So you finally have the band you’ve always wanted, everyone sounds good, everyone get’s along, you’re playing pretty regular gigs, and people are starting to take notice…now what? All bands dream of pitching off the shackles of the 9-5 routine and making money doing what they love, but how does one get started navigating the waters of life as a professional musician? Here are three things that should get you started on your new path…
Get a manager:
Assuming you’re going to be making a living doing what you love you’re going to need a manager; keeping up your chops, writing music, and fine tuning your performances are all necessary for a band to stay healthy and make money; they are also very time consuming. So where are you going to squeeze in time for details like writing contracts and ordering pizza for practice nights? A good manager will make it their mission to see that the band has everything they need to work and can focus on what’s important: being a band. Find someone that has knowledge of your scene and truly enjoys your music. Your manager should be a person that the band comes to know as a trusted friend; which brings us to our next point…
When it comes time for your merry band to step up to the next level and start making real money are you going to know how to incorporate, write a contract, or how to get a copyright to protect your blood sweat and tears? You will need to arm yourself with some legal basics or you’ll be paying the price. Government websites and online resources like http://FindLegalForms.com are great places to get familiar with your new situation.
Keep doing what you love:
This may seem obvious and it is; so why are there so many unhappy bands? As a human being it’s natural for your tastes to change over time but as a young group it can be easy to get talked into changing too many things to fit the record company’s idea. Always ask yourself if you’re going to have fun with any proposed changes; when music becomes another 9-5 you’ll wish you’d stayed in the garage.
It really all boils down to the same formula that got you where you are: Have fun, do what you love, and you’ll always be happy with the result.