Ten qualities of successful musicians

Successful people in every field have habits that define them. The routines and choices they have become accustomed to and which are an integral part of their successful careers. This applies to the music industry as well. While the traits we mention might not fully apply to every single successful musician out there, they are a general guideline to the habits exhibited by most of them.


That probably sounds like cliché but in such a dynamic industry, one really needs the patience to go through the hurdles. It is basically the trait that enables successful musicians to release tracks at the right time and not just because they are done producing a hot track. Timing is very important in the music industry and for you to reap the full benefits of this, you require waiting and watching till the time is right.


This basically means that successful musicians are able to do the same thing over and over without their energy declining. While this may sound simple, it is far from it. Having to carry out a routine with the same energy requires much endurance. Without this, you will lose focus and your career will be adversely affected.


The best in the industry have found a way for their money to work for them instead of them working for the money. When the profits start to rise, it is wise to invest in other projects besides your own music to supplement the cash sources. This means that you can be comfortable knowing that you are making money even while you are asleep.

Have a thick skin

You really need to have a thick skin. You will have fans who boo you during a performance while others hurl unfriendly comments and insults. This really is not for the faint-hearted. Develop a wall around the negative comments but accommodate the constructive criticism. For the negative ones, learn how to take them lightly and let go.


Successful musicians have learnt the habit of being true to their word. If they make deals or agreements with other parties, honor demands that the deal be honored when time comes. The entertainment industry is not short of tales about deals gone badly. Honor is a strong virtue in a world where it is virtually non-existent.


Successful artists have developed a problem solving mindsets. Since it is very difficult to control all aspects related to a musical career, sometimes problems arise and need to be solved on the spot. Lack of a problem-solving mindset could cause the issues to overwhelm the artists and trust me in the industry, issues are not few.



Use facts

The entertainment industry in general is always full of rumors, false information and theories. However, successful musicians have always found a way to work with truth and facts rather than relying on grapevine rumors.

Pay attention to details

The industry includes agreements, contracts, and deals and so on. Take time to go through these with a keen eye paying attention to detail. Every successful musician has a legally qualified person to go through such documents to make sure that all interests of their client are protected.

Social skills

This includes communication, respect, trust and courtesy. You would think its easy to do but most musicians lack even the most basic of these skills. Successful musicians however realize that the public is the source of their fan base which is in turn the source of their income. They have then invested in developing their social skills.


This one has to be there. People never really love a proud person. Humility has taken people places, for evidence, look at most of the best-established musicians out there.

Ten mistakes wannabe musicians make

Modern day music has embraced the business dimension quite much. This has led to an increase in the number of upcoming musicians all over the world. However, like any other business, there are rules of the game and some have gone ahead to flop so hard. We take a look at the top ten mistakes that upcoming musicians make while trying to get their music careers to take off.

Ignoring the Brand Aspect

This is known as the image of the artist. It is the unique brand that you as an artist represent. Creating a brand makes sure that you stand out and that your music stands the test of time. Think of Beethoven for example, he has always been seen as a moody composer and so was his music. Even though the music industry moved on, his brand remained.

Ignoring Fan Interaction

As your music career grows, your fan base continues to expand. However, most upcoming musicians forget that you need to create a personalized interaction platform for your fans. This could include sending photos of the behind the scenes from your videos, studio sessions and other products not available to the general public. This makes your fan base feel closer to you as an artist.

Lack of a Website

In the modern world, any type of artist without a website is almost guaranteed to fail. People want to access your products from the comfort of their homes or their workplaces. We will not queue up to get your new album. A website also becomes very important as a means of communication with your fans. What you are planning, tours and shows can all be updated on your website. When creating a website, ensure you hire a professional website designer, as much as it can help you, a poorly done website can damage your reputation irreparably.

Poor timing

In the entertainment industry, timing is king. You need to learn the art of building anticipation within your fan base. Avoid the temptation to release a song simply because you feel it is a hot track, the timing could be very wrong. You also need to be consistent and keep delivering new content to your fans with reasonable consistency. Basically, do not get your fans bored.

Poor marketing

Well, this basically translates to the misguided notion that marketing on Facebook and twitter is enough. Successful musicians employ a multi-faceted marketing strategy that include radio marketing, online advertising, promotions, email marketing and live shows among others. Do not rely solely on the popular social media channels to market your music.

Lack of a mailing list

Again, this happens when musicians overestimate the potential of social media channels. Having thousands of followers may not do you much good in terms of sales. Make use of your fan base and let them subscribe to a mailing list, that way you can almost be guaranteed of sales each time you release a track or album.

Lack of a functional network

Like every other industry, to make it you will need to know a few people here and there. These include club owners, producers, digital marketers, event organizers and other musicians. This widens your opportunities so much and ensures that when chances arise, you do not miss them.

Lack of a plan

I know that probably sounds like cliché but you really do need a plan to make it as a musician. Basically, you will need to state clearly what you are planning to achieve, the strategies you will employ, the tactics and how you will evaluate progress and take any corrective measures.

Not defining your target market

Most upcoming musicians fail to realize that they cannot make music for everyone and neither can they make music that targets nobody in particular. You need to have a well defined target audience and focus your efforts on meeting their musical needs as well as you possibly can.

Worrying too much

Upcoming artists tend to worry too much about getting their voices heard. However, creating your brand and sufficient marketing should be higher on the priority list.

Here’s how music has changed over time

The sheer number of artistes, music stores and music apps available today all tell you something; music is very important. Have you ever wondered how we got where we are in terms of music? You can stream music, carry it on portable devices and so on. It wasn’t always like that. Let us take a look at how music has evolved over time.

The Phonograph

This was a musical instrument discovered by Thomas Edison in 1877. Prior to this, music was pretty much only live and thus the only way you would listen to music was by hearing someone sing. The phonograph was the first machine that could record as well as play music. It used a complex system of a recording stylus, cylinder and playback stylus.

Flat-disc records

The transition to recording in disks came in 1890. However, while the disks became largely popular, it was not due to their audio superiority over the phonograph, but rather due to the fact that they were easily mass producible. These started as five inch versions progressing to seven, ten and finally twelve inch versions in the year 1903.


While radio technology itself was there since earlier days, music on radio did New changes in musicnot happen until around 1913 in a college in San Jose. However, the college was still not broadcasting. The First World War saw the closure of various amateur radio stations but saw the IXE of Medford broadcast music in the year 1919. The year 1922 is notable for what was the first radio advert by AT & T.

The Music Tape

This was introduced in the year 1958 when RCA introduced the RCA tape. Prior to this, the tape wasn’t exactly a viable option for users since the mach9ines required to read magnetic tapes were quite complex compared to record players which by that time dominated the music consumption market. In that particular year however, high quality audio was recorded onto the tapes but still did not take off. This was attributable to reluctance by market players to change.

The Walkman

The walkman by Sony was perhaps among the largest industry-changing innovations. This was a portable tape player that led to higher acceptance of tapes by the public. In the year 1983 for the first time ever, tapes outsold vinyl records. This was accompanied by the development of rechargeable batteries.

The Compact Disc

The first commercial compact discs appeared in 1980 making it way easier and viable for manufacturers to produce them. ABBA was among the first groups to have a track recorded on CD. The compact disc however faced some resistance from audiophiles who still praised vinyl records over compact discs.

Electronic Music

This is basically attributed to the mp3 format. The format separated sounds into three layers that could be individually discarded or saved depending on importance. This has till now become the most popular means of music consumption due to easy transferability and the quality of sound.


This is where we are now. Sites such as Pandora pioneered the streaming technology and allow users to listen to tracks related to their favorite music. The sites have databases with thousands upon thousands of songs.