A Career In Music: The Tune You Can Learn By Ear
Where do you even begin with a professional career as a musician? I’m sure you’ve been asking yourself that over and over again, ever since you started trying. Or, perhaps, you haven’t even tried yet. Maybe the thought of failure is a little too daunting. Still, I’m going to dust off an old, worn, annoying cliche here and ask: how do you know until you try?
So, where do you begin on the road to becoming Hendrix (or Meghan Trainor – I won’t judge here)? A career in music is about listening to people: people in the industry and people listening to your music.
Hone your art.
Yes, you might be talented, but that doesn’t mean you’re ready to become professional and, even if you end up working professionally, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to be spotted on a larger scale. The key, first of all, is to start from the bottom and work your way up. Perfect your art.
Anybody can play guitar, as Radiohead once said (though they like to forget those early days). It’s true, though. The same goes for any instrument, actually. Just being able to play guitar, piano or even the trumpet isn’t as cool as it used to be. It seems everybody and their mother can play some form of instrument at some level, so you have to work on making yourself special. If you want to stand out, then, believe it or not, you have to actually stand out.
Think of something signature. In this day and age, everything that can be done on a guitar or a piano has already been done, so look to the world of music around you. Of course, you should still make sure you’re always learning about good gear and playing techniques: BuzzHarmony.com. However, you also need to consider the ways in which the landscape of music has changed. What new sounds are floating around at the moment? How can you improve on them? If you want to be a noticeable musician, then think about what other noticed musicians had working for them in their early days. This takes us to my next point…
It’s all about YOU.
Okay, don’t let it go to your head, but that’s a simple fact of the music industry. It has such strong ties with the world of entertainment, and, as with all media, it’s a people game. What do people look for in all forms of entertainment? Personality.
Perhaps this annoyed you in the past, and maybe it still does, but it makes sense when you really think about it. Yes, music should speak for itself, in a way, but music often speaks to people on a deeper level. It’s relatable. Whether it makes you happy, sad, angry or infuses you with the desire to dance, music is an emotional experience. Because of this, people often want an emotional connection to the artist responsible. It’s the same with actors and, sometimes, writers. You’re not selling out, don’t worry. You’re just understanding your target audience.
Remember, you might be a talented musician already – maybe everyone already compliments your playing skills or your vocal ability – but “making it big” is about much more than that. You need to have the right mindset. It’s about charisma, but it’s also about being unique. Don’t force it. Don’t wear sparkly clothes or a wig like Freddie Mercury just to be edgy. Find what makes you different and then accentuate that.