How Can You Learn To Be A Professional Musician?

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Answered by: Alex, An Expert in the Be a Musician Category
Learning to be a professional musician involves a series of stages. Musicians must either follow a proven path or invent their own. The ones who follow a proven path will likely find success sooner. That path involves learning as much as you can about music theory as well as the music business. Learning about music comes from teachers, music guides and practice. In the twentieth century music teachers were usually found in a classroom or a private tutor setting. In the twenty-first century a new kind of do-it-yourself learning process is emerging, using YouTube. Video courses can actually expand your musical knowledge rapidly.

Even though you lose the aspect of instant feedback from a live physical instructor, video tutorials can accelerate knowledge since users can pause the video or go back and watch scenes as much as they want. You can learn how to play a song on guitar quickly these days simply by beginning a search with the phrase "how to play" and following it with the song title then "on guitar." You can now find demonstrations on YouTube for almost any popular song imaginable.

Before attempting to learn several songs, as a beginner you will first want to learn how to finger notes and chords. You will also want to study music theory, rhythm, scales and playing techniques. All of this information can also be found on YouTube simply by putting appropriate key words in the search box. Some people still like to use music books for reference, which you can find at Amazon. Another place to gain knowledge about anything pertaining to musicianship is Wikipedia, which will help you map out fingerings for any guitar chords.

Wikipedia can also help you learn the history of the music industry pretty quickly, by searching for terms such as "record labels" and "RIAA." Another source for learning about the chronology of popular music is Billboard Magazine, which ranks songs by sales and airplay popularity every week. Books published by Joel Whitburn will give you data on chart positions and dates for songs that appeared on the Billboard charts. This knowledge is useful on many levels including connecting with music experts, creating setlists and developing a sense of what types of music sell well.

Billboard also publishes several talent guides that can be ordered through the magazine. These special limited edition publications make excellent tools for researching venues, managers, labels, distributors and other music business professionals. For many musicians the first step after developing talent is finding a reputable manager who wants to see your career grow. Managers with successful rosters can help bring your act exposure and create income streams. Independent musicians paving their own way can begin selling their own music through platforms such as ReverbNation and BandCamp. Finding music mentors can usually be accomplished by visiting a local musical instrument store that offers classes.

Whether you are looking to find musician career advice from online resources or in person, it is relatively easy to find. As with any type of advice, evaluate the information yourself and decide what elements can help your career. Not everything you hear will pertain to your situation. You may, for example, find individuals who try to influence you to play a certain way, perhaps because it was how they were taught. Stay open to new musical ideas, but make sure the reason you pursue it is because of your passion and not someone else's. The talent pool is very overcrowded already, so in order to be a professional musician you must follow the advice that helps you stand out more than blend in.

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