How To Make Money As A Musician In 2019

In today’s music industry, you don’t have any excuses to not be making money as a musician. And neither do I.

Whether you prefer to play live shows or stay in the studio, there are ways moola can come streaming in.

So here’s how to make money as a musician in 2019 (16 ways!).

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Advertisers Are Controlling Your Brain With Music

You may not know it, but your brain is not your own.

Music in advertising
Basically what advertisers think about you

Your brain is Nationwide’s and McDonald’s and Oscar Meyer’s.

They use music to influence you to buy their products with jingles.

Ohio State University explores this concept in a study called Music in Advertising: An Analytic Paradigm.

The study finds that “music tends to linger in the listener’s mind … even when the mind is an unwilling host.”

This is what we call an earworm.

RELATED: 4 Ways To Get Rid Of Earworms

“Thus,” it goes on, “the association of music with the identity of a certain product may substantially aid product recall.”

And advertisers are serious about getting you to identify their product with earworm-y music. They must have your full  attention.

“…Advertising music is perhaps the most meticulously crafted and most fretted-about music in history,” the study says.

“Nationally produced television advertisements in particular may be considered among the most highly polished cultural artifacts ever created.”

Companies ain’t messing around when it comes to controlling your brain with music.

How To Make Money As A Musician Without Leaving Home

For some artists, touring for weeks and being away from family is easy. Not so for me.

That’s why I try to make money as a musician and a writer without leaving my house (or town).

If you’d like to explore this too, here are five tips for making money from home as a musician.

Guitar Lessons

guitar lessons

I have a friend who charges $20 for a half-hour guitar lesson. In other words, $40/hour. That’s insanely good.

But of course, he’s so good at teaching guitar that $40/hour is fair. He can listen to a song once and jot down the exact chords of the song.

And you don’t have to have an education background. If you’re patient, you can play guitar well, and you’re able to break down all the parts of playing (strumming patterns, finger placement, etc), you can teach guitar.

Offer lessons at your house, charge a fair price, and you’ll be on your way.

Play local shows

Brooks Ritter and company (via

Unless you live in the middle of nowhere, your city or town probably has places to play shows. Even if you do live in the middle of nowhere, you can do house concerts.

Depending on your style of music, look for local venues, bars, pubs, coffee shops, farmer’s markets — all places that usually want music.

RELATED: This Is Why Live Music Will Never Die

Whether or not the venue pays (which they should), you can still make a nice supplemental income playing out. If I play a show every weekend in my local town, I could easily pull in a couple hundred bucks in compensation, door price, merch sales, and tips.

Make music for TV/film

Hans Zimmer
Award-winning film composer Hans Zimmer (photo via The Odyssey Online)

This is an area I haven’t yet broken into, but plenty of artists do it. Take a look through places like Music Bed, Audiosocket, and Marmoset. There’s money to be had in this market for the right musicians.

As long as we have video, those videos will need music.

Jingle writing

I know, it doesn’t sound glamorous at all. But remember that little tune that goes, “Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there”?

Yeah, Barry Manilow wrote that.

Now, he only got paid a flat fee of $500 for it, but surely it advanced his career.

I’m currently writing a jingle for a pet company — it’s not something I flaunt around, but it’s actually pretty fun. Getting paid to make any kind of music is a win-win for me.

And jingle writers make an average of $10,000 per jingle (obviously depending on how big the client is).


image via Udemy

Upwork is a free website that connects freelancers with clients. Choose your skill sets and you’ll be given a feed of job opps from clients looking for freelancers in your industry.

I currently get about 97% of my work from this site. It’s been amazing for me. A lot of the jobs I see are people looking for jingle writers, songwriters, people who can mix audio, blog writers, and so many others.

It’s worth a shot, right?

Stay motivated, manage your time, and move toward your picture of success — grab the One-Thing-A-Day chart for FREE…