Songwriting Success: How to Write Songs for Fun and (Maybe) Profit

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Jumping on the other side of the fence like I have with the festival work has been an eye opener, and things like teaching can be rewarding- identify your strengths and diversify- you probably have more skills and talents as a muso than you realise! But he always struggled with getting gigs — because he had an old mind set, that if you work hard on your craft people the work will come.

We now see that as working hard, but not smart. My brothers and I took his work dedication though and made it work for us. The arse you kick today WILL absolutely be the arse you kiss tomorrow. In this business, being easy to be around is a huge advantage, more so than being talented.

What Constitutes Songwriting? The Million Dollar Question in the Music Industry

Be a person of their word and maintain an upbeat optimism if even only as a business strategy. A good vibe in itself spreads and returns opportunities ten fold. Julz Parker, of the band Hussy Hicks , has lived off her income from musical endeavours since she was a teenager, and knows the value of a healthy reputation. Set goals and have intention; read motivational books to boost your aspirations and keep a diary of goals close by to routinely reaffirm what you want and why you want it.

Bill Palmer is a guitarist, musician, composer, producer and educator who has lived entirely off income from music since , and is currently clocking six figures a year. Similarly, Stephanie Linsdell teaches music as an employee in schools as well as running her own music teaching business, and has become an expert at juggling her education work with her own music projects through lots of planning and strategizing.

I try to create a to do list to make sure I spend those days productively, instead of just going down the YouTube rabbit hole.

what constitutes songwriting? How to define songwriting

Independent contemporary artist, multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and educator Francesca De Valence also asserts that teaching is her most lucrative stream. Last year, she limited her teaching hours in order to focus on her I Heart Songwriting Club , a global online support platform and community for songwriters of all levels around the world based on weekly songwriting tasks — and found that her income varied significantly with this change. However, it may not be a sufficient one.

I could live a tight existence off of music tuition alone with the opportunity to play live and raise more income, but live work is hard on the mind and body after too much time on the road so the additional branding jobs are a nice change and fund a comfy lifestyle. Despite being potentially and occasionally gruelling, stepping into the role of a music educator is incredibly creatively fulfilling for Fairclough and many others.

And finally, of course, the pay is much better than what you earn at Woollies. You get to do the thing you love and make money from it? People commonly go their whole lives without having that opportunity! The Hanlon Brothers, local to the Gold Coast, separate their income from live gigs into three different stems: corporate including private gigs, weddings, galas and more , originals performances, and resident weekly performances, with a set largely made up of covers.

I am my own radio station. Often, playing the smaller bar shows leads to playing private shows. So it pays to play the smaller shows and be open to connecting with people. My favourite shows are the ones where I feel valued. I play at over 30 venues just on the Sunshine Coast alone. Samantha Morris, editor and founder of Gold Coast street press Blank GC , is an incredibly active member of the music community and has noticed an uptick in musicians who are willing to take on corporate gigs.

Some of those corporate gigs pay four or five times the amount a small venue or cafe will pay. Yep, you read that right. Of course, on your way to becoming a For Real Full Time Musician, there are going to be financial road-bumps and things to watch out for on the way. It takes a savvy, organized mind with a knack for saving to get there. Save for the future and keep your personal and professional finances separate. Lindsell also warns against the albeit very tempting credit card.

Now I budget first — make sure there is income invested in the project — and then spend. Do a small business course. No matter what you chose to be you will never be it without consciously working on it so you might as well focus on what you really want. Starting anything in life is the hardest part, and only once you take that step can the path reveal itself one piece at a time.

There are two paths: build the connections on your own, or connect with a production company that provides those services. To build your own connections, you can start by leveraging your existing network to find artists who need production.

One of the easiest ways to get into ghost production is to offer it as service in connection with a successful artist project. I know a few artists with k on social media who mention in their Soundcloud bio that they offer ghost production. This works well because people can hear your music, see that it has plays, and want you to make music for them.

Similar to the section above, the pay scale will vary based on a number of factors. This is similar to the previous method of producing for other artists, but unique in that instead of collaborating with another artist, they buy a finished track off of you. Producers who are great at pumping out tracks. The more music you make, the more content you have the sell, and the higher your sales will be.

He talks about the different ways you can sell beats through a distributor or on your own site , and the different types of sales you can make leases vs. A video game composer can wear a number of number of different hats: writing original scores, creating sound effects, and recording and processing vocals and foley for video games. Video game composition is a great career path for someone who is passionate about music production and passion about video games and a fan of video game scores.

The Secret To Writing Lyrics

First and foremost, you need to have a talent for the job and a portfolio of music worth sharing. This may mean creating a body of work specifically to show video game developers. The most organic way to get into this scene is to connect with local video game developers. To summarize: connect with video game developers who need music all of them and have a body of quality music ready.

The other way is to connect with a larger studio, via a internship or entry level position. This will very much be based on your location, but most major cities have at least one major developer studio. Job opening at Naughty Dog, Inc. The revenue will depend on your involvement in the development of the music for each game and the size of the studio you are working with.

Outside of this, there are plenty of part-time opportunities that can make this a viable secondary source of income.

17 Indie Artists on Their Oddest Odd Jobs That Pay the Bills When Music Doesn’t

Sample packs are one of the most common and most effective ways to make income as a producer. Visit Splice to see what packs they sell and which ones sell well. Creating sample packs is great for producers who are looking to make a moderate income making music. If you have an established artist project, you can sell sample packs directly to the consumer via sites like sellfy. Otherwise, working through a sample pack label will give you more exposure, meaning more sales. You can contact most sample pack companies directly via their websites.

…and you could use the income

Most labels will offer either buyouts or royalties. Buyouts typically yield less money, but you receive it immediately. In my experience, royalties typically earn x more money then buyouts. As always, it will depend on the type and size of pack you are working on. A traditional and common path for producers is to become a mixing and mastering engineer. Engineering is great for more technical oriented producers that are great at finishing and polishing records.

First and foremost, you need the skills to be able to do it. Although traditional engineering schools exist, it is still a profession that can be self taught. The traditional route is to find an internship at a recording studio.


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This is a great way to get your first step in the industry, as well an area for you to learn and develop your craft. Recording is an art in itself, but a great opportunity for producers willing to learn how to record and engineer a record. There are plenty of successful self-taught recording engineers. Producers who want to be around music and like the idea of recording artists. Ideally, they already have experience in a traditional studio environment.