12 Tips to Make Money as Instrumentalist

Make Money as Instrumentalist: Drummers, keyboardists, guitarists and other specialists that know how to play different instruments are in high demand today for different shows and by different musicians.

Religious houses are always on the lookout for the services of those who can give them very good beats and sounds.

So, without leaving your regular job, you can add playing of musical instruments to your sources of income.

Please note that this in the long run can replace your regular income.

If you’re a young instrumentalist that loves playing music.

But wants a bit of cash to boot, here are a few tips of how to do it.

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Make Money as Instrumentalist

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Make Money as Instrumentalist

1. Be good at what you do.

Naturally, people want to get their money’s worth, and therefore practice is the key to generating revenue.

2. Market yourself.

Get a Myspace, or even a domain name, and advertise what you do- you won’t get any gigs if no-one’s heard of you!

3. Mudsling.

In other words, join as many bands as possible, and push for gigs with them-the more mud you throw, the more will stick.

Make Money as Instrumentalist

4. Don’t knock unpaid gigs.

Even though you’re not getting any money, it’s still marketing.

And doing a good job that is exposed to an audience can never be a bad thing.

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5. When you start to get gigs, be reasonable.

You are the client, and they are the boss, and therefore don’t try to demand food, drink etc.

Stick to whatever terms you have previously agreed upon.

6. Be flexible, and tailor your set to their needs, they will doubtless think higher of you, and will therefore be more likely to ask for you back, or do a favor for you in return.

If they say, “can you turn down a bit?” or “can you play for a bit longer, please”, do so.

Make Money as Instrumentalist

7. Be friendly.

This is basic salesmanship, if a person likes you, they will prefer to have you than someone arrogant and unhelpful.

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8.Have business cards and fliers.

Often, punters will find it hard to remember the names of bands they have seen, so give them a memory aid.

Make Money as Instrumentalist

9. Never sever existing connections.

You never know where they might lead. Always be gracious, and should a band disband, for example, keep in touch. If a previous band member goes on to do bigger and better things, you’ll want to be a part of it.

10. Always dress to impress.

Often, you can never be overdressed, and a suit or tie will make you seem much more professional and intelligent than your peers.

If it is a rock gig, however, you probably can stray from the “smart” look.

11. Know your audience.

Don’t play overcomplicated songs that might alienate them, or songs that would not appeal to your target audience. Play whatever you want for fun, but when money is involved, what the audience wants is what the audience gets.

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12. More tips

  • Always be respectful of your “employer”, as they will be respectful in return, and would be more likely to get you more gigs, or recommend you.

  • Never underestimate the value of friendliness, even a cheery hello would make you more appealing than an arrogant, big-headed one.

  • Leave your audience wanting more, and for that reason order your set-list in a manner that has the best songs, or most appealing songs, last.


  • Be prepared to play quite a few unpaid gigs before the paid ones start rolling in.

  • Be kind, but don’t appear sarcastic, as this appears rude.

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