You want to become a professional and successful music composer, right? Well, I will be honest with you. It will require lots of time, hard work and dedication. Learn what Skills you need to Focus on to achieve your ambitious goals as a composer.
I write this, because I have seen a trend that makes me worried. In Facebook Groups, YouTube Comments and basically everywhere online: What I see is a lot of composers focus their attention on: Tools, Gear, Hardware and Software. And they sadly spend a tiny amount of their time, attention, energy and money on education, practice, learning and mastering their craft.
Don’t get me wrong: I love quality hardware and software as much as anyone, but what worries me is the lack of focus on active learning, practicing your craft and educating yourself in music composition, production, instrument performance and all the areas that should concern you as a composer.
The Secret = Skills > Tools
Now let me be 100% honest and straight with you: I am a firm believer that your key focus should always be on Your Skills, and NOT your tools. A skilled composer can make amazing music on even the simplest tools, like a single piano, violin or guitar. But no matter how much great software plugins and instruments you own, you will never become a great composer if you don’t consistently and actively work on advancing your skills.
As a music composer and artist, there are so many skillsets you should always push your level up in, by consistent and purposeful practice, education to advance your knowledge, and using your skills actively when you compose your music.
Secret to Success: Focus on your Skills
Basically your professional journey towards becoming a successful full time music composer, is dependent of 2 main paths, or skill sets. Your creative skills, which are all types of creative work you need to do as a composer. And your business skills, which are all the business, marketing and branding type skills you need to develop. Because as a composer, you are indeed your own business. You are a freelancer, an entrepreneur, and you need to treat your composer career as a business. Let me share a list of examples of things I personally recommend you to focus your attention on, to learn, advance and level up as much as you can. First for your creative skillset, then for your business skill set.
Your Creative Skills
- Music Theory (How Music Works)
- Music Composition (Composing & Arranging)
- Music Production (Mixing, Mastering)
- Sound Design (Synthesis, Shaping etc.)
- Performance (MIDI Keyboard Skills & Instruments)
This list might look daunting, but it’s not even the tip of the ice berg. There are more creative skills you should focus on, but not only that: You need a great skill set within business and marketing as well. In fact, let me give you some practical examples of that as well.
Your Business Skills
- Branding (Design, Images, Visuals)
- Marketing (Content & Community)
- Networking (Connecting, Meetings, Events)
- Business (Copywriting, Sales, Email)
Again, these are just some examples I could think of right now. I’m sure you can add a lot to this list as you read it now. =)
Your Action Time!
And it’s not the plugins you use….it is your complete range of skills as a music composer and business person that you need to develop to reach that professional level. Skills within: Creative, Business and Marketing.
Summary: Focus on Your Skills, NOT your tools!
Believe in yourself, and start taking action every week to develop in all these areas, and you will see progress. Because the only way to move forward, is consistent action. Good luck! =)
PS. I wish you Great Success on your Professional Journey in Music! =)
Mikael “Mike” Baggström
Music Composer | Sound Designer