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Working In The Music Industry

Updated on July 30, 2012

Make It The Independent Way

A lot of people seem to believe that in order to be successful in the music industry then you need to be signed to a large record company or publisher who will back you financially. This is not true. Whilst there are benefits of a large company's finance there are also many drawbacks and expensive fees and the artist is left with a very small percentage of the profits and creative input. The problem is that musicians and non-musicians alike fail to realize the vast range of jobs available within the music business, some of which can be extremely rewarding and don't require you to be popular on a commercial scale.

If you want to work in the music industry then that doesn't mean you have to write songs. It doesn't mean you have to perform or sing either. There are plenty of other opportunities that are directly related to music and a completely independent approach can be taken to many of them. My favourite job I ever had in the music business required very little effort and was financially rewarding though the hours were long. I started by taking over a rehearsal studio that cost me one hundred pounds altogether (for the business, not the premises), even with the small amount of equipment that was there. It had five rehearsal rooms with sofas, drumkits, speakers, amplifiers, mixers and microphones all of which were pretty cheap in cost and quality admittedly. I was surprised to find how busy the business was in the first week and I was astonished at how much pure profit I had made just from charging people £5 GBP per hour. It is actually quite astounding how many bands are out there that need somewhere to practise. I collected up all of my profits for a few weeks, bought new equipment and transformed the place into a full on recording studio and business hit the roof.

Of course, more jobs are created by successful businesses like this and that is another area to look in to. Studios need repair men, sound engineers, office workers to do the paper work and even someone to make the tea. If you really want to get into the music business then making tea isn't as bad a place to start as it sounds. You will get to know people and build up contacts and as they say, knowledge is power. Another route worth thinking about taking is journalism. Plenty of newspapers and magazines need to fill their products with reviews of music, it's what people want to read and someone needs to do it. Take a step back and look at the big picture, look at all the other areas involved in the containment of any music business - there are loads of jobs that need doing.

The biggest and probably most successful way of working in the music business has to be the biggest promotional tool of them all; the internet. You can have all your music hosted online or even on your very own website and as long as you reach out to the right potential customers, and plenty of them, you can make a decent wage without even being signed to a label. Another option is selling production library music online, which is usually royalty free or creative commons and if you are quite good at it then you can make a substantial income. There are hundreds of opportunities out there that can gain you a list of streams of revenue that can generate the same, if not more, than a regular income. You just need to recognize those opportunities, reach out and grab them with both hands and put all your dedication into them to make the work.

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