How to Make It in the Music Business

Difficulty Level: ? / Time Required: ?

You Will Need:

  • Practice
  • Persistence
  • Patience

Here’s how:

  1. Get your chops into shape. Learn how read music, play the rudiments, practice 4-way coordination, and learn all of the dance rhythms or, at least, learn all you can about the style of music you’re interested in.
  2. Go out and listen to live music. Check out the drummers and remember you can learn from the best and the worst, even if you learn how NOT to play.
  3. Listen to recorded music and practice playing along with it.
  4. Once you’ve got your chops together, you’ll need a business card. Either get one from your local printer or buy business card blanks and make them on your computer.
  5. Set up a Web page for yourself and put your Web site and email address on your business card along with your telephone number.
  6. Set up a business style message on your cell phone or look into using Google Voice as an answer machine.
  7. Use the Web to search your local area for “Open Mic” sessions. These are places where you can go to sit-in with other musicians.
  8. No, you won’t get paid for playing at “Open Mic” sessions but you’ll get valuable exposure, and you’ll meet other musicians too.
  9. At your “Open Mic” sessions, give your business card to everyone you meet and get one from them.
  10. In addition to the “freelance” approach, which you’ve just learned, try putting your own band together.
  11. You can find musicians for your band from the business cards you’ve collected at your “Open Mic” sessions.
  12. You can also post flyers looking for musicians at your local music stores, local colleges (music department), library, Laundromat, and grocery stores.
  13. It takes time to become established and there’s no easy way to do it unless you get really lucky.
  14. If you expect to play music for a living, you have to treat music like a business. And networking is a huge part of the music business.
  15. In addition to networking, grab a free site on all the popular social media sites. Anytime you play with anyone, providing the performances are good, get a video clip of it and post it on all of your web presences along with your name and contact info.
  16. There are several sites that offer listings to musicians looking for work and bands looking for musicians. Be sure to check them out and put up a listing, which is usually free.
  17. Don’t limit yourself only to what I’ve recommended. Think about it and I’m sure you’ll come up with other ways to get your name out there.

Tiger Tips:

  • Take some drum lessons and practice playing to canned music to become a good player before you perform in public.
  • Then, get out and play everywhere and with everyone you can.
  • Be persistent and never give up.
  • You’ll meet people along the way who will say you’re great and others who’ll say you stink. Take both with a grain of salt.
  • And, if you find you’re not making enough money in music, there’s no shame in taking work in a different field on the side. There are many opportunities to make money on the web for example, but there are just as many scams so beware! I suggest you check out the following legit sites that can actually help you with this. I can vouch for them because I own and them myself and they allow me to make money working from home or wherever I happen to be, as long as I have an Internet connection: (DIY and DFY).

Until next time, have fun and stay loose!

–Tiger Bill