A very pertinent question for any audio engineering student looking to get into the job market for the music business will be: which instruments are the most marketable in the industry today? Below we will cover some of the basic–most secure instrument that are a safe bet for regular money and consistent demand in the music job market.
The Piano is a Great Starter
Learning the piano / keyboard is often viewed by musicians as a fantastic starting instrument. It is sometimes said that knowing piano helps understanding basic music theory become much simpler, which may lead to increased adaptability for taking on other additional instruments as well. Piano is seen as perhaps the most versatile instrument and a great one to have as a base for your music writing tool in various facets of the industry. Piano proficiency is useful in virtually all genres, whether it be hip-hop, rockn’roll, alternative, classical, electronic, etc.
Best instruments for “self” promotion:
A few of the very best instruments for personal promotion include: piano, guitar, and violin. These instruments are good for self-promo because they are fairly easy to market on their own without an entire orchestra or band to support them. These are some of the “show off” instruments, and are respected by most people when you can demonstrate your virtuoso.
Other Crucial Instruments?
There is certainly still a place for each and every instrument in the job market somewhere. A musician surely shouldn’t choose an instrument for the financial aspect alone, but it is helpful to be aware of these things.
Pick an instrument based on what you as a musician aim to achieve and what style best suits who you are. If you are not invested—heart and soul—into the music, than chances are you won’t be on track to make much money anyway.
The key, often times, is diversity in ability. A cellist might not be quite as much of a “show off” instrument as the electric guitar, but it can carry a musician a long way with a lot of gigs if you know how to work it. For instance, a cellist can pretty easily pick up gigs playing in quartets or trios on special occasions or corporately sponsored events; you can lay down studio tracks as a session musician, play fancy restaurants, or have a seat in esteemed local symphonies. You may find there’s a lot of work to pick up on as long as you’re willing to do anything that’s thrown at you.
And if being a “drifter” this way doesn’t turn out to be your style or your area of comfort, you will have at least gotten a taste for all the work that was available for your instrument in your local area and you may choose to simply hone in and specialize in any one kind of gig that was most suited to you!