It's something most of us have considered in some way or another, but if you've actually decided to take the plunge and do the hard slog by being a gigging musician, there's a world of possibilities out there, but make no mistake, the role of being a musician these days covers so much than the craft itself. What are the things that you need to consider if you want to be a working musician, but also what does it take to get yourself into a position where you can make a regular living at it?
Refining Your Sound
Regardless of what you do as a musician, it all boils down to the songwriting craft and how it sounds. You can develop your own style and shouldn't be afraid to break rules, and love him or loathe him, Ed Sheeran sells out stadiums with just a guitar and a couple of pedals, so you can take inspiration from this by loading your pedal board with an analog drum machine pedal and a number of the effects, but it always boils down to the songcraft itself. Guitarists like Brian May obsess over the tone, but that's not to say he didn't put those hours into creating those amazing songs in the first place.
Learn to Promote Yourself
Promotion is something we all need to understand if we're going to make a dent in the music world. We've got to put in the hours of practice as a musician, but we also need to put as much practice into promotion as well. So many musicians have no idea how to develop a marketing campaign. People upload their videos to YouTube in the hopes that something is going to happen, but there are things you can do to help yourself along. For example, ensuring that you are present on a number of different new music platforms but also ensuring that when you are crafting a marketing campaign, you bypass a lot of the other musicians and rank up higher in the Google search results.
Have a Supplementary Income
There's a reason many musicians are tutors in their spare time. The great thing about being a musician is that your gigs will predominantly be in the evening, meaning you've got the entire day to either work on your craft or earn extra money. Becoming a music tutor is an amazing way to ensure you are still playing music while also meeting new people and generally absorbing yourself in the entire craft. It allows you to reach out to new musicians, but it also helps you discover new music so you can keep your finger on the pulse.
You Do You!
Many people work towards a grand ambition, which is really good, however, you have to also remember that if you are working as a musician you've already been more successful than the vast majority of budding musicians out there! Many musicians have to supplement their income these days, and until Spotify changes its infrastructure to pay musicians what they are truly worth, we have to remember that being a working musician is more than good enough.