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7 Different Ways To Make Money As A Musician

Updated on March 7, 2013

Making money as a solo musician, singer, or band can be challenging but it's not impossible. With hard work and of course skill you can find yourself in a comfortable position working for yourself or with your band. Here are just a few of the ways for you or your band to make money creating and performing music.

1. Performing at shows:

People want to see and get a great experience from a performance. This means if you already have music that's really good, you can take the next step of putting together a show, working with a venue, or creating your own venue.

Show prices for a new group/artist can range from donation to $10. The next step is incorporating things such as merchandise into every performance for additional earnings.

2. Touring:

Once you've put together a great show, take it out on the road. This way you can increase your fan base and get a great experience out of it. It's your regular show earnings multiplied! One thing to keep in mind is that touring can be pricey, but I will add something about that and low budget traveling in another hub.

3. Songwriting:

Many singers and groups collaborate with other writers or are looking for songs that are already written so this would be a great opportunity for songwriter to begin making some money. Go to open mics, showcases and the like to start meeting artists. Many times they will be willing if not looking for someone to work with on writing.

4. Producing:

Singers often have a hard time finding "just the right sound." I do not produce, but I have worked with many artists in studio and the amount of creative genius I have seen when a producer works with a talented artist is unparalleled. Prices should vary according to each situation, but remember to not cheat yourself.

Another route is working with your average Joe. Sometimes people are moved to write lyrics and are looking for the perfect music to it but cannot create it themselves. Here is a great opportunity to not only make some money, but also to have a new fan!

5. Studio Work:

There is always work to do in the studio whether it be background vocals, standing in as a studio or session musician for special recording projects. These rates can range from $50 flat to $500 flat. Hourly rates can also be charged. Depending on who and what it is for, a good estimate of what you can make would be between $35/hr - $100/hour. Then you'll have the rest of the day to go out and make some more money!

6. Busking:

Street performing is fun and you can really make money doing it. A few things to remember are; be courteous to other performers, bring food and water for yourself. Do have somewhere to put your earnings. Do check the weather so you can be prepared for the elements. Remain happy - Being angry about a slow day does not make people want to give you their hard earned money. Do bring your merchandise if you have some. You can make $0- $$$ in a day.

7. Merchandise:

Anything of yours that someone can buy from you is great to have. Start with the basics like a CD, QR code and download link. Tshirts are also great. Have these items available where ever you go. Have them at an online store, have physical copies at your shows, bring them when you busk. Order these items from places like

Lastly, ALWAYS have your business card with you! This is essential as you will never know when you will need it. Carry a few with you like you do your ID. It may open the door to your next opportunity to make money!


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