Tips on Starting a Career as a Musician

starting your career as a musician

Are you interested in starting a career as a musician? Being an artist is one of the best decisions you can make in life. The world cannot survive without music. As the popular saying goes, music is medicine to the soul. Everyone listens to music. In fact, most people listen to music when working or studying. When you decide to become an artist, you are not only helping yourself but also making the world a better place.

To be a successful artist and musician, there are several important things you need to know and always keep in mind as you progress.

Your music career will be a series of adventures, and it’s not always going to be easy. Becoming a successful musician requires a lot of time and energy. Most musicians who are starting out their careers are highly likely to start looking for the shortcuts and quick fixes to success. In the end, they go down without much success.

Today, we are going to discuss everything you need to know about starting your career as a musician. This will act as a foundation of your path to success in your career.

Have a day job

You want to be sure you have a way to sustain yourself before your music career picks up. Most beginning musicians work during the day and perform shows or work on their music in the evening or at night. If you can’t do without music during the day, you can work as an intern or look for a job related to music.

Have clear goals and plans

Do you know where you are going? It is a good idea to have clear written goals. If your goals are not in writing, then they are just wishes. Clear goals will keep you on track and save your time and energy in the long run.

People have different goals. Some want to make music to get licensing deals for movies or commercials. Others want to tour the world while performing as independent artists or produce tracks for other successful artists.

If you don’t know your goals, do some research and discover them. You can read autobiographies of successful musicians or seek help from your mentor. Most successful musicians had a goal to make a name for themselves in their city or state to improve their chances of success.

Think of your career as a business

Being a musician is similar to starting a business. If you want to be successful, do not think of your music career as a hobby but as a business. Your music is essentially your product, and your brand will be your source of income. Therefore, you should operate your career like a business. As you progress in your career, you will have to:

  • Create a marketing strategy
  • Know and understand your target market
  • Hire a professional accountant to handle the financials
  • Build a team to make your work easier
  • Have a lawyer to handle all the contracts
  • Create a business plan

Even if you have a team that will handle most of the things for you, you should still learn how to do these things for yourself to know what you should expect from them and to avoid inconveniences in the long run.

Continue creating music and improving yourself

In today’s world, the person who can do things quickly and well gets paid off in spades. No one wants to wait till next week or next month to get something. They want it NOW! And this applies to music too.

Your ability to release good music in a consistent manner and keep your fans engaged is the key to success. It will be challenging handling business while creating music. If you can learn how to handle these two aspects well, you’ll be in the top 10% of musicians in the world.

You should also take your time to learn how to create good music. Read books and articles and listen to audio programs and, most importantly, apply what you learn. You cannot succeed by relying on talent alone. The music industry is evolving at a rapid rate. If you are not progressing with it, then you are regressing. Keep on keeping on. Consistency and persistence are the keys to success as an artist.

Build relationships with other musicians

As the popular saying goes, your network is your net worth. Success in the music industry is all about the people you know. One of your goals should be to build strong relationships with the people you can access in the industry. You can start networking in your school or neighborhood and get to know other musicians and music venues.

The internet is a great resource in building relationships. You can make use of social media platforms and channels such as YouTube to create relationships with popular artists and other important people in the music industry. In the music industry, relationships are everything. The more people you know, the higher your chances of success.


With these few tips, you will be starting your career as a musician off on the right foot. It’s important to prepare yourself in advance by having a job that will sustain you and setting clear goals. Make use of the internet by creating a strong online presence, and build strong relationships with other musicians. Now get out there and follow your dream!

Scott Mathews is a songwriter and music instructor at Nerdywriters. He is also a content writer at


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