The first thing that anyone pursuing a career in music should do is get an education. Whether you're learning about the ins and outs of music production or the dynamics of songwriting, there are tons of courses to take advantage of online. As for college programs, look into schools that are reputable and have great reputations in their fields. There are so many possibilities for finding education in music and it doesn't matter where you're located. As for the type of degree that you get, that's up to you and your interest level in a certain field. You don't want to go the rest of your life regretting your decision to pursue a career in music because you didn't take advantage of all that education has to offer. Also, you can find a tutor or mentor to give you the lessons needed. Having a professional to turn to for advice is great!
2) Practice More
Once you have a solid education, start practicing more. Without taking things from the theoretical to the practical, it's all for not. If you're going to become a musician, then music needs to be your life. You need to practice as much as possible if you want to be as good as possible. Begin with just playing scales and then work your way up to learning songs. You can download the piano sheet music or guitar sheet music for learning new songs. Learn new techniques, explore different genres, and do whatever it takes to become the best musician you can be. You could watch some YouTube videos and tutorials to learn things like how to read sheet music, how to play piano chords, and other techniques you can use. And remember, practice doesn't make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect!
3) Record Yourself
Record yourself playing songs that you have perfected. If you're just starting out, then it's okay to record yourself practicing songs. As soon as you are comfortable enough with a song, look into recording your playing. You can do this by simply recording it on your phone or laptop or even creating an audio file of all the pieces cut together. You can then listen to yourself and see how far you have progressed. Also, it will be easier for you to notice mistakes and areas that you need to improve on. This is also a great resource for your own personal records.
Next, listen to others who have been playing music for a while. Whether it be by listening to professionals or those around your age, it's important to keep track of the trends as well as what is currently popular in the world of music. There are many streaming sites available, like Spotify, that create custom radio stations based on your listening history. This can help you find new songs to learn or maybe even inspire you to play something similar to what's currently trending. If you want to be successful in life, it's important to follow the trends at least somewhat closely! Just make sure to not imitate others since it's important to have your own artistic style. Being in trend, but unique will help you find your audience!
5) Be Your Own Critic
One of the most important things that anyone pursuing a career in music should do is be their own critic. Whether you perform in front of thousands or around yourself, you should always be your worst critic. You need to make sure that everything you are doing is at the highest level possible because it's all for not if you can't get it right. This is true whether it's performing live, recording an album, taking lessons, or doing anything else that has to do with going after a career in music. You don't want to be remembered for not being good enough, so you have to be your own critic and work hard at everything you do.
6) Take Some Time Off
In order for any musician to continue being productive, they must take some time off every once in a while. This can sort of act like an extended break or vacation to recharge your batteries and get new perspectives on the world. It's good for you because it will make you more creative when you do come back, renewed and refreshed! Relaxing and getting away from work will allow your mind to wander and come up with all sorts of new ideas. So, if you're stressed or frustrated, or burned out, it's a great idea to take some time off!
7) Have Fun
It doesn't matter if all your hard work leads to success or not, it's important to always have fun. When you're having fun, you're not working, you're playing! And that's what being a musician should be about at the end of the day. You need to love to play your instrument or sing and never view it as a boring chore. If you don't enjoy it anymore, then take some time off to reflect and spend some time thinking about what you want out of the career. Maybe it's not the right choice for you at this point in your life, but that doesn't make you any less of a musician!
If you're thinking about pursuing a career in music, there are many things to consider. You need to be willing and able to invest the time needed for practicing your instrument or singing. It's also important that you love what you do because it can take up so much of your life if it isn't something you enjoy anymore. With these tips, hopefully making the decision on whether or not to pursue a musical career will become easier!