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Published on January 16th, 2014 | by voxx


The Musician’s Path to Success

So you’ve got a few songs together. You’ve got yourself a good set up either in a band or as an act on your own. You’re eager to get out there and start sharing your music. But you don’t quite know how.

Well, first things first. You need to know that what you’ve got is good. The answer to that? Practice. After that? Video yourself. You’ve got tons of social networking sites at your fingertips and you’ve most likely got a phone with a camera, so make use of them. If you prefer not to take that road, play a song or two for your family, your friend, anyone who might want to listen. Even better, play to another musician, someone with a good ear.

Ok. So you know now that you’ve got something good going, your confidence is a little higher than it was before. You’ve got some positive feedback on YouTube perhaps? Or a friend might have patted you on the back and said: “Hey! That’s good man!”

Where to now?

If you’re still in school or college, get down to the music department and make your presence known. Get a slot in a concert or event. If not, every night of the month there’s an open mic in a pub somewhere. Sometimes venues even hold acoustic sessions during the day. So ask around, again, use the internet to find these sessions, and get your name up on the board. You may argue that there are never any gigs on in town. But you’ll be surprised, they’re happening right under our noses.

It’s all well and good turning up and playing at these, but the most important part is speaking to and networking with other musicians. No one will know who you are if you don’t introduce yourself. Show an interest in their music, ask them about any gigs they have lined up, attend a few of those, meet more musicians, meet venue managers, network some more, perform some more, and before you know it you’ll be landing your first paid gig.

Now you’re getting there. All you can do is just keep going.

Don’t be afraid to travel further afield. It’s good to break away from the regular circle and develop a new audience. Make a Facebook page dedicated just to your music and make some business cards to hand out at events, directing people to your website. Otherwise, you’ll just be remembered as ‘that singer that night’. Given regular updates on the internet, people are more likely to make the effort to attend your gigs.

Record some demos, put them on SoundCloud, BandCamp, ReverbNation, YouTube, Facebook. Start circling with other musicians to collaborate with or get advice from. Send a demo to BBC Introducing and even get some radio play. You’ve just got to keep putting yourself out there. No one is going to stumble across your gig and ‘discover’ you. Overnight fame just doesn’t happen like in the stories. It takes time, effort, and dedication. But as long as you’re doing this because you love it. As long as you’re doing this because it’s your passion. As long as you can keep up and stay on the ball. You’ll make it.

But remember. Success isn’t fame. Success is performing to someone and brightening their night. Success is meeting others to play alongside and having a good time. Success is coming home and feeling like you really have achieved something.

- Amy Naylor

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