Many of our students here at Eagle Rock Music Studio ask our instructors for insight on the music industry since they aspire to be professionals someday. Our answer is usually pretty simple: the music business is tough. In fact, it’s one of the hardest industries in the world to achieve success.
However, you are already in the right place (Los Angeles) by taking lessons with us — the networking opportunities available because of the city’s connection to show business should not be overlooked.
Be a Dreamer and a Doer
Everyone dreams of becoming something; your dream is becoming a musician or a music professional of some sort. Here’s the thing: dreaming is easy. Everything can be perfect when it’s still just a dream. In practice, however, you’ll quickly realize that nothing is perfect. Actually realizing your dream will require lots of trying, failing, and getting back up and trying again.
Get Past the Gatekeepers
You will be told “no” a lot in your pursuit of a career in music — this will be unavoidable. Fortunately, you will only have to get a few important yeses over the course of your entire career. The first (and most important) is getting your initial foot in the door — if you don’t get that yes, you can’t get any more of them.
Remember to be persistent: getting through at the most bottom level of the music chain has more to do with possessing a “go-getting” attitude than anything else. As Wayne Gretzky said, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”
Learn How to Manage
Every act — at least in the popular music realm — has a manager, and for obvious reasons. First and foremost, an artist should be spending his/her/their time on their music as much as possible. But generally speaking, artists are not nearly as organized as their manager counterparts (i.e., their brains are wired differently, and the two camps possess different skill sets), which is why the relationship exists.
That being said, when you first begin your career as an artist, you most likely will have no manager, and will have to learn how to navigate the waters yourself. It is often the case with successful bands, for example, that one of the members is more managerially inclined in the early days and essentially acts as the manager until the band achieves enough success to attract a professional manager.
Pay the Bills
Eventually, you will come to a fork in the road, and you will have to choose whether music is a career or just a hobby for you. The key questions to ask yourself: “Is my music for public consumption? Do I want to perform these songs for others for money? Will I eventually feel comfortable asking people to buy my music, even though it is increasingly common for consumers to consume music without buying it?”
The business is tough. But if you find yourself answering “yes” to the above questions, go for it. At Eagle Rock, we’re here to help you get there.