Free Workshop

5 Rules for Life as a Musician

getting started as a full-time musician

The music industry is an ever-growing and evolving arena that contains a sea of information still yet to be discovered. That’s why we’re equipping you with five main things you need to know about the music industry to get your feet off the ground.

#1. Surround Yourself With Good People

In other words, have a good team with a shared goal. It’s never a bad idea to meet people and learn from them. Go to shows and events to network with professionals, collaborate with musicians in your community, and get a mentor to guide you in the right direction. A solid team for an artist consists of:

  • Manager - to act as your “musical parent” in working out every business-related decision.

  • Booking Agent - to negotiate with venues and promoters in booking live shows and tours.

  • Assistant - to help keep you organized and on time for scheduled plans.

  • Photographer - to capture and document live shows and your journey as an artist.

  • Marketing Strategist - to keep your online and offline brand and image consistent to the public.

While a full team like this may not come together until later, it never hurts to take stock of the friends and connections you have now to start that build.

#2. Know Your Rights and Royalties

You work hard to create your unique sound, so it’s important to read up and become aware of copyright rules and regulations in order to protect your work. You can learn all about copyrights management online and actually do it yourself.

Additionally, it's mindful to register your work through a performing rights organization (PRO) like ASCAP, BMI, or SESAC. Essentially, PRO’s license and monitor when your music gets played on TV, broadcast on the radio, performed at a live venue, or streamed online, and make sure you get your royalty checks.

Ryan Waczek of the IMA teaches you more about PRO’s and registering your music with BMI through a step-by-step process here:


#3. Utilize Platforms

Get yourself out there to the world. Perform whenever you can, wherever you can, and make yourself known. However, it's not all about the street performances either. Build your online presence as well through sites such as Youtube, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and even your own personal website. Establish your brand for who you are and what you want to be known for, and keep it professional and personable. Post updates, pictures, videos, and engage with fans and audience members to keep them excited and involved. Make your music available and easy to find too, through services such as Soundcloud and Spotify.

#4. Never Stop Perfecting Your Craft

It’s important to never stop practicing at any point during your artistic journey. As much as there is to learn about the industry, there’s an equal amount to learn in the music itself. For example, there are always new instruments to pick up and master, you can learn the art of lyricism and how to write songs, as well as production and mixing music. An important trait to have as an artist is originality. The more you know about music, and the more you explore and discover your own unique sound, the more you can do!

#5. Stay Motivated, Positive, Passionate, and Humble

Sticking your landing in the music industry isn’t easy and there’s always room for growth and potential. New opportunities and possibilities are always presenting themselves. With this in mind, it’s important to have goals and strategies to follow. Stay motivated, always believe in yourself and possess the confidence in yourself and your art. Stay positive and optimistic when things are looking low, while in turn humbling yourself when things are going better than planned.