There are a lot of fantastic musicians around. Some are household names, others make it big as songwriters or studio musicians, but most of them have certain characteristics in common. Here are eight traits every musician needs to succeed.
If you don't believe in yourself, why should anyone else believe in you? Having the confidence to play to a crowd or even audition to join a band can be nerve-racking, especially when you have only just started playing. Although your confidence will grow over time, you will need to be a naturally confident person to get you that far and to deal with knockbacks along the way.
The best way to gain confidence is to get a lot of practice. It is said that you need to put 10,000 hours into learning a new skill before you get proficient at it and even longer if you want to be brilliant. Practice is the only way you are going to be successful, but it can be difficult to find enough space for you and your band to practice in. After all, not every family wants a lot of loud musicians in their garage or basement.
If you want to succeed, you will need to know how to start making music with your band. Luckily, rehearsal space is available in many different locations with Pirate.com. They even throw in free drum kits, guitar amps, Pas, and mics so that you don't have to lug all your equipment into your rehearsal space, and they can give you some great advice about how to start making music.
Contrary to the widely held belief, being successful as a musician isn't going to come easy. For every rag to riches story, there are dozens of musicians who didn't make it. These may be people who weren't dedicated enough, had a lot going on in their personal life, were trying to make a living outside the music industry, or just didn't have the talent to succeed. The biggest difference between success and failure is often hard work.
Putting in the hours of practice, driving cross-country to gigs, writing songs, and chasing gigs take a lot of time and hard work. You are not likely to make it big overnight without the help of Simon Cowell. If you aren't prepared to put the hard work in, you are unlikely to make it at all.
Willingness to Learn
You may think that once you have mastered your instrument, you have learned all you need to. However, that is only the start of it. There will always be something new to learn; whether you are learning to play a new riff or trying to master a new piece of technology, there will always be something you don't know.
This can be a difficult concept to get your head around, and that's just the music side of the business. You will also need to know something about production, touring, and business management if you want to be successful.
Having thick skin is crucial to becoming a successful musician. You will always be criticized by someone, whether it is the guy in the bar you are playing in being verbally abusive because he has had too much to drink, the record company rejection (even the Beatles got turned down to start with), or the music journalist rubbishing your new album. People will always be willing to criticize, but they are often less forthcoming with compliments. This is something you will need to get used to in the music industry.
Good Business Sense
You might think that once you have started making money, you can pay other people to manage the business side of things for you. After all, Beyonce doesn't do her own accounts, does she? While this may be true, you do need to have a good natural business sense to be truly successful, and many musicians who are household names have gone bankrupt at least once.
The trouble is that successful musicians can often take the eye off the ball. Their accountants may tell them how much they have grossed this year and not drive it home that a lot of people's wages, such as managers, agents, and accountants, have to be paid out of that money.
Another issue that many musicians have is that they can be over-confident and spend money like it is never going to run out. It will eventually if you don't look after it, so having good business sense can make sure that you stay successful after you have started making money.
Good Networking Skills
It is often who you know rather than what you know that makes a difference to how successful you are in the music industry. Knowing the right people is crucial to you, and you need to make sure you are speaking to as many influential people as possible if you want to get your voice heard. Good musicians know how to work the room at industry parties, as well as keeping on top of their social media contacts and following up on any interesting contacts they have made. For this job, it helps if you are a people person, and you know how to make solid contacts with anyone who can help you.
The key to being successful is often staying successful. This makes sense as your audience will get bored very quickly if you are playing them the same music album after album. Some of the greatest musicians in the world are known to be excellent music and fashion chameleons. Think David Bowie or Madonna, and you will realize how much versatility it takes to be a long-term success.
Don't be afraid to be influenced by genres outside your immediate target audience, or play a fresh style if it sounds good to you. The chances are other people will enjoy it too and a broad mind will help you gain success and stay successful too.
These are the top traits you will need to develop if you want to be a successful musician. Unfortunately, they won't guarantee your success, but they will certainly help.