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  • How Musicians Can Make Money

    by Jim Button November 17, 2021 4 min read

    How Musicians Can Make Money In 2022 1800x800 | Boost Guitar Pedals

    I've brainstormed the many ways musicians can make money using their talents and a bit of business nous, from livestreaming and recording new music, to offering mixing services and tuition.

    There are so many options out there these days, the only limit is how much time you wish to put into your passion!

    How Can Musicians Make Money?

    • Livestream Your Set
    • Develop a YouTube Channel
    • Record New Material
    • Stream Your Music
    • Claim Your Royalties
    • Mix & Master
    • Merchandise
    • Build Your Email List
    • Exclusivity
    • Music Tuition
    • Flip Your Gear

    Livestream Your Set

    Livestreaming your set is a great way to not only keep you sharp but also reach out to new or existing fans and even generate a modest income from virtual ticket sales. Whether you use Zoom, Facebook or Google Chat, or use a dedicated livestreaming music platform, there are options to play live music even when venues are closed.

    Develop a YouTube Channel

    If you've set up a YouTube channel for your band already then that's great! If not, now could be the time to get that particular ball rolling. Not only will it become a platform for your content (think new songs, behind the scenes etc) but you can also earn revenue from ads and royalties. Perhaps most importantly, it is also an excellent way to find and engage with new fans.

    There's also the possibility to set up a different YouTube channel focussing on another aspect of the music industry: how about reviewing guitar pedals (I would say that, wouldn't I!) or discussing landmark albums in detail? Go for it!

    Record New Material

    You wouldn't be the first musician to go down this route, but it makes sense to record new material if you have time on your hands. You don't need to visit a studio for excellent results these days, so just make sure you have an area at home with all the essentials for recording and away you go!

    Read: How to Get the Best Guitar Sound at Home

    Read: Recording With Guitar Pedals: 101

    Stream Your Music

    Distributing your music to streaming services is a great way to diversify your revenue streams. You won't become a millionaire off the back of it (well, you never know...) but a number of small incomes adds up. There are numerous avenues to getting your back-catalogue online and in people's ears. Check out DistroKid, Amuse, Landr, CD Baby and TuneCore for starters.

    Claim Your Royalties

    If you're lucky enough for one or more of your songs to get airplay on the radio or television, you may be owed royalties. Sign up to various royalty collection companies and distributors, who will be able to check back up to two years on your behalf. Start with Bandcamp, Breaking Tunes, Amazing Radio, IMRO and PRS.It goes without saying that this is an ongoing effort, so any future royalties will also be collected for you too.

    Mix & Master

    If you have a good, technical ear then consider offering to mix and/or master tracks for other bands. Note that this is not for the faint-hearted and there's a steep learning curve, but if you already have some experience and the gear required (a DAW and good monitors at a minimum; ideally some studio-quality outboard equipment or studio-quality plugins) then this can be an extra little earner.


    Depending on how established your band is, merchandise could be a lucrative revenue stream. Think t-shirts, hats and yes, even masks! Not got a website yet? Build a simple site using Shopify, Wix or Squarespace, set up a devoted merch section and direct your fans and followers there.

    Build Your Email List

    It's widely acknowledged that email is the most effective marketing channel. Forget Facebook, Google, Snapchat and Tiktok ads - focus on building your email list and market directly and personally to them. What a great way to introduce your fans to your latest videos, music and merch!


    Consider setting up a Patreon page and encouraging your fans to subscribe for exclusive content - be that a special video series, exclusive recordings, livestreams or even tabs to your songs. Assuming you have enough fans, this is a fantastic way to earn some fairly reliable cash month on month, but be sure to keep them engaged with plenty of new content.

    Music Tuition

    Why not setup a music tuition business? Whether you focus on guitar, bass, vocals or something else, use your existing networks to find potential clients and put your skills to work!

    Flip Your Gear!

    Lastly, you can always shift some gear that's sat around gathering dust. Do you really need all five lunchbox amps, and is that vintage banjo absolutely necessary? You could even consolidate your pedalboard, selling off pedals only used for one section of one song, or that you haven't used in a while.

    While I wouldn't recommend starting by culling your pedal collection, if you need some cash rather than an income then it's a good place to find some readies. And if you just fancy a change, you could always sell to acquire...just don't tell your other half ;-)

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