As music production experts in the musical heartland of America, Nashville Demo Factory understands what it takes to make great musical recordings, as well as the attitude needed to be a successful and talented musician. While music of any style or genre can find commercial and artistic success, there’s a certain mindset and lifestyle that comes with the territory of being a full-time musician in any niche music industry. In this blog, Nashville Demo Factory will discuss a few traits that all successful musicians share.

You work hard every single day.

To be a great and successful musician, you need to practice, practice, practice every single day. Just like a full-time accountant or a teacher, you need to fit your craft into the confines of a steady workweek. That doesn’t mean you need to practice on a nine to five schedule—it means you need to block out time every single day to improve your craft, and have specific daily tasks you must accomplish before you’re done practicing for the day. This isn’t time to noodle on your guitar or sing the same few songs over and over again—it’s a time to challenge yourself in order to improve your technical and artistic skills. As musicians ourselves, we understand that this isn’t always the most exciting way to practice. Repeating vocal scales or guitar arpeggios can become tedious very quickly, but these are the kinds of habits that make you a better musician.

Practicing music isn’t as glamourous as it may seem—it’s frustrating, grueling, and exhausting. But having the tenacity and focus to complete some of the more tedious and challenging musical tasks takes guts, and guts might just lead you to glory.

You don’t mind roughing it.

Unless you’re a top 40 hitmaker or a mainstay on the Vegas Strip, being a musician isn’t a lucrative profession—just ask all the bar bands and buskers living off cash tips and free bar meals. For some folks, this lifestyle is enough to keep them from pursuing their musical dreams altogether. But if you don’t mind living with roommates, scraping by from paycheck to paycheck, and living modestly in general, you’re already moved past one of the biggest challenges of becoming a full-time musician.

NOTE: If you don’t enjoy staying up late and consider a 2 a.m. bedtime to be roughing it, then maybe you need to choose a profession with more of a daytime schedule. Musicians don’t stop rehearsing at dinnertime, and music fans don’t go to concerts in the mid-afternoon. Music is built into the world of nightlife, so get used to staying up well past your preferred bedtime.

You’re patient AND persistent.

Becoming a successful and skilled musician doesn’t happen overnight, and it doesn’t happen over a year or two, either. Becoming a musician takes several years, if not decades of endless rehearsing, poor songwriting, live shows with five or six audience members, and incremental growth and public exposure. If you’re not willing to put in the time to overcome some struggles, setbacks, and resounding “no’s” from anyone and everyone in the music industry, then you don’t have what it takes to be successful in the industry. It takes patience, persistence, and perseverance to be a successful musician—no easy roads, big breaks, or shortcuts involved.

Stay tuned for part 2 on our series about being a successful musician. Until then, catch up on more of our recent blog posts!