5 Jobs for Making Money with Music

You love music, we know. In fact, everyone knows. You’ve put in your time, hours upon hours of practice, and basically volunteering your time playing open-mic nights and free gigs. Now it’s time for you to let your music work for you and make some cash with it. Here are five great jobs for musicians to be making money with music.

1. Gigging

The quintessential music job – playing music in front of people. All sorts of occasions require live music – from restaurants to weddings and other private events, playing a gig is a valuable service that has a relatively high demand. And gigs can pay well too – that is, pay well per night. As you’re getting started gigging, you will spend many hours practicing and rehearsing your set. As you become more comfortable with your setlist, it will require less preparation time and you will get more dollars per hour spent. Shoot for this. However, don’t skimp on practice time up front – getting the gig the second and third and fourth time is too valuable to skimp on your preparation for the first time.

2. Composing music for video

As many serious musicians as are in your local area, there’s probably just as many videographers. The great thing about video (for musicians) is that videos ALWAYS need music. Some video guys go with stock music, but those that want to stand out purchase custom music for their videos.

My advice: meet all the videographers that you can. Musicians always have a need for video, almost as much as videographers always have a need for music. Local filmmakers can be your best friend.

3. Studio Musician

If you are seriously dedicated to excellence on an instrument, comfortable playing multiple genres, and willing to work on lots of music (including music you don’t like,) you can make good money as a studio musician. Songwriters and singers always need musicians to play on their tracks, and if a studio has you on their call list as a studio musician, you will get called fairly regularly. Studio musicians also set their own rates, so there is plenty of room for salary growth.

If you are interested in playing as a studio musician, it’s time to get to know studio owners. Book a session, play your instrument, and be professional. Nail the parts, be cool to work with, and gracefully mention you’re open to doing studio work. If you impressed the studio engineer, the calls will come.

4. Lessons

One of the simplest and most practical ways of making money with music is through teaching lessons. The great thing about students is that they are repeat customers – you can count on working for them every week. Even with the very reasonable rate of $15/half hour lesson, if you take on four students, you will be making an extra $60/week for only two hours of work. Not too shabby.

5. Songwriting

One of the hardest music jobs to crack into is songwriting, but it has the most profit potential. If a song you write hits the charts and gets major streams and radio play, you get to sit back and get rich. Your work is already done, and the song continues to make money for you. However, it takes years of hard work honing your songwriting craft and making the correct connections to find the producers and artists who have a chance at making the charts like this. Most songs written by professional songwriters either end up unused or contracted to mid-level bands who don’t make it too big. For every 100 songs written by a professional songwriter, only a handful make a serious profit for them. Like every other job in music: you have to love the work itself.

Making Money with Music

Want to start supplementing your income with your musical talents? Money can be earned through music in many ways. It’s time to make a plan, make some connections, and make some money.