How to Pursue a Career as a Professional Musician


Making the decision to pursue a career is a big deal, especially when that career is in an incredibly competitive industry. Becoming a full-time musician is one of these pursuits. As with any vocation, as opposed to just a job to pay the bills, going after your dream of playing music for a living will require lots of hard work, determination, and above all, ambition. With all this being said, while having these traits is a must if you want to succeed, knowing how to effectively apply them is the key to getting into the music business with a great reputation and something original to bring to the table. In this quick guide, you will be walked through some of the steps you can take to ensure you are doing all the right things to make it in this industry as soon as possible.

Getting the best instrument

If you are reading this, it is safe to assume you have already learned to play your instrument of choice, so lessons are not a current consideration. When you have the skill set, what separates you from being a good player opposed to a great player is the quality of the instrument you are playing. If you want to go professional, you need an instrument that has a great sound and will last you through thick and thin. The only drawback of this is that getting your hands on such an advanced piece of kit can be costly, but by using things such as promo codes, you will be able to find a much more reasonable deal. Remember, investing in your instrument is investing in your future if you want to turn professional.

Always be improving

While you already know how to play your instrument, this doesn’t mean you are set up automatically. A professional musician will always be looking for ways to improve, be this their style, technical ability, or just becoming more proficient at reading sheet music. The old adage goes that practice makes perfect, but there are, in fact,secrets to improve your playing that help you get to that advanced level you need to be at for going pro, and this mainly centers around relearning how to practice effectively.

If you are learning a piece, you may be currently doing constant run-throughs, but this isn’t very helpful if you want a stellar performance. Instead, break down every section of the song and do not move on to the next one before the former is perfection. Go at a very slow pace, perhaps even using a slow metronome to stop yourself from speeding up, so that you can truly analyze every possible mistake or opportunity for improvement. By always taking the extra time and care with your practice methods, you will find you improve far quicker and be able to wow people when you do go and perform live or on recordings.

Create your own sound

The main thing people dream of when thinking about becoming a full-time musician is being in a band and touring the world. While this might be well in the future, this doesn’t mean that you can’t start getting some experience in the meantime. Learning how to start your own band is easy as all it requires is knowing about the type of music you want to write and where to advertise for other musicians to join you. For example, posting on the notice board of any local music shops is a great way to find people. Make sure you specify the kind of music you want to be playing, laying out the genre and your influences clearly so people can decide if they are right to audition for you.

Don’t limit yourself

You might not get to play in a band every night and earn your bread and butter out on the road, but this doesn’t mean you can’t earn money playing your instrument at all. There are lots of opportunities for people with your skill set, such as working in the orchestra pit of a theatre, session work to help to record demos, or even venturing into teaching your instrument to others who are keen to learn as a private tutor. No matter what capacity it is in, getting to do something you truly enjoy for a living is a gift, so even if you don’t end up selling out Wembley just yet, have fun learning your craft and making your contribution to the industry.

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