If you’re a talented singer, songwriter, instrumentalist — or even just a passionate listener — there are a number of ways you can make money with music. Side hustles for musicians and music lovers range from creating custom songs to curating music playlists. And, while the pay won’t make Kenny Chesney envious, the best sites pay reasonable rates for enjoyable work.

Of course, your options depend on whether you’re a musician or just a music lover. Not surprisingly, the more talent you have, the better the choices.

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Side hustles for musicians

If you’re a musician capable of writing and producing songs, one attractive option is signing up as an artist on Songfinch.

Songfinch connects singers and musicians with consumers wanting to memorialize a special event with a customized song. The musician is given details about the event — i.e. it’s a 60th birthday, anniversary or engagement, for example. The client also provides information they’d like included in the song. And they chose the musical genre, such as country, rap, pop. If they want, the client can even pick the specific artist after listening to samples of their music on the site.

Artists are presented with the request and can choose to accept or reject. If you accept, you are paid $100 to write and perform a two-verse song. If customers want a third verse, it’s an extra $40. About 20% of clients also provide a tip to the songwriter.

Importantly, you keep all the rights to the song that you create. What the buyer gets from Songfinch is a lifetime non-commercial license that allows him or her to play your song, but not profit from it.

Sign up with Songfinch here.

Advertising jingles to serenades

Fiverr also allows musicians to list their services to write and/or perform music for pay. You set your own rates on Fiverr and detail what you are selling. Theoretically, you could offer an identical service to what you get at Songfinch. Or you could offer to write advertising jingles, musical telegrams, or provide an online serenade. The offer — and pricing — is up to you. You simply pay a commission to the site for marketing and collecting payment on your behalf.

But you need to be specific about what your offer includes and excludes here. Most successful Fiverr pros delineate the number of words or minutes in the song, the number of free revisions, and other restrictions. These should also include what rights the consumer is buying. After all, if you’re creating a commercially-viable product, it’s important to specify if you giving the buyer the right to use it one time or forever. Can the buyer commercially profit from your work or is it for personal use only? If you’re uncertain about how to structure this language, you may want to consult a lawyer familiar with artistic copyrights.

Party music

If your musical talents are likely to entertain children, you can sign up with BeeBizy, a children’s party-planning platform. The site’s most popular bookings are for character actors, who generally charge $100 per hour. However, the bulk of BeeBizy clients and service providers are in Southern California. In other states, request volume is likely to be light to non-existent.

Two other sites — GigSalad and TheBash — also promise to help you advertise your band to people arranging weddings and parties. However, they both charge significant listing fees, plus commissions.

Music lessons

If you can teach students to sing or play an instrument, several sites will help you find clients. The best of the bunch is called LessonFace. This site allows you to sign up and book online students from all over the world. You set your own rates and the site’s fees range from 4% to 15% of the lesson price, depending on who found the student. Other sites, including TakeLessons and Wyzant — also help find clients for music teachers. However, both charge teachers more for the connection. Click here to sign up with Lessonface.

Music reviews

If you love to curate songs and have an active and widely followed Spotify playlist, you may want to sign up with Playlist Push. Musicians pay this site to review their new songs and, potentially, get them added to consumer playlists.

Playlist Push pays playlist curators between $1.25 and $15 per song review. And reviews can be brief — just a few lines stating what you liked or disliked about the song. If you like the song and want to add it to your playlist, all the better. But adding a song to your list is not required to get paid for the review. To qualify to curate, you’ll need at least 1,000 Spotify followers, however. And, if your followers are inactive or bots, you’ll get booted from the site.

Notably, several other sites, including MusicXray, SlicethePie and Hit Predictor, also promise to pay consumers to listen to and review songs. However, the payments are minuscule and often unpredictable.

One response to “Side hustles for musicians and music lovers”

  1. Bibi Farber Avatar

    The best musical side hustle I ever found was playing music in nursing homes. This is especially relevant to acoustic guitar playing younger Boomers, but also anyone playing along with or singing to tracks. It can result in steady yet always flexible / freelance daytime work, and a really enjoyable exploration of material. I started a blog about how to get into nursing home work. It’s a community effort- we’re sharing resources, connections and inside info. It’s “The Merriment Experiment” Join us at https://bibifarber.substack.com

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