Updated: Jan 26
It’s no secret that operating remotely for musicians has become commonplace over the past few years. Now that live music has returned, is it valuable for musicians to keep creating, collaborating and streaming from their home studios? Should everyone get back into their local music scene or tour? In some cases it might not make sense. Is it lucrative and rewarding enough to have a full music career from home?
While the answers to these questions may be different depending on factors such as location, personal goals, music genre and your target fanbase, it’s valuable to explore some pros and cons of building your music career from home versus on the road.
In this article we’ll share some resources and technology that may be helpful for any musician looking to launch their music career from the comfort of their own home, and how to collaborate remotely with other artists and still maintain a sense of community.
Why would musicians want to operate exclusively from home?
Location. It’s true that many musicians tend to gravitate toward the music hubs of the USA, like the well known scenes of New York City, Los Angeles, Nashville, New Orleans, Portland, etc, but let’s not forget the musicians who live everywhere else. In smaller cities and towns across the country, and those in the middle of rural states. Before the internet, it was crucial for musicians to root themselves in their local scene, network, meet like-minded comrades and make connections face to face. While there is still incredible value in that, a lot of essential networking can now be done remotely.
Time and Money. Let’s face it. Gigging, touring, traveling, and performing live is time consuming and expensive! While artists can make a profit from touring, it can be very challenging to get off the ground without a solid team. If they’re not getting good paying gigs and selling merch at their shows, they can end up in debt pretty fast.
Style of music. While most genres of music can operate in some fashion live and in a remote setting, there are some genres that are more reliant on that touring element and the roar of a crowd. Any artists that rely on the live scene like jam bands, festival DJs, singer/songwriters, etc. While genres like lofi-hip hop, remote producers, various types of electronic music and others are well suited to operate fully from a remote studio.
Should all musicians try to perform live?
Not necessarily. Even though live music is back in full force and is getting close to pre-covid success levels, touring may not be for everyone. Well established artists have the luxury of a team of people that include tour managers, booking agents, etc helping them with logistics, while most indie artists are left to fend for themselves.
Can a stay-at-home musician still collaborate effectively and maintain a “sense of community” from home?
Many artists are turning to the internet for remote collaboration. With social media platforms being the forefront of marketing and community building, artists have the ability to operate solely from home. Making careers with the help of TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, Patreon, Twitch, and other platforms. DIY recording technology keeps getting better and better, and remote collaboration is easier than ever. Musicians are able to teach music lessons remotely for extra revenue, jam with other musicians via JamKazam and hire a fellow musician online to play on, produce, mix or master their next project.
Helpful tools and resources for the “stay-at-home” musician
Fiverr Freelancing website, great place to find musicians, producers, artists, etc to collaborate with on your project at affordable prices.
Vampr Social networking for musicians. Find people to collaborate with and monetize your work.
Art Grab Exclusively license and download images and animations created by world-renowned artists. Use them for album covers, posters, merchandise, and more.
Sound Trap Online collaborative DAW for musicians. Work on music in real time with other artists.
Mirror Sound book The people and process behind self recorded music.
Shaping Sound A Practical Guide to Audio Effects by Alek Palmersmith
A must-have for musicians looking to get into home recording.
With the state of technology and the improvement of tools for artists to play and collaborate via the internet, remote collaboration is here to stay. Musicians now have the ability to record, mix, master, distribute, and promote their music from their homes. Live music will always have a place in society, but remote musicians who can’t hit the road will also have their space in the game.
If you are operating remotely, it’s more important than ever to understand what digital platforms, activities, and campaigns are actually driving your stream count and digital sales. Check out Immensity to learn more on how you figure out with intelligent marketing analytics.