Should You Stop Making Music?

Should You Stop Making Music

I constantly see music producers posting in music forums wondering if they should quit making music. Here are a couple of things you should consider before giving up.

I don’t know where you are in your music making journey, or your motives behind making music.

So I will try to cover different aspects of pursuing music.

Here are 4 reasons I think music producers want to quit:

1. Not Making Money

To make a living off of music involves so much more than just making music.

It involves networking, marketing, creating multiple sources of income, creating new music to go with the current trends, and so much more.

Selling beats is very competitive, and if you aren’t working hard to compete with your competition, it will be harder for you to succeed.

So if you think you are just going to make beats, and money is going to come to you, you are wrong.

Here is a great comment left on this article by Greg.

It’s not hard to make money with music.

The problem is most people don’t know how to do it.

While most people sit and wait/hope/pray for making $20,000 a track, there are people with much smaller ego’s that don’t mind making $500 a track.

Some musicians and producers actually make good money sound designing for companies. You have to be able to look outside of the box. There is money out there you just have to know how to get it.

Jingles/Theme music aka Background music is a great venue most beat makers and musicians don’t even think about tapping into.

To turn music into a full-time career your plan for success must grow and evolve.

Your goal may be to only sell beats, but in reality, you will have to work at creating multiple sources of income, and not just depend on one.

Plan to Make Money:

  1. Build a work ethic to outwork your competitors.
  2. Brainstorm daily on how to make more money and take action.
  3. Continue to try new ideas until you find one that works.

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2. No One is Buying Your Beats

There are many important aspects to selling beats successfully:

  1. Your beats need to sound professional.
  2. Music artists need to be able to listen to and buy beats easily.
  3. You need to market your beats to the correct audience, which is music artists looking to “buy” beats.
    • Find music artists, don’t expect them to just find you.

But I have done all this… No, You Haven’t.

If you have tried the 3 suggestions above and still can’t sell beats, try harder:

Selling beats is very competitive. Your competition is doing better than you, so you must outwork them.

A successful beat selling business does NOT happen overnight. Study successful businesses, and apply these ideas to your business.

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3. Can’t Get Album Placements

There is a popular saying… It’s not about what you know, but who you know.

To get album placements you should be building relationships with everyone: music artists, managers, A&Rs, people who work at recording studios, everyone!

You need to build a reputation as a music producer with high-quality beats and build a connection with these different people, so when someone is in need of beats, they think of you.

You may also want to consider hiring a manager. If you get a manager with a music background, they should have connections with people in the music industry to help get your beats heard.

Helpful Videos

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4. You’re Too Old

I want to say good music is good music. And if you make good music, and follow the suggestions above, you still have a chance at success.

Warren Buffett… one of the wealthiest men in the world earned 99% of his wealth after his 50th birthday.

There are a lot of entrepreneurs who failed at multiple businesses and did not finally succeed until reaching the age of 40 or higher.

Yes, we all want to reach success in our prime, but things don’t always go as fast as we want. It’s life.

So until you have exhausted all possible options for reaching your goals, I think you should still try.

You only truly fail when you give up. But once again, plans can evolve into something different which is ok.

The idea of YouTube started as a dating website, which later changed, and now it’s one of the biggest websites in the world.


Closing Thoughts…

Succeeding at music is going to be hard. It’s very competitive. It’s not a typical 9 to 5 job. But this applies to all creative jobs.

If you started making music, I will assume it is because it brings you some type of happiness or joy.

And we should all continue to strive to do things that make us happy.


The Majority Will Fail

Unfortunately, many of you will never make money from music, sell beats, or get album placements.

This is not because it’s not possible, but because many people won’t work hard enough.

Learning information without taking action, is what stops most people from reaching their goals.

And I can’t say how many people will just dismiss ideas before they even try them out.

So please decide you will be one of the people who take action!

Embrace the idea of failing your way to success. You will not have success without failure.

Thanks for reading.

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23 Comments

  1. I disagree. Statistically, almost no musician will ever make any serious money out of their music. So, while giving up prematurely is a shame (although in the end, the world has a surplus of musicians anyway, so it’s not a problem on a grand scale), hanging on to a dream and pursuing it to the bitter end would probably result in a bitter end for most musicians.

    If you’ve given it a real try (and remember, how much of a try you can give it might be limited by aspects of your personality) but not succeeded, either take a break, then return to making music for love, or feel free to give it up for something else more sustainable and profitable.

    If you listen gently to yourself, you’ll know if you’re on a hiding to nowhere. Follow the path in life that results in the most love for your friends and family, whether or not that involves music and whether or not it includes money.

    1. Thanks for leaving a comment. Its fine to disagree, but for you to say no music artist make money is incorrect. Many don’t, but some do. Some make money from touring, signing other artist, producing, acting, guest appearances, writing for other artist, merchandise, etc. It’s not the same for everyone. But you can’t tell me, one person can do it, and others can’t.

      Many people may lead to a bitter ends, but I’m trying to motivate people to work hard for what they want. And what I’m hearing from you is, “don’t try cause you wont succeed”. Your a doubter, and I encourage everyone to try to prove you wrong. I may be wrong for that. But people doubt me as well, and I’m not going to let anyone tell me I can’t do something.

      Thanks for the response.

  2. First Time Commenting here.
    @ Museum of Techno
    “almost no musician will ever make any serious money out of their music”
    May you back up your sentence? Please with a source/reference

    “the world has a surplus of musicians anyway”
    Yes, but remember musicians has their different styles of music, and on another factor its more of a factor of the ‘style’,’sound’ of the music rather than the musican.
    For example: You can hear all these club songs, but in the end its not who makes it, its how the song impacts the audience.

    “dream and pursuing it to the bitter end would probably result in a bitter end for most musicians.”
    How so? Please with a source/reference.

    “If you’ve given it a real try but not succeeded, either take a break, then return to making music for love, or feel free to give it up for something else more sustainable and profitable.If you listen gently to yourself, you’ll know if you’re on a hiding to nowhere. Follow the path in life that results in the most love for your friends and family, whether or not that involves music and whether or not it includes money.”

    Must disagree on this factor, rather than giving it a try, it rather bases on strategy of thee person. Simply you recording a track and then uploading it up on your myspace, in the long term wont be a great try or a great way to be heard.

    @ Mark Valenzuela
    Great Article and Great site, Very Inspirational towards of my journey as a Entrepreneur of Music and Producer

    Regards,
    snipe

  3. If everyone gave up before they started nobody would make it. Also, music is a process; enjoy the process as you go along. There are varying degrees of success and success is measured in different ways.

  4. In the end, if making music makes you happy, do continue, if failing to become recognized as an artist makes you sad, stop… but never stop dreaming!

  5. Good article.I don’t care I’ll never give up.How can idiots like Soulja Boy make it?So everybody can!

  6. Great article, and thanks for the link. You concluded with the biggest point – networking. The truth is, no matter how mediocre your music, if you have the gift of gab and the networking skills – there is plenty of work to get out there, however the opposite is true too. No matter how good your music is, unless you do something to get heard, there’s not much chance of making it your career.

  7. PUTTING THE MONEY AND TIME INTO THE RECORD LABEL THAT I STARTED …I WOULD LIKE TO SAY …I WOULD DO IT ALL OVER AGAIN …IT HAS BEEN A GREAT ADVENTURE …AT THE END JUST LIKE MARK ITS A WAY OF LIFE…PEACE

  8. It’s not hard to make money with music. The problem is most people don’t know how to do it. While most people sit and wiat /pray/hope for making $20,000 a track and up there are people with much smaller ego’s that don’t mind making $500.00 a track. Some musicians and producers actually make good money sound designing for companies. You have to be able to look outside of the box. There is money out there just have to know how to get it

    Jingles/Theme music aka Background music is a great venue most beatmakers and musicians don’t even think about tapping into it. Nor do they think about making music for toys. The money is out there. Plenty of no name musicians and producers are living well without the limelight

    trust me.

  9. That was a dope article Mark, and the site is pretty dope too. I stumbled a crossed it a few months ago looking for samples. Never really paid it no mind after that up until recently. Now I come through daily. Good ish man.

  10. Hey Mark,

    It’s been a minute since I last spoke to you but glad to see you’re still holdin it down. Great advice you gave. Very few succeed by having things dropped in their lap, most do so “By any means necessary” type of attitude and you sound like you have it…

    You’ll hear from again soon – Peace

  11. good article. @museumoftechno thats was a untrue and negative statement. Im not famous at all but i make more then some people with 9-5’s off of my music alone. it is possible to make income off your music. it just depends on how serious you take it and how far you are willing to go. and who cares how many artist or producers are out now. there is no surplus if eliminate your self from the amateurs. if you think negative then your results will show it.

  12. Well, if you are making “hip hop”, then you are not making “music” at all. Just talking shit over someone else’s music.

  13. Hello guys, this is Andrew and am a music producer from africa(zambia to be specific). I feel like giving up on the music business. Been pushing and things are not turning out to be what they suppose to be. Pliz help

  14. Hey thank you. Music is life. Life is love. I don’t know how I ended up here but thank you. Hearing someone echo my very thoughts is very inspiring.