Marketing Your Guitar Skills

Making Money with Your Passion

Whether you live in Las Vegas or Lompoc, there is a live and vibrant music scene close to you. If you love playing music, you can use your guitar skills to make money and become active in your local music community. You may not become rich doing it, as very few musicians do. But the connections you make, both onstage and with your audience, can lead to great things. Here’s how you can do it.

Get Prepared

On the technical side, make sure you have a good grasp on your guitar-playing ability. It’s one thing to bang out some chords with your friends in a garage band for fun. But we are talking about moving up and taking it more seriously. If you are not taking guitar lessons, you should. This is true no matter what your playing level – you will never know it all. Become the kind of guitar player you want people to see and hear.

In addition to your preferred genre, branch out into other types of music. This will make you more marketable.

Get Active

On the non-technical side, get active in the scene. This means catching live acts whenever possible. This does not mean you need to spend hundreds of dollars on major concerts. Many of the best bands you will ever hear in your life are gigging in small clubs, bars, churches, and other venues in your neighborhood.

This part is where many musicians fall flat and miss huge opportunities. The vast majority of opportunities in this day and age, in music and most other walks of life, come through NETWORKING. This means coming out of your shell and letting people know about you. When at a show, strike up a conversation with band members between sets. Talk to the promoter if you can. Let your presence be known to the staff and ownership of any venue you visit. It can be just a short conversation, but it can pay huge dividends later on. When doing all of these things, be positive and polite. Just as importantly, be clean and sober. You are a professional, and need to consider these encounters as business opportunities.

Get On Stage

When you know you are ready to take that big step, don’t hold back! Check for band auditions, session work, and open mic notices in your area. Check craigslist, newspapers, and local music magazines for these. If you already have a band together, talk to the venue management and promoters you met earlier through your networking efforts. Ask them for a chance to audition. Offer to play on “slow” nights at the venue. Many successful bands got their start by taking this simple step.

Play every gig you can get, even for free to begin with. This can mean playing at a wedding on Sunday afternoon or a small stage at a farmers market on Saturday morning. If you are talented and work well with people, your name will get around, and you may find yourself “in demand.”

Every Gig Counts

If you follow the advice in this article and give it your best, before long you may find yourself gigging more often than you thought possible and making decent money doing what you love.