How to Get Into the Music Business
The Path for Bands, Singers, Musicians, & Songwriters
Gigs, Promotion, Contacts, Recording, Record Labels
You want to get into the music business and make a living
- How to Make Money in the Music Business
- You Don't Need a Record Deal to Get Into the Music Business
- To Get Into the Music Business, Learn the Business
- To Get Into the Music Business, Learn Your Music
- To Get Into the Music Business, Perform in Public
- Use Publicity To Get Into the Music Business
- To Get Into the Music Business, Record a CD
- To Get Into the Music Business, Promote Yourself
- Use Your Web SiteTo Get Into the Music Business
- Use the Internet To Get Into the Music Business
- To Get Into the Music Business, Create a Press Kit
- To Get Into the Music Business You Need Contracts
- How to Get an A&R Rep in the Music Business
- Should You Join a Union to Get Into the Music Business?
- How a Record Label Gets You Into the Music Business
- Taxes When You Get Into the Music Business
doing what you love. And if the music business also brings you fame and success, that's icing on the cake. Only a small percentage of musicians make it big in the music business. Even after signing a recording contract, there is no guarantee of success. They say that 90% of all bands signed by traditional labels do not make a profit and disappear off the industry radar. The love of playing music must sustain you through the long, dry periods.
But you be one of the lucky ones
who get into the music business and achieve stardom, or at least make a living while you make music? Whether you are a singer, songwriter or musician working as a solo artist or part of a band, you might be one of the lucky ones. If you are planning a career in the music business, there's lots to learn. To succeed, set goals for yourself. Know that you must focus your life to reach your goal. Resolve to do the work to make your dream a reality.
How to Make Money in the Music Business
When you get into the music business, there are many ways to make money.
The secret to selling your work is to make music that some folks love so much that they can't wait to share it with others. The second secret is to have a large catalog of work. The more products you offer, the more sales you can count on. In the music business you will make money form sales of records, digital downloads, music videos, ringtones, merchandise, licenses for reuse in commercials, movies, television and video games, and music publishing. You will make money from performances and touring. If you join ASCAP, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers or BMI, Broadcast Music Incorporated are organizations which protect your right to your own music. If you register with them, you will receive a small fee whenever your music is played in public, on the radio, on television, in nightclubs, and anywhere else.
You Don't Need a Record Deal to Get Into the Music Business
You don't need a record deal to get into the music business
. For many musicians, the goal is to sign with a major record label. You don't need a major label deal to have a successful music career. If you are seeking fame in the music business, then yes, you need the backing of big money. But, if your goal is to do music full-time and be the quintessential artist, that's something you can do all on your own. With the Internet, you can break into a music business no matter where you live. With the help of the Internet, you can begin your own label, self-promote your music and build your career.
To Get Into the Music Business, Learn the Business
To get into the music business, learn the music business
inside and out. You'll find out a lot about the business by reading trade magazines like Billboard. Biographies of famous artists in your field will give you insight into the glory and obstacles of a music career. There's a VH1 reality television show called Behind the Music for more background. Do not expect to get rich quick. Find a way to subsidize your fledgling music career, with a part-time job, support from friends and relatives, or savings. Do not count on fame and fortune to come easily. Instead, find satisfaction and happiness in making music, no matter what. Follow a healthy lifestyle while you build your music business. Stay clean and sober. Put aside as much money as you can for that rainy day or off-season. Your contribution to the music world will unfold with time. Love the music and stay positive about your possibilities.
To Get Into the Music Business, Learn Your Music
To get into the music business, learn your craft well
. Study your instrument, practice, take instruction, study your role models. Learn to sight read music and build your repetoire. Analyze your strengths and weaknesses and improve in your weak areas. Choose a specific music specialty, be it country, rap or faith-based music. You may feel that you are good enough to play any type of music, but it's hard to build a reputation as a jack-of-all-trades. You cannot please everyone, and you shouldn't try to. You should find a niche in the music business that fits your work, and build on it.
Then develop your persona, your brand or image. You'll want to concentrate on your material and your style to create your musical identity. Define your target audience, and keep them in mind.
To Get Into the Music Business, Perform in Public
To get into the music business, get comfortable performing in public
. Familiarize yourself with professional sound and lighting systems. Volunteer to perform gratis (no charge) for local events. Become familiar with recording studios in your area and the people who run them. You can offer to be an unpaid intern at a recording studio, and learn the music business from the inside. Get acquainted with the clubs and theaters where you hope to perform, and introduce yourself to the booking agents.
Use Publicity To Get Into the Music Business
Be your own publicity agent to get into the music business
Making music is about self-expression, fulfilling yourself and developing your talent. But the music business is mostly about business, rather than music. The business side of music is about marketing and sales of a brand. That brand is you. Become the publicity agent for yourself. Just as with any small business, choose a name for your band, research its availability and register it as a federal trademark, so that the name belongs to you everywhere in the U.S. Design a logo. Print business cards. Have photographs taken to hand out to your fans. Offer logo merchandise for sale at your performances.
To Get Into the Music Business, Record a CD
Your first recorded CD
will probably be the one you sell at your performances. A professional recording studio may not be in your budget, but you can record high quality music on a do-it-yourself setup at home. Learn how to press, package and sell your own recordings. Choose your best material for that all-important first CD. Book your own local performances, and when you are ready, set up your own road tours.
To Get Into the Music Business, Promote Yourself
Promotion starts on day one to get into the music business
. Begin networking in your town. Introduce yourself to other performers. Offer to sit in on a gig. Perform at open-mike sessions. Keep in touch with other musicians at clubs, mixers, seminars and classes. Do favors whenever you can, by recommending someone for a gig, or by spreading the news about an audition. If you write well, you can contribute entertainment articles and reviews for the local community paper.
Try to get along with people
and build friendships. No one gets ahead in the music business without some help. Don't take rejection personally, because it isn't personal. Don't be nasty and don't hold grudges.
Create a 3-minute elevator speech
to introduce yourself to anyone you meet and let people know what you have to offer. You might say, "Hi, I'm Jaeger Brown of the hard-metal band "Pink Puke." Our lead vocalist is Bruno. We perform locally and have a strong fan base. We are reliable and promote our performances. May I give you our business card?"
Use Your Web SiteTo Get Into the Music Business
Get your own web site to get into the music business
. You'll obtain a domain name, a hosting service and the help of a web site developer. On your web site you can introduce your music to fans and can sell your own CDs and merchandise, too. You can include pictures of your performances, discussions of the music world. Be sure you allow your fans to post comments on your site, too. Make some of your music available as a free MP3 file for fans to download. Submit your best music to an online store that sells digital music. Then encourage your fans to buy your music with a link to the store. Post videos of your performances on your site and on YouTube.com. On your website and at your performances, collect the email addresses of your fans to stay in touch with your fanbase. If you ask fans to provide their birthdays, you have another reason to email them with good wishes. You also are building a mailing list for an email newsletter, too.
Use the Internet To Get Into the Music Business
To help you get into the music business, set up your Internet presence
on the free social communities like MySpace, Facebook, Twitter. Upload your pictures and music to your profile page, along with the schedule of your performances, your journal and some of those articles you wrote.
Get acquainted with
cdreviews.com and indie-music.com, Internet music review sites where you can submit your music. Their comments will help guide you as you get into the music business. Build your presence on the web by asking other sites to link to yours. Offer a reciprocal link on your own website whenever you can. You are in the music business, so spread your name across the web. Every time you leave a comment on music blogs and forums, include your professional name and a link to your site. There are webrings for musicians that offer a free link exchange service.
To Get Into the Music Business, Create a Press Kit
Create a press kit to get into the music business
. You'll need a demo CD, biographies, photographs and press clippings, along with your contact information. Your press kit can be available as an online resource, so that anyone interested in you can download it.
To Get Into the Music Business You Need Contracts
If you perform with a band
, get the right people working with you. You want to work with reliable performers who are dedicated 100% to the band. Use a written contract for the music business to spell out the obligations of the members. Plan ahead for contingencies and changes in personnel. Explain how the money from music sales, concerts, merchandise and royalties will be split. Be clear on who makes the decisions and who does the hiring and firing. Be upfront about who actually owns the name of the band, its songs and recordings. Your first music contract can be a do-it-yourself project, using the free music agreements at www.nolo.com.
How to Get an A&R Rep in the Music Business
At the record companies in the music business
, artists and repertoire representatives called A&R reps work to discover new talent and to develop a musician's career. Once they find promising talent, they can influence their recording company to sign you up. But don't spam a rep with unsolicited material. It's up to you to build your foundation in the music business. An A&R rep or a record label scout will find you from your YouTube channel, club promotors, other bands, music sales charts and reviews in national music magazines.
Should You Join a Union to Get Into the Music Business?
In the music business, joining a musicians union
is always optional. The major unions are AFM American Federation of Msicians and AFTRA American Federal of Television and Radio Artists. A musicians union insists that its members receive the union minimum scale payment, plus contributions to the union pension and welfare fund for you. Often, small local gigs do not pay union scale. As your bookings and performance fees increase, you can consider joining a union.
How a Record Label Gets You Into the Music Business
If you sign with a record label to get into the music business
, the company will develop many revenue channels for your music. Your first recording contract with a label will include a record advance. This is money that will be used to pay for the up-front business costs like recording studio rental, travel expenses and the cost of a producer. Your attorney, your business manager and your producer may also get a percentage of your advance royalties. Any advance will be deducted from your future earnings. You must pay back all the expenses of the record company out of your earnings. Most bands never earn enough to repay their advance. Once the advance is repaid, your and your band will receive royalties from the recording company, computed as a percent of the sales revenues. This is an important lesson when you get into the music business.
Taxes When You Get Into the Music Business
Anything you earn as a musician
is income subject to Federal income tax. Each employer might report your performance fees to you and to the IRS on Form 1099 Miscellaneous Income. When you file income taxes, you can use Schedule C to report your revenue and related expenses for a one-person sole proprietorship. When necessary, your music business can also be set up as a partnership or a corporation with the help of your tax professional.
I hope life brings you much success.
I wish you a very happy day.
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