27 Ways I’ve Made Money in Music & You Can Too

27 Ways I’ve Made Money in Music & You Can Too

Who says you can’t make money in music?

Since the very beginning stages of my working life, about three-quarters of my income has come from work I’ve done in the music industry, and these days I make a very decent living too (to be fair, it wasn’t always that way).

In 2016, I ditched my various side gigs and started working entirely from home.

In 2019, I achieved location independence.

I don’t share this to brag – rather, I share this in hopes that it will open your mind to the possibilities (let’s get pumped up!).

There are many ways to make money in music, and they aren’t all as obvious as you might think. You just never know when the skills you’ve learned in other disciplines could come in handy (that was the case for me!).

Here are 27 ways I’ve made money in the music industry.

1. Sound Engineering

I started getting into recording shortly after I started playing guitar. I purchased a used digital eight-track recorder as well as a rack-mount digital effects unit second-hand, and though I never got terribly good at using either, it was my first exposure to recorded sound.

This was an important stepping stone to learning software-based recording.

I still get asked to do some recording work from time to time, and I’m generally more than happy to oblige.

These days, my skills are kept sharp thanks to the composition and podcasting work I do.

Composition work has yet to pay out for me – it did get me a few IMDb credits though. My specialty is Nintendo and Super Nintendo era video game style composition.

The Mega Man-inspired “Razor Man” is an early (originally from 2011) but fun example of what I’m capable of:

And, here’s the film I got an IMDb credit for (it was for the Calgary Underground 48 Hour Movie Making Challenge). All music is mine.

Unhappy Endings from Shaun Pulsifer on Vimeo.

2. Live Sound Engineering

Not everyone that deals with recorded sound is a competent live sound engineer. I like to think that I am reasonably good at both, but you’d have to ask my clients.

I started honing my skills when I first started performing as a solo artist. Those were very humble beginnings, since I was typically in charge of running my own sound whenever I performed in a café or lounge.

I often shared the bill with another singer-songwriter, which meant that I wasn’t always on my own, but the production was entirely up to us.

Today, I am the go-to sound guy for at least one band I know. It pays to be attentive.

3. CD Sales

Shipwrecked... My SentimentsIn 2006, I released my first solo album entitled Shipwrecked… My Sentiments. Even before that, I started selling CDs with one of my first bands, Lightly Toasted Touché.

Some of my other works have appeared on compilation albums, and I’ve done some production and session work with other artists. Up until 2016, Shipwrecked… was my only solo release, but I’ve since released numerous singles and EPs.

And, what do you know? I still sell CDs over 10 years later. It’s not a cash cow or anything, but it’s cool to see that it still earns a bit of money passively.

4. Merchandise Sales

I used to play in a band called Angels Breaking Silence, and we sold T-shirts, buttons and posters at our shows.

Band merch example

Our fans wanted CDs, but unfortunately the band didn’t stick together long enough to put out an album. We had a few demos up on MySpace (that should give you an idea of the general time frame), and we also contributed a track to a compilation, but that was it.

These days, merchandise is largely unexplored territory for me, but I’ve got plenty of ideas around what I’d like to do.

Would you want a Music Entrepreneur HQ branded 365 day desk calendar with awesome quotes (from my podcast guests and blog posts) and a to-do list section on it?

If so, let me know in the comments below.

5. Digital Sales & Streaming

Digital sales and streaming royalties

In this day in age, if you’re getting CD sales, you’re probably getting digital sales too. I continue to see a trickle of royalties from digital sales and streaming.

For most independent artists, this is not a major source of income. If you sell a lot of music on sites like iTunes or Bandcamp, you will get some decent returns, but you can’t count on streaming sites to bring the bacon home.

You can’t count on streaming sites to bring the bacon home. Share on X

As for the future of digital sales and streaming, I see a lot of potential. I think streaming could turn into something great for artists, tech companies and labels alike.

6. Music Instruction


Music instruction has been a steady source of income for me since day one of my working life.

I’ve been playing guitar since I was 17, and I started teaching a mere two and a half years later, straight out of college (I graduated with a Certification in Discipleship). I quickly found out that teaching wasn’t easy, but I am glad I got into it.

I’ve taken extended breaks from music instruction (you’d be surprised at how much energy it requires of you), and as of 2016, I left teaching for good. Up until that point, it was a significant part of my income.

7. Guesting & Session Playing

I think I’m great on the guitar. I may not be the fastest or most technical (I can get going when I need to), but I am one of the most versatile players on a local level (at least according to Jonathan Ferguson).

I now have 18 years of experience behind me, and I’m still getting better as a player.

Guesting and session playing opportunities usually come from people I already know, as well as referrals.

My calendar certainly isn’t booked solid with session playing – live or in the studio – but I’m always honored to be a part of other people’s projects.

I’ve done a lot of live work, and I’ve played on a couple of albums too.

Just tweet me if you’re interested in working with me.

8. Live Performance


When you first start playing out, it’s a cool feeling just to get handed a bit of money for your work.

I did my fair share of free shows early on, but these days I don’t perform unless I know I’m getting paid.

It’s gotten to the point now where playing out a couple of times per month can net me several hundred dollars.

You would think that performing more often would make you more money, but overplaying on a local level can diminish your earning potential. It’s better to play when the right terms are in place.

Overplaying on a local level can diminish your earning potential. It’s better to play when the right terms are in place. Share on X

9. Festivals

In 2011, my band (the David Andrew Wiebe Band) was a part of the Calgary Fringe Festival. We weren’t merely performing every night – there was also a spoken component to the show.

And, if that wasn’t enough, we were featured on TV and often busking and working the lines by day to get more people to come to our show.

The show was called Back on Solid Ground, and in it I retold my life story from about 2008 up to 2011. It was interesting enough that someone in the audience asked if it was a true story (yes!).

Although the band featured in the video below wasn’t the exact lineup, the instrumentation was the same.

So, while I could lump this in with live performance, I think it’s a different beast altogether. With something like the Fringe Festival, most performers are putting on theatrical performances.

With this experience, I quickly discovered that if you want to connect with a Fringe audience, your marketing and branding must be targeted.

We did okay, but we certainly could have done a lot better if we had our marketing figured out.

10. Busking, Tips & Honorariums

Some people make a living at street performing.

I’ve never made a killing with it, but it’s fun, and it’s also a good way to brush up on your set list if you need to.

After all, people aren’t always listening that closely when you’re busking, so you can make a few mistakes and no one will care that much. You still get tips!

If you don’t have a looper pedal yet, that might be a good thing to have for busking. It gives you way more options when you’re accompanying yourself and/or performing alone.

Tips and honorariums have come from a variety of places for me (not just street performing).

During the 2011 Calgary Fringe Festival, Anna and I performed in a café for tips (when we weren’t putting on the Back on Solid Ground production at night).

I’ve had honorariums come from networking events at libraries and other miscellaneous performances too.

11. Rehearsal Space Rental

In 2003, I bought a home, and I lived in it until 2012.

My roommate and I carefully picked out a home where we could not only live, but also set up an office and a home studio.

Our home studio evolved over time, as we went from a hardware setup to a software-driven recording environment.

We tried a few things to make money. The most obvious one is sound engineering.

But we also decided to rent out the studio as a rehearsal space for other bands. I think we basically broke even on advertising costs, so we only did it for a short time, but it was worth a try.

12. Blogging & Staff Writing

I’ve been blogging and making websites for a long time, but it was in 2012 that I started doing it professionally.

I’ll be talking more about the contract I landed later (see 14. Digital Marketing), but suffice it to say blogging was one of my ongoing duties in that working arrangement.

I’ve been blogging relatively steadily ever since, and over time more opportunities have come my way.

My writing work has been recognized by different blog and site owners, and I’ll sometimes get asked to write for them, either as a ghostwriter or contributor. This is fulfilling and fun for me.

Since 2015, I’ve also been a staff writer at Music Industry How To.

13. Video Production

In 2017, I was hired, along with my business partner, to help a local anonymous jazz artist raise funds for her forthcoming album (more on this later).

One of my duties was coming prepared with scripts, audio equipment, and a vision for the videos we’d be producing for the crowdfunding campaign.

I also directed the video editing process.

Thanks to my experience as a theater and community event technician, I felt comfortable handling these duties, and helped make the crowdfunding campaign (raising $15,000) a massive success.

14. Video Editing

I don’t have a long track record of producing video for bands and artists, but more and more I’ve been finding the demand is out there.

Not long ago, I put together a promotional video for a band (kind of like a commercial), that will likely be used and reused in their marketing in the coming months and years.

15. Digital Marketing

For about a year and a half, I was a contractor with a company called TuneCity.

I called myself an online marketer because I was handling a lot of different things. Social media, blogging, analytics, email campaigns, copywriting, podcasting and more.

Through the years, I’ve referred to myself as an online marketer, digital marketer, and even multimedia designer, with the latter being my favorite.

Anyway, I used that contract as an opportunity to learn as much as I possibly could about marketing online.

It was a valuable learning experience, and it gave me the foundation I needed to work on other similar ventures.

16. Website Development

I’ve helped several artists and bands develop their websites.

Today, there are many great website builders available, but sometimes artists like you want something specific, and I’m always willing to help.

17. Graphic Design

I call myself a Photoshop dabbler, but in the preceding five years, hardly a day goes by without me firing up Photoshop to do some editing.

I’m not the most skilled designer in the world by any stretch of my imagination. But I do put my various skills as a video producer, visual artist and print layout expert to make my ideas come to life.

18. Landing Page Development

These days, I can get a website up and running in a manner of minutes.

Friends will sometimes ask me about web design and though I certainly don’t advertise, it’s something I’ve gotten good at over the years (I used to have a web and graphic design company).

In case you don’t know what a landing page is, you could take a look at the page I’ve set up for my book.

These pages are frequently used to collect email addresses or to sell products, and are very much in-demand on the web right now.

19. Email Campaigns

When you’ve got a landing page, you also need to set up an email series. That’s essentially how this gig came about – a client with a landing page needed email campaigns done up.

Once you have a bit of a reputation with digital marketing, you just never know when these opportunities might come your way.

Let’s face it – whether it’s using WordPress or an email service provider like MailChimp, the technical aspects of software tools and applications just aren’t some people’s cup of tea.

Those with enough desire and determination will figure it out, but it is a pain in the butt when you’re first getting started.

I’m the go-to guy in situations like that.

20. Social Media Campaigns

I’ve helped artists increase their Facebook following by hundreds at a time. With a bigger budget, I’m certain I could grow a following by thousands.

It can take a while to figure out your Facebook ad game, but once you do, it can help you achieve just about anything you want in your career.

21. Crowdfunding Campaigns

I had the opportunity to help a local jazz artist raise $15,000 for her album.

This was a unique situation where an investor was involved. He fronted the costs of hiring my partner and I to run the campaign in collaboration with the artist, essentially to double his investment.

Because of this experience, I know how to run a successful crowdfunding campaign and could certainly help other artists do the same.

But I don’t think hiring me to run an entire campaign would make sense. I think what would make more sense is if I made a course that explains my process.

Anyway, this was a cool opportunity and I’m glad I had the chance to help a fellow artist.

22. Independent Radio Campaigns

This was a similar situation to the crowdfunding campaign I was involved in.

An investor fronted the costs of hiring my partner and I to help an artist boost her Facebook page likes and send out 200 copies of her new CD across various independent, community and college radio stations.

My partner and I were successful in helping the artist reach her goals on Facebook, and we got a few favorable responses from radio stations too.

The artist in question shared she saw an uptake in her following and airplay because of this campaign.

23. Digital Product Sales

I’ve created a variety of resources for musicians and those in the music business (especially eBooks), and they continue to perform well. You can learn more about our products here.

I also make audio programs and companion courses for my books.

24. Physical Product Sales

The New Music Industry: Adapting, Growing, and Thriving in The Information Age was first made available as an eBook. Then, I used CreateSpace (now Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing) to launch physical copies (especially since so many of you were asking about them at the book launch party).

As of 2020, I have four additional books:

25. Coaching & Consulting

I can’t reveal my working relationship with clients I coach or consult, but this has been a valuable source of income for me.

From social media strategy to affiliate marketing, I’ve helped out in a variety of capacities.

26. Advertising & Guest Posting

People often come to me wanting to advertise on this website. No surprise – it has turned into quite the popular destination online.

Advertising income isn’t necessarily consistent but it’s generally good.

Likewise, many people guest post on this site for a fee.

27. Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate earnings

Did you know that you can sell other people’s products and earn a commission on every unit sold? The world is an amazing place because some people make incredible money with affiliate marketing alone.

Over the years, affiliate marketing has turned into a valuable revenue stream for me.

Final Thoughts on Ways I’ve Made Money in Music

Have your eyes opened to the possibilities yet?

I know we would all love to make a ton of money from our recorded music alone (or at least enough to support our lifestyles), but I think it’s good to remain flexible. The more skills you have, the more value you can bring to the world, right?

If you have skills in areas other than music, realize they could translate into income within the music industry too. They certainly have for me, and I’m no one special.

The Story Behind The New Music Industry

The Story Behind The New Music Industry

David Andrew Wiebe: The New Music Industry
Summary: in June, I launched a book called The New Music Industry: Adapting, Growing, and Thriving in The Information Age. It features over 66,000 words, and somewhere in the range of 140 to 180 pages depending on your device. This is the first book I distributed eBook to all major online book sellers. This is the story of how it came to be.

As with any project of this scale, it’s hard to recall the exact sequence of events and timeline for each, but I will do my best to re-tell how this book came to be, why it took so long to complete, and what I learned from working on it.

Conception

Many years ago (I don’t remember when), I was reading an article on an online marketer’s website (I don’t remember who). He had written an eBook on why everyone should write their own eBook, and I found him convincing. I would like to say that this is what got me started, but it wasn’t. It did plant a seed though.

Then, I heard an episode on Internet Business Mastery (I’ve been a long-time lurker/subscriber), in which a guest (I don’t remember who; sorry) talked about how most people set out to write a book in their lifetime, but never get around to doing it. I found it inspiring.

Again, I would like to say that that this is what got me going on my book, but it wasn’t. It was another important piece to the puzzle though.

Then, in 2011, I finally got started on my book.

But the first half of 2011 was an extremely difficult time for me. I was experiencing some financial challenges, and I was also living with a roommate from hell. I did everything to try to stay afloat, and I even rented out the garage. I almost rented out the only remaining bedroom too, but the prospective renter was overeager and didn’t take the time to get to know the household before trying to move in. That wasn’t going to work.

I had five part-time jobs at the time, and I even took on a job as a custodian at a church temporarily. There’s a lot I could say about that experience, but without getting into it, I think you can see how desperate I was feeling.

The second half of 2011 was bliss by comparison. I learned that I could refinance my mortgage (I honestly knew nothing about that), and if nothing else, that would prolong my stay at the house. After refinancing, I was able to put some money back into my pocket, and even took a one-week working vacation, followed by a one-week honest-to-God holiday.

On tour with Jonathan Ferguson.

On tour with Jonathan Ferguson in summer 2011.

Additionally, I was introduced to a powerful self-development program that ended up changing my life, a couple of businesses (which I opted to join), and I even came up with an inspired business idea of my own.

I’m sure I could go into depth about each of those things, how I ended up meeting people that had a similar vision, how I ended up investing in a music industry startup and more. But that’s a little beside the point.

So, in the midst of all that excitement, I finally got to work on my first book.

My First Attempt

Because of all the new information I was taking in, my new book was fast becoming an amalgam of success, business and personal development principles combined with music career tips. The book I ended up with certainly gets into all those things, but I had to scrap the first iteration because it just didn’t sit well with me.

I realized that nobody would want the complete encyclopedia of music career and success principles, and even if they did, I wasn’t talking about my experience as much I was reiterating what other authors and speakers were teaching.

Beginning Again

I believe that’s how I came to realize that what I needed to do was share my own experiences. That way, it would feel more authentic to who I was. Instead of recapping what other experts were saying, I could draw from my own career experiences and knowledge.

In the fall of 2012, I sold my house. Refinancing my loan bought me some time, but it was too little too late. There’s no way I would have been able to keep my house.

Unfortunately, this is usually what happens after a windfall. We end up in exactly the same financial situation we were only one to two years later.

My house

The house I used to live in.

Having moved out of my house and into a basement suite, I felt an immense sense of peace and relief. I was sharper and more clearheaded than I had ever been.

Shortly thereafter, I began working on a new manuscript. I didn’t necessarily have a goal in terms of length or topics, but the content started taking shape.

Fleshing it Out

Eventually, I got to the point where I thought that I had a good manuscript, so I sent it off to my friend James Moore over at Independent Music Promotions. I wanted to see if he would be willing to write a foreword for me.

James was happy to write a foreword, but he gave me some much needed feedback on my book. He told me that the content was good, but that I should be offering more actionable advice. I should be talking about tools and resources that I liked. It hadn’t even occurred to me, and had I let my pride get in the way, I would have dismissed his feedback altogether.

Since I was learning a lot about leadership in my business training, I knew that leaders were those willing to go the extra mile. I decided to follow James’ advice, and I kept working on the book.

James Moore from Independent Music Promotions.

James Moore from Independent Music Promotions.

Somewhere in the midst of that, I read David Hooper’s Six-Figure Musician, which gave me the inspiration to use lists in my book (i.e. 15 Principles of Entrepreneurship). As result, I decided to end all primary chapters with either a list or a “how-to” section.

2014 had arrived, and the book still wasn’t done.

But I finally made the decision. I decided to work on it every single day until it was complete.

To be perfectly honest, though, this was a commitment I broke and re-made multiple times as I was getting the manuscript ready for editing.

To get to that point as fast as I possibly could, I chose to write 1,000 words per day. By that time, I knew that I wanted every primary chapter to have 5,000 words or more, so I kept repeating 1,000-word days until I saw that every chapter was at the length I wanted it to be.

Editing

Editing happened at various stages and was also done by multiple individuals including myself. I’m not the type of person to speed through the first draft and go back to edit it later. I tend to write, read, re-read, edit, and then repeat that entire process over and over.

This doesn’t mean that I get it all right the first time around; far from it! Any time I added or changed something in the book, I would then go back and comb through the entire thing to make sure it all made sense in context.

Anyway, some of the initial feedback for this book came from the previously mentioned James Moore, as well as my friend Sharon. James may have been the one that helped me bring this project to a new level, but it was Sharon that helped me to re-think my introduction, which was initially a little on the tentative side. I think the introduction I ended up with better reflects my intention as well as the content found within the book.

Then, when I was much closer to completion, I enlisted the help of Maveen Kaura from Discover Your Life Today. He had some helpful suggestions for me, and he pointed out some troubling grammar. Originally, the chapters on blogging and copywriting were consolidated, and it was Maveen that pushed me to separate the chapters, forcing me encouraging me to write another 3,000 words or so.

Then, my friend Adam Meachem also offered to edit the book. I took him up on his offer, and he did a once-over on my behalf. To my delight, he had no suggestions on a content level. He just spotted a few spelling or grammatical errors.

Adam Meachem

Guitarist and musician Adam Meachem.

Time and time again, as I was writing this book, I ended up submitting to the wisdom of others. I took some artistic liberty, but for the most part, I chose to listen and to take the feedback to heart. I know I’m repeating myself, but I would not have elevated to this level without the help I received.

Advance Praise, Cover Design & Distribution

My next step was to start soliciting quotes from industry connections. My book was essentially ready to be distributed, but without some social proof, I wasn’t convinced that others would buy it.

I had worked hard to grow my blog and podcast audience while I was in the process of working on my book, but it wasn’t easy, and I was only able to increase my following incrementally over time.

I knew I didn’t have a massive and engaged email list that was going to buy my book the moment it came out.

Regardless, the quotes I got were positive and encouraging. James Moore, Maveen Kaura, Dayne Shuda from Country Music Life, Sean Harley [Tucker] from The Spark & The Art, Tom Jeffries from Safe-Xchange, Jonathan Ferguson from Long Jon Lev, Adam Meachem, Corey Koehler from Musicgoat, and Keith A. Link from Sessionville all gave me glowing testimonials that instilled in me the belief I had something of value to offer. Thank you.

Quotes

Some of the quotes I managed to gather. You can read them here.

Having collected the advance praise, I made a landing page, and I decided to include the quotes in the first page of the book as well. I knew that it would inspire buyers to dig in and learn something.

Now I also had to think about the cover design. I tried reaching out to skilled designers and asked them if they would be willing to help, but this didn’t go anywhere. I had identified flat vector artists from websites and blogs that I liked, and I wanted to enlist their help, but alas, they either didn’t get back to me or were not available to work on extracurricular designs.

Although I tend to do most of my own graphic design work, it was proving hard for me to come up with a design I could be proud of.

Then, one day, as I was strolling through Chapters with Jonathan (Ferguson), I came across a book with a cover design that I liked. To my surprise, it featured almost the exact color scheme I was working with. When I saw it, I said, “now that’s something I think I could work with.”

Ultimately, the cover design is nothing fancy by any means, but I think the font choice, the spacing and the color scheme are eye-catching (not to mention Greg Parke‘s photo in the background).

In some ways, I feel like gathering advance praise, creating a cover design and distributing The New Music Industry was the longest part of the process, if only because I had to work on these things in the nooks and crannies of my busy schedule.

But my friends (in particular, Jonathan and Joanna Drummond) kept asking me when my book was coming out, so with all of my material in hand, I finally signed up for a BookBaby account and had them distribute my eBook to all major online book sellers.

The Release

The release itself was somewhat anti-climactic. It was mostly a waiting game, as I continued to log in to my BookBaby account on daily to check if my book had been released yet. They told me my book would be available for sale within two to three weeks on most sites, so that’s what I kept telling people when asked.

Little did I know that I was checking the wrong sources. What I should have done is search for my book on sites like Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Kobo, because my eBook was up for sale much sooner than expected. I don’t think it took more than a couple of days to distribute (Book Baby delivered my book to all sites between June 18 and 22). Amazon has the release date as June 21, 2015, so that’s what I’m going with.

The New Music Industry eBook

The New Music Industry eBook on Kobo at #3 in its category.

I’ve been steadily marketing the book ever since. The book has sold well over 300 copies and it continues to sell to this day.

Looking Forward

This is where I originally talked about what my next steps were. As I write this (in January 2020), it’s almost been five years since the launch of the eBook, and four years since the launch of physical copies.

Since publishing the book, I:

  • Went onto organize a book launch party at Koi in Calgary.
  • Spoke at a few events to support book sales.
  • Wrote dozens of guest posts.
  • Gave interviews for a few blogs and podcasts.
  • Started The New Music Industry Podcast, in honor of the book title. The podcast is still going.
  • Self-published three other books.

My next steps at this point are to:

  • Launch The Music Entrepreneur Code, my fifth book.
  • Rework and update The New Music Industry and relaunch it as The New Music Industry 2.0.

Lessons I Learned from Working on This Project

I certainly had a few missteps along the way, but for the most part, The New Music Industry was a success.

Of course, I’m still going to be taking some important lessons with me.

I imagine there are some things I won’t even discover until later, but for now, here’s what I can say for sure.

Lesson #1 – Your book will come together faster if you outline it first.

This is one of the reasons the book took as long as it did. I had a bit of an on-and-off relationship with it, and for whatever reason, I just couldn’t bring myself to work on it some days.

Either way, it wasn’t until I started putting together the table of contents that I had a clear direction for the content.

There’s probably a lot more that I could have talked about in the book, but I chose not to, because I wanted to stay within my field of expertise. That way, I would stay true to the purpose and intent of the book.

Lesson #2 – You can’t link to other music, book and app stores within your eBook.

I imagine this doesn’t necessarily apply if you’re only planning on releasing your eBook on one platform, but if you’re distributing it across multiple sites, you can’t have links to competing sites in there.

Since I had a lot of links in my book, I had to rethink my approach. Ultimately, the best suggestion came from my co-worker at Mount Royal University, Al Williams. He suggested that I create a separate page on my website with a list of all of the links that were to be included in the book. That way, people reading the book would be directed to my website.

That’s how the resource list came about. Thanks for the tip, Al!

Lesson #3 – Be open to the criticism, feedback and suggestions.

If you allow others to help you on this journey, your book will be better off for it. If not for the many people that helped me – so many of whom I’ve already mentioned – this book would not be what it is today. Everyone encouraged me to bring my game to a new level.

Frequently Asked Questions

Interestingly enough, most of these questions have come up in real life conversations. If you have any questions of your own, you’re more than welcome to leave them in the comments. Most of what I publish on this website, by the way, comes from your questions.

Would you write another book like this?

I have yet to publish another book in the 60,000 word range but I am working on one. It’s called Flashes of Elation: Navigating the World as a Sensitive, Creative Soul.

I have a lot on my plate and I’m doing my best to prioritize. If all goes well, Flashes will see a release in 2020, but there’s a good chance it won’t come out until 2021.

How much does the book cost?

It depends on the seller, whether you’re buying the eBook or paperback, and whether you’re paying in CAD or USD.

Here’s a basic overview:

  • On Amazon Kindle: $15.93 CAD or $12.84 USD.
  • On Kobo: $16.47. I think that’s CAD, and I’m not sure what it costs in USD.
  • On Barnes & Noble: $10.99. I assume that’s USD.
  • Other: it varies.

Just so you know, I only have so much control over the price, and because I wanted the book distributed to Kobo, I had to set the minimum price at $12.99 USD. I don’t have any plans of changing the price, but there might be the occasional promotion that you can take advantage of in the future.

How long is the book?

A little over 66,000 words, which apparently translates into 144 pages on Amazon Kindle (176 pages on Barnes & Noble). Sorry, I can’t give you an exact page count because it depends on the format, but I think you get the general idea.

Final Thoughts

There are many people without whom this project simply wouldn’t be what it ultimately became. I would love to thank everyone that had a hand in helping me make this book a reality. If you helped in any way and supported me on this journey, you know who you are. Thank you.

If you would like to learn more about this release, please click on the banner below. You’ll be able to check out my personal note to you as well as the many glowing testimonials I received from friends and colleagues. And, if you would be so kind, please consider leaving a review for my eBook on Amazon. This is the main way it gets seen by more people.

The New Music Industry: Adapting, Growing, and Thriving in The Information Age

4 No B.S. Ways to Improve as a Guitarist

4 No B.S. Ways to Improve as a GuitaristAs of 2015, I have been playing guitar for 14 years, and I have also been teaching for 12. I am a relatively in-demand session player on a local level, and I am the go-to lead player (both onstage and in the studio) for those who know, like and trust me.

There’s no way I could distill everything I’ve learned over the years into four points, but I do think that the things talked about here are really important tips that are often overlooked.

Here are four no B.S. ways to improve as a guitarist.

1. Be Willing to Try Everything

When you’re looking to become better at something, teachability is the most important thing. If you aren’t teachable, you might as well throw in the towel, because you won’t be open to tips, suggestions, and advice that can help you move in the direction of your goals. It doesn’t matter how good the advice is if you aren’t open to it.

Let’s say that you’re working with a music instructor to improve your skills. They advise you to practice for at least 30 minutes per day, and they tell you that you should be working on your finger placement.

A teachable student will take these suggestions to heart and start paying more attention to their problem areas. An excellent student will go above and beyond the call of duty to figure out how they can solve this finger placement issue once and for all.

Your willingness to grow will have a huge impact on your ability to grow. It doesn’t matter whether you want to become an accomplished classical guitarist or a known blues player. If you aren’t open to trying new and different things, your growth will be stifled, and you won’t become the musician you one day hope to be.

Your willingness to grow will have a huge impact on your ability to grow. — Tweet This

2. Come Back to Things You Once Thought Were Impossible

As a guitarist – especially as a beginner or intermediate player – you will often encounter riffs, scales, chords, and songs that are beyond your current capabilities. In fact, as long as you are focused on growth, you will always find new and different things that you can’t immediately play.

But the last thing you want to do when you find something that’s difficult is to shrink in defeat. It’s not that you’ll never be able play it, it’s that you can’t play it right now. I would encourage you to make a list of things that you’re having trouble with as you encounter them, because eventually, you’ll find that you’ll be able to master them. Things that were once hard – or even impossible – eventually become easy and effortless.

This does not mean that you should return to those things every single day. That could be discouraging. Instead, come back to them every few months, or even every few years. If you are focused on becoming a better player, and you’re putting in the work to make it happen, eventually you will be able to play what once seemed impossible.

3. Let Growth Catch Up with You

Practice is essential to your growth as a guitar player. However, if you don’t stop and let growth catch up with you from time to time, you’ll eventually become frustrated with your progress.

I can remember when I made it my goal to practice for three hours a day every day for an entire year. The time and effort spent there did not yield much in terms of immediate results. The benefit of that time spent in practice was seen years later.

The key point here is that you do need to stop, to rest, and to reflect every once in a while. If you never stop, you won’t be able to process what you’ve learned.

To those perfectionists out there, this is particularly hard to hear, because, like me, you want to become the best you can possibly be, and you will likely use every spare moment to practice. Unfortunately, you’re doing yourself a disservice if you do that. You will become better, just not at a pace that seems in proportion to your effort.

If you want to be able to measure your growth, then make sure to stop to notice it.

If you want to be able to measure your growth, then make sure to stop to notice it. — Tweet This

4. Understand the Importance of Repetition

Students everywhere fail to take their teacher’s advice to practice for a set amount of time every single day. Maybe they don’t think they have the time. Maybe they’re not passionate about music. Maybe they will never become passionate about playing the guitar.

However, if you are serious about your growth as a guitar player, then you have to understand the importance of practice. You have to recognize the value of repetition, and how it can help you to improve as a player.

Whenever I begin teaching a newbie how to play guitar, I always see a miracle unfold before my very eyes. I will get them to play an exercise, and the first time, they struggle their way through. Then, the second time, they’re still not sure of themselves, but their speed and accuracy immediately improves. By the fifth or sixth time, they may not be able to rip through the exercise at impressive speeds, but they’re already many times the player they were before they started!

I always point this out to my students, who clearly aren’t seeing what I’m seeing. I could practice for 30 minutes today, and be a marginally better player. They can practice for 10 minutes today and supercharge their growth!

What I’m trying to reinforce is the importance of repetition. If you repeat things enough, you will become better at them, plain and simple. Assuming your technique is good, you will become better at something merely by repeating it. Most players don’t repeat things enough.

Final Thoughts

Don’t be fooled by the simplicity of the tips that I’ve outlined here. These principles have helped me to become the player that I am today, and allow me to continue to grow even when most people say that I’m at a point where practice only yields diminishing returns.

Yes, in some ways, I’m improving at a slower speed, but that’s mainly because of the strong foundation I’ve built. I can’t unlearn what I already know, so if I want to add something to my library of knowledge and skills, I have to begin to explore areas that I’m not familiar with already. It’s called challenging yourself, and it’s something you have to do if you want to build twoards your personal best.