5 Things To Help You Keep Going as a Part-Time Musician

Caleb J. Murphy
3 min readMar 26, 2021

I’m a part-time musician. And I’m not ashamed of it.

I also help my fellow part-time musicians keep going.

Part of that involves sending a twice-monthly newsletter with five things from the internet that have encouraged me or given me actionable info.

Below is an excerpt from edition #23.

1. Fact Check: Can You Actually Make a Living as a Musician?

“Forty percent of survey respondents said they spend 36 or more per week doing music. And 42% said they earned all of their income from music.”

This post looks at studies and stats about how musicians are actually making a living today.

I also go through the best ways you can start making moola from your music — based on the facts.

2. SoundCloud is launching “fan-powered royalties”

“Fan-powered royalties are a more equitable and transparent way for independent artists who monetize directly with SoundCloud to get paid.”

If you have a Pro Unlimited SoundCloud account or sign up for Repost by SoundCloud, you can start earning “fair” pay when fans stream your music.

It rolls our April 1, so I haven’t had a chance to test it yet.

But if you’re tired of the chump change Spotify throws you, this new SoundCloud feature is worth checking out.

3. The Two-Day Rule

“It helped me put more than 20 pounds of muscle on my scrawny 130-pound frame, and it’s empowered me to create a consistent exercise habit over the past 8 years.”

In this 8-minute video, filmmaker and YouTuber Matt D’Avella talks about the power of The Two-Day Rule.

According to this rule, you don’t go more than one day in a row without doing the thing you want to do.

In D’Avella’s case, working out. In your case, making music.

4. Why you’re always tired

“What are the things that are actually going to contribute to me having more energy? And how do I make those things happen every single day?”

As a part-time musician, you might make music at weird hours, like late at night or early in the morning.

So you might be someone who always feels groggy and falls asleep on the couch.

If so, this video is for you.

Joey Schweitzer of the popular YouTube channel Better Ideas offers some pretty compelling solutions to chronic tiredness.

One method he talks about that I’ve personally experienced is exercising. Moving your body throughout the day actually gives you more energy.

5. Why we procrastinate on the tiniest of tasks

“People who chronically procrastinate tend to have higher levels of stress, poor sleep patterns and worse job prospects…”

If you’re a procrastinator, you need to go easier on yourself, according to this article from the BBC.

They share some helpful tips to avoid procrastinating.

Like this one: if a task takes less than two minutes to complete, don’t even add it to your to-do list or calendar — just do it now.

Also, BIG news for me…

I found out over the weekend that my song “No Man’s Land” was placed on NBC’s Chicago Fire!

And here’s why that matters to you…

I recorded that song in a walk-in closet, mixed it on headphones, and mastered it through eMastered (an automated mastering service).

I want this to be encouraging to you.

Do the best you can with the recording space and equipment you have.

Get people’s feedback (which I did).

Compare the quality of your song to pro-level songs (which I did).

I could write a lot more about this and I probably will in a blog post someday.

But that’s it for now.

To start getting this free, twice-monthly newsletter, you can subscribe here.