Do you play the guitar? More specifically, do you believe you play the guitar well enough to earn money off it? You aren’t alone. Hundreds of thousands of guitarists across the globe dream of turning their hobby into a steady source of income. However, few are able to accomplish this goal.
This is surprising because there are dozens of ways to make money by playing the guitar. This guide will examine the five easiest ways.
5 Tips on Making Money Playing Guitar
1. Offer Guitar Lessons
One of the oldest and most reliable ways to make money playing the guitar is by giving guitar lessons. Depending on your level of commitment, you may be able to earn money as a guitar teacher as a side hobby, or as a full time job. Guitar teachers earn around $30 per hour on average giving lessons.
Guitar teachers should be skilled at playing their instrument and must possess a good understanding of different playing techniques. This includes:
- Being able to read standard music notation
- A good understanding of music theory
- Being able to tune by ear
- Understanding and playing pentatonic scales
- Playing and teaching basic open chords
- Playing and teaching barre chords
They should also be familiar with the different ways to attract new students. Most guitar teachers will need to focus on marketing themselves heavily in the early days of their profession. Once you have managed to attract over a dozen students, you should be able to rely on word-of-mouth to get more business in the future.
2. Street Busking
Anyone who lives in a major city has probably seen at least a few street buskers in busy areas. Many of these are musicians who play instruments such as the guitar, saxophone, and violin.
Street busking is considered a fast way to make money as a musician. It’s not uncommon for buskers to make over $30 dollars in a single hour of busking. Some buskers who perform in densely populated areas can pull in as much as $150 in a single day.
The good thing about busking as a musician is that you don’t need to be highly-skilled at your instrument to make money. You simply need to be able to play a few songs well enough to impress the general public.
Street busking may not be difficult, but it does require a fair amount of courage to get started. Most buskers tend to be nervous or reluctant during their first busking session. However, they usually gain more confidence as they start receiving donations from listeners. Consider giving street busking a try if you want to test your mettle as a guitarist.
3. Join a Cover Band
If you’re passionate about performing live, you may want to consider joining a cover band. As their name implies, cover bands cover songs from other musicians. They usually feature a full band set up consisting of a vocalist, guitarists, a bassist, a drummer, and a keyboardist.
Most cover bands are hired to perform special song requests at functions such as weddings. If you plan to join a cover band, you should ensure you are skilled at learning new songs in a short amount of time.
Cover band guitarists must also be team players, as they will be performing alongside other musicians. You should be prepared to attend band rehearsals and contribute to different song cover arrangements.
In some cases, you may be able to join a cover band that specializes in covering songs by a particular artist. For example, there are dozens of Beatles cover bands across the globe. If you intend to join such a band, you should ensure you are passionate about the music you will be covering.
4. Become a Session Guitarist
Many guitarists who dreamed of making it big have worked as session guitarists at some point. These are guitarists who are hired to record in-studio or perform live on behalf of other musicians.
The session guitarist profession was quite popular in the 60s and 70s, as record labels and recording studios were always looking for skilled guitarists to back up vocalists on recordings and in live performances. The profession may be less popular today, but there are still plenty of ways to get work as a session guitarist.
Prospective session guitarists can start by reaching out to close family and friends to promote their services. They can then reach out to recording studios as well as record labels. However, you should ensure you have a portfolio that demonstrates your competence and ability as a guitarist before reaching out to companies and professional organizations.
Session guitarists can earn $40,000 to $50,000 per year on average. More experienced session guitarists who have built up a good reputation over time can make six figures per year easily.
5. Offer Guitarist Services Online
Many guitar enthusiasts in the digital era have been able to make money off their hobby by offering guitarist services online. Sites such as Fiverr offer a place for guitarists to find work without ever having their homes.
Most Fiverr guitarists offer to compose guitar sections for clients. This could be a small guitar solo or a complete backing track for a song. The great thing about using a service such as Fiverr is that you can set your own rate for your services.
This means you can charge clients a higher fee if you believe you are more skilled than other guitarists on the platform. Prospective guitarists who are just getting started on Fiverr should consider charging a low fee for their services. They can then gradually increase their charges as they complete more projects and build up a reputation on the platform.
Prospective guitarists who wish to provide services on Fiverr should ensure they have access to a good recording set up. This is because they must provide clients with a high quality recording of their playing. The good news is that it is possible to make great quality recordings at home using a guitar audio interface and DAW software.
The key to becoming a truly great Fiverr guitarist is to be able to compose music quickly. This requires plenty of practice, experience, and a solid understanding of music theory. Fiverr guitarists must be able to adapt to different playing styles and come up with compositions that meet their client’s expectations. The good news is that you can develop each of these skills with enough practice and perseverance. Consider becoming a Fiverr guitarist if you enjoy the thrill of a challenge.
What is the Easiest Way to Make Money Playing Guitar?
As you can see, there is no shortage of ways to make money playing guitar in the modern day. After reviewing the above list, you may be wondering what the easiest method is. We would say street busking is the fastest and most-straightforward way to make money as a guitarist. This method does not require marketing or much experience. You simply need a guitar, a portable amplifier, and a passion for performing.
Eduardo Perez is a multi-instrumentalist with over 20 years of experience playing instruments such as piano, guitar, ukulele, and bass. Having arranged songs and produced music in a recording studio, he has a wealth of knowledge to share about analyzing songs, composing, and producing. Currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Interdisciplinary Musical Studies at Berklee College School of Music. Featured on Entrepreneur.com. Subscribe to his YouTube channel, or follow him on Instagram.