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How to Make It in the Music Business

Difficulty Level: ?
Time Required: ?

You Will Need:

  • Practice
  • Persistence
  • Patience

Here's how:

  1. Get your chops into shape. Learn how read music, play the rudiments, practice 4-way coordination, and learn all of the dance rhythms.
  2. Go out and listen to live music. Check out the drummers and remember you can learn from the best and the worst, even if you learn how NOT to play.
  3. Listen to recorded music and practice playing along with it.
  4. Once you've got your chops together, you'll need a business card. Either get one from your local printer or buy business card blanks and make one on your computer.
  5. Set up a Web page for yourself and put your Web site and email address on your business card along with your telephone number.
  6. Either buy a good quality answer machine or pay a few dollars per month to have your local phone company put voice mail on your telephone.
  7. Use the Web to do a search in your local area for "Open Mic" sessions. These are places where you can go to sit-in with other musicians.
  8. No, you don't get paid for playing at "Open Mic" sessions but you're getting valuable exposure, and you're meeting other musicians too.
  9. At your "Open Mic" sessions, give your business card to everyone you meet and get one from them.
  10. In addition to the "freelance" approach, which you've just learned, try putting your own band together.
  11. You can find musicians for your band from the business cards you've been collected at your "Open Mic" sessions.
  12. You can also post flyers looking for musicians at your local music stores, local colleges (music department), library, Laundromat, and grocery stores.
  13. It takes time to become established and there's no easy way to do it unless you get really lucky.
  14. If you expect to play music for a living, you have to treat music like a business. And networking is a huge part of the music business.
  15. Don't limit yourself only to what I've recommended. Think about it and I'm sure you'll come up with other ways to get your name out there.

Tiger Tips:

  • Practice to become a good player first.
  • Get out and play everywhere and with everyone you can.
  • Be persistent and never give up.
  • You'll meet people along the way who will say you're great and others who'll say you stink. Take both with a grain of salt.


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