Pop/Rock Musicians


Employment Prospects


Approximately 41,130 musicians and singers are employed in the United States. Some pop and rock musicians work for another member of the band who pays them to rehearse and perform. But in most cases, pop and rock musicians work on a freelance basis, taking on gigs as they come. Bands are hired to play at clubs, concert halls, and for community events. They may also play private gigs, weddings, and other celebrations. Many musicians also maintain flexible "day jobs" that help to support them as they perform on the evenings and weekends.

Starting Out

Many bands form when a group of friends get together to collaborate on the writing and performing of original songs. However, openings for band members are frequently advertised in the classifieds of local and college newspapers, arts weeklies, as well as on the Internet. You may have to audition for many bands before you find one with which you fit, or you may have to put together your own group of musicians. If part of a new band, you'll have to put a lot of time into rehearsal, as well as gaining a following. Many bars will hire local bands. A good way to start is to approach local restaurants and bars to play for a small fee.

Advancement Prospects

The sky's the limit when it comes to advancing in the music industry. Once musicians have made the right connections, they may find themselves with record deals, national concert dates, awards, and a great deal of media attention.

Tips for Entry

Research your favorite musicians to see how they got their start.

Call local bars and restaurants to see if they would be willing to sponsor live music at their venue.

When choosing band members, select people who have the same career goals and passion as you do, rather that picking them because they are a friend.

Build a social media presence via Twitter and Facebook to keep your fans informed.

Until you make it big, do not quit your day job. Most musicians maintain another source of income while starting out.