Creative work can pay quite well. So far, in this 99 day series, we’ve taken a look at starting a blog, becoming a consultant, selling homemade crafts and becoming a photographer in the creative arena. Music is another field with considerable potential, despite the fear that has been surrounding the industry for many years now. It is still possible to earn some extra cash as a session musician.
If you haven’t started cultivating your musical ability yet, then you’ll have to begin where you are. Even if you’re not sure whether or not you’re musically gifted, don’t write it off just yet. Let me tell you why.
The most talented people aren’t always the ones that get the gigs. I pursued a career in music for many years (for over 10 years in fact), and while I did gain a reputation for being a great guitarist – and I did have some neat opportunities cross my path – I wasn’t the one getting offers to tour the world or play for known artists. My friends were.
Granted, some of my friends were absolutely amazing. But there were also others that just knew people who knew people. They had more opportunities come their way because they had a broader network; not necessarily because of talent or because they could play better than anyone else.
If you want to make money in music, you’ll still need to be able to play an instrument or sing, of course, but anyone with a strong understanding and grasp of the fundamentals could be onstage. It’s not a matter of duration of experience; it’s more a matter of being easy to work with and knowing the right people.
For example, Pop music, for the most part, is ridiculously easy to play. There are several examples of bands that found their way into mainstream consciousness without a strong background in music, vocal ability, or even instruments. You don’t need decades of training to get your start.
Anybody can gain the knowledge and skills they need to play music professionally in a matter of a few years. Beyond that, it depends on how much of a go-getter you are. If you’re constantly reaching out and making new connections, or you’re willing to do the legwork, you will find that studio and onstage session opportunities aren’t that hard to come by.
Establishing your reputation could also lead to gigs in related areas. For example, if you have a basic understanding of studio gear or sound gear, you might be hired on as a sound tech. You definitely need to get some training in this area to be good, but you don’t necessarily need to invest thousands of dollars into traditional education to get there.