Want to be a Musician? You’ll Need These Five Things


If you’re an aspiring musician then there is some good news and some bad news. We’ll start with the bad: it is really difficult to become a professional musician. The good news is that it always has been and that you have more opportunities to make your dream come true than ever before. But as you already know, it won’t just happen. You will not be plucked from obscurity to superstardom. These things take time – and effort. Here are five things you’ll need if you want to make it.

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Yes, first thing’s first: you need to have talent. You need to actually be quite good at what you do. But don’t worry if you don’t think you’re quite there yet – everyone who puts in enough time can find their own voice. It’s not like the 100metre sprint, where only the fastest can win. There are many facets to music and if you find your own place in it, then you could be onto a successful career.

Fellow Music Lovers

There are a few artists in history who seem to have done everything themselves. Jimi Hendrix was his own man with his own vision, for instance, as was Bob Dylan. But neither of those solo artists could have created anything close to their full potential without a solid band and crew behind them. Don’t let your ego get in the way of what you’re trying to achieve – you need others to help you on your way.

A Savvy Attitude

The Beatles existed during a much simpler time for music business. Those guys also got ripped off at the beginning. They were savvy on the streets, but not savvy in the business room. You need to be savvy everywhere, from knowing which music platforms your music should be on to making sure none of it is ever used without your permission. You’ll have to learn hustle, basically.  And that includes surrounding yourself with the right people. Talking of which….

The Right People

There are many people working in the music industry than you think there are. The actual musicians? They’re a small number. It’s people behind the scenes who make things happen. While you’re concentrating on your music, you’ll need professional people to work hard on securing gigs, new opportunities, negotiating deals, and so on. You can’t be doing everything. DJ Tiesto says that while he was making records, he had Coran Capshaw pulling the strings behind the scenes to his career to the next level. Find someone you trust – and also with similarly large ambitions – and you could be a deadly duo.

Thick Skin

Get used to hearing people tell you that your music is terrible; on the streets, online, at gigs. You absolutely cannot take it personally. You can think of Ernest Hemingway who would re-write his work if someone whose lifestyle he didn’t admire said they liked his first draft. Remember what you’re trying to achieve. Only the real bland stuff is tolerated by all. Anything worth anything will have some haters!

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