How To Start A Music Career With No Experience
Over the past decade, we have seen an increasing democratization of the music industry. While there are many problems with the way streaming platforms allegedly exploit artists and the means labels have used to try and stifle unsigned musicians, it is still easier than anyone could have imagined to create and share music.
As long as your music meets a certain standard, getting it out there does not even require a streaming platform. You can create your own website using a website builder and take advantage of a domain name search, SEO guide, and logo designer. Wix provides these tools for free, along with inspiration for band logo design.
This is one component of getting your art out there. Starting a music career requires no previous experience, as we will see.
There are millions of musicians in the world today who never planned to have a career in music. Music production software is easily accessible – Garageband is free to anyone who owns a Macbook – and bedroom producers don’t need any skills with other instruments. If you, like many others, started playing around with your digital audio workstation (DAW) before realizing you had a real knack for it, you surely want to share your productions.
There are a number of steps to take to get there.
Decide what type of career you want
For most people, the term “career” refers to something that will pay the bills every month. If this is the sort of career you want, you’re unlikely to achieve this by becoming a popular artist with millions of monthly streams. This is nothing new. Musicians have had to make the same choice for a century: take a secure job or have faith in their own success. Streaming services make it easier for more musicians to be heard, but not for them to make money.
However, this is not the only career available to you. You can choose to use your music production instincts to create tracks for businesses. You can even produce songs for individuals who just want to write their own lyrics – there are plenty of clients like this on a site like Fiverr.
You can also choose for your music career to be a side-project. In other words, rather than hoping it will immediately start paying the bills, work on music as a means of self-expression. This is not to say that only you will hear it, but you won’t require thousands of fans just to get through the month.
With this in mind, you can move onto the next step.
Choose one of these platforms
Let’s start with those who are planning to make a career out of their own music, rather than making music for others. You can get your music into the public using a number of platforms.
First, build your own website. This is important for any musician, regardless of whether you are using this site as a platform for sharing your music. A website gives you an online presence that you control. Your information is available for people looking for more, and people who find the website first will follow links to your music.
Next, choose a platform like Soundcloud or Bandcamp. These are musician-centred platforms that anyone can use. You don’t need an agent, label, or service to get the site to stream your content.
Soundcloud and Bandcamp go about paying artists very differently, and this is one of the aspects you should look into when choosing which to use as your primary platform. You can share your music on both, but you will need to put time and attention into gaining followers, so it is best to focus on one.
There are factors like sound quality to take into account, as well as the genres that do best on each.
In addition to these platforms, you can take the step of getting your music on Spotify and Apple Music. This will require you to pay a third-party service and, unless you are a brilliant marketer, you’re not going to see returns on this investment.
Services like Landr provide mastering for your music in addition to getting it on streaming platforms. A lot of musicians have taken issue with these kinds of services, however.
Marketing is your next step. Different platforms require different approaches when it comes to marketing. With Soundcloud, you need to engage heavily with the community. With Bandcamp, you need to appeal to fans and other artists using the platform. Your marketing strategy will also depend on how much time and money you have to spend promoting yourself.
Take a look at the following resources:
Selling your production services
Alternatively, you could choose to sell your production services to businesses around the world. Websites like Fiverr and Upwork make it easy to find clients. They also let you create a portfolio with past projects and links to your music.
The best approach, however, is to create a website that promotes you, promotes your music, and sets you up as a business.
While this may not be your dream, it is the most surefire way of making money from your music. Creating and sharing original music can be extremely gratifying even if you don’t make money from it. The choice will depend heavily on your circumstances and what resources you have available.