The dream of being a solo musician is something that many people aspire to at some point in their lives. It gives you the chance to gain notoriety and fame, but it’s also assumed to pay well if you do a fantastic job at it.
These are the top things to know about the solo-musician lifestyle.
You’re Your Own Manager
As a solo musician for hire, it’s important to remember that you’ll have to support yourself and put your name out there. This means talking to venues, contacting clients, requesting your owed payments, and seeking out new jobs. When you’re in a group, it’s easier to crowdsource these from everyone, but when you’re alone, it’s completely up to you.
Shows Can be Unpredictable
The most important part of life as a musician is your performances, but those can be hard to predict when you’re doing it on your own. Not only are you often your own manager and publicist as a solo artist, but you’re also the main hype person for your act. Because of this, you’ll get only the shows that you put in the work to gain. This leaves many artists with an unpredictable show schedule and a hard time keeping up with when or where they’ll perform next.
Pay Is a Bargaining Game
Unfortunately, until you’re in higher demand and higher skill: your pay will be unpredictable. Clients may try to brain you down into paying far less, while others will attempt to go without paying you at all. Make your rates clear, or if you’re willing to work for a balance of both tip and pay, figure out how that will look for the events that you’ll be doing that at, and if you’ll expect paper bills or a Venmo tip.
Social Media is Your Friend
Social media will quickly prove to be your most valuable tool as a solo artist. Not only does it help you connect with fans and get your name out there- but it also helps you book gigs and find customers and clients who will want to hire you.
Social media is unlike any other form of advertising since it’s very people-focused, so it’s a good idea to get used to talking online, promoting yourself, posting videos of yourself performing, and interacting with fans and other solo artists.
Practice Still Matters
One major mistake many solo musicians make, from saxophone players to singers, is that they forget to practice. Although practice is obvious when you’re in a band of multiple people: it’s still important as a solo artist.
Take the time to practice at least half an hour every day, if not more than that, so that you can continue to improve and grow as time goes on. Neglecting to practice is one of the worst mistakes any artist can make.
Being a Solo Musician is an Incredible Choice
When push comes to shove, being a solo musician gives you the opportunity to do something that many could never. Supporting yourself through your artistic endeavors is a cause for celebration, regardless of who you are!