How to be a Freelance Musician

Freelance Musician

Music is one of the triumphs of society, if not the most important one. Experience has taught us that many musicians band up and perform together, and there are hundreds of success stories to vouch for the fact. If you are a musician looking for ways to make money as a musician or earning money taking on private lessons, then you could consider freelancing. Know how to become a freelance musician.

So, how does the musician overcome the obvious handicap and make a decent living for himself? The answer is simple: Freelance work. It may seem like a ludicrous and flimsy decision, many musicians have opted for the same answer, in recent years.

Freelance Musician Jobs

Depending on the instrument or set of instruments, that you can play the scope of one’s duties changes. Some generic job duties that most musicians perform include basic deeds like Writing, composing, editing, transposing, write sheet music, and scores. Musicians must be able to work in groups and socialize well with other musicians if they work in a band, or alone if they decide to go solo.

Musicians Also

  • Study and rehearse musical scores prior to performances
  • Play music in recitals as an accompanist or as a member of an orchestra, band or another musical group, from the score or by memory
  • Make recordings for sale or promotion on compact disc or online
  • Create accompanying videos for the music
  • Provide musical backing for television commercials, popular recordings, radio, television or film productions
  • Improvise, transpose, compose or arrange music
  • Play under the direction of a conductor.


Musicians must have the requisite skill to be moderately successful. Music is an art, hence an extremely skillful musician has an advantage over a moderately successful musician.

Some of the skills that musicians must have:

  • Musical/Instrument Skills
  • Creativity
  • Motivation
  • Perseverance
  • Ability to concentrate for long periods
  • Self-confidence
  • Team Player

There are many resources where musicians can develop the skills needed to make it in the industry. There are many platforms and websites that one can use to successfully ‘denote’ their musical career.

Some of the most popular E-learning platforms for musicians feature,,, and Prospective musicians can access these portals and begin learning today.

Being Successful As A Freelance Musician

Musicians who become successful gain fame and quickly become household names. However, being successful as a freelance musician depends on your ability to hold your own with the instrument.

Although, more often than not, skill is not the only determinant in the music industry, with experience and credibility being the major cornerstones on which the industry bases itself. Many attributes make up a good freelance musician.

To be successful as a freelance musician one must:

  • Master at least one instrument
  • Be able to collaborate and play solo, as needed
  • Be able to compose music as per directives
  • Be sociable
  • Build up recommendations
  • Plan out gigs in advance

[Also Read:7 Tips To Make A Good Career As A Freelance Musicianl

Freelance Musician Salary

Musicians are known to earn big bucks. We see music composers churn out huge profits from films. What about the freelance musician? Like other freelance opportunities, musicians also earn varied amounts through different projects.

Average remuneration for freelancers based on projects and can be from anywhere from <$1 to close to around $500 for each project. The remuneration depends on the scope of work required and the skill needed to perform the task. There are many projects available where musicians are required to hand in compositions, which are usually the highest paid jobs one can find as a freelance musician. Other jobs revolving around the industry don’t pay as handsomely but are equally important if one wishes to simply make a name for himself.

Finding Work

Musicians freelance, collaborate and work alongside each other for ages. For them, the trend of freelance was but a natural progression if they did not play with a band, or in an orchestra. It was all down to networking and playing alongside new musicians; it was the only way to get work. If we look at the market today, it is safe to say that this concept is no longer the driving force behind freelance musicians finding work.

There are many websites where one can find work as a freelance musician.  Music-freelancer, Peopleperhour, Odesk, Freelancer are some of the websites offering many job opportunities to freelancers, with music-freelancer leading the pack.

Learning Resources

There is no dearth of learning resources for prospective freelance positions in music. Many websites offer online resources for musicians to develop their skills; websites offer online courses on Carnatic, classical and other genres of music. www.shankar Mahadevan is a paid site, where one can attempt certification courses on music for nominal fees. Sharda is a free site on which one can learn the basics of instruments like the Sitar, Harmonium and even take up classes for classic vocals. Other sites like offer online courses from recognized international universities like MIT and Berklee College of Music.