7 tips on how to build a successful studio career 2024

Here are 7 tips, tricks, and kernels of advice on how to build a successful studio career in 2024.

Building a studio career

Working in a studio isn't just one job — it’s a combination of many jobs with clear recognition at every step. A studio career may look difficult, but it’s not impossible. Here are some great tips on building a successful studio career and achieving your music studio goals.

Some may think that working in a studio means sitting down in a comfy swivel chair side by side with some popular musicians, talking about the art and music business. Well, it wouldn't be inaccurate once you establish your career as a studio musician or a studio music engineer.

You don't have to be a born rockstar or wait until you've built up years of working experience as a musician, music producer, or music engineer to fulfill your music studio dreams. Irrespective of age or experience, you can certainly stand a chance of starting a career in a studio. Let us elaborate on how.

Building a studio career

Build a solid foundation

If you live in a major city, you’re already one step closer to working in a studio than anyone who isn't. Regardless of if you do or don't, you need to find a way to work your skills and personality in your favor at the right time.

Although formal music education isn't mandatory, having any type of music education definitely won’t hurt when trying to make it as a music creator. A good way to do this is by studying for a diploma in music, which will increase your chances in terms of academic qualifications. You can then keep studying higher and increase your qualifications.

Start following your favorite bands and artists, familiarize yourself with their work, and attend their gigs. Try to create an opportunity to show an interest in working with them or even just contact them to ask them relevant questions. You can also look for organizations to aid music groups and concerts — you can join them as an intern or even a volunteer.

Build your profile through hard and smart work, making yourself someone that the organization's members depend on. Show them how passionate you are about music and that you deserve to be a part of it. This way, you can create yourself a platform to get into the music industry faster.

Social media is a big part of the new generation of celebrity culture today — having a strong presence on social media may open up amazing paths for your career. If you believe you’ve got what it takes to be a well-known vlogger or social media personality, give it a go.

Whatever you do on a daily basis, make yourself some time to get involved in music and music production to enhance your knowledge and learn something new. Technology develops and improves with every passing day, and it’s vital to keep yourself updated.

Be realistic and start making tea

You need to learn how to make tea and be pretty dang good at it! Yep, I meant what I just said. If you expect high respect and high pay as a starter, you're wasting your time thinking about joining the music studios.

As a beginner, you may have to work extra-long hours. And, if you are fortunate and they love your tea, you'd be spending most of those hours making tea for the team and guests. But unlike any other tea you’d make in your life, this tea can take you to greater places career-wise.

Making tea symbolizes that you’d need to start from scratch or from the bottom — almost all music studio members start their careers in studios as helpers, running errands for others' lunches and sandwiches. Your patience will be tested, your qualifications may not be respected yet, and your opinions won't be accepted right away...and that's completely normal! Give it some time, impress the team, and use this time to create stability and to learn new things by observing.

Be humble and open to opportunities

Be a people person. Be courteous, curious, polite, and friendly. By being humble, you won't only win your boss’ hearts, but you're also winning a stable place in the studio.

Most importantly, take all the jobs offered to you. Many bands will love some free help in studios or recording live gigs, and so on. Grab any opportunity that comes your way, build a good reputation, and add them to your portfolio of recorded work. This is also a fantastic way to get closer to established musicians and get some priceless practical experience. If people start loving you, that in itself is a skill.

Talk less and listen more

Listening more than you talk is going to be a great piece of advice for anyone starting a career in the music industry. You'll be working with experienced people, and listening more will allow you to learn more about the studio-related work. In some instances, you may feel your skills and knowledge are better than those on the seats, and the time to put your opinion on the table will come — just not as a beginner.

Studio musician playing live

Learn, learn, learn

Grab every opportunity to learn about the equipment, technology, and acoustics of the room in which the recording takes place. Learn the gear better and their technicalities. Why not also learn the most common gear troubleshooting, such as how to repair equipment and instruments, or how to restring guitars? The more areas you're skilled in, the more useful you’ll be for them.

It’s not just what you know, it’s also who you know

Be proactive and work with as many artists as you can. Start with friends and family to start building your track record. Any work that's studio-related is a rare opportunity to break in. Be persistent and flexible to go out, meet new people, and introduce yourself. Keep your PR in check and be known among people.

Keep an open mind, don’t let any opportunity pass you, and most importantly: don’t get distracted. The music industry is not just a single career or organization. Music works closely with many other industries, for instance, the gaming industry. Any path leading to the music industry can be your golden ticket to a studio career.

Stand out from the crowd

Studio career choices are uncountable. Many musicians and engineers with music literacy also know about DAW systems, editing, mixing, creating music, and recording-related tasks. As a plus point, you can learn how to fix studio gear and equipment, build websites, maintain social media accounts, graphic basics, and general DIY — that might be even more in demand at your local recording studio. Studios love those who are aspiring to be music producers, but are well-equipped with handy-dandy technical knowledge and who don't hesitate to get their hands dirty.

A studio career is a competition, and the more chances you get to stand out, the more likely it is that you'll achieve what you desire to.

Caroline Nguyen is the co-founder of Sixstringtips. After more than a decade of teaching music, Caroline knows a thing or two about it and aims to share that knowledge through her work at Sixstringtips.

Are you an aspiring music creator and want to know more about how we work with artists? Check out our Artist Page.

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