A man playing guitar inside a recording studio to illustrate how to make it in LA as a musician.

How to Make it in LA as a Musician

A musician is all you’ve ever wanted to be, playing the music that everyone wants to listen to. You’ve written the songs, play the instruments, and have a great voice. You’ve played in local venues and people really seem to dig what you’re putting out there. You’re ready to take on the music capital of the world, but learning how to make it in LA as a musician can seem pretty stressful.

Los Angeles is full of aspiring musicians, singers, producers, and songwriters. It can be quite intimidating to enter into such a competitive market with so many talented people vying for success. But you can do it… it’ll just take some hard work, perseverance, and knowing the strategies that work best.

How to make it as a Musician in Los Angeles?

  1. Make sure the music you produce is really good
  2. Produce your own music
  3. Network with people in the LA music scene
  4. Perform at venues in Los Angeles
  5. Collaborate with other artists

Here are five important steps to make it as a musician in the Los Angeles music scene. Mastering these five areas will help you grow your recognition, notoriety, and build a successful music career.

Make Sure The Music You Produce is Really Good

The first step? Making sure your music is tight. The vocals, the instruments, setlists, and anything else: get into the recording studio and get a professional demo made. Even your you needs to be polished: Los Angeles is a melting pot of diverse musical genres, styles, and influences.

Take the time to explore different genres and experiment with your sound. Identify what makes you unique as an artist and what sets you apart from the crowd. Developing your own authentic style is crucial to stand out in a city brimming with talent. You should also have a good idea about your brand and how you carry yourself onstage and off.

You should also be good. Becoming a successful musician anywhere, but especially when moving to LA, requires constant improvement and dedication to your craft. Invest time in practicing and refining your skills. Take music lessons, join workshops, collaborate with other artists, and immerse yourself in the music community.

Produce Your Own Music

As a musician, it’s not always easy to find the funds to record your own music professionally. In recent years, there has been a surge of musicians taking matters into their own hands and producing their own music. However, knowing how to record and produce quality music can seem like an insurmountable task.

That’s where the Recording Connection Music Production Program comes in. With this program, you can gain the knowledge and skills necessary to produce your own high-quality recordings without breaking the bank. By taking control of the production process, you can ensure that your music is made to a high standard, with attention to detail in every aspect of the sound.

Additionally, having complete creative control over your music gives you the opportunity to explore different sounds and styles that may be out of reach if you were working with a third-party producer. You will also have the ability to create releases at a faster pace—as you’re not waiting on anyone else—giving fans new content whenever they need it.

Having knowledge of how to produce your own music allows for greater flexibility when collaborating with other musicians or producers as both parties can benefit from each other’s expertise and vision. Finally, it provides an economic advantage as you no longer have to pay someone else for their services; thus leaving more money in the budget for promoting, marketing, or touring.

Once you’ve built up your skills as a music producer–and a musician–then you can begin your journey to take over the Los Angeles Music scene.

Network With People In The LA Music Scene

Networking is key when trying to make it as a musician in Los Angeles—you never know who could help jumpstart your career. Making connections with other industry professionals is an invaluable resource that should not be overlooked. Attend music events throughout LA, cold-call local record labels or managers and introduce yourself with some of your work, or join online artist support groups to help you meet the right people and find out about opportunities.

A word about those cold calls: It’s good to show initiative, but when it borders on annoyance, those doors may never open. Be respectful of everyone’s time–you don’t want to make a name for yourself as some kind of annoyance before your music career even starts.

Still, networking is a vital aspect of the LA music industry, and Los Angeles provides ample opportunities to connect with like-minded individuals. Engage in meaningful conversations, collaborate on projects, and build relationships that can propel your career forward. Remember, your network can often open doors that would otherwise remain closed.

At the Los Angeles Recording Connection, every day can be a new opportunity to make a lasting industry connection. Because you’re working in a professional recording studio, and your mentor is working with artists making today’s music, you’ll always have the chance to impress somebody new.

This could be future employers, collaborators, and other music industry professionals that can help you grow your career. In fact, many of our students go on to work with their mentors, find jobs with other studios based on good word of mouth, and even open their own studios after building a roster of clients. This is possible because of the many networking opportunities Recording Connection provides.

Perform At Venues in Los Angeles

Los Angeles is known for its thriving live music scene, providing any number of opportunities for you to get on stage. From small venues and clubs to renowned music festivals, take every opportunity to perform live. These performances not only help you gain exposure but also allow you to connect with your audience and receive invaluable feedback.

Embrace every gig as a chance to improve your stage presence and develop a loyal fan base. Even if it’s an open mic, play as if you’re headlining a worldwide audience. This goes beyond playing your music: be organized, know what you’re going to play, and show up on time. You can be flaky when you’ve hit the big time.

You can also share your music on streaming platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, and YouTube. With the right marketing tactics, you could gain a substantial following of loyal fans. Additionally, consider submitting your songs to radio stations or creating catchy music videos to gain attention from potential industry professionals who may be interested in taking your career to the next level.

In today’s digital age, having a strong online presence is crucial for any musician. Using social media to get your music to the marketplace is a relatively inexpensive way to share your music, engage with fans, and promote your brand. Create compelling content that reflects your personality and resonates with your target audience. Building a strong online following can attract attention from industry professionals and help you reach a wider audience.

Collaborate With Other Artists

Finally, collaborate with other artists whenever you can. This could be anything from releasing a single together to sharing production tips or even just performing at the same shows. Networking and collaboration will help build your reputation in the LA music scene, so don’t be afraid to reach out and connect with other artists.

Collaboration is a powerful tool for growth in the music industry. Collaborative projects can open doors to new audiences, expand your creativity, and enhance your skills. Additionally, consider finding a mentor—a seasoned musician or industry professional who can provide guidance, advice, and support on your journey.

But remember to look out for yourself, too. Familiarize yourself with music contracts, copyrights, royalties, and the legal aspects of the industry. Consider working with a manager who can assist you with navigating contracts and protecting your interests. The more you know about the business side, the better equipped you’ll be to make informed decisions about your career.

Above all, remember that success in the music industry is a marathon, not a sprint. It requires unwavering passion and determination. Despite facing inevitable challenges and setbacks, hold onto your love for music and your belief in yourself. Stay committed to your vision, learn from every experience, and keep pushing forward

Embarking on a career as a musician in Los Angeles can be an exhilarating and challenging journey. The City of Angels has long been a hub for artistic expression, and its vibrant music scene offers a myriad of opportunities for aspiring artists. While the path to success may not be easy, with dedication, perseverance, and a bit of know-how, you can navigate your way to making it as a musician in the bustling entertainment capital of the world.

Get your music production certification and build your music production and audio engineering skills by learning with an industry professional near you.