Being a musician is not the glamorous life you may have imagined as a child. As a local musician, there are many hardships and labors that must be endured. These tips are designed to help you keep your head held high and get through those tough times as a struggling musician.
1) Never Trust a “Sound Guy”
No matter where your gig is located, ensure you bring your own equipment. Once in my lifetime I have trusted a technician to show up with his equipment and hook us up, said technician never showed up. We had to play our entire set acoustically and it was a nightmare. Only people nearest to the front of the room could hear us over the hustle of the bar. Have your own equipment ready even if the bar’s manager says he has it all taken care of.
2) Prostitute Yourself via Social Media
Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, Tumblr and even Pinterest can be great places to pick up potential fans. Even starting as simple as inviting your friends to like your page will begin to add up. The more information you make available to the public, the better off you’ll be. Don’t give away too much free music but adding contact information on a professional looking page could do wonders. You never know who is looking at these pages.
3) Learn How to Tune a Guitar In a Timely Fashion
Nothing is worse than only owning one or two guitars. The hardest part is constantly switching tuning. A crowd can turn on you quickly if you take too long between songs. Be sure you can tune a guitar in a noisy room without a tuner. You don’t want to depend on your tuner then discover you’ve left it at home.
4) Work Online or Find a Flexible Part-Time Job
It’d be nice to make a living off of music alone. Sadly, this may not ever happen. Be sure you secure a means of paying your bills without interfering with practice or shows. We live in a rough economic climate and it would be silly to assume you will be fine if you have no steady income.
5) Don’t Spend Every Dime on Fancy Equipment
If you don’t sound good enough without the little gadgets, you probably shouldn’t be looking into music as a profession anyway. There are some things that are necessary and some things that are not. Spending all of your money on these items is rarely necessary.
6) Make a Demo, Have it With You ALWAYS!
Gigs, open mic nights, walking around the market… you never know who you’ll run into. Ensure you have something to talk about. Keep a few copies in the glove compartment in your car at all times. You may be surprised who you run into and having this demo will definitely help you out.
Times are tough. Being a musician is a rough life but hopefully these tips will help you on your journey. Be sure to take them into consideration if you’re living the life of a local musician.
Eight Years of Bass and Vocal work in local bands