Author Topic: coding, music side hustle Qs  (Read 769 times)

Aigeus

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coding, music side hustle Qs
« on: January 22, 2019, 03:24:18 PM »
I'm getting interested in starting some kind of side hustle.  I have two different ideas; curious for feedback on both.

First, something related to music.  I play guitar--not super well, but I'm improving.  Does anyone have any music-related side hustles that work?  Roughly how much time do they put into them, and how much money do they make?

Second, something related to software.  Right now, I don't know much of anything about coding.  But I think I could teach myself--I could probably devote 10-20 hours/week to learning for ~ 2 years (or more if necessary), and I've taught myself stuff like this in the past.  Would that get me to the point where I could do some kind of side hustle?  How much money could I get; how many hours would I have to work?  And could I get myself to the point where I could code for a living? 


Telecaster

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Re: coding, music side hustle Qs
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2019, 04:31:55 PM »
I'm getting interested in starting some kind of side hustle.  I have two different ideas; curious for feedback on both.

First, something related to music.  I play guitar--not super well, but I'm improving.  Does anyone have any music-related side hustles that work?  Roughly how much time do they put into them, and how much money do they make?

Making money in music is extremely difficult.   But it can be done.   It is unlikely you can make headway just playing guitar, you will need to be able to sing too, and hopefully well.   As a side hustle, there are two basic (and potentially overlapping) ways to do it, the solo show and the regular gig with a band.   Trying to make money playing originals is like a full time job.    The solo show probably is the easiest in terms of actually making money, but it requires that you be a good enough performer to entertain a crowd.    Attaining that level of skill takes many, many hours. 

There are various problems with trying to form/join/maintain a band all of which you can easily imagine.   But there is less pressure on you personally as a performer.  Getting gigs is not very hard.  The usual method is accept a gig with crappy time slot at a place that has music.  If you perform well (that is, the bar makes money) you'll get gigs with good time slots. Simple as that. 

When you boil it down however, when you include the time practicing, as well as time schlepping equipment, the cost of the equipment, and the time performing, even good gigs won't pay very well on an hourly basis.   For most people it is better to look at music as an income producing hobby, rather than a side-hustle that generates money.   Getting paid to have fun, in other words.   

Frznrth

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Re: coding, music side hustle Qs
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2019, 07:43:34 AM »
If I were young and able I would learn coding - especially anything that has to do with automation and artificial intelligence.  I heard people who seemed to know talk about how in a very short time these will be taking over a large percentage of the jobs out there.  They said the only way for workers to protect themselves would be to have these skills. 

FIPurpose

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Re: coding, music side hustle Qs
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2019, 08:23:17 AM »
I'm getting interested in starting some kind of side hustle.  I have two different ideas; curious for feedback on both.

First, something related to music.  I play guitar--not super well, but I'm improving.  Does anyone have any music-related side hustles that work?  Roughly how much time do they put into them, and how much money do they make?

Second, something related to software.  Right now, I don't know much of anything about coding.  But I think I could teach myself--I could probably devote 10-20 hours/week to learning for ~ 2 years (or more if necessary), and I've taught myself stuff like this in the past.  Would that get me to the point where I could do some kind of side hustle?  How much money could I get; how many hours would I have to work?  And could I get myself to the point where I could code for a living?

1. I think at the amateur level, asking for tips at the local farmer's market or park is what you're going to get easiest. Do not underestimate the number of hours you have to put in to playing and studying music to be good at it. But then again, I know a lot of terrible performers that seem to get gigs regularly.

2. Will you ever make a living coding doing that little? Probably not. You could get into some frontend web-dev if you wanted and got good, or you could extend the usefulness of what you do now. (see what could be automated around you in your current job)

Here's what underlining both your statements though. Being an amateur is easy. You can get decent at something in 1,000 hours of time and work. But becoming good at something takes about 10,000 hours ie 5 years of 40 hour weeks. (But more realistically probably 10 years). Dedicate yourself to something. Something that you feel you can do without going insane, that's what you should pursue.

Aigeus

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Re: coding, music side hustle Qs
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2019, 03:21:31 PM »
I'm getting interested in starting some kind of side hustle.  I have two different ideas; curious for feedback on both.

First, something related to music.  I play guitar--not super well, but I'm improving.  Does anyone have any music-related side hustles that work?  Roughly how much time do they put into them, and how much money do they make?

Second, something related to software.  Right now, I don't know much of anything about coding.  But I think I could teach myself--I could probably devote 10-20 hours/week to learning for ~ 2 years (or more if necessary), and I've taught myself stuff like this in the past.  Would that get me to the point where I could do some kind of side hustle?  How much money could I get; how many hours would I have to work?  And could I get myself to the point where I could code for a living?

1. I think at the amateur level, asking for tips at the local farmer's market or park is what you're going to get easiest. Do not underestimate the number of hours you have to put in to playing and studying music to be good at it. But then again, I know a lot of terrible performers that seem to get gigs regularly.

2. Will you ever make a living coding doing that little? Probably not. You could get into some frontend web-dev if you wanted and got good, or you could extend the usefulness of what you do now. (see what could be automated around you in your current job)

Here's what underlining both your statements though. Being an amateur is easy. You can get decent at something in 1,000 hours of time and work. But becoming good at something takes about 10,000 hours ie 5 years of 40 hour weeks. (But more realistically probably 10 years). Dedicate yourself to something. Something that you feel you can do without going insane, that's what you should pursue.

I get where you're coming from in the last paragraph, but keep in mind that I'm asking about side hustles.  I already did the 10k hour thing for my current job.  I'm just trying to figure out what my options would be to do something on top of that.

FIPurpose

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Re: coding, music side hustle Qs
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2019, 04:24:01 PM »
Fair enough. I don't think coding is a side gig kind of thing. You might find a few things playing music, but I don't think you can come at music with a side gig in mind.

If you're doing a side gig, do something that you love. Something that you wouldn't mind doing for free, but just happen to make money at.

I would only do coding if it would give you a promotion/ raise at work (I'm a pro software dev, the big opportunities out there for amateur coders is shrinking. Simple jobs have been sucked up by southeast Asians.)

Music to make money takes a lot of practice. You have play songs long after you're tired hearing them. I've played music as an amateur for free for many, many hours. It can be tough for a pro to make a side gig out of music. (I have met a lot of professional musicians who were unable to get any gigs and end up doing it for free for community events).

I think side gigs that will get you money will be:
1. part-time job
2. simple crafts that are time consuming (soap making, eggs, etc)

I've often thought about doing simple furniture building, but that's also something that comes with skill, time, and a lot of mistakes. I think you're going to find that in the side gig economy jobs that are typically thought of as fun do not pay/pay way less, and jobs that are more labor than craft will pay moderately well.

Building a craft (music, furniture making, art.) do not make good side gigs. Any money you make from those are bonuses on top of the love you already get from doing it. Though I'm not saying to undervalue yourself if you're good.

Doing labor that you enjoy (small agriculture, dog-walking, house contracting, lawn-care, tutoring), are going to be valuable gigs. These are gigs that are truly labor intensive, and people are willing/need to have these things done. Maybe learn how to tile a shower, put in hardwood floors, find people that need lawn-care maintenance. Real labor that maybe you wouldn't mind doing 2-7 hours a week.

The other types of side gigs I see out there are growing businesses. Typically though you'll need some money and investment knowledge to manage these.

patrickza

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Re: coding, music side hustle Qs
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2019, 03:14:09 AM »
I've made a few websites and apps that do bring in some cash. At one point it was $1000 a month extra, but google killed off that profitable app sadly.

Personally I think the coding part is the easy bit, getting eyes onto a site or app is the real challenge!

That said, coding something people find cool is immensely satisfying! Like my new market timing challenge, shameless plug: https://theinvestorchallenge.com/games/com_timing.php

RichCantante

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Re: coding, music side hustle Qs
« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2019, 08:52:09 PM »
Music side hustles are many and varied!
--recording/producing tracks for YouTube or other video backgrounds
--teaching any age
--gigging at any price point. Secret here is that gigging has nothing to do with music ability. Many pros are terrible gig hustlers, while many gig hustlers/bandleaders are terrible musicians. If you can develop a good schtick you may get top dollar for it.
--demoing gear for a music manufacturer. Find some gear (pedal, recording gear) and review it, learn it inside out, make a YouTube review of it, call the manufacturer and see if they'll pay you to demo it
--inventing music gear (but be careful, do not share your invention with GuitarCenter & the like, they'll steal it)
--writing music how-to books
--recording music practice tracks
--writing for music blogs or magazines
--buy a PA and become a live sound engineer. This is a common side hustle for working musicians and bandleaders.
--if you're good at booking yourself, become a booker for various bands, build a nice website, boom you have an entertainment agency.
--recording workout music or relaxation music
--offer your services to singers who need accompaniment
...hope this gets you going! Like anything, the trick is to spend less than you make! Too many musicians fall prey to shiny gear syndrome.

ditheca

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Re: coding, music side hustle Qs
« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2019, 10:02:51 PM »
I agree, coding is the easy part!  I've toyed around with side-gig automation jobs, but can't seem to force myself to go looking for extra work.  I just take the easy ones that fall in my lap.

An easy music side-gig is teaching.  I suspect in my small city I could make $40-$50/hr teaching clarinet lessons.


robartsd

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Re: coding, music side hustle Qs
« Reply #9 on: February 08, 2019, 08:29:21 AM »
An easy music side-gig is teaching.  I suspect in my small city I could make $40-$50/hr teaching clarinet lessons.
Sounds about right. Looking online I find piano lessons in my area billed at $25-40 for half hour private lessons.

sixup

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Re: coding, music side hustle Qs
« Reply #10 on: February 09, 2019, 05:41:46 AM »
Going to disagree with FIPurpose. I think you can definitely code as a side hustle. Start with making small web apps that are useful to you. They might not make money directly, but they could lead to it eventually. And if you're just looking to do it at a hobby level, then it could be fun simply as an act of creation.

There are so many platforms, frameworks, and niches out there, and more being created all the time, I find it hard to believe that there's no more opportunity for creating a small side gig that makes a bit of money. Could be an app, could be setting up or fixing sites for local businesses, maybe freelancing once you have the skills. Not saying it would be easy, but it's possible. And potentially fulfilling regardless of the outcome.

Severian

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Re: coding, music side hustle Qs
« Reply #11 on: February 09, 2019, 07:16:40 PM »
Going to disagree with FIPurpose. I think you can definitely code as a side hustle.

The thing is the definition of "code" is pretty broad these days, and this leads to confusion. Imagine if we said "learn to medicine" and we called everyone from orderlies to surgeons "mediciners." And that hospitals were often kind of bad at figuring out which mediciners were surgeons and which were orderlies- I'm afraid that's the state of "coding" these days.

You can't do what I do without having spent years working and studying- you need a lot of math, a lot of experience, etc. But there is, I suppose, a fair bit of work available for orderly-like "coders" at the moment. I wouldn't get wedded to that sort of work though, cause it's all going to be automated away pretty soon.

sixup

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Re: coding, music side hustle Qs
« Reply #12 on: February 09, 2019, 08:33:30 PM »
Eh I think by the time we get to the point where coding work is automated to the point that you can't make a living from it, we will have some kind of UBI or something. There is just a lot of money and problems to solve, and different ways to solve them that mostly come down to personal preference, and therefore offer many possible variations.

Besides, we're talking about side gigs not changing the world here.

Severian

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Re: coding, music side hustle Qs
« Reply #13 on: February 09, 2019, 08:49:53 PM »
Besides, we're talking about side gigs not changing the world here.

My point is that the sort of "coding" that makes for easy side-hustle is easily automatible.

robartsd

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Re: coding, music side hustle Qs
« Reply #14 on: February 11, 2019, 08:32:34 AM »
Besides, we're talking about side gigs not changing the world here.

My point is that the sort of "coding" that makes for easy side-hustle is easily automatible.
While generating the code itself might be easy, don't discount the work with the client to determine the needs and communicate it with the machine. Eventually we might be able to write natural language test suites and have a machine generate optimized code that meets the test suite, but writing a test suite that actually meets expectations would still be a specialized skill.

Fishindude

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Re: coding, music side hustle Qs
« Reply #15 on: February 12, 2019, 07:59:24 AM »
Can't speak on coding, but I think you will find it very difficult to make money in the music community.   A good buddy of mine built a real nice recording studio with this in mind for a retirement gig.   Didn't really care about covering his initial investment, just bring in a little cash to cover utilities and make a little beer money.   He tells me that the musicians that come around are the biggest bunch of freeloading, cheapskates he has ever run across.   It's like pulling teeth to get any money out of them, and generally they are freeloading food, drinks, etc. off him, paying little or nothing to use his studio and equipment.

RichCantante

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Re: coding, music side hustle Qs
« Reply #16 on: February 13, 2019, 06:28:03 PM »
The error there is trying to make money off of musicians. You need to make money off people who WANT to be musicians. Big difference.

Severian

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Re: coding, music side hustle Qs
« Reply #17 on: February 16, 2019, 05:58:25 PM »
While generating the code itself might be easy, don't discount the work with the client to determine the needs and communicate it with the machine. Eventually we might be able to write natural language test suites and have a machine generate optimized code that meets the test suite, but writing a test suite that actually meets expectations would still be a specialized skill.

This is true (sort of,) but I'd say that it means that people who are good at dealing with clients have a bright future. I'll add that, while I care about tests, I've never had a client who cared much about them.