The Muse's Muse  
Muses MailMuses Newsmuse chatsongwriting resource home
Regular Columnists

How To Quickly Become A Professional Musician
By Tom Hess - 09/11/2014 - 10:54 PM EDT

Out of all the musicians who try to make it in the music industry, very few ever will. This is because the majority of them spend their time doing things that wonít actually accomplish significant success in the music business. As a result, most musicians will become very frustrated and quit pursuing their musical dreams.

Here are six reasons why you have not become a professional musician yet, and what you should do to immediately move your career forward:

1. You Hold Yourself Back In Your Music Career

Musicians often complain that they donít have enough opportunities, but if they were only given a chance, they would take advantage of it. In reality, musicians often pass on big opportunities because of their own fears and insecurities.

Great illustration: there are many musicians who apply for my music career training program each year. After they sign up, I go through every application and accept only a small fraction of the musicians who are 100% serious about building their music careers. However, out of the musicians who I let into the program, there are frequently several who are scared to join! Thatís right! Many people create excuses for not having enough time, requiring more time to think about it, not being ready, or a ton of other (fear-based) stories.

The main idea here is that these kinds of musicians complain about not having opportunities for developing their careers, and eventually go on to reject the big chance to break into the music industry. I sometimes talk to these musicians years later, and they tell me the identical sad story about how they never got the chance to become highly successful.

Donít become another one of these unsuccessful musicians. Donít put things off and allow inaction to be the main factor for why you never became a professional musician. Donít allow fears of failure to become the DESTROYER of your musical dreams... Take action NOW and begin writing/recording your first album, playing in a new music project, working on your writing skills or working with a music industry training coach. Donít make up excuses for yourself and watch your dreams go down the drain.

To grow your music career, determine your highest musical goals, then work together with a music career coach who will help you to do whatever it takes to achieve them.

2. Your On Stage Performing Skills Are Severely Lacking

Amateur musicians have not yet mastered the ability to perform well in live situations. Itís not enough to just stand on stage and play your instrument. Pros are able to put on shows that motivate people to see the band play again, sell music and take your band to a higher level in the industry. Anytime you play on stage, it should motivate your fans to tell everyone they know about how awesome your band is. Do this often and your band will quickly reach a new level (so you can pay larger shows to more people).

To find out how you can take your bandís performing skills to the next level, use these free music performance tips.

3. You Are Heading Down The Path To Becoming An Amateur MusicianÖ NOT A Professional!

There are many differences between how highly successful pro musicians build their careers, and how non-professionals do it. Professional musicians expect to accomplish great things at all times and only associate with other like-minded people. On the other hand, amateurs allow their careers to become consumed with mediocre results.

Here are a few examples of what I am talking about:

Amateur musicians invest most of their time performing in bands with musicians who have no true ambitions for greatness.

Professional musicians only work with other musicians who are totally committed to success in the music business. For instance, here is a one question test to help you understand if your band is near or at the professional level: Would every member in your band cancel all their plans to go on a huge tour throughout the country (that could possibly results in losing substantial money in the short term), in order to increase the chances of gaining more profitable opportunities in the bandís future? If the answer is no, then your band is a long way away from reaching the pro level. To learn how to solve this situation for yourself and for anyone in your band, read this article about doing music as your full time career.

Amateur musicians frequently associate with band members, friends or peers who are negative and question their ambitions for becoming successful professional musicians.

Professional musicians surround themselves with other people who motivate and inspire them to reach their musical dreams. They donít spend any of their time being around people who bring them down. I refer to this idea as weeding your garden - something I explained in more detail in this article about how to start a career in music.

Amateur musicians(falsely) assume they can achieve everything they want in their music career alone, without a trainer or coach. Instead, they are satisfied with relying on trial and error or merely doing what other musicians are doing. They assume they can accomplish the same success of other musicians by copying what those musicians are doing. This is a big reason why many musicians are unaware of how to get into the music industry.

Professional musicians grow their careers with a music career success mentor instead of mindlessly imitating what others are doing, to make sure every action they take brings them closer to their ultimate goals.

4. You Already Gave Up On Your Musical Dreams, But Donít Know It Yet

One of the worst ways to ruin your chances for success in music is to listen to the advice of people who have never been successful professional musicians. These people will tell you things like:

ďMusic isnít a real job.Ē

ďYou want to become a rock star? Dream on!Ē

ďTo be a pro musician, you have to become a starving artist who plays on the street corner.Ē

ďThe music business is too risky, youíve got to get a job doing something more safe.Ē

ďYou should do music on the side while you get a music degree in case it doesnít work out.Ē

Truth is, the music business is an extremely secure business to get into (for anyone who follows the right steps for making a good living in music). The majority of the true professionals in the music business are NOT playing on street corners... they make a good living doing what they love to do and are simply not known in popular media. Actually, it is a lot easier to earn a great living in the music business than most people think (while also having that income be very consistent and secure). That said, endless amounts of musicians pay attention to the ignorant advice of others who never even worked in the music business. As a result, they think their musical dreams are impossible and give up on them altogether.

To transform yourself into a highly successful professional musician, you need to ONLY listen to people who have accomplished major success in the same areas of the industry you want to work in. There is truly no reason to accept the well-meaning (but misguided) advice of your peers, friends or family who only repeat myths and platitudes about success the music industry without any true experience in this industry. Remember, your favorite bands and musicians all started at or below where you are now in your music career before they went on to become legends. The only thing that keeps you from achieving what theyíve done is your own mindset!

5. Your Living Situation Prevents You From Growing Your Music Career

Itís just not possible to grow a massively successful music career if you spend every minute of your free time exhausted because you work full time hours every week.

To start working full time on your MUSIC career, you must develop a strategy for smoothly transitioning out of your day job. One way to do this is to reduce the hours you spend every week at your day job from forty to thirty five and spend the difference working to build your music career. As you begin making additional music related income, you can cut down the amount of time you spend at your regular job and gradually phase in your music career.

Read this article on how to transition from an everyday job to a career in music to learn more.

6. You Donít Truly Understand How To Earn Money In The Music Business

Amateur musicians use tons of time recording tracks for their albums and improving on their instruments, yet have no clue how to earn a living from all these things. These musicians usually invest months into writing and recording music, then finally release it online where no one (except for their friends) hears it. They become disappointed, their music careers come to screeching halt (before even getting started) and they never again try to accomplish anything significant.

You will not make a good living as a professional musician by taking isolated actions as mentioned above. Professional musicians make tons of money by developing entrepreneurial mindsets (and taking action on these mindsets), growing strategically interweaved streams of income and working with an experienced mentor to understand how to create their own opportunities in the music industry.

Now that you know the reasons why you havenít begun making good money as a professional musician, find out how to finally make it in the music industry with a music industry training coach.


[ Current Articles | Archives ]

Help For Newcomers
Help for Newcomers
Helpful Resources
Helpful Resources
Regular Columnists
Music Reviews
Services Offered
About the  Muse's Muse
About Muse's Muse
Subscribe to The Muse's News, free monthly newsletter for songwriters
with exclusive articles, copyright & publishing advice, music, website & book reviews, contest & market information, a chance to win prizes & more!

Join today!

Created & Maintained
by Jodi Krangle


© 1995 - 2016, The Muse's Muse Songwriting Resource. All rights reserved.

Read The Muse's Muse Privacy Statement