The Perfect Music for a Wedding Ceremony

How Do You Make Money As A Musician? (Really.)

Whether you started out years ago picking tunes out on an old guitar or you honed your skills rapping on the streets, you have to transition from musician to business person at some point—if you want to start making money on your craft. It’s never too early to start thinking about publishing your work professionally. This is what you need to know. Who owns your music? If you’re a songwriter, the good news is that you’re richer than you think, because you already own your own music and publishing rights. The bad news is that you probably don’t have the slightest idea how to leverage that ownership into cash, which is what can take you from playing Friday nights at the local bar and struggling to make ends meet during the week to living solely off your creative efforts. How do you start getting paid for your music? Right now, you own 100% of your material, so it seems strange, but in order to start making money from the music, the best way to do it may be to assign 50% of what you own to a music publishing company. A music publishing company does several things for you: They will help you determine what exactly you have that’s ready to publish for money. A full-service music publishing company may also be able to set you up with a professional manager, who can help promote your music and network for you among various recording executives. They may help you produce a finished, professional recording to use as a demo. They can try to get you slots opening for other, more-well-known artists in order to expand your listening audience and marketability. And that’s just on the practical side of “getting your music out there” where more people can hear it and appreciate it. They also take care of another vital part of the music industry: protecting your copyright. While you own your music, protecting your rights to it is another story. If you have any doubt about how easy it can be for someone else to borrow your music for their own purposes, talk to the representatives of the estate of late guitarist Randy Wolfe, who fought a losing battle against Led Zeppelin for years over musical plagiarism. In order to earn money from your songs, there’s a lot of detail work that has to be done to protect the use […]

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