How to Get Into Music

How to Get into Music: Dos and Don'ts of Becoming a Musician

If you've read our other articles, we focus a lot on best business practices for independent artists because that's what we teach. However, this artcle focuses on how to get into music soley from a music perspect. As a result, we will not be covering online streaming services like Apple Music, Amazon Music or YouTube nor will we discuss the social media accounts that make up your online presence presence and how to use them to build a successful career. Please check out our other articles or our online program for that.

Now, are you eager to dive into the captivating world of music and live performances? Before you take the plunge, it's essential to understand the dos and don'ts that can shape your journey as a budding musician, as well as the hard work involved throughout the entire process. So if you're ready, here we go!

Becoming a Musician: Dos and Don'ts

Do: Learn Your Craft

If you want to get into music and be a musician, you must learn music and master your craft. Having musical talent is great, but you need to practice everyday to develop your skill set. This means taking lessons, exploring different playing techniques and continuously working on improving your ability. You may choose to not to invest your time in private lessons and instead teach yourself. That's ok, as long as your learn how to play or sing proficiently. 

Do: Invest in Learning Music

Although many successful musicians are self-taught, if you want to work as a session musician or dream of one day being a skilled producer and working with your favorite artists, then you will need formal instrument training and should go the music education process. That means learning music theory. There are all types of musicians and music producers, but the best ones can communicate using the language of music. Not having a formal music education may not prevent you from creating good music or performing in your local music scene, but it may hold you back from collaborating with your peers and will definitely make you look bad should you have the opportunity to work with a top notch artist. Personally, this is something I never believed until I worked for Nile Rodgers and got to see first hand that the artists and musicians he worked with knew music inside and out. And when I asked them how much they practiced, they all said every day. My mentor always said, novice musicians practice until they can get it right, but professional musicians practice until they can't get wrong.

Do: Develop Your Musical Style 

Take the time to listen to a different genre of music every so often and expand your influences. Experiment with sounds, learn an assortment of cover songs, try out different gear and embrace new technology because that's a great way to discover your unique musical style and create a unique sound.  The music industry is filled with tons of artists and bands, so if you want to stand out, you need to have a way to authentically express your artistic vision and musical personality.

Do: Build Your Performance Experience

Performing live is an essential part of being a musician. Start small by playing at local open mics, community events or small venues and invite friends, so it's a fun experience. As you gain experience and confidence playing music events, you can seek opportunities to perform at larger venues, festivals or concerts and earn money (if that's your goal). 

Don't: Isolate Yourself

With all the time you must spend practicing, writing, etc., it's very easy to become isolated. However, music is meant to be collaborative, so one of your goals need to be to immerse yourself in a music lifestyle and become part of the music community. Attend live performances , industry events, participate in jam sessions, meet industry professionals and join music-related local organizations. Surrounding yourself with other musicians and people that share your passion for music is an essential factor in to enjoying your music journey. 

Don't: Invest in Low-Quality Instruments

You can't build a house without the proper tools and the same goes for being a musician. I'm not recommending going into massive debt to purchase gear, but you don't want to limit your musical progression because you don't have the instruments, gear and technology you need.

Don't: Stay Inside Your Comfort Zone

Musical growth only happens when you venture outside of your comfort zone. Don't let your fear of looking bad or your insecurities hold your back from doing things that will make you happy in your local music scene. This can feel like hard work, but getting out of your comfort zone, must be a goal for every musician. Remember, everyone makes mistakes and will encounter setbacks along their musical journey, but that's how you become a successful musician. Using every mistake as an opportunity to refine your craft is your best bet to and grow as a musician.

Don't: Get Discouraged 

Becoming a great musician takes time, so stay committed to your goals, persevere through challenges and be sure to celebrate small victories along the way. Learning music is hard and I guarantee your favorite artists, with all their musical talent, still experienced their bad day and took time to become great at what they do. 

By following these dos and don'ts, you'll be well-equipped to embark on your musical journey with confidence and determination. Don't worry about having a successful career, getting your songs on Apple Music or building an online presence. If that's something that interests you, you can focus on that at a later date. For now, pick up your instrument, get ready to sing and let your love of music guide you on your journey.

And finally, if you're serious about making music your profession, then I strongly encourage you to learn how to build a sustainable music career for yourself because it takes more than talent and great songs to be successful.

Suggested Articles:

How to Build a Fanbase as a Musician Your Musician Career Plan

How to Launch a Music Career