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The Secret 2 a Successful Career in Music

  • Sergeant D

the secret to a successful career in music

Many people think that the key to having a successful career in music is being ‘rly good at playing music.’ However, this could not possibly be further from the truth. The truth is that while it’s definitely an asset to be good at making music, it’s far from the biggest factor in ur success as a musician. Like any other job, the key to success is a solid foundation: personal qualities like reliability, patience, follow-thru, good communication and a firm grasp on the basics of business (marketing, finance, management, and operations). If ur thinking “lol that doesn’t sound like it describes very many ppl in bands,” then you are right — and you inadvertently explained why most people in bands are broke-ass losers who never amount to shit.


Personal Qualities
Note: If u just want to be some random anonymous neckbeard who makes Youtube videos about how fast u can play guitar, you can ignore this part. This section only applies to ppl who want to make money off of music. If ur ok with being broke then just keep being an aspie.

If u notice, pretty much all the people in national-level bands are pretty chill, cool ppl (it is almost always the fans who give the band a bad name and btw they probably hate their fans just as much as everybody else does). This is because you will never get to the national level if you are a shithead that nobody likes.

Like any other career, it is much less important that you are good at your job as much as if ppl like working with you. Nobody is going to take you on tour, sign your band, or give you any other kind of opportunity if you are hard to get along with, lazy, unreliable, stubborn, have bad hygiene, or lack any of the other components of a normal, functional human being. This might seem like common sense but, well, we’re talking about musicians here so being a functional human can hardly be taken for granted.

I cannot overstate the importance of this part. IF YOU CANT GET ALONG WITH PEOPLE, YOU’RE FUCKED. Period. There are no exceptions to this.


Professional Skills
This category basically boils down to “u have a solid understanding of how businesses work and also that unless ur making money for someone they do not give a fuk about u or what you think/want.” Nobody rly gives a fukin shit what u think about basically anything, they only care if u will put money in their pocket. For example, why would a booking agent want to work with you if you are always turning down tours bc the other bands aren’t tr00 enough for u??

What u need to understand is that like it or not, you are a businessperson– you just happen to be in the business of making music. Yes, making music is one important part of your job but you also need to be an accountant (tracking income and expenses), a marketer (maintaining ur social media), a salesperson (shaking hands with ‘important industry ppl’), an HR person (recruiting and managing merch ppl, techs, and other support staff), or even a finance bro (when u decide to use kickstarter instead of getting a label to pay for ur album ur doing something called ‘shifting teh capital structure of ur business’ which is something that like wall street ppl do).

Yah I know u prob just want to like get high, watch “Army Of Darkness” and ‘write sick riffs all day’ but tbh that’s why u will never amount to anything. U need to start thinking like a buisnessperson and that is that.


Your “Art”
If u notice, this is the smallest part of the pyramid. This is because it’s actually the thing you will spend the least amount of time on as a professional musician. Think about it: if ur on tour, you’ll spend about 20-60 minutes a day playing music. The rest will be sitting in ur crappy van/sitting backstage at the crappy venue, answering emails, doing social media, taking phone calls, trying to get along with ur bandmates, and other shit at the bottom of the pyramid. And unless ur a hardworking, likeable person who is good at stuff like networking, u will never even get to the point where your band tours– you’ll just be another fuking loser in a crappy local band that goes nowhere.


So you probably read this and you were like ‘fuk, i’m fucked — I have a horrible repellent personality and I know nothing about business all I know is how 2 play guitar and tbh i’m not even THAT good at guitar wtf am i gonna do.’ The good news is that u don’t have to be perfect– none of us are. U just need to find partners who are strong where you are weak and vice versa. Like have u ever noticed how in most bands, there is like one guy who ‘handles all the business stuff’ and the other idiots just kind of do whatever he says? If ur lucky, u might be able to find a job as one of those idiots — don’t lose hope!!!


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