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A love of music alone doesn’t, sadly, lead to musical talent.
That doesn’t mean, however, that you should give up on your dreams of a career in the music industry even if you’re tone-deaf or can’t keep a beat. Fear not!
There are plenty of jobs in the music business that will let you indulge your love of music without requiring you to get on stage and start grooving.
One of the best-paid careers in music is working as a lawyer.
Most work in this field has to do with buying and selling rights for the record label.
But it can also entail contract law, immigration law, health & safety law, and tax law too.
You can learn to work in the music industry in the comfort of your own home if you want to be a music producer.
You’ll need a basic home studio setup, a laptop, a DAW workstation, and not much more.
You need to understand music to produce it but you don’t need to be able to play to thrive in this job.
Somebody has to take care of the business side of an artist’s career.
And that’s where a manager comes in, normally a manager will represent a number of different artists and they will get involved in all the behind-the-scenes jobs that help to make someone successful.
They typically get paid a percentage of their artists’ earnings, so they have a real incentive to do a good job.
Agents, on the other hand, focus solely on live performances for musicians.
They will arrange concert and festival appearances and sometimes commercial appearances and sponsorships too.
They get paid a percentage of the fees that they earn but don’t tend to get paid for recording sessions as they don’t get involved with the day-to-day work of musicians.
A PR specialist probably hasn’t even seen a recording engineer at work, let alone worked with one but they play an essential role in the industry all the same.
It’s their role to ensure that an artist gets the publicity they need when they need it. They book interviews, send out review copies, etc.
This career is normally paid a salary though there may also be performance-based incentives.
Once the song is written and, perhaps, when recording is over, then somebody needs to make it commercially available and manage the contracts surrounding who gets paid for what and when every time that a song is used.
That’s what a music publisher does and they’re more likely to have a degree in business than in sound recording or experience working as a musician.
It’s not hard to get started on this career path, either.
This is an unusual position that requires a broad range of knowledge of music but no actual talent for making music.
It’s all about selecting songs for TV, movies, video games, etc., and then negotiating to get the rights to use each record on the soundtrack.
Every tour needs a concert promoter, somebody who’s job it is to ensure that there are bums in seats at each live performance of the artist.
The best gigs are sold-out gigs and they sell out due to the work of concert promoters.
This is a task that requires huge amounts of enthusiasm and sales savvy.
Yes, it’s true. Nobody expects the average music journalist to have skills as a musician.
You can, in fact, write about almost anything without any specific skills to do that thing yourself.
Writing for a living is often a great way for a creative person with no musical talent to get involved in music.
However, there aren’t as many opportunities for this kind of work as there once were and you may need to do quite a bit of unpaid work before you land some paid roles.
An A&R rep is the “talent scout” employed by the label or recording studio to find new talent.
Much of the job involves analyzing statistics from streaming platforms to work out “who’s hot” before trying to help sign those people.
The typical way into this career is through an internship or unpaid experience and you may need a degree to work with some labels too.
Sure, you can’t become a big rock star or a music teacher without being able to play and having a grounding in music theory but you can become a music industry professional without these skills.
All it takes is determination to succeed and a lot of hard work. The music business is always competitive whether you spend your time in the recording studio or in the office behind the scenes.