How Can Indie Musicians Break Even?

Indie MusiciansOn one hand, the road for independent musicians is potentially smoother than ever before. Technological advances and the demands/demise of major labels has helped open the door for indie musicians. On the other, it’s not always easy to kick that door down. For many indie bands and musicians, being able to simply make a living from music is a goal worth aiming for. Yet, that can be easier said than done.

The following are suggestions that could help you stay out of the red and pay the bills while pursuing your passion for music:

Do What You Can Now

Instead of waiting for someone to step forward with a big advance, make your music and distribute it on your own. Use the resources you already have to earn whatever money you can, and then use those savings to help pay for your next recording. Don’t go into debt by taking out a loan to record an album.


Catalog all of your expenses before you go into the studio or hit the road for shows. Know the costs of everything – from studio costs, equipment purchases, and digital distribution costs. If you work on a budget, the better your chances will be of not spending more than you can afford.


Indie musicians have to be careful not to put all of their eggs in one basket. You don’t want to make all of your money playing shows, or all of it from album sales. Having several streams of income – that could turn into even bigger streams down the road – is crucial.

Manage your Time

Budget your time just as you budget your money. Keep track of how much time you spend on your various projects, then decide if you’re spending the right amount of time on the things that matter most.

Have A Plan

Don’t set vague goals, but be specific about what you’re trying to accomplish. Break down your bigger goals into smaller tasks so they don’t seem as daunting.

Better Merchandise

You can set yourself apart from other bands and musicians by creating quality merchandise that people will remember.

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