What To Learn Before You Start Your Music Career

Music business

-Artist’s Insight with Jon Pattie

One of the most common stories people in the music industry hear is about how a small, local band gets discovered by a big agent who immediately picks the band up and puts them at the top of the charts. In previous decades, A&R agents from major record companies had a lot of sway and power in the industry by deciding what bands and musicians would be given the opportunity to take their career to the majors. Unfortunately, the music industry is not what it used to be.

Nowadays musicians must have a working knowledge of the inner mechanisms of the music industry. Without it, any aspiring musician will be severely crippled in today’s music world. It isn’t enough anymore to simply have the talent (although, still very important) but now you must have the know-how.

Having been a musician myself for many years, I wish someone had originally told me how important it is to learn about the music industry and how much it has changed in the past decade. The music industry is at a pivotal point right now because of streaming services, such as Tidal and Spotify. They have completely changed the way the laws of music have been interpreted and new rules and regulations are being made every day to navigate this unknown territory.

Fortunately, there are many, many, MANY ways to learn about the industry and all of the many weaving parts that hold it together. There are blogs, books, Facebook groups, webinars, conferences, and so, so much more! The only way to really get started is just to start off little-by-little. I started by ordering a book (if you are curious, it was Everything You Need to Know About Music Business by Donald S. Passman, which I HIGHLY recommend) and reading for 30 minutes a day. From there, I started reading blogs, joining groups, making industry friends and get recommendations of other sources, and so on!

Just take the first step! ☺

-Jon Pattie is an eclectic and slightly strange singer-songwriter from Austin, TX who specializes in weaving poetry and music together.  Find out more and hear his music at http://jonpattie.com/