How to Get in the New York Music Scene
Are you a big fish in a little pond, looking to make it big in The Big Apple? Or maybe you already live in New York but are struggling to find your way in the very competitive music industry in your hometown. In either case, learning how to get into the New York music scene can be a lot more difficult than almost anywhere else in the world.
Why is this? Because as one of the major entertainment hubs, music in New York is a major draw for artists, audio engineers, music producers, and other music industry professionals looking to make their mark here. So while there may be an incredible amount of opportunity, there are even more people looking to reach their career goals.
So what does that mean to you? Getting into the vibrant New York music scene as a musician, audio engineer, or music producer will take much more than a passion for music. You’ll need a combination of talent, networking, hard work, and perseverance. And a game plan for taking New York City by storm–or at least getting your foot in the door.
Recording Connection will help get the rest of your body through the door as well. We place you inside a professional studio where you’ll learn audio engineering and music production from an experienced industry insider. In this immersive environment, you’ll learn the gear, see how music is made in today’s world, and have the opportunity to work with others that are already part of the New York music scene.
How to Get in the New York Music Scene
As a musician or someone who works on the other side of the glass, there are some general steps you can take to break into the scene. And a little bit of luck never hurts, either.
- Improve Your Skills
- Build a Portfolio
- Online Presence
- Immerse Yourself
- Get Experience
Improve Your Skills
Practice, practice, and more practice is the name of the game here. As an artist, you’ll be competing with hundreds, even thousands, of other artists looking for their time in the spotlight too. Continuously work on improving your musical skills, whether you’re a vocalist, instrumentalist, or composer. Practice regularly to develop your unique style and sound.
As an engineer or producer, develop your skills with a digital audio workstation, working on different genres and the latest techniques to make sure your knowledge base is on par–or a little bit better–than everyone else. This is done by listening to a variety of music, deconstructing their production methods, and building it back up to make it your own.
With the New York Recording Connection, you’ll learn how to listen to music and work on state-of-the-art equipment and sound systems to make music sound that much better. Under the watchful eye of your mentor in their studio, you’ll understand when to let the music do the talking and when to apply your deft touch.
Build a Portfolio
As a musician or a producer, the idea is to get work in the industry. And to do that, you need to show potential employers, booking agents, clients, and other artists that you know what you can do. But you can’t just haul all of your equipment around with you on the off chance you might meet someone that can help your career.
That’s where a portfolio or press kit comes in. Being able to easily show someone what you can do makes the process that much simpler. By developing a portfolio that showcases your skills and versatility, you give potential collaborators a chance to hear what you offer. The best way to do this is to build a personal website featuring your tastiest efforts to really wow them.
This brings us to an important aspect of getting into the music scene in New York. Everything is digital these days, so you need to build an online presence. Whether it’s through your website, social media platforms, streaming services, and whatever else may come down the digital pipeline, you need to be a part of it.
Utilize social media platforms like Instagram, TikTok, and even Facebook to help build your brand. It’s relatively easy and inexpensive, although it will be time-consuming to keep everything up to date. But it’s worth it if it brings in new audiences or artists that want to work with you.
Music streaming sites can showcase your music and engage with your audience and maybe even earn you a couple of bucks. Share your produced tracks on platforms like SoundCloud, Bandcamp, and social media to showcase your skills. Licensing, music libraries, and syncing companies will open brand-new ways of getting your music heard in different media.
Immerse Yourself in the Scene
Want to get heard–go listen to someone else. If you want to be in the New York music scene, go be part of it as a fan. Listen to what the city has to offer and where you fit in. Hit the East side, the West side, uptown, and downtown. This is a great way to hear new music or find like-minded people to work with. It’s an informal way to network, laying the groundwork for potential collaborations down the road.
There are truly iconic venues to catch a show in New York–Madison Square Garden, Irving Plaza, Radio City Music Hall, and the Bowery Ballroom to name a few. It may be a few years before you’ll actually be playing in these places, but learn as much as you can about their performances and how it translates to your brand.
Attend concerts and performances by other musicians in your genre. This will help you connect with the local music community and build relationships. Participating in workshops, seminars, and conferences related to audio engineering and music production will keep you updated on industry trends and techniques.
The best way to gain experience and confidence is to start small. Local open mics and small venues are perfect for those just starting out, offering a safe and supportive space to perform in front of an audience. As you become more comfortable, branch out and look for showcases and competitions aimed at up-and-coming artists.
These events offer a chance to network with other musicians and industry professionals, as well as gain valuable exposure. With each performance, you’ll gain more experience and be better prepared for larger music venues and festivals, where you can reach an even wider audience. Look for opportunities to be a studio musician or a backing artist.
As an audio engineer or music producer, offering your services to young musicians and bands will broaden your skill set and get your name out in the scene. Rent studio time or set up your own small home studio and get as much experience as you can. Building a reputation for quality work that can lead to more referrals.
Don’t underestimate the value of versatility – it can open doors to a number of different projects and opportunities. Offer to engineer live music to give yourself one more service to offer potential clients. And work as much as you can with different genres, including hard rock, pop, hip hop, indie rock, and all the forms of electronic music.
Collaborating with fellow musicians in the city can be a great way to build connections and tap into new creative opportunities. By forming bands or musical groups, you can work with musicians, artists, and audio professionals to expand your network of creative professionals.
Attending events, industry conferences, and online communities can also help you connect with professionals in the music industry. This organic approach to networking can lead to exciting collaborations and open doors to new opportunities in the field of music. Whether you’re an aspiring musician or a seasoned engineer, reaching out and collaborating with others can help you take your music to the next level.
Remember that patience and persistence are key when entering the New York music scene. It might take time to establish yourself, but with dedication and a strong work ethic, you can find your place in this dynamic environment. As an audio engineer or music producer, Recording Connection can help.
How to Get in the New York Music Scene with Help From Recording Connection
As we said earlier, when you enroll in a Recording Connection program, you’ll be getting an education, hands-on experience, and the opportunity to collaborate and network with other industry professionals. We bring the New York music scene to you!
We offer programs in electronic music, audio engineering, music production, live DJing, and even the music business and give you a real insider look at the industry today. By building a solid foundation with the Recording Connection, you’ll be able to take what you learn and apply it to real-world situations because you learned in the real world.
Many of our students go on to work with their mentors, find work in other studios based on their mentor’s recommendation, or have built up a strong enough network of clients to open their own studios. We put you in the middle of the New York music scene without putting you in massive student loan debt. And our accelerated programs mean you can be out there making money that much faster.
Ready to stake your claim to a piece of the music scene in New York City? Get started today.