Rock Careers Part I – So You Wanna be a Rock ‘n Roll Star

You either have it or you don’t.. but what is it? Talent of course, but drive and perseverance and the love of making music are an equal part of the quotient.  If you are in a band, either writing or practicing for gigs, you have to be willing to spend a LOT of time together!

In “The Promise”: The Making of Darkness on the Edge of Town, a documentary that shows Bruce Springsteen making his fourth album., he and his band mates spoke of how they spent nearly all their time in the studio..working, resting, re-doing, sitting or just being. But all of them shared the one goal.. to make great music. That group of guys, ‘The E Street Band’ is still intact as a unit. (with the exception of  Clarence Clemons,  who recently passed on.) Another great studio story is the Beatles film, “Let it Be” with intimate studio footage of the Beatles bouncing ideas off one another and just trying things.

Learn as much as you can. Not just your favorite genre of music but all styles. By exploring other cultures and primitive percussion and sound, new ideas are born. Take advantage of public school programs, workshops and clinics like RockOn, and then decide on the next step .. higher education or getting into the music scene or both. No matter what type of music is your passion, there are a few basic qualifications that are typically required of professional musicians says eHow:

Musical Training

Classical musician jobs often require a college music degree.

The level of musical training required can vary dramatically from job to job in the music industry. This usually depends on the music genre and the type of production the musician is being hired for. For instance, a musician auditioning for a spot in a major metropolitan symphony orchestra may be required to have a college degree in music, while a self-taught musician can be qualified to perform in a local night club or lounge. In many cases a formal musical education will be required, however experience and talent are often sufficient qualifications to achieve a musician’s job.

[RO: Formal education is also an ideal way to meet like minded and equally talented musicians!  Check this out: Break Science who met at a Summer camp version of Berklee College of Music]

Ability To Memorize And Compose

Some positions don’t require a formal education.

Memorization is an essential skill required to achieve at any level of and in any genre of music. the ability to learn melodies, harmonies, notes and songs is required to efficiently perform. Whether he is recording music in a studio, performing live as a solo artist, or with a band or orchestra, a musician must be able to memorize and perform songs in their entirety and flawlessly. In some situations, such as comedy routines, improvisational music skills may be accepted or welcomed, but the ability to memorize scores and compositions is always required.

[RO: Yes, people DO know if you are singing the wrong words. Also, improvisation and the ability to handle a glitch in a performance by vamping a line or extending a section till the band comes back around to the right place is a most useful skill.

Ability To Travel And Relocate

Frequent traveling is often required.

Unless you land a regular job performing in a local club or theater, traveling and relocation is a common requirement for musicians. Many musician jobs like rock bands, operas, and symphony orchestras require regular touring to perform nationwide or worldwide, or to make special appearances. A majority of your career may be spent on the road. Studio musicians often have to travel across country to spend weeks at a time in distant recording studios.
Read more:

Musician Job Requirements |

Media Arts Colleges


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