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Whats best sources of income for the Normal musician??

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Best paying gigs are wedding/corporate/club-date bands in metropolitan areas.

During the week, a bar gig is typical but you may play most the night for what you make in an hour doing the former.

Tribute bands or era bands are very popular at the moment. But again, about half the pay of a good club date band unless you really break through to the A venues.

Lesson schedule is a great source of side income. Especially when you start them young and they stay with you till 18. You learn a lot about your own playing too when you have to explain it to someone else.


And that's how it goes for every day musicians that aren't signed recording artists with major label support.






Yamaha CP88, Casio PX-560

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Wow, I don't know. Probably doing music for video games or something like that? Soundtracks? Touring?


My sources of income in this area are more music-related, such as doing mixes for people, tape transfers, and that kind of thing, although I have songs on various TV shows and that kind of thing.

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Day job.

Regretfully it's the 300 gorilla of my life.

Without it we wouldn't have a lot of the

things my parents were able to do during

their time of raising us.

Times were a lot more affordable then.

You can do some math and make arguments

about that but we did a lot more on a single

teachers salary then than I could dream of with

just our house payment on a modestly nice



We don't live frivolously or eat out much.

But we're not living on the edge paycheck

to paycheck and there are groceries in the



Most people I know that are working musicians

that don't do anything else have married in to

partners with solid day jobs. So you could do that.

And I'm kind of jealous of them but I'm cool.

My daughter is doing well in college. All is good.



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Indeed, many wind up back in school getting certified to teach music for schools. The chance to be in a group healthcare plan is reason enough to consider it - particularly if you're providing for a family. Although, you may prefer to work with younger students if you want to keep up your gigging. The time commitment and workload is deeper in some ways with high school age students.


Recording studio work is very slow these days. Everyone records themselves (for better or worse). If you have a talent for composing you may find work if you are also skilled with computers and can quickly produce the necessary material in the requested formats. But this is an area that you need to break into. Helps to know someone - friend of a friend, cousin, whatever - commercials, tv show soundtracks and the like. I find the video game soundtrack area is hardest to break into - many computer programmers fancy themselves composers as well and do the soundtracks themselves (for better or worse).


Having a benefactor (ie. family, wife, etc. with occupation that supports the family and then some) of course would give you the freedom to pursue what's possible in music and give you time to "make it" in one or more areas.



Yamaha CP88, Casio PX-560

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In descending order of shame.

Subway busker. Giving lessons.Work at Guitar Center.


Hmmm. I've bought a Kurz PC3, Yamaha MOXF6, Muse Receptor and other gear with lesson money. No shame here.


Pretty nice to buy gear without guilt about paying the bills.

Kurzweil Forte, Yamaha Motif ES7, Muse Receptor 2 Pro Max, Neo Ventilator
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In descending order of shame.

Subway busker. Giving lessons.Work at Guitar Center.


Hmmm. I've bought a Kurz PC3, Yamaha MOXF6, Muse Receptor and other gear with lesson money. No shame here.


Pretty nice to buy gear without guilt about paying the bills.


I'm kidding, people. I just wanted have a list with busker higher than Guitar Center. I needed something in the middle because 3 is funny.

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I've always questioned the wisdom of combining business with music. Always thought business took the fun out of it. Early on I got an education, state university which was cheap.


Built a CPA firm from the ground up, pays the bills, and always had the time to gig. 64 now and still going strong on both fronts.

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For this self-employed music type ? For awhile, teaching lessons and gigging paid the bills - along with various kinds of session work. When studio work - especially the jingle and demo scenes - started to fade, I picked up a decent paying church gig; and that, for past twenty years, has become a necessary part of my income. Teaching and church accompanying / directing are now my main sources of income. Live gigging has even taking a back seat; just not as much to go around now, and some of the 'pay' being offered is frankly an insult. No thanks, I'll stay at home, collaborate, and record original ideas instead.


Some of the stronger, veteran multi-instrument players I've known - a few of them personal mentors - have thrown in the towel as f/t musicians and taken day gigs. Considering I've got ten or twelve years til Social Security can happen, it's quite possible I could end up back in the daytime sector. While diversifying has helped, the overall value of music as a profession has become somewhat quaint in our culture; it's more often now seen as a wondrous hobby that should be shared freely, literally speaking.

'Someday, we'll look back on these days and laugh; likely a maniacal laugh from our padded cells, but a laugh nonetheless' - Mr. Boffo.


We need a barfing cat emoticon!








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Being a public school music teacher is a great gig if you have the temperament and education for it. Then you can take whatever gigs you like and not worry about starving.



Muzikteechur is Lonnie, in Kittery, Maine.


HS music teacher: Concert Band, Marching Band, Jazz Band, Chorus, Music Theory, AP Music Theory, History of Rock, Musical Theatre, Piano, Guitar, Drama.



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Nothing is free. If you want to be well paid for your time, learn to do something very well that is in high demand with few people capable of doing it.


Best paying jobs in Mexico


[1] Vice President (Executive and Management)360,000 MXN

[2] Actor (Media / Broadcasting / Arts / Entertainment)300,000 MXN

[3] Development Manager (Information Technology)300,000 MXN

[4] Marketing Director (Marketing)268,000 MXN

[5] Operations Manager (Executive and Management)250,000 MXN

[6] Managing Director (Executive and Management)190,000 MXN

[7] Quality Control Inspector (Factory and Manufacturing)162,500 MXN

[8] Advertising Sales Director (Advertising / Grapic Design / Event Management)150,000 MXN

[9] National Sales Manager (Sales Retail and Wholesale)150,000 MXN

[10] Chief Executive Officer (Executive and Management)141,944 MXN

[11] Marketing Manager (Marketing)125,542 MXN

[12] Oil and Petrochemical Engineer(Engineering)115,583 MXN

[13] Regional Director (Executive and Management)107,519 MXN

[14] Chief Information Technology Officer (Information Technology)105,000 MXN

[15] Automotive Sales (Automotive)103,000 MXN

[16] Executive Director (Executive and Management)102,000 MXN

[17] Sales Engineer (Engineering)100,000 MXN

[18] Enterprise Architecture Manager (Information Technology)92,400 MXN

[19] Logistics Manager (Executive and Management)90,000 MXN

[20] General Manager (Executive and Management)88,250 MXN

[21] Import / Export Manager (Import and Export)88,000 MXN

[22] Hotel Manager (Food /Hospitality / Tourism / Catering)87,500 MXN

[23] Financial Director (Accounting and Finance)86,000 MXN

[24] Regional Coordinator (Accounting and Finance)84,500 MXN

[25] Labor Relations Director (Human Resources)82,088 MXN

[26] Claims Manager (Insurance)79,167 MXN

[27] Manufacturing Manager (Factory and Manufacturing)78,333 MXN

[28] Management Accountant (Accounting and Finance)75,000 MXN

[29] Sales Representative (Sales Retail and Wholesale)73,475 MXN

[30] Office Manager (Administration / Reception / Secretarial)70,000 MXN


The rest,



Strangely, I don't see musicians in the top 30... oh wait, not in the top 170 either. Very odd. ;)

Yamaha CP88, Casio PX-560

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"normal musician"...that's hilarious! http://i.imgur.com/4i6Ckte.gif

The fact there's a Highway To Hell and only a Stairway To Heaven says a lot about anticipated traffic numbers


People only say "It's a free country" when they're doing something shitty-Demetri Martin


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"Marry a woman with a job.", Mose Allison


Funny... was friends with a guitar guy years back who was married to a working girl. She made good money. One night just sitting around, a few drinks, and he says..."I think musicians are superior and regular people should work to support them."


He's pretty much a homeless guy these days.....good guitar player though!

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I am one of the last of the full timers I know. Being a versatile sub, is my particular edge. But being versatle presupposes much time spent on many now nonexistent bandstands. But each year it is getting harder and harder.

If you can teach, teach. Write a music book or course. Uber. Street musician!

An ever growing repertoire ( part of versatility ) is part of this music deal.

Reading music as a skill.

But a day gig is pretty much mandatory.


You don't have ideas, ideas have you

We see the world, not as it is, but as we are. "One mans food is another mans poison". I defend your right to speak hate. Tolerance to a point, not agreement

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Way back in the day what there was live music everywhere 6 nights a week I wanted to go full time into the music business. Older musicians whom I knew advised against it for lots of reasons. Thank God I got a teaching degree and did music on the side.

I now have a pension and health benefits. Things you don't think too much about when your in High School.

The big bomb was dropped in the 80's when DJs started to take over and honestly it's only gone downhill from there.

Find a secure income profession and do music as a supplement. You'll enjoy it more and be less stressed. And have money to buy all the toys you want.

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