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Music Industry 101: Finding Jobs & Gigs

A Guide for Making Sound Decisions

Finding Jobs & Gigs

Header: Getting Jobs & Gigs. Photos: Meg Christian and Street Performers in NYC.

Jobs in the Music Business

Beyond playing music, there are a variety of interesting, essential jobs in the greater music industry. If you're interested in working at a label, planning concerts and events, or just want to see what's out there, check out some of the job boards below.

Employment Engines The employment related search engine focuses on careers, internships, and jobs within the arts and entertainment sector. ABC, The CW, SONY, CBS, FOX, and DISNEY are all popular employers of the site. Through the membership you get early access to listings, application tracking, and private tips on enhancing your resume for employers.

Warner Music Group Careers Warner Music Group Corp. is a multinational entertainment and record label, deemed one of the top three largest within the global music industry. This major record company has global opportunities presented from internships to careers. WMG has a mission to create a nurturing environment for artists, employees, and business people at every stage of their career. 

New York Foundation for the Arts hosts a selection of jobs from various artistic avenues including the music industry. They are a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting artists from all backgrounds. In addition to career resources, they provide grants and host events for musicians & artists primarily in New York.

Universal Music Group Careers Universal Music Group is a global music corporation that offers a myriad of career and internship opportunities. All backgrounds and varieties of expertise are available to apply for their programs. UMG focuses their work on  recording, merchandising, publishing and artist management along with many other facets of the industry too. Universal Music Group develops creative environments to promote innovation.

Careers In Music | Music Schools & Careers This website allows for user discovery and research of institutions for higher learning and job searching opportunities. The site showcases updated careers in the field of music, available gear and software for musicians, and music industry highlights. Furthermore, they provide the top seven career paths for musicians or interested music industry participants too. 

Finding Gigs & Opportunities for Musicians

Marketing Yourself

It can feel daunting to look for your first gig or show. While there isn't a simple path to getting booked, the first, easiest step in the process is marketing yourself. Check out this guide to creating an electronic press kit (EPK) that can be sent out to potential gigs and show off the best you or your band has to offer.

Finding a Gig

The simplest way to get booked is to ask local venues to book you. Find the restaurants, nightclubs, theaters, bars, and playhouses that regularly book musical acts and ask them to consider booking you either in-person or via their website. Always be polite and professional, but be prepared to get a few rejections before you get a yes. You can find a list of venues near you with ReverbNation's Gig Finder, but it's best to start around your neighborhood. Ask friends & family where they like to hear live music and try to find a venue that fits your style of music & is ripe with potential fans.

Knowing Your Worth

Your music is valuable and you deserve to be paid. Some venues may ask that you play for free to gain exposure or because you love music. While all of that may be true and you can make decisions on a case-by-case basis, never be afraid to ask for what your worth and get paid to do what you love. This article from the American Federation of Musicians has some awesome tips and things to consider when you're negotiating pay. Whether union or non-union, an expert or a beginner, your music is a valuable gift. Don't let someone else reap the benefit of your talent. 

Downloadable Guides to "The Biz" by Mehmet Dede

Video of Mehmet Dede Presentation of Make it Live