It is possible for every musician to work remotely, on some level. How often, whether you’ll be paid, and what that remuneration is, will depend on a number of factors. There are several questions to ask yourself at this stage, to help identify which remote route you should pursue.
So if your open mics have been cancelled, or you’ve had to move to a location that makes it impossible to network, jam and gig, don’t despair. The doors are not closed. In fact, more doors may now open.
- Do you create music yourself – if not, do you think you could?
- Have you got a YouTube, Spotify, SoundCloud or similar account? If so, do you have content to promote or upload on there?
- Do you have a decent recording setup at home? If not, could you put one together?
- Can you teach music to others?
- If you work for a studio or music publishing company, can you ask to work remotely? If so, what equipment might you need to make it possible?
- Could you arrange an online collab with one or more other musicians?
- Would you be willing to offer your services to individuals via a freelancing site?
- Can you mix or engineer tracks? If so, do you have the equipment to do this at home?
Remote music jobs
You may have noticed that there are lots of online music collaborations popping up at the moment. This is accessible to all. Musicians from every genre are getting together via video conferencing and producing astounding results. Here, an entire West End theatre orchestra performed a number to spine chilling effect.
As a result, there’s more of a call for online collabs like this. Thanks to modern technology, you don’t all have to be in the same room. And in some cases, unknown musicians are suddenly going viral, with creative and unique pieces. This isn’t paid work. But not only could it lead to apid work further down the line. If you can garner enough of a following, you can earn money through YouTube advertising. There are more people online now than ever before. This is a great time to experiment and get your content out there.
Remote music companies
Perhaps you’re not great with videos but can compose or write music. If this is the case, you could sell your loops, samples, beats, toplines or full-on songs. The work won’t usually fall into your lap, so you’ll need to either get an agent or approach remote music companies yourself. As studios are at the forefront of music production, this is usually a good place to start.
They sometimes hire musicians for freelance or ad hoc work, as well as having staff. Contact smaller studios, rather than the huge labels. And there are agencies and companies who sell your music on your behalf. It pays to do a little research and beware of anything that seems too good to be true – it probably is. But as a starter, here are some you might like to consider:
You might have to swallow your pride a little here. You may want to put out music with a message or become a serious musician. But few artists are above doing the odd cheesy job for cash where necessary. And things like jingles can be a great little earner. Try to keep a lighthearted approach with it
Virtual music industry jobs
Teaching is another viable route. This is something lots of musicians rely on to bring in a steady income, offsetting the less regular income of performing. And teaching music online works brilliantly.
And if you’re a music engineer, producer, or A&R, you should be able to apply for jobs more freely than say, an instrumentalist. Keep an eye on job sites like: