It doesn’t matter whether you are determined rocker that plays from dusk until dawn or someone that just likes to strum on an acoustic every so often after work, everyone holds the same dream in the back of their heads: to make it as a serious musician. If you’re shaking your head then you’re simply lying to yourself. Even during those moments where you quit and say you’ll never play again, you know you can’t possibly quit, the hope you hold is just too intense.
The good news is, your unrealistic dreams are totally achievable. Yes, it requires years of practice, a solid amount of dedication, a few knocks and a lovely thick layer of luck, but it is still totally doable. And we’re going to help you out by giving you a little slice of advice. Now start believing you’re the next big thing and you’re halfway there.
Visualize The Dream
That may sound like some nonsense lifted straight out of The Secret or something, but it works for the simple reason it gives you something to focus on and aim for. So think about what the dream is. Tour with your band? Write songs for other people? Become a concert pianist? Have just one Top 40 hit? Smash it with a modern Christmas song so that you can retire at 26? Yes, these may change over time, but having some loose destination will help you choose your path.
Know The Industry
The smart move would be to educate yourself on what the standard industry practices and expectations are. Anything you can do to paint a far more vivid picture of what it takes is going to fall slap bang in the middle of the ‘helpful’ column. Look at who is making great music videos, read standard music contracts and keep an eye on which music venues are bringing through the next big things. Read trade press, know who the playlist planners at your local radio station are and make friends with doormen so that they can tell you when an industry name turns up at a gig. These things could make the difference.
Watch The Big Names
Pay special attention to the living legends out there. See what the social media profiles are like, and what their website says about them, and how they got to where they are. Find out what their journey entailed. And make sure you see them. Literally. Buy cheap concert tickets so that you can see exactly what they do in their live shows to really get their fans going wild. Yes, making a great LP, EP, demo or album is important, as is building your Youtube following, but live music is where you will really start to build a loyal following and get your name swirling about the tongues of trendsetters. The big bands and celebrated names made it because they had something special, find out what that is and then tailor it to your sound.
Network Like A Mother…
You really need to get used to schmoozing those who need to be schmoozed. Start on a local level but don’t be afraid to try and make a noise on a wider platform either. We’re talking about schmoozing your fans, yes, but we are also talking about schmoozing local radio DJs, club owners, music journalists, bloggers, online influencers, agents, those looking to make it as a manager or producer, and even those in the manufacturing side of the game. Making it in this business is all about knowing the right people, so up your chances as much as you can.