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10 Habits to Become a Successful Musician

Everyone wants to make it. Unfortunately, the music industry is a tough business. It takes talent, guts, and lots of hard work to climb your way up to being a chart-topping musician. But don’t let this stop you from giving it your all; determination is a key ingredient to succeed in this field.

Image of musical instruments on a desk

1. Make a Schedule and Stick to It

Having dedicated time to work on your beats every day—that’s right, every single day, sometimes more than once—is key to becoming a successful musician. You can have all the talent in the world, but if you lack the willpower and time management skills, the odds aren’t in your favor in this competitive industry. Think about how badly you want this, and remember that energy in equals energy out. You’ll reap the rewards of your hard work in due time. Our expert industry advice is to work on your music at the same time each day. If you find you’re more creative in the mornings, set your alarm for several hours earlier than you normally would to make the most of that time. If afternoons or evenings are your most creative hours, that’s ok, too.

Research shows that people who make a schedule and set goals are most likely to be successful (and happier) than those who don’t. So, find out what works best for you and go all in!

2. Minimize Distractions and Time-Wasters

Identifying and eradicating your time-wasters is a great piece of advice for anyone looking to make it in the music industry. These days, probably more than ever, there are limitless distractions that will keep you from greatness. Whether it’s mindlessly scrolling your social media timeline or reading the latest gossip blogs, there are many things calling for your attention. If you want to be a successful musician, but have bad habits of losing hours a day to vapid social media scrolling or addictive Netflix cliffhangers, it’s time to reevaluate your goals. These distractions are guaranteed to negatively impact your future as a musician. There’s no room for mediocrity in the music industry, so follow this advice to ensure you’re cutting out anything that keeps you from making music. Say goodbye to mindlessly using social media, and say hello to success.

Close up image of someone playing the piano
Close up image of a microphone

3. Expand Your Horizons

Another helpful piece of music advice for an up-and-coming musician in the industry is to develop the habit of seeking inspiration outside of your go-to’s. This world is full of wonderful music of endless variety, so why not familiarize yourself with as much as you possibly can? Watch how your own music expands and you reach new layers of creativity when you broaden your musical horizons beyond your specific genre.

4. Learn a New Musical Instrument

You may have your own musical style and a favorite instrument, but what better way to enhance your musical palate than by learning another instrument? By expanding your repertoire, you’re making yourself far more valuable and musically literate. Learning a new instrument can help add diverse, unique dimensions to your beats. Consider this music advice and see how gaining new skills can take you to higher levels in the industry as a musician.

Close up image of someone playing the guitar
Shallow focus image of a soundboard

5. Capitalize on “Being in the Mood”

Successful musicians know when they work best. As a musician, it’s important to develop the habit of working when you’re “in the mood”. If your creative energy tends to hit you the hardest in the morning, for example, it helps to make mornings your go-to time for creating and producing beats. This being said, never miss the opportunity to create when the mood strikes! Be ready to drop what you’re doing and put down an idea when it comes to you, even if it's mid-conversation, while you’re in the shower, or while you’re making dinner. Don’t waste an opportunity when it strikes.

This may sound like a boring bit of advice for those in the music industry, but it’ll help you avoid missed opportunities. It certainly helps to have a pen and small notepad nearby. This way, you’ll be able to write down what you need to, when it hits you. Another habit of a successful musician is to record a tune or write lyrics in your phone’s notes app when inspiration strikes. With almost everyone keeping their phones on them at all times, this is one way to capitalize on “being in the mood.”

Recording studio with equipment

6. Get the Right Equipment

Working in the industry requires the right equipment. An important piece of music advice is saving up for high-quality equipment that you could use in your home music studio. Don’t skimp on things that matter when it comes to your musical equipment. A habit of anyone successful, including musicians, is that they’re not afraid to invest in themselves. That said, it’s important to make intelligent investments based on your creative intentions (and your budget). Take advantage of any deals, by all means, but be willing to devote a significant amount of money to get results you (and others) can get behind.

Once you’ve got the right equipment, it doesn’t end there. Learn how to use it as well as music software to help you create the music you love.

Image of a person with their hands on a keyboard
Image of a person performing

7. Take Kindly to Feedback and Advice From Peers in the Music Industry

It’s human to feel discouraged when you’re not validated for your efforts, and it’s important to be excited about the beats you create and the music you produce, but don’t let your ego get in the way of your ability to take constructive criticism as a musician. Share your music with people in the industry whose advice you respect. Listen to what they're saying when they give you feedback. When they point out potential areas of improvement, take it to heart and make those changes. This is an important habit to develop if you want to become a successful musician. Plus, the more you learn and grow, the better your music will be.

8. “Wisest Is He Who Knows He Does Not Know”

Socrates’ wisdom still applies today. You're finished in this life when you think you have nothing left to learn, so as a musician, this is crucial to understand. Learning new techniques in this ever-evolving industry keeps your music creatively fresh and continues to push your musical abilities to new heights. Never be afraid to be a student. A key piece of advice on doing well in the music industry is to make sure your ego doesn’t lead to creative decline in any way, shape, or form. There’s always more to learn—read more books, listen to diverse artists, collaborate with other musicians, and enroll in music courses. You’ll be amazed to see how that benefits your music production process.

Image of a person holding a mic
Image of electronic music keyboard

9. Surround Yourself With Talented People Who Share Your Goals

One of the habits of a successful musician that cannot be overlooked is to keep company with others who have similar goals. The people you surround yourself with can make or break your career in many cases, so choose your company wisely!

A mixer in a black and white photograph

10. Stay Positive

Don’t let negative feedback or feelings of inadequacy stop you from creating and developing your skills as a musician. Believe in yourself and your ability to bring something special to the table. It’s important to remind yourself that you’re on this path for a reason. Be kind to yourself and respect your hustle. As cliché as it sounds, failing is inevitable, so don’t let it get you down. You’re not going to get this perfectly on your first try. Stick with it and believe in the process; let it motivate you and help you to make your next stab that much better. Developing the habits to become a successful musician is a journey and it takes time, so it pays to be optimistic.

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The Takeaway

Becoming a successful, chart-topping musician is not easy, but it can be done with the right momentum and focus. Don’t get lazy and never stop learning. Remember this helpful advice for making it in the music industry, and you’ll be well on your way to greatness as a musician. Visit us at 1500 Sound Academy, and enroll now to advance your journey to becoming a successful musician today.