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3 Behind-the-Scenes Work of an Indie Musician

Updated: 6 days ago

Working in any performing arts scene requires a high level of attention to the work behind the scenes.

Not only does it require a lot of self-discipline, time organization, and hard work, it requires skills outside of the craft to build a successful business.

Many musicians are freelancers and have to learn entrepreneur skills to grow in the industry.

In this post, we'll dig into 3 things that indie musicians have to focus on behind the scenes:

1. Daily Practice

Deliberate practice and consistency is what brings success to many musicians in learning a new skill or a complex task in music.

While there is the 10,000 hour rule popularized by Malcom Gladwell, this is actually a myth.

The most effective way a musician practices his craft is one of deliberate, broken-down, focused task repeated at least 3 times. In essence, it is akin to smart study, not blindly cramming and repetition.

It is more important to show up daily and work on the practice deliberately, rather than just blindly practicing for hours on end.

Still, musicians can spend a couple of hours, consistently every day, depending on the amount of music work and repertoire they need to learn for a performance.

This is the hard truth of mastering any skill (not just music)!

2. Networking Outside of Music

I have to admit, more than 50% of my clients who book me for live piano music come from people who are non-musicians.

While getting to know other musicians in the community is often a huge bonus, most musicians miss the benefit of having a large network outside of music to grow and have their brand known to a different audience.

This helps in securing business for live music services, and attending networking mixers of different business industries can increase collaboration efforts in the future.

3. Marketing Work

Ask any independent musician, music teacher, or music producer/label, and they will tell you at least 50% of their time is spend on marketing their business.

Without an effort to grow branding visibility, independent musicians can face a challenging time in growing their business; be it booking live gigs, releasing a song/selling a composition, or finding collaborators to work with.

This is a lot of hard work considering the musician has to still put in hours of practice at their instrument to keep their chops up and hone their craft.

The work to create content for social media, email marketing, writing to radio and playlist stations to pitch a song or album, blogging, doing ads, etc ... takes a lot of patience and consistency.


Most people don’t see the nitty-gritty bits of work that an indie musician does behind the scenes.

As a fan or an audience member, your support be it in the form of tips, hiring their live music services, purchasing their merchandise or streaming the song on your favourite music app matters a great deal to them!

In fact, just sharing their social media content on your personal accounts is a great, hassle-free way to support your musician friends.

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