How to become a successful electronic musician? Here's a tip: Don't quit your day job. A lot of people who get to play in various bands think they can start a music career without paying their dues in other places first. People would assume that with the advent of the Internet, a time was ripe for the disaffected to take their passions from bedroom music to the mainstream. All they had to do was wait around, upload their tracks into SoundCloud, and post them online. Over the last two years, however, there have been a lot of people who have fallen victim to this thinking. Sure, a handful of "noise" artists could have managed to break through. But there are many more people who had the songs they posted online but lost their spot in the crowd because they simply weren't well-known or well-supported in their day jobs. There are a lot of reasons why this happened, of course. At the moment, SoundCloud is pretty much the only serious place where unsigned bands can put their stuff on the internet. Other sites that promote music that doesn't get published on SoundCloud will soon be able to afford deals with licensing companies, but it will probably take a few years for them to get there. So when it comes down to it, the crowding of the playing field is just the result of a lot of different factors working against one another. The good news is that while it's true that making a living as an artist still requires a day job, a musician who's ready to quit his or her day job and make it happen can still have a successful career. Here are some steps you can take to make that happen. There's no blueprint to the successful musician. The key to success in any walk of life is a thick skin and a will to succeed. Going from a job in your professional field to a life on the road and working your ass off is a tough transition. In addition, the skills you learn in that first job are really going to set you back as a musician. Musicians should have a passion for what they do. There are many musicians that become very good at what they do only because they found a job where they didn't have to actually be that good. Having a job that paid the bills while doing what you love also helped to break the creative shackles. If that job paid the bills, you just had to ignore what you did on the weekends and you were good to go. If you don't have that, though, you're going to have to sacrifice. You can't be an artist without a job that pays the bills, but if you don't have the job, you don't have a chance. I spent the early years of my musical career doing whatever job I could get. I was a stocker, dishwasher, package sorter and a delivery driver. But while I was lucky enough to make music on the side, I never was able to turn my passion for music into a job. It's easy to be lazy and not put in the extra effort, but if you're just going to show up every day and do what you're told, you're going to burn out fast. As soon as you get that first paycheck, you're going to have to spend it on a second job. Paying off student debt can be a little tougher, because you probably don't have the money to just pay your loans back. Depending on what kind of student debt you're in, you may also have to pay it down with your first salary. If you have loans with fixed interest rates, you may not have enough extra income to pay off the debt in a year or two, at least without throwing the rest of your income at it. But if you take on a job in addition to your music career, you'll also have to increase your income. I've been really lucky with my jobs. Because they're part time, I was able to find work that didn't conflict with my music and I could earn enough money from each job to cover my bills and put some aside. Sometimes I get another job, and sometimes I don't. But this is the case with any musician who wants to make money. In closing, I think it's important that music, to get really commercial, needs to be enjoyed without paying for it.