• 16 Apr
  • 5 min read
top professional musician skills

Most people who want to become professional musicians or want to have a career in the music industry learn how to play certain instruments or how to sing. But these are not the only skills that will make you successful in the long run. That is why not everyone who starts learning music from a very age become a musician when they grow older. There are many other soft skills and abilities that are equally important for a musician to have. These are the skills that will land you a gig or a contract and help you become a successful musician.

Modern Musician Skills

Owning these musician skills will give you an edge over the others in the competitive job market. Even if you are an independent artist or not, these skills are of utmost importance for your success in the long run:

1. Personal Branding

One of the most significant skills needed to be a performer is personal branding. All it means is a musician must be able to form a personality of themselves that people like and know them. From your way of talking, your dressing sense, your dialect, and the audience pick up everything, which sets the tone for you. Your personal brand is what will help you make money as a musician.

2. Having an analytical mind

A modern musician should always be ready to indulge into thoughtful analysis of everything he/she does. Releasing music will not be enough. One should know what the correct time is to release music. A lot of analysis and time go into these things. Most independent artists lack this key skill as someone does it for them.

3. Editing

A musician should always be able to edit and master his/her music. Not everyone has a production house working for them, and hence, it becomes one of the most crucial independent artist skills, and they need to invest in good Digital Audio Workstations and learn how to use them. So, one should always keep polishing their editing skills as it changes how your music is perceived overall.

4. Converting files

Although this may seem like a pretty easy task, one should know which extension to convert their audio and video into. There are free file conversion software available to do so, but you should do some research and then decide which software will cater to your needs the most.

Everyone has different requirements to know exactly which conversions you have to do for your music from time to time.

5. Content Management

Making music is essential but at the same time, putting out quality content is also necessary if you are a musician. Since, one of the key skills needed to be a singer is to be a content creator, content marketing for musicians is extremely important.  That content will drive your social media, blogs, and website engagement, so it has to be informative and entertaining at the same time.

You’ve got to be topical with your content and make music around it. If you are making music regionally, then music related to local issues will make sense and will connect with the masses. But if you choose a global topic, then you can derive your musical angle around it.

6. Website Designing

Websites for music artists can be designed on WordPress and one can also learn how to do it on their own. If you want to have a career in music as an artist, you have to have a website that will sell your skills and be impressive enough to attract music contracts. So, one needs to make efforts to have a website with quality musical content and bespoke design.

7. Networking

Effective networking can do wonders for you, especially if you are starting out. Networking creates opportunities for you that can help you reach your career goals sooner. From befriending organizers of the show and music agencies to meeting venue owners, all these things can make a massive impact, especially if you learn them in your career’s initial stages. Networking is one of the most important executive musician skills, which can be a little hard at the start. Still, if you keep at it and keep an attitude of fulfilling commitments and putting you point across clearly, you will surely succeed.

8. Interview Controlling

A musician should know how to tackle interview questions and resist falling into the trap of what is commonly known as “political answering.” It means not be able to answer a personal or a tricky question and skirt around it.

That is why one needs to be skilled at giving straight and detailed answers in interviews and should know how to control the interview and everything you are speaking about.

9. Self-Discipline

Self-discipline is an incredibly significant skill in any profession. Everyone, be it your employer or your client, appreciates punctuality. Everyone should be able to manage their time and plan their schedule to complete their work promptly. Musicians should always be able to meet their goals of scheduled lessons and be available for practice accordingly. It also includes being responsible and organized, as it will not make a difference if you reached a concert on time but forgot your instrument, music sheet or have not practiced enough.

10. Adaptability

Accepting change and letting yourself move with the flow can be exceptionally excellent quality in a musician. One of the most vital musician skills is to play with a new group of people, play different music genre, and know how to adjust to meet new requirements every time. From adapting to coordinate with a new team at work, adapting to new processes, or learning contemporary music production software and  tools, those who make easy transitions will never struggle as much as those who hesitate to change.

11. Perseverance

Everyone goes through ups and downs in their professional journey, be it a musician or any other industry.

In such times, perseverance becomes an important musician skill that will bring practicality to your life. You also become prepared to face any challenge that comes your way when you begin learning any contemporary music piece. As you cannot give up just because a music piece seems complicated, you try, practice, and learn the toughest part until you crack it. Similarly, in life one must believe in oneself and never back down no matter how many times you face difficulties and obstacles.

12. Concentration and memory

One of the essential musician skills is to memorize songs and music pieces. Memorizing songs will require concentration and is an amazing mental exercise. It also enhances your attention to detail as you will learn what notes to play at what pitch and for how long. One of the top skills required to be a musician is concentration, especially when you are doing a concert in front of hundreds of people. You should be able to focus on your part, on junior artists, on conductor and your whole group’s performance.

13. Communication Skills

One of the most important skills needed to be a musician is communication. Your communication skills are one of your greatest assets and can be a major factor in your success or failure. Musicians have to learn to use cues (verbal and nonverbal) to communicate among themselves whilst performing, rehearsing, and keeping the audience attentive.

14. Open to Criticism

Being open to criticism is one of the key musician skills. Everyone be it a musician or non-musician, should be able to take negative feedback and positive feedback gracefully. Criticism is what will help you improve the areas in which you are lacking. Music students will receive feedback from their instructors and will be able to recognize the areas they need to improve, and it is a salient part of the whole learning process.

Not all criticism will be constructive and hence, musicians should be able to develop a thick skin so that these things do not affect their work and bother them. They should be mentally ready to deal with destructive feedback and criticism and focus on their work.

15. Humility

The skills mentioned above are essential. However, they will not be of any use until a musician is not humble. Humility is one of the most incredible skills one can have in their professional as well as personal life. If you lack humility, you will not be self-aware to realize that all the forementioned skills are significant for you to succeed.

This last skill can said be considered the most important one as people will love an authentic and humble soul rather than an arrogant one. These were some examples of skills that a professional musician has. All these skills will come in handy for the rest of your life; you just have to keep an open mind and keep learning and working towards achieving your goals.

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