Discover key advice for music graduates who are looking to pursue a career in music production. What should you take into account? Find out here.
You are fresh from college and are looking to make it big in the music industry. However, it will not be as easy as you think.
There are many challenges out there and you need to prepare yourself for disappointments.
But worry not, because here are eight useful tips to help you when starting a career in music production.
1. Do What You Must To Gain Real Industry Experience
Internships, even though most of them are unpaid, the upside of it is that you are earning college credit, not to mention getting the experience firsthand on how the music industry works.
While the debate continues to heat up on whether graduates should intern right before finding full-time jobs, and more specifically, whether the internships really add value to them, the truth of the matter is that working as an intern provides quite a good opportunity for you to learn new things, and also network with the industry professionals.
If you have a positive attitude and take the initiative to seek guidance from the executives in the company at which you are interning, those guys understand that you are not getting paid anything except the learning experience, and will, therefore, take their time seriously to help you out and teach you a thing or two.
And, more importantly, they’ll help you to network with good people in the industry, which is exactly what you need when you are starting a career in music.
2. Learn To Crawl Before You Can Run
Everybody wants to be successful, but we all know how getting there takes a lot of sweat, time, and sacrifices.
There are no shortcuts, and those who take the easy route are always destined to fail.
In the music business, you should concentrate more on establishing who you really want to be, because the person you become in future will determine the level of success you will get in this unforgiving industry.
If you want to be successful in the music business, the advice you will receive from most of those who have achieved success in the industry is that, when freshly out of college, you need to focus your energy on establishing and knowing yourself and developing a good character that will take you places in future.
The results you will receive in future will be determined greatly by the person you become; therefore, build that one up first before you start focusing on what success level you want to achieve. Learn to crawl before you can run.
3. Chart Your Own Course, Think Outside The Box
Everybody wants to be associated with the big companies. It is not unusual to hear music graduates talk about how they want to be employed in Apple Music or Shazam, or even SoundCloud, but isn’t everyone in the same slot?
And doesn’t it raise the competition bar higher, making it harder for everyone else? Peep this: Amanda Palmer is an independent artist who launched her career through Kickstarter, and has gone on to become extremely successful in the music business.
So, it really pays to think outside the box and charting your own course that is different from everyone else.
Rather than focusing on the mainstream companies that provide a lot of competition, you should concentrate on other successful ones out there across publishing, digital distribution, touring, and even merchandising, that will easily take you in considering that they don’t get frequent knocks from music graduates who want to join them.
4. Listen To Your Parents, But Take Control Of Your Own Career
There is nothing as valuable as getting advice from your parents. When they speak to you on matters life and career options, it will serve you best to sit up and listen in, because they know better and are always right, mostly.
However, you also need to understand that you are living at different times, and their era was conducive for all professionals. In fact, during their time, one would be employed right after graduating because there was demand for learned professionals.
Even the economy was strong because things were working perfectly. Unfortunately, that cannot be said of your era, because it is extremely different from how it was back then when your parents came of age. The economy is dynamic, such that even shopping assistants can earn more than what beginner music producers bring in, but, of course, it all depends on one’s efforts.
We are not saying that you ignore your parent’s advice completely, what we are pointing out is that things have changed, and what worked for them before, might not work for you today. You need to keep that in mind when making important decisions about your career in music, but do take your parent’s advice into consideration, albeit with a grain of salt.
5. You Need To Be Persistent
The media is full of sensational stories of young people becoming successful overnight. We are not saying that it is not possible. Indeed, one can become an overnight celebrity and go on to make a lot of money for themselves. However, it is extremely rare for it to happen, and that is why these stories are often sensationalized by the media.
The normal trajectory of success involves a lot of hard work, scaling long ladders that are full of splinters and even missing a few rungs here or there, which basically means that it takes more than just luck to gain success, especially, in the music business. So, you have to be persistent and keep working on it until you get there, which is not easy but worth it.
6. If You Can’t-Do It Alone, Option B Calls For a Team
If you didn’t know, music is more of a team sport than an individual effort.
Therefore, when the going gets tough for you, you probably need to team up with like-minded individuals and work together. And we are not saying you go out and form a team with just any Tom, Dick and Harry; instead, team up with people you can easily get along with to get things done, not just hanging out and wasting time.
If your forte is sound engineering, find good and aspiring producers and talented artists, and in working together, you can test each other’s skills, learn from each other, and more importantly, grow together. This way, you will have more chance of breaking out and becoming successful than if you went at it alone.
7. Find a Mentor
Getting advice and directions from someone who has already made it is probably one of the best ways of making it in the music industry. Considering that you are straight out of college, many music executives will be willing to show you the way, and this, of course, will depend on your attitude and will. If you can find a mentor to guide you, it will help you avoid most of the mistakes that young graduate does when they get into any business.
8. Do Your Best, Be Excellent
If there is an industry that has a lot of competition it is the music industry. There are many people doing practically the same thing as you, so to stand out, you have to bring in your A-game each and every time.
You have to be excellent in everything that you do, and this will help you break out much faster than you can imagine. It is not easy to break out and find success in the music business, but you should never give up. Make use of these tips and soon enough you will have a solid community of advocates and loyal fans propelling you to greater heights of success. All the best!
You may also like to read: 5 Music Production Tips I wish I knew when I started