being a recording artist, but even the biggest stars started out in low paying (or no paying!) jobs at nightclubs, coffee shops, or even churches
Consider the style of your music and what kind of environment is best suited for the audience you are trying to reach. When you perform, be personable and engaging offstage as well as on.
Bring business cards and info about events you are playing for or music you have released.
3. Professionally Record Your Music
If you have never done it before, it is worth having your music recorded professionally with high quality equipment and no background noise. If it is new to you, it may be a little unsettling at first.
You might become aware of weaknesses and make some changes to your song or brush up on a technique before trying again. This is okay
And when you record, you will have a professional that understands music and what makes a song work gives you ideas on how to approach your music. They want you to succeed so listen to what they are telling you when it comes to composing and arranging your songs.
4. Share Your Music
Once you have your recording just the way you want it, choose platforms for sharing it. One of your best options is Spotify, with a huge pool of recording artists and a wide listening audience.
Your first single or album might look a little lonely out there with no views, but you can buy Spotify Plays from Spotistar.com as well as take advantage of your current fan base to boost your presence.
Soundcloud is also a good spot to share your music as it is basically like hosting. You can then share the link on any social media platform or in your website so people can listen to it from the link without having to seek it out on an app.
5. Join a Band/Music Group
Even if you aspire to be your own songwriter and performing artist one day, you can learn a lot from working with a team beforehand.
Many artists including J. Cole, Stevie Nicks, and Phil Collins have taken this approach before launching a solo career. If you are not the head of the team making decisions, you might benefit even more. You can perfect your technique, learn about the recording process, and take notes on both successes and failures.
Hopefully, this interaction will be largely positive with encouragement along the way. However, it might feel uncomfortable at times if negative feedback is offered. This is not necessarily a bad thing if handled in the right way.
Getting feedback does not mean you have to agree with them every time, but you should consider their perspective and potentially adjust. They might help you see something you need to work on in your “blind spot.” If you have trouble finding musicians in your area, there are even online platforms for connecting.
Networking is important any time you are branching out on your own. Whether it is to become a freelance writer or a musician, the concept is the same. When you have a group of peers that lift each other up, you are more likely to get the gig or contract based on the connections that you have.
Not only will it help you advance your career, but it is also nice to have friends that share your passion and are interested in the same things as you are.
The key is to not always be looking for what people can do for you but you should also be lending a helping hand to others. If somebody needs to borrow an amp and you are the person that offers, then that favor will likely be repaid in some form or another. It has to be a two-way street.
It is going to be a grind to make it as a musician. But, there are plenty of ways to make a living even if you don’t become rich and famous. Your pursuit could lead you to be a producer, agent, or manager of a band if the music part doesn’t quite work out.
Just stay the course and be flexible and you can end up as a professional musician if you really want it!