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How To Make a Living as a Musician



How To Make a Living as a Musician

Image by freestocks-photos from Pixabay

Nothing is quite like the joy of making music. Whether it’s the satisfaction of creating something beautiful or the simple pleasure of losing yourself in the moment, playing music is an unparalleled experience.

Making a living doing so seems like an unreality to many, but you don’t have to give up on a dream of being a working musician. Consider these ways to turn your passion into a career.

Preparing Your Taxes

As you build your career, making smart financial decisions is a must. Did you know you can write off expenditures on your taxes for work-related items? New gear and equipment can help you decrease your tax burden as well as craft better tunes.

Other expenses can include your mode of transportation. Having a reliable set of wheels will make sure you get to gigs on time and can save you money in the long run. Purchasing that new Toyota for sale, along with the gas and maintenance, may be able to be written off when you file your taxes.

You can also dedicate your vehicle to your music business by putting your group’s banner or logo on the side of your Toyota. This gets you a constant promotion for your band!

Playing Gigs

Start booking shows and charge a fee for each performance. After your gigs, sell merchandise such as CDs or t-shirts. You’ll need to be a good salesperson, so if self-promotion is not your forte, ask a bandmate to do it or hire a friend or family member to work the phones, email, and merch booth.

Some types of gigs are more lucrative than others. For example, weddings and corporate events often pay well, as can shows at popular clubs and bars. Multiple sets at a single gig or booking various gigs in a single day can generate even more income.

When choosing which gigs to play, consider the potential earnings, travel time, and effort required. Find gigs close to home that fit your schedule and availability.

Busking can be a great option as well. Play in public places without charging a fee and accept tips from passersby. Ensure you have the correct licenses and aren’t breaking any local ordinances before you do so, however. You could also offer your services for free in exchange for exposure or the opportunity to play at larger venues.


Another way to make cash is by licensing your work. This means you permit your pieces to be used in exchange for a fee. For example, a film company or independent artist may want to use one of your songs in a movie or show. You can agree to the license and receive payment for allowing the use of your music.

Sometimes, you can negotiate for royalties, meaning you accept payments based on how frequently a service or show plays your song. Licensing can be an excellent way to earn money while maintaining control over your work, so use a platform or build a website to offer your work at a cost.


Lots of children and adults want to feel the joy of creating tunes. Fill in the gaps between shows and sessions by offering lessons online or in your city. Join teaching platforms to find eager students or post on bulletin boards around town.

It’s Time to Create a Lucrative Musical Career

Playing music can be a truly remarkable experience that is even more fulfilling as a career. Make your craft doubly rewarding by using these suggestions to make a living in music.

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