How to be an Independent Artist | 1500 Sound Academy icon

It goes without saying that it’s no easy task to learn how to be an independent artist. From working as a freelance music producer to starting your own band, if you find yourself wondering “how do independent artists make money?” you’re not alone. Musicians and other artists across the country are trying to learn how to be independent artists and balance their commitment to the craft with making a sustainable living. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or you’ve just booked your first gig, we have some helpful tips to help you make money and hone your craft!


For a lot of musicians, teaching is a fantastic way to make money and keep your income steady. Whether you’re teaching vocal lessons or the basics of guitar, kids and adults are always looking to develop new skills and hone in on their musical talents. Also, knowing how to be an independent artist can help you prepare your students for musical careers, if they choose to pursue them. 

Plus, if you’ve been in a community for a long time, chances are people know your name. Now, you can develop a dedicated client list and create your own business. Yes, independent artists do make money, with a little know-how and business savvy! 


Sure, in our journey of learning how to be an independent artist, it would be nice to only play at events and venues you love. Whether that means performing at a sold-out concert or playing for an intimate and engaged audience, we all have our dream. But sometimes you have to settle for a little less. 

Independent artists make money by hustling and playing a lot of different types of gigs. Weddings, parties, work events, and regular performances are all valuable gigs independent artists work for cash. This is a great way to make money but also to network. No matter where you are, there’s always an opportunity to meet fellow artists, producers, executives, and others who might be able to help you out along the way. 


Now, this one may not be for everyone, but another way to be an independent artist is to sell your songwriting. If you can write your own songs, chances are, someone else may be looking to buy them. Major artists don’t always write their own lyrics, and they’re always looking for new talent to provide their next hit. So if you have some poetry and other writings lying around, submit them and see if you get some offers.


Companies like Artlist and Musicbed are constantly searching for new artists and music to purchase. One way independent artists do make money is by selling their music to subscription libraries. It may not be exactly what you envisioned, but if you have some songs or beats that might not make your next album,submit them to these companies to get a little extra cash. 

At 1500 Sound Academy, we want to help artists build lasting careers and give them the tools and resources to make it in this industry. Explore more from us and get started with our On-Demand Online Courses or Music & Industry Fundamentals Program today!