Tips To Help You Get Into The Music World

Posted in Music
music journalism

I’ve always felt that I was a little behind on the whole writing thing, during university I didn’t even realise that writing for an online publication was a thing. I used to go to shows and write reviews for myself but never imagined anyone would eve r want to read them (I still doubt that now!) And having people on my team that are 18 or 19 and at university makes me think that I was a little behind on the whole thing and wonder where I would be in my career if I had started writing for these publications five years prior to when I did; who knows.

For those of you out there who want to get into the music journalism business then here are my top 3 tips:

1. Go to as many gigs as you can (be it large or local) and write reviews even if it’s only for yourself to begin with. This can be a fantastic time to start a blog, have work to showcase so if you start writing for a publication you have evidence of your work. This works the same for photographers, most local shows and a few smaller London venues will allow you to take digital SLR cameras in and this is a fantastic chance to practice and I stand by the fact if you can take great photos without a barrier then the second you’re in a ‘photo pit’ they’ll be even better.

2. E-mail publications about writing for them but choose the ones that you genuinely read and enjoy. If they hire you it’s a lot easier to write for them if you have knowledge of their style and content and enjoy reading it yourself. Bare in mind that the majority of these online publications are unpaid positions but the experience and freebie’s you get are worth it. The average gig costs £20-£25 for (sometimes a lot more) and if you’re lucky enough to go to a festival you could be looking over £200 for some. I remember the first time I had ‘guestlist’ for a show was an amazing feeling and now I can say I’ve definitely saved thousands on tickets. At most places the harder you work the more you get rewarded.

3. Apply for work experience at as many magazines and agencies as you can while you’re at school and university because it becomes almost impossible when you have a full time job. I remember having to talk a week off work in order to do a week’s work experience: and who wants to use their holiday yet still have to work. So many magazines, newspapers, radio stations, PR companies etc. offer work experience ranging from a week to a month or more. Take advantage of everything you can because making your CV stand out from the others who merely did a journalism degree is difficult enough!

But most importantly do these things because you love it. I edit the Mosh website which is the sister site to Hit The Floor which takes a huge amount of time (I won’t bore you with the details) and I do this alongside a full time Monday-Friday job. But I wouldn’t be able to do it if I didn’t love it. Those nights when I’m trawling through e-mails at midnight are all worth it when a post your team has done gets retweeted by a major band (for me the instance of a KISS album review!) or when you’re at a festival interviewing some amazing bands. If you love what you’re doing then you’ll more than likely to do well in it because you want it.

May 31, 2015
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  • I never thought about writing gig reviews before, but sounds great. I'm sure my brother would love to get into it! x

  • Better late than never, I reckon! Great tips Rhian. I've had press access to a few gigs and festivals, it's a great experience to be able to get into the press pit for decent photos!

    • Photo pit passes are a good send for photography at a show! Being in the crowd with an SLR is not fun! x

  • Great advice which applies for whatever sector you want to write about. I keep trying to impress upon my nieces and nephew that they have to get off their b**ts and go find what they want. It's very much about working hard, isn't it.

    • I completely agree it is all about working hard, and if you start later (like I did) you just have to work that little bit harder. x

  • It is always better late than never. I often think the same about my photographer "if I didn't go to uni would I be further in my career" etc etc, but don't contemplate the past. Look at where you are now and your look ahead at your future. You are doing so well :)
    Great tips though also and I'd say they apply to anything that can be freelance and creative

    • Thanks! I try not to contemplate, but I guess it's just about working even harder now! x

  • Great tips! I did the exact same. I actually started reviewing local metal gigs when I was like 17 and doing them for Myspace- cos it was coolz! 😀
    That's kinda how I got going with blogging :)

    • Haha, oh the Myspace days. I was quite young when Myspace was around so mine has been a lot more recent. x

  • Great advice – thank for sharing, I have a family friend who is looking to get into the music industry so I'll share this with them x

  • These are some very useful tips! Doing work experience is so important!

    Serena /

    • Work experience is extremely important, and so much so when you're in education and can get it done muche easier. x

  • I seriously love gigs and have no idea why I dont try and get to some more gig.

    • You should try to get to some, it's like another experience! x

  • Great advice hun, thanks for sharing! Couple of my friends loves gigs. xx

  • I know as a singer the music industry is tough and even tougher to crack! These are some great tips. K x

    • Most media related industries are, it's so tough out there. x

  • Really good tips that I think apply to writing in any area, get the experience and start off by doing it because you love it and learn your craft.


    • I totally agree, do what you do because you love it! x

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