music business

The documentary Artifact provides an excellent glimpse at the often-harsh realities of making it in the modern music business.

Peter Thorn on earning a living as a professional guitarist in the 21st century.

The music business was a completely different animal when I started playing professionally. I moved to Los Angeles in 1990 with dreams of joining or forming a great band, writing songs, scoring a record deal, and touring the world. I was really just hoping to make a good living doing what I love. As it turns out, I've been able to do exactly that, but the road has been full of twists and turns, and the way I make my living is much different than I'd anticipated. So in this month's column, I'm going to talk about earning a living as a professional guitarist in the 21st century.

The “record business" as we knew it 20 years ago has basically ceased to exist, which has changed the career trajectories of many professional musicians. Plenty of people who were in the business because it was once potentially lucrative have left and are now selling insurance, real estate, or something else altogether. If you are in the music biz in 2014, you are most likely doing it because you love music more than money.

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