Making money as a musician

It’s relatively difficult to make money as a musician, but it is achievable. Often times a lot of people dream of being a famous musician without proper planning. If you have planning skills, you have a better chance of making at least a part time living off of your music, or with a band.

You must decide immediately if you will work as a solo artist, collaborate, or work within a band. There are two different goals here. If you want to play with other people all the time, then a band is for you. Often times people like to collaborate and this gives you room for your own artistic development. Most bands will not be successful, and will not make much money, except for free food and drinks at the bar. The reason is due more from poor planning than from musical taste. Of course, talent also is a key factor in attracting people, and more important, records that want to sign your band in a contract.

Making money

Making money as a musician is actually quite mundane. People work on things like their artistic experiments, which do not gather a large crowd. If you are pragmatic about your approach to finding fans, you will develop a loyal fan base. Stage managers pay attention to what bands are popular because they will sell a better amount of tickets. You must set aside your artistic goals to gain practical experience, entry into the field, and a following. If you want your band to get on stage, that is also challenging. There are several inside rankings that stages like to give to bands as well. If your band can headline, you have a good shot to develop a good following. Sometimes you have to forgo your musical taste to support the venue you are playing. You are not selling out but simply showing the diversity of your skill level. A true artist can do everything in the book, including things that are incredibly easy.


Most bands and solo artists start out playing for gigs. Often times this can be for little compensation or none at all. Once you develop a following, people may request your band to play in different places. This is a good way to break into a new venue. Once you are regulars, you will begin to either gain favor or lose favor with the audience and with management. Your band and your music have to constantly evolve, as to not be labeled stale. No one likes to listen to stale music, and you will quickly be forgotten.

You will have to play hundreds of gigs before you are noticed. Try to get into every venue you can, and make good relations with the people who host you. Treat your fans like family, so they tell their friends about you. Good things come when you respect everyone and don’t berate anybody- they may turn out to be the loyal fans that support you when times are rough.


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