If you think that being a successful musician includes just playing your instrument and writing lyrics, sorry to disappoint you, but you are wrong. To do music as a hobby is easy, to turn it into a stable income – the job of a lifetime. Here are 10 fundamental skills that will propel you to success in the music business.
If you are not able to do that already, take this article as the signal you needed to start TODAY. The ability to write fast, grammatically correct and coherent, with all the necessary punctuation marks, will save you YEARS of paperwork, ideas, lyrics, brainstorms, etc. There are plenty of free resources out there to help you achieve keyboard perfection, but, based on our tests, The Typing Club is the best there is. Go to https://www.typingclub.com/ and sign up, practice daily, and thank us in 6 months when you’ll be typing faster than you ever did before.
9. Mind Mapping
You ever woke up with a really good idea only to forget it 1 hour later after you’ve had breakfast? It happens to all of us. Issue is, that idea may never come back to you again. And it is scientifically proven that the human brain thinks at incredible high speeds in the AM. So you need to take notes of what your brain is telling you. Here comes in handy: mind mapping. There are plenty of apps for it, you can manually do it, or pull up your phone and type in key words. When you are efficient at mind mapping, you will learn that for example, writing down a noun is 10x more effective for remembering anything, than writing down a verb. A verb leaves space for filling in. A noun indicates the solution.
8. Video Editing
I am not talking basic Final Cut Pro tutorials on YouTube. I am talking slightly more advanced abilities. The good news is that once you get really good at ONE software, you will inherently be proficient in no time with any other really. Learn how to make lyrics videos, how to layer videos, how to render in the right format, how to alternate between shots and camera angles, how to use slow motion without giving off 2000s vibes. Whether you’re in lockdown mode from Coronavirus or barely getting ready for it (hi New Yorkers), it’s time to get to learning lifetime skills.
7. Audio Editing
I don’t care if you’re just a vocalist, any 2020 artist knows how to edit his own voice and tracks. I am not talking high-end professional studio editing, BUT… it does help when you learn your weaknesses and strengths on a mic. When you go in the studio and you tell your engineer to turn the 1st backtrack up and the 3rd vocal layer down. The more you learn how to edit your sound, the better you’ll know what you want when you step in the recording booth.
As a musician, more likely than not, you need to enhance your facial and body features a lot of the time. Can you afford to pay a professional every time you’re about to go on stage? no? I thought so. But can you afford to watch YouTube tutorials and practice in peace at home? yes? then freakin’ do it. Nothing is cringier than an artist who doesn’t know how to apply his own mascara or lay down the base coat of his nails without a professional. Boy, you need to save as much money as you can, especially in the beginning of your career. Learn your skin tone, your undertones, your highlight areas, your dark spots and contour lines and invest in some quality makeup. You will save yourself lots of money, frustration and anger. And anyways, makeup artists have a limited stock of foundation colors so they will slap standard bs on your face. Just don’t.
5. Hair Styling
This one goes hand in hand with #6: learn how to do your own hair. Some have it curly, some wavy, some have it damaged and some have no hair at all. Darling, you KNOW what is best for you more than the next guy who went to a formation class. Have you not seen enough horror stories online about artists who ended up with pink hair instead of blue and women who had to use weaves because the stylist damaged too much their real hair? Oh and forget about brands when it comes to hair care. What works for your bass player, may not work for you at all. Test out stuff and don’t shy from using cheaper brands too. Those herbal-based shampoos do wonders sometimes.
Yup, you read that right: sewing. What are you gonna do when your favorite leather pants snap while on tour and you know no one who can help you? Get a sewing kit and learn the basics. It will come extremely in handy for the times your outfits malfunction, your decor detaches itself or when a backup dancer does a backflip and rips his costume. Oh, and it is useful if you’re using wigs and weaves as well.
Honey, if you order in all the time and pizza is your go-to meal, you got a lot of doctor visits ahead of you and tears from getting fat. And not to mention, a whole LOT OF MONEY wasted. On what? on your laziness and lack of will? Learn how to cook. You need to be able to make the best of whatever you find in your fridge or at that shitty bodega at 3 AM in NY. As long as you got a stove, gas and a pan, you got no excuse for ordering food.
Yeah, as in lifting weights. Whether you’re a man or woman, you WILL find yourself in situations where you have to have physical strength to do basic things. You need to lift those speakers for performing, those cables for your microphone, the drum set, the guitars, the light set, the keyboard, the portable closet, the makeup trunk, the 6 pack of water, or beer, etc, etc, etc. Make time in your daily schedule for lifting weights and start improving your strength. You’re not always gonna have a muscular guy around to give you a hand. Often it’s a skinny hipster of a manager and his even skinnier head-bartender.
Effectively that is. Before you get a full crew of your own, you will need to do all the talking. You need to read up on contracts, industry terms, conversational markers, negotiation tactics, financial slang and relevant news. You don’t want to be just the singer or just the keyboard player. You want to be the smart guy/girl who was incredibly knowledgeable about his business and very respectful of others. Write down a list of questions you can memorize for different types of people so that even when you’re tired after a gig, you resort to your question template and don’t even have to think while engaging in conversation. Also because the questions you can ask ONE Dj, are more than likely relevant to all other Djs.
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Blue Rhymez Ent.