Maybe you went to school for a degree in music, or maybe you are a self-taught musician. Whatever the case may be, you want to do something with music for a living, but how do you get started? The first thing you need to do is start networking yourself.
Start off by attending open mic nights in your area and making friends with the musicians that host them and play them, as well as the people running the bar hosting the night. Many bars looking for bands and musicians for future shows at their open mic nights, and when you play you may attract the attention of other local musicians that can help you get to where you want to go with your music.
Be A Sessions Musicians
Session musicians are those people that fill in on an instrument on an album for a singer/songwriter, whether they’re famous or not, and sometimes hit the road with them when they need a full band behind them. It’s not always an easy job to get into, and you need to be pretty good at your instrument of choice if you want to pick up and play someone else’s music on a regular basis.
One thing you can do to get this kind of gig is to get in good with the owner of a recording studio. Prove to them your talents and they will be the ones to call you in when a singer needs a guitar player, or a duo needs a drummer on the mix.
Get On The Road Solo
If you just want to play, original and covers, you can hit the road yourself. You may want to start local and find some gigs near home to build up your resume, so to speak. If you put on a good show somewhere they are likely to call you back.
Don’t just look at typical music venues either. You’re more likely to make better money by playing at places like wineries or breweries that want musicians as background music for diners and drinkers. You also need to be calling them all the time to push them to give you shows if you want to get paid enough to pay your bills.
Start A Band And Get Recording
If you don’t feel like you have the chops for a solo career you could always start a band. Either way, you need to get some music recorded. When you start to try booking yourself or your band you’re going to need to let people hear your music, online or on CD.
You can also try to make money with your music. With websites like Bandcamp and Reverbnation is easy to get your recorded music out there for people to listen to.