When you’ve spent years honing your skills as a musician, it can be frustrating to try and earn yourself a decent living while you wait for that big break that puts you on the big stage in front of millions. Believe it or not, if you look hard enough, there are a ton of ways you can actually make some money with your skills as a musician, and while it might not be as easy as finding one steady job, you can certainly figure out how to pay your way while you focus on your career. Even if you don’t have lofty aspirations, there is always a way to find a little bit more work, and to have a little more fun while you do it. The strategies that will help you do this are probably a lot easier than you might have thought and we’ll go over some of the best ways that you can put your musical abilities to work earning yourself some serious money. Maybe you’re already giving lessons — there might be more ways you can get yourself some money doing it. But you can even use the work you’re doing to find yourself additional work, and we’ll talk about how to turn what you have into even more.
Go local! There’s likely to be a whole world of local music happening where you live or somewhere very close by, and you would do well to plug yourself into it. If you’re not giving lessons, then you should start. Look around for local music shops that are looking for someone who can teach lessons. Put ads on CraigsList or other local listings. Be aggressive — this applies especially to those who are already giving lessons. Put as much behind your operation as you can, and engage with the local music community interesting and creative ways. Getting involved only gets you more exposure and helps you establish yourself as a talented, ambitious, and altruistic musician. This is bound to get you more recognition and thus more work, whether it’s from local studios or playing at local weddings.
Play music, and play it a lot. The best way to get more jobs as a musician is to avoid limiting yourself. Play at churches. Play at weddings. Play wherever you can. Learn more instruments! Broaden your horizons — the more you can do as a musician, and the better you can do it, the more valuable you are. It’s as simple as that. Each one of the gigs that you land has the added bonus of a brand new connection. The more people you work with, the more exposure you get and the more times your name gets thrown around. Add a good online presence, with a nice blog and some savvy social media, and you’re guaranteed to be a great candidate for any musical gig. Put your music up on Facebook, YouTube, and SoundCloud so people can see and hear your talents. Whether you got your music degree online or are a self-taught prodigy, it’s not too hard to make yourself a more attractive candidate for musical gigs.