How did you get your fulltime job in music biz?

Hi there,

I would like to know how to get a fulltime job in the music industry.

Can you tell me how you ended up working full time ( or part time >> main source of income ) in the music industry?

Any tips you could give me?

( my music sounds good, i just need to understand how to get my foot in the door and finish the right projects )

Try not to drink all the money from the gigs :laughing:

But seriously, jamming with as many people you can find, getting into a band, publish some indiy music online, that will get you networking, there is no specific on-ramp to the “biz” … Or I missed that exit somehow. :confused:

I quit my day job because we (the band I was with, and a few others,) were slowly building up our own studio, and it became busy enough to support a few of us between gigs. But it did not last more than 6 years for me. That was in the 1980’s. If you plan on having a family and a ‘normal’ life, its not going to be easy to pull that off, unless you are exceptional and lucky.

I’m in it for the love not the money anymore.

but best of luck. :sunglasses:

OMG That had me in stitches!!! I played on saturday night and got the tab and was like… Well, there goes my cut!!!

You need to identify and share with us what it is you want to be doing. Recording engineering bands/music, gigging, doing commercial spots, film scoring, cataloguing your music for licensing, VO recorder/pickups, etc…

Just can outline my own story that never followed any kind of business plan, been following my heart - as cheesy as that may sound :laughing:

Started drumming in my early teens, played in bands as soon as I got good enough (which took quite a while!), got onto the ‘Fostex-route’ mid/end 80s, recording to compact cassette. A four track recorder was as much as a good standard audio interface is today… got lent a 8-track tape machine, digital revolution got my band into a local studio in the early 90s that had three blackface ADAT machines, that equalled the insane amount of 24 tracks on a Mackie 8 bus :sunglasses: Somehow the studios’ engineer canceled the mix date (personal trouble with his wife or something alike) and did let us know by leaving a handwritten note on the desk (“sorry, I’m in trouble, think you can do this without me!”) and so we did with me having a limited understanding of it all but a burning heart. There it was, my first ‘professional’ production (for the time given) and here they came, other musicians hiring me to turn the knobs.

Around the same time very similar things happened for me in live mixing. In simple words: there was nobody around who managed to create a good live sound, so I started doing it myself for my own band(s) - which was a little cumbersome as I couldn’t be on stage and at FOH at the same time but pretty quick other musicians heard the ‘upgrade in local live sound’ and hired me. In fact it must have been a terrible sonic mess, but well, everyone’s got to start at some point :laughing:

People appreciated my work while I appreciated they trusted me so much to let me work their sound. Some day I realized having a certain reputation in the local scene, by just continuing the ride my ‘stage’ got wider automatically. What’s important in my eyes is just to not be an a**hole. Musicians are funny folks, doing crazy things, thinking weird thoughts - treating their art with respect while accepting a certain range of eccentricity is a requirement I guess :mrgreen:

Took some years to make a living out of it. Yes, a living. Definately not ‘luxury living’. As NorthWood MediaWorks points out having a family & ‘normal life’ is pretty hard. Got three adult kids who didn’t have to starve, I’d consider that as ‘normal enough’. At least it din’t and doesn’t get boring :wink: Meanwhile 20+ years have passed since the beginning of my tale and I’m still burning for music. Still doing nothing else worth being mentioned. Probably I don’t have too much skills in anything else anyway :laughing: Even started a band with my youngest daughter (see signature) which I’d love to put more weight in while reducing some other activities like trucking PAs and such. But hey - looking back at two decades just a tiny fragment of my income came through making/writing/performing music. That’s the hardest part for me. I know others succeeding in that part of the game though.

Now, what are you after?
Engineering, gigging, songwriting, distributing, publishing? Whatever it is, go where your biggest flame burns first! Give it a chance to ‘guide you through the process’. If you want to earn ‘serious money’, go and look for a ‘real’ job that ideally leaves enough spare time to do music. Improving skills, expanding networks etc. might be a welcome backdoor once the job sucks too much!

Thank you, and thank you for sharing

Thank you for sharing, it is very inspiring to see and realize there is a guiding force / surges of luck / celestial alignments of events that can help down the road

I want to do things the right way ( for the right reasons ) and that i can sustain myself while creating music that is uplifting

Thanks again everyone, what you have shared has made me think and i appreciate that


I have made up in my mind that it is going to be no gigging for me, but:

Music for People to Enjoy ( livingroom, dance, car ) and Music for Films and Selected Commercials

I am wondering if it is possible at all to be picky about what kind of commercials my music end up to? There are some companies i would want to avoid allowing to use my music

Ask your prospective clients what they intend to do with your music. You have a choice, if you are “selling” the rights to your work outright, then you must choose carefully if you wish to profit and still feel good about it. If you choose to retain some of the rights, then you may have more control over your works’ destiny, but likely you’ll make less $$$, if you even get a deal. If you get into to a scenario where you are unsure and there is potential for good financial gain, get a lawyer before negotiating any contracts or terms. Also, you might have to separate your “art” from your “product” at times.

Register anything you think wil be peformed publicly with your local performing rights organization. Then if you get air play you will get paid (depending on where you live I imagine). In Canada we have SOCAN

If you are not going to be gigging or interacting with other musicians live (jamming for example) then you are going to have to learn how to work social media and other distribution avenues if you are hoping to get exposure. That human networking we mentioned earlier is really important. There are millions of competitors out there now.

There are places you can pay a fee to post your material, in the hope that someone will want to make you a deal… Taxi comes to mind (That is not an endorsement, just an example of a place to start). Justin Beiber started on YouTube… that has worked for a lot of people… but they are mostly all performers. Type “promote my music online” into google and hit enter. The world awaits :smiley:

Again, best of luck.

Thank you

Hi WelBased,

Personally, I have never gained a single thing (apart from an unpaid amateur recording just for fun) from anything via ONLINE whatsoever. However, I do not like nor use FaceBook and I know that this medium will probably play a big part in today’s communication/networking process. Also, I may be skeptical here, but most JOBS/ADVERTS I see online are ones that I would not take seriously and let’s face it, you would not see an advert for (say) a “Filmscore Composer” online!

I am not sure where you are based but I would try to get out there and physically rub shoulders with local players/studios or those within the particular industry you intend to become a part of. As I say, my philosophy is somewhat old school hence I am likely to fall into the minority here.

Good luck . . .


Me neither apart from people who already knew me and found me online. Seems to be a very personal thing - which is great :sunglasses:

Hi MarQs,

Yes, its handy for getting in touch with musicians you have known in the past but lost their contact details.

Trouble is, I have so many ex-psycho-girlfriends trying to hunt me down also . . .



Oh, sorry gor you. Staying anonymus is obviously the way to go then… :laughing: