Even if your garage band hasn’t taken off like you’d hoped, there are solid side gigs in music that can help you earn money with your passion. The best thing about these side gigs is that most offer needed exposure without any upfront costs. Solid side gigs in music offer enviable pay and great working conditions too.

Here are 5 solid side gigs in music, including where to find them and how they work.

Write Personalized Songs

If you are good at writing songs or music, consider signing up with Songfinch.

To start, you’ll need to have a sample piece ready to show when signing up. If approved, you can create a profile and upload more samples. People can find you based on your samples or music genre. 

You’ll get a list of song offers, detailing the occasion, context, and notes about the specific things buyers want mentioned in the lyrics. You’ll have four days to complete the song. But most artists don’t need that much time, since you can reuse melodies and the lyrics are largely suggested by the client. 

For a “standard” two-verse personalized piece, you earn $100. If the client wants more, you get $40 for every additional verse. You get tips too. On average, customers tip $25, $20 of which goes to you and $5 to Songfinch

There are several cool things about Songfinch. First, you don’t have to do your own marketing or collection. The site also shoulders the cost of revisions, so you always get paid for your work. Songfinch also allows you to reuse melodies. And it makes sure that you retain the commercial rights to your songs. (The buyer gets a personal use license, not the commercial license, which remains yours.) 

However, if you want to set your own rates and terms, you can also offer to write custom songs on Fiverr. This broad remote work marketplace has dozens of songwriters and performers, who offer to write everything from background music to full songs.

And since the freelancer is in charge of what they sell and what they charge on Fiverr, you can decide what rights to sell and which to keep.

Perform at Private Gigs

Whether it’s weddings, birthdays, or any sort of event, music gigs are known to pay pretty well. The biggest problem is establishing a steady string of gigs, which you can do through StageRush and GigSalad

StageRush lets you showcase your skills, gigs and merchandise via photos and videos. People can find your work on the platform and book you for their specific events. You can also use the calendar to promote your upcoming gigs.

There are two membership plans: Basic and Pro. The Basic plan costs nothing upfront, but charges a 12% commission for marketing and payment collection. The Pro plan costs $20 – $49 a month, but the commission drops to 5% and you’ll get more exposure.

GigSalad is another event-based platform with a sizable client base. It works much like StageRush and has three subscription plans. The first costs nothing to sign up, but charges a 5% commission on bookings. The most expensive costs $40/month plus 2.5% in commissions on bookings.

While the $40 monthly plan gives you more visibility, the basic plan presents little risk and offers the potential for good rewards.

Says one artist: “This website is awesome! I started off with the free site and got lots of hits and bookings. One of the great things I love about it as well is they ask your clients for reviews so you don’t have to. The customer service is excellent as well. I also like that they don’t charge you for your leads. You only pay after you get the booking.”

Provide Arrangement Services

Musicians use music arrangement services when they need custom setups to make their pieces sound better. But, they may not have your magic touch to make this happen. They can find you on platforms like Creatively.

Creatively is not just for musicians. It’s for creatives of all types — writers, photographers, painters, musicians, and designers of everything from logos to websites.  You can think of it as the Fiverr for artists where they get to promote their services for free.

The major upside to Creatively is that most of its employer base is made up of reputable brands and companies that look for long-term partnerships. These are not just one-time, individual clients who complete a project and leave you searching for a new gig. And while employers pay fees, artists can search for work absolutely free.

Offer music lessons

One of the most solid side gigs in music is to simply share your musical knowledge through lessons.

Platforms like Wyzant and Lessonface can help you find students and build a solid revenue stream.

Lessonface offers you a niche target audience who may look for anything from a singing teacher to a violin instructor. You can sign up for free and determine your own rates and schedule. 

On average, teachers earn about $40/hr. You’ll get “new student” notifications from the website and have 48 hours to respond. If you book a class, you’ll pay 4% – 15% as fees to Lessonface. However, fees increase to 30% for group lessons. Having experience in the industry is a big plus as it’ll significantly boost your chances of filling up your schedule.

Wyzant is also a solid option, but it’s not art and music-only like Lessonface. Still, it’s a popular platform with a standard signup process where you get to set your rates (usually $25 – 100 per hour) and availability for online or in-person sessions.

After every session, you’ll complete and submit a report, detailing the student’s name and the session’s start and finish time. Once the client approves your report, payment is made and Wyzant takes a 25% commission.

The great thing about Wyzant is that it draws more than 6 million monthly visitors, making it much easier to build a sustainable income stream just from teaching music.  

Earn Royalties from Music Courses

And, as long as you’re teaching music already, you might as well video your lessons and provide them as an online course. This opens doors to a wider range of potential customers, who prefer to learn at their own pace.

Websites like Udemy and Teachable are go-to platforms for packaging and selling courses. But LessonFace offers  “self-paced” courses too.

Instead of holding live sessions, you create and video your course once. After that, you let Lessonface market it to those who are more comfortable learning at their own pace. You set your own rate and pay 10% – 30% (depending on how the student found you) for every self-paced course sold.

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