S2:P16 – The Music Challenge.

Season Two: Post Sixteen.

Can I earn enough money through music to buy my dream guitar?


Through my career as a musician, I haven’t earned a whole lot of money directly. In part, my day to day job is music based and therefore, in a way, music does earn me my salary. However, due to the nature of teaching I still don’t regard it as earning money from music itself. The show’s the band do obviously earn us money but due to the nature of DIY punk rock, this money goes straight back into the band and is never likely to go into the pockets of the us as individuals. Simply, the band isn’t about earning money and never will be, even if it did get to a lucrative point.

As a routine-ist and someone who genuinely enjoys having a day to day job, I am not stating that I would like to earn a full income from music directly, although that’s not to say I wouldn’t enjoy it if I did. I would just like to challenge myself to use music as a way of directly earning money and then reward that with the purchase of that oh-so-sweet beautiful instrument. I also think it would be good to put a time limit on it. The guitar itself cost somewhere in the region of £700 – £1000, so a good target would be to aim high and try and raise £1000. Now, the real question is how… I love this blog because writing these posts gets me thinking.

How to raise £1000 through music?

1. Paid performance.
The easiest way to earn through music directly, I guess, would be to do some performing. I’m a pretty accomplished musician who could fare my way through a good covers set – these can earn major money when they’re good. I would need to get booked to play somewhere and agree a fee, but with the power of the internet that shouldn’t be too hard. Busking is also an option; in the lovely city of Cambridge you can actually busk licence free too.

So, there’s the first two challenges: To play a paid gig and to go busking.

2. Selling music.
I write songs all the time. Many of my songs will never be released through the few ways in which I put out music and therefore could potentially be sold to those who would want to buy them. I know from research, as well as my studies, that selling music as a songwriter is as hard of a game as trying to make a name as an artist but that’s not to say I couldn’t have a go. There’s a rather broad spectrum here as I could potentially offer to make a jingle or theme tune for a low-key radio station or podcast. Time to get creative and put my business hat on.

Third challenge: To sell a composition or several.

3. Tuition.
Much like my day to day teaching job, it could be argued that tuition isn’t a direct way of making money through music alone. However, I feel that if the lessons were instrument/skill specific then it counts as a music based activity. Tuition is something that I am no stranger to, I have taught guitar lessons since I was 14 years old. It is quite time consuming but can be very rewarding. For the sake of the challenge, I am sure I could probably squeeze in 3-4 month’s worth of guitar lesson. A set up and advertisement would need to be done in order to pick up clients but feasibly I would probably only need 2 in order for the challenge. I could offer some online tuition, if anyone would be interested? Perhaps film a few ‘How To’ style videos?

Fourth challenge: Earn some dollar by teaching some skillz.

Alright, so let’s chunk this competition down into a bitesized format:

Name: Buy that guitar challenge
Rules: Earn £1000 in 4 months through nothing but Musical means.
This includes: Paid performances, selling compositions

thebuy a guitar


Expect updates on how I get on.

Peace & love.

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