Alternate Music Jobs For Musicians

Unless you’re a bonafide rockstar, musicians have a tendency to be viewed by other people as “struggling.” While a majority of musicians do indeed struggle, not all who aren’t rockstars do.

But the question is, are you a struggling musician? If so, there are a couple of reasons you are: either it’s not your time yet, or you’re doing things wrong. You see, not everyone can be a rockstar, in fact, not everyone wants to.


Here are several alternative music jobs you can take as a musician to build a career on, or at least, help get by tip you hit the big time.

Music Licensing

If you love to write and record songs, this is a perfect way to help get your music across and earn some decent money from it. By licensing your music, you get the opportunity to have your works played on TV and film. Music licensing is so lucrative, that many musicians make it their full-time job.

Studio or Session Musician

So your band hasn’t really taken off, what do you do? Instead of calling it quits, why not take time to offer your services to other musicians? Being a session or studio musician however, means you can read music notation fluently and can adjust your playing style to fit the client’s needs. If you think you’re qualified, go ahead and be one. It’s flexible enough to be temporary, just to help make ends meet, and is lucrative enough to make a career out of it.

Music Teacher

On your off days, you can teach music too. During the summer, lots of parents are looking for music teachers for their kids, and many adults too are looking to find new hobbies such as, you guessed it, learning a new instrument. Also, you don’t need to go to a client’s house to teach, you can now use video calls or maybe have your clients go to you if they are nearby.

Instrument Repair

If you play an instrument with passion, chances are you know how to maintain, upgrade, and do general repairs on it as well. If so, you can moonlight as an instrument repairman. Many kids and amateurs don’t really know how to properly care for their instruments so the market is there. Besides, it also gives you a chance to tinker and test other instruments.

Ghost Songwriter

For songwriters, being a ghost songwriter is a very lucrative alternate music job you can take. A lot of famous songwriters write songs for others, and on the flip side, a lot of non-famous songwriters have written for famous singers. It’s a great way to expand your network and hone your songwriting skills. The money is good too – if you are good.

Music Transcriber

A lot of musicians out there don’t know the first thing about transcribing their music. If you know how to transcribe, you can get decent work out that skill by offering your services to songwriters who need a transcriber. It also gives you the chance to listen to new music, often before anyone else have heard it. So, there’s that.

Film/Video Game Scoring

Films and video games need a music score. Always. They can’t just get music from other sources any time they want, and sometimes the simplest way is to have their own score written. Which is where you come in. If you love films and/or video games, this is a no-brainer.

Freelance Music Journalist

Aside from music, if you are also a talented writer, consider becoming a freelance music journalist. You already know music, you probably go around watching different shows, meeting other musicians, etc. So, the network is there, all you need is to put all your experiences down in words.

There are many more alternate music jobs out there for musicians, and even non-musicians. This list here is just a small sample of what’s out there. By doing these jobs, you don’t really sell yourself out (if that’s what you’re thinking), you are just adapting and trying to get by. An alternate music job is great to have to help support your own music career. You also get to meet various people that might one day help you in your own career when the time comes.

If you want to learn more how to perfect your music marketing strategies in social media and other tips, get the free Music Business video training series here.