I am thinking to write this article because I met so many local and unknown great guitarist in my life. It is so sad they kept on covering songs and playing on bars. They are not earning enough income, forcing them to apply for a day job such as car washer, bar tender or a production operator. Sad thing also is that they are easily discourage and does not have a clear ambition in life. Yeah this is true. So what now???
I know there is a way to earn money and to make it a permanent living. It takes money to earn money so this is a game of investment. The number 1 determining factor of success is still TALENT/SKILLS and GREAT MARKETING. Being a great guitarist and the ability to write original guitar compositions can be an asset and in every asset there is a potential income opportunity.
Below are the ways or steps every great guitarist with the ability to write guitar compositions can earn money. So do not be desperate anymore of what your mother , father or family members are saying that you will NEVER be rich with playing guitars. This is FALSE.
OK so much about it, below are what I think is a very useful preparation before you can earn money:
1. Decide if you really choose of “being a professional guitarist” as your life long career. This is extremely important that you decide NOW. Whatever the outcome of this decision , it will still give you a positive mindset. If you say “YES” , “I want to be a life long guitarist”…then so be it, read the succeeding post. If you say NO. Do not even bother reading the succeeding tips below and please navigate away.
I remember how important it is to have a single career decision, it could change the direction of your life. Joe Satriani is a big fan of Jimi Hendrix ,just like YOU , you maybe a fan of both of them. Joe Satriani (photo above) before he become a pro guitarist is a football player. And after learning the death of Jimi Hendrix , he told his coach that he will decide to become a pro guitarist. He decided this at age of 14 and now he is 52, he still playing guitars and produces a highly successful guitar work throughout his career.
2. Sharpen your skills to the MAX, Study in Schools!. I am serious, a life long guitar career needs you to have a full ammo. It is not enough you are great guitar player because you can cover Satriani Licks from start to finish. It takes more than that, to win the massive guitar competition out there, you must have the TECHNICAL edge. Study hard again, do it every day.
Today you can learn by buying Joe Satriani Guitar DVDs or other legends such as Paul Gilbert. So you can do it online. This means you maybe not needing to go to actual guitar schools unlike before. As long as you are following a certain professional guitar courses and you pass their test. Then you are good to go.
IMPORTANT: You should not skip this one! Joe Satriani seriously studied Jazz guitars at young age and in Five Towns College of Music, Paul Gilbert (picture below) studied seriously at Guitar institute of technology (GIT). These guys educational sacrifices pays off..Now these guitarists makes a lot of big bucks playing guitars. There is no excuse why you should not do it. If you do not have the bucks right now, make this your spending priority more than spending it out to your girlfriend or hanging out with your friends for drinks. Remember this is a very good investment.
3. Document your Work and Copyright it! Never miss this serious mistake where most musicians commit. It is important you have a transcription of your notes, or even transferring your original composition to a user friendly guitar tablature is extremely important. Title it properly so that you can remember it time to time when you need to practice or rehearse it. Aside from the tablature , it is good you will have an equivalent audio copy of your original compositions.
Submit it to US Copyright to have it copyrighted in your own name.
4. Introduce yourself as “professional”, play at professional bars and have a name ONLINE. Make an online catalog of your songs to have others license it. The demand for instrumental music is endless because the demand for movies and new TV shows or advertisement is also endless. So become a significant player in this market, you are now a PRO. It will be very easy for you to get noticed if you have great original works ; there will be millions of consumers outside ready to license your songs.
A practical promotion is introducing yourself in public places such as Youtube or MySPACE, have your viral instrumental music played it up there. People will start to notice it…Reinvest what you have earned in other promotional vehicle such as Taxi or other places where you can expose your music. Having your songs registered with a music publisher is even a great marketing strategy. They will do the promotional work , you just do the writing of the songs yourself.
Even a single popular instrumental song can feed you and your family in a lifetime. Yes I am certain about it. It will then just depend on how good you are and how popular your instrumentals also. Good luck