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Re: making money off your music

I count myself as real lucky. I spent 10 years making music for a 
living before dusting off my plumbers licence and going back to a day 
job. Now I'm able to support myself and able to play what I want and 
when I want to.... well, most of the time... I mean when I was doing 
music for a living I took any gig that came my way because I needed 
the money. If they said we don't want you to do any original music, 
well I didn't. Now, somebody says that to me I can tell them that 
they should contact some other musician. So I'd say that I'm quite 
content to be able to work on music that I find interesting, 
recordings that I give away and/or put out on the internet and any 
other variety of music related projects that catch my interest.

Around here, or maybe it's just the circle of friends that I have, 
I've seen a growing trend towards people wanting to play music with 
other folks, Sort of going back to the idea of community and people 
creating their own entertainment. One friend and I are talking about 
starting a monthly or bimonthly song circle that could sometimes 
bring in a guest performer for a house concert.

I'd say that I feel a sort of optimism about the future of music as 
an art form and as a creative expression for myself and others. But, 
I don't really see things getting any easier for people to be able to 
make a living as a performer. I do think you can have a reasonable 
success if you don't mind being a total gypsy and doing lots of house 
concerts and other small gigs, and then getting the occasional 
festival spot, or if you can tie into some niche market and be THE go 
to person for whatever that is.

What I don't feel optimistic about is what I see coming out in the 
commercial world from all the "you can be a star" shows. If we were 
to let the corporate world set the standards for us could you ever 
imagine a Bob Dylan or Tom Waits coming out of one of those shows? I 
guess this whole phenomena is the natural result of Karaoke.

Oh well,

Long live ART! and Creativity.

Paul Haslem
Ontario, Canada

At 11:30 AM 10/8/2010, you wrote:

>I guess I'm one of the lucky ones.  I make a reasonable amount of 
>money playing music - not enough to pay my mortgage, but more than 
>enough to make it worthwhile - and I am able to do so on my own 
>terms for the most part.  I play music festivals (hippie jam-band 
>festivals, for the most part), club gigs, farmers' markets, and 
>house concerts.  I'm leaning toward more house concerts these days, 
>because clubs are a lot less fun and these days less likely to be 
>financially satisfying (as guarantees disappear and the venue wants 
>a bigger share of the door, etc.).
>I have CDs for sale on CDBaby, amazon.com, etc., but I hardly ever 
>sell any through those channels.  The vast majority of my sales are, 
>like most musicians' these days, at the gig: after the show you 
>schmooze, sell CDs, and sign 'em.