How a Banjo Can Help Start Your Music Career

By Eric Openshaw on February 14, 2018

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Ryan Tilby is a studio musician specializing in the banjo, guitar, and bass. Bands hire him to come play music on the road with them. Plus, Ryan is also a producer who keeps a studio in St. George, Utah, and tours the country and the world playing music.

How Ryan Started

Ryan Tilby is the definition of an experienced musician. Some of the best in the business hire Ryan to tour with them or to help produce their albums. Yet, funny enough, his instrument of choice is still his trusty banjo. If you’ve ever considered playing guitar or a bass, a banjo probably isn’t where a lot of people would start. Ryan’s first love was the banjo. That was his first instrument. His parents wanted him to play an instrument so they fully supported his decision. Then, as Ryan got older, he knew he had a career in music in his late teens.

Ryan explains how you’d be surprised that most instruments with strings have many similarities. There are some tuning differences and some tonality differences based on things like the size of the instrument, or even the shape, but the similarities vastly outweigh the differences. Ryan found this out quickly, and in doing so now plays at least six different instruments.

What Makes a Musician A Professional?

Ryan works professionally as a musician. However, while you may think there are many people doing this, the number of professional musicians actually making all of their income from their music is really quite small. But, Ryan worked at it, and he worked hard. So hard that he actually paid for his Mormon mission by playing regular shows in a bar in West Yellowstone. Now, all of Ryan’s income comes from working as a musician and a producer. Which is a pretty cool thing to be able to say. But it’s not just his work ethic that is good. He strongly feels that in addition to music skills, musicians should develop strong communication and personal skills.  You have to be ready to network and build relationships that help you find work.

Ryan’s Accolades and Music

Ryan won Telluride Bluegrass Festival band competition. He’s been on stage at Telluride, Merlefest, FanFest and Rocky Grass to name a few. He’s been on the road in North America and Europe. His music was on Duck Dynasty, The Discovery Channel, and Outdoor Photo Adventures.  He has played for Capitol Records and Stone Angel Music.  He studied jazz guitar at Utah State University. He’s released a solo album titled Sacred Guitar and toured with Ryan Shupe & the Rubber Band.

There Are A Lot of Ways to “Make It” in the Music Industry

Lots of people think you have to be a well known pop star, but there are innumerable hard working and ultra-talented musicians out there who make the world go around.  You’ll never see them on MTV, but they’re out there composing and performing all the music of our world.

But you know you want to be a rock star! One way you can start is Musician’s ToolkitMusician’s Toolkit provides easy to understand tutorials for all sorts of instruments so you can start your journey to rock stardom today! Join now and enjoy 30 days free of charge.


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