From Brian Epstein to Albert Grossman, there’s no shortage of myths surrounding great band managers and what they did for their artists. It’s easy to imagine their lives being half stern, no-nonsense deliberators and half witnesses to great art in its conception.
It takes a special person to manage The Beatles or Bob Dylan, and those managers may have just been in the right place at the right time. Becoming a band manager is a difficult thing to do, and it takes a while to work with great bands.
If you’re trying to learn how to be a music manager, though, there are some surefire things you can do to get results. We’ll cover a little bit about how to become a manager and what to do in order to get results for your clients.
How to Be a Music Manager
There are a couple of ways to enter the field of band management. The first, and most romantic, is to befriend a group of people who happen to be in a band. Maybe you’re the closest person to the music and you can understand each member enough to gel with them.
You could also do your own research on the logistics of managing a band, gravitate toward musical people, and try to get in with them. There’s a better option, though.
Here’s the process that gives you the best chance of getting a good job as a band manager:
Earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Management
Students of music management take a lot of coursework pertaining to the industry as well as the music itself. The programs are usually four-year and will require that you take general education courses as well.
On top of the business-end coursework, you’ll get a deep appreciation for music and music theory. It takes a great ear to seek out top-tier musicians, so it’s important that you understand their craft.
You’ll gain specific knowledge about how the music industry works. This is an insight that those who just decide to befriend a band will not have. You’ll understand what is required to establish positive relationships with industry people and make your band known.
Business administration is also a big element of music management school. You are essentially running a business when you manage a band. Finances, scheduling, and human resources are all integral to the process.
Additionally, there’s a lot to do with copyright law, business law, music marketing, and publishing rights. You are the main liaison between your band and the world, and it’s unlikely that the musicians will want much to do with the business logistics that is required to spread their music.
Get Practical Experiences
You’re likely to get an internship while you’re in undergrad. That is going to be the best way for you to get a foot into the industry. Many people refrain from getting internships while they’re in school.
This could be for many reasons– maybe they don’t have enough time, don’t think it matters, or are intimidated by real-life industry experiences. It will pay to overcome those fears and look for an internship while you’re in school.
It’s hard to find paid internships when you’re out there in the real world and a lot of companies won’t look at you unless you have legitimate experience. Colleges have connections to high-quality internship positions that the average person wouldn’t be able to access.
Utilize the college’s connections and squeeze everything you can out of your undergraduate experiences. The more real-life work experience you can get, the better.
Doing the above will give you an excellent foundation to start working in the music industry. Beyond that, though, there are some things you can do on your own time.
Become a Music Buff
Learn everything you can about music’s history, present, and future. Keep up to date on the current happenings of the music industry, but do your due diligence and nerd out on some history.
Look deeply into the great managers like Epstein and Grossman, as well as the bad ones like Brian Wilson’s manager, Eugene Landy. Also, research the greatest bands of history, generate a deep knowledge of various genres and artists.
Learn their personalities, understand what certain people did for music, and remember it. Having this knowledge will give you a good baseline to relate with other people in the industry and inform you of what you could do in your own career.
It helps to know where you fit in the grand scheme of the industry.
Develop Your People Skills
The industry is all about networking and making connections with everyone you meet. You are the face of the band, and they’re not going to understand why they’re paying you if you aren’t working to connect them with the best people in the industry.
You have to be relatively confident (or appear to be), assertive, and deliberate with your social decisions. Those who can network tend to succeed. Beyond this, there’s one really important thing.
Keep a professional and casual attitude. It’s not only important that people know what you’re about, but it’s crucial that they like you on some level. In other words, make sure you’re tolerable to the people you’re working with.
The bands should feel comfortable disclosing information to you and trust you enough to build solid relationships. Don’t treat some people more important than others, don’t overstep your bounds, and do your best not to cause problems within the group.
Interested in Learning More?
Whether you want to know how to get your music out there effectively or are trying to learn more about how to be a music manager, you should digest all the information you can.
There’s a lot to learn about the industry in the new age, and you’ll be better off if you’re in the know. If you want to learn more about how to make it in the music industry, visit our site to get the information you need.