Last year, it was estimated that a six-month shutdown would cost the music industry more than $10 billion in sponsorships. The pandemic has taken from musicians their very lifeblood: crowds. But in the wake of empty concert halls and vacant bar stools, new avenues of revenue have emerged. If you’re still determined to earn as a musician then it’s time to take some notes.
Building Your Brand
For modern musicians, the digital space is where you live and eat. Learning to navigate social channels and distribute on streaming platforms is key to finding listeners but also for building your brand. With minimal cost and effort, musicians can create a digital presence for themselves that can be used as a first point of contact for agents, publishers, labels and fans. Most artists like to have a central hub to link all their profiles such as LinkTree or a website built through one of the many custom site building tools.
If you’re serious about turning your brand into a business, you should also look into forming a limited liability company (LLC). Forming a registered company is key for musicians who want to save on taxes, cut down on paperwork, and move forward with reduced liability from debt. Depending on where you’re located, the regulations differ. Using a formation service can help you to navigate these and save on hefty lawyer costs - the LLC cost NY is as little as $49 with a site like ZenBusiness.
Once upon a time, endorsement deals were reserved only for the biggest of artists but, since independent music is growing so quickly, companies are more frequently looking to sign young stars early in their careers or to sell their products via micro-influence. That means even for unsigned musicians, there is the possibility of earning through partnerships with companies. To land an endorsement deal, you need to first show that you’re a viable commercial investment for their organization. Yes, your Instagram numbers matter but so does your style, your sound and your potential.
Involving yourself with a company is no small undertaking and getting the attention of companies will require the building of a one-sheet. This online document contains your bio, genre, links and images. Then you’ll have to network via social channels to get the attention of company representatives. If you can get to the deal stage, make sure to do your research or work with a music manager to help iron out administrative processes, promotional material and fair splits.
For some artists, the dream is a paid contract songwriting for a major publishing company. A publishing deal refers to the assignment of some ownership of your songs to a company in exchange for a share of the royalties generated. This can represent a great deal for the songwriter because although you may be able to write a true zinger, you may not be so well equipped at marketing, distributing or even performing the track. These deals can provide lucrative income and will help link you to major players in the industry.
The flip side to many publishing deals is that the draw and demo budgets work like loans. This means that the cost of paying for the recording is recouped through royalties by the publisher. Your track will have to find some success in order for you to actually earn from it. Music software company Output notes it’s a good idea to acquaint yourself with the different types of deals commonly practiced in the industry.
The above represents just a few ways to earn without ever stepping foot on a stage. Remember, the digital space has all but eliminated the constraints of physical distance - if you can work the virtual crowd, you’ll always have an audience with influential people working in the field.
Are you in the New York area looking to improve your instrumental abilities? Sign up and receive professional instruction at www.millerschoolofmusic.net.
Have you ever considered picking up the guitar? Well, now we have scientific evidence to motivate you. Most people start learning the guitar early on, sometimes as a hobby, and sometimes just because it makes you look pretty cool. But there’s more to it than just adding to your personal appeal. It can help you feel more positive, can be a major stress buster, and boost your confidence. For many, it also becomes an outlet for emotions that could otherwise become overwhelming. Additionally, in a study, about 85% of parents of children aged between 7-17 years reported that music lessons improved their children's problem solving, time management, and prioritization skills. Here’s how learning the guitar can aid your brain development:
Boost Your Brain’s Grey and White Matter
A study conducted at Harvard in 2003 by Dr. Schlaug discovered larger grey matter in professional adult musicians' brains compared to regular people. The study deduced that musical training early on can seriously impact the brain's structure, improving auditory and motor skills. All the extra grey matter is what helps people stay sane in their old age. Other studies also show an increase in the white matter within the brain. This helps to improve the inner functions of the brain by strengthening and building connections inside. These improved connections then help you adapt to changes throughout your life.
Every Guitar Lesson Is A Party Inside Your Brain
If you've ever picked up the guitar, you know it requires focus and a whole lot of concentration. Even the softest tunes require optimal attention. This is because when you play the guitar, your entire brain is stimulated; different regions of the brain and various cognitive functions come into action, activating the visual, auditory, and motor regions. Moreover, the increased activity in the corpus callosum—bridge between the creative right and rational left side of your brain—reboots your brain in such a way over time that you get quick access to the genius area on the left. This leads to improved memory and better problem-solving skills.
Should You Start Taking Guitar Lessons?
Practicing the guitar is cool, fun and it's an easy workout for your brain. And when it comes to brain development, the sooner you start, the better results you’re likely to get. So, don’t wait! Get in touch with us at Miller School of Music. We offer music lessons in Rochester, NY. You can take live or remote lessons to learn bass or guitar. Check out our instructional videos to learn more about our guitar ensemble course.