In an age where YouTube tutorials and even at-home recording software make it possible to learn, play, and record an album without necessarily requiring expert help, more of us than ever are going down the path of do-it-yourself music creation.
Unfortunately, while doing everything yourself might be fine if you simply want to make music for fun, there are some pressing reasons why a professional career could be harder to come by if you cut out professional assistance this way, and we're going to help you make your mind up once and for all by considering what they are.
While it's now entirely possible to learn any instrument with little more than a YouTube tutorial and a determined attitude, industry experts like Gerard Zappa also warn that doing things this way can take a lot longer than, say, learning with an instructor. This is true even if you follow a set of structured lessons online as there won't be anyone around to correct your technique as you go, or help you to overcome the things that you find the most challenging. As a result, learning a complex instrument to a decent standard could end up taking years which you could save yourself with the help of professional oversight.
At-home recording software can be a whole lot of fun for budding musicians, but if you're hoping that this alone can set you up with a career for life, then you may be disappointed. After all, genuine quality recordings rely on way more than just basic software, with studios continuing to flourish for the simple reason that they provide both the right environment (e.g. soundproofing, extensive recording, etc.), and also because they take care of behind the scenes processes like overdubbing, mixing, and editing that some musicians might not even be aware of. By comparison, basic, often poorly recorded at-home alternatives can sound unprofessional, messy, and generally not something that's going to win you a Grammy anytime soon.
When you skip all professional oversight in your path to a music career, including lessons, professional recordings, musical coaching, and so on, you also significantly increase the risks that you'll pick up bad musical habits that will be much harder to drop down the line. A failure to learn music theory is perhaps the most notable of these and can see even great musicians struggling to progress past a certain point, but other issues, including poor hand placement, incorrect chords, and so on, can also significantly impact the quality of music you create, and your opportunities for advancement overall.
Ultimately, DIY music has opened up the field to some fantastic artists in recent years, and it's certainly changing the way the industry functions right now. However, if you think you're at risk of making these mistakes, you might benefit from bringing the professionals on board after all.