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Friday, July 26, 2013

Making money as a musician

Current mood: cheerful

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I have stayed pretty busy as a working musician.  In general, I play out about 3 times a week. 

However, the pay has not been all that good.  Playing in a band is a lot of fun.  But the more people you have, the more money there is to split, and it usually costs bar owners more to have you in. 

Finding work with large bands (unless you're really good) can be difficult if you are searching for something steady. 

I was able to find success by trimming down the number of people I gig with.

These days I play in a trio, duo, or solo.  The benefits are that there are less people to split the money with, I can charge less and get more.  Also it cuts out some of that band drama that everyone loves.

But there were other benefits, as well.  In working as a solo performer, I was forced to work on my performance skills with the crowd.  I think it is important not to just play well, but keep the audience engaged.

People began to take notice, and nowadays I'm playing 3 or 4 times a week, but making anywhere from 2-10x as much as I used to.

Also, with nobody to lean on, I really need to know my stuff.  If I forget lyrics or chord progressions, it is all on me.  It's been a good journey, and I look forward to the future with a lot of interest, knowing that I am always a student.

In any case, the point of my blog title is that musicians can make money without being famous.  Find your angle, enjoy it, and work it.
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