Tuesday, June 16, 2020

A Session Musician's Survival Guide To The Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic | Music Think Tank

If you are reading this article as of 2020, you will know all about the current pandemic COVID-19 sweeping the globe. Due to this outbreak of the coronavirus; events, functions, shows, festivals and tours are being cancelled all over the world.  

This is horrible news for music businesses and other session musicians alike who’s income relies on playing live at these kind of events. This means people in our industry are struggling to afford to feed their families and keep a roof over their heads’.  

Most likely after the virus passes and does its damage to the music industry, venues will close down, touring musicians will be broke and other jobs such as promotors and events managers will be lost.  

Currently, a lot of countries are on lockdown, meaning a lot of people can’t leave their house. If you’re self isolating at home, with all your shows cancelled and you’re figuring out ways to make ends meet - here are some solutions/ideas for you.  

Admittedly, they aren’t quick and easy solutions but they could potentially open up new avenues and income streams for you in the future, ultimately making you and your family more financially secure.      

The Power Of Remote Work  

The best kind of work you could possibly offer as a sessi n musician is remote work. Not only is this more reliable and enables you to land much more work, offering this kind of work is future proof. This means you’ll be much safer if an event like coronavirus reoccurs.  

Remote work essentially means you can operate from the comfort of your home or wherever you happen to be, with absolutely anyone around the world. It doesn’t matter where you live, as long as you have an internet connection.  

This means you’re not relying on venues to stay open, not relying on promoters, agents, managers. You have access to all your clients online with no middle-man.  

I know some of these remote work suggestions won’t be feasible or doable for some of you, so please keep an open mind. Pick and choose parts from this article that works for your own unique situation.      

A Quick Word Of Advice  

First of all, I am not in your situation, but I completely empathise that these times are very difficult for you and those around you.  

Saying that, no matter how terrible a situation is or how out of your control it is; it’s so important that instead of feeling bad for yourself, you overcome and adapt your business to fit the situation.  

At this point it doesn’t matter how skilled or talented you are, situations like this will define your career. If you take positive action now, you will come out the other side of this stronger than ever. You got this!    

3 Remote Services You Can Offer  

Remote Recording - For those who have recording gear or have savings to invest into a new venture, you can offer to compose and record drums for someone else’s music. This can include producers, songwriters and bands.  

The live music industry is definitely taking a hit, but what do you think musicians will be doing whilst they can’t play shows? They’ll be sat in a room together writing music instead, especially with these difficult times that inspire creativity.  

Whilst people are isolating themselves, this is almost the perfect time for people to be writing music. Bedroom musicians and producers are also always writing music and are looking for other people to collaborate with.  

If you can get yourself in front of these people as soon as possible, who are they going to go to when it comes to looking for someone to lay down a track of drums or guitar?…YOU!  

Can you imagine how many songs all the musicians out there will be churning out when on lockdown? Even if you offer to do something for free out of good will in this current situation, that person WILL come to you again in the future.  Don’t worry if you have sub-par or minimal equipment, there’s always someone else either below or on your level that would find what you can offer valuable.  

Here are some helpful resources/trainings to help you get started as a remote session drummer/artist:  




Skype Coaching - Despite the current situation, life isn’t necessarily on hold and people are still living their lives. For musicians, especially kids off school learning the an instrument; this is the perfect time for them to practice and work on their craft.  

If you can offer to support, encourage and teach these people from the comfort of your home via a video chat, this is something that would give tons of value to them.  

I know it isn’t totally ideal or easy to teach via video chat, however there are people already out there earning a living from doing this. No Excuses. It’s all about thinking outside the box.  

If you are losing money from in-person teaching right now, instead of giving up and saying you can’t make this work, figure out a way to make this work. There’s always a way my friend!      


Online Courses/Tutorials - If you aren’t a teacher and can’t possibly do remote recording, there’s still a way you can create income from just an internet connection. Passive income in fact (or close to). So how does this work?  

You essentially start off releasing free content every week via a Youtube channel, podcast or blog. Your content can be based around anything you want to teach to people.  

This could be tutorials, tips for beginners, how to master certain techniques or overcome specific problems as a musician. Releasing this content weekly builds an audience and increases your chances of being discovered by people.  

You then need to offer a free downloadable lead magnet in all your content. This will be a free guide, checklist, workshop or downloadable to add further value in exchange for someone’s email address.  

As you start collecting email addresses, you will be building an email list full of potential customers and people that already know, like and trust you. This is the perfect list of people to pitch your paid content to. This can include:  

Online courses Workshops Guides Masterclasses Membership Sites Video Coaching  Even better still, you can automate a series of emails to send to people when they sign up to your free downloadable, that pitches your product(s) to them for you. This is the element that makes you passive income.  

I know this because it’s the same business model I use for The Entrepreneur Drummer and if you’re curious as to how; I am using a software called Kajabi. It’s super easy to use and you can get a 28-day free trial for it here.  

This does take time to set up and grow and earn a living from. However, if you have the time now it’s something that you can definitely start building.  

Then if in the future a similar situation to this happens again, you still have a passive income business that’s generating you an income and keeping you more finically stable.  

Here’s a video for you if you want some more in depth information: https://ift.tt/2YKWGNP    


Final Words  

I wish I could, but I can’t magically fix this situation for you. What I can do though is try to get you to think out of the box and inspire/motivate you to take action on something that will help you to keep earning a living from doing what you love. I hope I did.  

Again, I understand this is a stressful and uncertain time for everyone and it’s easy to let that fear and panic set in. Please don’t forget to continue to look out for each other, what I’ve seen from our community in general so far has been heartwarming!  

The more we stick together, the easier it’ll be to recover from the coronavirus when it all blows over. If you need someone to talk to or get anything off your chest to, feel welcome to email me at eddie@theentrepreneurdrummer.com.


This article was written by Eddie at The Entrepreneur Drummer. The Entreprneuer Drummer is the number one online business education resource for session artists. 

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