All The Old Dudes: Starting A Band Later In Life To Earn Some Money


Hands up who still feel they want to be a rockstar even though they’ve got children, a full-time job, and so many responsibilities? It’s something that we’ve all got in the back of our minds. And let’s face it, it’s not going to disappear anytime soon!

If you are someone who got together with your buddies when you were younger and covered your favorite songs but you all drifted apart, there could be something about that notion of unfinished business in your mind. And now these days when everybody is looking to earn money on the side of what they normally do, surely now is the opportunity to start again?

But before you unpack that bass and start to book gigs what does it really take to earn money in a band in this day and age, especially when you have numerous responsibilities in life?

Check Your Faculties First

Before you book a gig at your local bar you may want to think about getting a hearing test but also making sure you are physically able to cope with the rigors of working during the day looking after your kids but also doing a gig potentially every Friday and Saturday night.

When you start out, it’s going to be that hard slog of taking your equipment to the venue. and also finding time to rehearse, but you also need to make sure that you are able to cope with the demands in a physical sense, as well as a mental one.

Some people especially as they’re pushing 40 may find that they don’t have the energy to fulfill the demands of playing a gig. If you are someone who spent your youth in a Metallica tribute band and you feel that you can pick up the drumsticks again, you had better make sure you are prepared.

You Won’t Be Earning Money On The Side Right Away

The most important thing to remember at the beginning is that you do it for the love.

If you start a band in order to earn some money you’ve got to make peace with the fact that you may not get anything right away. And this is why you have got to view it from a creative perspective.

You may very well think that it’s a perfect opportunity to get a band together and do covers where you play down your local bar on a Saturday night but while you may get paid for this after a while, you’ve got to think that the cost of transporting the equipment but also having a few drinks while you are there are in comparison to the pay you receive may mean that you will break even.

For many people, getting into a wedding covers band is a very lucrative way to play music. But you’ve got to make peace with the fact that you won’t be doing the songs you necessarily love. And in this respect it could be like a job. What’s more, it could be a job on a Saturday afternoon and night where you aren’t spending time with your family.

It Is A Lot Of Commitment

A lot of people love the idea of starting a band but the reality is far different.

When we all have those dreams as a 17-year old playing guitar to an adoring crowd, life gets in the way. But if you are someone who has a passion for a musical instrument and you are willing to make sacrifices in terms of the music you play, it is possible to earn a living.

But you have to remember that if you are working a full-time job and you’ve got a family and children to provide for but you’re looking for a creative outlet, will this be the best one for you? There is no harm in trying it for a few months and if it’s a lot of effort or it proves frustrating because you and the other bandmates are banging heads, there is no shame in backing away.

If you feel that you want to perform music in a creative outlet you can still go to open mic nights and satisfy your musical cravings. 

It’s something we all feel on occasion.

Because we are busy as parents or we are working a job that doesn’t satisfy us, we need something as a creative outlet. And if you are someone that played music when you were younger but never scratched that itch it could be the perfect opportunity.

But if you are starting a band to earn money you’ve got to be aware that there is a lot of dedication and compromise beyond your normal life.

Jeff Campbell

Jeff Campbell is a husband, father, martial artist, budget-master, Disney-addict, musician, and recovering foodie having spent over 2 decades as a leader for Whole Foods Market. Click to learn more about me

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