8 Unique Side Jobs for Musicians
Updated: Nov 18, 2019
Side jobs for musicians.
Your day job is what pays the bills but these 8 unique side hustles will help bring in some extra cash while you do what you love to do: play music and be awesome.
Make it known on your website and social media pages that you do weddings and there will be a greater chance that you will come up in internet searchers when a couple is looking for entertainment to hire. Also, place ads on free ad sites like Craigslist, classifiedads.com and Facebook sales group pages. This gig is especially ideal for classical guitarists, pianist and harpers... harpists? Harp players?
Give lessons for whatever instrument you're most proficient in. You can rent a small studio to use as your classroom or save money by giving the lessons right in your home. Take in individuals or do small classes for families or friends at a group discount rate. Make sure to post your services on Facebook, Craigslist and even your local newspaper.
Medieval and Renaissance Festivals
You don't have to know chamber music and play the lute to perform at renaissance faires. Many renaissance faire musicians perform modern and traditional Celtic music and original songs on the guitar, mandolin, violin, harp, flute, and even the ukulele. You can create a stage act for yourself and get hired for an entire season or be hired to set up and play for tips in the lanes (the side of the walking paths). As the former owner of a renaissance faire, I know how this works quite well so feel free contact me if you have any questions about getting started with this! And no, guys, you don't have to wear velvet leggings to be a renaissance faire performer.
Start a YouTube Channel
Review instruments and accessories, give your opinion about bands, cover your favorite songs, play original songs, give tutorials, and anything you can think of. Where will the money come from? You can monetize your channel and get paid for ad views. You can also include affiliate links for companies you've partnered with and get paid a small commission for the sale of any items you promote. If you don't want to track down a ton of companies to partner with, consider joining the Amazon Affiliates Program or Shareasale.
Become an Impersonator
Can you wail out Jolene just like Dolly Parton? Then grab a blonde wig, stuff your bra and grab your guitar! (Guys too I guess?). Celebrity impersonators are a dime a dozen but those who can sing, act AND play an instrument are the ones people really want! Impersonators are hired for festivals, casinos, local theaters, nightclubs and so much more. Make sure you've got a good quality costume and that your act is spot on before trying to go public. When you're ready, have professional promotional photos made and join entertainment hiring sites like GigSalad.com and GigMasters.com.
Start a Blog
Much like with the YouTube channel idea mentioned above, on your blog you can write reviews of musical instruments and new albums, share news about up and coming bands and songs, write product recommendation guides, and more. Your money will come from ad placement, earning commission for the sales of products from your partners, sponsored posts and more. This is ideal to pair along with a YouTube channel.
(Street performance for tips) - When we think of buskers, we usually think of some unemployed guy who's down on his luck, playing his heart out in the train station for loose change. This can be true for some cases, but many of them are just doing it for extra cash and even more, some performers actually earn their living wage that way; earning hundreds of dollars in just one day! Be sure to check your city's laws about street performing. Some places require you to have a permit.
Act Like a Musician
Get your headshots ready and check online and in local papers for movies, theater productions and television shows looking to cast real musicians. You might make a month's wage in one day by playing a nameless cowboy strumming a guitar by a campfire or the sad lonely piano player in a 1940s nightclub. And plus, being in a movie or TV show, even as an extra looks, great on any performer's resume!