Starting a musical career..
Let's start of with my story
Now, here comes the post that basically was the starting reason I wanted to start this blog.
To help everyone out there getting started with music (or anything else really)
What I'm saying here, has probably been said lots of times before, but I want to offer you the words from a down-to-earth, realistic and personal aspect.
A few years back I had a regular job, and I've had one since I was 18. I'm 25 now.
This job was a lot of fun, yes, but I always felt that something was missing in my daily life.
I started playing the piano and the guitar back when I was about 6. Not like those kids you see on talent-shows pulling of Beethoven at the age of 4, though.
I was average.
But, most importantly, I was curious.
What happens if I hit those keys at the same time. What happens if I press the lower keys and the higher keys at the same time.
Experimenting was key. I had the ability to figure out "what sounds good", which was kinda my pathway into music. Not a natural-born gift, but hours of trying and failing.
Everything is more fun when you're a kid, which is why I think it's good to start while you're young (but not a necessity).
You don't have the time preasure, and the schedule to restrict you from spending hours and hours behind a piano or a guitar, like the ones we face as adults.
This passion for music grew inside of me for so many years before I took it to the next level,
and of course, in high school I joined a metal band. We were nothing special, but we had passion. You can try to guess what we covered.
Hint: Starts with "M", ends with "etallica". Like most other bands at that time.
But trust me, we nailed "Master of Puppets", "Seek and Destroy", and "One", except the solos of course, those were shit.
But we were still experimenting.
Of course, we all wanted to be rockstars, but that dream vanished eventually.
When I was sixteen, I got my first soundcard, and a learning version of Cubase (music recording software), which allowed me to start recording music with the electrical piano I purchased not long before.
The guys in the shop told me that this piano "had the posibility of recording MIDI". I was thrilled, even though I had no freakin' clue what that meant, so I recorded audio directly into the computer through a jack, like an absolute imbecile.
Years went by, and after 99 000 google search and 400 000 Youtube-tutorials the game was on.
I started producing pieces that sounded like garbage, but at the time I thought I had revolutionized music globally, for ever.
The tracks sounded so awesome in my own ears, but it was just because they were so much better than the previous ones. They were mine, and I had made them.
So how to get started..?
Step #1 - Getting started.
It is actually very simple. Just start (...and all the readers were gone).
No, but seriously. We are living in an era where time is of the essence. People are going to school for 10 hours a day, and working shifts at night. People are busy. We are rushing through life, but we gotta do it to keep the wheels spinning (or do we..?).
99.9% of all music producers out there won't get famous with their first song, and the 98% won't get famous at all. Getting famous shouldn't be the goal.
The goal should be to make a living out of a thing you love to do, so if you love producing music, sacrifice some time into doing it.
All careers have to start somewhere. And it will probably take years and years before it works out.
I had school, and a job next to making music for a long time, and I never thought that it would change.
Step #2 - Get the gear that you need to record.
This is a huge milestone for lots of producers, but why?
Recording gear doesn't have to be expensive, but people think it does. Musical hits have been written with the built-in software in Cubase and Pro Tools.
Keep it simple at the beginning. Don't spend thousands and thousands on gear you don't need (yet). It will only make you confused and insecure.
Personally I like having fewer things available, because that lets me be creative with what I have.
I didn't even purchase a complete studio setup right away. I purchased piece by piece, for the money I got for my birthday, and after a long time I ended up with a decent setup.
Don't rush it!
By the way. Don't ever google "music studio". Will not motivate. It's like seeing genitals in adult movies, wait what?
Step #3 - For Gods sake, be a likeable person
Is it one thing I've noticed after I started the career "on my own", is that niceness will get you a long way. Be a person that other people enjoy talking to. Help people when they need it. Give them special treatment, and it will come back to you in a good way.
A lot of people don't realize that when you head into a career as a solo musician (or duo, or trio), you are a lone wolf.
The world is before you, and other people are key to your success.
Famous music producers aren't recognized necessarily because their music is the best. It is because they got lucky in a score, or a contract. I'm not saying that giant assholes can't succeed, but it definately helps being a pleasant person.
Step #4 - Do your research.
Research is key, but I'm not particularly good at it. Luckily for me, I have friends that are (and they help me because - incoming reference to step #3 - I try not to be a giant asshole)
I mean, find places to distribute your music. Post it on forums, streaming services, SoundCloud, YouTube and so on. Doing this will most likely not get you anywhere. But it doesn't hurt to have your music publically available. There are thousands of websites where you can upload or list your music, and finding the right one for your style can be essential!
Step #5 - Reach out to people.
Don't be afraid to send email or taking phonecalls. The beauty of the internet is that you can reach people all over the world. Send an email once in a while. Ask them to shout you out or whatever. but be humble!
99/100 won't even respond, but when you reach that 1/100, it can be truly valuable.
For this I have personal, legit proof that it works.
I once randomly e-mailed a big composer after a few alchoholic beverages, asking for good tips to get my musical career started, and it turned out to be a huge boost which got me from 10 to 400 followers extremely, which then led to jobs and contracts. So suck up that pride and get your e-mails out in the world.
Step #6 - Marketing.
This is one of my most hated subjects. I hate self-promotion, and I hate marketing in general. The world is full of people wanting to succeed, which makes it even harder.
But I know for a fact that there are Facebook-pages with a million followers, that specializes on absurd content, like 100+ videos where they bang on different steel barrels to review the sound (just an example by the way). And why in the world would they have this many followers?
YES, because they are skilled at marketing. Locate your audience, start analyzing statistics, and read your logs to see what kind of content is popular, where are they coming from, and who are they.
I've seen that it works, but I'm too lazy and marketing-retarded to do it myself.
Step #7 - Don't ever stop.
Starting a career within anything is hard. You will have ups and downs whether your a musician, carpenter or a IT-specialist. Thing don't come easy, and you have to work for it. Hard.
Almost all entrepreneurs struggle their first years. The more energy you spend on it, the more you will struggle, but for a shorter period of time.
I know it's hard, but don't forget to have fun, even in the darkest times.
It's like bipolarism. There's nothing in between good and bad. Either you're on a roll, or you're down in the deep, gasping for air.
Seems a bit extreme, maybe? But I think this counts for everyone.
A man, that has said so many wise things on this topic, of course *drumroll* Albert Einstein, has a bunch of quotes you should see.
He also said something about the importance of having fun in what you do.
Don't chase it too hard, because then you will fall (I'll take credit for that one).
Well, yeah! This is all of course my personal opinions and experiences, and I know that people are different, and so are their experiences, but I'm just an average fellow, and I hope this represents the majority.
Feel free to leave your personal experiences in the comments down below. I'd love to see what you have done to get to wherever your at.