By: David Fishman
Music can be beautiful, and for those who play an instrument, the musical experience is even richer, especially if you want to be a professional musician. No matter what your chosen instrument is, there is a professional path. Some desire fame. Others simply want to get paid doing what they love. No matter what your goals are, there are things to consider that will help put you on the path to success.
Here is some advice on what you need to know to become a musician.
Choose Your Instrument. This may seem obvious, but some musicians have a difficult time focusing on just one instrument. If you want to be a professional musician, your chances of making a lucrative living will be greater if you spend all your energy focusing one thing. Of course, there are people who make a good living at a few different instruments, but they are the exceptions.
Get to Know Your Instrument. Once you choose your instrument, the next step is to practice, practice, practice. Not only practice, but get to know your instrument as much as possible. If you play the guitar, get to know the fretboard to the point where you can visualize it. Learn all the chords and scales you can, etc. The more you know your instrument, the easier it will be to become a success.
Take lessons. Another essential step to becoming a musician is to take lessons. You may think you can learn all there is to know by yourself by reading books, etc. But, working with a teacher has a lot of benefits. They can help point out weaknesses, thus shortening your learning curve. They can also help expand your knowledge by encouraging you to play things you wouldn’t normally play.
Find Reasons to Perform. A big part of being a musician is your ability to perform. That is why you need to find reasons to play your instrument in front of people. Join the school band. Start a rock group. Visit coffee houses and play your instrument. Do what you need to do to get experience playing in front of people. The more you do this, the easier it will get.
Consider Music School. Another option is to consider going to a performing arts high school or university. Specialty schools can help shape you into a great musician, and also open doors that you may not have considered. Of course, there is a down side to going to a school devoted to the performing arts. Many musicians find these environments stifling.
Your Goals. There are so many roads you can travel down to be a musician, the only way to really keep it straight is to set goals and define your own path. Decide what type of music you would like to play and exactly what you want to do with your career. If you want to start a rock band, make that your goal. The end result may be to get discovered by a top producer, or make a living performing with your violin, etc.