Making Money Singing: Part One (Overview)

Posted on Nov 10, 2014 in Music Instruction, Musician/Singer Spotlight, Performances, Uncategorized | 0 comments


Here begins an in-depth discussion on singers and income sources. This discussion will be in multiple parts beginning with: How do singers make money?

When it comes to singers and income, the very top of the spectrum would be the superstar recording artists who make sums well into the millions, such as Beyoncé and Taylor Swift. But even the superstars started somewhere and that is where we begin the discussion.

Band and solo public performance work:
Many singer-songwriters find solo work in venues such as coffee shops, clubs and listening rooms; but there are also many options for those singers that seek to be in a band.
There are bands to fit most music genres, such as rock bands, country bands, reggae bands, jazz bands, and also blues bands, pop bands and folk bands. Beyond genre specific there are also wedding, party and club bands. Some restaurants have singing waiters and waitresses.

Let’s look at another segment in the singers and income category:
Freelance singing: Singers for hire in this instance may not be looking to join a band, but still still have opportunities to fill a need for music that includes vocal:
-A church singer for weddings and funerals.
-“Media work” is Jingle singing for radio and TV.
-A recording studio singer aligns with a studio for projects such as demo recordings that require vocal.
-Singing telegrams are yet another opportunity for singers.

Next begins the process of research and networking to locate the situations that may be a fit for you. Begin to reach out to every musician that you know and also those that you meet along the way, and let them know that you seek singing work. To accomplish this it will be best to hand out a professional business card. These are relatively inexpensive to create as well.

Websites such as Craiglist are a good start. Within Craigslist, the musician board often has listings for bands that need singers. Bandmix and Reverbnation are band sites to search for those band styles that you are most interested in. As you begin to identify types of bands here, reach out via email to let them know that you’re looking for work.

Another search option would be to search online for live venues in your area or the area you would like to perform, and then visit these venues and talk to the band members on their break between sets.

You may consider karaoke or open mike venues as a means to get singing experience though these would be without pay. At some of the more established and respected open-mike venues you can also network with musicians and other singers.

Look for part 2 coming soon.