How To Make Money With Music - Songwriting, Teaching, Gigging, Making a Living From Your Art
How to make money with music
Music, money and fame. That's the goal of almost every musician. Most musicians have the 'music' part naturally. However, at some time in the life of every musician they start looking for how to make money with music. Some will consider a 'formal' career in the music industry while others will take it any way they can get it. Once you find something you enjoy doing you inevitably want to make money with it. It's less like a job and more like play. Music and money go together better than most musicians know.
Musicians seem to be a special breed though. They'll do anything to stay away from the business world. The young musician believes they'll join a band, write some songs and get a free recording contract. After a brief whirlwind tour they will return to Los Angeles and their beach house in Malibu where they spend their days partying with Super Models. In our music, money and fame scenario, this dream seems to forget about the emphasis on the money in music.
Why the stigma? That's the lifestyle thrown at us from music videos. Any independent musician who is enthusiastic about their craft is always researching their contemporaries (other popular artists). They know what is happening in the popular music scene. You have to if you want to learn how to make money with music easily. Unfortunately this is all that the independent musician is exposed to. Their view of the music world lies in the "bling bling" that coats the business side of music like a plastic wrapper coats candy. If you were studying classical music you would have a whole different outlook on your music career.
The Forgotten Indie Artist
The sad part is that there are great independent musicians out there that lose their desire to play at all after failing to get a recording contract. Not only that, the majority of real money to be made by a musician lies outside the recording contract realm. Who makes all the money with music in the recording business? First, the record company. Of course the recording studio, their staff of recording engineers and assistants, the professional studio musicians hired to fill in on tracks, the producer, the songwriter, the publisher, the mastering house and their staff, the graphic artist that made the CD cover, the printer that printed it, the plant that pressed the CDs, the distributor of the product and the retailer who sells it to the consumer. Oh ya, maybe the artist gets a little money from music they made.
Beyond The Free Recording Contract
But that is only a fraction of the music we hear in day to day life. A recording contract is just one example of how to make money with music. Those songs they record come from a songwriter - not all artists are writers. There are a lot more inventive, respectful and easy ways to make money locally in your town. Every music student needs a music teacher. Every radio station needs royalty free production music. Every business needs an ad jingle. Every club needs a band. And all of the above need people in the supporting roles to make it all work.
Make Money With Music and Help From Other Musicians!
Our goal with this web site is to help you find ways get paid within some aspect of the music industry. Music and money. We want to explore the areas of our life that are touched by music - which is just about every part of life. Terrestrial and satellite radio (including radio station jingles), television (in several ways), transportation, ambient music in restaurants, elevators, doctors offices, music on hold for telephones, advertising jingles, local theater and musicals, movie scores, corporate and government videos, fourth of July picnics, airlines, etc. Everywhere you go there is music...and wherever there is music there is money to be had.
No matter what path you take plan to spend some quality time learning about it. For example, you pick gigging as your moneymaker. You aren't going to play an all country set in a rock bar right? That's called market research (or common sense, or life insurance). Plan to spend some time learning about your chosen path. There are lots of online learning resources for the musician and we'll present some along the way. I assume you already know how to play an instrument, but let's say you want to learn guitar. You'll probably spend some time learning theory, learning the fingerboard, learn to read music, learn some songs and then lot's of time practicing after that. It's the same routine if you choose songwriting for example. You'll read about songwriting technique, learn how to get paid for it, absorb some songwriting tips and then you'll practice writing and selling songs. In fact, you'll probably practice rewriting some of your old songs as you learn new material. If you want to earn a music teacher salary, you'll need to spend time learning both music and teaching so your student gets value for their money.
The point is, you'll get as much money out of your music as the effort you put into your music. Never stop learning. You learn when you read, you learn when you write and you learn when you listen. Take a class at a community college no matter what age you are. Try some online songwriting classes from the comfort of your home. Get some good instruction, one-on-one mentoring, and pick up some good books along the way. Doing some quality personal reading will benefit your pocket book as well as your mind and music.
Now I'm not trying to sell you anything on this site. It's purely informational only. There's lots of websites that claim to sell you a "make money with music" product or course. This isn't one of those websites. I want to see a community of like minded musicians who are working hard to make a living doing what they love. We all need to eat, so it's imperative we learn how to make money in music. We've got a community at our Musicians Forum that we'd love you to join, and we have our (very occasional) money in music mailing list that you can be a part of to receive occasional ideas as we come across them. You can also CONTRIBUTE to the site by having your articles posted. We love your ideas, and they frequently make it into the content of our mailings.
Make Money in Music
Music, money and fame. You've got the love of music. You'll have to deal with the 'fame' aspect with your therapist. Let's go find out how to make money in music.