How to make money playing guitar in 2023

It takes considerable effort to become a professional guitarist. If you want to enjoy the music and make some money for yourself, the good news is: there are many ways to make money playing guitar.  The internet offers even more options for you to make lots of money from the comfort of your home. 

If you’re looking for ways to make money playing guitar in 2022 and beyond, you’ve come to the right place.  However, and I must warn you, it is not going to be a walk in the park. It’ll take grit and passion, just like it took to learn to play those riffs and chord phrasings. We’ll be looking at ways you can explore to make money playing guitar, so let’s dive right in.

How to Make Money Playing The Guitar

In this post, we’ll be discussing 10 ways to make money playing guitar. They are 

  1. Freelancing 
  2. Streaming Platforms
  3. Cover Bands
  4. YouTube Monetization
  5. Tutoring 
  6. Live Performances
  7. Stand-in gigs
  8. Busking
  9. Blogging and educational resources
  10. Selling music sheets online

1. Freelancing

You can make money by offering guitar-playing services  on Fiverr and other freelancing websites. There is a section on Fiverr where guitarists upload and showcase their services for a fee. You can also teach guitar classes, record high-quality guitar loops, transcribe music, and so on. 

On Fiverr, you can charge from as low as $5 per gig to $50 or more. Fiverr takes its commission, and you receive the rest. It’s a pretty straightforward process really, which you start by signing up for Fiverr and setting up your own page. Check out YouTube and similar Fiverr pages to set up your page and land your first client.   

 Fiverr page showing guitar freelancing ad

Image credit: Fiverr

Other freelancing websites you can check out include:

  • Envato Studio
  • Mediabistro
  • Sologig
  • Linkedin Profinder 

2. Using streaming platforms

Uploading your sound to streaming platforms like Audiomack, Spotify, Apple etc, is another way to make money playing guitar. Streamers will have to subscribe to the streaming service to hear your music, and the more streams you get, the more  money you make. You can also receive a royalty when you upload your music for free from visitors of some social media platforms and streaming sites. 

Ensure that you review the guidelines for these platforms to understand how they work before signing up. Also, check online for walkthroughs and tips on how to set up your account and start making money from streaming. Other streaming platforms where you can earn a royalty on your sound uploads are CDBaby, TuneCore, DistroKid, etc.  

Image credit: Tunecore

3. Cover band

You can join a music band where you play the cover songs of popular artists. Cover bands play at weddings, funerals, and other social gatherings.  Cover bands might have social media handles where people book them for shows and make them accessible to people from anywhere. As a member of a cover band, you will be paid when your band members are invited for a show.

Therefore, as you continue to play with your cover band, other musicians will discover you and may invite you to play with them. 

Group of people playing musical instruments

Image credit: iStock

4. YouTube monetization

It’s easy to get cold feet about starting a guitar YouTube channel. But you don’t have to fear – there’s no success without attempting in the first place. You can make a guitar tutorial series with fresh insight on how you learned to play  the guitar, and YouTube algorithm will do its magic. Check out other YouTube videos, organize your page, make great videos (with great audio) and you could be on your way to your first 1,000 subscribers. 

As more people engage with  your YouTube channel, the faster you can meet the minimum eligibility requirement for monetization.  There are various other ways you can monetize your channel such as

  • Affiliates: – With an affiliate, you get paid when you promote a product on your YouTube Channel. When people click on the affiliate link to  purchase the product you’re promoting, you earn a commission.
  • Sponsor Videos: – YouTubers with many subscribers tend to make more money through sponsor videos. However, you can reach out to brands and make deals with them to promote the brands through your channel in exchange for pay.
  • Ads: – As you post your videos on YouTube and increase your daily views, companies will likely reach out to you for ads. You get to promote their products and services and the more views you get, the more money you earn.

5. Tutoring

You can make money by teaching people how to play guitar. The guitar is one of the most sought-after instruments in this era, and if you are available and ready to teach people this instrument, you are on your way to financial freedom.  Teaching people is an excellent option for you if you love to teach.

How to market your services::

  • Create a modest billboard and display it in prominent locations around your community.
  • Create a flier and share it on all of your social media accounts.
  • Distribute the flier on your street and in other locations you visit.
  • Join, a popular website, and make a profile there for professionals. On this website, you will connect with potential students.
  • Create a website or a strong presence on social media so that others can learn more about you.

With these marketing initiatives, expect to be contacted for guitar lessons.  Your role from here is to deliver top-notch lessons that leave students with positive reviews about your teaching style. A market survey will help you  learn the prevailing tutor rates in your area so that you can price your services accordingly. 

Be aware that teaching guitar requires a lot of patience on your part. Additionally, you can teach your pupils online by using Skype and Zoom in addition to one-on-one teaching.

6. Live performances

You can also make money by performing live at parties, clubs, and any other social gathering. To start this as a newbie, here are a few tips:

  • Approach event managers in your community and pitch an agreement with them.   Agree to play as their guitarist in their events. You can offer to play for free at the first event, to show your talent.
  • Approach hotels or bars and seek the consent of the owners to play guitar  for them.
  • You can also book town gigs and tours. Here, you will be the singer and the guitarist playing live for the audience.
Live band with man playing guitar in front

Image credit: Pixabay

7. Stand-in gigs

This involves you coming in to replace someone else in a band. Often, a band is missing a member and needs to replace this person just before a show. This is a way to make money as a guitarist if you have proven yourself to be a good guitar player.

As a stand-in-gigs, you must be a professional guitarist who is well known in your locality so people won’t find it hard to call on you whenever the need arises.

8. Busking

This involves performing in public for money. Not everyone might fancy this idea, but it is still a decent way to make some money as a guitarist. For instance,  you can see guitarists on New York and San Francisco streets, busking with d passers-by dropping money in their pockets or guitar bags.

Man playing guitar on the street

Image credit: Pixabay

9. Blogging and educational resources

If you have writing skills, you can start a guitar blog covering guitar lessons or other topics in the niche. You can also create other educational resources in the form of ebooks on how to play guitar and publish them on Amazon Kindle. 

Blogging is a lucrative business on its own when you get it right. There are many ways to make money through blogging which you can check out in this post on how to make money blogging. One popular way is through affiliate marketing where you include affiliate links from brands through which you get a commission for each successful purchase. 

10. Selling guitar tabs or music sheets

There is a market for people who need guitar tabs and sheet music for songs. You can also sell your original guitar tabs and sheet music for others to use. One website that creates an easy platform to do is You can upload your sheet music or tabs here for people to purchase. 

Need for Professionalism in Guitar Playing

To make money as a guitarist, you have to be professional. This is important because: 

  • You can be called upon anytime for a gig and you can’t afford to flop.
  • You are indirectly competing with many guitarists, so you must be responsive.
  • Your students must be able to get value from you, as they will serve as evidence of your knowledge.

You can play on different stages –  weddings, concerts, funerals, etc.

There are many ways of making money from playing the guitar and your ability to discover them will make it easier for you to create multiple income streams for yourself.  While some of these ideas will stretch you to your limits, they can be incredibly rewarding and fun.

Whichever option(s) you choose, you must be flexible, innovative, and careful to build a solid reputation for yourself in the face of your clients both on- and offline.

By vetxr

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