What do you want to become?
BAND / RECORDING GROUP
Alternate Career Titles:
Band, Recording Act, Recording Artist
Career Overview: Records tracks that are released on albums and as singles.
Career Salary Range: The SKY is the Limit!
A Band or Recording Group records music professionally, or has done so in the past. The term Recording Group can refer to a group or an individual Artist. They may be involved in many types of music including rock, pop, folk, country, jazz, R&B, rap, or classical. Many groups start out as bar bands, performing in small venues. Others begin their careers by writing music and recording nothing but demos. In terms of the music they record, the Recording Group may or may not use material they have written themselves. If they are going to perform songs they did not write, they must locate these songs, which can be done easily with the help of a good A&R Rep, Music Publisher (get your music publisher contacts list), or Manager.
Once songs are found a Recording Groups takes it upon themselves to learn and rehearse the songs until they know them well enough to record. When the time comes to record Audio Engineers, Music Arrangers, Studio Musicians, and/or Background Vocalists all play their part in the recording process. After songs are recorded, the Recording Group works with the many departments of the record company to prepare for the release of their record. This includes sitting down with the Press Department to supply information to be used in press kits and releases and have photos taken by a Music Photographer. The Recording Group may then work with the Promotion Department to set up appearances while working with the Art Department to go over concepts for the album cover.
The work of the Recording Group isn’t done once the record is released. They must work to promote the album, which includes things like having Recording Group members visit radio stations to meet with Program Directors, Music Directors, and DJs. They will also likely begin a concert tour while giving interviews to print publications, and radio and TV shows along the way.
While a Recording Group may taste success with one album, they might be easily forgotten, which is why it important they keep coming up with hit records.
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As one of the most desired but volatile music jobs in the music business, there are too many influencing factors to determine earnings for Recording Groups. These factors include how the group splits money among themselves, how popular they are as a group, how their recording contract is structured, and more. Even if their first record is a hit, Recording Groups will lose profits to record companies who need to recoup the expenses of making the album. With that said, if a Group is able to sustain their success they can make hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars. Other earnings can come from concert tour sales, public appearances, and merchandising.
Today, more so than in the past, there are many more independent record labels, providing the opportunity for more and more people to potentially reach success. Many people can record material from the luxury of their own homes and even sell the material on the internet. However, getting signed by a major record label is still incredibly difficult. Many groups give up before they reach that major step, but a group with talent, perseverance, and luck might just make it.
While securing a record contract is difficult, there is plenty of room for advancement for the Recording Group. The first way they can advance their career is to secure a place on the charts. From there they can advance by moving up the charts, with the next goal to move up to the top ten, and then ultimately the #1 spot.
Education and Training
While there is no formal education requirement, some type of music and/or vocal training is necessary in order to master the craft of whatever genre you are specializing in.
Experience, Skills, and Personality
To stand out from the rest, Recording Groups should have charisma and the “it” factor; along with the ability to maintain the excitement of the crowd while performing. It goes without saying, but members should be talented musically and/or vocally and should have an understanding of the music and recording industry. To be in the right place and time, one must have perseverance and a little luck.
Unions and Associations
Recording Groups may be members of the American Federation of Musicians (AFM), or the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS), which is the association that gives out the Grammy awards. They might also belong to the Country Music Association (CMA) or the Gospel Music Association (GMA) if they perform music in those genres.
Suggestions for Getting Started
- Don’t treat the demo as a demo. Try and make a professional sounding demo that contains original songs.
- If you are a Session Musician who wants to play their own songs, you may want to consider forming a Recording Group.
- Don’t send out your demos blindly. Be sure to query interest first by calling record companies or writing letters to send to specific people and not just positions.
- Take advantage of the YouTube expansion to try and get your Group noticed.