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You can sell CD-Rs at shows, as long as you price them accordingly and make it clear that they are CD-Rs when you sell them.

If you're pressing physical copies, check out your local record shops to get them in on consignment some shops also accept CD-Rs. Diversifying what you have to sell will boost your earning potential. It doesn't mean get 5, t-shirts made at some price that will make your credit card weep. Make your own t-shirts, buttons and badges, stickers, and other merch, and sell them at your shows and on your website.

Merchandise does especially well at shows after your fans have just seen you play and are all caught up in the spirit. As long as you keep your overhead down, merchandise can give your income a nice little boost. The musical talents you hope will form your career can help you make ends meet until the day you get to play your own songs exclusively.

Session musicians work for other musicians and can help you bridge the financial gap and make some extra money. As a bonus, you'll be honing your own skills and meeting people who can create opportunities for you. Much like working as a session musician, the idea here is to use your knowledge and talents to help other musicians and get paid for it. Are you a great producer?

How Much Do Musicians Actually Earn?

Get some studio work. Are you a pro at booking shows? Do it for other musicians. Got design skills?

5 Ways to Expand Your Gig Horizons (and Make More Money!)

Do cover art or websites for musicians or music-related businesses. Tap into your music skills to put some extra money in your pocket. Combine the following suggestions with the ideas above for a plan that really can help you earn enough money to quit your day job. Your ability to make a living as a musician depends a lot on your ability to promote your music. You must make sure people know about your music , where they can get it, when you are playing, and so on.

It's pretty easy to get taken for a ride in the music industry; so, it's always a good idea to get things in writing. If you don't understand a particular deal, seek advice before putting pen to paper. We experimented and learned how to write songs and played a lot of covers so we could play parties. Once we had enough original songs, I booked our first original show. From there, I started writing and developing my own songs. I fell into a couple of situations.

One was playing covers in bars for money and the other was starting an original band.

Carving Out Your Niche: Portland Musician Eric John Kaiser

I began to support myself solely as a musician. Sometimes you just take a gig for the money. Sometimes you can do one just for the fun of it, but having the ability to call my own shots would be one of the greatest perks. Playing with a lot of other really good musicians is probably the most rewarding part of it all. The sharing of musical ideas and moments on stage with three, or four other guys, is like a mental ESP. That is sometimes hilariously amusing.


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Memorable things always happen. I can remember the first time my cousin Al Bundy, the piano player, came to see me perform. I had gotten a gig around the corner when I was in college. He came around to see me after his gig.

It made him very proud to see that he had had an influence on me and my career. Yes and no! Sometimes it is really quite an aphrodisiac. Some women just get turned on completely watching us up there. There must be something about the way we are grooving, we have a power to get girls on their feet moving. I think it goes back to the freedom part. With a lot of artists, writers and musicians, the music comes first, the ladies come second. On the other hand, I have seen some of the ugliest guys get hot girls, just through sheer attitude.

Is it at a resort, beach bar, nightclub, New York, Miami or Venice? There is a lot of money in this.

Deciding to Play Music Full Time

The best thing to do is to try and have as many income streams as possible to continue to have the freedom you want. So overall you easily could make a living 25, to 50, or more a year, depending on how many streams of income you can generate. Is your salary climbing the charts?


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You are a fantastic roe model sir. Musician Job Description: I am a working guitarist, songwriter, singer and producer.

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