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8 Ways to Set Yourself Up for Music Career Success

Photo by Joe Parks via Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 2.0

Nobody has a lock on success, and nobody has a formula to guarantee it. In the music game, as with other endeavors in which people strive against the odds and try to perform at a very high level, there are just too many variables. Just like highly regarded sports prospects often flame out, musicians with all the talent in the world get overlooked. Others seem to rise despite themselves.

No one has a foolproof path to making it big in this business. But we know that opportunities arise, and they’re to be treasured. And we can capitalize on them effectively if we cultivate certain traits in ourselves…like these folks did. Here are eight ways to set yourself up to make the most of the breaks you’re given.

5 Signs Music Is Your True Calling

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The nature/nurture argument goes on forever. How much of who we are is what we’re born with? How much of us comes from our families and our environment? So many musicians come from musical families, making us wonder if our talent comes from our genes or from being around music throughout childhood.

However we got here, now we need to play. And for many of us, we feel like music is why we’re on planet Earth. Here are five signs that music is your true calling.

5 Inspiring Summer Reading Books for Musicians That Just Came Out

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Honing your skills is key, of course, but your education as a musician doesn't stop with rehearsals. Learning about the history of music, about specific movements, about the artists whose sounds have influenced you – all of that can be significant in helping shape your sound, goals, mindset, and more. Truly, learning about music is as fundamental to your career as playing it.

There's something to be learned in each of these five music books, all of which were released either this year or last. Whether it's the chronology of a famous, path-clearing artist or a glimpse into the possible future of how we listen, the takeaways from these picks are energizing and enlightening. Musicians, do yourself as favor and forgo fluffy fiction for one of these inspiring page-turners instead.

5 Underrated Bassists You Need to Know About

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This article originally appeared on Soundfly.


When we talk about the greatest bassists of all time, the candidates usually fall into one of two categories. On the one hand, you have the Stadium Superstars: Flea, John Entwistle, Geddy Lee, Steve Harris. People who are indisputably awesome players, but definitely buoyed into the stratosphere by the fame of their world-conquering bands.

Then you have the Bassist’s Bassists: cats like Victor Wooten, Jaco Pastorius, John Myung, Billy Sheehan. These masters of the instrument are far less well-known outside of the instrument’s niche audience. More for the hardcores than the casuals.

But there’s a third group: the Quiet Achievers. These bassists have never seen stadium fortune and don’t usually inspire Young Turks to hit the woodshed and practice their double-thumbing. What they have done is write memorable, rewarding music in which the bass plays a role that is both striking and supportive… like any truly great bassist should.

The 9 Most Incredible Frontmen of All Time: A Definitive Ranking

Photo by Heinrich Klaffs via Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 2.0

A frontman's role is a volatile and wild job, and as such, it attracts exactly those kinds of people. In modern music, frontmen have gone to great lengths to connect with their crowds and build the energy of their performances to incredible heights. The legendary frontmen below took it just about as far as they could go. Let us know in the comments who your favorite is!