I got a question: How do you make money with your music?

So…this is a question that was born from responding to someone on another post I started. My question is, how do you make a LIVING by doing your passion (creating music). Of course I would do this whether I was getting paid or not, it’s really not about the money, but nothing in this world would make me happier then being able to wake up and just make music all day, even if I was only merely able to make ends meet. That is my inevitable goal. So how do YOU do it?

Also, how would I do it with the type of music I’m planning on creating (epic orchestra, piano orchestra combination similar to Ludovico’s Primavera, and perhaps experiment with some electronic music).

I know that the obvious answers are going to be “put it on iTunes, make sound tracks” I’m just curious to hear some outside opinions, and perhaps get some inspiration from people that are living their dream.



Apparently, nobody makes money with their music. lol I guess I’ll have to be the first one to post when I come back and answer my own question years from now :wink:

BN, you’ve got around a hundred views of people checking if this is spam or not… might wanna think about a different subject line… :wink:

I just changed it. Let’s see if this one will work! fingers crossed I think that some people just don’t want to tell everyone their secret :wink:

Is this what you mean? My studio:


Hey BeautifulNoise.

There is no easy answer and there is no secret :slight_smile:

Stay in and do your best, than it might pay off.

In the music business the money can come from many sources: Copyright, royalty, being a musician, producer, sound engineer, studio owner, artist etc.

Good vibes and good luck.


Find a way to hang with people who DO make money with music. Connect with them. Serve them if possible, in some minor way if necessary. Work to absorb how they do it. Within that world work to find your niche, the one where you have talent and can make your contribution, perhaps even break new ground, but understand that money isn’t out there just waiting to reward you for what you want to do, money is out there waiting for people who are willing to do what will satisfy the needs of those who are paying out money. Until you can do that you won’t make money.

I laugh at myself for posting this, because I myself am not a moneymaking musician but a hobbyist, but I am experienced enough in life to know that these general principles hold true pretty much everywhere.

One way you can immediately start hanging with people who DO make money with orchestral music is to join and frequent websites/forums where these people hang out and converse. The best place I know of with an orchestral bent that is frequented by working, money-making people (as well as beginners, hobbyists, specialists of all kinds, virtual instrument developers, even occasionally famous people in the industry) is Virtual Instrument Control Forum, usually referred to as V.I. Control. You can find them here:


Newcomers to the board are usually made to feel quite welcome, and there’s usually helpful responses to honest, respectful inquiries. There’s also occasional food fights between competing points of view. There’s also numerous searchable threads on the very question you asked. It is a valuable community that over time will greatly reward participation.

It is apparent there that the vast majority of money-making orchestral composers/producers make their living in some connection with media-oriented music, mostly film and television.

Hope this is helpful. If it sounds like I’m a paid spokesperson, I’m not, just an appreciative fan of the community.

Like any other walk of life don’t expect make money doing the kind of music you like unless you are very lucky or very talented.
Don’t expect to work with people you like or even approve of.
Do expect to work very hard for very little reward to build up goodwill and respect.
Be willing to learn new skills and to be sparing with your own opinion - it will not always be appreciated.
Don’t expect gratitude, but make sure that you thank and appreciate all those who help you.
Be supportive of other musicians - where possible play in such a way that makes others sound good
Be a positive person to be around. Look like you are enjoying yourself.
Don’t think you are above the menial tasks.
Always arrive early and leave last.
Be careful on social media.

I never managed all those things, so I wish you better luck. :wink:

If you are any good, don’t ever work for free.

Currently without music income and actually enjoying the studio more than ever.

In the last 20 years I’ve made the most money gigging. Second most mastering. Third engineering and mixing. Fourth songwriting.

That’s why I’m taking a step out. I want fourth to be first.

I like the earlier advice, to find those who are making money and hang with them. That agrees with my experience.

Thank you! Much appreciated!

I’m going to take the advice of hang with those that do. It makes sense. I’ll just make beautiful music and contribute wherever I can.

Luckily I have a physical musical skill (piano), so there are things that I can physically offer and contribute other than just virtual instruments. So I think that’s something I should try to really capitalize on too.


Very good article on the meaning of success.

You got more chance of winning the lottery than making it in music…is my first thought,
but then I see Will.I.am making a fortune with his absolute drivel and it makes me think again,
I reckon luck has a heckofalot to do with it regardless of talent.

good luck,

I make money making music for other people, that counts? :mrgreen:

I think it’s like any job:

It matters if you’re able to get you into a hotspot/network of bands and artists. They have to know you in order to choose for you. It’s all about networking. (oh don’t forget that skills are still needed :wink: )

I do not do music producing for others (yet!), but as a bass player in a former ska band it paid off when we got into several networks. We did get the chance when we did support gigs for other bands to get paid gigs.

Luck is nothing more then preparation met with opportunity. :wink:

Of course!

First, I’ll apologize for the length of this post, however, I feel that it was important to post.

I just see everyone around me (including myself currently) doing things, and spending their LIFE working at a job that they are completely miserable doing. We only get one life. When we’re working at a job for 90 hours a week, that has LITERALLY become our life. When we look back in 10/20/30/50 years.

The entire point of our existence has been to work at a job that we hate (if you hate it, you might love it, who knows. Obviously if that’s the case this isn’t for you),and to get money that we don’t even have time to spend. When someone who works that much passes on, after dedicating their entire life to whatever entity it is that they have done so for. That company, or firm, will hire someone to almost literally fill their shoes, and we have left this planet with nothing.

Perhaps we have children, however, when it comes down to it, how special is the act of having children? If we break it down to brass tacks, there is nothing special about the ACT of having children. Please don’t confuse what I’m meaning. Having children I’m sure IS a blessing, but it’s something, and an ability that is innately built in us, which makes it anything but “special.” The only time that this is not true is when there is an unfortunate medical issues.

The point that we are all on this forum says something about all of us. We obviously have a passion for music. I don’t know how many of us are members of a forum for accounting, project management, or whatever profession we are in, but I’m certainly not in any forum like that.

I just feel we all are missing the point of life. The point of life is not to work, or make make a ton of money. The point of life is to be happy. I would be happy living a decent life style, and doing something I love, like music. Of course it won’t always be like “YES!! I LOVE THIS!” Like anything in life, there will be times when it’s more unpleasant then others.

However, I just feel that we have largely, and slowly, become distracted from what REALLY matters, which is living a life that you can look back on and say “I did something with life.” We’ve become derailed from it’s true meaning.

Here is a very powerful quote that I think breaks everything down:

“People debased, humiliated, despised and despising themselves, trained in school to despise themselves, to count for nothing-just particles and molecules; admiring everything lesser than themselves and execrating everything that is greater than themselves. Everything worthy of love and adoration. People reduced to simulacra, to idols that feel nothing, to automatons. And replaced by them-by computers and robots. People chased out of their work and their homes, pushed into corners and gutters, huddled on subway benches, sleeping in cardboard boxes. People replaced by abstractions, by economic entities, by profits and money. People treated mathematically, digitally, statistically, counted like animals and counting for much less. People turned away from Life’s Truth, caught in all the traps and marvels where this life is denied, ridiculed, mimicked, simulated-absent. People given over to the insensible, become themselves insensible, whose eyes are empty as a fish’s.Dazed people, devoted to specters and spectacles that always expose their own invalidity and bankruptcy; devoted to false knowledge, reduced to empty shells, to empty heads-to ‘brains.’ People whose emotions and loves are just glandular secretions.” ~ Michel Henry

I think that this pretty much sums up everything. Hopefully nobody got offended, as that wasn’t my intention. Hopefully it enlightened, and motivated at least one person. Again apologize for the long post.