How to Bridge the Gap Between Hobbyist Musician to Professional Performer

Hobbyist Musician

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So, you’ve got a passion for music. Maybe you spend hours tinkering with your guitar, losing yourself in the melodies on your piano, or jamming with friends in your garage. Maybe you played Guitar Hero as a child, and you were just fixated on this idea of people chanting your name and applauding you. It’s a hobby, sure, but what if it could be more? What if you could turn that hobby into a full-blown profession? 

Sure, making money here and there with gigs is nice, but that’s still not a full-blown profession though. The journey from hobbyist musician to professional performer is an exciting one, full of discovery, hard work, and a whole lot of fun. So, with that all said, let’s go ahead and dive into how you can bridge that gap and start making music your career.

Embrace Your Passion and Set Some Goals

First things first, you need to embrace your passion wholeheartedly. If music is what you love, then let that love shine through in everything you do. This isn’t just about playing when you feel like it; it’s about dedicating time and effort to your craft every day. Setting clear, achievable goals can help keep you on track. Maybe you want to record an album, land your first paid gig, or build a following online. 

Whatever your goals are, write them down and keep them in sight. They’ll serve as a roadmap on your journey. Alright, yeah, it’s generic advice, but if you actually want this to no longer be a hobby and turn into something real, this is what needs to be done. 

Hone Your Craft

Now, it’s so important to understand that professional musicians are skilled at what they do, and that level of skill doesn’t come overnight. It takes hours of practice, experimentation, and learning. So that’s why you really need to take time to really hone your craft. This could mean taking lessons to improve your technique, studying music theory to understand the building blocks of what you play, or simply setting aside regular time to practice. You can’t be fine; you have to be above and beyond extraordinary.  The more you play, the better you’ll get and the more confident you’ll feel in your abilities.

You’ll Need a Brand

Believe it or not but yes, all musicians need to have a brand. And yes, being a musician is as much about branding as it is about playing. Building your brand means creating an identity that people can connect with. So, you’ll need to start by creating a name for yourself that stands out and reflects your style. Then, get online. It depends on you, but it’s best to understand that a lot of musicians have gotten popular because they would go online. 

Justin Beiber was discovered back on YouTube in its early days, and there are plenty of TikTok musicians who made it big. So, just be sure to use social media to share your music, thoughts, and journey. Platforms like Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube are fantastic for reaching new audiences. But yes, like other creators, you’ll need to engage with your followers, respond to comments, and be authentic. Your personality is a big part of your brand, so let it shine through.

Are You Recording and Sharing Your Music?

If you plan on posting online, you need to do this, and sometimes, just recording music in your bedroom or living room isn’t going to be enough. So, with that all said, recording your music is a significant step towards professionalism. It doesn’t have to be perfect right away, but having something tangible to share is vital. It’s really up to you if you want to make a home setup or visit recording studios, but usually, your best bet is to go to a recording studio (they’ll be able to help give it a polished sound that can’t be done in a home setup). 

But after recording whatever you’re planning to record, you should then share your recordings on platforms like SoundCloud, Spotify, and Apple Music. It also helps to have your music on YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok for people to use for content creation (that’s how a lot of TikTok musicians got famous). The more your music is out there, the more chances you have to be discovered.

Perform Where You Can

Green Day started out by performing at birthday parties, Avril Lavinge started out by playing in malls in the middle of a weekday afternoon, and Taylor Swift started out by performing in Walmart parking lots. They all started out small, so you can’t act like you’re too good for small gigs. It’s the small gigs that help you slowly get bigger; you have to keep that in mind. 

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