Music Business Job Options Behind the Spotlights

By Loren Weisman

Want to work in the music business, but stay out of the spotlight? These are the musician jobs that don’t have the brightest spotlights shining on them, but keep you playing, performing, recording, and writing the music that is out there shining.

  • Session musician, substitute musician, and backup musician: The highest caliber musician job for musicians; these musicians are the first call to the studio, the last-minute call to cover for another, or one of the backup singers or players for a tour, session date, or gig.

  • Songwriter, composer, jingle writer, movie and television scoring: These are the writing and composition job options.

  • Chart writer and transcriber: Writing charts for live musicians and for studio sessions also includes transcribing parts.

  • Theatre musician and regular/repeating gig musician: The solid continuity gig that has some great security to it.

  • Cruise ship musician and or wedding/cover band: Short-term but also good-paying gigs and jobs. Wedding and cover bands or general business groups can be very lucrative in certain cities and towns.

The cruise ships can be rough if you are a larger or taller person because the accommodations can be tight.

Though safe and somewhat secure, the cruise ship, theatre, and wedding band or cover band options can become monotonous, boring, and repetitive. Some musicians love this work, whereas it can really drive others insane after a while. It’s a personal thing. Some musicians can’t handle a theatre subbing gig that has you playing the same thing, every day, over and over and over and . . . well, you get the idea.