photo of woman singing in music studio

Music is a big influence in a lot of people’s lives. For some it’s a good way to unwind, for some it can be incredibly involved and emotional, and for others it means the party is about to start! But whatever music means to you, if you have a passion for it, now could be the perfect time to turn that into a career. 

Maybe you already know how to play an instrument or maybe you’re able to read sheet music – these are both great skills that could take you far. But even if you only love listening to music, you can still forge a paying career out of just how much you love what’s on your playlist. Here’s how to get started. 

Learn How to Write Music

You’ll first need to learn how to write music. Most people tend to start with the tune itself; knowing what you’re writing for can make it much easier to match up lyrics and a melody. However, it’s totally up to you how the songwriting process goes. Some people like the emotional heart of the song to inform the way it sounds overall, and that’s perfectly fine too. 

Most of the catchy songs we hear on the radio and topping the charts come with basic four chord beats. They establish that stable foundation first and then work more layers on top, until the song has a lot weaved into it and something new to discover every time you listen to it. But don’t let the beat get too complicated when you’re just starting out, especially if you plan to sing over it! 

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Get a Grasp on Beat Mixing

Mixing your own beats is a great skill to have under your belt. If you’re able to write both the lyrics and the actual melody, you’ll have a much more complete package to take to a producer. You can even start producing yourself when you get confident enough; you’re already proficient at all the other parts of mixing a song! 

Practice makes perfect, so take your time researching the right equipment you’ll need on hand. Check out reviews for decks like the akai mpk mini mk3, make sure you’ve got the right software and a hardy computer, and try out different genre mixes to find your true beat. You can also look up plenty of tutorials to help you get started, but don’t be afraid to make some small beats that sound terrible – it’s good for finding out what works! 

Build a Musician’s Profile

Now you’ve got the technical stuff out of the way, it’s time to build up your profile. Musicians get online to share their songs with the world, and so many new artists have found success by simply releasing onto platforms like Soundcloud and Spotify. Tagging your hits correctly goes a long way to having them discovered, and even with minimal promotion you can find yourself being added to playlists! 

But make sure you’ve got a secure online presence to go along with this. Your music needs to be there first, of course, but you’ve got to back this up with an easy to find face and name. The more tweets and posts you make, the more likely you are to gain traction, especially if you mix it up and put your own thoughts and feelings out there. Be accessible, be personal, and your music will make an impact. 

Sign Up to Some Gigs

It’s then time to try your music on a live crowd. Signing up to do a gig, even for free, is a good way to sample just how well your songs do on the untrained ear. If the people like it, there’s nothing a professional critic can say to tear you down. You’ve got fans!

You’ll also get a sense of what it takes to perform. You’ll learn how to work a crowd and get them riled up when you need it. You’ll learn what beats do well at what times in the night, and you may even get a loyal following out of it. 

Turning your love of music into a career is simpler than you might think. Figure out what genres you like, learn to write songs and beats, and get online to pad out a social media page. Once you’ve got that all sorted, you can sign up to some local gigs to get your name out there – if your community likes what you do, it’ll take you so much further! 

By Erica Buteau

Change Agent. Daydream Believer. Maker. Creative. Likes love, peace and Jeeping. Dislikes winter, paper cuts and war. She/Her/Hers.

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