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I have a full-time job but I am also very interested in making a part-time career out of music. The aim would be to continue learning as well as making some money out of this passion.

So what would be the options available to me? I can think of following:

  1. Music Tutor
  2. Weekend Shows (I have Saturdays and Sundays free)
  3. Making songs as freelancer

Is there anything else that I can pursue to make the best out of my musical talent?

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To make money off of writing or performing, you will have to spend money promoting yourself to singers, to fans, and, of course, to labels. – Jacob Swanson Jul 22 at 3:37

3 Answers 3

up vote 8 down vote accepted

The single best paid and most reliable musician job for most people (I'm excluding the miniscule fraction who actually make it big) is as part of a wedding band. Certainly in the UK you can get at least one gig a week if you play covers, as there is high demand, and the money is definitely enough to live on - can be considerably more than some full time professions such as nursing.

Never ever Pay to Play - it is mostly a con set up to benefit promoters (I know, some exceptions, but if you are new to this sort of thing, assume it will be a challenge figuring out which ones!)

If you are good, research your market and promote yourself.

Marketing and selling songs nowadays is straightforward - you can do the entire thing yourself, and promote through facebook, fandalism etc., sell through iTunes, Amazon, Play etc and even run merchandise through Cafepress...

I am very part time these days on the Music side of things, averaging about one gig a month, and I still make money from it. As we are not a covers band, we don't make a steady income by any means, but festivals pay a decent amount, large venues also pay well, and even pub gigs cover our petrol and beer. Royalties from online sales make us a wee bit each month as well. I would like to make much more, but it's good to have a hobby that makes anything...

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There are other options apart from performing. This link is aimed at full-time careers not part time, but it gives an idea of the range of possibilities:

"Making songs as a freelancer" isn't likely to pay many bills, unless you are very good at self-marketing (and you write very good songs!), or you find a good niche market. For example in the USA, there is quite a large "cottage industry" of people writing and marketing music for use in religious worship. I know somebody who makes hundreds of dollars a month marketing string-quartet arrangements of songs for other "wedding music" performers to use.

Music for movies and TV has to be written and/or arranged by somebody:

I know somebody in the USA whose "day job" is a lawyer, but he does a lot of work on indie film soundtracks - and indie film producers can sometimes use him as a lawyer, as well.

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Of the three choices you present, only teaching(tutor) has any kind of guaranty of regular income. And even that requires constantly trying to get new students. Many students will take lessons long-term but most will take a couple up to 8 or 16 lessons and then stop.

As for playing live, expect to "pay to play" which means, you will not be earning a paycheck.

And selling...

If you sell a song, you will be a tiny fraction of the total attempts.

Good luck!

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