How can I get noticed in the music industry?

Fred plays regularly in a band, but wants to know how to get seen and paid for his music.

​Hello there, I am a musician and graduated sound engineer based in Shoreditch, London. 

I am performing with my band and doing some freelance sound engineering jobs for venues, but all this still doesn’t pay my rent…

What should I do to get noticed in the music industry? Do I need a course or any UK certificate? I have been working as a sound engineer for venues and tours since 2009 and I’m pretty sure my CV is solid. What is your advice guys? Cheers

— Fred Valentino

Expert answers

Louise Dodgson's reply:

​Hi Fred,

Thanks for your question. I’m afraid to say there is no formula or simple way to get noticed in the music industry, although I’m a bit unclear as to whether you want to be noticed for your music career with your band or your sound engineering career? 

You say you already have a qualification and have plenty of work experience under your belt so it sounds like you’re doing everything right. For a considerable amount of people in this industry, one job is not enough to pay the rent and a lot of diversification & juggling is required, so it may be necessary to take on some temporary work in the meantime to make ends meet, but obviously stay focused towards your goal.

I do believe if you put time & effort into your career goal and are good at what you do, then you won’t go unnoticed forever. Stay positive! It may be worth chatting to colleagues you are working alongside at venues etc to ask how they managed to make a full time career out of their profession and ask if they have any advice or tips to offer.

If you are looking for new sources of work or experience then our online directory, The Unsigned Guide ( can provide contact details for many UK venues, tour managers, promoters, festival organisers and the like that you could approach. Sometimes it’s just a matter of meeting the right person who then provides you with plenty of paid work & something more established, so I guess making as many contacts as possible in your field will always be beneficial.

The Unsigned Guide can also help with providing contacts for your band, so if you are looking for gigs, record label & music publishing A&Rs, airplay on radio or wanting to get featured on blogs and magazines, then you will find all that info in there too. The directory covers 50 areas of the UK music industry, plus has articles, blogs, reports and advice about all aspects of the music business provided by experts in their field, so brushing up on your knowledge of the industry as a whole will always be advantageous.

Sorry I don’t have THE answer, but it sounds like you’re working hard & committed to carving out a career for yourself, so keep going and the right opportunity for you will appear at some point.

Best of luck!


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