If you’ve chosen the identity of music “performer” as your main source of income, you probably already know that playing covers, jazz, blues, etc. is the most solid way to earn income. Here are some of the top vocations for a performing musician:
*Join an orchestra – a performer in this ensemble can make anywhere from $28K to $115 per year. You can even join a union, like the Denver Musicians Association for more clout.
You don’t play that kind of instrument?
*Join a cruise ship – pay is typically $50-65/day but all of your food, lodging (and Dramamine) will be covered. Many of these performers are able to save several thousand dollars while out at sea.
You don’t have sea legs?
*Join a cover band – part time performers typically make from $2K to $10K, depending upon the ambition of the project. More dedicated players can make a solid income, but there is a direct correlation between the amount of income you make and the amount of dependents you have.
You refuse to play Mustang Sally? You won’t compromise your original music by mixing it up with covers? Then it may be time to stop thinking of yourself as a “performer” and more of a “content provider.”
When you are a content provider, you are doing just that: providing content, or original songs, an original brand, original thoughts. It starts to become less about the music and more about your unique perspective on life…
You may be writing songs for yourself…or for someone else. You may be writing songs to play in a club…or for jingly commercial background music, or a musical. You may have an original way to teach music. You may have a specific lifestyle perspective that challenges modern notions, or the ruling elite…or just makes people feel good. You can make an income from that.
Thinking more about the content and less about performance is like working on your business instead of within it. The business owner that sees the big picture will figure out what to do with the content. The one that toils day to day, performing, will use up all of their energy on the low paying aspect of the business (gigs, day in and day out) when the brass ring is right in front of you.
We’ll take a look at the different types of rings next…