5 Ways to Make Money as a Musician | Tips | WhisperRoom, Inc.™

5 Ways to Make Money as a Musician

By: WhisperRoom™

July 26, 2022

A Musician in his home recording studio

In today’s environment, almost any passion has the opportunity to make you money. A perfect example of this is music. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, musicians have had to reevaluate the more traditional methods of monetizing their art. Check out these tips to help you make some cash out of your talent.

1. Play Live Music

During the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the majority of musicians were unable to play live music at venues. Since then, however, the live music scene is slowly regaining momentum and popularity amongst venue owners.

There are several different ways to get started playing live music. If you’re just starting out, consider any local venues where you’ve recently seen other live musicians perform. Through attending different venues that offer live music as a patron, you’ll gain knowledge about which venues are currently hiring live musicians to perform. Also, attending gives you the opportunity to speak to those musicians you admire and get a sense of how they got the gig.

If you’re re-entering the live music scene, you should consider getting back to touring to strengthen your presence in newer areas and venues. This is a good idea for those who really want to take their live performances to the next level. It’s also a good idea to remember to prioritize your overall health if you do decide to tour, as you’ll spend extended periods of time traveling and want to give your best each time. Construct a plan that will help you both keep your diet in check, as well as establish a healthy work-life balance.

2. Record Music at Home

Another great option to help you make a steady stream of income is by recording your songs at home. Many independent musicians opt for a home studio to save time and money where they can record, edit, and advertise their music in one cohesive space.

In order to record from home, you’ll first need to set up a home studio. In order to achieve this, you should have the following gear to get started:

  • Powerful computer
    • CPU with a speed of 2.5 GHz
    • Power supply with 400w
    • 1TB hard drive or SSD
  • Audio interface
    • Look to find one with at least 3 inputs
  • Digital Audio Workstation (DAW)
    • Find a recording software that fits your personal needs
  • Music streaming service
    • Choose one or more services to upload your music for consumers to stream
Graphic image of tools you need to start recording music at home.

Another important aspect of a good home studio is an optimized acoustic setup. A good acoustic setup requires the right space; possibly with soundproof solutions, as well as strategically placed acoustic panels.

It is important to make sure you spend time choosing the right equipment and software, as well as optimizing the sound of your studio. This will ensure that your music will have the best possible audio quality you can get.

Affording the right tools for the job can be expensive, so consider different financing options to get started. For example, if you’re a homeowner, consider the use of a home equity line of credit where you can use the equity you’ve built on any project or expense, with a lower interest rate than a credit card. Although the initial cost of a recording space can be substantial, you can make a return on this investment through the savings on professional studio time and from sales/streams of your songs.

3. Teach Music Online

If you’re knowledgeable about music theory, online music education might be a great method to earn some extra money. In today’s environment, there is little need to leave the comfort of your home in order to educate others about music.

There are a few common ways that musicians are currently teaching music online. The first is through pre-taped lessons that you record and edit before uploading to the website of your choice. Several online music educators offer packages that give access to these lessons, where lessons can then be sold and distributed. If you’re looking for a free way to distribute your tutorials, consider uploading your videos on YouTube. Whichever option you choose presents an engaging way to both interact with your audience and expand your client base.

Katie Gettys explains a great introduction of the different approaches you can take to teach music online.

4. Produce Music for Other Musicians

In an age where collaboration amongst artists is easier than ever, producing the music of other musicians is a great option to make some money. If you already have some experience producing your own music, consider the numerous musicians who may have some raw recordings that they’re unable to produce themselves.

The first challenge of producing songs for other artists is finding people to collaborate with. A great way to begin is to look through a musician database, such as ReverbNation. Using an online tool will allow you to find up-and-coming musicians who may not already have a dedicated producer. It’s important to take some time to find artists who are releasing music that sparks your creative motivation to compose.

Alternatively, you can try to promote yourself as a music producer through several different online media platforms. Social media is an especially useful tool for music production, as it gives you a free way to share the music you’ve previously produced. In addition to this, social media is a great way to engage with other producers and musicians. You can find an unlimited number of accounts with inspirational content, which you can use to tweak your own business to perfection.

5. Become a Songwriter

Songwriting is a versatile method of making money in the music industry. If you’re currently composing memorable pieces of music for fun, there might be an opportunity to cash in on your hard work.

One recommendation to take into consideration before attempting to sell your compositions is to ensure your ownership of the piece. This is done by registering your composition with the Copyright Office. Taking this step will ensure your hard work is protected, as you’ll have an official record proving your original authorship.

Next, you need to work on getting people to buy your songs. One main way of getting people to buy your compositions is through writing music for current artists. You can again look through various online musician databases to find an artist you’d be interested in working with.

Alternatively, you can consider writing music for movies and television. A great way to get into this business is to attend music festivals. Different music festivals are great for beginners because you can attend any local music festival to help you get your foot in the door with other professionals. In the meantime, take some initiative to learn from other composers who have written songs for previous films. Additionally, you should work to make connections with filmmakers who you could work with in the future.

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