HOW TO GET A GIG IN THE MUSIC INDUSTRY

May 10, 2009

HOW TO GET A GIG IN THE MUSIC INDUSTRY

FIRST TAKE SOME MUSIC BUSINESS COURSES AT A LOCAL COLLEGE UNIVERSITY or ONLINE
Always keep in mind that you need to start looking for that internship early in the
semester. Companies may request s ubmissions up to two months in advance. Keep in mind
that jobs and internships in the music business are in very high demand. Creativity is the
key to getting noticed. Try to come up with something that refl ects your talents and at the
same time catches the eye of those hiring.

Researching Companies

There are many websites that can help you gather research on public companies. From
investor relations bulletins to press releases, you can find th e most up‐to‐date company
data at the touch of a button. H ere are a few sites that will help you with your investigation.

Top Music Industry Publications

Billboard Magazine
Rolling Stone
Guitarist
Guitar Player
Guitar World
Acoustic Guitar
Musician
Jazz Times
Home Recording
Mix Magazine
Remix
Music and Sound Retailer
Electronic Musician
Modern Drummer
Barron’s Magazine
Business Week
Financial Times
Forbes
Fortune
USA Today

Web­ Based Music Information and Publications

http://www.billboard.com

http://www.pollstar.com

http://www.musicconnection.com

http://www.rollingstone.com

Finding Summer Jobs and Internships Online

The Internet is your most powerful tool as you cast a wide net in your search for a summer
job or internship. To begin, cre ate a list of all the places you would like to work at, and then
list all the people you know at these places. If you don’t have any
personal “ins,” don’t worry. On m any occasions, the company or
institution will have a career section on their site with a human
resources contact name or e‐mail address. Once you have the con tact
information, send a cover letter and resume. Check out the resu me
guidelines below for creating dynamic cover letters and resumes.

Guide to Internet Job Hunting ­ Using the Internet to Research
Companies

The Web profiles of music industry companies, studios, talent agencies, music instrument
manufacturers, and much more. Once you locate the company profile you can then follow
the link to their Web site for more information.

Before you begin your search, create a wish list of the top ten companies
you’d like to work for. Then do some research and learn about their
corporate culture. You can begin with their Web site, but don’t limit
yourself to this information alone. Word on the street is often the best
way to hear about jobs and company cultures, so keep your ear c lose to the ground. Ask
friends, check industry publicat ions, and attend trade shows an d seminars where you
might see these folks in action.
Guide to Internet Job Hunting ­ Using the Internet to Find Internships
and Summer Jobs

The music industry is a highly network‐driven community. One of the best ways to get your
foot in the door at a studio, cl ub, or record company is to do an
internship or take a summer job. There’s no better way to
hone your skills and at the same time display your talents to
the folks that make the hiring decisions. According to a recent study by the National
Association of Colleges and Employers, employers report that mo re than a quarter of their
class of 2000 hires came from their company’s internship progra m.

Almost every company, studio, or music‐related business has int ernship programs. It’s a
great way for employers to meet or audition a pool of potential employees, while at the
same time getting valuable work accomplished.
Just like any full‐time job, you can expect to go through the same interview and selection
process as regular employees. Though some internships and summe r positions are paid,
many are not. This is the price you may have to pay for a great opportunity. Expect to work
very hard. Remember, this is your time to impress!

Using the Internet to Network using powerful Networking Practices
Online
As you may well know, a large percentage of jobs available in t he music business are never
listed. Ask almost any industry professional how they got into their career, and their
answer will probably reflect some kind of networking. Most like ly, they knew someone who
knew someone, or heard about som e job in casual conversation, o r met someone at a party
who was hiring for a job. Networ king is the one of the most foolproof ways to get you a gig,
a job, or a contract; because employers feel that it helps them to avoid hiring the
“unknown.”
.
From music education to film scoring, eighty percent of jobs ar e filled
through “someone who knew someone.” Friends, bandmates, club
owners, talent agents, and studio owners are all folks that can help
you land a gig or job. Networking has become that much easier w ith
the Internet. With user groups, chats, and forums on music‐rela ted
sites, it’s now easier than ever to meet people in similar situations as you. Find out how
other people in the network got their jobs or gigs, find out wh at classes or seminars they’ve
found helpful, and most of all, h ave them give you an introduction.
Remember: Manage Your Network!
It is really important for you to manage your network in an organized way. By developing
your own database of contacts, you can systematically keep in c ontact with everyone on

your list. (This is very useful when you are dealing with a large number of individuals and
conversations.) Keep a note of the conversations you had with e ach person in your network
so that later, you can refer back to previous discussions with ease. Try to contact at least
one member of your list each week. Remember, you may not need t heir help today, but
down the line, they may be just the person you’re looking for.

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