The music industry is a tough and competitive place to make a living in. If you’re thinking about becoming a full-time professional musician, I encourage you to think about threads of income.
There are loads of examples of people doing really well doing just one thing but, more and more, it makes sense to be able to diversify and have fingers in different pies.
This is roughly how I have made a living over the last 15 years:
It’s changing slightly as I am teaching less in schools and more online and, at the time of writing, my plans for world domination will come to financial fruition in the future. Here are some other ways you can earn money:
- Running a band
- Show pit band
- Set up an agency/fixing bands and entertainment
It doesn’t matter what the threads are; you have to be good at it. Find out as much as you can, keep learning, making connections and getting better. You don’t have to do everything; just a few things you enjoy and are good at.
Don’t get stuck in ruts doing things you don’t enjoy. Find what gives you the best balance of creativity/income/enjoyment and you can make a good living as a musician.
Finally, it took me 10 years to feel like I found my feet as a pro musician. Much of that was me not really defining what I wanted and not really going for any one area in particular. Really think deeply about what you want and how you are going to get there. It’s your career so get organised and serious about it and don’t forget the business part of ‘music business’.