So you want to be a rock star? Or maybe you want to just gig around, make enough cash to stay on the road and play shows.

Whatever your goal may be, you are going to need to make some plans to get there in one piece with all your finances in a somewhat recognizable state.

make a living

In this article, we’ll go through the steps that can help you to make a living with your guitar.

Note that these aren’t guaranteed steps to success, and following them won’t necessarily make you an overnight success. All careers are created over a period of time, built from the ground up, not overnight. Don’t get the wrong idea and quit your day job.

Step One: Make a Budget

Yes, guitar players need budgets.

Don’t expect to be able to run around all night and party. You can’t drink the day away either. In fact, you won’t be getting much at bars that aren’t on the house at first. This is because playing guitar for a living won’t start out as a money making scheme.

You need to budget your expenses to save yourself from running out of money.

Many guitarists do lessons on the side to support their music. This is one of the best ideas, but it doesn’t mean that you can go spend all of your money on pleasures once you get a teaching lesson for a few hours a week.

Keep track of spending and, most importantly, keep track of expenses. Beer is less important than food. Guitar strings are more important than ice cream. Toilet paper is far more important than a cool new lighter or a pack of cigarettes.

Keep your spending under control by writing it all out.

Step Two: Book Some Shows

You won’t make a living playing in your room.

Contrary to popular belief, people will not pay money to come see you jam out in your mom’s basement. You are going to need to get a band together or, if you are a solo act, get your act together. Don’t go booking shows if you aren’t ready, and don’t go on the road if you don’t have shows booked.

If one audience sees a bad performance, word will spread and you’ll wind up without a place to play. Make sure you are ready for the audience, and they can worry about themselves. Pay attention to venues; if you are a metal band, don’t get yourself onto a country bill. Likewise, don’t try and play a breakfast place.

You want everything cohesive, and you want to fit in wherever you go.

Step Three: Practice


You heard us right. Keep an open mindset for new ideas and guitar lessons to keep improving.

You need to practice to make a living as a guitarist. Isn’t it a shame that there’s no magic pill? Well, if you’re serious about this, you’ll need to get over it and start working your butt off.

You have the steps, you have the tools, you have the talent and you have the dedication; now use them all to your advantage. Good luck.

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