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How to get started in the music business

I want to be a musician

guitar player

These are the words every parent secretly hopes their child will never speak. You might get a better reception from your family if you were to “come out” and declare that you are a, “gay, atheist, other-kin from the planet dongtron than to announce your intent to make a living as a Musician. Ol’ mom and dad were probably heard many times in conversation with their cronies stating, ” I don’t know what happened, we gave him/her Love and a proper set of values…. Somehow we just lost them”.
Traditionally over the last 60 years deciding to enter into the music industry all too often meant that you were more likely than not destined to spend your life in poverty working odd jobs earning minimum wage in order to make ends meet while waiting for industry gate-keepers to give you you’re big break. For many people declaring your intent to live the life of a musician still invokes images of the starving, booze soaked, drug fueled miscreant so often portrayed in media in the 20th century.
That’s the bad news….
The good news is that becoming a musician today doesn’t have to be the gamble that it used to be. With hard work, dedication and a little specialized knowledge and willingness to learn some key Business and marketing skills you can become a DIY Musician/Entrepreneur and be successful enough to return home for Thanksgiving dinner and still be allowed a seat at the grown up table.  

How to Get started in The music Business

Getting started in the music business is no mystery. Most people begin with exactly what they need; a passion for music and a desire to create it yourself.  Talent certainly is a huge bonus when it comes to building a reputation within music circles But that alone does not guarantee success in the industry. Remember The Music industry in 2016 is a much different creature than it was in 1975 or any other year leading up to the social media revolution.   It is just as important if not more so to understand the role of the market you are trying to reach.
This is where we have to begin getting comfortable with wearing both the artists hat and the entrepreneurs hat at the same time. I don’t want to get in too deep here as we will address  many issues having to do with marketing, branding and developing an entrepreneurs mindset in future installments of this series. But lets begin with the basics.

Step 1

Begin by learning to create music yourself.  This seems like a ridiculously obvious thing to say but in this age of digital noise it is exceptionally easy for a young artist to decide to ignore the act of actually learning how to create sounds with some form of instrument.  you can sample, borrow (steal) or even Buy sounds or beats now so it doesn’t require a person to have any creativity to put together a recording that sounds like music. Artists interested in expressing their own unique perspective and creating a unique sound however will always learn to create from scratch.

Step 2

<< STOP>> before you do anything else, sit down and ask yourself what it is that you want to get out of your music career.  What is it that You want to accomplish in the music industry and are you going to make a career out of this or will it be a fun and interesting hobby.
It may seem silly to approach this decision like this But this is one of the most important decisions you will ever make in your Music life. and it will be the deciding factor in whether or not you succeed or whether you get caught up in the hobbyist mind set. and it is a decision that you need to make before you commit your time and resources to this lifestyle.

Step 3

If you’ve read this far then congratulate yourself,  you’ve taken the first step toward getting your music career off to a healthy start and saving yourself years of grinding away.  We are going to be discussing how to prepare your mind and your business to succeed in this ever changing world of music
The Next thing I want you to do is Got out a Pen or pencil and some paper, I recommend some kind of tablet or binder and get ready to do some homework.  we are going to be exploring your career as a Music professional.  Your first assignment is…..
Sit down and write  down exactly what you want out of the music industry and your New music business.  be precise, The subconscious mind doesn’t deal with “if” or “maybe”  and Then answer the question  WHY??

In our Next post we will explore the RPM strategy for creating your Music business plan. Until then keep on Rocking!! 

My name is Richard Artichoker, I am The Founder and Creator of the 7th Gen Academy for DIY Musicians. I have been involved with various aspects of the Music Business for 30 years. in 1992 I founded the hard Rock band "7th Generation". I stopped playing out live 13 years ago but continue to research the music market and digital sales and marketing techniques and I want to share my experience and knowledge with you.
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