By Janez Janežič

Modern times call for modern solutions.

The music industry has changed a lot over the past 10-20 years, and the reality of being a signed rock star who only writes and plays music every day has faded away for most people.

Modern musicians have a lot more freedom when it comes to creating, distributing, promoting and playing their music. But with freedom also comes responsibility. The ability to do the things your way, also means that you have to do most of them all by yourself.

A band member today is not just a vocalist or instrumentalist anymore. The job description for him now includes a lot more than the usual skill set of: playing an instrument, performance skills, aural skills and music theory. He wears many hats that include being: a producer, director, editor, website engineer, entrepreneur, etc.

And possessing any of the previously mentioned skills is of great advantage to bands to get ahead of everyone else, thrive, or maybe even get signed by a record company. If you are not involved in any kind of music group, but you would like to be, these skills will put you in front of the line to get hired. If you are a solo artist, these skills are indispensable.

So, let’s get right into it.

Video editing

The world of social media requires musicians to be able to create compelling content on a consistent basis. And learning to do it quickly and effectively will save you a lot of time.

This skill will also be very helpful, if you want to create music videos yourself and not go bankrupt by paying loads of money to someone else. I personally have been involved in creating music videos, covers, ads, trailers and even background graphics for live gigs. And having at least some skills on this topic saved me many times.

Buy a software or download the latest best video-editing app on your smartphone and get right into it.

Manipulating audio files on computer

Today, you can work wonders with audio files on the computer. You can slow-down, speed-up, pitch or even separate vocals and instrumentals of the track. These skills come in handy for creating demos, backing tracks and covers faster.

If you change keys to the song, you can just pitch it accordingly and be done with it. I can’t remember how many times I pitched a demo track, when we changed the key of the song to better match the singer’s vocal range. I used the same technique to create backing tracks for my students.

Changing the speed and quantizing the tracks are also very helpful. I have been able to create awesome intro tracks by separating vocals from one of our tracks, slowing them down and pitching them to match an epic cynematic instrumental I created.

These skills can also be helpful in songwriting and music production for using samples.

Graphic design

Since we’re our own masters, we will also have to create social media graphics, flyers, posters, music platform thumbnails, EPKs, etc.

Some also design their own merchandise, which is usually the biggest income for musicians. Being able to create something that will sell is very important.

You can use free tools like Canva or Inkscape. I’ve used both, because they are both good; but for different things. Using AI to create designs is also very popular lately, and the results look great.

Sound engineering

You will definitely have to be able to connect different instruments to the PA, or at least learn how to plug yourself in.

Lately, more and more bands are using in-ear monitoring. And using that requires a whole new level of knowledge like: using digital mixers, routing, knowing your wireless frequencies, etc.

Business and entrepreneurship

Selling merch, doing business with venues, managers and other people in the music industry, requires you to also have some skills in these areas.

You will have to be able to sell your merchandise at the shows and online (for which you will have to work with websites), and also know how to do it legally. Having a good accountant as a friend is of great advantage to you here.


If you want to improve your live shows, then having some knowledge in lights will also be very important. I myself don’t have much experience in this (read the next paragraph why), but I can tell you that having a pre-programmed light show greatly improved our shows and made us stand out from the rest of the bands.

Don’t give up just yet!

I know that learning all these skills might seem like a huge mountain to climb for anyone. But there is a solution: delegate things.

If you are in a band, you have a great advantage, because each of the members can take care of one area. And people are naturally better at different skills.

I am very grateful that I have a drummer, who is also a light technician, a vocalist who takes care of videos and designs and a bassist who takes care of most of the engineering, so I can work mostly with audio and music.

Having a good team is crucial. And don’t be afraid to involve friends you can trust to cover other areas that you cannot do yourself. Just remember that having all of those areas covered makes you a self-sustained band, and very attractive for managers, promoters and record labels. Good luck!

About The Author

Janez Janežič is a guitarist, songwriter and teacher from Slovenia. He works with aspiring young and adult guitar players on their goals in his creative and fun guitar lessons in Dolenjska region, Slovenia. If you want to take lessons from him locally, you are invited to contact him.