How To Get Gigs - 11 Ways To Find Paid Music Opportunities Thursday December 1 2022, 3:45 AM
Yona Marie
Singer, Songwriter, Producer.
How To Get Gigs - 11 Ways To Find Paid Music Opportunities

How To Get Gigs In The Music World

Getting paid gigs is not as hard as you think it would be if you have the talent and you're in an area with a decent music scene, at the least.

Depending on your style of music and how much you can bring to the table for your performances, you may be able to make a good living from gigging as a musician without the need for a 9 to 5 job.

The world of music is vast, which is great for those looking to make a career out of it. You can perform online, at birthday parties, weddings, festivals, churches, and so much more as a musician.

You could focus on one type of gig or expand to several different types to have a full schedule along with full pockets! 

Be Prepared For Gigs First

To increase your chances of landing gigs, you want to ensure you have what is needed to be an appealing hiring candidate.

You want to be experienced already before you start going after gigs so that you will perform well in a studio and/or live performance setting.

Make sure you have previous work experience you can clearly show to your potential clients in the future. Showing audio and video as a part of a demo reel for your previous musical work is a great idea.

Be sure that you have a bio and high-quality photos in addition to your audio and visual content. 

Consider putting your information together in an EPK. An EPK (Electronic Press Kit) is an organized way to put together your artist information, including contact info, recent shows, awards, placements, visual media, and recent audio releases.

Having an EPK to present to your potential clients shows that you know your stuff and are ready to start a professional relationship that can benefit both sides.

Related Post: What Is An EPK (And Why Do You Need One)?


Find Music Gigs That Works For You

In general, a musician can go after four types of gigs. Depending on your skill, comfortability level, and need for cash, you may want to focus on finding 1 or 2 of the four types of gigs for indie and unsigned artists. 

Low Pay, Low Exposure Gigs -  These types are the easiest to secure and are a great place to start if you are looking to build experience for opportunities down the line. Gigs like these include lowkey bars, open mic nights, and the like. 

Low Pay, High Exposure Gigs - These gigs are great for those looking to get fans in their area and build a buzz. Performances like these include family events, popular bars, clubs, and some singing competitions.

High Pay, Low Exposure Gigs - These are the 'best-kept secret' styled gigs that usually include prestigious, small events like fundraisers, in-studio work, and backup vocalist gigs. 

High Pay, High Exposure Gigs - Once you've honed your craft, you'll get access to high-quality gigs that include opening for major acts, being a featured artist at large functions, and similar scenarios. 

Online Classifieds

Sites like Craigslist have a musician section where oftentimes, people are just looking for like-minded music lovers for jam sessions.

On some occasions, you may be able to find an opening for a paid position! For example, many people go to Craigslist if they have a need for someone to fill in for a band member who won't be available to show up at a gig. 


Music Contests

A cool way to make money in songwriting is to simply enter your songs into different songwriting and music contests.

If you're amazingly gifted, you have an advantage over the thousands of submissions that get sent to popular recurring contests like The John Lennon Songwriting Contest and The International Songwriting Competition. 

These contests have first-prize awards as high as $50,000 with trusted business coordinators that have been paying songwriters for decades.

Imagine the networking and gigs that can be in-store for the winners! Take a chance and enter your best work to see if you can win a cash prize. 

Freelance Sites

If you are interested in putting your talent to work for other people's songs, consider doing work-for-hire projects.

Companies and musicians often hire singers, instrumentalists, producers, and rappers to lend their talents to a project for a set fee or pay by the hour.

Building a freelance business for your music can grow quickly if you provide high-quality results since you will frequently win repeat customers effortlessly.

I have had a lot of success advertising my singing and songwriting on sites like Fiverr. I highly recommend them and have made thousands with them so far, and I see a lot of other musicians having massive success with them as well!


Social Media

Many event promoters and companies put out social media posts to announce they are looking for new acts to work with.

You could also try to put out posts yourself, letting people in your network know that you are on the hunt for paid gigs to work in your area.

You'd be surprised who a status update could connect you to, especially if you have a fair amount of musicians on your pages already! Just be sure to look into background information and get referrals when considering opportunities you find. 

Related Post: How To Maximize Social Media Marketing For Musicians

Local Gig Listings

Check with your local community center to see if they have any music-related events on their calendars.

Community centers are often looking for volunteers and paid performers to help out and perform for local family-friendly events, especially around the summertime. 

These types of opportunities may not pay a ton, but they create another way to network with people in your area who may be able to lead you in the direction of more ways to perform and get paid for it. 

Connections Through School

Consider joining a choir or group in a school setting not only to perform but also to grow as a musician and network.

Many University students and teachers spread opportunities amongst themselves for paid positions, especially in the genres of jazz, musical theater, and classical music. 


Music Conference Networking

If you're in a popular city, you may be able to find local workshops that have hundreds or thousands of songwriters that gather to learn from each other and network.

Depending on your networking and talent levels, you could connect with people that could link you to a paid gig down the line. 

You can find beneficial songwriting workshops through companies like ASCAP and schools like NYU. Programs like these are often welcoming to almost anyone of age who has the money to cover the fees. 

Related Post: 10 Essential Tax Tips For Musicians - From A Pro Singer

Church Networking

Churches are always looking for performers to help in services. The church setting is not only a great place to practice, but it can turn into a paid gig opportunity if you are a talented musician who can consistently work at services and rehearsals weekly. 

For church gigs, instrumentalists tend to get paid before singers do, but some congregations pay section leaders to sing solos and help guide other choir members in the right direction for services.

I've held a paid position as an alto soloist/section leader for over five years!


Open Mics

Local open mics and even karaoke bars can also be a great way to get in front of an audience and work on your performance skills.

The audience here will be a step up in terms of difficulty from a church or family event since it will likely be you performing in front of a bunch of strangers.

This also can provide you with a great networking opportunity depending on your location, your talent level, and the types of people you will find in the audience. It's a good idea to keep business cards handy for someone who may be in need of a performer for an event.

Related Post: 6 Ways To Find Open Mic Nights Near You

Talent Directories

IndieBible is one of the many artist resource sites with thousands of venue, label, and manager contacts available for those looking to get more paid work in the music industry.

They keep their resource list regularly updated, so it's a pretty great tool if you have the time to do some DIY outreach of your own.

These connections, including radio shows, blogs, labels, and managers, do get tons of emails from other music makers as well, but it's worth a try.

This is where a strong EPK and high level of talent/appeal will come in handy for landing gigs among the many other artists and bands out there looking for a shot!

Yona Marie

As a session singer, writer, and producer that has worked with over 300 clients to provide high-quality jingles, singles, and features, Yona spends her time creating and marketing new music and helpful resources for creators. Check out Yona’s latest releases on her Spotify, her Youtube and share if you like it!

If you are in need of singer, songwriter or song producer services, see what Yona Marie can offer you on her services page.

Check Out My Latest Single Release Below:

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