When it comes to working in the music industry, you don’t have to have the voice of an angel or the guitar mastery of Brian May to make your mark in the field. While you may initially think of all the biggest music stars in the world, many people forget that there is a whole team of people working behind the scenes to get them there.
If you have passion, commitment, and determination to gain experience and new skills, here are some of the best career paths in the music industry that you may be interested in.
An A&R (artist and repertoire) coordinator is the point of contact between the record label and the artist. This role requires you to support the ongoing relationship between the two, as well as the promotion and development of the artist and their music.
To get into this position, many people begin working as an A&R scout. In many cases, this is an unpaid intern role. Your sole responsibility in this job is to scout new talent. This can include attending live gigs or listening to demos, which can be passed on to the A&R manager. After you gain experience, you may be promoted to a paid position as an A&R rep.
If you have a passion for making music and bringing artists’ visions to life, a career in record producing may catch your eye. Normally hired by the A&R team of a recording company or an unsigned artist, the role of a record producer is to help bands, musicians, and sound engineers in creating tracks that are of excellent quality and appealing to the audience.
Record producers are heavily included in the recording process. Some duties may include deciding which tracks to record or offering suggestions like changing lyrics. As a record producer, you will need to have excellent organizational and time management skills.
Live Sound Engineer
For those of you who love going to live gigs and taking in the atmosphere, why not make being in the environment your job (and get paid for it?). A live sound engineer works at concerts to ensure the highest quality sound gets to the audience. Live sound engineers use mixing desks that balance sounds coming from each instrument on stage. You can also add effects to amplify the sound and give the best show possible.
Other duties of a live sound engineer include monitoring the sound so band members can hear everything that’s going on. There are lots of avenues you can go down to get into this field, such as completing an apprenticeship, studying for a university degree, or gaining hands-on experience.
Studio Sound Engineer
Studio sound engineers work closely with artists and record producers, with a shared goal of ensuring the sound is the highest quality possible. Some duties of a studio sound engineer include operating and setting up recording equipment, as well as using effects to get the best work.
If you have dreams of becoming a studio sound engineer, you may have to begin as a studio assistant first. As you gain experience of being in the studio and learn new skills and knowledge, you can work your way up and potentially be on your way to earning a lucrative salary.
As a concert promoter, you will work with artists, bands, and booking agents to help coordinate their relationship with music venues. Concert promoters organise shows and book bands, oversee the financial side of things, and ensure the artists are well catered for. Concert promoters will normally work at the gig too, and make sure everything runs to plan.
To succeed as a concert promoter, you will need to possess excellent communication skills. This is because you’ll be engaging with people from all areas of the music industry on a day-to-day basis.
If you work for a booking agency, your responsibilities will involve securing concerts for artists and negotiating contracts. Booking agents normally work with concert promoters to ensure the venue provides exactly what the musicians want.
Good organisational skills are key for booking agents. Each day will be different as you will be contacting music venues all over to secure slots for your clients.
Record Label Owner
For those who want to go into the music industry without having to answer to anyone else, you may like the sound of launching your own record label. If you have the desire to put out your own music and want full creative control, check out this guide on how to start a music label. As you would expect, you’ll need a whole host of skills behind you to make your label a success.
When you learn how to start a music label, you can be on your journey to growing your network and accelerating your music career. While anyone can run their own record label, you will be in charge of artist deals, recording contracts, distribution, and promotion. This means you need to know what you’re getting yourself into before choosing this route.
If you’re not phased by being on the road for long periods at a time and want to get into the music industry, becoming a tour manager may be more to your liking. There are numerous duties you’ll be expected to carry out in this role, such as traveling with artists to and from the venue, organising the transportation of instruments, and overseeing installations at each venue.
Tour managers must have excellent organisation skills, as you will need to outline a detailed tour itinerary for everyone to follow. Whether you’re working for a small artist or a major popstar, tour managers need to be on their A-game wherever they are in the world.
Whether you’ve got an eye and ear for the next big thing and want to go into A&R, or you like the idea of being the boss and setting up your own record label, there is an array of fantastic career paths in the music industry where you can gain new skills, knowledge and be in a role that aligns with your goals.
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