A musician is someone who composes and/or performs music, either professionally or as a hobby. He or she may play one or more musical instruments, or he or she may be a singer. A musician who makes a living as a musician must typically devote a significant amount of time to mastering an instrument or singing exceptionally well in order to gain recognition in the music industry, which is a highly competitive field in which failure is not only possible, but extremely likely.
A musician can perform any type of music. He or she may specialize in a single genre, such as rock and roll, or the musician may be capable of writing and performing music in a variety of styles. Many musical genres are closely related, making it easier for a musician to perform in more than one. However, performing or writing music in more than one genre requires some talent.
Musicians who make a living writing or performing music do not typically make a lot of money. Because many musicians travel constantly to expose their music to a wider audience, the lifestyle can be particularly difficult. The musician may record a music album for the purpose of selling it or gaining exposure, but live performances are more likely to help the musician gain recognition. Some musicians are discovered record company representatives, who then sign them to recording contracts. These agreements vary in terms of specifics, but many allow musicians to produce and distribute music albums; in some cases, the agreement allows them to tour throughout a region, country, or even the world to promote the album and the musicians themselves.
A band is a collection of musicians who perform together. Bands are usually made up of several musicians who play various instruments and specialize in one genre. Some people also mix genres, though this can be difficult to do well. Members of a rock band, for example, might play drums, guitars, bass, and piano or keyboards. One or more vocalists will almost certainly be part of the band. That rock band may specialize in a single musical genre, such as rock and roll, but they may also incorporate elements from other genres, such as blues, jazz, folk, funk, and so on. Bands often develop their own style combining elements from various musical genres.