4 Traits You Must Have To Become A Successful Musician

9 June 2014, 13:44 | Updated: 2 November 2017, 15:29

The Beatles

What makes a successful musician?

What makes a successful musician? Why do some stars become legends, while others are known as one hit wonders?

We take a look at some of the key traits to becoming a successful musician.

1. Be Confident

A musician without confidence is going to struggle.

Marvin Gaye, known for his confident performances, was an artist who struggled with life away from the stage. Some of the most confident musicians make the least confident people away from that limelight.

We often confuse ‘arrogance’ for ‘confidence’; we think all stars have to have an element of arrogance but real stars shine when they don’t feel the need to brag

Singer Ray Davis once said; “Your greatness is revealed not by the lights that shine upon you, but by the light that shines within you." We couldn’t agree more.

2. Be Professional

We often imagine that being a successful musician is amazing. And often, it is. But that success doesn’t arrive if musicians live up to the stereotype of being constantly drunk and out of control.

Attend meetings, smile at fans and remember that if you’re polite, people will probably respect you more.

Musicians who lived a wilder life in the '70s, including Elton John and David Bowie, have realised that the real winners are the nice, clean guys.

3. If At First You Don’t Succeed...

Fame and fortune doesn’t just happen (sadly); musicians have to believe in themselves and be persistent.

Take Elvis; he might be ‘The King’ now but back in 1954, he was a nobody - Jimmy Denny, manager of the Grand Ole Opry, fired Elvis Presley after just one performance telling him, "You ain't goin' nowhere, son. You ought to go back to drivin' a truck."

And The Beatles, arguably still the biggest group in the world (as much as One Direction were like to think otherwise), who were rejected initially, being told

"We don't like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out".

The moral of this one? If you’re willing to give up after you’ve been rejected, you’re not going to make it as a musician.

4. Grow A Thick Skin

Musicians who let negative comments get to them are unlikely to succeed. Ignore the critics!